“The greatest legacy is not what we leave for people, but what we leave in people.”
– Joel Osteen
Category Archives: Parenting
Years ago as an undergraduate, I took a summer teaching job. Whenever I entered the classroom I always took a bow and greet the students as “ladies and gentlemen”. One of the students asked me why I did that one day. I answered her, “Because I see you not as what you are right now but as who you will be years down the line!”
“When I see people, everyone, every human, I understand that I am in the presence of greatness. Maybe potential greatness, or greatness unpolished, or greatness unfound, but every person has the ability.” (Kat Cole) I concur! Every human being carries the imprint of the Almighty.
This quote inspires what I’m sharing with you today, dear friend. Don’t just see people as they are; see them as they can be. So much more important for those of us who have a responsibility for others, whether as parents, bosses, pastors, teachers, heads of department, etc., in any leadership capacity. That is why I wrote the book That I Look Like A Beggar Does Not Say I Do Not Have A Throne! And it is why I volunteer to train and mentor under-privileged kids at Paradigm Initiative Nigeria’s Ajegunle.org project. It’s also why I’ve made it part of my life’s work to build a leadership center for youths where they can be trained and given an opportunity to discover and develop their innate potential for greatness.
Everyone you see is pregnant with destiny. Beneath every face is a precious person loved and valued by God. Respect that always. Never look down on anyone except you want to help them up. Look within your sphere of influence and do something to help someone today. You will succeed!
My last post was on this same topic. In it I started by saying that life is a school. And every day, class opens and fresh lessons are taught. We’d be wise to pick up those nuggets and internalize them. To read the first five lessons, check here. Here are the remaining five lessons.
Lesson #6: I have found out in life that…
Every half-truth is a lie. Honesty has no degrees. So, “don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.”(Prov. 4:24 Msg.)
Lesson #7: I have found out in life that…
It pays to be a man/woman of few words. (Prov. 10:19 Msg.) Let your words be few. (Eccles. 5:2b) Always remember that the more you say, the less people remember. “Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.”(Prov. 21:23 Msg.) “Don’t shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think…the less you speak, the better.”(Eccles. 5:2 Msg.)
Lesson #8: I have found out in life that…
The best advice on how to live is best gotten from someone who knows he/she is dying. “Your death date tells more than your birth date. You learn more at a funeral than at a feast – after all, that’s where we’ll end up. We might discover something from it.”(Eccles. 7:1b-2 Msg.) We must learn to live with the end in view. “Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning…”(Eccles. 7:3-4)
Lesson #9: I have found out in life that…
There’s no surer way along the road to success than to follow in the footsteps of those who have reached it. Mentoring helps your quest for successful living. It pays to respect results.
Lesson #10: I have found out in life that…
To know the road, ask those coming back. We need the wisdom of fathers to help us go further!
Now, there you have them. have you also learnt some lessons from the school of life. Let’s hear it. To your success!
“The greatest legacy is not what we leave for people, but what we leave in people.”
WHAT STUFF IS A PRESIDENT MADE OF? (Refreshing Leadership Lessons from the Presidency of George W. Bush)
I must admit, this post is rather long compared to what I’m used to if you’re a regular reader of my blog. But suffer it to be so. I think alternatively I should have titled it – What Stuff Is A Leader Made Of? Reason being that the issues raised herein apply to all categories of leaders.
One of the books I read lately is Dead Certain: the Presidency of George W. Bush by Robert Draper. It’s a political narrative of the presidency of the 43rd US president, George W. Bush. To say the least, it was an interesting and engaging read.
I have always believed the fact that to become a leader and succeed as one (in any field) you need to know how other leaders think. You just must find a way of getting inside the brain of successful leaders. And one way is through reading their thoughts – in the form of books!
This is why I have always invested my money and time in the purchase and study of biographies of leaders – spiritual and religious, political and business, leaders of every shade and kind. Success leaves clues. And if you will follow the markings, you won’t miss your way.
Whatever you think of George Walker Bush and his presidency, I cannot but personally confess my admiration of him as a leader of one of the world’s greatest democracies. I can relate to the kind of decisions he had to make against the backdrop of the events that surrounded his leadership tenure. Reading the biographies and memoirs of him and several other presidents and world leaders like Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Obafemi Awolowo, Queen Elizabeth II of England, Mohandas K. Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., I think I quite well understand the burden of political leadership. In view of this I can only pray for my dear country Nigeria: Lord, send us men!
Not boys in the cloak of men, but real men formed in the crucibles of real life: solid men and women, not political jobbers and sheer opportunists who presently bestrode the corridors of power and places of influence masquerading as leaders; men who lead with posterity in view; principled women, men of substance; strong as oaks, sturdy against the storms. Lord, send us men!
I gained some refreshing insights from the book: not new concepts but noteworthy as epitomized in a politician’s life. I highlight the lessons and put the actual words of Bush in quote:
1. REAL LEADERSHIP IS PRINCIPLE-CENTERED, if I may borrow that from the late Steve Covey. Bush said, “I ran for reasons. Principled reasons. Principles which I will stand on. And when I leave this office I’ll stand on them…” Leaders must learn to live and lead by principles. Not by whims and impulses, political grandstanding nor pandering to a crowd. As parents, CEOs, pastors or leaders in any field, we must have an internal compass that guides our thoughts, actions and decisions.
2. LEADERSHIP RUNS ON THE FUEL OF PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL STAMINA. Bush commented that in “the presidency…you get tired. Exercise helps. And I think prayer helps. I really do.” He reportedly started his days with Bible reading and devoted two hours to exercising daily. If a sitting US president thinks fitness and health that necessary, then we’d better sit up. We may not have a job like his but a responsibility no less! As leaders we need to prioritize our health and devotional life.
3. A LEADER MUST BE DISCIPLINED. “I’m sustained by discipline. I don’t think I’ll be sitting here if not for the discipline. I was undisciplined at times. Never over the edge, but undisciplined. I wouldn’t be president if I kept drinking. You get sloppy, can’t make decisions, it clouds your reason, absolutely.” See that! We need discipline to lead, ourselves first before others. Whatever needs fixing in your life right now, had better be fixed before it takes you down.
4. LEADERS ARE READERS. Reading improves the quality of your thoughts and thereby the quality of your decisions and ultimately your leadership. This blew me away when I read it in the book. Bush said, “I read an interesting book…I’m on my eighty-seventh book this year.” And not only him, he went on to mention that his senior adviser Karl “Rove’s on, like, a hundred two…” and he went on to describe what he read in the book! How I long for the day Mr. President or a cabinet minister, senator, governor or any of their numerous aides will tell us the book he/she is reading presently. God help us in Nigeria! But before you lay onto them, what about you?
Will you be that leader? Will you be that person God finds worthy to lead his/her family, company or nation to the Promised Land? I challenge you to stand up and be counted. You will succeed!
I read this somewhere and I hope it blesses you as it has blessed me.
“We forget how fragile life is. We wait for Thanksgiving to give thanks. We wait for Christmas to give gifts. We wait for Valentine’s Day to show love to those we hold dear. We say to ourselves, Today is just an ordinary day. So we wait, and while we wait the clock ticks. Precious moments pass by. But in reality there is no such thing as an ordinary day.” – Author unknown
Make the most of your life. Enjoy your day with the precious people, situations and circumstances God has put you up with. Do not take this moment for granted. There is no such thing as an ordinary day! Enjoy your weekend. You will succeed!