P i n n a L e a d

We built our humble home in Gaborone in the year 2002. A few years later, the walls started to show some minor cracks and we would call a builder who will come and chop the walls, patch them, re paint them and it was no big deal. This happened a few times and around 2014, the cracks appeared and this time not only on the walls, but also on the floor, running from one end of the house to the other end.

We called our builder as usual and this time around, he suggested we engage an Engineer to come and check why the problem kept recurring. We engaged an Engineer who did his maths and recommended a process he called ‘underpinning.’ The builder had to dig from the ground surface all the way to the bottom of the foundation and about half a meter underneath the foundation, all around the house. They then put wire mash and concrete all around to re-enforce the foundation and help it to handle the weight of the structure. This was not only a tedious process, but very costly, we had to vacate the house for over six months and the process costed a hefty sum of Pulas.

If you are a leader, how long you will still lead effectively doesn’t depend on your title, your eloquence of speech, your style of dress or how big your office is, it depends on the strength of your character, your foundation. Just like in the case of our house, if you don’t pay adequate attention to your character, cracks would appear from time to time manifesting in the form of flexibility with the truth, empty promises, not taking responsibility especially when things go wrong, inability to make decisions and many other issues that will not only sabotage you, but eventually cause confusion and frustration in your team.

Character is who you are, not something that you have. As the late Myles Munroe said, “character doesn’t make a leader, but it protects the leader.” Invest in your character!

One of the first principles I learnt in my leadership growth journey, was the Pareto principle and this is how my mentor packaged it,
“If you are Noah and your ark is sinking, you can throw away a bunch of cats and dogs, but your ark will keep sinking. If you can throw one elephant overboard, your ark will be in a much better shape.”

As the pressure from the impact of COVID 19 intensifies, most of us tend to get overwhelmed and we get so busy doing the 80% of the activities that give us only 20% of our desired results. If you feel overwhelmed and yet there is not much to show for all your efforts, it’s time to pause and reflect on what the elephants in your case are: the 20% of your tasks that can give you 80% of your desired results. These are the activities you should focus your attention on

I first heard this story from Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, as a young graduate in 2005 at a leadership development program and it has stayed with me. I will Share a scene from the book which emphasises why we should try to Understand why people behave the way they do, before we harshly criticise them.

Covey recounts, “I remember a mini-paradigm shift I experienced one morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly , some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed.

The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing.

It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive as to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, “Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?”

The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, “Oh, you’re right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.”

Can you imagine what I felt at that moment?”
Don’t we do the same with the people around us? Form conclusions and opinions before we ask and genuinely seek to understand why they do things the way they do? We take the easy road of criticizing rather than the high road of being a solution provider (which would require understanding the problem).

This week let us exercise the art of listening to understand ,it may just change our view of the situation before us.

John C Maxwell says, “leadership is influence nothing more, nothing less.” This influence talks of among other attributes nurturing, having faith in your followers, listening, understanding, empowering, and reproducing other leaders.

As a Mother you carried a child for nine months with so much faith and believed they will amount to something bigger & better than you. You protected them, nurtured them, listened to them & chose to understand them even when nothing they were up to made sense to you.

You released your children as perfect gifts to this world. Some made it and for that moment, you enjoyed the accolades. Some of your children turned out nowhere near what you anticipated, but being a mother, you didn’t have many options but to still love them in your brokenness.

You empowered & encouraged when you were discouraged yourself, you provided hope when you couldn’t find the way and comforted when you were hurting yourself. You continue to love and provide for your children, not because you have everything in abundance, but out of the richness of who you are, A MOTHER!

At PinnaLead we recognize & celebrate the Leader you Are, a natural born leader. Happy Mother’s Day!

Integral coaching focuses on you holistically as a person and not on the problem or challenge that you may face at that point in time. It therefore aims to empower you to be able to deal with the challenges that are before you. Integral coaching has three main underlying objectives as follows:

It raises the level of self-awareness: In terms of your intellectual, emotional, somatic & relational competencies.

It’s self-correcting: It will help you to develop the ability to work on the negative behavioural patterns that are limiting your growth and arms you with a myriad of competencies to overcome or correct that.

It’s self-generating: Integral coaching works with narratives and we will develop together to create a new narrative that will help you to move forward.

Integral Coaching therefore leaves participants feeling more competent and brings greater empowerment and resources to them. We create lasting change by adopting a learning approach that focuses on growing participants from the inside out and equipping them to deal with any challenges that may come their way in the future.

As workers today, we are treading in difficult, confusing, and frustrating times, no doubt about it. Most of you have many questions among them being how long this is still going to go on, are we going to go into the second year without a salary increment, what is going to happen to our jobs post this era of the pandemic, etc?
I had the same questions too! I then decided to flip the questions around and focus them on me, as I have more control over myself as opposed to what happens out there.

It came to my realization that the only thing that can determine how long I can still endure this wilderness and what will eventually happen to me once we cross over to the other side, is my emotional strength and my agility.
Since the first lockdown in April 2020, I did a number of online courses in the area of leadership development and faith, as I need strong faith more than ever before. I upgraded my certifications for some of the leadership competences and assessment tools I am already accredited to use. I volunteered to be a Mentor for a six months integral coaching program, Coaching for Development, at the Centre for Coaching at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business in South Africa, just to name a few.

Engaging on the above significantly occupied my mind and kept my level of anxiety at a bare minimum. I am also intentional about increasing my value so that I enhance my capability to deal with the aftermaths of this pandemic.
I invite you to reflect on this as we celebrate International workers day. How do you feel now about all that happening in and around you?

Some companies have already closed down, and some will surely close down after. This says to me that there will be competition for the jobs that will be left and ‘good’ will not be good enough while ‘ordinary’ will not see the light of the day.

What are you doing now that makes you more valuable, so you remain relevant once we cross over to the other side?
As my mentor Dr John C Maxwell would say, “Growth doesn’t just happen!”
Don’t go through the pandemic, Grow through the pandemic!

John C Maxwell says the toughest person to lead is yourself. He mentored me to lead myself.

The initial lesson, as covered in his program, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, did the work for me. In this program I learned that my growth is not automatic, I must intentionally grow myself.

I developed a growth plan. I am consistently following it. It is a sizeable financial investment. It is worth it!
I equipped myself in five areas of my life; physical health, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and financial health.

I added value to myself. I grew in both self confidence and self esteem. I believe in myself. I am now proudly serving humanity with my skills and talents at Pinnalead, raising the leadership lid as we proclaim.

Growth is a process. It never stops!