Monday, September 24, 2012

Developing a Vision

the vision

Some few weeks ago, I called a friend of mine to congratulate him on a new role he has picked up in the church. At age 25, his passion for the Lord and love for the flocks our Lord God has left in our charge has seen his elevation to be part of the new elected Elders of the Church. As we kept on talking; he drew my attention on the possibility of me taking over as the leader of the youth ministry in church because he may have to resign that position to make time for a higher calling.
After the conversation, I kept on thinking of how I am going to lead the Lord’s people if the mantle is handed to me. “How do I develop, carry and spread this vision to the people I would be put in charge of? “, I kept asking myself. One of the major challenges in the world today is the challenge of leadership; as one great speaker puts it, if you think you are leading, look behind you, you may only just be taking a walk.
In this post, I intend sharing with you bits and pieces of how you can develop a vision for the future.
What every leader must do.
The one quality that every leader must have is to have a clear and exciting vision for the future. Excellent leaders take time to think through and come out with a clear picture of where the organization would be in one, two, three and five years to come. The leader does not have the challenge of only developing the vision, but is faced with the challenge of communicating the vision to the followers. Come to think of it, of what use is a vision if people cannot buy into it?
Motivating the people to buy into the vision
The vision of future possibilities, of what can be, arouses motivation for people to give of their best. People only buy into visions if they have a clear picture of that vision, get the people involved in creating the vision; if they can see themselves in the vision, they would own it and run with it even in your absence. To encourage others and instil confidence in them you need to lead by example. Become enthusiastic of where the company or institution is heading, talk about the vision everywhere you meet your colleagues and let them give input into the vision. It could simply be like this, “So what do you think of us acquiring that piece of property as a new office complex? You would have a better office area to work in ”  Once the person sees himself in the vision , the fire sparks within and in no time , the whole office has caught up with these new wave of change in attitude and belief.
What next?
Project forward 3-5 years and imagine your ideal future vision, what does it look like? What steps can you take immediately to begin turning your future vision into your current reality?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Benefits of Life Long Learning

In my previous post , I defined what lifelong learning is and even went further to explore Growth learning and maintenance lifelong learning, You  know, man  is a creature of growth and anyone who has stopped learning have  actually stopped growing. We  live in a knowledge economy where the more you know the better it gets, however, what is more beneficial is not the knowledge acquired as knowledge is only potential power, the utilization of the knowledge is what makes the world we live a better place. Today, I would like to share with you some benefits of lifelong learning, but before that let’s just take a look at another type of lifelong learning .If you are ready, here we go:
  • Shock learning

Brian Tracy defines this  type of learning as shock learning ,this is where something happens that contradicts or reverse a piece of knowledge or understanding that you already have, shock learning can be extremely valuable if you act upon it .Unfortunately, most people are creatures of habit. When something happens that is completely unexpected, they choose to ignore it in favour of the old information with which they are more comfortable.
Now a look at some of the benefits of lifelong learning:
  • Lifelong learning develops our natural abilities

We are all born with innate abilities; someone may be naturally good at singing, or running a 100 metre race and coming top every time. However, it takes conscious effort and time to develop these natural abilities. A self motivated conscious pursuit of knowledge would unlock certain potentials within us and sharpen the abilities we already have
  •  Lifelong learning helps us adapt to the changing society

Society is constantly changing, with the outburst of technology, what you knew some ten years ago would be obsolete. Some years gone past, the most common medium of communication across countries was through the snail mail. Fast forward into the 21st century, and man has been able to break the communication gap, sitting behind your laptop you are able to communicate with people of varying race. Lifelong learning enables you to adapt yourself to these changes brought by technology.
  •  Lifelong learning creates a curious, hungry mind.

There is a big world  out there- new inventions waiting to be discovered, countries yet to  be explored, and books yet to be written. Dedicating yourself to lifelong learning creates within an hungry mind, our drive and desire to learn fuels itself and we keep going, constantly looking for more to feed our hungry minds.
What Next?
Don’t let it stop here, challenge yourself to growth by feeding on new resources each passing day. Be eager for knowledge, and you would realise that; the more you know the better it gets

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why you must always learn

Henry Ford once said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” I’m sure I am part of the very few who believes that learning still continues when one is out of school. Today, it is uncommon to see people who are out of school reading any relevant material accept for some newspaper article a friend may have recommended or glancing through the pages of a popular magazine they might have picked out on their way from town. To prove my point, when was the last time you read a complete book? I’m not talking about a novel, or a fiction book but a good book that after going through the first few pages you learn something valuable that contributes to your personal and professional development.
In the 21st century, which is also termed the information or technological age; your success in life is dependent on your ability to expand your mind and strive for continuous education. That is why I recommend lifelong learning; lifelong learning helps you to leapfrog ahead of the competition making you a top notch in your field.
In this post, I intend sharing with you some benefits of lifelong learning; come to think of it how would you benefit from this post if you have no clue of what lifelong learning is?
Before I delve deep into the waters, let’s take few minutes to understand what lifelong learning is and even go further to investigate the different types of education you can have whether deliberately or in random haphazard fashion.
What is lifelong learning (LLL)?
Wikipedia defines lifelong learning as the lifelong, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. As such, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development but also competitiveness and employability.
From the above definition, I believe the starting point  for lifelong learning is the desire to learn and acquire knowledge from every angle, a person dedicated to lifelong learning  has the drive to not only go seek for knowledge but to do something with the knowledge acquired. Lifelong learning is not only confined to the classroom, but takes place throughout life and in a range of situations.
Having talked about lifelong learning taking place throughout all phases of life and in a range of situations; let’s take a brief look at some of the different types of lifelong learning.
  • Maintenance Learning

Maintenance learning can be likened to going to the gym and doing a light physical exercise to keep you at a particular level of fitness; it does not necessarily increase your fitness level or improve your condition in any way. Maintenance learning would therefore be defined as a way of keeping current with your field by reading an occasional book and subscribing to current magazines and newsletters in your field.
  • Growth Learning

You can also consider another type of learning that is geared towards adding knowledge and skills to your repertoire that you did not have before. For instance, if you decide to learn some basic computing skills to help expand your business relation with your prospective customers or decide to learn another language to help you communicate with foreign clients who do not speak English or any native language that form of learning is growth learning One good thing about growth learning is that it helps you expand your mind and you acquire information that you did not have before to enable you to do things that you could not do before. I have been a major beneficiary of growth learning; I always go the extra mile to empty my pocket just to fill my head with new knowledge geared towards my career enhancement

What Next?
Which of the learning processes do you involve yourself in? Please drop me your comment. In my next post we take a closer look at the benefits of Lifelong learning