Posted by Herman Najoli on May 9, 2011
We live in epic times. The flow of our times demands leadership that soars above responding to today’s challenges. We need an ability to discern the future so that we can operate in the realm of sensing tomorrow’s challenges. Two critical leadership competencies needed are: vibrationary leadership and visionary leadership. If you’ve seen the movie Click you may be able to discern how we need to go BEYOND today and into tomorrow. Great vision allows us to get into a vibration mode of life. So much has been said and written about visionary leadership but few people understand vibrationary leadership. I’ll focus on vibrationary leadership in this post.
The difference between visionary and vibrationary leadership is that whereas visionary leadership guides and directs by the power of a compelling desire propelled by a glimpse of the future, vibrationary leadership discerns trends, senses opportunities and taps into potentialities. Understanding the heartbeat of the future is more powerful than any vision we could ever have. We learn this easily from the human body. Before thoughts are deposited in the mind, they are birthed in the heart. The heart is therefore the center of life. Out of it flows the issues of life. The seed of vision is always in the heart. That’s why a visionary has passion and fire in his soul. His heart is ablaze. Vibrationary leaders develop the ability to hear the silent beating of coming changes in society and thus strategically position themselves to make the very best of the moment.
If we are going to be precise in the 21st century, we must be visionary leadership but also learn to embrace vibrationary leadership. Otherwise we shall have visions that will stall in the face of rapid societal changes. A New millenium requires a New strategy. Our organizations should be able to vibrate with the beating of society’s heart. Transitioning from vision to vibration is in essence shifting our focus from seeing to hearing. While it is essential that we be able to see what is happening in our environment, it is much more important that our ears be well tuned in order to hear the silent rumblings of change. This means that our ears should be close to society’s heart and needs. Sound is a series of vibrations moving as waves through air. Ringing a bell for example, sets off vibrations in the air. Detection of these vibrations or sound waves is called hearing. It is essential to understand how the ear works. Humans hear by bone conduction or primarily by detecting airborne sound waves, which are collected by the auricles. The auricles help locate the direction of sound. Then one turns to focus on the direction. Therefore hearing comes before seeing. This is very important.
This transition will require a change from structure to rhythm. We should be able to learn the unforced rhythm of guiding our organizations through transitionary moments. This will require a greater degree of sensitivity. It is this sensitivity to society’s needs that will enable us to engage and participate effectively in what’s happening within our communities.
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Posted by Herman Najoli on April 12, 2011
Living an epic life means that we be open to change and growth experiences. The word shift means to change; for example to shift gears in an automobile from one ratio to another. It can also mean to move; for example to transfer from one place, position, direction, etc. Flux, on the other hand, means continuous change, passage or movement. It may also mean a constant flow.
Life is in constant flow and we must learn to change in order to attain the better life and live an epic life. Embracing change and being open to movement is a sign of great maturity and understanding of the processes of life. In order to attain true significance, our attitude should be: “shift happens … flux is fun“. The flow of an epic life is characterised by an understanding of this concept.
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Posted by Herman Najoli on March 16, 2011
Being organized is essential for an epic life. One of my favorite acrostics for this is PLAN AHEAD. Here we go:
Pre-determine a course of action
This essentially means having a vision for your life. Visualizing that which you intend to attain is the first step towards being successful in pursuing it. You need to have a concise end for which you can measure your progress against. Develop a vision which will be your pre-determined course of action.
Layout your goals
Once you have pre-determined a course of action, the next step is to break it down into specific goals that can be realized. To empower your vision you need to write it down and define it clearly. Laying out your goals enables you to harness the power of visualization.
Adjust your priorities
You will need to make some changes in the new year if you hope to make it a different year from the past. This will mean being open to adjusting your priorities. Priorities are the pathway to success. Making adjustments is the key to reaching your goals.
Notify key people
We all have circles of support around us. In order to accomplish your goals you need to find those people who affirm your positive goals and share your goals with them. These people will encourage you, motivate you and keep you on the path towards an epic life.
Allow time for your plans
Many times when we set goals we expect them to be realized within a certain time frame. While it is essential to set deadlines, we should never get married to the deadlines. Timelines should motivate us to work smartly towards our goals. If your goals are not attained within the timelines you set, don’t quit. Set new timelines and stay motivated.
Head into action
Action is the first step towards achievement. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Head into action. Inch by inch it’s a cinch. Action must start now! The greatest enemy of success is procrastination. In order to achieve your dreams you must be action-oriented.
Every endeavor that has ever been worth pursuing has always had it’s problems and challenges. Problems are a sign that you are on the right track. The absence of problems is very likely a sign that something is wrong. Problems should never cause you to lose sight of your ultimate goals. They should be a call towards being more creative.
Always point to your successes
It is easy to lose motivation when failure sets in. The key to staying focused is in pointing to your already realized successes. Your track record of past successes is the springboard for your future achievements. When failure threatens your progress, embrace the confidence that comes from your record of past achievements.
Daily review your planning
Planning is a dynamic process. Plans should be reviewed on a daily basis to ensure that you are on the right track. Change happens (please see my earlier post below, shift happens) and you must be open to changing your plans daily. Flexibility is the key to success. You must be able to revisit your plans every day. Nothing ever dominates life unless it happens daily. It is the daily habit of reviewing your plans that will determine whether you realize them or not.
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Posted by Herman Najoli on February 27, 2011
One of the things that would greatly improve our performance in life is an understanding of the fact that failure is never final. Many people never “start something” (previous blog) because of the fear of failure. A few years ago while at the University of Nairobi, I wrote an article in a newsletter that I used to publish for fellow students on campus. The crux of my message was that failure was part of the journey of life. What causes us to quit in the face of failure is our attitude. Your attitude determines your altitude. Failure does not mean that it is over.
While reading through some of my material I came across a poem that I think would be worthwhile to share.
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
And that’s worth thinking about.
We need to develop a “no-quitting” attitude. That will be the key to prevailing over the arrows of failure. Failure isn’t final!!
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Posted by Herman Najoli on January 6, 2011
An epic life is measured by an individual’s commitment to personal growth – and not just growth without purpose but growth that is geared towards enabling the person to engage, participate, interact and create in society. The key to experiencing the flow of a better life is a commitment to never-ending personal growth. Here are some growth keys for a better life:
Generate a passion for growth within yourself
Personal growth is not easy. This makes epic living hard. It takes a special commitment to maintain consistent growth. The key to this is to make a personal decision for continuous growth. You have to decide that no matter what, you will carve out time for your growth.
Read widely with a desire to expand your knowledge
People who live epic lives are readers. In order to engage, participate, interact and create, you must acquire information that puts you in the know as to what is happening and how you can flow with it. Few people read on a daily basis. What you do daily will decide who you become permanently. You have to read and listen to audio books daily.
Omit useless activities from your daily agenda
Personal growth goes hand-in-hand with time management. In order to develop yourself you must learn to discriminate wisely amongst activities. That’s the key to maintaining focus. Activity doesn’t necessarily equate to productivity.
Wear a whatever it takes attitude
I was watching Tiger Woods play golf on the final day of the 2007 Buick invitational which he won by two strokes for his seventh straight PGA tour win. Tiger has committed himself to continously improving his game. Nobody wears a whatever it takes attitude better than him. You need the same attitude if you will live an epic life.
Treasure the company of others that are growing
Who you become in five years depends a lot on who you associate with today. Find people that are growing and share in their growth. Your environment should consist of people that are going in the same direction in which you are headed. That is the key to contributing effectively in society.
Hammer-out a lifestyle of growth
Developing a lifestyle of growth is not easy. Once you set your eyes on growing, all sorts of obstacles will be erected to prevent you from attaining that goal. You have to “chisel” out a pathway of growth in your life.
Embrace these keys to growth and you will definitely begin to experience the epic life!
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Posted by Herman Najoli on December 25, 2010
Personal growth has always been a key topic when it comes to realizing personal potential. The truth is that if you don’t grow, you will go. Personal growth is a necessity in today’s world. The secret to any person’s future is hidden in their level of commitment to personal growth and development. This is particularly true for leaders. It’s your “inner” growth which sets the pace for your “outer” leadership. Here are some principles which can generate a life of continued growth:
1. Have a personal growth plan
Growth is not automatic. You have to make a conscious effort to commit to a daily growth plan. This could include reading books that enhance your understanding of your chosen field, listening to tapes and audio-books that elevate your understanding and subscribing to websites or newsletters that enhance your insight. This has to be a personal commitment. There’s a proverb that goes, “You’ve got to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather is”. Make that commitment. Develop a personal growth plan.
2. Stay out of your comfort zone
There’s a quote I learnt in college that I really like. Ron Osbourne said, “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow”. Many people get stuck in the rut of ”same old, same old”. You’ve got to stretch and expand yourself. Do something new. Do it in a different way. Some wag oce said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Stay out of that comfort zone. Comfort creates ease and ease is the greatest enemy of growth.
3. Grow for who you will be, not what you will get
You need a proper focus if your growth is to go the distance. You can’t just have the goal of acquiring stuff because once you acquire your motivation will wane. Growth should be geared towards becoming a better person, living a better life. Grow to become, not to have. Growth brings good things; good things don’t bring growth. It is more important to be a better person than to have better things. We win in life by being better people, not by having the biggest and the best of stuff. True success is really an intangible thing – it’s the quality of person that you are.
Posted in Engaging, Fulfillment, Wisdom | 4 Comments »
Posted by Herman Najoli on December 1, 2010
Some wise sage once said, “We are told never to cross a bridge until we come to it, but this world is owned by men who have ‘crossed bridges’ in their imagination far ahead of the crowd.” I’m thinking of leaders like Martin Luther King Jnr, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. These men crossed bridges way ahead of the societies and times they lived in. they engaged their times with a life that was epic. They got into the flow of what their generation demanded of them. Life demands of us to be prepared for our time when it comes. But the truth is that in order to be prepared we must be able to cross bridges before we get to them. Crossing bridges before we get to them means having a healthy imagination full of ideas on how we can solve the challenges of today and avoid the obstacles of tomorrow.
I’m at a point right now where I’m beginning to develop that capacity to block out time in my day where I can get into my creative space and do nothing but cross bridges in my imagination. Any thinker should be able to do this. That’s the key to leadership – being able to see farther than everyone else and then communicating the dynamics to those around you. I think that we can all develop that capacity to cross bridges before we come to them. Putting in that extra effort in the beginning will enable us to begin accessing the epic life.
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Posted by Herman Najoli on November 2, 2010
With the onslaught of major media, we live in a day when there’s too much negativity coming across all day. The only news coming through seems to be CNN – Constant Negative News. Everywhere you turn it’s negative news – in the newspapers, on theweb, on TV, on radio, at the mall, etc. Our only recourse in this day and age is to turn on what’s positive. researchers have said that it takes one correct input to overcome eleven incorrect inputs. That basically means that for every negative bit of information that comes your way, you need eleven positive bits of information in order tocontinue progressing towards success in life.
How can the ordinary person then attain success given this situation? I think the most effective way to do so is to engage in a lot of positive self-talk. Learn to speak the good, the powerful, the positive to yourself as you go through the various activities of the day. It doesn’t have to be loud. This habit alone can guarantee you tremendous success in your daily life. Constant and consistent positive input is the key to realizing the fullness of your personal potential. You’ve got to feed yourself with material that will enhance your quality of life. Let’s turn off CNN – Constant Negative News.
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Posted by Herman Najoli on October 4, 2010
We all experience moments in life when obstacles seem to crowd our goals and aspirations. Whether you are a leader of an organization, an employee in a department, a small-business owner, a student, the President or even just a regular guy, we have all experienced many barriers to our goals. I’ve seen so many people with great dreams that would add tremendous value to society but every time they try to plug into their dreams, they get knocked down by societal barriers.
Regardless of your situation or status in life, you to know that you can smash any barriers that hinder your life goals and your organization’s direction. I know this full well because my life has been about smashing barriers. I come from a community that is not well regarded in terms of access to higher positions in my country – Kenya. I was denied the opportunity to come to the United States four times before I finally got the Visa. I came to this country with a big dream and only $140 in my pocket. Imagine all the barriers I have had to surmount in order to get to where I am now. When I told people that I wanted to speak for a living, a lot of them said, “You are barking up the wrong tree, son. You’ve got a heavy African accent, no money, no contacts, ….how do you ever expect to do this?” Well, I didn’t have to know the “how” since I had a solid “why”. My passion has been one – to help people – and that is why barriers are getting smashed as I begin to slice the frontiers of developing people and empowering them to live a better life. Here are some ideas:
Three Core Hammers for Smashing Through Barriers
1. Generate a Solid Idea of Your Life Purpose
Purpose is the key to understanding the “why” of life. When you know what your purpose is, you will not lose heart in the face of obstacles and barriers. Understanding purpose enables you to stay committed and motivated towards pursuing your goals. Purpose produces passion and that is essential in overcoming challenges. Leaders in organizations need to have a clear picture of what the organization’s purpose is.
2. Develop an Enduring Vision
Lots of people have vision but very few stick to it when barriers come their way. If you will smash through barriers, you need to have an enduring vision. The United States as a country has come through many generations of challenges because of an enduring vision that was cast by the founding fathers. I succeeded in finally being able to come to the United States because I had an enduring vision.
3. When Knocked Down, Get Back Up – Be Persistent!
I like reading biographies. One of the stories I have enjoyed so much was that of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had a steady stream of barriers throughout his life and he smashed through all of them. Look at this:
In 1816 his family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them. In 1818 his mother died. In 1831 he failed in business. In 1832 he ran for state legislature and lost. In 1832 he lost his job and wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.In 1833 he borrowed money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the next year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt. In 1834 he ran for state legislature again and won. In 1835 he was engaged to be married. His sweetheart died and his heart was broken. In 1836 he had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months. In 1838 he sought to become speaker of the state legislature but was defeated. In 1840 he sought to become elector but was defeated. In 1843 he ran for congress and lost. In 1846 he ran for congress again. This time he won, went to Washington and did a good job.In 1848 he ran for reelection to congress and lost. In 1849 he sought the job of land officer in his home state and was rejected. In 1854 he ran for Senate of the United States but lost. In 1856 he sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s convention and got less that 100 votes. In 1858 he ran for US Senate again – again, he lost. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States!
My! That’s a long list of barriers for just one single guy! But you know what? He had purpose, vision and persistence. You can do it too! Let’s smash through barriers!
Posted in Creating, Engaging, Fulfillment, Interacting, Leadership, Organization, Participating, Wisdom | 1 Comment »
Posted by Herman Najoli on September 11, 2010
Robert Schuller once said that “You can’t fire a missile from a canoe”. A leader’s vision for his organization may sometimes be limited by current structures in the organization. There are also times when vision may be limited by structures that are not present within the organization. The organization’s objectives too play a great role in determining the results that will be yielded. There must be a solid foundation that ensures that any goals pursued will be achieved satisfactorily.
How then do we ensure that our output will be measurable to our input without having to demolishing our present structures? How do we develop a system that allows us to fire missiles from canoes without toppling over into the water? Every vision needs to be strengthened by the underlying philosophies and values that guide the organization. You can’t expect to achieve a big vision when the guiding philosophies do not match up to the vision. You cannot expect to accomplish great things when your strategy is flawed. Here are some ideas that can enable you to secure an output that is worthy of your input:
1. Have a Mission that matches your Vision
A company’s daily undertakings need to fit into the bigger picture of it’s ultimate objectives. Many organizations have dropped the ball by engaging in activities that are outside the range of the company vision. Vision is guarded by staying on the critical path with the company mission. Do this and you will be able to fire missiles from your canoe. I guarantee it!
2. Develop Goals that align with your Philosophy
Company philosophy is crucial to the outcomes and output of an organization. Your goals should align with the values that the company holds dearest. Every organization needs to clarify what it is that it holds as fundamental to it’s existence. Enron failed because the leaders’ activities veered off the course of the company’s core values. Your have to hold onto your core values.
3. Create a Strategy that builds on your Accomplishments
Strategy is the key to building value in an organization. Value is measured by an organization’s accomplishments. The more a company accomplishes, the more it acquires a competitive advantage over other companies within that industry. Strategy therefore is key to the long-term existence of a company.
These three keys, applied in an orderly manner, will not only ensure that you fire missiles from your canoe but also build an organization that lasts.
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