Development is one of the segments of my yearly goals. I usually try to have something that covers every part of my being- spirit, soul and body. In case you don’t I suggest you plan to have that this year. Make sure that your goals touch every area of your life and focus on specific areas, I’ll recommend that ordinarily spiritual goals ought to be priority. When we seek first God’s kingdom, all other things are added. Today for example I am just completing my 365 days fast, that’s a spiritual goal that I set and the purpose was to keep me in tune with God’s direction for my life and keep me involved and active. I might not be able to justify the reasons to you, but the fruits of a consecrated life are evident – now and in time.
Today however my primary focus will not be on your spiritual goals. By all means set them. Have a commitment to fellowship with God, to have daily devotion, to be kinder, more impactful to others, to add more value, to be a blessing. These are by far the most important things in my life. The ultimate test of faith is not “what does my faith do for me?”, but what does it make me do for others?” Your spirual goals set the pace, but it’s your developmental goals, which are partly spiritual but largely soulish are the things that get you equipped to deliver your spiritual goals more effectively and efficiently. As you advance into the year ahead, here are a few things you must strive to achieve, and do not forget!
1. Oral Communication
“Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness.”- Margaret Miller
If you don’t plan to learn too many things this year, learn to speak. Not just learn how to deliver monologues in the presense of a witness, learn to communicate. Learn to carry others along. To learn anything, I recommend, read about it, hear about it, watch it, and practice it! In my not to long existence, I have had over 1000 public speaking opportunities; some of those opportunities were given to me, some I had to hijack for myself in my earlier days. With so much speaking on my belt, I still have more than 10 different books on public speaking that I read from time to time. Trust me, one of the greatest assets that any leader or anybody aspiring to progress in his/her career needs to have is an ability to communicate excellently. Don’t run away from the crowds this year, open your mouth and reveal your ignorance, maybe that will force you to become knowledgeable. Go for seminars if you have to, volounteer to speak, read books, browse the web, but learn to speak well this year.
“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”- Carl W. Buechner
2. The Internet
Nowadays, anyone who cannot speak English and is incapable of using the Internet is regarded as backward.- Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud
When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the World Wide Web…. Now even my cat has its own page. ~Bill Clinton, 1996
In Bill Gates’ words, the world wide web is fast becoming the town square of the global village. If you do not have web presence, you are becoming less in status than a cat. In the generation just before us, it was old not to have an email address, a little later, you needed to have that, a facebook, myspace and a linked in profile. In the now future, you need to have your own web portal. A place where you have absolute control and can air your veiws and profer your solutions. Not just that, you need to learn how to own a website, manage it and make it profitable. For the views of the experts about the internet, read the following quotes.
Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other. -Bill Gates
I have been quoted saying that, in the future, all companies will be Internet companies. I still believe that. More than ever, really. -Andrew Grove
The key is the Internet. The United States is by far the most advanced country in this new digital culture, so we have to be there. The Internet is the heart of this new civilization, and telecommunications are the nervous system, or circulatory system.-Carlos Slim Helu
The Internet has been the most fundamental change during my lifetime and for hundreds of years. Someone the other day said, “It’s the biggest thing since Gutenberg,” and then someone else said “No, it’s the biggest thing since the invention of writing.” -Rupert Murdoch
I believe that this notion of self-publishing, which is what Blogger and blogging are really about, is the next big wave of human communication. The last big wave was Web activity. Before that one it was e-mail. Instant messaging was an extension of e-mail, real-time e-mail. -Eric Schmidt
Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks. -Author Unknown
The Internet has been the most fundamental change during my lifetime and for hundreds of years. -Rupert Murdoch
Five years ago, we thought of the Web as a new medium, not a new economy. -Clement Mok
Almost overnight, the Internet’s gone from a technical wonder to a business must. -Bill Schrader
If you have a web site, it makes your small business look big. -Natalie Sequera
There are three kinds of death in this world. There’s heart death, there’s brain death, and there’s being off the network. -Guy Almes
In today’s knowledge-based economy, what you earn depends on what you learn. Jobs in the information technology sector, for example, pay 85 percent more than the private sector average.-Bill Clinton
Just this year, we were selected by a global firm as 1 out of all the companies that do HR Consulting in Nigeria for just one reason, our web presence. If you ask me, I’ll tell you the future is amazing. For us in Africa, we only need to look at the countries ahead, and predict the future.
3. Creative and Logical Thinking
Once upon a time a philosophy teacher asked his students in their introductory class to define philosophy for him. Once he noticed that this was a difficult feat, he gave them a puzzle which was supposed to help them in their understanding of philosophy. He presented before them one bath of clean water and two boys one clean and the other dirty. He proceeded to ask the class which of the boys should be washed and why?
A brilliant student in the class responded, “the dirty boy should be washed. Why? Because he needs the washing.” The professor responded, “that is logic my friend, not philosophy.”
After a period of silence, another student responds, “we should wash the clean student, he has the common sense to keep himself clean and will make the washing worth it, the dirty boy is likely to get dirty again soon, making our efforts wasted. “Interesting”, repsonded the professor, “but that is psycology, not philosophy”
The students murmured for about 30mins after which someone volounteers to speak, “professor”, he says, “now we have at least 20 reasons why we should wash either one and another 10, why we shouldn’t”, the professor laughs out loudly, “that my students, is philosophy”. He then proceeds to start the class.
After the class however he refers them back to the story and makes and interesting remark. He shows them that it was possible to use the clean water to wash the clean boy and then use the water after washing the clean boy to wash the dirty boy. That he assures them is creativity! The class, and am sure you as well, sighed…”hmmmmmmnn”
Creativity is the wise application of knowledge and persistence in solving problems. A key ingredient in creativity is a display of boundless curiousity and the use of the right tools in analyzing problems and generating options. Creativity is a learnable skill, there are tons of books on it and there are tons of training on it. Nobody was born creative, we are born with the basic traits and then go on to develop it.
In a world with limited resources, in a year followed by financial meltdowns, in a year with looming layoffs and economic downturns, it is the creative that will survive. Creativity requires a number of other basic attitudes, like courage, persistence, knowledge, process, e.t.c. The starting point for all knowledge acquisition is unconcious incompetence, then awareness leads to concious incompetence. Where are you now?
“My son is now an ‘entrepreneur’. That’s what you’re called when you don’t have a job.” – Ted Turner, broadcasting entrepreneur
Well, that was to make you laugh. In absolute terms, an entrepreneur needs not be someone that resigns from a job or doesn’t have one. An entrepreneur is someone who sees an opportunity is willing to take the risk involved, in galvanizing the resources he/she needs to make the opportunity utilized. It’s a follow your gut approach, not cover your butt.
“The cover-your-butt mentality of the workplace will get you only so far. The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business–but it’s a whole lot more fun, don’t you think?” – Bill Rancic
To be an entreprenuer is to be comfortable with taking risks. To discover new lands, we must be willing to lose sight of shore. The world as we see it today was made by entrepreneurs, people who decided not to settle for the regular but where willing to envision the spectacular. Being an entrepreneur is not cheap, it requires willingness and commitment. It requires learning and doing.
“Entrepreneurs are risk takers, willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. They willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.” – Victor Kiam, best known for his “I liked it so much, I bought the company” ads for Remington electric shavers
It’s not easy to stake your money, it’s even more difficult to stake your reputation, but entrepreneurship requires that you take that risk. It requires biting more than you can chew and quickly learning how to chew it, it requires taking steps before completely deliberating, it requires making a move and finetuning on the go. We must leap, and believe that the net will appear. Fail? Yes atimes we will, but success is often said to be the result of moving from failure to failure without losing enthusaism.
5. Financial Dexterity… How can I forget this. You need to pay close attention to developing great financial management and wealth creation skills.
I wish you a most prosperous year, and look forward to having you around for one of these sessions as I’ll be investing my energies in helping people develop in these areas in the coming year.