LIWDOL — Lesson #2: Who Is A Leader?

13 Jul

Great day to you.

This is “Leadership Insights With David O. Lawal”. Relax and let’s talk leadership once again.

Before we get down to our discussion today, I have news for you. And here’s the news:

You’ll receive this sort of bite-sized Leadership Insights from me weekly. Sometimes twice or thrice or 5 times in a week. But expect to hear from me at least once every week.

Whenever I share the insights with you, I’ll give you time to internalise the principles. Then few hours later, I’ll expect you and me to discuss the subject.

• You’ll tell me what you think about the discuss.
• You’ll share with me how you wish to apply the principles.
• You’ll share your understanding of the subject under consideration with me.
• Your doubts too? Most welcomed. I love questions…so much.

…then, I can learn from you.

That’s what it means to take the “Leadership + Personal Development” journey together. When you share what you know with me and I share, in return, the little I know with you.

The result?

You’ll know more. I’ll know more too.
You’ll get better, and I too will get better.
You and I will grow—we’ll reach our leadership potential together.

And that’s what I mean whenever I refer to you as my Partner in Progress—my PiP.

End of news.

Today’s discuss:

Let’s talk about: Who is a leader?

That’s exactly the question one of our friends—a recipient of this sort of lessons—asked yesterday. She said she wants to know who a leader really is.

Now that it’s to be, then it’s up to us. Let’s face it.

I’ll start by highlighting who a leader isn’t. (Now I’m talking about servant leadership.)

1. A leader isn’t a know-it-all.
2. A leader isn’t a commander. A commander is a boss, not a leader.
3. A leader isn’t a manager.

Who then is a leader?

1. A leader knows the way, shows the way and goes the way. He know the “why” for the “what” his people do—he communicates the “why” to his people REPEATEDLY (note that!).
2. A leader is an encourager. He doesn’t force people to do things against their wish. He rather inspires his team to do what they never thought will be valuable to them until they get it done.
3. A manager works with processes to obtain results. The leader works with people to obtain results. Often, good leaders make good managers.

Think about that today.
Share the lesson with a friend. Discuss it with him/her.
If you don’t agree with any of the points I’ve made, please hesitate not to inform me. I’ll treasure the opportunity…so much.
And if you have further questions, please feel very free to ask. (Remember, I love questions—so much.)

Go out today and live out leadership: Be an encourager.

I expect to hear from you…soon.


Welcome to “Leadership Insights With David O. Lawal” — Lesson #1

13 Jul

Two weeks ago, I started “Leadership Insights With David O. Lawal” — a series of bite-sized leadership lessons I share with my WhatsApp contacts, which I’d love to continue here. This is the lesson #1:

That you’re reading this message means that you said, “Yes… let’s do it!” to my invitation to take the leadership + personal development journey with you. And I want to appreciate you for the positive response.

Saying yes means you desire to…

• Improve your personal skills
• Improve your people’s skills
• Hone your communication skills — that is, your writing and speaking skills
• Live the rest of your life as a leader

Welcome once again.

Today, let’s discuss something really important. Let’s talk about the most basic thing in leadership: Becoming a leader.

Isn’t that what everyone wants? Everyone wants to be superior and have influence.

But why should you, a youngster, consider becoming a leader — even while you are yet to fill in the most seemingly insignificant leadership position?

I understand that’s one of the questions on your mind; and today, I’ll show you want I think is the answer to that critical question.

My answer to this is simple. I believe you should start considering becoming a leader from this moment onwards, wherever you are, in whatever condition you find yourself in.


Because you have what it takes to be a leader. Everybody does. And you’re no exception.

And there’s one other reason…

You’ll get out of school soon. I’m talking about the university. Probably in the next 2 or 3 or 5 or 7 or 10 or 13 years. It’s still soon. And you’ll get on a job. And you’ll find an opportunity to lead a team, because you’re going to become a graduate. But being a graduate isn’t enough qualification for being a leader.

You need to understand people and how to coordinate them to produce results. You have to know how leadership works.

At that point, you’ll be entitled to receive a monthly paycheck.

Do you think you don’t dress in the best attires at the moment and that makes you feel less qualified for leadership? Although you should care about your dressing, but if you can’t afford to buy nice clothes now, worry not.

Paychecks can get you nice clothes — and that’s what sales personnel call ‘packaging’.

But there’s something paychecks can’t instantly get you when you start working at a job. That’s leadership.

But personal development will. Personal development will help you improve your leadership skills.

Honestly, it takes time.

And that’s why you should begin today. I mean NOW.

Good day.


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!


30 Nov
[NOTE: This post is originally written by America’s leadership expert ]

I’ve been a proponent of positive thinking for as long as I can remember.  I believe that to a large degree, if you expect positive things in life, you get them.  And when you have to face something difficult, if you remain positive, you have a much better chance of getting through it.

In spite of my positive outlook, it’s always bothered me when I’ve heard motivational speakers say something like, “If you can believe it, you can achieve it.”

What a crock! I don’t believe that about your dreams, and I don’t believe that about mine. Yes, we do need to aim high. However, we don’t have the ability to attain whatever we seek. I don’t possess the ability to achieve every potential I can imagine. I don’t believe that I can achieve any goal. That is not reality.

Writer Richard Bach similarly asserts, “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true.”

If you give that even a moment’s rational thought, you know it’s not true. At some point in time, just about every child dreams of being able to fly like a bird. Wouldn’t that be fantastic?

But it’s not going to happen, no matter how clearly I imagine it.

Granted, dreams, by definition, are not supposed to start with reality. They are supposed to be fantastic, incredible, and out of the box. After all, they are birthed from hopes, desires, and possibilities. They are the products of imagination and creativity. However, if they are nothing but pie in the sky, how much do dreams help us?


I’ve thought about this for a long time.  I’ve wondered how to help people to pursue their dreams but to do so in a practical way.  Last year I finally figured out how to do it.

And that’s when I started to write Put Your Dream to the Test, my next book which will be in bookstores in about three weeks.


How do you measure a dream?  By asking yourself 10 straightforward questions.  If you can answer then positively, then the odds of your achieving your dream increase dramatically.

So here are the questions:


The Ownership Question:
Is my dream really my dream?


The Clarity Question:
Do I clearly see my dream?


The Reality Question:
Am I depending on factors within my control to achieve my dream?


The Passion Question:
Does my dream compel me to follow it?


The Pathway Question:
Do I have a strategy to reach my dream?


The People Question:
Have I included the people I need to realize my dream?


The Cost Question:
Am I willing to pay the price for my dream?


The Tenacity Question:
Am I moving closer to my dream?


The Fulfillment Question:
Does working toward my dream bring satisfaction?


The Significance Question:
Does my dream benefit others?

I believe that if you really explore each question, examine yourself honestly, and answer yes to all of them, your odds of achieving your dream are very good. The more yeses you can answer, the more on target you are to fulfill your dream. I truly believe that everyone has the potential to imagine a worthwhile dream, and most have the ability to achieve it.

What do you think?  How do you measure a dream?  What factors do you use to predict success?

From the archives of


2 Nov


Do you have a mind? Of course, yes! You wouldn’t be reading this if you’ve lost it.

Can you imagine? Absolutely! Everyone can.

And do you have an ideal dream? Now that’s the big deal.

I realize that everyone have dreams. Only that some have measurable, heart-moving dreams, while—surprisingly—many others don’t. They only see as far as their eyes can.

So why are dreams so important?

To have a meaningful life you need to use the power of your imagination. Envision the kind of life you’d love to lead. For you to grow as a young leader, you equally need to open your mind wide and look beyond all the present limitations you can see.

Few things are more exciting than having an ideal objective—one that works. Nothing is more frustrating than losing a target. Well, that’s not too bad. And nothing is more tragic than having no dream to reach. That’s the cause for a broken life.

American business philosopher Jim Rohn says, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” I bet you don’t want to fall into such trap—and you don’t have to. Therefore, it’s important you have a dream. After all, achievement without aspiration is a myth.

Here are the 5 top potentials of a dream.

  1. Dreams Feed Purpose. No matter how energetic and purpose-driven an individual is, he will soon burn out if he doesn’t find something to do. Talents are not show-off abilities. Instead, they are there to create a space for you in the universe. “A man’s gift will make room for him,” wrote King Solomon of ancient Israel.

A dream is a clear, inspiring picture of what you want to do; while purpose is why you desire to do it. Both are important. In fact, nothing satisfies reason than clarity does. And dreams provide that.

  1. Dreams Energize Passion. When you have a goal, an objective, a defined aim, with your will firmly united, then, you’re set for a spark. You get fired up easily. It will almost appear you can’t figure out where the energy came from.

Can you possibly guess where the fire came from? Do you have any clue?

Still thinking? OK, let me tell you. You did. You created the fire. How? By simply daring to dream. Dreams are magical. A desire followed with action not only starts an unquenchable blaze in your soul, it also fans the flames—even when nobody is willing to do that.

  1. Dreams Shape Personality. It’s easy to identify people who have no reasonable goal for the lives. Just observe. You’ll see how confused they are. They’re almost beaten out of shape.

Talk to them for a few moment and their knowledge will amaze you. They know the National Budget for next year. They know where the government is falling short. Do you need some information about the philanthropists in town? They are just the right people to interview. They’re capable of giving you a more comprehensive list than you think, ask and desire!

What’s the difference between them and the philanthropist who owns the estate down the street? Destiny? Now, I don’t think destiny can be so cruel and partial, since God assigns it. Perhaps one just had the courage to dream lofty dreams. While the other was afraid of failing to accomplish a seemingly ‘bigger-than-life’ goal that he didn’t even try.

Do you want to know the truth? The dream is often bigger than the dreamer. Don’t be afraid to dream big. Big dreams won’t (they even can’t) explode your mind. Conversely, high aspirations will stretch you, force out your potential and eventually mold you into a person larger than who you are—this moment.

Make plans to pursue your dream and you will become greater than you think. It’s a promise.

  1. Dreams Provide Power. No matter how good your objectives are, failure is more certain than success is. That doesn’t mean you should go about expecting to fail. To succeed you need to maintain your optimism. But don’t give setbacks a chance to catch you unprepared. Life will never cease to be uncertain and full of surprises.

Some doors of opportunity will slam right before your face. People’s attitude may become opposite of what you expect from them. You may think they’ll welcome your ideas and cheer you up, but their feedback rather intoxicates you.

Do I need to encourage you? I don’t think so. But I can tell you that you have an encourager right inside of you. Listen carefully to it. When challenges knock you down and life seems to be at its lowest, it has this amazing power of springing you back on your feet. It’s strong enough to sustain you. It’s your dream. Make up your mind to never give up on it.

As destructible as criticisms and setbacks might be, they have no power to quench the desire of an optimistic spirit.

  1. Dreams Enhance Productivity. A clearly defined, achievable vision is a great motivator. There’s no doubt about that. Organizations explore its power to increase their sales.

While businesses cannot afford to be productive without growth goal, individuals too can’t.

A business that diligently pursues its goal will grow. A business that grows will improve on its products. A business that provides improved quality products will take control of the market. And when they hit the market, they will rarely want to stop producing. It works for an individual in a similar vein. Nevertheless, remember that it all starts with having a goal to pursue.

Dreams inspire. They cause you to do more. When you have a dream, you become hungry. You keep delivering, yet you’re not satisfied. You just want to reach your full potential.

Friends cheer, people affirm your expertise as you rise beyond their expectations, but it doesn’t just quench your thirst for more. You want your output to get better. As a result, you keep working on yourself, taking on tougher challenges and eventually breaking new grounds.

The good news is that the better you get and the farther you advance towards the direction of your dream, the stronger your influence will become. You will not only set your life on fire, others will come to kindle theirs.

Think about all the people who have made some major contributions to humankind and you’ll find that they were really huge dreamers. Do you also desire to leave a mark on the sands of time? You can. Start with a dream!

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Thank you for the time you’ve invested into reading this post.




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