Monthly Archives: March 2014

Unconventional

I made a decision a little while ago, three and a half months later I am yet to realise the dream this decision was made on.

I am often left to think and wonder how it might have turned out to be, if I did what everyone else is doing. I am left to imagine if I would have learned as much as I have if I had not taken any path and stuck to what is normal.

Often, people start businesses as a result of being unemployed or having planned meticulously to a point of perfection but not take the leap until they’re forced to.

I am often left to think about norms, practices and what is supposed to happen as a result of my surroundings. Yet, I have never thought to go back or rethink the path I have taken. I have never thought to relegate my actions and take the road that is considered normal.

I have come to learn that actions will only be understood at a later day, when things go well or bad, but some understanding comes about. Having watched some of Maya Angelou’s interview on Oprah’s Next Chapter: I was astounded at the lessons I learned in less that 30 minutes.

The value of seeds. The value in which faith is tested by the seeds planted in you as an individual by those older. I have never known that I could be an employer as opposed to an employee until someone planted the seed in me. It was someone that I barely interacted with, that saw the qualities that have failed to be visible to those closest to me.

I have no pains to keep or embarrassing moments to treasure, but I understand that struggle and perseverance are paramount lessons I have to endure.

Of all shows, books and articles I have gone through, the one lesson that is hard to learn is that of patience. Patience is a friend even though it seems a foe, it is a confidence that builds as if it awaits the right moment for you to step up. I am glad that I have learned so much at a young age, for it is difficult to have a new dream when another dies. It is difficult to build yourself when surroundings and circumstance are not willing.

I am glad to have learned for it means that I can keep trying. That I can continue to fight the world that thinks of me as unworthy or ineligible. I can continue to better myself and learn to do without rather than with. I can continue to strengthen myself for a greater challenge, for it is the same world that I intend to conquer.

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The Other Side of Leadership

If there’s something I learned about leadership, is that its no bed of roses that you can lay on and enjoy privilege on. It is an ugly, unpleasant monster you have to manage against expectations, your own beliefs and at times your own sanity.

In my short life, I have learned of the great people that inspired movements, steered change and brought hope to millions. None of it would be possible, however, if they did not have followers.

Many have argued that leaders are born, some that they’re made after their talent is honed and shaped by education. I am yet to grapple with a certain, unconditional definition – but as in academic theory, most things can be both proven and compromised.

From my own experiences, I have learned that leadership is really testing. It tests your patience, your time, your decisions and certainly your own paradigms. It is so selfless, that you end up confused between the thoughts your mind always constructed and the history of your actions in moments of challenge.

I have observed how important it is for others to have invested in you, in an electoral process or with consenting who you are as a person and what you can do. I have also observed that leadership is not picky, there are no preferences to who you can represent, no cemented controls to who you can lead and certainly no set strategy that can work in every context.

Thus, I have come to understand leadership as an innate ability for getting people to support your ideals, not necessarily you as an individual, but your story, your reason for accepting the call to lead. I have also come to learn that the work is mostly done by those around you. Not to discredit many past leaders, but the reality in effort, energy and passion is derived from the very people that put faith in your ideals as a leader.

It is no glory or status badge when you’re a natural leader, you are not imposed on by bureaucracy or employment. You are forced to put in the work just as hard as the many others to lead by example, just as the great battles we see televised today in the likes of Troy, Alexander and 300.

The principle of being one with your people, is no great feat. It is a challenge to understand those you never did, a challenge to rope in those who don’t share your own paradigms, it is a task to form a bigger picture and a lifetime of learning how to be a better human being.

There are many aspects that can shape the concept of leadership, in theory, application or any of its types, but the one important principle is keeping those around you connected to the ideal. For there is no credibility to your efforts, if there is not understanding of the movement/cause/ideals.