Tuesday, December 22, 2015

LEADERSHIP: People Pleaser

How can you be liked without giving in to being a

Be Choosy.
As leaders we always have a choice. People-pleasers often feel that they have to say yes when someone asks for their help. Remember that you always have a choice to say no. Ask yourself: Is this something I choose to do?

Be Communicative.
When you clearly communicate
your priorities and values, people can better understand how their requests fit in—or how they don’t. Ask yourself: Am I letting those around me know what’s most important to me?

Be Considerate.
Be considerate of yourself and your
time, and be considerate in your choices. Ask yourself: What are my options?

Be Coherent.
Be clear and consistent in stating your boundaries. When others overstep, let them know.
Healthy boundaries go a long way in eliminating negativity and anger from your life. Ask yourself: Am I
comfortable with where this request may take me?

Be Confident.
The attitude you bring to requests,
whether you say yes or no, is an important part of how your response is perceived. Ask yourself: Why am I doing (or not doing) this? How does this response serve the bigger picture?

Most leaders are the kind of people who want to serve others, and true leadership is knowing that the greatest acts of kindness are those done by choice, not out of fear and guilt.

Written by:
Lolly Daskal

Leadership: People Pleaser

Thursday, December 10, 2015

APPLY: Become a CYFI Fellow 2016

The Carrington Youth Fellowship Iniative (CYFI) is now inviting credible Nigerian youths with passion for driving community-based developmental projects to apply for CYFI 2016 Program (open to Lagos and Port Harcourt).

About CYFI:
Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative, CYFI, is a dynamic youth-based initiative launched in 2011 by the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos. CYFI brings together Nigerian youth of exceptional vision, skills and experience to design and implement projects that have a positive impact on Nigerian society. The CYFI program was named after the Former Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, who was a champion of civil liberties, democracy and closer ties between the U.S. and Nigeria.

CYFI fellows are committed to putting the ideals of Walter Carrington into practice. The CYFI Board of Directors, in conjunction with the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos, selects fellows who demonstrate exceptional vision, skills and experience. Fellows are them grouped into teams based on interest, and teams then develop and implement their own youth engagement project over the course of the one-year fellowship duration. In addition to working with their team to bring their project into fruition, CYFI fellows have the opportunity to attend various networking events, roundtables and forums on relevant social issues, hosted by the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos. The year will conclude with an awards ceremony for fellows, where fellows will be inducted into the CYFI Alumni Program.

My Personal Experience:
As a CYFI Fellow 2012, we were the first set to be inducted and I must confess that being a part of the program remains till today as one of the best opportunities I have ever had to learn differently, network effectively and contribute wholeheartedly my quota to empowering unskilled young people with entrepreneurship skills and tools which as of now is helping them to become employers of labour. All the Fellows were fantastic and brilliant crop of young Nigerians who were so committed to making their country a better place. I might as well brag a little that my team was the best because our vocational training project in Ibadan, Youth Entrepreneurship and Creative Academy (YEC-Academy), later won the CYFI Award for Best Youth Engagement Project in 2012. :)

I, Ebenezer O. Akinrinade, is inviting you to be a part of history and make Nigeria proud! Being a CYFI Fellow might just be the perfect platform you need to step up into YALI just like Adepeju Salu (CYFI Alumni and President, YALI Alumni Nigeria).

Application Deadline:
January 11, 2016.

Lagos and Port-Harcourt.

Official Website:
Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative

CYFI Application Page:
Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative 2016

** Remember to apply and share the opportunity within your professional network.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

The jOhN Syndrome: A Lesson for Entrepreneurs

Cinematography is one of my end games & Photography is one of the roads that will lead me there. In lieu of that fact, I've made it a habit to visit the cinemas at least once a month. Its as if I get divine revelations whenever I visit to watch a movie. I even had to borrow money from a friend last week just to see one of those true life epics. I cried to tears by the time the movie was over. I can be emotional like that sometimes but that's beside my point.

One of those movies that almost always brings me to tears is the movie titled WHITE HOUSE DOWN. Honestly, I don't think any Nigerian alive has watched that movie as much as I have. I place it in my top 5 movies of all time (right beside Pursuit of Happyness & John Q). There are at least 100 lessons you can get from watching the film.

One of my favorite scenes is when the main actor, John, was being interviewed for a position as a secret service agent in the White House. According to all the credentials he had accumulated until that time, he was not qualified for the position. He had graduated University with average scores, been divorced, been dismissed from the army, engulfed in serious debt & never seemed to finish successfully anything he started. But somewhere within him he knew he was qualified for the position.

At the end of the interview, you could see the determination & desperation in his eyes when he concluded his plea to the interviewer (who coincidentally happened to be his ex-girlfriend while he was in George Washington University): JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE. His past qualifications & misachievements was what was visible in the eyes of the interviewer. His application was denied.

Fast forward to 2 hours later. He had surmounted many impossible challenges & situations and was the main reason the President of the United States was alive. He literally saved the President. The stone that the builders, architects & engineers rejected became the chief stone wherein the House would stand on. Despite his CV, he proved to himself &  the world that all he indeed needed was JUST A CHANCE.

He had what I call the jOhN syndrome: that diagnosis that has concluded that one isn't fit for a position or post because of one's past achievements or mistakes. But it is that very syndrome that seems to have driven many into achieving the monumental success that has been ascribed to their names till date. Moses was a stammerer, Saul was shy, David was an errand boy, Ruth was a widow, Solomon was a ************* (not too sure what you'll call someone with 1000 babes), Joseph was a prisoner (though not his fault) & Seun was a deported felon.

Yet that syndrome drove them unconsciously into being qualified to be "stones" that will be significant in the building of success & greatness. It is the reason I seem to gravitate towards the person whose past or present seems to be akin to the fall of Humpty Dumpty. For History has proven that it is mostly people with the jOhN syndrome that have made History.

My encouragement to all reading this who sense they have this type of syndrome is this: do not loose hope for one day, your achievements might save/strengthen a President or a generation. At the end of the film, even John's ex-wife was obviously proud of the achievement of his John. At the end, even your ex & enemies would brag to people about the fact that they once knew a guy like you with the jOhN syndrome.

Oh well, enough of my epistle. I can hear John calling me to go watch the film for the 73rd time this year.

Written by:
'Seun Akisanmi
[Photographer & Writer]



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