IMPROVE YOUR OWN CIRCUMSTANCES

Anything that can be improved carries within it the capacity to be better. The word better is a comparative of the word good and its superlative is the word best. This simply means if today you believe there is a need to improve your circumstances you are concurring with the fact that your life can be better. How do you know this? it’s simply because from all you see around and all you know, it’s obvious people are experiencing life circumstances better than yours even in this economic downturn. It is difficult or rare to desire strongly something you’ve never seen, heard or experienced before. We usually are desirous of something we know exist and we can for a fact apprehend. Meaning if today, you want a better life circumstance for yourself, you have at least an idea of how you want your next circumstance to be. You have a clue on where next you want to be in life and the progress or upgrade you desire to make. As we wake up daily, we see people, things, possessions, places and observe a lifestyle we are yet to attain in life. We see houses we can’t afford yet, cars we can’t afford yet, clothes we can’t afford yet, hotels, restaurants, lounges and very impressive relaxation and leisure points we can’t afford to visit yet. We frequently come across people that intimidate us in achievement, class, exposure, intellect, appearance and even style. We hear and read about great achievers, leaders and influencers in our society doing great stuff we can’t handle yet. We see friends, associates and colleagues enjoying fantastic marital relationships, we see happy people, rich people, powerful people and noble people interacting, networking, interrelating and driving the social and material direction of our society. We watch, observe, dream, pray, hope and aspire to one day, achieve our own dreams. Based on all these great and impressive things we see and hear about daily, the desire to improve our own circumstances too is naturally invoked. However, the gap or drawback in this ambition for many is that we do not really know how to upgrade. We really don’t know how to improve our life’s circumstance. The majority think a very good life is delivered by having lots of money. Once we see anyone living a great life, we conclude it’s a matter of cash. We then assume all we need to do to acquire the house, the cars, the relationships and lifestyle we really desire is to make a lot of money. We hence begin to chase after money desperately; some of us unto stress and untimely death. We seek highly rewarding but slave camp employments, and try to work at our businesses nonstop to make enough money that will deliver to us the kind of improvement we want in life. We wrongly assume enough money would deliver for us a great life. However, as important as money is to a great life, money alone will not deliver to us that great life we want. This is because pure cash is powerless and transient if we lack the right capacity, knowledge about the economic and social relevance. Let me explain this. You see, many who were comfortable a year or two ago may today be very broke and their life quality diminished because they had only cash without the right capacity, comprehension and relevance within the environment. If your life quality is purely a matter of cash, economic downturn such as we’re experiencing today can take you out. Economic forces can make nonsense of your cash if you lack contemporary capacity, comprehension and social relevance to float with. Many erstwhile rich and respected managers and directors in leading cooperation, multinational and top notch enterprises earning so much and living large back in the days become very broke, irrelevant and ordinary after retirement. This is because the dynamism in the economy made nonsense of their monies without contemporary capacity, comprehension and relevance. Many young people who are yet to experience the life quality and standard they desire are frustrated and even envious of their contemporaries who already are because their hard work and strategy is not delivering on their expectations of an improved life quality. Ladies and gentlemen, for you to keep stepping up in standard, life quality and class you must apply the right strategy. You don’t improve your life quality by chasing money. You improve your life quality by attracting first, the right people, second the right opportunities and thirdly, the right reward. Please get it right, you don’t chase these, you attract all these. People, opportunities and reward. There is this popular saying that birds of the same feathers, flock together. When you look around you and you see some people living the life you want to upgrade to, you don’t chase or run after them or pretend to be like them, no, you change your feathers to be like them. To upgrade to a particular socioeconomic strata, you must study and understand the strata or level. What is obvious is the lifestyle, achievement, possessions, ways and swag of a people belonging to a specific socio economic level, but what is hidden is what makes them tick. You must seek to know what drives them, what their core is, and what makes them flock. Money will fail to upgrade you if you don’t understand the core of those you admire in value, priorities, purpose and drive. If we all have 24 hours in a day and you work much harder than many people better than you in life, dear friend, there is a secret. Many who do not understand this, tend to conclude superior achievers are probably dishonest, shrewd or fetish in their ways. Hence justifying their inability to flow in that realm with these assumptions. Dear friend, the simplest secret to improving your life circumstance is simply in improving yourself. It’s not in chasing money, collecting personal details of important people or crashing events and high profile functions uninvited. It’s about improving yourself. You cannot successfully buy your way to your next level, you actually grow yourself to your next level. What are the things you need to grow? I’ll tell you. Number one, Knowledge. To upgrade yourself from a five figure income earner to a six figure income earner you must know what six figure income earners know. To grow your salary from the realm of thousands to millions a month you must know what those earning millions know. I’m not talking about movies, football, entertainment, weather, politics and general gist. I’m talking about economic, financial, career and business information. When you speak and you sound like them, and they learn useful things from you, you need not chase after them, they will come for you and propose business deals to you. Relevant business and financial knowledge common to that class of people you want to upgrade to is a powerful weapon of access. Your ability to comprehend and identify productive opportunities will upgrade your life faster than anything else. Secondly, grow your capacity. If you can do what they can do, they see you like them. For example If you can speak their quality of English, comprehend intelligent jokes, enjoy and understand their preferred form of entertainment – jazz, R&B for example, use effectively their kind of social media apps and communication device; not just owning, knowing how to use it and interacting with them on it, they will be more open to you. You’re beginning to flock. Thirdly, grow in maturity. High profile individuals comport themselves in certain ways. There is a way they behave, talk, interact and mingle especially in public. Most of them don’t use crass, low life, vulgar or offensive terms when communicating in public. They respect people and act like perfect gentlemen and ladies They hardly fight or quarrel over small matters and they overlook disrespect and bad behaviours from people of lower life level. They are usually together and are much matured. When you learn to act this way, you attract them. Lastly, character. You must be a man of your words, you must respect time, keep appointments, keep promises and be honest. People can’t stand liars, people can’t stand pretenders, don’t show off and don’t always yap and brag about the new big thing you’re up to, let it show itself. Ladies and gentlemen, if you look around you today and there are people living lives superior to yours in quality and style, the economy may not really be a hindrance, if it’s not holding down people more successful than you it means the possibility of catch up is still in place despite the economy. It’s time to re-strategize. Stop wasting your time waiting for the government to make all things perfect for you, perfect your life yourself. To outsmart and outgrow the economic downturn, simply grow you. Grow what you should know, what you can do and how you behave. The faster your growth, the better your circumstance. Make it happen.

RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

No one exists and succeeds in isolation. It is contrary to human nature. In fact isolation is a form of punishment, hence imprisonment is quite a part of our human system to address misconduct and vile behaviours in our society. Isolation is not good for humans, to destroy any man’s confidence, guts and gusto, isolate him. It is tough to have any reason and motivation for living when you’re all alone in this world. It is repugnant to our human nature. That is why it is natural and essential for us to exist in family and societal formats. To have villages, communities, states, countries and nations. We are wired to do things together as mankind. Critical as this is to mankind, it can be very demanding, stressful and at times destructive relating with other humans. Human beings are the most difficult creatures to deal with on earth. Their intelligence, power and ability to choose makes it pretty tough dealing and relating easily with people. Hence as important as it is to relate with other humans, you must employ the needed wisdom, intelligence and tact required for successful and fruitful interactions. Human beings can deceive you, derail you, betray you, deny you, distract you, debase you and even destroy you. If you lack what it takes to cope with humans, you may fail woefully in life – your intelligence, capacity and hard work notwithstanding. To truly achieve your dreams, vision, ambition and purpose on earth, you must handle people as required. Heartbreak, treachery, rejection, abuse, falsehood, pretence, lies, deception, manipulation and oppression are some of the very negative and painful experiences you may go through in the hands of people no matter how careful. Worst still, you hardly suffer all these from the hands of total strangers, its always people who are close, people you have a form of relationship with, friendly people; people with access to you and your life and your heart. They are the ones capable of messing you up so badly and at times beyond total recovery. To avoid falling into difficult and painful situations with people, it is wisdom to occasionally measure exactly where you stand with all the different people in your life. One of the weaknesses of mankind is their inability to completely hide their true thoughts and feelings towards other people. No matter how we try to pretend or cover it up, it will once in a while come to the fore either as a remark, a reaction, a comment, a body language, facial expression or behaviour. Truth is every now and again, people show and tell us the truth about how they feel about us; we are not just paying enough attention to decode the message. At times it’s obvious but we choose to believe different, assume they were joking or they didn’t mean it that way. We get too emotionally involved with people we really want to be with to the end that it shuts our eyes and mindsights to how they see us and what they could actually do to us. When they eventually manifest their true inner intentions, we become badly hurt, broken and distraught. In our depression and regret, we then begin to recollect statements, remarks, behaviours and attitudes that signalled the possibility of what they eventually did, we would then begin to feel really foolish. We’d say in regret, we should have known. Dear friend, if you really value yourself, you need to manage yourself well. You must endeavour to protect yourself from hurt, pain and abuse as much as you can. To manage yourself well, you must manage your relationships well. To manage your relationships well, you must research, review, and measure your worth every now and again with all the people in your life. Your worth with people, what you mean to them; if you matter to them will determine how they would treat you and if they would eventually hurt you or not. Dear friend, don’t be fooled thinking people that are good and kind to you today are naturally good people. Let’s face it, human beings by nature are selfish and at times wicked. If anyone is still good, kind, considerate and loving to you, it’s purely tied to what you mean to them. It’s about how they value you and how you matter to them. If you don’t see this, if you don’t see why you matter to them and why they value you, it’s possible you take the factors for granted and eventually dismiss them, then this best friend could suddenly become a nasty enemy. Why? You’ve unknowingly terminated the gain and reason for being your friend. Now, these factors or gains may not even be tangible, like money, gifts or any form of material benefits. It may be attention, care; the pride of being friends or related to someone important, successful, rich or good looking, could be the affection, lust or the fact that they can use you. It’s not always about monetary gains or material benefits. Whatever they see as value in that relationship, once you compromise or withdraw it, they become a silent enemy. They will punish you. Dear friend, before you get into trouble with any of your friends, contacts and connections, take the time today to think through your relationships with everybody. There is always a reason behind a friendship, relationship, connection and/or intimacy. People always want you for a reason. Only the almighty wants you for no reason at all. How do you do this? 1. Pay attention. In conversations with friends and acquaintances there is general information, general gist and from it you can draw particular facts. Pay attention to the facts. Matters of fact from friends and relatives convey a lot. 2. Evaluate their worth to you. Every great relationship must be mutually beneficial. You must be giving and gaining as well. What are your friends sincerely willing to do, give, surrender or sacrifice for you? Evaluate your gains from all these people in your life, you may just realise you’re carrying so much weight and liabilities; wasting your time, energy and resources on people who are too eager to take but unwilling to give anything back to you even if they could. 3. Become selective. Begin to think up ways of gradually easing out people who only want to take but are unwilling to give from your life. Become more selective; build mutually rewarding relationships. Energise and get energised. 4. Grow your value. For those people in your life adding value to you in a way or another, creatively try to grow your value and worth to them as well. Give them a good reason to want you in their life and their circle. 5. Lastly manage your supply. Too much of everything is not good. When you’re too available, you become cheap and your worth begins to dwindle. Enhance your worth and value through reasonable scarcity. Remain dear and valuable to your friends and connections. Dear friend, destructive relationships exist within the family, amongst friends, social groups including churches and mosques, at work, in business and your neighbourhood. Measure your worth today. Please enjoy your day.

EVEN DISTRIBUTION

It’s for me disgraceful and somewhat upsetting the back to back breaking news about so many Nigerians whom over the years have acquired great wealth through theft. Many very rich Nigerians today have stolen from our common wealth and very many more have stolen from their employers and converted or diverted monies belonging to their employer companies and the nation to their own private pockets and accounts. Well, the attention may mostly be on the billions in naira and millions in pounds and dollars belonging to all of us but illegally taken over by those with access to these funds and stashed away in their various accounts all over the globe or used to acquire very costly properties and assets all over the world. But are we really taking note of non-public officials; I mean everyday employees in different companies stealing regularly from their companies? These are people working in various private establishments who have devised crooked means and schemes to successfully steal from their employers. We see many people in paid employment today with unbelievable bank balances, owning very expensive assets and properties and enjoying a lifestyle their ten years salary combined cannot deliver. We see them obviously living beyond their means, buying houses their salaries can’t afford, cars their salaries can’t afford; travels their salaries can’t pay for and expending in a moment their one year salary on a single item, yet they have no other known source of income except where they work. Is anyone taking note of such people? Ladies and gentlemen, it’s all the same, very common, a mindset that steals and feel it’s okay simply because many people are doing it and the more you’re able to steal the more the society appears to respect and honour you even in religious circles. Sadly, it is no longer that shameful to be caught stealing in Nigeria, in fact many everyday Nigerians passionately criticising and judging these big thieves that made the news are probably thieves themselves – stealing from their own employers. In today’s Nigeria, people don’t treat thieves like thieves anymore, in fact some will publicly stand by thieves and defend them with the argument that they’re not the only thief around. How sad. Ladies and gentlemen, in my submission, I think this wide spread, popular and celebrated habit of stealing in Nigeria may be an indication many have concluded it is impossible to be rich without stealing. It may also be an indication many believe there is an uneven distribution of wealth in Nigeria, they are thus angry about this and they believe the only way to balance things out or get their own share is to steal once they have the opportunity. Many are angry and I hear very many people passionately complain about how some people have cornered our common wealth. They are so upset and they wish they can just do something about it but feel so powerless against this so called greedy rich few. Ladies and gentlemen, let me share this hard truth with you, wealth is never evenly distributed naturally or by agreement amongst the citizens of any nation. Every citizen is expected to legitimately seek after a share of the wealth within a nation. Effective support mechanism may be provided in some nations though, but no one will knock on your door and offer you good cash just because you’re a citizen of that nation, you must go after wealth yourself. You know why? Sharing wealth equally amongst citizens is an idea or concept that can never work. It is impossible, it will surely fail; in fact it will destroy such a nation. Let me explain this. Let’s assume the government agrees to share all the wealth of Nigeria amongst its 170 million citizens equally today, I mean everything is shared equally and everyone gets the same amount. I guarantee you within 24 hours, some Nigerians will be richer, some will be poorer, some would have lost everything, some would have tripled theirs and very many will have so little left. Within a week, the society would largely have automatically readjusted itself to a state of uneven distribution of wealth. This is simply because, wealth is not really about the system; it’s more about the thinking and behaviour of the people within the system. I try to imagine a situation like that play out, and I can immediately see some Nigerians using their own share to desperately obtain visas to jet out of the country, some will immediately buy a big house to disgrace their landlords, some will buy expensive cars to impress friends and girlfriends, some will immediately marry new wives, some will throw very lavish and expensive parties, some will immediately order for the originals of the most expensive designer wears and accessories, some will immediately fall into the hands of fraudsters who will deceive them and take their monies, some will be robbed of theirs, some will invest in stocks and shares that will eventually go bad, and very many will not know exactly what to do with their share of the money. But guess what, very few will think up ways they can provide needed goods and services to all these very rich people and have them pay good money for it; subsequently becoming richer than them. And in a short while, the wealth will again become unevenly distributed. Ladies and gentlemen, the wealth of a nation is not so much about the system, it’s much more about the thinking and behaviours of the citizens within the system. Many people struggling financially today may blame it on lack of great opportunities, lack of right connections, lack of basic infrastructure, lack of privilege, the ruthlessness of those who want to keep dominating others, the activities of rich oppressors and lack of enabling environment. But let me tell you something, the greatest power to be rich or poor lies first and foremost in your mentality. It’s all about how you think. You see, making money and becoming financially free has little to do with hard work, it’s very much more about what you know. Do you know how to become rich? Many are not rich today because they really do not know how to become rich. They don’t know and they don’t want to learn. They simply want to still believe it’s by hard work. Though they see thousands of very hardworking people still romancing poverty and lack after several years, they just don’t want to change their minds that hard work alone can’t make anyone rich. If it’s by hard work, well diggers, tanker drivers and construction site labourers will be super rich today. To become rich, you need to learn how to become rich. There are many legitimate ways of becoming rich in Nigeria. You need to ask those who know how and learn from them. There may be so many other contributing factors to why you are struggling financially today. These may also include your priorities in life; is it leisure and pleasure or purpose, planning, self- management and focused pursuit? Are you greedy or materialistic or you’re disciplined and possess a strong sense of self-control? Are you independent or you live to please and impress others? Do you have a dream, a vision and you’re bold and courageous enough to pursue it? Do you add intelligence and common sense to your religious beliefs or you think God will come down from heaven and do everything for you? Or you’re so deceived that once you give tithes and offering and sow enough seeds in worship centres your miracle is on the way? How much understanding do you have about Nigeria, which is your operating environment? Do you have a copy of the constitution, do you understand our basic economics, our social and cultural tendencies and the various needs and investment opportunities? Do you have a well-articulated financial goal, vision and mission? What is your dream, what is your ambition, what do you want to do in this life? Ladies and gentlemen, legitimate wealth in Nigeria is a task that requires relevant study, knowledge, ecological intelligence, demographic intelligence and right work. It’s not just about what you want to do, it’s about what you ought to do. If you’re waiting for the government or anyone to bring wealth to your house and make you rich, dear friend, you’re on a long thing. Your legitimate wealth creation ladies and gentlemen starts with you. It’s about having the right mentality. Dear friends, fix the way you think today and make your own money.

WHEN TO BE SILENT

. . . The Bible 1. Be silent In the heat of anger – (Prov 14:17) 2. Be silent When you don’t have all the facts – (Prov 18:13)
3. Be silent When you haven’t verified the story – (Deut 17:6) 4. Be silent If your words will offend a weaker person – (1 Cor 8:11) 5. Be silent When it is time to listen – (Prov 13:1) 6. Be silent When you are tempted to make light of holy things – (Eccl 5:2) 7. Be silent When you are tempted to joke about sin – (Prov 14:9) 8. Be silent If you would be ashamed of your words later – (Prov 8:8) 9. Be silent If your words would convey the wrong impression – (Prov 17:27) 10. Be silent If the issue is none of your business – (Prov 14:10) 11. Be silent When you are tempted to tell an outright lie – (Prov 4:24) 12. Be silent If your words will damage someone else’s reputation – (Pro 16:27)
13. Be silent If your words will damage a friendship – (Prov 16:28) 14. Be silent When you are feeling critical – (James 3:9)
15. Be silent If you can’t say it without screaming it – (Prov 25:28) 16. Be silent If your words will be a poor reflection of the Lord or your friends and family – (1 Pt 2:21-23)
17. Be silent If you may have to eat your words later – (Prov 18:21) 18. Be silent If you have already said it more than one time – (Prov 19:13) 19. Be silent When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person – (Prov 24:24) 20. Be silent When you are supposed to be working instead – (Prov 14:23) “WHOEVER GUARDS HIS MOUTH AND TONGUE KEEPS HIS SOUL FROM TROUBLES” – (Prov 21:23). “BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD” (Ps 46:10)

life doesn’t question your inabilities

It only questions your doubts. Almost all our achievers were incapable towards their achievements. Apples computers was founded by a man, Steve Jobs who dropped out of school only after six months of schooling and was financially incapable to start the company with his friend. Thomas Edison never went to school. Bill Gates was another drop out. Abraham Lincoln was born in a one room farm cabin house. Winston Churchil was the worst student at his time that his teachers doubted his future. Phil Emegwali, the computer giant who was the internet forerunner came to America early 70’s and was jobless and homeless. We all are incapable by merely looking at eachother but when you look inside yourself, you will see all possibilities waiting. Kimberly Anyadike, the 15 year old Nigerian born in U.S dazzled the world when she became the youngest pilot through after school program. What did she say when experts doubted her before the world record breaking fleet? She said, “Put it on me, I have broad shoulders”. Dear, you can inspite what lies on the outside. Deborah Cox was born without two hands but she flies aircraft today your world ends when you see an end. But the door to your future remains open the moment you look at the mountains and believe within you that this is where you are going to climb through. And you will.

ARE YOU WINNING SOULS FOR JESUS OR GETTING CUSTOMERS FOR YOUR PASTOR

I Corinthians 3:6. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. FACTS souls are won to the church by God through his word and this could be any body anytime, or anywhere WHILE CUSTOMERS ARE ADDED TO A CHURCH IF THE PASTOR GAVE A TARGET TO THE OTHER PASTORS UNDER HIM THAT A PARTICULAR AMOUNT OF SOUL MUST BE BROUGHT INTO THE CHURCH ELSE THEY WILL BE REMOVED. souls are won when the teachings in the church is sound and well rooted in the word of God CUSTOMERS ARE ADDED WHEN THE PASTOR REFUSED TO CORRECT MEMBERS ON INDECENT DRESSINGS IN THE CHURCH souls are added when the audience repented after life transforming messages WHILE CUSTOMERS ARE ADDED WHEN PEOPLE ARE CLAPPING AND BLOWING WHISTLES DURING PASTOR SERMON souls are won to Jesus when people listened to songs that draws their heart to repentance and faith in God WHILE CUSTOMERS ARE ADDED WHEN MEN ARE LUSTING AT HALF NAKED DRESSED CHOIRISTERS WHO ARE IS MINISTERING ON THE ALTAR souls are won to Jesus when the pastor preaches more about eternity and repentance than prosperity WHILE CUSTOMERS ARE ADDED WHEN THE ONLY THING THAT YOU HEAR EVERY TIME IS MIRACLE, PROSPERITY, HEALING, BREAKTHROUGH. souls are won when invited ministers are coming to teach sound doctrine WHILE CUSTOMERS ARE ADDED WHEN COMEDIANS TAKES OVER THE SERVICE souls are added when offering or tithe are collected according to the scriptures WHILE CUSTOMERS ARE ADDED IF YOU ARE COLLECTING ALL SORT OF OFFERING NOT TRACEABLE TO THE BIBLE YOU ARE A CUSTOMER ….IF you are not growing spiritually and pastor made you deacon The church Knew you are divorce and remarried and still ordain you their treasurer you are customers if you are reported by UNBELEIVERS and the pastor refused to correct you because your tithe is one of the biggest in the church. ARE YOU A CUSTOMER OF A PASTOR OR A SOUL WON TO JESUS AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD ? shallom.

DEAL WITH IT

– DEAL WITH IT Everyone in life wants the good part of living; the fun, the progress, the prosperity and pleasure. Everyone wants to be happy and successful. Everyone hopes for the good and rejects the bad, everyone wants the blessings and the ease of access; no one likes to struggle and give so much to obtain the good they want out of life. Many of us want life to be exclusively easy and rosy; no bad just good. May I say this morning that this kind of mindset and desire is absolutely a fantasy? Life is not designed that way. Good and bad is the name of the game. The good and the bad are inter related, you can’t access the positive without experiencing the negative if not; you will destroy the positive. The negative exist to develop your capacity to handle and manage the positive effectively. The negative, no matter how much you hate it, serves to prepare your body, soul and spirit to cope, manage and even improve on the positive side of life. You can’t appreciate love if you’ve not experienced rejection. The pain of rejection will make you value a relationship with someone who really loves you, and you won’t take the person or the relationship for granted. You can’t appreciate food unless you’ve really suffered hunger. Having something to eat every time, if you’ve never gone through a season of hunger can make you wasteful and insensitive to those who have nothing to eat. If you’re lucky not to have experienced a season of delay in childbirth as a married woman, you may never really appreciate the honour and fulfilment of motherhood. If you’ve never experienced a season of joblessness, you may not really respect or appreciate your employer. If you’ve never failed in business, you won’t really respect or think much of those who are doing well in business. If your mother is still alive and well you would never appreciate the blessing of having her around; some of us can tell what it means to lose your mother to death; you feel so vulnerable and uncovered. If you’re lucky to still have your mother alive; treat her right and nice, if you don’t, you may regret it when she’s gone. The pain in life, the hurt in life, the negative in life doesn’t exist to destroy us, oh no, it’s actually there to enable us appreciate, value, and preserve the good we have. The negative also inspires in us the passion and will to become creative and innovative. The best inventions ever recorded occurred in the time of war, when survival became the single most important thing. When you’re in pain, under pressure, going through stuff, your brain is activated to think and become creative – the need to find a solution makes you a thinker and brings to the fore your solution mindedness. That’s why managers of startup businesses are often more diligent, sacrificing, meticulous and aggressive than managers of well established businesses. Managers of startups are constantly faced with the threat of failure and intense competition from established rivals; so they think more, become more creative and amiable to customers – they must survive! Isn’t it unfortunate how some of the most respected and well branded new generation banks in Nigeria today for example have degenerated so much that they have no respect or value whatsoever for their individual account holders? You need to visit many of their branches and see individual account holders in queues waiting and waiting for attention and service from these bank staffs; that are unfortunately indifferent to the plight of these customers standing and frustrated. These so called bankers are usually snooty and carry an air of superiority over customers with disdain in their attitude and service style. Their systems are always down; forever hanging or very slow, their ATM service points usually have very long queues because many are temporarily unable to dispense cash; yet the bank employees are so unmoved and care less about how customers feel. For these banks it wasn’t like that when they started, then, the customers were extremely important and precious; the motive then I believe, was essentially to woo customers away from old generation banks not because they really believed in any customer service philosophy or concept; now that they have enough customers, that customer service orientation has become a matter of lip service. Individuals and organisations never value or appreciate what they have until they go through the negative experience of a major loss. I’m convinced a sudden collapse of these careless new generation banks is a necessary negative that will teach future managers how not to treat customers – and I dare say this sudden collapse is imminent. This is because individuals also own the corporate accounts and with time this misconduct will spread to corporate account holders; it’s a matter of word of mouth, it’s a matter of time, advertising won’t help anymore; branding will also fail because you can’t successfully brand a bad product. Negative experiences are hence, important for great and positive ideals, concepts, businesses, and possessions to be cherished, valued, sustained and built upon. Negative is necessary for positive to thrive. The challenge however, is the fact that many of us don’t understand the relevance and importance of a negative experience. A negative experience or a temporary setback in your life or career is not intended to stop you; it’s actually supposed to make you better. It’s suppose to fire up in you, quality thinking, creativity and innovative reasoning that will make you surge forward and achieve your dreams, goals and desires. Sadly many of us without this understanding have stopped on our journeys and progressions for many years at the point of a negative experience. We have pitched a tent at the point of our refining, grooming and training; thinking it’s the end of the race or the end of our journey. We have decided to settle in and adapt to that negative and average juncture in life because we think it’s the end of our road. May I say to you this morning my friend that you’re not at your end yet, your journey is not over my friend, you’re just getting warmed up? You have all the power, wisdom, creativity, ability and potential to still move on and reach your destination. That negative experience is not meant to stop you, it’s meant to build you, strengthen you and prepare you for the next level of success and greatness. The negative experience is to toughen you to handle the pressure that comes with every new glory, greatness and responsibility. Don’t settle for less, you have much more in you than you can imagine. My dear friend you are indeed better and greater than the bad experience, it happened to you, you didn’t happen to it; hence you’re greater than it! You’re the superior one, that bad experience is too small to stop you – so what if you failed the exams, write a tougher one and pass, so what if you got fired from that job, get a better one, so what if your husband left you or your wife left you, come on get up, inspire yourself and encourage yourself, you were alive and well and happy before you met him or her don’t let that loser stop your life and mess up your rhythm. There are millions out there much better, and finer, and nicer, and kinder and warmer, and funnier, and trendier, and more intelligent and more successful and more responsible and more God fearing who would do anything to have you in their lives. The whole feeling of rejection is all in your mind, the fact that someone rejects you simply indicates they don’t know what good quality is hence, they never really deserved you in the first place, forget the past, start afresh, treat yourself well and move on to your next out of this world experience of love and good living. Don’t let it affect your work, your productivity, performance and professionalism. Concentrate on your career and become somebody, don’t let emotional setbacks destroy your whole life especially success in career. Never build permanent structures with temporary people. You are the only permanent person in your live – no one else. My dear friends learn from the negative and move into a greater positive. Think of your pain, your hurt, your disappointment, your failures and that bad situation, that negative experience this morning, speak to it and say, I’m bigger than you, you’re not bigger than me, you can never stop me, I will stop you, you can’t hold me back, I am leaving you behind, you’re here to make me better, not to stop me from being better, I’m moving forward, my life is indeed richer, I welcome me, into a new world. Enjoy your day.

BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME

-BECAUSE I LOVE THEM Many times we find ourselves in situations that are seemingly beyond our control. We want to survive; we want to remain alive and well so we do almost anything to guarantee the basic needs of life including food, clothing, shelter, security, education and the likes. We work hard, struggle daily within all the constraints of our socioeconomic environment and we keep our heads afloat to cater for our families and loved ones. It’s usually not so easy, but it’s necessary. A lot of men today are working very hard for long hours with employers they don’t like in employments they don’t fancy within terms and conditions that are not favorable, yet they stick in there for the sakes and love for their families. We all have dreams; we want to dress well, drive nice cars, own apartments of our own, train our kids in the best schools, go on vacations and be relevant and confident socially too. We all need money to achieve all these and be secured. We need money. That was the spirit that was the driving force for Henry when he took up an employment with a sales and distribution company with headquarters in Lagos. The company was into the sales of building materials and they had sales depots in major cities across the country. Henry worked for this successful establishment owned by a very rich business man popularly known as chief. Chief started small but has over the years grown his business into a mega one. He’s a major distributor for many manufacturing companies and enjoys sales exclusivity of some unique building materials from top notch manufacturers around the world. Chief was in his late fifties. Henry secured employment with this establishment after three years of job hunting. For him it was a great relief, being in the labour market is not a piece of cake when you have a wife and kids to eat and the family is solely financed by a wife who earns a meager income as a primary school teacher. Henry; employed as a sales man resolved to put in his best to secure his job and also enjoy frequent promotions leading to higher income. He worked hard, very hard, from AM to PM, come rain come shine, driving all around looking for sales opportunities and closing mega sales. He was doing well; he caught the attention of chief, the business owner very quickly with the numbers he was delivering. Henry was a star staff, a super sales man. He was doing well. The issue began when he was a recipient of the staff of the year award. It was a ceremony that required him bringing his family, and for the first time, Chief saw Henry’s wife and was impressed. After the event, Chief began to pay attention to Henry. He would call him personally and discuss both official and unofficial matters with him. Subsequently, Chief invited Henry to come have dinner at his house insisting he brings his wife along. Henry felt honored and he went with his wife Felicia. It was an interesting and enjoyable dinner. It was just with Chief as his whole family had travelled to the village for an important coronation; Chief was to join them later that evening by flight. Chief, Henry and Felicia his wife spoke for a long time, shared so much information about life, marriage, family, finance, relationships, and success. Chief told his story; how he started rough and small till he became this magnificent. They ate; very fantastic meal. About ten days later, Chief visited Henry and his wife at their residence. It was a surprise visit. Henry felt quite honored, he was delighted, in his opinion this was a recognition and honor based on his performance and commitment to work. He spent less than ten minutes with them then left; however before he left he gave them a cash gift of a hundred thousand naira cash. The couple was so grateful. After a month, Henry was issued a transfer letter to coordinate the sales field in the northern part of the country. He was appointed a regional sales manager and his appointment was with immediate effect. He was not very comfortable with this but he saw it as an opportunity, as a promotion and of course a means to better income. He hated the fact he would be apart from his family most of the time, he however kept it in view to move them subsequently to his state of abode in the northern part of the country. The first few months of this transfer wasn’t very easy for Henry and his family, they missed each other dearly, they would be on the phone on several occasions during the day discussing and sharing on different issues. It was an unfamiliar season for this family. But somehow, they learnt to cope. As the days went by, Henry and his family became accustomed to each other’s absence. Henry began to get used to being by himself and the family adjusted too to his absence. One of Henry’s biggest challenges however was the pressure from members of the opposite sex. After a hard day’s work, going back to his apartment to be all alone made worse his loneliness hence; he picked up the habit of hanging out with the guys after work at different pleasure spots. These pleasure and relaxing venues swarmed with different ladies looking for company and probably guys with cash to throw around that could help their financial situation. And in one of this venues Henry met Doyin a very attractive, humorous young lady who appeared to know what Henry wanted and knew how to fix it. They became friends and began to hang out a lot. Doyin, a graduate in her late twenties had a way with men; she was quite experienced and knew how to bring excitement into every situation no matter how dejecting. Henry liked her because he enjoyed her company and the attention made him feel better and addressed his loneliness. But as we know, with increasing conversation comes intimacy, the duo began to communicate more frequently and share personal stuff more often. With time, Doyin became Henry’s number one confident and companion. Henry of course liked the company of Doyin but knew it was trouble considering the fact they were both lonely and alone as it were, hence anything could happen. One crazy night, after Nigeria won a crucial football match, everyone was happy and celebration was in the air. It was an exciting night and everyone was relaxed and appeared generous with anything and everything. Henry in his jolly mood left the relaxation venue with Doyin and for the first time took her home. It was a bit late; a little past 10pm, so Doyin offered to sleep over at Henry’s place till day break. Doyin was attractive that night as she changed from her outfit into one of Henry’s pajamas. It was a thrilling moment for the duo. They both sat in the living room and watched TV far into the night and by 2AM; Doyin went into Henry’s bedroom to sleep. Henry’s first inclination was to go in to her after a while but you see; Henry is a good guy, straight, principled, with a good conscience; he didn’t. As much as it looked easy for him to do it and no one would find out, he refused to. His head overruled his body and emotions and he slept on the sofa in the living room till day break. Henry felt he had missed his family so much; it’s probably why he’s having the inclination to cheat on his wife. Immediately it was day break, Henry took the first flight to Lagos. It was a Saturday. He arrived home in Lagos that late morning only to be told by his children their mother his wife, travelled two days earlier to go visit him in the north. Henry found this a bit strange, so he called his wife from home in Lagos, she picked up, he asked where she was at and she told him she was at home in Lagos. Henry said nothing. Henry’s wife didn’t return home throughout the weekend. Henry didn’t tell her he was around nor give the children a hint on what was going on. Early Monday morning as Henry got ready and was about to drive out of his premises to the office in Lagos, A silver spirit Land cruiser pulled up in front of his house and, alas his wife came out of the SUV. His boss, Chief had come to drop her off at home before going to the office. Henry said nothing to his wife or his boss; whom were too shocked to react. He went to the office that morning and turned in his resignation letter with immediate effect. He came back home around 11am and met his wife sitting on the bed in the bedroom with her luggage packed. Where are you going he asked? You can’t leave; you have a husband and three kids to take care of. I believe you were weak against him and lacked the moral integrity to remain faithful. My first choice of reaction is to let you go, but I won’t because I live my kids and I love you. Your departure would bring more problems and crisis for everyone especially the kids, I love them and they need you. Let put the whole thing behind us and move forward. Dear friend, would you endure hurt, betrayal and unfaithfulness for the greater good of your children, or you love yourself more and won’t mind the implication of a broken home on your children. She cheated, yes, but I want to assume cheating is more rampant with me yet the wives forgive and endure it because of the kids and the future. Dear friend, you can be as strong as that woman, let it go. Love your kids enough, let maturity and forgiveness prevail. Think it, do it, achieve it and be the ultimate man, it’s all in your mind!

-BECAUSE I LOVE THEM

-BECAUSE I LOVE THEM Many times we find ourselves in situations that are seemingly beyond our control. We want to survive; we want to remain alive and well so we do almost anything to guarantee the basic needs of life including food, clothing, shelter, security, education and the likes. We work hard, struggle daily within all the constraints of our socioeconomic environment and we keep our heads afloat to cater for our families and loved ones. It’s usually not so easy, but it’s necessary. A lot of men today are working very hard for long hours with employers they don’t like in employments they don’t fancy within terms and conditions that are not favorable, yet they stick in there for the sakes and love for their families. We all have dreams; we want to dress well, drive nice cars, own apartments of our own, train our kids in the best schools, go on vacations and be relevant and confident socially too. We all need money to achieve all these and be secured. We need money. That was the spirit that was the driving force for Henry when he took up an employment with a sales and distribution company with headquarters in Lagos. The company was into the sales of building materials and they had sales depots in major cities across the country. Henry worked for this successful establishment owned by a very rich business man popularly known as chief. Chief started small but has over the years grown his business into a mega one. He’s a major distributor for many manufacturing companies and enjoys sales exclusivity of some unique building materials from top notch manufacturers around the world. Chief was in his late fifties. Henry secured employment with this establishment after three years of job hunting. For him it was a great relief, being in the labour market is not a piece of cake when you have a wife and kids to eat and the family is solely financed by a wife who earns a meager income as a primary school teacher. Henry; employed as a sales man resolved to put in his best to secure his job and also enjoy frequent promotions leading to higher income. He worked hard, very hard, from AM to PM, come rain come shine, driving all around looking for sales opportunities and closing mega sales. He was doing well; he caught the attention of chief, the business owner very quickly with the numbers he was delivering. Henry was a star staff, a super sales man. He was doing well. The issue began when he was a recipient of the staff of the year award. It was a ceremony that required him bringing his family, and for the first time, Chief saw Henry’s wife and was impressed. After the event, Chief began to pay attention to Henry. He would call him personally and discuss both official and unofficial matters with him. Subsequently, Chief invited Henry to come have dinner at his house insisting he brings his wife along. Henry felt honored and he went with his wife Felicia. It was an interesting and enjoyable dinner. It was just with Chief as his whole family had travelled to the village for an important coronation; Chief was to join them later that evening by flight. Chief, Henry and Felicia his wife spoke for a long time, shared so much information about life, marriage, family, finance, relationships, and success. Chief told his story; how he started rough and small till he became this magnificent. They ate; very fantastic meal. About ten days later, Chief visited Henry and his wife at their residence. It was a surprise visit. Henry felt quite honored, he was delighted, in his opinion this was a recognition and honor based on his performance and commitment to work. He spent less than ten minutes with them then left; however before he left he gave them a cash gift of a hundred thousand naira cash. The couple was so grateful. After a month, Henry was issued a transfer letter to coordinate the sales field in the northern part of the country. He was appointed a regional sales manager and his appointment was with immediate effect. He was not very comfortable with this but he saw it as an opportunity, as a promotion and of course a means to better income. He hated the fact he would be apart from his family most of the time, he however kept it in view to move them subsequently to his state of abode in the northern part of the country. The first few months of this transfer wasn’t very easy for Henry and his family, they missed each other dearly, they would be on the phone on several occasions during the day discussing and sharing on different issues. It was an unfamiliar season for this family. But somehow, they learnt to cope. As the days went by, Henry and his family became accustomed to each other’s absence. Henry began to get used to being by himself and the family adjusted too to his absence. One of Henry’s biggest challenges however was the pressure from members of the opposite sex. After a hard day’s work, going back to his apartment to be all alone made worse his loneliness hence; he picked up the habit of hanging out with the guys after work at different pleasure spots. These pleasure and relaxing venues swarmed with different ladies looking for company and probably guys with cash to throw around that could help their financial situation. And in one of this venues Henry met Doyin a very attractive, humorous young lady who appeared to know what Henry wanted and knew how to fix it. They became friends and began to hang out a lot. Doyin, a graduate in her late twenties had a way with men; she was quite experienced and knew how to bring excitement into every situation no matter how dejecting. Henry liked her because he enjoyed her company and the attention made him feel better and addressed his loneliness. But as we know, with increasing conversation comes intimacy, the duo began to communicate more frequently and share personal stuff more often. With time, Doyin became Henry’s number one confident and companion. Henry of course liked the company of Doyin but knew it was trouble considering the fact they were both lonely and alone as it were, hence anything could happen. One crazy night, after Nigeria won a crucial football match, everyone was happy and celebration was in the air. It was an exciting night and everyone was relaxed and appeared generous with anything and everything. Henry in his jolly mood left the relaxation venue with Doyin and for the first time took her home. It was a bit late; a little past 10pm, so Doyin offered to sleep over at Henry’s place till day break. Doyin was attractive that night as she changed from her outfit into one of Henry’s pajamas. It was a thrilling moment for the duo. They both sat in the living room and watched TV far into the night and by 2AM; Doyin went into Henry’s bedroom to sleep. Henry’s first inclination was to go in to her after a while but you see; Henry is a good guy, straight, principled, with a good conscience; he didn’t. As much as it looked easy for him to do it and no one would find out, he refused to. His head overruled his body and emotions and he slept on the sofa in the living room till day break. Henry felt he had missed his family so much; it’s probably why he’s having the inclination to cheat on his wife. Immediately it was day break, Henry took the first flight to Lagos. It was a Saturday. He arrived home in Lagos that late morning only to be told by his children their mother his wife, travelled two days earlier to go visit him in the north. Henry found this a bit strange, so he called his wife from home in Lagos, she picked up, he asked where she was at and she told him she was at home in Lagos. Henry said nothing. Henry’s wife didn’t return home throughout the weekend. Henry didn’t tell her he was around nor give the children a hint on what was going on. Early Monday morning as Henry got ready and was about to drive out of his premises to the office in Lagos, A silver spirit Land cruiser pulled up in front of his house and, alas his wife came out of the SUV. His boss, Chief had come to drop her off at home before going to the office. Henry said nothing to his wife or his boss; whom were too shocked to react. He went to the office that morning and turned in his resignation letter with immediate effect. He came back home around 11am and met his wife sitting on the bed in the bedroom with her luggage packed. Where are you going he asked? You can’t leave; you have a husband and three kids to take care of. I believe you were weak against him and lacked the moral integrity to remain faithful. My first choice of reaction is to let you go, but I won’t because I live my kids and I love you. Your departure would bring more problems and crisis for everyone especially the kids, I love them and they need you. Let put the whole thing behind us and move forward. Dear friend, would you endure hurt, betrayal and unfaithfulness for the greater good of your children, or you love yourself more and won’t mind the implication of a broken home on your children. She cheated, yes, but I want to assume cheating is more rampant with me yet the wives forgive and endure it because of the kids and the future. Dear friend, you can be as strong as that woman, let it go. Love your kids enough, let maturity and forgiveness prevail. Think it, do it, achieve it and be the ultimate man, it’s all in your mind!

– YOU CAN’T GIVE WHAT YOU LACK

– YOU CAN’T GIVE WHAT YOU LACK Leadership is not an easy task; you must keep going in the face of opposition, tough challenges and frustrations. At the same time you cannot afford to disappoint, mislead and mismanage those following you no matter how annoying, naughty and treacherous they become. If you succumb to their ploy, you would have failed in delivering your leadership mandate. Leadership is also a selfless venture; your personal interest, pleasure and convenience must frequently be sacrificed in the interest of the vision. You must give up on some things you really want and desire, if you don’t, you may truncate your ability to inspire trust, loyalty and commitment from your followers. Leadership is not easy; it requires a great deal of emotional strength and psychological stability to progress rapidly. You will face all manner of issues, setbacks and challenges on your way. It’s only the tough and strong that survives. Leadership is not for sissies. Many systems, organisations, nations and institutions have failed more out of leadership quagmire than any other factor. Many lives and destinies have been derailed and destroyed because the custodians; the owners lack the capacity to lead themselves appropriately. The inner strength, discipline, patience, maturity, knowledge and focus leadership requires is not deep rooted in many people occupying leadership positions hence, the frequent system failures and personal failures. Rules, ethics, codes of conduct and the knowledge of values can’t keep a leader from faltering, failing or falling; it’s not in the knowledge, it’s in the experience and the ability to do. Leadership naturally puts you in a position where your followers expect you to have answers. Not just answers but the right answers. The challenges your followers face daily is as unique and as varied as their number. There is no one size fits all for all your followers in terms of their desires, ambition, challenges, problems, weaknesses, self-concept, intelligence and strengths. As a good leader, you cannot lead everyone the same way. You don’t lead people the way you like or the way it’s most convenient for you. A good leader will lead people based on individual formation and peculiarity if he’s really interested in building a united team, and bringing out the best in everyone. People are different in their reactions to leadership, when you shout at some subordinates; they become confused, anxious and afraid hence unproductive, however shouting at some other subordinate brings out the best in them. Some subordinates do better when you micro manage them; some are at their best when you give them a free hand. Some subordinates work better under pressure; some buckle under pressure. Some subordinates are very good at separating personal matters from official matters, some find it hard to separate both. An experienced leader ought to be able to discern these peculiarities and deal with each subordinate according to their differences. A good leader cannot keep comparing everyone in his team and expect everyone to be in the moldof his favourite subordinate; he would fail from the start. Leadership perceives, understands and is wise enough to bring out the best in everyone despite the individual differences and weaknesses. Leadership is a tough call. I’ll want to presume this morning that every one of us in career today want to become a leader one day. We of course desire a position at the top – leading a team and being in charge of a group and a project. It’s a good and noble desire, but it is not as easy as it appears. It doesn’t matter how many books you’ve read or training you’ve attended and how many role models you’ve been observing to acquire leadership abilities. The most reliable way to learn leadership and become a good leader is purely through experience. Becoming a good leader is not just an academic exercise; it’s a physical, mental and emotional adventure every potential leader must pass through to succeed. Life issues and experiences are the best teachers of leadership. You can’t fully grasp it until you go through a practical growth and developmental experience. There are certain situations and experiences you need to go through in order to lead well. You cannot advice, counsel and help your subordinates effectively with issues you haven’t gone through yourself. A great leader must have the answers; he must have the correct answers. Many of us are going through very many negative situations and complaining; asking why we have to go through so much and wishing things were different, not knowing we have to go through all these experiences in order to succeed in our leadership roles at the end of the day. Let me cite a very personal and maybe funny example. A few weeks ago my son in primary school came home with an assignment to memorise the times table from one to twelve. It was a tedious experience for him because he had a deadline; hence, he came to me for help. Immediately he said to me he had to memorise his times table my mind went back straight on my own experience in primary school when I had to memorise mine. It was a terrible season for me and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it in my life. I was struggling with long division then, because I didn’t know my times table well so I couldn’t tell immediately, the number of times a figure can divide another and the reminder, so I was failing long division. My father then decided to help me; I didn’t ask for his help, he decided to help me because he didn’t like the look of my arithmetic homework book. I had a major struggle with four times table, seven times table and nine times table. If you were still a student back in the seventies and the eighties, there was this 12 inches, 30 centimeters tick yellow, wooden ruler with a thin metal blade fitted on one side. I still don’t know what the manufacturers were thinking inserting a blade on a ruler but my father had other uses for it. In the process of helping me learn this times table he held this ruler in one hand, as I begin to recite the times table, at every point where I missed one or couldn’t go on because I’ve forgotten, this hard ruler with a blade on the side will come down hard on my skull; Probably to wake up the dying or weak brain. But instead of remembering; I forget completely as I begin to cry from the pain of this ruler hard against my skull. I lose coordination, and my brain will just pack up, then I forget everything. My dad would then get upset and decide to flog me because in his opinion I’m unserious and have refused to learn what he asked me to, believing I was watching Sesames Street instead. If you’re not in my generation, don’t worry about Sesame Street; you can’t understand it. My dad’s style of teaching didn’t work I must confess because till today I don’t know nine times table very well. If you ask me, I’ll begin to recite from the beginning till I get to the figure you’re asking before I can tell you the answer. Unlike my wife, if you ask her 73 times 19 she will tell you the answer in 5 seconds; she’s an engineer. So when my son came and asked for my help with his times table; my first inclination was not to make the mistake my father made; I won’t put my son under pressure, I won’t coerce him and I won’t push him against any deadline. All I said to him was; it is very easy, it just takes patience and practice. I then made him a promise that if he could learn it very well and know everything within a week; I’ll buy him a particular gift he’s been begging for, for several months. Immediately he became excited and motivated. He abandoned everything else and began to memorise. In three days he was ready for me and he delivered all his times table from start to finish without any errors or mistakes. I was happy and impressed and I fulfilled my promise. Because of my bitter experience; i learnt a better way of getting results in my son. Probably if i didn’t go through what i went through with my dad, i may not know how else or a superior way of getting this result. Today my son is better than I with his times table. Excellent Leadership comes with experience. My dear friend, what are you going through today, pain, discouragement, regrets, treachery, failure, betrayal, attacks, and disappointments? – Hey! Don’t take it personal; see everything as a school of leadership. You must go through all these in order to provide correct answers to your followers when they are going through their own stuff. You can’t give what you don’t have. You need the nasty experiences too to be a successful leader. Enjoy your day.