Blended Thoughts

Be The Change That Is Needed

ASA*, FISA*, PSSA*, HURMSA*, BISSA*, NUISA*, MSA*, ABS*, OMSA*….! I strongly advise that you work together and create opportunities for yourselves. Here are my simple suggestions that come from 12 months of experience in association affairs. They are pretty simple:

  1. Team work. Posts do not make you a leader. It is unfortunate that a majority of students mistake posts as a leadership positions. Taking charge and being an effective team player is what makes you a leader; it is what gives you the right to use words like Spearheaded, Motivated, Worked, Managed, Instituted and Participated and so forth to describe your achievements and acquired skills.
  2. Create a comprehensive sponsorship list! I cannot tell for sure whether that is what is being done by all the aforementioned associations but the habit of approaching companies each time you need sponsorship is not constructive. I recommend that you create a comprehensive 12 month calendar of events, package it effectively whilst identifying probable sponsors and then approach them in a total manner! You can easily use this as a way to get needed support from your patrons, board of advisors and other stakeholders. They are sure to respect your senses of vision and strategy. Make a further step and publicize this proposal in all professional social media sites (this should be done with a particular targeted partner in mind). Further still, why don’t you all create another joint proposal? Conferences and Forums are more effective when done as a conglomerate! Think about it, huh?
  3. Research, Research, Research! In the NSE listed companies, a good majority of the board members are University of Nairobi Bachelor of Commerce Alumni! These are individuals who can be approached for long term planning and networking (for attachments, permanent jobs and Angel Investing for the entrepreneurs).

I believe ones time in the University of Nairobi, School of Business should be spent learning and perfecting skills in communication, coordination and organization. Going about this is quite easy only that you must be assertive.

I wish you all the best.

ASA* Accounting Students Association;

FISA* Finance Students Association;

PSSA* Procurement and Supply chain management Students Association;

HURMSA* Human Resource Management Students Association;

BISSA* Business Information Systems Students Association;

NUISA* Nairobi University Insurance Students Association

MSA* Marketing Students Association

ABS* Association of Banking Students

OMSA* Operations Management Students Association

Blended Thoughts

I Summon You In The Name Of Your Instincts!

What makes a week’s highlight? Is it finding that lost partner of your favourite pair of socks? Or is it bumping into an old buddy? May be starting a new job. Whatever it is, I am sure it’s definitely something note worthy.

The Peace Unit Program (PUP), an organization that promotes peace within educational institutions in the country, had organized a debate at the University of Nairobi School of Business last Wednesday 25th April. I was honored when I got the call from PUP to speak about transformational leadership during the event. I am always happy when I get a chance to spread the message of value addition to my fellow future-changers in our society.

Transformational leadership to me is all about following your instincts as opposed to the more used guesswork. I believe instincts come from the purest place within us. So pure are our instincts that everything done according to them is the true representation of an ideal us. I dare ask, has anything ever gone wrong when you followed your instincts? Ralph Waldo Emerson, a world re-known essayist, lecturer and poet could not have put it better, “You have an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as a plant has root, bud and fruit. Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.”

Guesswork on the other hand is a combination of the most terrible things: self-doubt, self-loathing and self-condescension.  I may have repeated myself there and possibly invented a word but it’s all in the effort of making a point.

A leader is a team player, a servant and a true follower of instincts; all the bestselling books say so, all the known success stories swear by this, all your idols and mentors reiterate it and I beg you to believe it.

I need not tell you that Wednesday was the highlight of my week :-).

Blended Thoughts

Your Future, Their Eyes.

It could be a friend, a sibling or an industry professional. A mentor is an individual who adds insurmountable value to another’s life through their presence, guidance and support. A mentor inspires and nurtures; he or she is a tailwind.

I had the privilege yesterday, 14th of April, 2012 of accompanying the Greenhorn Mentorship Program team to a retreat at Brackenhurst, Limuru that brought together students and alumni of the University of Nairobi, School of Business to share in the program’s activities and growth. The trip was one I wish no one had missed because given how busy our lives are; getting opportunities to unwind whilst enjoying great company in a serene environment are few.

I have tremendous respect for the Greenhorn Mentorship Program 2012 executive team made up of Isaac Maina (President), Meli Solloh (Vice-President), Brigit Zesiro (Institutional Mentorship Director), Ian Kirubi (Finance Director), Claire Munene (Alumni Director), James Chomba (Information Systems Director), Samuel Calvin Ochieng (Mentor Affairs Director), Persila Owila (Mentee Affairs Director) and Patricia Mutindi (Editorial and Publicity Director). This team has shaped the program to become one that not only spearheads mentorship within the University of Nairobi, but one that redefines it.

Its Aspire Leadership Forum held on 26th March, 2012 at the University of Nairobi School of Business brought together speakers from all over African: Author and columnist Sunny Bindra, CEO and founder of Edge Consult Phyllis Mwangi, CEO East Africa Leadership Institute Pete Ondeng, Brand Building Director Unilever Central Africa Juliet Ziswa, Marketing Director (Africa Based) at Procter & Gamble Nuno Bernardo, Personal Branding Guru Derek Bbanga, Student Mentor Mercy Njoroge Advisor, ACCA Kenya to name but a few. The forum was one of the most impactive forums I have ever attended! The message throughout was clear; we all have leadership potential. All we have to do is understand it and tap into it!

During the group sit-down at the retreat in a gazebo amidst the greenery, the president of the program, Isaac Maina shared what I thought was brilliant, “When I sit across from my mentor, I see what I want to be at his age. At 35, I want to have gained his level of success, if not more”. He may have realized this or not but from where he sat, he had portrayed foresight, humility and most important of all the spirit of mentorship.

I have many mentors in my life. I also mentor many. This is because I choose to see my friends, younger and older, that way. Do the same, won’t you?

Have a blessed Sunday. 🙂

Blended Thoughts

Thinking Like A Visionary With A Strategy

‘In what past situations have you shown most

evidence of visionary/strategic thinking?’

Vision is foresight. It’s looking at the horizon as opposed to the bottom line. Strategy on the other hand is positioning for the good of your objectives; being proactive. These two words are so different yet so meshed, they are like ones parents! Mum and Dad; Vision and Strategy!

When I first heard this question, I laughed! I tend to do that whenever I come across mind boggling statements. My first thought of an answer came inform of a song ; Morgan Heritage’s Nothing To Smile About! The dramatic route is always attractive to the mind! Anyway, I was puzzled. I asked one of my friends and they humorously said that the only time they thought they had shown visionary thinking was when they woke up at 4am to cram their notes before an exam! Their vision is that they didn’t want to fail!

As job hunters and/or young entrepreneurs, putting our spectacular thoughts into words can be a challenge at times. Here are a few suggestions that I think could help as possible forms of responses (in no particular order):

  • Your decision to do that particular course. By choosing to pursue Business, Engineering, Architecture e.t.c., you had a reason/plan. If you don’t already have one, research and write them up. Be sure to include words like, Vision and Strategy! 🙂
  • Taking up that leadership role in your community. Surely you had a plan for that move, right?
  • Social Media Initiatives. Those charitable events or a causes you have helped hype through Facebook or Twitter.
  • Mentorship. If you never thought of that friendship you have as mentorship, start doing so! If your friend is older, you are the mentee. If you are the older one, you are the mentor. It may not be as decorated as the mainstream mentorship but that advice you give or receive should never be in vain.

I’m sure there are more! Do share them with me here.

What’s awaiting us out in the world are situations that will test us and more often than not, what determines whether we emerge victorious is our power of being accurate discerners of our own capabilities. That’s our reality.