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
Business coaches are becoming popular more and more as the industry grows. Most people have great ideas, and have no idea how to turn these ideas into a business. This is where a business coach comes in. A business coach comes in, listens to your great ideas, and help you turn it in a business that is profitable, that way, you can turn your passion into profits.
When do you get a business coach?
It is very advisable to get a business coach early in your business, even when your business is still an idea. The business coach will help you actualize it, with minimum damage. Most businesses at start up stage are faced with a lot of difficulties. While some are necessary and are a learning experience, some of these can be avoided, or trotted into wisely, when one has a helping hand. This answers the question that you can get a business coach when you are still an idea-preneur.
You can also get a business coach
When you are stuck in a rut, in your business, and you need someone help you maneuver. Some of the times you can get stuck is when you are working in that business, night and day, exhausted, you thought by now it should have been running by itself but here you are, literally living your job. Continue reading
Most times when we pick up a habit, it is not very easy to sustain it, especially if it is aimed to improve something in your life. Bad habits are easy to fall into, but good habits are not, they need effort.
Think about it, when you have made a decision to lose weight or just tone your body. You swear to work out every morning, and the first morning you are full of energy and you pump out all blood either in the gym of video workout. The second morning, your whole body hurts from the previous day’s working out and you decide to skip the workout on the promise that you will work out the day after. The same happens on the third and fourth day. Before you realize it, you have forgotten about the whole workout program and you are left feeling sorry for yourself.
While this happens to many of us, both in business and personal life, one must add some persistence. Repeating something is what makes it a habit. Science says that it takes 66 days to fully adopt a habit. This means you have to be at it for a full 2 months, and some extra days if you take a break during the weekend. Continue reading
At some point in my life I had a boss that would promise me heavens and clouds on what was in store for me at that job. He made it sound so sweet and real that I had started living it before getting there. However, the situation at work never got better. All we did was write one strategic plan -full of visions, goals and dreams – after another, yet there was no action being put in place to achieve these goals. One day I found myself complaining to a friend of how miserable I was at work and how my boss had been giving me all these promises. This not being the first time I was complaining to him he asked me, “ Are you sure it is not a dangling carrot?”
This put me into deep thought. Of course I didn’t quit immediately, but soon the picture started forming on my mind. My boss liked my talent and he knew that the moment I realised I was stuck in a rut and there were no bigger things for me I’d walk. That’s why he dangled the delicious carrot in front of me. If you are as ambitious as I am, you realise that being in a routine place doing the same old thing, be it in your job, business or social life, it bores the hell out of you and all you want is move on to the next challenge. Continue reading
Creatives are wonderful people. Imagine how boring the world would be without script writers, actors, musicians, cartoonists, photographers, artists and the like. Boring, right? There would be no movies, music, paintings, cartoons, novels and we would all get bored listening to the same people every day.
A creative brings imagination into reality and if you are like me, things are more interesting in the imaginative form. The thing about creatives is that they do things from their innermost being and are sometimes hesitant to show it to the world. I know a friend who writes the most heart-felt poems, but they are safely tucked under her pillow. She believes they are not good enough (yet) for the world to read and fears that revealing them will expose her innermost feelings.
Creatives are also not very great at negotiating for their worth. A documentary on David Guetta – a wizard at mixing music and one of the most celebrated music Djs – reveald that he is not great at getting jobs for himself. His wife had to become his manager to find and negotiate jobs on his behalf. She knew his worth while he couldn’t see it.
The late Lucky Dube was a shy boy with a great voice when he started. His elder brother believed in his talent and would drag him to meetings to get him signed. His efforts saw Lucky Dube signed up by one of the top managements and he went ahead to become one of the best Reggae musicians I have ever known. Continue reading