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’.
“The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt” – Sylvia Plath
Most times, we don’t get what we want, not because it is unattainable, but because we doubt ourselves. Self doubt is something a lot of people struggle with. The truth is, self doubt is standing between you and your goal, and if you don’t work on that, it could make you a life you do not love.
Here are some of the reasons you may be experiencing self doubt;
Do you over think everything that you do? That is, before you make any decision, you churn it in your head over and over and then end up labelling it as not good enough? Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you should not give things a thought before you make logical decisions, but doing it too much makes you start doubting it. This is how irrational thoughts happen. You think so much about something such that they end up becoming negative thoughts and worries. Worry will never get you anywhere. It will only give you doubt and keep you from doing whatever it is that you really want to do.
“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere”
― Erma Bombeck
Most times, we complain we don’t have time to do the things we want to do. Think about it, there is something you’ve always want to do but you never seem to have the time to do it. These things include such as implement a project you have been mooring on, start a blog, write a book, learn a new skill, among other things. This is because they don’t fall in the “urgent” category, so you always find yourself performing the urgent tasks first even if they are not as important.
But then, every one of us has 24 hours in a day. Bill Gates does, your favorite artist does, your favourite author does, every top CEO and top scholar has the same hours in a day. What is it about these people that make them get time to do the things they want to do? I know you think they have assistants, and chefs, and a lot of people to do some things for them, so they can accomplish the important tasks. Maybe they do, but how did they get there?
Here are some self proven ways that I have utilized and managed to get more time in my 24 hour day. Continue reading
Let me be honest, there are days that I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes things are so bad at work that I want to forget it all and sleep. Truth is, once in a long time I will sleep in; not that it makes the problem go away but it saves me from stressing too much. That is normal in all businesses; some days are amazing while others are terrible, everyone has one of these days.
When starting out in business, you really depend on your business to provide for your basic needs; bills and food. So when things are not going well, it really hits you hard, and all over again you will ask if you made the right choice to go into business. You could be somewhere waiting for a reliable cheque at the end of the month.
Since such terrible days are unavoidable, the best way to deal is to know how to handle them. First, let’s identify what causes such issues, then solutions for each.
When you are new in business, the clients don’t come in large numbers. Sometimes you can go without clients for a while, and you still have some fixed costs to be met. By the time it is the end of the month, you have bills to pay and no one is paying you. This at some point kept me in bed for a full morning before I faced the reality that if I didn’t wake up, they will come and take the roof I was staring at.
Tip to deal with this:
Do you have an idea, gnawing in your belly all the time which could turn into a business? Do you feel terrible when you think about an idea, a great business idea, only to find out later someone thought of the same idea and actualized it? Are you dreaming of the day you will turn your idea into a business but you can’t seem to get there? You must be an idea-preneur.
There are so many idea-preneurs around. They have great ideas for businesses, but they are still in the idea form, they have not been actualized. I have met people always telling me they have this and that idea, but have done nothing about it. I have been stuck in this rut before, so I am not pointing fingers.
First, let’s look at the reasons we have so many idea-preneurs and why they haven’t started their own business.
Fear can hinder you from staring your business Continue reading