Monday, 10 April 2017

Imbibing the Traits of Creative Leaders

                By Bayo Ogunmupe
      Becoming a leader takes courage and creativity. But creativity takes practice. Being a leader is difficult too. That is why most of us take direction as employees rather than self employed entrepreneurs. However, due to technology and recession the ranks of the self employed are swelling. Indeed, becoming a leader, if even leading oneself is something anyone committed to innovation must practice. There is no inborn quality that leaders possess. They are ordinary people who decide to do extraordinary things.
      Therefore, becoming a leader doesn't take just courage, it demands creativity, the kind you need to actively  nurture and practice. I am a literary critic, so I like to think of leadership as an art form. And I have found that in order to become a leader, you need to develop the traits of champions. You must tap into your  creative intelligence in order to keep ahead of the crowd, stay nimble and inspire those around you. Here are some traits most creativity driven leaders possess.
      One, they rattle cages, meaning they are unpredictable. They change constantly. In the world of business and politics, nothing stays the same. Some people wait until they are propelled into leadership by forces of nature. But great leaders from Joan of Arc through Martin Luther King Jnr to Steve Jobs: first provoke themselves into action. They are constantly imagining new possibilities. They instigate the change that they envision even when others are unaware. They predict the future by creating change.
      To rise to your true leadership potential, you need to rattle cages, starting from yourself. Thus, the main difference between great leaders and ordinary people  is that they are willing to act rather than allow circumstances dictate life for them. That means they shake-up long-standing beliefs and institutions which is often never well received. That is what makes them great.
      Two, they listen to their intuition. There are things we know to be true and  things we feel to be true. Due to education, we tend to lean on existing knowledge to solve problems and make decisions. But great  leaders realize that things they sense - the possibilities that lie beyond the realm of the known, hold special value too. Listening to intuition is how real breakthroughs happen.
      Often, we have problems balancing logic with intuition. The truth is that both faculties aren't opposed to one another. In fact, the best is to get them  working together, if you are truly to become a creative leader. Intellect without intuition is the hallmark of the smart guy without impact. Intuition without intellect makes the spontaneous person without direction. The great leader marries intuition with intellect to produce innovation.
      Three, creative leaders move fast to produce results. The biggest stumbling block for anyone trying to  accomplish something is perfectionism- the need to get it exactly right before taking the next step. However, great leaders realize that perfection is impossible. And often the pursuit of perfection stands in the way of progress. Leadership requires making consistent strides, no matter how big. And the quicker the stride the greater the progress.
      Never buy into the notion that you can take a giant leap if you spend enough time carefully mapping it out. By the time you get done planning, others would have lapped you twice and take the leap you spent months mulling over. Instead, just go and let the sparks fly. You will make mistakes but you will learn quickly by moving- refining your skills and igniting new levels of creativity you didn't know you had.
      Four, creative leaders have ideological convictions and stick to them. There is something compelling about a person with conviction. But conviction is rare because we often look outside ourselves for direction when we should look inside. Conviction can be cultivated but it starts with you individually. The key is to find something that you  feel you are meant to do, and give yourself to it.
      Finally, they don't only do what5 is expected of them, they have the ability of coming up with new ideas, as their defining characteristic. They step out with  new possibilities that set the course for others to follow. In order to free your own originality, you must be willing to stop doing only  what is required and expected of you and start doing the things that only you can do. Ultimately, the real difference between you and creative leaders who inspire is action.

Personal Discipline Essential for Riches

                  By Bayo Ogunmupe
        In order to do God's will, Moses had to leave his comfort zone. Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He thought it was better to  suffer than to own all the treasures of Egypt. He was looking ahead to his great reward from Jehovah.
      To fulfill the mission that God gave him, Moses had to give up two things: One, Moses had to leave the ease and comfort of Pharaoh's palace. Ease is a greater danger to your progress than hardship. After leaving the palace, Moses spent his next forty years in the desert tending sheep. He married one of Jethro's daughters; managed her father's business and enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. 
      Can you imagine leaving all that to face Pharaoh? God's plan for your life will bless and reward you, but never expect it to be easy: 'Along familiar paths I will guide them that dote upon the Lord' Isaiah 42:16. Two, Security: When Jehovah called him, Moses had many doubts and questions: 'Who am I that I should go?' Exodus 3:11. 'What shall I say to them?'Exodus 3:13. 'Suppose they will not believe me?' Exodus 4:1. 'But I am slow of speech', Exodus' Exodus 4:10. Finally, Moses told God, 'Send someone else', Exodus 4:13.
      Have you been doing that in God's plan to make you the messiah to rescue Nigeria from poverty? Fortunately, God would not take no for an answer and Moses eventually did the one thing that works when you are uncertain about the future. He obeyed God entrusting the details of the future to Him. In doing that Moses agreed to hearken to Jehovah's call by leaving his comfort zone and returning to Egypt. As a result the children of Israel were delivered  from slavery; and Moses' name became immortal. When are you leaving your comfort zone to deliver Nigeria from the shackles of depression?
      Three, It is never easy to leave your comfort zone. Moses probably didn't relish leaving the luxury of Pharaoh's palace or the security of his new family in Midian. Yet if he hadn't, he would have failed to fulfill God's call. Just because you don't feel like doing something does not mean you should not. The  greater the assignment, the greater the sacrifice. Four, real progress begins as soon as you leave your comfort zone.
      For forty years, Moses benefited from everything Egypt had to offer. But only after he left Egypt for the first time did he begin to learn what was really important, namely, God's purposes. It took him another forty years in the desert to discover how God intended to use him. By then, he had been humbled, rendered old, infirm and sagacious by experience. The bottom line is that before you become successful you have grow in wisdom and experience.
      Five, staying in your comfort zone robs you of your greatest moments and memories. Your life story is told by risks- those you took and those you avoided. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed about the risks you did not take than the ones you did. The way to pre-empt tomorrow's regret is by moving forward today into the faith zone. You say, But there is so much I don't know or understand. That may be true but here is a promise you can stand on: "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them.....turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These things I will do, I will not forsake them," Isaiah 42:16. What more assurance for God's blessings do you need? For you to become great, you must leave home and your comfort zone to gather experience, wisdom and courage.

Getting Nigeria out of recession

                By Bayo Ogunmupe
      With the decline in the price of oil and the subsequent decline in revenues accruable to the federal government; there have been strident calls for the Nigerian economy to be diversified. And both President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have agreed to take urgent steps to diversify the Nigerian economy. But these are mistaken views; because our economy is well diversified.
      According to the World Bank, in 2014, after the rebasing of our economy it was discovered that the Nigerian economy was more diversified than previously documented. Though we can diversify further, diversification isn't our priority. Our problem lies in oil and gas which accounted for 11 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP); and this oil accounts for 90 percent of our foreign exchange income. Moreover, oil accounts for 80 percent of our yearly revenue.
      This means we have for too long relied too much on revenues from oil. We have neglected other sources of revenue. However, now that oil revenue has plunged down to its lowest ever, Nigeria must of necessity sink deeper into recession. Let us therefore seek ways to pull Nigeria out of recession. One of our faults is pride or ignorance; a refusal to change in the face of imminent danger. We also hate to imitate good policies elsewhere. We are a federation but our leaders chose to run Nigeria as a unitary state which makes governance very expensive.
      To bail Nigeria out of recession, we must look for how they extricated themselves from recession elsewhere and imitate them. It is as simple as that. To foolishly persist in wrongdoing is to continue to wallow in poverty. For the second time in eight years, Greece came out of recession recently. With a bail out from the International Monetary Fund, Greece had to fulfill some harsh austerity measures. These measures included a cut in the salaries of public office holders, workers including civil servants and pensioners. That led to street protests and strikes by workers. These austerity measures led to the privatization of airports, highways and government housing estates.
      Apart from the reduction of the staff strength, austerity also led to higher taxes and cuts in allowances. Subsequently, Greece got out of recession. Before we offer solutions rather than palliatives, let us examine our confused monetary policies. In the third quarter of 2014, the Central Bank monetary policy committee increased interest rate to 13 percent and stayed there till November 2015. Thereafter it was cut to 11 percent. In March 2016, this rate was raised to 12 percent and then in July, it was raised again to 14 percent.
      However, between May 2015 and November 2016, inflation doubled from 8 percent to 17.7 percent. This inconsistency in policy should stop. Since we have opted for a fixed exchange rate, we either have monetary autonomy or capital mobility. Thus, the first step is to float the naira continuously. Then we can negotiate foreign loans as standby facility in the event of a crash. That $30 billion federal government planned to borrow might have this policy somersault in my mind.
      Under these circumstances, the naira will depreciate as it had been doing. Going for loans elicits a range of policy options in a developing economy like Nigeria. We have to abide with the terms of our lenders. Continuing our current policy will result in high inflation, low investment and high unemployment. These short term pains are inevitable. We must pay the price in hunger for not saving for the rainy day. Such a new policy option will be followed by higher investment and a sustained period of low inflation with higher growth.
      However, to boost employment, we would need the enthronement of a National Full Employment Plan with special funds to prosecute it. To make it a proper palliative, NAFEP loans should be collateral free,interest free and used mainly for import substitution enterprises. In these dire circumstances, the Buhari administration must push forth aggressive initiatives. Recently, the African Development Bank approved $56 billion to scale up industrial development in Nigeria. In the medium term, industrialization must be the catalyst of the job creation category of the Nigerian development effort. The government must support this effort with a favourable business environment , access to the capital market and competitive entrepreneurship.
      In effect, Nigeria must jump start cooperation with China, as reflected by our official visits to Beijing. Cooperation with China provides the potential for substantial project financing at low interest rates. The efforts to accelerate the development of our infrastructure through Buhari's state visit to China last April are commendable. A key project is the modernization of the Nigerian railways. This has the potential of unifying fragmented markets and boosting national cohesion.
      Moreover, efforts to rehabilitate Boko Haram ravaged North East and the proposed Export Processing Zones will attract Chinese investors bent on displacing Anglo American armada in Nigeria. In 2017, Buhari must protect fiscal sustainability at all costs, even as this might exacerbate external imbalances. Government must also reinforce the resiliency of the banks. Most importantly, Nigeria must execute structural reforms for sustained and inclusive growth.
      For clarity,for our leaders are hard of hearing, structural reforms mean the merging of states to reduce expenditure; reduction of staff strength of the civil services of the states and that of the civil service of the federation. The National Youth Service Corps should be scrapped. It serves no useful purpose in a depression. We can no longer finance it. The refineries should sold with a maximum government equity of 30 percent. Ever heard of a government owned refinery in the United States? As the global economy continues to deteriorate, the time to accelerate policy responses is now. The worst is yet to come in the aftermath of Donald Trump's self interest economic outlook.

Things you must know about yourself

                   By Bayo Ogunmupe
      Here are truths you must understand that will make you excel. One, there is a life-force within your soul which is a spark from the Supreme Intelligence. You might have been taught from childhood to look outside of yourself for salvation. However, from that divine spark within, you can gain all the answers needed for a life more abundant. So, always seek inside of you for solutions. Two, you know more than you think. Your heart and soul are a lot wiser than you think. This is so because they have been alive here from time immemorial. They know everything about you, your path in life and about all the wonderful things you are capable of being, doing and having.
      And if you could just cultivate the habit of conversing with your soul via meditation; listening, trusting and following the guidance of your heart and the wisdom of your intuition. You will discover that the answers you were once seeking were within yourself. Three, you were not created to live in a box. Your nature is gregarious, flexible, fluid and expansive. Your perception is greater than reality. You are more precious and valuable than all the labels heaped on you until now and all the labels that may be placed on you in the future.
      When you define yourself, you put yourself in a box to conform to elicit ideas of who you are and how you should live. You deny yourself the right to realize your full human potential. You deny yourself the right to become all you  can be. Four, but you are not a finished product. You are constantly changing, growing and evolving; taking new forms and shapes: becoming something new each day. That is why it is important for you to be flexible at all times. You must be open to change. You must allow yourself to be who life needs you to be; not who you think you should be.
      Always remember that the more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless. When you try to shine, you dim your inner light. Tao Te Ching says:"He who stands tiptoe doesn't stand firm. He who rushes ahead  doesn't go far. He who tries to shine dims his own light. He who defines himself can't know who he really is"- Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher and compiler of the Buddhist holy book, who lived in the 6th century Before the Christian Era (BCE).
      Five, you came to this world shining like a star. Though you might have forgotten how valuable you actually are; you could just do without trying to prove your value to others, you will eventually allow your light to be seen, valued and appreciated. You will no longer depend on others to confirm that you are worthwhile. Six, your worth cannot be verified by others, that will only be determined  by history. Other people cannot determine your worth, since most people have no idea how valuable they themselves are.
      Most people allow places, people and circumstances determine how much they are worth; and so they judge you as being worthy. based on the same criteria; not knowing that these things have nothing to do with your value and self-worth. Make sure you don't fall into the trap of thinking that who you are is not enough and that you need other people's approval, love and validation. Never allow external forces, places, people or circumstances determine how much you are worth.
      Decide for yourself, which is why it is self-worth, not other worth. Self-worth cannot be verified, so never depend on others for your value. Seven, you don't have to compare or compete with anyone. The life you will create and the person you were born to be are unique. Since your path is different, there is no need to compare or compete with anyone. No need to be better than anyone. When you are content to be yourself, everybody will respect you.
        Eight, you have your own unique path to walk in life. Even though you might be tempted at times to imitate and follow the herd; to do what everybody else does, please don't. Insist on yourself; never imitate, every champion is unique. Embrace your uniqueness. Nine, you are never alone, wherever you are. Your heart and soul are always with you, guiding,inspiring, protecting you and making sure you loved and cared for. Moreover, your guardian and legions of other angels are waiting for you to ask for their guidance. That my friend, is something no one can take from you.

Find Ways to Serve Others

                By Bayo Ogunmupe
      Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th president of the United States. By his astute diplomacy and humility he was able to dismember the Soviet Union thereby turning the world to a unipolar globe dominated by the United States. He was arguably the greatest U. S. president in the 20th century. When he was governor of California, Reagan sometimes slipped out of his office; telling his chief of staff Michael Deaver, "I have few errands to run." Deaver became curious, so he leafed through the "to read file' on the governor's desk. On top was a wrinkled letter from a man stationed in Vietnam. 
      The soldier had written to Reagan telling him about his life in Southeast Asia; and how much he missed his wife. That particular day was their wedding anniversary and he wanted her to know how much he loved her and longed to be with her. Although he had already sent her a card, he asked the governor if he could make a phone call to make sure she was okay and pass on his love in case she didn't receive the card. The next day Deaver discovered Reagan had done much more than the soldier requested. He had picked up a dozen red roses and delivered them to the man's wife. Dale Rowlee, the governor's driver told Deaver that Reagan approached the woman with extreme humility and offered the flowers on behalf of her loving husband stationed in the jungle on the other side of the world.
      Then Reagan spent an hour with her, drinking coffee and talking about her family. Reagan's humility may, in fact, have been one of the secrets of his enduring popularity. To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals, courtesy; to inferiors, nobility. It is not by deeds, but small acts of kindness that make us great as God counts greatness. Finding ways to serve others like this are sacrifices God is pleased with. Maintaining an unimpeachable integrity is yet another way to please God. "The integrity of the upright guides them," Proverbs 11:3. The word integrity derives from Latin word, integer, a mathematical cliche meaning whole as opposed to a fraction. So when you walk in integrity, you tell the whole truth, not just a fraction of it. That is why we take an oath in court to tell "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God."
      Sometimes, we slant the truth, embellish it and tell half-truths, just for financial gain. At other times, for social advantage. And sometimes, it is to hide our actions. Jacob whose name means- trickster, conspired with his mother and deceived his father into giving him the birthright of the firstborn- twice as much of their father's inheritance which rightfully belonged to his older brother Esau.
      And Jacob paid dearly for it. He spent the next fourteen years as a fugitive working for his father-in-law, who was an even bigger and better cheat than Jacob. Finally in despair, Jacob had an encounter with God and heard these words: "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.....I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you," Genesis 28:15. That day Jacob's value system changed and the taker became a giver. He told God, "Of all that you give me I will give you a tenth," Genesis 28:22. Thereafter, God blessed him beyond his wildest dreams. He returned home with a beautiful family, great riches and a new name- Israel. The truth is: integrity pays dividends every time because Jehovah guarantees it.

Visualize your way to victory

                  By Bayo Ogunmupe
      The older prosperity manuals are often the best. And Genevieve Behrend's books provide a charming entry point to the genre. It is fascinating to sit down with 'Your Invisible Power' after reading contemporary manifestation and 'law of attraction' books, like The Secret and Ask and It Is Given as you realize that many of their ideas are not new; with Behrend having studied and written about this material 80 years previously.
      Behrend was the pupil of the British philosopher Thomas Troward, a former judge in the Indian Punjab, who in his spare time had studied the arcane books of the East, therefrom becoming a master of metaphysics. Troward propounded the laws governing the relationship between the individual and the Universal Mind. In his book 'The Creative Process in the Individual', Troward argues that the fulfillment of our personalities is vital for the evolution of the universe. His thinking was seminal to the emergence of the New Thought movement and the science of the mind in the 1930s.
      Thus, Behrend summarized these ideas in her book that combines spiritual principles with anecdotes of her researches to help people appreciate their abundance. Compared to its modern counterparts, Behrend's Your Invisible Power is more focused on visualization to achieve desires. It is also distinguished by its concept that every person is God in miniature. This means that when you have feelings of lack, you have forgotten your divinity or divine connection to Divine abundance. Since you are Godlike, what your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve.
      What we visualize tends to come into being. Use this invisible power to turn any desire into reality. There is nothing mysterious in turning our pictured desire into material reality. Everything in the whole world, from your hat, shoe and cellphone, first existed as a picture in the mind. It then comes into existence as a projection of human thought. Through the law of growth and attraction, whatever you desire becomes yours.
      Behrend's first point is that visualization brings order to your mind. The Universe and the Mind behind it is perfectly in order and your use of vivid imagination allows this order to be expressed. We now have airplanes and telephones because someone first visualized that such things should exist. All great advances are a triumph of principle over circumstances. Reality is a blurry concept when you consider that all things are first created in the human mind. At the moment that they are being imagined, they are already part real. Which is why whatever you imagine you can achieve because of your divine nature.
      Therefore, in visualizing the object of your ambition, you are not changing natural laws; you are only fulfilling them. A strong mental image summons the mysterious but unfailing law of attraction to allow your ambition to materialize in accordance with your imagination. With such strong images, the success of your goal takes on an air of inevitability. We all create our futures first in the mind before they are played out in physical reality. For example, the United States railway magnate James Hill, whose railroad stretched from one U.S. coast to the other, first built it in his mind decades before the first track was actually laid. What Hill did to achieve his goal was to visualize what he wanted strongly enough to pull him into action. Upon all, action is the soul of success. Without action nothing can be achieved. All rests on the Biblical promise: "All things whatsoever thou wilt, believe thou hast received, and all thou shalt receive."

Make Integrity Your Winning Strategy

                  By Bayo Ogunmupe
      In Paul's epistle to the Corinthians, God said, 'Love never fails', think about it. Money doesn't bring happiness; fame doesn't bring self-worth and revenge doesn't bring satisfaction. The only thing that never fails is love. When Mother Teresa addressed the United Nations, she was asked, 'How can we have world peace?'  She replied, 'Go home and love your family'. If we all did, 'Paradise Lost' would become 'Paradise Found'. Napoleon Bonaparte's intellectual prowess and intense egotism make his tribute to the supremacy of leadership by love all the more striking. He said, 'Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself founded empires: but upon what did the creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire on love, and to this day millions would die for Him".
      Sometimes, leaders are just power-holders; because you cannot love others without making yourself vulnerable, for they see the expression of love as a weakness. But factually, you cannot love and keep all your options open. To truly love your spouse, your children, your siblings or the people you lead, you must give yourself unreservedly in such a way that you can be hurt  and even rejected. The fundamental principle  on which power holders operate is to protect themselves and everything they have. Whereas, true leadership is to give of yourself without reservations. Love as a characteristic of leadership seems now outmoded, yet according to the scriptures, love and integrity are the winning strategy for success in life. The bible says, 'God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of courage, power and of love and of a sound mind'. Thus, courage, integrity and love are the attributes of champions.
      "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you", Luke 6:32. The love talked about in scripture isn't a sentimental emotion that gives you goose bumps. It is compassion, caring and concern  for the well-being of another. It is based on commitment, not convenience. It is an act of your will, not a reflex of your emotions. When we submit to God's dealings in our lives, He empowers us to reach our full potential by gently breaking our stubborn will that needs to be submitted to Him. As our stubbornness breaks, His power within us is released and things begin to change for the better. Power, vision and talent  without character  and direction, have destroyed  many a man and woman, so be warned.
      Unless your talent is governed by character, you  are headed for failure. You don’t belong to yourself alone; you must honour God who bought you at a high price. Isaiah wrote, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw  the Lord sitting  on a throne, high and lifted up.”  The king had to die before Isaiah saw Him. Only when a leader becomes impervious to applause and approval and dies to ego is Jehovah glorified in his leadership. 
      When God calls you to be a leader, here are two important principles you must  always  practice.  One,  reach for people who stretch you. Solomon said, ‘Teach the wise, and they will become wiser,’ Proverbs 9:9. You can tell a lot about the direction of your  life by looking at  the people you hang out with. Their values and priorities impact on the way you think and act. If they are positive and dedicated to growth, then they will encourage and reinforce your desire  to grow. It is not only comfortable to associate with people who are ahead of  you  in their growth; but it is  profitable.
      So, try to cultivate people  who stretch you, who never think in terms  of only what  you can gain, bringing something to the table yourself. Two, realize there are tradeoffs. As responsibilities increase, rights decrease.  In a world where perks and privileges  accompany the climb to success, little thought is given to the responsibilities of the upward journey.  As the American oil magnate John Rockefeller once said, “Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.” Put another way, “To whom much is given,  from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”, Luke 12:48.

Awaken the champion in you

                  By Bayo Ogunmupe
      Your life does not consist of the abundance of possessions you accumulate but the value of your contribution to the world. And the worth of your life isn't what you own but your life is measured by what you give. Your life is the sum total of all you have been given, but how well you lived that life is shown by what you give back to society in return. Your life is Jehovah's gift to you; what you do with it ia your gift to the world.
      You are endowed with unique gifts, abilities and wonderful graces that only you possess. God intends that all your gifts must be expended during your life time to fulfill the purpose why He put you on earth. Have you ever wondered  why your fingerprint is different from that of any other person dead or alive? This is because the legacy God destined you to leave on earth can be attained by no other person but you.That is how unique you are.
      Which is why self discovery is the mother of self actualization. Until you discover who you are, you will never know your path in life. You only become in life, what you already are by nature; and that you must discover by experience. Thus, your outward circumstances can only lineup with who you are on the outside. You are perfect in your spirit. But you need to renew your mind with the Word of God and find your place in the Cosmos. Indeed, any outward limitation you face is a clue to an inward potential that is lying dormant in you. This means in life you will only experience difficulties that you have what it takes to overcome.
      Also, the ammunition the enemy chooses to attack you with is a clue to his fear of you. It reveals something in your life that poses a great threat to his agenda and an area of great potential strength against His  kingdom. Are you fearful, timid and lazy?  These only reveal that you are potentially a man full of faith, boldness, courage, smartness and diligence on your inside. Therefore you must advance toward your fears. You must double your speed of advancing towards those  fears. The past only reveals a clue to the greatness in your shining star.
    The champion in you will not be awakened until a certain level of crises comes your way. And rest assured that if God allows it to come your way, the Almighty will be there to see you overcome it. But it will done to you according to your faith. Now, until you get to that place where you become restless and strongly desire change, the champion in you may remain sound asleep. Let the challenges you face in life add meaning and value to your faith. Awaken the champion in you.
      Umbrella cannot stop the rain. But it can make you stand in the rain. Confidence may not bring success but it gives you the power to face and conquer challenges. That is why if you do not  leave your comfort zone, you never find your  true destination. Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to fight for what you deserve. There are no limits other than those you place on yourself. Your life has purpose, you overcome your weaknesses by letting go. You can always go beyond logic.

Japan captures Nigeria with Kaizen

                    By Bayo Ogunmupe
    The Lagos Office of the National Productivity Centre hosted the public to a seminar on the application of the Japanese Kaizen concept of productivity improvement. The seminar was held at Eko Hotel recently. In his opening address, the deputy director, technical cooperation, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Investment of Japan, Yuji Nakayama said his government is satisfied  with the implementation of several projects in Africa. He said the projects have enhanced the living standards of the people in infrastructure promotion, better hygiene and health and the development of human resources by means of Business Education Initiative for the Youth.
    Mr Nakayama declared that Japan planned to develop 30,000 people and improve 30 percent  of the productivity in African factories with the Japanese Kaizen concept of productivity. Japan is supporting  sub Saharan Africa in productivity improvement  through Japan Productivity Centre. On Nigeria's side, the Lagos Office coordinator of the National Productivity Centre (NPC), Mrs Patricia Nwaozuzu, in a release, announced the mandate of NPC as stimulating productivity consciousness, determining productivity levels, monitoring productivity and promoting it in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.
    Also, NPC promotes cooperation with similar organizations  such as the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, Asian Productivity Organization, Pan African Productivity Association (PAPA), Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Investment and the Japan Productivity Centre. The seminar was the offshoot of NPC's membership of PAPA through  the collaboration with Japan who is assisting in developing the Kaizen concept of productivity in Nigeria. The teaching of kaizen is currently running in Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mauritius, Namibia and the African Union.
    The aim of NPC intervention programme is to develop  the productivity mindset in Nigerians; to promote human resource development  and to build a knowledge based society. Through networking and partnering with other productivity institutions, NPC has organized awareness campaigns, produced jingles in five  languages namely, English, Pidgin English, Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba. Consequently, kaizen productivity and quality improvement were installed at First Forty Hotels, Abuja; Niyya Foods Limited, Kaduna and Afrotec Industries, Laqgos.  From 2009 to date, 32 private companies have benefited from the programme, resulting in 480 productivity champions, serving in 32 Quality Circles around the country.
    Then, NPC formulated the rationale  and the objectives for determining productivity indices. At present, there is no nationally coordinated productivity measurement system in Nigeria. Also, there is no provision for productivity statistics as the basic input for meaningful national productivity measurements. In capacity building through training courses, workshops and seminars, the Japanese kaizen productivity concept was discovered. The five components of kaizen are: good house keeping; the kaizen suggestion scheme, innovative creative circles, total quality management, total production maintenance and timeliness.
    This seminar showcased three companies. One each from Ghana, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The company from Ghana was on marketing; that from Burkina Faso was manufacturing cement and the last was Jumac International Company from Lagos, Nigeria. Led by Chief James Uzuh, Jumac like other companies improved both productivity and quality from 20 percent to 80 percent. Jumac which manufactures suitcases was so successful in quality the Nigeria Customs often impound its products as imported good goods. Jumac won the NPC Best Private Company award in 2016. It missed National Productivity Order of Merit award because it did not  apply  in 2016. Jumac had increased its productivity, efficiency and quality through the application of the Japanese kaizen productivity concept.

First time visitor praises Nigeria

                        By Bayo Ogunmupe
    A professor of sociology at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, Professor Harley Dickinson had praises for Nigeria when asked his opinion of Nigeria as a first time visitor. Professor Dickinson thinks Nigerians are a very friendly and hospitable people. He said this at an interview during his visit to The Guardian in its Rutam House office in Lagos at the weekend.
    Professor Dickinson is visiting Nigeria at the invitation of the University of Lagos. Last year, the vice chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Raheem Bello visited the University of Saskatchewan where he sought their cooperation in building research laboratories for the University of Lagos.
      It is in the fulfillment of the agreement on  the building of Social Network Analysis Laboratories that Dickinson is visiting Nigeria. The said laboratories will be part of the Social Science Research Library planned for the University of Lagos. Professor Dickinson disclosed that the internationalization of higher education is his pet project. In the world today higher education has become an item of international trade, he said.

A prayer for abundant prosperity

                      By Bayo Ogunmupe
    To pray for abundant prosperity is to feel and live in gratitude. Live to give and you will live larger and better than you have ever lived. Close your eyes and imagine you are being born again. And this is the very first day of your new life. Take a deep breath and open your eyes. Look around you; take note of your pristine hearing.
    Are those birds chirping? Is the wind rustling the dry leaves? There are no flaws with your rebirth. Your mind is a tabular rasa, it is as clean as the slate and you are the author of this chapter of this book. Imagine this new day and this new you as a gift of the universe. It is a new day to climb mountains, to fly, to touch other lives more positively and to gain a new appreciation of the little things that were so often missed.
    Your rebirth is the gift of gratitude. Gratitude is the essence of being thankful, the feeling of elation for every thing your senses experience, for all the items that help establish convenience in an otherwise chaotic environment; for knowing that you have the ability to make of your life, what you want it to be.
      Now in charge of your life as the pilot, able to navigate your way through this messy world of chaos; into brighter skies.Gratitude is your aircraft. It is at the ready to be used as a vessel to show appreciation for those who are kind and even to the ignorant. It gives you the opportunity to be a gardener, to plant friendship, kindness and compassion. Thus, you are able to cultivate the qualities of gratitude. With the breaking of this new day, and this new you, learn and practice the prosperity prayer, the most powerful prayer in the world.
    The seeds of my happiness today were planted two years ago, and the seeds of my happiness two years from now, are being planted today. The seedling of my being transcends what I am seeing, as discontent plows into divine countenance, nothing to be counted. When the bucket is empty, it is always filled with any water. Which is why I am a flowing reality; all I am is now, I smile because I am in this sunny Cosmos. I am so grateful and so blessed; thank you dear Lord for enabling me to serve.
    During the growth of your new life, remind yourself of the positivity of the present while reciting the prosperity prayer. If you have lost your job, it is a new door opening. If you experience loss, you may look deep down and see that the energy is still connected with yours ; you must feel grateful for the memories. Be elated today at having experienced all the  good and bad qualities if the people.
    Surely, life teaches us lessons and for that we are thankful. You must rise above your ego and recognize that ego and gratitude cannot exist together. As Buddha said: "Let us rise up and be thankful; for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little. And if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick; and if we got sick, at least we didn't die." The ancients say that gratitude is the shortest shortcut to happiness. Even in your rebirth, you must struggle to learn proven ways that will help you manifest calmness and gratitude. Always approach negativity with new frames of mind; instead of focusing on the negative, spend time searching for the positive. Surround yourself with positive influences by listening to your intuition. It will keep your body and mind aligned. You must be able to care for someone without being around them.
    Always speak up, you don't have tomorrow; you only have today.Express your thankfulness to all you know. Identify negative thought patterns, for negativity has the ability to creep upon you unawares. Practice self awareness in order to stay teachable. Watch how you breathe through meditation. Keep a journal for being human you are naturally forgetful. Read your notes of elation to remain grateful to man and God. Volunteer your services freely, for the best part of compassion, kindness and gratitude is in giving back. Action is the substance of compassion. Endless rewards are created when you give freely to others. Practising gratitude is a rewarding experience. Science has proven that practising gratitude leads to higher quality of sleep, increased energy and motivation. Also, gratitude reduces physical pain, decreases anger, regret and resentment. So open your eyes feeling grateful for successful living means living today as if it were your last.

Pray yourself to riches

                    By Bayo Ogunmupe
    The protagonists of the New Evangelism believe that another name for the Supreme Being is Abundance. You can meet these people in the social media particularly on Facebook. These new theologians believe that by being attuned with God Almighty that permeates the universe, you acquire the right to ask Him for your fair share of His riches. It is your right to ask God to become the most you can be. And you should ask to make earthly contributions which can reverberate beyond your lifetime. At the same time you must not neglect your workaday duties, for work is prayer in another form. This is exemplified by the Latin adage: He prays the most who works hardest.
    "With the last word, the transformation begins. He hears a tremendous crack. Then a roan, and a rumble as the gate swings away from him in a wide arc. There, stretching to the horizon, are fields of blessings. And Jabez steps forward into another life." Simply put, God favours those who ask. To ask God that you want honour isn't arrogance in Jehovah's eyes. It isn't self- centered either. God's kindness in recording Jabez's story in the Bible is proof that it is not who you are, or what your parents decided for you, or what you were fated to be that counts. What counts is knowing who you want to be and asking for it.
    In a nutshell, do not be afraid to ask for blessings in your life. With the help of divine power, you can do more and more. The character Jabez is mentioned in the Bible book of Chronicles. The idea that an average person could obtain blessings and abundance through simply asking and being given suggests a new appreciation of how God works and therefore the foundation for any aspirant for prosperity in life.
    The story of Jabez is hidden because he did nothing remarkable in ancient Israel. He appears in chapter 4 of Chronicles in the listing of the descendants of Judah. Jabez's start in life was not good. In his wish to improve himself he prayed the following: "Oh, that You would bless me indeed. And enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain." After this comes the simple line: "So God granted him what he requested." Nothing is said about what subsequently happens to Jabez. All we know is that his prayers were answered.
    Thus, it is good to ask. Great people of faith do not think it is selfish to ask for huge blessings from God. They felt that to fulfill their task, they will need more resources and power than the average person. So it is right to be selfish in your prayers, to say: "Bless me abundantly." Indeed, the example of the Jabez prayer is that your demand becomes a habit, said daily. Never be afraid to ask for more, even when you swim in abundance. God's supply of blessings has no limit.
    Asking for more is supported by Proverbs 10:22: The Lord's blessing is our greatest wealth; all our work adds nothing to it. Two, James 4:2: You do not have because you do not ask. Finally, Matthew 7:7: Ask and it will be given to you. Note that while Jabez asked for huge blessings,he left it open to God to decide the exact nature of the blessing. God will shower you with blessings when your faith in His goodness is absolute. Yet God waits to be asked as a precondition for helping you. Always pray, believing that no obstacle is larger than God.
    Jabez asked: Enlarge my territory. Do not be ashamed in asking for more influence and responsibility, since you were born to be more and do more. Moreover, never be surprised when your blessings turn out to be more than you can handle; bringing new challenges. You may even feel you are the wrong person for the job. This is the paradox of the big blessing: That through God we embark on things which are too big for us to do. Yet, this brings further blessing. We're expected to attempt something large enough that failure is certain, unless God steps in.
    That's how God sets you up to be a hero; making others wonder how you achieved it. Always ask for the hand of God in your life, since He wants to work with you and through you. So, it is not selfish to pray to be great in the service of humanity. It is a fulfillment of Jehovah's blessing. Jabez says, "Oh, that you would keep me from evil." If said daily, the Jabez prayer enables you to avoid being in temptation. Finally, Jabez asks that he not cause pain to others. Such a humble request is a basic element for a blessed life.
    The morale of Jabez is that what you want for yourself is little compared with what is in store for you if you become open to divine guidance. Just do not allow your upbringing limit you. History is replete with average persons who became remarkable due to their openness to a particular direction quietly suggested in prayer or meditation.

Good health as pivot of success

                  By Bayo Ogunmupe
    No matter who you are, where you are from and what you want to become, good health is the pivot to your success.  It is the ultimate key to riches as it opens the door to everything good in your life. In every nation, regardless of their economic status, improving the quality of life and increasing longevity are common threads that tie us together. Sadly, far too many people in many places lack basic resources like food, clothing and shelter; it is essential for us to protect our diverse  populations from the devastating impact of preventable illnesses and death.
    Senator Isaiah Balat of Kaduna, Veteran journalists Yakubu Abdulaziz of Kwara, Rufai Ibrahim of Nasarawa; Nigeria's former Charge D'affaires in Lebanon Terimi Jimoh and Chris Ghomorai of Bayelsa were my bosom friends killed by Nigeria's poor environment. The problems are cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease all of which are non communicable. Together they are the world's leading cause of preventable death and represent the defining global health crisis of this generation.
    In the 1990s, forty percent of deaths from non communicable diseases were in our developing countries; compared to 75 percent today. This surge can be traced largely to four areas: tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, insufficient physical activity and unhealthy diet which leads to obesity.
    Each year, 38 million people die from these diseases globally. But three quarters of these deaths occur in poor countries like Nigeria. In addition, these health threats carry an economic burden of increased medical costs with lost wages and unpaid pensions that continue to climb. A 2011 report of the World Economic Forum estimated that non communicable diseases could cost the world a cumulative output loss of $47 trillion by 2030. Of course this doesn't begin to factor in the emotional toll on family and friends- the abandoned children without parents; students left without teachers and businesses left without leaders.
    But what is to be done? We all have an obligation to help ourselves and the community to control their risk factors. It is more straightforward than you may think. A 2015 study published by the American Journal of Medicine concluded that chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and cancer could be cut by a half if people adopted healthy lifestyles such as regular exercise; diets low in sodium and added sugars and abstaining from using tobacco. Adopting healthy lifestyles however, doesn't happen overnight. There is science behind why people change, as each person is inspired and motivated by varying emotional and life factors.
    While taking an individual approach to extending and saving lives is effective, think about what a dramatic impact we can make by casting a bigger net and creating a culture of health. This means designing infrastructures so the healthy choice is the easy choice. For instance, nations can prioritize creating and maintaining safe spaces for exercises; low cost options to purchase healthy foods and clean air laws that protect people from the dangers of second hand smoke. It doesn't have to be an entire nation. It could happen in a community, company or neighbourhood. Every little bit helps to preserve and prolong human life.
    Effective prevention also means understanding the unique risk profiles based on race or ethnicity. In the United States, African Americans have a high prevalence of hypertension, a major risk factor for stroke; not surprisingly, stroke rates are much higher among African Americans. Where you live can make a huge difference between the length of your life. We have seen life expectancy differ by more than 20 years for people living just five miles apart. With creative problem solving, there are many more ideas and more solutions. The key to salvation is in working together, by so doing, we can create a world that is healthier and all manner of prosperity is sure to follow.

How to acquire the millionaire personality

                By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Thousands of personal finance books on shelves today promise to teach you to spend less, save more, invest better and solve any financial conundrum between poverty and stardom. Perhaps none said it better than a book by Napoleon Hill, published in 1937. This great depression author and former U.S. presidential adviser, Mr Hill interviewed  hundreds of the richest men in America to figure out the key to their good fortune. Hill wrapped his insights in a 200 page package named, Think and Grow Rich, which went on to become one of the greatest best sellers of all time.
    Do not expect to find any stock-picking or gambling advice in it. In spite of the interviews, none of his findings involved any particularly-hard-to- attain  skills. The entire premise of Hill's findings is helping people overcome their psychological barriers and personality deviations that keep them from wealth. According to Hill, wishing will not bring riches. But he says, actively desiring riches with the state of mind that becomes an obsession will make you rich. Definitively planning to acquire wealth and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure are the hallmarks of dollar millionaires.
    If you want anything, you should focus all your positive energy on that thing until it becomes your reality. You remain poor because you chose to cling to your comfort zone. People experience relief from their perception  of belief, faith or religion. Which is why they will fight tooth and nail to protect their faith rather than be a knower of the truth. Such beliefs spawn poverty. What you love loves you. If you cherish wealth and fight for it you will become wealthy.
    Some persons attract wealth more than others. Since the idea that personality is more fluid has gained grounds over time; the world has now reached a point where we know we have influence  and control over which traits and characteristics we want to develop or refine in ourselves. The personality is the typical pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving that makes a person unique. When we say a person has good personality, we mean that he is likable, trustworthy, interesting and pleasant to hang out with. If you want to attract others, having a good personality is vital. In a desire to become a millionaire, having a good personality is even more valuable than good looks.
    In fact, 85 percent of your success and happiness will be as a result of how well you interact with others. Ultimately, it is your personality that determines how you attract or repel people and wealth. While we can only enhance our looks to a certain extent, we have the ability to improve our personality  as much as we want. We can integrate any trait we deem fitting and agreeable. You can make yourself attractive to money and moneyed people in the following ways.
    One, be a good listener. That trait made Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis such a celebrity that both John Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis made her their consort. Two, read more to expand your intellect and conversation. The more you know, the more you are interesting to hang out and transact business with. Three, have an opinion; there is nothing more tiresome than conversing with someone who has no opinion on anything. moreover, cherish conversation above argument. Arguments lead to disaffection while conversations enrich  your knowledge. Four, make effort to reach new people, people who are unlike you. It exposes you to new cultures and broadens your horizons. Five, be yourself and exude a positive mental attitude. Such an outlook will attract helpers to you. Be funny and see the humorous side of life. Finally espouse integrity in every aspect of your life. Being honest and respectful brings you the admiration of others. Nothing enhances a person's personality better than integrity. When we develop ourselves this way, we become whatever we wish to be; we contribute to our own success and happiness and the happiness of others.

Being Original means Going it Alone

                      By Bayo Ogunmupe
      When you are trying to  be original by creating something original, that stands out from the crowd, that will last forever, you must go it alone. Above all, creating innovation should always be your philosophy of business. You might be an entrepreneur setting up companies for profit, dreaming up new products must be your ideal goal not money. Don't ever be afraid to be different. Everyone knows Richard Branson as a famous entrepreneur, the philanthropist knighted by the Queen of England.
    What most of us know of Branson comes from snippets on newspapers. But there is a reality behind the image that only good autobiography reveals. There are hundreds of "how I did it' stories by many millionaires, but Losing my virginity, is one of the greatest autobiographies of all time. This is owing to rich materials Branson has to draw from. As an inveterate diarist whose over 25 year scribblings enabled the book to be written. Losing My Virginity is a book which an aspiring entrepreneur must read. As his philosophy of life, Branson will either go to prison or become a millionaire. That was because when he left high school, his headmaster said to him, "You will either go to prison or become a millionaire."
    Branson's first success was as a publisher of a National magazine for students. There, he added interviews of great champions including the British musical legend, John Lennon. He said he did not go into the venture to make money; it was more of a fun enterprise. In fact the magazine was kept going by advertising. His clique were obsessed with music; making them to sell records by mail order. Selling records blossomed but a postal strike forced him into retail trading.
    Branson's first Virgin record store became a hangout for young people, the first to take care of the youth market exclusively. Many more stores followed around Britain. Branson never obeyed the business rule not to work with your friends that you cannot send to jail. Most of his Virgin inner circle for the first fifteen years were people who had grown up with him. Apart from drug indulgence, Branson preferred to have a great time  and keeping his wits about him. Behind his barefooted, long haired hippy style was a businessman who wanted to make a difference.
    In spite of his chain of record stores, Branson was losing money. As a solution, he accidentally solved his problem by selling records in Belgium and thus escaping hefty U.K sales duties. When discovered by Customs, he had to pay three times his duties (60,000 pounds sterling) in 1971 to evade imprisonment. The experience burned him to never do illegal business again in his life. Then, Branson fulfilled his dream of big time Music whose acts could be promoted through the Virgin stores. He bought an old manor house i Oxfordshire which he converted into a recording studio.
    The first act Virgin signed was the musician Mike Oldfield. This bizarre choice for a rock music label paid off. Tubular Bells was one of the biggest selling albums of the 1970s; it bankrolled Virgin's early years in the business. The label later attracted the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, Phil Collins, Human League and other stars to its fold. By the early 1980s the label had become the greatest in Europe. Branson had achieved his wish for an integrated music company where Virgin stores and Virgin Megastores could promote the bands that Virgin Music had signed.
    His business success propelled a proposal to establish a transatlantic airline to compete with British Airways. He could not resist the offer. Against the advice of his counsellors, he negotiated to lease a 747 for a year from Boeing in Settle, USA; Virgin Atlantic airline was born. But the fuel price hike brought on by the first Gulf War was a major obstacle as was the sudden loss of air passengers after the events of September 11, 2001. Virgin also had to contend with a dirty tricks assault from the British Airways which soaked up more debt than was expected.
    Then, Branson came to the realisation to either sell Virgin Music and keep Virgin Atlantic flying or lose the airline. Again despite good advice from family and friends Branson sold Virgin Music. The sale brought in $1billion. His share of the sale gave him money beyond his wildest dreams. From experience Branson notes that there is no recipe for business success; but there are styles of business management. Thinking big, taking calculated risks and simply believing in your 'can do spirit', these are the unfailing styles of running businesses.