Monday, July 26, 2010

Random acts of Kindness

Never underestimate the impact of a single act of kindness. Kindness is contagious. It is truly a win/win situation. The person you are being kind to benefits through your help. You feel good for having helped someone. And the world is a better place through your kindness. It is important to carry out your acts of kindness without expecting anything back from that same person. But I tell you, it will come back to you.
So today, carry out a random act of kindness today. Here are some acts you can perform
- Tell all your family members how much your appreciate them.
- Send someone a hand written note of thanks.
- Send lunch to your loved one in his/her office.
- Give a compliment about your waiter / waitress to his / her manager.
- Send someone a small gift anonymously.
- Pay for the drinks on the next table at a café.
- Treat a friend to the movies for no reason.
- Give a huge tip to someone when they least expect it.
- Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.
- Write notes of appreciation at least once a week.
- Compliment a work colleague for their excellence.
- Send a thank you note to a person who has helped you in the past.
- Go to the hospital and pay for someone's bills
- Visit the orphanage and spend some time with the children
- Pray for your boss.
- Pray for your country.
- Help an elderly neighbour carry the rubbish out.
- Buy an inspirational book for a friend.
- Smile a lot.
Have a wonderful day. You deserve it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Life is the Coffee......


a friend of mine, the current President of Executive MBA class 7 of Lagos Business School, sent the article below and I decided, after taking permission, to share it with my blog readers. Happy reading.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in their work and lives.Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups -- porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, some exquisite --telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the alumni had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said, "Notice that all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it is just more expensive, and, in some cases, even hides what we drink.What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups, and then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; your job, money, and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The type of cup one has does not define, nor change, the quality of life a person lives. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."mGod makes the coffee, man chooses the cups.

The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Enjoy your coffee!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Positional vs. Personal Power

I came across an old edition of the magazine “Life@work”. This particular issue (vol.4, no.3 - 2000) deals with Power with particular reference to the life of Moses. I will like to share some of the lessons learnt through this blog. Let me start with this quotation by Abraham Lincoln - “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
The meekness that Moses demonstrated during his life was an integral part of his personal power, while his specific role as leader of Israel was an example of the positional power that God has given him. Generally speaking, it is into those two categories that power – particularly as evidenced in the business world – falls.
Positional power is the ability to act on the basis of one’s station or platform in life. In the corporate world, a person’s positional power is measured by his title, the size and placement of his office, his salary, the number of employees he has under his control, and whether he drives his own car or has a chauffeur-driven car. The very nature of these trappings reveals that positional power is external, and, as such, it can come and go. When a corporate CEO retires, he relinquishes his right to his office.
Personal power, on the other hand, is based on moral authority. It represents a source of energy that flows from the inside out. From a theological perspective, a person with type of power knows who he is. He knows what his skills are. He knows what he was created to do. He has an eternal sense of purpose, and as a result, his life is characterized by peace, contentment and integrity. Personal power is tied to reputation, which means that if a person loses his reputation, he also can lose his personal power.
Moses, for example, never would have been able to lead the Israelites for 40 years without a good deal of personal and positional power. These are some of the lessons we can learn from his life.
Power is a Sacred Trust.
It doesn’t matter if we inherit our power, if we attain it gradually as we rise through the corporate ranks or if we receive it by virtue of being elected to a specific post. Whatever the case, it doesn’t really belong to us, and we have no guarantees that it will last. The only thing we know for sure is that, for as long as we have it, we are responsible for using it wisely. When God gives us a certain amount of power, He expects us to be good stewards of it. Power is never an end in itself, Like money, it is a tool – to influence someone, to help a cause, to right a wrong, to create an opportunity. It’s up to us to figure out why we have been blessed with our power and then to use it correctly.
Personal power and personal power must never be confused.
If a significant part of our authority stems from our position – as a CEO, a business owner or an elected official – there’s always a danger that we might slip into the mode of assuming that people do what we say because of our own influence over them. Then, when that authority slips away – when a new person takes over the office or we’re replaced by a new CEO – we lose our identity. That’s why it’s important to remember that positional power can come and go, and personal power often grows over time.
The more power we give away, the more powerful we become
Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, came to visit his family in the Israelite camp. The next day, Moses opened court and began mediating the people’s disputes, from morning until evening. When Jethro realized that this was Moses’ daily practice, he gave him some advice that has stood the test of time, particularly in organizational management circles.
“What you are doing is not good,” Jethro said. “You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone….You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to Him. Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens……That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you” (Exodus 18:17-22). Moses took his father-in-law’s advice. He didn’t figure it out on his own, but once he shown the value of empowering the people, he didn’t try to hoard all the power. For Moses, giving power away not only was efficient and effective, but it also significantly expendade his depth of leadership. That, in turn, helped him in the continual exercise of power that was required as he led the Israelites.
When God gives us power, it is up to Him to keep us in power.
Throughout the course of his leadership tenure, Moses had significant challenges to his power. But whether they came from members of his inner circle (Miriam and Aaron) or from rebels among the people (see Numbers 16), he never fought back. He left vindication up to God, and God never failed him. If we’re in a position of leadership, it’s not a matter of whether people will challenge out power, it’s a matter of when. At that point, we are faced with the same three choices we face as we deal with any other aspect of power. We can overreact, we can unplug or we can balance on that sweet spot in the middle and wait for God to act on our behalf. However, it will require discipline to take the journey and to live with the mockery, the condescending comments, the inevitable second-guessing.
Please let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Don't just stand there, Say something


I read an article by Kenneth Copeland on speaking to things. Please read the excepts below. It is interesting and exciting.


Most of the time, they won’t be saying anything positive, either. Instead, they’ll point out everything that’s wrong. They’ll remind you of what you’ve prayed and believed God for and say, “You might as well give up on that. Look around you! There’s not one shred of natural evidence it’s ever going to come to pass.” I don’t even have to ask if you’ve had that experience. We’ve all had it. The question is: When things start talking to you, how do you answer?

“Oh, be serious, Brother Copeland! Why on earth would I answer a thing? No one does that!”

Jesus did, and if you’re His disciple, you ought to be following His example. You ought to be doing what He did in Mark 11 when He came across a bad-mouthed fig tree.

He encountered the tree one morning when He was walking with His disciples from Bethany to the Temple in Jerusalem. Having spent the night in prayer, Jesus was headed there to do His Father’s will. He was a Man on a mission, and on His way to carry out that mission He got hungry. “And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it” (Mark 11:13-14).

Notice that according to those verses, Jesus didn’t just speak to the fig tree. He answered it. That means the tree said something to Him first. It said, “I don’t care if You are hungry. I don’t care if You are the Son of God. You’re not getting anything to eat off me.”

Why would a tree say that to Jesus?

Because the devil was using it. He was using it the same way he might use a stack of unpaid bills and an insufficient bank balance against you. He was using it to contradict God’s Word and discourage Jesus’ faith in THE BLESSING.

The fig tree quickly found out, however, that it should have kept quiet. It found out it was talking to the Seed of Abraham - Someone who lived by faith in Abraham’s BLESSING, who truly believed God’s promise that whoever blessed Him would be blessed, and whoever cursed Him would be cursed (Genesis 12:3).

When that tree said no to Jesus, it ran head-on into the curse side of THE BLESSING. It heard words from Jesus that no tree ever wants to hear.

For more of this interesting piece, please click on this link..

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