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30 TOP GREAT INSIGHTS FROM YOUNG LEADERS’ EQUIP IN 2013

31 Dec

 

Hello! As 2013 finally departs from us today and remains forever memorable in our hearts, I want to leave you with these inspiring thoughts from the brilliant young leaders in Young Leaders’ Equip this year. I hope they challenge and encourage you to grow in 2014.

Here you go…

1. “Not until we are ceremonially crowned leaders do we become leaders, but right from now, we can begin to lead.” — Adedeji Oluwadarasimi Blessing

2. “What spurs me the most is that I realized [that] we as potential leaders can and will use what destroys others to get stronger and we will be doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way. Let’s keep the legacy!” — Apela Msuur

3. “Many world leaders [or men] we will remember to have made great impact in our world today are men who found a way to improve on their immediate environment, not men who gathered people and could not make any impact on their immediate environment.” — Arogundade Shina Fatai

4. “Leaders don’t escape leadership positions. It’s visible and it’s MTN — everywhere you go.” — Babawale Peter

5. “When I was much younger, I usually thought that when I grew up, I would do a lot of nice things and show great kindness to others. As I grew up, I realised that I could actually begin to do those things even as a young person. Indeed I could, and it paid off well.” — Israel O. Peters

6. “Being young has so much advantage over growing older. We can assimilate more, remember easily, are flexible … Now is the right time to bring a change and make a difference. There’s no time better than now!” — Kyepari P. Buma

7. “Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly, your wholeness when you are broken, your innocence when you feel guilty and your purpose when you are confused.” — Michael Scofield Ekanem

8. “We must understand that leadership, when a well instituted team is involved, is all about completing one another and not competing with one another. We must appreciate one another, so that our efficiency and productivity as a team will not decline.” — Akinropo Damilola Ayodele

9. “Many think getting saved is only an escape route to a blissful paradise, Heaven. That is half true. Even though we are destined to make heaven as believers, God still wants us to be earthly relevant. We are to be His representatives here, and establish His kingdom here.” — Adeyeye Samuel Adedeji

10. “Notice that the first seven letters of competence are c-o-m-p-e-t-e. A group with a competent leader can compete [with any other group] and win.” — Omolola Oparinde

 

11. “In the real sense, leadership is an intentional commitment great enough to be responsible for others through service and informed enough to be accountable to someone. It is an interesting adventure that one can engage for a lifetime.” — Israel O. Peters

12. “Be a team player . . . No matter how ‘Lionel Messi-like’ a player is, he cannot win a match all by himself — he needs the assistance of his teammates.” — Adeyeye Samuel Adedeji

13. “It might take a man two weeks to clear a plot of land. Doing this takes time and energy. But teamwork helps to divide the task and double the success. When a team gets to work on a farm it might only take just two days to do the task with less energy, stress and strength.” — Babawale Peter
14. “Stand up tall with your shoulders raised and your hands glued to your partner’s, and run towards your goal. You’re unstoppable when you move as a team.” — Israel O. Peters

15. “You need God, yourself and the right people — [though] not everyone — to get to the peak of your success.” — Kyepari P. Buma

16. “It is only the dead who have no problem. Problems are only opportunities in work clothes. Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Every problem hides a possibility.” — Blessing Igwemadu

17. “If you don’t see greatness in yourself, you can’t make efforts on actualizing your potential. … It’s in you and me. You’re a genius. You are the change the world needs. You’re the light they look up to. Come on, get up! Face the truth and be in the group of the courageous. For whatever you do, people are bound to talk. It’s an unavoidable fact. It’s up to you to either let it ruin or build you.” — Kyepari P. Buma

18. “It’s rational to desire success in life but irrational to detest challenges.” — Babawale Peter

19. “It’s not just about knowing what’s happening around you but all about changing for good what’s happening around you.” — Israel O. Peters

20. “Leaders are experts in bringing out the best in others — making evident internal excellence.” — Adeyeye Samuel Adedeji

21. “Credibility is the foundation of leadership.” — Ken Solomon Ajiduku

22. “A true leader is one who is always ready to receive people regardless of whom/what they are.” — Soladoye Olusegun John

23. “Let this [phrase] ‘thank you’ not depart from your mouth, but you must utter it day and night, to mean every letter of it; then will you make your way prosperous, and you will have a resounding success.” — Adeyeye Samuel Adedeji

24. “There’s nobody that goes beyond what he sees impossible … The farther you see, the more you read possibilities in impossibilities. Your vision either drives or limits you. Avoid blurred visions and fire on. You can do better than you imagined.” — Kyepari P. Buma

25. “You can find that thing you are looking for but you just need to look in the right place … Never give up no matter what. We all know that a great work is done against gravity while trying to move up. So don’t be lazy. Look around yourself and you will find many opportunities.” — Moses Otunla (Fearless Privilege)

26. “Many think getting saved is only an escape route to a blissful paradise, Heaven. That is half true. Even though we are destined to make heaven as believers, God still wants us to be earthly relevant. We are to be His representatives here, and establish His kingdom here.” — Adeyeye Samuel Adedeji

27. “This is the time we should be alive and bubbling with a vision, knowing that the time is very short. An effective prayer and intercessory life is one of the major ways you can make a solid contribution to the fulfillment of the Great Commission.” — Ayansola Ayomideji Olamilekan

28. “The world suffers a lot not because of the violence of bad people but because of the silence of good people. Don’t keep mute when you have to speak up, come out of the multitude and make a difference.” — Kyepari P. Buma

29. “Great leaders don’t wait for all the resources to gather before taking a leap. Rather, they always take the giant and bold step first, then the resources fall in [place].” — Adeyeye Samuel Adedeji

30. “I charge you today to be a youngster with purpose, whose life is precious to others and who has brought the future closer for good. Be a map to the lost, a light to those in darkness, hope for the hopeless, eyes for the blind, joy to the world and indispensable to God.” — Israel O. Peters

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Before you go, kindly leave a comment below…and see what others are saying!

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CHARACTERISTICS OF LIVING LEADERS (Part 8): DEATH

28 Sep

cemetery

The title of this post resonates, I believe. What does it remind you of? What does it get you thinking about? The picture of a cemetery? An inescapable moment in every organism’s life? Perhaps a hard reality? Yes, that’s what it is—an inescapable, tough reality!

This post is the last in the Characteristics of Living Leaders series. Living leaders are leaders who lead a life of positive influence when they’re available and desire to leave a good legacy after they’re gone. Leadership is a process that starts from where you are. A journey with no specific end. It is influence. And the influence of living leaders knows no bound. Even after death, it remains immortal. And that’s why they are living leaders.

I discovered this leadership principle after I studied the life of Jesus Christ in the ‘Four Gospels.’ My humble discoveries:

  • Jesus is the saviour of the world
  • Jesus is our greatest example—He’s modeled all we need to do to excel both in life and in leadership
  • Jesus is the pioneer of servant leadership
  • Jesus started out as a youngster!

He is a Living Leader…

Now death means different things to different people in different situations. For some, it is an end. For others, it is a brand new start—a beginning. But most times at least for leaders, it means both—an end and a beginning simultaneously. (Obviously, that’s what it meant for our perfect example, Jesus Christ, too.)

Let me tell you how by highlighting few areas you need to die for you to become an effective living leader.

1. Doubt

You remember Jeremiah? What was his greatest obstacle to becoming the leader that God predestined him to become? Yes, you know the answer: Doubt!

“Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child,” he responded to the call to leadership.

He doubted his Creator.

He doubted his destiny.

He doubted his potential.

But wait a moment…Jeremiah later became a living leader. He remains immortalized in Israel’s history. What happened?

He heard God’s reply: “Say not, ‘I am a child.’”

That was the death of his doubt. That was the beginning of his greatness. Because he believed and decided to lead God’s people—His creation.

Over to you. Do you believe that you’re too young for leadership? You have to decide.

2. Self

According to the leadership saying, “The toughest person to lead is yourself.” And just like Plato said, the greatest victory is over self. In all of us is a desire to become legitimate. Many poor leaders have allowed that selfish desire be their drive for leadership. And guess what…their subjects do not appreciate their leadership. Most are forgotten. Few are remembered—remembered for the evil they did.

I bet you don’t want to be that kind of leader or, at least, that kind of individual.

The question is: What do you want people to remember you for?

You see, self is a cruel enemy. No matter how smart you are, it can stop you from becoming the living leader you desire to become. It has a huge potential of limiting your impact, tainting your influence and eventually destroying your legacy as an individual.

And yes, there is also an end and a beginning to self. The end of self-centeredness should be the beginning of selflessness. And that’s the quality of a servant leader. That’s the pathway to becoming a living leader.

While I was drafting this post, I discussed the subject with my friend Peter Babawale via WhatsApp. At first, when I told him my thesis statement, he felt intrigued. After a few explanations, he got the picture and replied in affirmation that death could mean a beginning after an end:

Yes, it’s. You know, even after a tree is cut-down, especially a banana tree. It’s sometimes done by the farmers when (they discover) it’s no longer yielding fruits. It’s not necessary for the root to be in the soil. Yet, it finds a way of sprouting, even in a more efficient way than in the past … Sacrifice is needed to be an effective leader, why? in order to yield a better result. Forgetting oneself and lifting up others automatically will also lift you up one day…

Unfortunately, selflessness doesn’t come easily. It’s almost impossible to become absolutely selfless with sheer effort. However, there’s good news for you—I know a solution to this and I’m going to tell you. Just read on.

3. Faith-draining Relationships

The people you see, meet and chat with almost every day have a huge impact on who you will become. The people you make your models and mentors, the kind of books you read, the genre of music and tapes you listen to, and yes…the movies you see will shape you into who you will become.

In short, the influence you permit will reflect in and through your life. You get the picture?

I want to believe that you’ve come to the end of your doubt, and very soon—I hope after reading this post—you’ll begin a new life of selflessness. Yes, that’s a grand start for the leadership journey! I celebrate with you. And I want you to continue.

That’s why I must tell you this truth. As you decide to improve yourself, to become honest to your calling and begin to influence the right attitudes in the life of every single person you will have the privilege to meet, don’t be caught off guard if you lose some of your old friends. Only those who believe in your dream, hopes and conviction will want to stick with you. Others may be indifferent, and some may do everything to talk you out of your dream.

If you’re convinced enough that what you’ve set out to do is worthwhile, quickly remind yourself that there will be an end to your relationship with your unbelieving friends. Team up with those who you’re left with, accept the new people that will come into your life and make up your mind to never, never, never give up. That way, you’ll become unstoppable.

4. Pride

In the previous part of this series, I mentioned that re-productive leaders never stop learning. In fact, if you call them life-long learners, you will not be wrong. However, what limits the effectiveness of some leaders is because they are in a constant wrestle with their huge ego. Then, you find them wondering why they are not growing both in their life and in leadership.

If you know anybody in this category, maybe, after reading this post, you need to send him or her a text message that reads: I have the long-sought answer to your question. It is something you’ve always known: Swallow your ego and start learning to become humble. It will surprise you how far you can go if you do just that.

Pride is a huge red flag in life and leadership. If you desire to become a living leader, you need to come to a point where you have to beat pride up and let it go.

Why?

Pride will make you unteachable—but you grow by learning.

Pride won’t make you listen to others—but you serve others better when you know their needs.

And if you’ve discovered that your greatest obstacle is pride, maybe you need to reserve the text message and read it to yourself every day.

Now…let me fulfill my promise.

I am aware that the four things I have outlined in this post do not make a comprehensive list of all that an individual needs to die to for him or her become a leader. But I do know that if you can die to all of the four, you’ll be well on your way to leaving a good legacy for the generation of leaders that will come after you.

And about dying to self.

There is an initial truth I must tell you if you want to be free from self. Man, by nature, has a limited control over himself, his environment, the attitude of other people, what happens to him, the realities that the future holds…and I can go on and on. But the point is, in fact, man’s control over what he experiences within the few days of his life is absolutely limited.

And because God, the Creator, saw man’s hopeless situation and his helpless effort to tame self—the mess that his (man’s) enemy, the devil, got him (man) into—He sent His Son to die for the him (man). That death of the Perfect Master on the cross was the victory over self.

Now, there is a company of people who are under the leadership of the Saviour who have won the battle over self and sin, and they are constantly benefitting from His victory every single day.

That’s not all.

They also enjoy something rare—an eternal life. That means a life of victory here-and-now and an assurance of glory hereafter. They have a new life after death!

Are you yet in that number?

What I mean is: Are you born-again?

If not, are you ready to win the battle over self—starting from today?

Have you come to the end of your doubt?

How will you respond to the Master’s call of salvation? Remember Jeremiah?

Will you accept and receive Jesus, the Saviour of the entire world, right now?

Here’s how:

  • End the struggle
  • Accept the reality that man’s effort is limited
  • Call for help
  • Yield yourself
  • Allow Jesus captain your soul
  • Believe everyone is created by God and treat them so
  • Realize you don’t have a life of your own

And that’s the key to being dead to self and becoming a living leader!

Reflection: Do you ‘have’ all of the characteristics of living leaders—Movement, Respiration, Nutrition, Irritability, Growth, Excretion, Reproduction, Death—intact?

 

Is there any of them you consider as your strength zone?

Is there any of them you need to improve on?

Thanks for the time you’ve invested into reading this post. I will love to hear from you.

Question?

Contribution?

Comment?

CHARACTERISTICS OF LIVING LEADERS (Part 5): GROWTH

25 May

When you hear the word ‘growth,’ what thoughts cross your mind? Can you picture a natural change in some physical, perhaps bodily, features in plants and animals. Or on the other hand, you think about improvement in economies: the nation’s GDP and other factors.

If you’ve thought about any of these points I had just mentioned, you have a good insight on what growth is. And here is the good news: you are about to learn something new about what you’ve always known.

Nothing excites me than growth. I’m so passionate about improving myself in all areas — spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, mentally, my writing and speaking skills. I don’t know about you, but I dislike being the way I was last week, or even being the way I am today next week. I love and enjoy change.

Few years ago when I become passionate about personal development, I thought everyone in my community was well aware of this inevitable process in the human life. Unfortunately, what I found left me wondering how much people are unprepared for the future, with the realities and opportunities tied around it. However, it’s never too late to start growing today.

1. Know Yourself to Grow Yourself

The first question everyone who desires to improve on some areas of life — be it physically, emotionally, academically, mentally, spiritually — is that of purpose. It’s so sad that many people are yet to discover why they exist. God has created everyone with a unique role to play on this planet.

No man on earth can tell you who you are. It is predestined by God, and only Him knows. You definitely need a connection with your Manufacturer to know why He’s made you. If you find it, you’re on your way to success.

2. Make Growth a Project

You can’t improve what you’ve not found. When you discover your purpose, make it your vision. Then put up a plan to pursue reaching the goal(s) you’ve set for yourself. Remember to set great goals, even if they look bigger than your physical self. Don’t judge who you want to become by what you are at present.

Think of growth as a process. It’s a lifetime journey. When you are done putting things in order and willing to start growing, get on track immediately and work yourself into it. If you stay committed to your specific, achievable and realistic goals, you will find that it becomes a project you need to work on everyday.

3. Feed Your Dream

The greatest dream killer is a negative environment. It has nothing to offer your dreams. If you’re not careful, people with low minds will be successful in talking you out of what you desire to achieve. They will give you a thousand and one reasons why you can’t achieve it. If your surrounding conditions doesn’t favour growth, apply Christ’s formula: withdraw from the crowd and find a place that can allow you go about your business. (Luke 2:42 – 52)

If you can’t change your location (school, office, home, church), feed your mind with great books that will help you grow. Meet some positive people, even if it means going to the next city to look for them, and get some encouraging piece of advice. Your environment impacts your dream and influences who you can become. You have to remember this: they really need to see the your dream become a reality. The next step will help you achieve this.

4. Start Now!

One reason most people don’t grow is because they wait for the best time to start. But really, growth doesn’t come to those who wait. I’ve found that it is attracted by only people who become intentional about improving. To make any remarkable achievement in any area of life, act out your decisions.

If you really desire to grow, you will have to start where you are with what you have. You may start with being unsatisfied with your present state — without hating it. Find your strength zone, get outside your comfort zone and start the journey towards excellence. But understand, you’ll be traveling an endless road.

5. Do it Everyday.

Making decisions isn’t hard. Managing them is a bit more difficult. But growth is gained on a difficult ground. You need to pay your dues. The key to improvement is repetition.

During service last week, a boy played the violin almost perfectly. I was intrigued. I wanted to know if my friend, who sat next to me, appreciates the 12-year-old too. “I know him,” he replied. “He plays different instruments and he finds all fun. He is really good at it.”

The true goal of growth isn’t to become the best; it’s about getting better every day. Be committed to growth. Make it fun. At the end of each day, ask yourself: What have I learned today? Am I better than I was this morning? What can I learn tomorrow when I go out?

Seize every opportunity to develop yourself into who you really want to become. Follow your dream. Make improving a daily project. Learn, grow, live, and lead.

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I’ll be glad to hear from you: What other tip would you like to add? Please share.

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Comment, like, share!

 

Aside

CHARACTERISTICS OF LIVING LEADERS (Part 3): NUTRITION

3 May

To live we need to feed. That is a fact. We must satisfy our hunger and thirst to do couple of things and, at least, get energy to go about our usual day-to-day activities. There’s nothing wrong with that.

A bird-lover bought a beautiful parrot in a cage. After some weeks he returned to the birds’ shop attendant to tell him the bird hadn’t made a sound. The attendant suggested that he should “buy the parrot a swing.” “Parrots love swings,” he said. The parrot owner did exactly that. He bought a small swing and placed it in the parrot’s cage on getting home.

Still the parrot didn’t speak. And you know what his next action was… rushed to the store, bought the parrot a mirror; but nothing had happened the next week too. That went on week after week – as he bought the parrot one item after the other… yet nothing happened!

One cold morning the man was at the birds’ store as usual, but this time, earlier than any other day. The attendant asked, “Any improvement yet?”
“The parrot is dead,” he replied.
“Did it utter a word before its death?”
“No, it didn’t…” replied the man. “Except for asking: ‘is there any place down the street where one can get food?'”

Most of us, like the bird-lover, are more engulfed in the concern for our physical gratification, but sadly ignore “food for our soul”. Too often, our dreams and visions are starved to death. If you desire to be a well-fed living leader, you’ll need to . . .

1. Abide In and With “The Vine”
The Master talked about the vine tree. He said, “I am the vine, and you are the branches.” The vine tree is so special a plant that the whole nutrients the branches get is supplied solely by the vine trunk itself. The branches cannot tap minerals and salt water directly from the soil – like every other plant. Staying attached with the Vine Himself means being a true disciple, obedient to all the Master’s commands. That’s the key to productivity. The Master won’t see being unproductive as fun and is ready to discard any branch that produces no fruit. The key to abiding with the Vine is to remain productive.

2. Feed on God’s Word
About 7 years ago Dr. Myles Munroe came over with his wife, Ruth Munroe, to speak at a leadership congress here in Nigeria. When Mrs. Munroe was up on her feet to introduce herself to the audience, she said, “It’s the truth of God’s Word we know that will make us the leaders God wants us to be.”

Feeding on God’s Word energizes you to go about the daily spiritual activities (like the physical food does for physical activities). To lead God’s people, you have to be empowered by the Holy Spirit that will “bring to your rememberance all things.” Be sure to study the Scriptures, taking a close look at it, “line upon line, precept upon precept.” Study the Bible on purpose. It is able to make you wise.

3. Feed Others
Some people have no difficulty with being committed to following Christ and feeding on His Words, getting themselves energized. But they barely share those Words with other people. They rarely pour their life into others as Christ did unto them.

Christ doesn’t want you to remain a getter all the time. He will be glad if you become a giver instead. In fact, that’s the perfect reason He’s poured life into you: to pour into others too.

In Christ is abundance. He gives you more than you can exhaust. The more you feed on His Word, the more knowledgeable you’ll become – both of things pertaining to life and those of the spirit. If you feed balanced diet, you’ll ‘grow’ taller, stronger and bigger (not prideful, but more humble) in Him.

What defines the leader is to provide food for his flocks: the followers. Be glad to teach to the people you’re influencing what you have learnt. Tell them to go for the meal too. Give them the nutritional benefits of the food (The Scripture), believing it’s no junk! Get their own side of the story. Why? “What works for you may not work for somebody else.” That’s right, but spiritual principles don’t obey that theory! The purpose of asking them for their part of the story is to help them with areas that are shady to them. Ensure you give them simple and sincere clarification in all areas of doubt. Be willing to go out of your way to help others with what they find difficult to understand. Don’t shun any questions, attempt supplying the best answers you can come up with; they’ll stretch you, but will equally help you grow and increase your reasoning capacity. Make everyone you encounter better than they’d met you.

Remain attached, keep feeding, don’t stop growing others, and you can’t cease to live.

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