Monday, 18 July 2016

KNOWLEDGE MAKES YOU GREAT


iN the centuries to come, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important events historians will see will not technology, not the Internet, but the unprecedented change knowledge has brought to the human condition.
It is only when you examine your life that you get to know yourself and understand your values, motives and talents.
It is in developing these personal insights that provides the foundation of all successful leadership, and it is only as you examine your life that you are able to identify the changes you need to develop your leadership.
Until you truly know yourself, your strengths, what you want and why, you cannot succeed in any leadership venture.
Leadership begins with leading yourself. Developing as a leader is intertwined with knowledge and personal development. Which is why knowing yourself is the foundation of successful leadership.
No leader sets out to be a leader; people set out to live their lives, expressing themselves in their passions. When that expression is of value, they become leaders.
So, the point isn’t becoming a leader; it is to become yourself, to use yourself, to use all of your skills, gifts and energies to make your vision manifest.
You must withhold nothing. You must become the person you wanted to be, enjoying the process of achieving your goal.
You cannot lead without understanding who you are. Becoming a leader starts from knowing yourself and what you want to accomplish with your life.
The quest for leadership, therefore, is an inner quest to discover who you are and what you care about. Just as your reflection in a mirror reveals changes you need to make to your appearance, so does self-awareness help you identify beliefs and behaviours you need to change to improve your leadership.
Knowing your personality, values and desires allows you to be proactive in the choices you make and how you lead.
In their journey, leaders have developed self-knowledge in some important areas. Leaders know what they stand for. They knew their values, they are clear on what motivates them and know the impact they want to have on the world.
This understanding is the compass by which leaders navigate through life. Their personal values are often adopted from society and people in authority, such as parents, teachers, bosses and friends.
Leadership demands that you take responsibility for directing your life, expressing your own unique vision, purpose and values.
We learn from history that people expect their leaders to stand for something; hence leaders have clear set of principles, beliefs and values upon which their leadership is built and expressed.
When you are not clear about your values, you are easily swayed by the opinion of others. Thus, trust is lost or eroded when you are inconsistent in your decisions.
However, when you are clear as to your values, you are more consistent in your actions. Indeed, consistency of behaviour is critical to building trust. Your values impact on how you relate to people and the examples you set for others.
You must separate who you are and who you want to be from what the world thinks you are and wants you to be.
To succeed as a leader, you have to learn who you are. You must know what you are good at and what to learn for you to get the full benefit of your talents.
Great leaders exploit their strengths and manage their weaknesses. While you may be good at many things, you are only really great at a few things.
Self-aware leaders know the few things they are great at and are constantly working on improving on these few strengths.

In memory of Martin Luther


The year 2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Christian reform movement when Martin Luther nailed his theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This Luther decade provides for celebration and reflection.
Wittenberg is a sleepy middle-size town on the borders of Saxony and Brandenburg. Located on one of Germany’s longest rivers – Elbe, Wittenberg has a proud history. There is no shortage of testimonies to the Renaissance in Wittenberg. The reformer, Martin Luther (1483-1546) is inseparably linked with Wittenberg, which is why we should really refer to it as Lutherstadt. But they don’t call it so because people think: why all the fuss about a renegade monk called Luther?
Yet at the moment, it looks all this is gradually changing. Luther, who has always lived on the hearts of Protestants, is being brought closer to other inhabitants of the town and its surroundings. Not least because so many tourists, especially from abroad and overseas go there in search of Martin Luther’s trail. After all, the Luther monuments in Saxony-Anhult have been under UNESCO protection as part of the world heritage since 1996. Luther tourism is certainly an economic factor, not only in Wittenberg, but also in Wittenberg’s sister, Eisleben, in Mansfelder district, where Luther was born and also died.
t was at Eisleben that the person the Roman Church outlawed as Junker Jorg lived in hiding, and in 1521 and 1522, worked on his German translation of the Bible. This was a momentous act, of which there can be no doubt. For many people, the Book of Books is as topical as ever. Sadly in Eastern Germany where, during more than 40 years of communist rule, the citizens had their faith driven out of them. Indeed, to a degree the communists succeeded something that the Christian churches of all denominations unanimously lament.
So the imminent jubilee of the Reformation is coming just at the right time. For this jubilee, the Evangelical church in Germany has instituted a position for a prelate, which was filled by the theologian, Stephen Dorgerloh. The Luther Decade refers to the period up to 2017 the year that will mark the 500th anniversary of Luther’s legendary nailing of his theses to the door of Wittenberg Church.
In those 95 theses, Luther denounced the Roman Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences. He criticised the conditions that prevailed at the time with pertinent references to the Bible.
The posting of the theses took place on October 31, 1517. Therefore the October 31 is Reformation Day, which is a public holiday in the Protestant central German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.
Holidays are always welcome everywhere; but what does Reformation mean? What does it mean in Nigeria today? For the lack of the study of history Religion, Reformation or Protestantism do not appear to mean much to the Christian Nigerian.
Luther’s nailing of the theses to the door of a Wittenberg Church unleashed a movement that has left its mark all over the world. The Reformation not only influenced the church, theology and philosophy, it also influenced music, the arts, business and social life. It also influenced language and the law. The 500th anniversary of the publication of Luther’s theses will be on October 31, 2017 in Wittenberg. In order to celebrate this jubilee, the Evangelical Church in Germany has conceived the Luther Decade, during which the broad range of the themes raised by the Reformation will be dealt with in what they termed The Theme years and links will be made to historical and commemorative years.
The Theme for 2011 was Reformation and Liberation and it was engaged as a phase of upheaval that led to a democratic state under the rule of law. The Reformation jubilee also entails numerous international links, which is why the German Foreign Office and the Ministry of Education will be active within the framework of German Culture and Educational policy. They will activate various projects during the Luther Decade.
One highlight in March 2011 was an international symposium in the Luther City of Wittenberg. The event debated the question: How free are human beings? It examined Reformation’s influence on reform movements around the world, and the development of democratic civil society.
But the debate on the current meaning of Reformation got going only very slowly. Yet the consequences of the work of Luther and his friend, the theologian Philipp Melanchthon can be felt everywhere. It established the freedom of religion and freedom to hold opinion without interference. Reformation also developed the German language and thought. It also unleashed upheavals extending from the Enlightenment to 20th century modernism.
evertheless, it took much time before Luther’s protest against medieval restrictions and impositions was seen in the context of emancipation and liberation and subsequently as something contemporary and timely. It was only lately that it was accepted as an event worthy of our attention, celebration and subsidised with state funds.
Meanwhile, however, things are really moving: a pilgrim path follows Luther’s trail through central Germany. Theme years and events are being organised to structure the anniversary, up to and including the major celebrations. In 2011, the government of the state of Magdeburg spent millions of Euros among other things for the refurbishment of Wittenberg Castle. Thus for the 2017 celebration much more is being expected.
With the anniversary barely a year from now, it will be heart-warming to witness a celebration of Luther, the Christian reformer by Nigerian Protestants.



EACH MAN HIS TIME


THE book, Each Man, His Time, subtitled, The Biography of an Era; is the story of Auchi Kingdom in Edo State, Nigeria. It is written by Prince Tony Momoh, the Yerima of Auchi and a prince of the realm.
This book affects its reader on three levels. First is the appreciation of how Momoh the First created a dynasty between 1919 and 1944.
Secondly, how Momoh transformed the culture of the Auchi people from the traditional polytheism in religion: totem control and idol and ancestor worship to the worship of the Only one God, the Creator of the World as revealed by the Quran.
nd thirdly, the documentation of traditional beliefs and the powers of transmigration and soul manipulation: all of which belonged to an era that saw them as authentic faith.
Thus, Each Man, His Time is the chronicle of the life and times of Momoh the First of Auchi Kingdom. The book is a record of an environment that had no cars, no electricity, no link roads but bush paths and the new experience of colonialism.
The book is a reprint of an earlier edition first published in February 1995. This new edition includes an introduction and epilogue from Professor Zakariyau Oseni, the director, Centre for Ilorin Studies, University of Ilorin, Kwara State.
This Biography of an Era is paperback, has 378 pages, 39 pages of pictures; 10 pages of index and five chapters. Apart from the epilogue to the first edition, there is an epilogue to the second edition, which highlighted Momoh’s legacy.
At December 7, 2015, he had gone for 71 years. There were many people before him, and many people have come after him. But no single individual has affected the lives of the people of Auchi and its environs than Momoh Oshiogbele Idoah. So profound was his influence that he had become an ogre with the stories built around him.
The commemoration of Momoh’s passing on December 7, 1994, marking the 50th anniversary was the publication of Each Man, His Time by Prince Tony Momoh, one of his sons.
As Minister of Information between 1986 and 1990, Tony had come upon mountains of information on Auchi Kingdom. He found a great deal to say about each of the 450 cultural groups in Nigeria. He was horrified by the huge amount of information our old men were willing to record for future purposes and the young men who should ask but are harbouring an orientation that encourages them to forget this most important area of our history.
Etsako clan is a sub-group of the Edo people of Nigeria. The story of Auchi, therefore, is the story of Benin up to the beginning of the 19th century. It was at that time that the Nupe, the Hausa and the Fulani influence started to manifest with the installation of Ikelebe as the first Otaru of Auchi. But Auchi life took a dramatic turn when Momoh Idaoh came on, especially after the outbreak of the First World War in 1914; when Tony’s materials first started to be recorded.
Etsako was first known as Kukuruku Division; later it was called Afenmai Division. This book treats the appointment of Momoh as district head of Auchi and the crisis that followed. The second part consists of reports on Chief Momoh. The third part deals with the transfer of divisional headquarters from Fugar to Auchi between 1919 and 1921. The final part is a collection of historical sketches written by district officers in 1914, 1919 and 1939.
Those reports constituted the preliminary chapters of this book. Encouraged by the huge volume of materials for the book, Tony thereafter filled in the gaps with researches conducted by Messrs M.S. Ezolome and N.I. Oshiotare. Their findings were illuminating.
They researched into the reign of Otaru Momoh who emerged as the pivot around whom Auchi revolves till today. The research included visits to Udo, the place in Benin from where the people of Auchi were supposed to come from.ach Man, His Time is a celebration of the liberation of the people from decadent beliefs. Momoh the First ruled Auchi from 1919 to 1944. While Momoh the First sat on a mud throne, his successor, Aliru Momoh his 90th child restructured Auchi profoundly. M.J. Momoh sat on the throne from 1945 and 1955. Another son, A.K. Momoh mounted the throne between 1955 and 1970, yet another A.G. Momoh sat there from 1973 to 1996. Again another son of his A.H. Momoh started the transformation of all the institutions of Momoh the Great. Sitting in a new palace, he did not continue to administer the kingdom with five Daudus. The profound changes he brought to the governance of his dynasty inspired the writing of this work.
The book in review is a reprint. The need to reprint arose from the book being out of print and the need to remind people of the many unbelievable issues raised in the book.
The author of the book, Prince Tony Momoh, is a distinguished journalist and lawyer. He is a descendant of the royal family of the Otarus of Auchi, Edo State. He entered journalism as a sub-editor on the Daily Times of Nigeria. He rose to be Editor of Daily Times; General Manager, Times Publication Division and Minister of Information and Culture, Federal Republic of Nigeria. As an active publicist, Tony Momoh was appointed chairman, Nigeria Airways; Chairman, Accreditation Board of the Nigeria Union of Journalism and Chairman, Nigerian Media Merit Awards. The author of many books on media practice and law, Tony Momoh was the chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, one of the parties that merged to become the current ruling party, the All Progressives Congress. He is the Yerima of Auchi Kingdom.





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Things You Must Stop Doing




By Bayo Ogunmupe

Things You Must Stop Doing

WHEN you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things access to catch you. Nothing could be closer to the truth. Before you can transform yourself, you have to stop doing things that have been holding you back.
  One, stop spending time with wrong people. Never flung yourself on someone who overlooks your worth. Your true friends are those standing by you when you are at your worst. Do not run from your problems. Face problems head on; learn, adapt and solve your problems. Problems mold you into the person you become. Beware of lying to yourself. Lives improve only when you take action in spite of all terror. Always be honest with yourself.
    Two, stop putting your needs as most important. Help others but help yourself too. Always follow your passion. Do not try to be someone you are not. Don"t change so people will like you. Seek not to convince others of your worth; your friends trust you already while your adversaries will never trust you. Moreover, stop holding onto the past. You cannot open the next chapter of your life if you keep reading your last one.
    Three, never be afraid of making mistakes. Every success has a trail of mistakes behind it. Every failure points towards success. You always regret things you did not do  far more than the things you did. Absolve yourself of self recrimination  for mistakes help you find the right path in life. Anything that has ever happened to you is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come. Never try to buy happiness, it cannot be done. The components of happiness are free: love, laughter and the enjoyment of your passions.
    Four, happiness isn't outside of yourself; being happy with who you are is part of being happy. Stop being idle. You cannot change the situation you refuse to confront. Making progress means taking risks. Never prevaricate nobody ever feels perfectly ready when opportunity beckons. Great opportunities force us to grow beyond our comfort zone.
    Five, you cannot start a new beginning but you can start from today to make a new ending. It is better to be alone than to be in bad company. Fall in love when you are ready, not when you are lonely. Do not reject new friends because old relations didn't work There is purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test or use you, while others will teach you lessons. Most importantly, some will bring out the best in you. To thy own self be true. Never compete with anyone. Concentrate on beating your own records. Success is a battle for self mastery.
    Six, eschew jealousy, it is the art of counting another person's blessings instead of your own. Stop complaining; stop holding grudges, forgiveness alone can give you peace and liberty. As you forgive others, forgive yourself too. Seven, do not allow others to bring you down. Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs. Do not waste time explaining yourself to others, your friends don't need it; your enemies won’t believe you. Stop doing the same thing over and over, without a break; often you need to distance yourself to see things in new perspectives.
    Eight, never overlook the beauty in small moments. The best of lives are the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with loved ones. Stop being a perfectionist; the world does not reward perfectionists, the world rewards only those who get things done. And never take the path of least 
resistance. Nine, aim at doing something extraordinary. Never act as if everything is fine. It is okay for things to fall apart once in a while. It is healthy to shed tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again. Besides, abhor scapegoatism, you cannot blame others for your errors.
    Always take responsibility for every action you take. Achieving your dreams depends on the extent to which you can take responsibility for your actions. Cease being everything to everyone. Making one person smile can change their world. Narrow your focus.
    Finally, stop worrying about the future. Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens. It will only strip today of its joy. Nothing is worth worrying about, particularly things you cannot change. Never focus on things you don't want. Always focus on what you want to happen. Positive thinking is the hallmark of 
every great success. And indeed, stop being ungrateful. No matter how bad things are , wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere is fighting for his dear life. So be grateful for having yours.

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Invoke Divine Blessing Upon Your Life


On The Path Of Winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe

Invoke Divine Blessing Upon Your Life

‘‘WHERE there is no vision, the people perish,” Proverbs 29:18. What do you plan to do with your life? What you set your heart to will determine how you spend your time and energy. Indeed, it takes as much effort to live an unfulfilled life as a richly rewarding one. Scientists have recently estimated that the human brain has between 10 and 100 terabytes of capacity; which means we all have lots of room for growth.
  One of the most rewarding things you can do is work to develop your mind. Where there is no vision – sense of direction – the people perish. Dissatisfaction does not arise from the absence of things, but the absence of direction. Too many of us merely exist because we have settled for less than God intended. The quality of your life will be determined by your vision and the effort you are willing to put into fulfilling it.
  So stop; make a written list of the areas where you would like to grow this year; then tackle the four most important ones. Do not be discouraged, if the one you are working on doesn’t want to cooperate, nothing great is ever created suddenly. Apostle Paul said of his Christian faith: ‘‘I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of Jehovah in Christ Jesus, Philippians 3:14. It is a process; you have to keep plugging away. Sometimes, it will be like two steps forward and three steps backwards. But never give up. It is better to die for something than to live for nothing. And unless you try something beyond what you have already mastered, you won’t grow. So, what are you waiting for? Life is waiting for you – get going.
  ‘‘He who invokes a blessing on himself, shall do so by saying; May God of truth and fidelity bless me,” Isaiah 65:16. The word ‘invoke’ implies two things, one: to make an earnest request for or to solicit. Two, to put into effect or operation or to implement.
  With that in mind, it shall be that he who invokes a blessing on himself in the land shall do so by saying the God of truth and fidelity bless me. And he who takes an oath shall swear by the God of truth and faithfulness to Jehovah’s promises because the former troubles are forgotten. Divine promise is a powerful promise. Even as Jehovah spoke the world into existence, we too can use the scriptures to frame the world we will live in.
  When you speak the blessing of Allah over your life, you make an earnest request and solicit it. You also put it into effect by implementing it. This is why God told Moses to bless the Israelites with these words: ‘‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord made His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; Jehovah lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace,” Numbers 6: 24 to 26.
  Then Jehovah added, ‘And I will bless them.’ Now, you can understand why speaking God’s word over your life can change things for the better and why the Torah says ‘‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue. So, my exhortation is: invoke Jehovah’s blessing upon your life. God will not forget your work and the love you have shown. Satan will try to convince you that you don’t count for much in Jehovah’s kingdom. Nothing could be further from the truth. God will not forget your work and the love you have shown as you helped His people. God sees you working behind the scenes day and night, caring for ageing loved ones, raising children, encouraging others and contributing where ever you can.
  However, we cannot all be heroes. Someone has to sit on the Kerb and clap as they go by. So never think you are too small to do big things. You never know what you can do until you try. Glamour isn’t greatness; applause isn’t fame and prominence isn’t eminence. The man of the hour isn’t apt to be the man of the age. A stone may sparkle but that does not make it a diamond. People may have money, that doesn’t make them champions. It is the unimportant people who determine the course of history. The great forces of the universe are never spectacular. Conventional rains do more good than hurricanes but they don’t get much publicity. The world would have ended but for the fidelity, loyalty, creativity and commitment of the unhonored and unsung. God values what you do, so don’t be discouraged and give up, for you will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time, Gallatians 6:9.

Fear Mediocrity For It Kills


On The Path Of Winners

BY BAYO OGUNMUPE

DEAR reader, this is the knowledge I wish to share with you. I am an advocate of being exceptional in anything you do. I have been privileged to take this topic many times over the past year. Meanwhile, I want to say: The very things that make you feel afraid are the very doorways into your leadership best.
  As you read through, I want you to clear your mind and let the message sink into you and help you become cautious of the most dangerous killer of careers, dreams and success. The enemy of good is great. Greatness detests good, because the comfort of being good is what makes some of us not exceed our boundaries and get to the state of being exceptional.
  Which takes us back to what mediocrity means. Mediocrity is averageness: a quality that is adequate or acceptable but not very good, not exceptional. A mediocre person is someone who lacks any special skill or flair. In these definitions, you can clearly see that there is a thin line between average and failure, people who always settle for less. People who enjoy swimming in the pool of mediocrity usually do not get to become very successful.
    They are those who work four hours a day and tell themselves they have done their best; whilst watching a colleague in the same office doing eight hours on average everyday. To become successful and attain mastery in your occupation you have to consciously practise for a total of 10,000 hours.
  Talent is not enough to take us to Treasure Island. For example, look at Christiano Ronaldo, Messi. Why don’t we hear some players whenever they are calling Messi and Ronaldo? Remember, some of them came to limelight about the same time during their under 21 competition. Most of us thought Mikel will rival Messi for a long time. Well, talent was what brought them to limelight, gave their face to the world but only deliberate practice and effort in becoming the best and not staying in the state of mediocrity makes the like of Ronaldo exceptional.
  It was said that Ronaldo trains three extra hours after his team mates are done for the day. Where do you think those extra hours go to? They actually show in his performance on the field of play. Now you know why you don’t hear from some musicians, while 2-Face Idibia lasted the test of time. Indeed, these mediocrity states lie in everyone’s life but if you do not consciously look into yourself, the truth about your performance, most importantly know when you have started becoming a mediocre person, you will never know how much damage you have done to yourself in the past.
   There are four major symptoms of mediocrity. They are: lack of vision, compromise, indecision and always holding on to the past. Because you are comfortable with where you are now and not seeking to be exceptional, you will lack vision. The mediocre person easily compromises in his daily activities. You are to deliver 50 items a day; you delivered 30 and feel you have done well because you have exceeded average. Trust me, you are a mediocre person.
    Mediocrity ensnared you because you do not actually stretch your boundaries daily and you hardly work to test other hypotheses of your career and work. Imagine Solomon who consciously works eight hours daily and Judas who works four hours a day, at the end of one year, Solomon would have worked for 2,920 hours while Judas has 1,460. This means Solomon must have stretched his mental, physical and experimental powers 1,460 hours more than Judas.
   In the early days of their partnership, this might not be really measurable. But this will become more pronounced after a year. Then Solomon becomes more exceptional, he takes on more responsibilities; he even works longer and delivers more than Judas, hence his promotion. Judas would never realise the tides favouring Solomon was coming from those extra hours of work that Solomon has put into his career.
  What happens to Judas after a while? He becomes disillusioned, obsolete, irrelevant, lacking skill, innovation, creativity, lazy, unproductive and unhappy. However, some mediocre persons work hard, they just don’t exceed their boundaries. They get tired and assume that is the best they can do. They abhor risks, they rather do the same thing over and over again. They are always afraid of change and are never willing to welcome it even when it becomes inevitable.
  But there are three things you must do to avoid mediocrity. One, avoid procrastination. Begin whatever you want to do immediately. Whatsoever thou resolveth to do, do it immediately, reserve not to the evening what the morning can accomplish. There are no more than 24 hours in a day. Stamp your feet to face the challenges of the day. Two, the very things that make you feel afraid are the very doorways into your leadership best.
  Things you have never done before that looks like opportunity will always scare you. Taking calculated risks is the best decision you can ever make to become an exceptional person. Not doing anything out of the fear of the unknown is the true behaviour of the mediocre person. Always take chances. This is what great and successful leaders do. It is fine to be content but never be satisfied. Thus, you must improve yourself daily, relentlessly and passionately. When you do this, you become exceptional.
  Being exceptional requires that you never set limitations on yourself. Cut out all low impact work. Obsessively focus on high-impact work. Use every minute of your life doing only those things that will get you nearer where you want to go. Do fewer but better things. Keep moving forward. Keep making the smartest choices and actions. Be persistent and patient, when taking action. Stay away from mediocre persons, they will infect you with mediocrity. Cut them off totally for they will eat into your time and undermine your productivity. Finally, remember that all good is hard. All evil is easy. Cheating is easy, stay away from easy things; they are the road to mediocrity.