I have watched the movie The Devil Wears Prada several times and of course read the book by Lauren Weisberger. I don’t watch it so many times for the fashion insights (as much as my fashionable side is really wanting), but because it is a great movie providing basis for discussing the topic of women and leadership. The movie revolves around Miranda, the CEO if a fictional Runway Magazine (there has been speculation that this character was based on Anna Wintour the editor-in-chief of Vogue), and a young assistant who is now at the job (Andy) who feels harassed while working under Miranda.
We all experience some low moments at some point of our life. It may not be rock bottom, but you were feeling pretty low due to some event in your life.
Some causes of low moments are:
When you are jobless or in between jobs and you don’t feel so sure about where you’re headed. This comes with some anxiety, stress and uncertainties especially revolving around your finances. Joblessness can also cause you to experience low self worth. On the brighter side, it gives you some time to your hand. If you had saved enough to keep you going for a while, you can use the time you have to focus on something else.
My good friend meant well by sharing my blog on Facebook and advising those who have entrepreneurial ambitions to follow the page. Though I appreciated her efforts, I saw the need to clarify that I do not blog for entrepreneurs only. I blog for all you who want to better their lives, make the best of your day, no matter what you do for a living.
It seems every blog one reads is about how to be an entrepreneur. Most feel that entrepreneurship is being pushed down their throats with every piece of advice they receive. Every life coach is showing you how to break from employment, and every book being written is how you can start your own business.
While some of this is great advice, we have to appreciate that entrepreneurship is not for everyone. While at it, we must acknowledge that neither is employment for everyone. There are those who thrive at employment and suck at being entrepreneurs, and vice versa. We must also stop acting as if one kind is more special than the other. Continue reading
Do you sometimes get that anxious feeling even when you cannot trace its cause? Most of the anxiety feelings we have are caused by thoughts in our minds, which are sometimes just that, thoughts. We worry about things that have not happened, and may never happen.
Don’t get it wrong, anxiety is an important emotion in every human being. It warns us of impending danger and makes us careful. On the other hand, it is not healthy being anxious at all times. Anxiety can be caused by irrational thoughts, obsessive thoughts, fear, fatigue and uncertainties. Thoughts are termed as irrational if:
- They are unfounded,
- They get in your way and keep you from reaching your goals
- They lead to self defeating or self depreciating behaviour,
- They distort your reality, creating an nonexistent reality
- They lead to unhealthy emotions, such as excessive anxiety.
Branding lessons from Beyonce
Let’s face it, Beyonce is not the most talented soul out there (Sorry Beyhives), we have heard better talents, better vocals, better music and a lot more. But then again, look at her, she is Queen Bee. She is adored, her music is catchy, her albums are waited for and talked about for days, her dance routines are used as work-out motivators and much more. I was particularly pained when Adele won a Grammy award for her 25 Album and dedicated it to Beyonce, saying she deserved to win. I mean, why are we even putting Adele and Beyonce in the same sentence? Adele sings to my soul.
So what makes Beyonce, despite average talent, the Queen she is that is so desired and many want to be her? Branding! Beyonce is a branding genius. That is what she is, not a musical genius. Beyonce has branded herself into making us thinking she is the best, her fans, almost are convinced she is the best. Here are some branding lessons we can learn from her. Continue reading
Unfortunately, as I had written before, most of us tend to think that leadership comes with a position. The only power that we have over those we lead is positional power. Because one is a manager or a supervisor, you quote comfortably; I am in a leadership position.
I have come to learn that leadership is all about influence. By influence, you have to make people to willingly follow you, even when you are not using power or rewards to gain this influence. John Maxwell suggests that, to find out if you are an influence, try leading a group of people in a voluntary program where there are no rewards at all and you cannot use positional power as well because the program is voluntary and you cannot fire them.
Leadership is therefore all about people, besides making money for the organization. As a great people leader, you have to learn to influence, motivate and inspire people to meet the set goals. When you are leading a demotivated and uninspired team, there is dormancy; people have to be pushed to work and as a result the entire work scene becomes like that of flogging a dead horse. Continue reading
Why most of us don’t see ourselves as leaders
John Maxwell noticed that when he announced free leadership training open for all, in organizations or universities, only a few people signed up for it. When he followed up, he found out that most peole did not view themselves as leaders and were quick to say, “ah, this training is not for me!”.
Unfortunately, this is the kind of mentality held by many people. Some do not think they can be leaders while others think that a leadership position is not something they want to be associated with. This is because of the picture painted by our community regarding leadership.
Here in Kenya especially, leadership has been mainly painted as political leadership, which is associated with lies, insults, lack of integrity and a lot of not so admirable traits. Besides those who are interested in political leadership, you’ll find a lot of people turning down any opportunity they are given to lead others, say in the work place unless it is an official appointment.
The one thing we forget about leadership is, you do not have to be in a position of power to be a leader. We tend to think that once you are appointed manager at your work place, where you have to make decisions, it is the only time you will be required to portray leadership skills. When you think about it, you are a leader in many ways than you can imagine; When your siblings come to you for advice, when you have kids and you want them to become sane humans in the future, when you are appointed the head of your chama, when you organize your friends for a social gathering or when you emerge as a group leader during a group discussion in schools or seminars; among others. Continue reading
Most of us struggle in balancing the urgent with the important. The urgent is that which has a deadline, and you need to have it done to keep your job, or to keep that client. Urgent makes us feel very good about ourselves. We feel important, needed and very useful. We concentrate on the urgent, we give it our all.
Examples of urgent:
- Answering emails
- Working on a job that has a deadline
- Attending meetings, even when they have no agenda
- That which will make us look good to our superiors
It keeps us busy all day and at the end of the day we feel very good for getting it done, all the time, while important lies somewhere untouched.
What is important?
- That personal project you’ve been meaning to start
- That master’s thesis you’ve been intending to get ready for defense
- That work project that was allocated to you, aside from your job description
- That book you’ve been saying forever you’ll start writing
- Updating that CV so you can start applying for new job
- That proposal for a new client for your side hustle
- That course you’ve been meaning to enroll for because it will boost your career
I love motivational quotes and stories. If you follow me on social media then you know that I’m big on sharing quotes that I’ve come across. There have been arguments on whether motivation actually works; be it intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. I like engaging in self motivating activities, anything that keeps my energy level up.
Let me ask you, how do you feel after making yourself pretty to attend a fun event? How do you feel when somebody compliments you? Great, right? The same way a compliment boosts your mood is the same way motivation works. While there have been arguments questioning the effect of motivation on performance, there have been theories to prove on the effects of motivation.
Before I get to it, I’d like you to take a while and think of some force you believe in. Say for example, religion, the universe and such. A religious person will tell you prayers work. A person who believes in the universal rule will tell you that it works; whatever signals you send to the universe you get back the same. We could spend hours arguing on what works and what does not, depending on what we believe in, but the bottom line is, these work because they believe in their power. Continue reading
“Vision will get you inspired. Discipline will take you there.” ~Christine Caine.
If you ask most people, they have brilliant ideas of what they want to do with their lives. Especially career wise and other related life areas. If you ask the same people why they have not yet worked on these ideas, excuses will come up. ‘I never have enough time’, ‘I need to earn some money first’, ‘I would have cleared my masters now but I don’t have time to write my thesis’, ‘I would have started that business, but I need to find extra time to work on it’, ‘I can lose weight, just that I don’t have time to work out’ and many more. While these may seem like valid excuses justifying why they’ve not done what they want to do, they are just that, excuses.
Discipline, though we fail to acknowledge is the force to getting anything done. The thing about discipline is that it’s uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. It kicks you out of your comfort zone. As a result of getting used to rules everywhere, in school, at work, we got used to extrinsic discipline. Meaning that you only follow the rules because they have already been set and there are consequences if/when you fail to follow them. So, when you set your own rules you relax and slack because hey, you have a choice and no one will scold you.
Lets be honest, who wouldn’t like a week of just slacking in the house watching a series or reading a book or doing whatever it is we do for fun? It is a very tempting activitity, and when we get time off our already set schedules, that is what we do. Relax, unwind, have some ‘me time’.