Part 1 of PERCEPTION: The Bedrock of Leadership

A few days ago, I came across a very funny situation. As usual, I was coming down from the library, lost in thought. Until, I came to a street where some Kids were playing football (Americans call it soccer). Now, I think they were on a short recess and decided to entertain themselves with a little debate. They had drawn the Number 6 at the center of the road and had divided themselves into two teams, (at least from what I could tell).

The team at the left side of the street said the number was 6 while the team on the right said that the number was 9. The whole scene was so weird that I just had to ask as to what was going on.

Then, one of them filled me into the details and said, “What do you think uncle, isn’t that number a 9?” He looked at me with a puppy-eye look and I just melted saying, “Yeah, I think it is a 9.” To say that he was ecstatic at my response would be an understatement. He immediately pointed at his friends screaming at the top of voice, “I told you so, I told you so” and I just felt sorry for the other kids. At that point, the debate was over and the football game resumed as if nothing had happened.

Now, lost in deep thought again, an epiphany suddenly came to mind; We all want approval for our different perceptions and seek support from an authority to validate our selves. I mean think about it, why else do you need to go to college to get a degree in something you can easily look up on the internet?

Albert Einstein actually once said, “Don’t memorize anything that you can look up.” The simple answer to this mystery is this keyword: ‘Validation.’

Physicist and Nobel Prize Winner, Albert Einstein. Famous developing the Theory of Relativity

Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s nothing wrong with people officially proving that we are competent in a certain field. However, this line of thinking becomes tragic when it comes to leading people. It’s okay for a manager to stay in his lane but if you are going to succeed as a leader, breaking the Status Quo has to be second nature. Leaders don’t need much validation from others because often times they are the ones at the tail end of that equation.

So, what does perception have to do with anything?

Well, how you perceive the world really determines how you lead yourself and others. As the Bible proverb goes, “So a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

A leader’s perception of a situation is largely dependent on the vision that he has. Whereas others see despair and chaos, a leader sees opportunity. But how can this be?

Well, its because the only person that needs to validate a leader is himself. Since they don’t need much validation from others, their perception of who they are allows them to make such leaps.

Come to think of it, I could’ve sworn that the number that was drawn by those Kids really looked like a 6. Or maybe its just me trying to get validation from those sad kids because I felt bad… (no pun intended).

Anyway, the bottom line is that if you want to lead effectively, you must work on a self-validation basis. The perception of your circumstances on personal level, business level or even national level depends heavily on how you think. Having the right perception, you will ultimately become the leader that you are destined to be.

In my next blog, I will take a look at some of the Strategies that one can take to change his perception and release the trapped leader within. Please, make sure you wash your hands regularly. Wouldn’t want the Corona Virus to get to you before my next blog now, do we? So, stay safe and see you then Vigilante Scholars!!!

THE DOUBLE WIN BY DENIS WAITLEY Part 2: Lessons on leadership and Self-development

Thanos…the Bad Guy in the movie Avengers: Infinity War

The Marvel Villain, Thanos, in the movie Avengers: Infinity War, is an interesting personality. He seems to believe that life in the universe needs some form of correction. He was quoted saying, “The Universe is finite, its resources finite, if life is left unchecked, then it will cease to exist…”

So, what was his solution? Wipe out half of all life. He said, “When we faced extinction, I offered a solution…(genocide) random, dispassionate, fair between rich and poor alike and they called me a mad man. But what I predicted came to pass…”

Now, at this point, I bet you are probably thinking that I am a geek or something but I want you to capture the main point; Thanos was a strict adherent of what Denis Waitley calls the Win- Lose philosophy. He seems to believe that there is not much room in the Universe for all of us. That the resources out there are scarce and therefore, only a few gifted people deserve the prestige that life can afford. Pretty crazy right?

Surprisingly, that’s how most of us are raised. We are brutally made alive to the fact that in this world of ‘my way is the right way’, there are a few Jobs out there for the many of us. Hence, the misconception of competition, which I mentioned in my previous post, is triggered.

Viola!! Competitive Animal Kingdom

From a purely economic point of view, I think there’s some merit to the Win-Lose philosophy. After all, not all of us can afford some, if not all, of the luxuries of life.

But I beg to differ.

Human Beings, like no other creatures, are endowed with in-born abilities to lead. Yes, that does mean every one of us.

The difficulty lies in our inability to see the ‘Natural Resources’ that are in every person.

Denis Waitley put it like this, ‘Losers see a problem in every solution, Winners seek a solution in every problem, while Double Winners help others solve their problem.’

 Leaders are the only people on the planet that can see solutions in other people. They don’t have to necessarily bring out the solution but they act as catalysts in facilitating its existence in the real world.

There comes a time in every person’s life when they have to choose between their ego and solving a problem. Leaders always choose the latter over the former.  You would be surprised how rare that kind of decision-making is!

“I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors, and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.”

Abraham Lincoln- 16th President of The U.S.

Now, right there above, is a true leader talking.

Most of the time, especially in the political arena, self-proclaimed leaders would rather please their own egos at the expense of a solution. Even at National level, some politicians would rather see hundreds upon hundreds of people perish than use an opposition party’s solution to a problem. True leadership is intolerant to such ideals.

In my next blog, I will tackle my final analysis of the Double-win and hopefully will inspire a few readers to impact those closest to them. I believe that the principles depicted in this book are indispensable to self development. It’s only in the application of these virtues can one truly lead.

THE DOUBLE WIN BY DENIS WAITLeY Part 1: Lessons on leadership and Self-development

There are a few books in my personal library that I have toiled to read more than once and the Double Win by Denis Waitley is definitely one of them. I am not a fan of self-help books per se and I only read such books if their content serves my purpose. In fact, the author of the book was sure to mention that the Double Win is not one of the many self-help books out there. It is actually one of a kind and covers very philosophical questions that I think a good leader should answer.

Anyway, enough of my uncalled-for book advertising…

The book in general raises stop signs in the reader’s mind by asking: Is all this competition really necessary?

In the Business World and other fields, it’s almost impossible to succeed without trampling a few competitors. Or is it?

Does winning always correspond to someone losing? Or maybe it’s just a human paradigm that has been held for so long that it seems to be true?

Chapter 10 of the Double Win starts off by asking, “Can the Double Win work in the Workplace?”

In the subsequent text, the author said, “It’s a fair question that might be asked by a cynic or skeptic. The Double Win sounds like a nice idea for the ‘civilized’ settings where people can afford to say, ‘If I help you win, then I win too’. But can it really work in the corporate jungle, where the bloody law of tooth and claw reads: Our goal is maximum return for the Stockholders.”

It is important to know that competition in and of itself is not bad. However, it becomes tragic when men place value on their own personal ambition over other people.

The key word that was emphasized in the book was ‘synergy’. Meaning that, you don’t have to do everything by yourself; You have to look at your business, government, even your competitors as pieces of the puzzle working together.

In another words, you need to get the big picture…

One of the main reasons as to why so many people hated John D. Rockefeller Sr in the 20th century was that he made a monopoly. In the eyes of the public, he was seen as a greedy tapeworm claiming 1.5% of the economy each year, while they could hardly feed their children.

Picture by a cartoonist symbolizing John D. Rockefeller’s Company: Standard Oil

That is to say, he made a business empire free of competition but was stifled by lack of innovative progress. The people at that time understood unknowingly the principle of leadership I am trying to drive home: ‘Synergy’.

Leaders need not be the smartest, most handsome, charismatic or even the most gifted in oratory; all they need to do is coordinate and inspire their team to achieve its goals. This means inspiring the individual members to give in their very best and contribute whatever it is they have to offer. i.e. synergy.

WHAT WE LEARN ABOUT LEADERSHIP FROM THE 16TH PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.

Does Zambia need good  leadership?

The misconception that most people have is that leaders are a special elite group of people who were just born with the special ability to lead. But is that true?

It is good for us to notice that no other profession in the world has produced more Presidents as the Legal Profession. It then begs the question, what exactly about this profession attracts Political Leaders to it? Is it the prestige and power that comes with its overbearing requirements? Or maybe it’s just the oratory abilities of lawyers that does the job…

Abraham Lincoln:16th President of U.S.

Nonetheless, I think it is important that we take a case example to gauge the correctness of our assumptions. Take the case of Honest Abe (Abraham Lincoln), who is arguably the most consequential President that America had ever seen.

I am a self- proclaimed disciple of this man (Don’t worry, I know his dead) and as a youngster I was deeply motivated by his life story. After reading his biography titled Lincoln, The Unknown by Dale Carnegie, I found some striking similarities between 19th Century America and Zambia today.

In both scenarios, hardship and poverty was the talk of the day with a slight exception of an impending Civil War in the American case. With less than a year of formal education, Honest Abe self-studied his way into becoming a lawyer and ultimately became President.

Now, I think I have left out a few important details such as his struggle with depression and the like but I think the main point remains. So, one can argue that his leadership abilities were created by circumstances, to which I think is a valid argument. However, circumstances alone cannot create a good leader, if that were true, then it would be correct to assume that most poor people or people with hardships can lead better than their rich counterparts. Anyway, I digress.

To drive the point home, I think leadership is not something someone is born with per se; it is something that can be learned and then fused with a person’s natural abilities (depending on what type of leader is required).

I think it is a good thing that the legal profession, by its nature, gives people essential skills in leading others. For example: Good Communication Skills and a diverse knowledge base.

Of course not all lawyers will eventually become leaders but it is good to know that being a good lawyer could correspondingly mean to have good leadership skills.

COVID-19 in Zambia?

As the world enters into another era of unprecedented horror in the wake of the Corona Virus, one wonders how the Country is fairing. After issuing Statutory Instrument No.21 of 2020 which designated COVID-19 to be a notifiable disease and Statutory Instrument No. 22 of 2020, which provides additional regulations to facilitate management and control of COVID-19, the government of Zambia looks to be overstretched.

The Statutory Instruments were issued under Section 9 (2)(a) and 12 of the Public Health Act Cap. 295 of the Laws of Zambia. Section 9 provides as follows:

9(1)The provisions of this Act, unless otherwise expressed, shall, so far as they concern notifiable infectious diseases, apply to anthrax, blackwater fever, epidemic cerebro-spinal meningitis or cerebro-spinal fever, asiatic cholera, diphtheria or membranous croup, dysentery, enteric or typhoid fever (including para-typhoid fever), erysipelas, glanders, leprosy, plague, acute anterior poliomyelitis, puerperal fever (including septicaemia, pyaemia, septic pelvic cellulitis or other serious septic condition occurring during the puerperal state), rabies, relapsing fever, scarlatina or scarlet fever, sleeping sickness or human trypanosomiasis, smallpox or any disease resembling smallpox, typhus fever, all forms of tuberculosis which are clinically recognisable apart from reaction to the tuberculin test, undulant fever and yellow fever. Notifiable infectious diseases

Section 9 (1) of The Public Health Act

9(2) The Minister may, by statutory notice-

(a) declare that any infectious disease other than those specified in subsection (1) shall be notifiable diseases under this Act;

Section 9(2)(a) of the Public Health Act

While section 12 provides:

12. The Minister may, in respect of the notification of infectious disease, by statutory instrument, make regulations as to-
(a) the duties of owners or occupiers of land, the owners or managers of mines, employers of labour and all chiefs or headmen or others in regard to reporting the occurrence of any infectious disease;
(b) the duties of the person in charge of any school, orphanage or similar institution in regard to the reporting of such diseases or any other communicable disease specified in the regulations to the Local Authority;
(c) the circumstances in which notification of particular infectious diseases shall not be required;
(d) the duties of the Local Authority in respect of the keeping of registers and records of such notifications;
(e) the duties of Registrars of Deaths in respect of furnishing the Local Authority with notification of return of deaths notified with such Registrars;
(f) the forms to be used and the particulars to be furnished by medical practitioners when making such notifications to the Medical Officer of Health;
(g) the forms to be used and the particulars to be furnished by the Medical Officer of Health when transmitting returns and reports to the Director of Medical Services;
and generally for better carrying out the provisions and attaining the objects and purposes of this Part. Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any such regulation shall be guilty of an offence.

With the issuing of these statutory instruments, anything is eminently possible. It is my duty as a vigilante scholar to update you on any developments in our law concerning how one should act in these trying times. Until then, stay indoors; safe and sound.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Vigilante Scholar is not a body licensed with dispensing health advice in the capacity of a legally mandated entity. The views and opinions we share are subject to correction, verification and authentication by the reader with the legally mandated government authorities. As much as we feel obliged to discuss ideas freely, we are gravely aware that it is a criminal offense to spread false information with intent to alarm the public under section 67 (1) of the Penal Code Act, Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia. So please, do not circulate our information, this post is only for the purposes of sharing ideas. Thank You.

Genesis

Of all man’s troubles, I think finding that balance between greed and selflessness is the biggest. Of course, I am not playing holier-than-thou but rather I am just trying to point out an astute observation.

So what do you do when the inevitable happens? When the natural greed that all men are cursed with takes over? You speak!!! never letting your opinions to cloud your judgement.

With so much to say and so little time, I think the creator was right in giving me one mouth with two eyes and two ears. It therefore stands that I cannot speak apply enough on all the issues that affect this great country of ours but however, I will do my very level best to articulate what I know.

The purpose of this blog is simple: to educate the people of Zambia in all areas that pertain to our political and legal system.

To use the words of a great poet, ” I am not saying that I am going to rule or change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world”

It is so unfortunate that there’s so much poverty in a country as rich as this one. It is even worse that only a few of us have the power to speak out. But this doesn’t mean that our mouths are muzzled, we can change our current situation; all it takes is a little push of revolution.

As stipulated in our Republican Constitution in Article 20 (1), we have the power to communicate and exchange ideas freely. So without further ado, I would like to welcome you to my Blog!!!