One such is with One of the Ladies whose impact in Technology shines around the technology Ecosystem in Africa. Aside from her work in technology her love for social impact has also seen her as a fellow of the Prestigious Obama foundation a global leading movement for global Leaders. Nkem also sits on the board of Stanbic IBTC. Her thoughts on Technology and the use of technology in Africa is a must watch for unlearning and learning how the system works
I remember once feeling good about buying cooking gas for a particular price down the street. Now the customer service from the business owner was 10/10 until one of my sisters asked how long my gas lasted and recommended I changed to a gas filling station or another vendor.
I almost swore she was wrong. As it turned out latter she was not wrong. Cooking Gas lasted double the number of days I was used to. My ignorance was staring at me. However, that is not the issue. How do you feel when you find out your ignorance played on you? Do you confront, ignore, accommodate, or reason with the people involved?
You see this question right here, almost explains your behavior to everything around you. The older version of me would confront you and call your bluff just to let you know I am aware of what you did. The more mature version of me would ignore it, especially if the person involved does not mean so much. So let me explain. If there was no emotional involvement in the business deal because of good after-sale service, I would simply pat myself on the back and say to myself, one of us got smarter but that would be the last time we should do that again. There is the last part that would happen if the person involved is an inner circle, I would do two things, wait for you to observe what you did and when we have the conversation listen to you and tell you my mind.
All these were good until I was called out by an older friend and asked the hard question, what are you scared of? That if you call me out I would think of you less or think of you highly? That you would lose out of favor from me. Be specific tell me?
After much thought, I looked at him like a kid whose cherry was been snatched from his parents “because I don’t want to offend you”
I would forgive your foolishness today Charles but there would never be the next time if you try this with me you are either calling my bluff by helping me be in check or you take your leave from my life and pretend we never met. In addition, I mean every word I just said.
Something in me died, that thing is called “foolishness”
It’s been long I had met people like him who helped me embrace the real version of me that was subdued every day until I stopped knowing if I was lukewarm or looking for the right time to express myself.
You see the real me demands the ones I roll with to be upfront with me. I get there is emotional intelligence involved in these things like when I send out a newsletter and I get a response from Mr. Charles O’tudor, Mr. Douglas, Mr. West or a new editor reach out to tell me with responses like “kid rewrite that mail ..were you sleeping when you sent it? Honestly, they remind me at least I cannot dance naked outside one day and claim it is the new dance step because I would be called out by my inner circle who are the ones more ashamed of my nakedness.
I remember a friend of mine once demanding I helped her get some document she would love her mentee to work on for a project, intentionally I sent 5 assumed descriptions of what she meant to pick from and surprisingly she sent me a reply like this “Charles 5 of them were not what I meant. I cracked up after listening and sent her what I knew she wanted when she saw it she knew it spotted it immediately and I was more impressed she voiced out her mind compared to not trying to offend me by keeping mute. So I understood well what my older friend meant either by you call my bluff respectfully or you walk out of my life.
For the record, I’m older than she is but she was not scared of wanting to offend me by accepting the first five documents was it.
I swore to an oath long ago to be a work in progress and would always roll with anyone who gives me the opportunity to be this version cos it increases my chances. I am aware of who I am deep inside and know my journey.
I have heard and had that argument of men being egocentric and not wanting to have their ego bruised. I understand it. However, there comes a time on your journey you must look people in the face and see beyond your insecurities and give them an opportunity to know you would trust them to fight for you and with you. There is also the sandwich approach of appreciation before the main deal is served. You should try it too. Intentionally I took you on my journey to drive home the obvious “don’t be scared to give your powers away to your circle to call you out of your BS. ( my French was intentional) There is a reason why we respect great feedback. It has more to do with how thoughtful they were when we were wrong and how valid their praise must be appreciated when they are given.
In the end, we must understand ourselves, surround ourselves with people who even if they do not see the world as we see at least would refuse we play down the fire we carry inside.
Sometimes on our journey, we are in a process. Even if we might appear not ready and prepared, it is our job to consistently show up with zeal, vigor and give your best shot cos that is what matters every day.
Wishing you Godspeed on your journey.
Do you want me to walk with your team or organization this season improving their soft skill sets in the workplace especially Generation Z and Millennials? Then let’s do this, do me a mail, and would be my pleasure sharing knowledge with your team members anywhere in the world. One of our modules is “present Like a pro” available on our website for only $26 video and $14 audio click on this link http://Check the link http://breakingthecoconut.com/present-like-a-pro/
The best lesson we pick from watching athletes is that they practice all their lives as long as they remain competitive.
To them, the practice might mean going to the gym every day Keeping to a diet. Walking with a routine.
Most times the goal isn’t for the moment. It’s a lifestyle that reflects over time. It’s what they signed up for.
They aren’t celebrating your holidays and indulge in the excesses of everyone else because they aren’t everyone else.
They are aware of the prize they must pay for what they signed up for.
It’s easy to admire them, but we must borrow their attitude to their own work and career path and implement on ours if we must ace it or at least leave our mark.
How often do we go to our Gym? Constantly push ourselves towards everything we want.
Your Gym must help your Craft.
How much rehearsal of our craft does our career know about our practice? There is a reason an artist paints in a canvas. It’s there for you to see while it’s also there for him to criticize his growth.
The more hungry we get and the energy level we push out to our craft the more likely to get better at it. The more the world takes us seriously.
The more we treat it as just another role the more it mirrors to everyone.
Enthusiasm can’t be taught. It builds every day with zest, effort, and commitment.
Remember the goal is to be consistently hungry, to show up, to add value, and accept the value.
You must run with those who would constantly beat you at your game to make you step up or constantly challenge you to be better. To be passive is a choice to drop the ball..you must not. #charlesumeh 🏌️♂️7h
With mid-year, there is always the fear of performance and drawing up scorecards however, everyone should engage in it for the purpose of reflection and observation.
With the pattern of the year very clear, it is obvious we can convincingly predict patterns things might take shape coming out from the first half of the year and the pandemic it is obvious we would still be more digitally connected and live more on streets of the internet hence these insights might be helpful in our new normal.
Keep Showing up more &Practice Pictorial Journaling.
It is almost easier to forget how we all look these days if the only communication we have with people were the last times we saw them physically our images would almost be fading away. I recommend Pictorial Journaling
Showing up on various streets of the internet with a pictorial journaling of our work and tool keeps you top of mind on your prospects and clients list most times people might have almost forgotten how you look keeping us informed with your journaling when your name pops up we already have a picture of you clearly in action.
Once ran into a contact I had made on LinkedIn in a food shop and we got talking about several topics i had shared on the platform. Interestingly I could not connect his face but when he called LinkedIn, I got it.With pictorial journaling, we see you on our streets and connect you to our needs. Actors seem to get it well by using Tik Tok App as their audition.
Focus on making Your Paying Client and Tribe super special The year 2020 is not completely about numbers but impact. An extract from Daniel Priestley’s masterpiece “Oversubscribed” sheds more light on how to treat your new tribe and how focusing on your subscribers and those who value your brand of magic have Paid for your products is super important hence you should serve them more and treat them like the real MVPs that they are. –
“Your value is much higher than you think to a small number of people. You don’t need everyone on the planet to see you as in demand. You only need enough people who can drive your price up. Separating from the economy and from your industry requires that you turn your attention to those people who find you highly valuable and then serve them better than anyone else can” Daniel Priestley Oversubscribed.
It’s mid-year and time to give more to everyone who took out time to buy our product, share feedback on how we could get better and see value in the light bulb we lit. You are the real MVP’s. Thank you.
As we start the new season, I thought i should share some materials you should look up.
All around the world in countries where the school system works, this is graduation season
Interesting as this sounds, I currently live in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, and like most cities in Africa, we would only read of graduation online – thanks to LinkedIn and her influencers all around the world.
I’m in between having a conversation of reminding you how the world has changed but I know we are aware of it.
Remembering it would be unfair to the class of 2020 in most third-world countries whose graduation would possibly be 2021, the clarity of having systems gets clearer as the task for all of us (you in particular who are the youngest solution provider).
I have been talking to friends schooling in the United States and Canada, and most schools did not pause this season; class automatically moved online.
On graduation talks for this season, “Zoom” is the new graduation hall.
The clarity of what systems mean has dawned on all of us and being at par with the global economy first has hit us where it hurts.
For this conversation, your biggest competition is not your classmates, but the global trends that would decide everything on your checklist you planned to do after you graduate college.
So to third-world countries like my native country Nigeria, that would possibly have graduation later on this year or in 2021, let’s do this.
Your biggest asset in all this is your VALUE outside the classroom.
Imagine what it feels like not showing up to graduation because of a global pandemic and no one gets to feel your UNIQUENESS.
So let’s step back, imagine everyone who you would never meet again, and figure out your way to keep being memorable in everyone’s space.
How do you show the world how great you are?
How do you not remind us of all those solutions you and all your classmates are aware of?
Let me help you.
…Your boss is not giving you free money, your resume was a barter for the amount you are paid.
This could be the best time to join online communities and groups that give you opportunities to sparkle.
From WhatsApp, to Telegram, to Zoom, all these tools are not just for fun so do not miss it.
Schools are forming new tribes and some don’t know how to key into it.
Be super intentional when you do join any and never be passive with them.
Be intentionally memorable.
Be the one who is taking the initiative. The next generation might depend on how well you step up and push more narratives about all you stand for.
The older generation might be clueless on how to handle current change but let’s be clear, you are the next big thing. Act like one…everyone is searching for the next kid on the block.
Be the next kid and be MORE.
These tools were made more popular in your era ; Zoom, LinkedIn, WhatsApp groups, Instagram, Telegram, Microsoft teams, and google tools. Take note of them. Your next best strategist and digital influencer must understand them. Show how you used it for your team and how you can do it for the new era.
The word “communities” took a new meaning too and TikTok is not just a social media tool. It is an audition for everyone. Look closely at the actors on it. They are showing versatility and auditioning their craft. Don’t get carried away with the fun, look beyond it.
If you have your way around these, make them your go-to tools because, in this new future, they would determine how the next generation would communicate.
It is easy to know, and I would help you a bit.
Ten years ago, there was Facebook and Twitter and most of us were still playing around these tools but you see the ones who made so much noise about it and who were consistently around, they became the new rockstars.
Their skill shot up when the noise settled.
The shift was fast. With time they taught us how to use the same tools and were paid more because they were great at it.
Their visibility was second to none and the biggest observation was that they are self-taught.
They kept learning and putting themselves out there, and we developed the conviction they are the ones to walk with.
The same would happen in your era.
Zoom or Room is synonymous with your era. Learn and teach this to your peers who feel it doesn’t matter.
Be goofy, it’s allowed, but be super memorable and choose your digital footprints, and where they appear.
The COVID-19 era gives the world an opportunity to seek new solution providers. Every time you step out to search for jobs, offer yourself as the solution of the era.
Let me explain what your first job is like and if you are lucky enough to get this right, most times, you’re in for a ride.
While at your first job, your CV is exchanged for an agreed sum of money each month, you call it your salary.
Your boss is not giving you free money, your resume was a barter for the amount you are paid.
Make sure at the end of six months you have a new resume which would include your new deliverables at work…(NOT YOUR RESUME).
It is the knowledge era, you are as great as your last deliverable.
Be fine being uncomfortable. It comes with seasons, so learn to accept to be restless and seeking for more because it keeps you on your toes. However, seek for a career coach or mentor to help always clarify your fears.
The best athletes work with a COACH, not a Mentor. They are two different things. Most times, the coach points you to the mentor but the coach keeps you disciplined.
You have heard several times that the game of life is a marathon right? Yes, it is, but if you have no one around to push you towards a goal, you might run in circles or the wrong direction outrightly.
In all, be aware the world is looking up to you because it is assumed you are the best thing out there. Yes, you are. Be kind, be humane, be great at your work, and be reminded that to be the savior of the world at a time like this means you are super valuable and your skills are essential to lives and businesses. Embrace it.
On my journey teaching and leading the next era leaders, I have worked on some digital products. This one would be your headstart in the workplace. The insights in it would help you immensely to get ahead and lead the pack.
Sign up to my newsletter so we share and learn more.
We all are watching.
Happy Graduation…and even if you would graduate in 2021, Happy graduation!
What enables people to reach and sustain peak performance? Training and coaching are key development tools but they are not enough.
You cannot realize your full potential alone. The best leaders know this. Throughout history, great leaders have surrounded themselves with intellectual sparring partners, advisers, and confidants. Yet your inner circle should offer you more than expertise. It must also create trust and an external perspective, to help you see what others around you are missing. But there is one kind of trust that’s less well understood; Structural Trust.
I did not set out to become an adviser and thinking partner. A bit of exposure to some inner circle, and working with business leaders to develop outside insight on the challenges they face sharpened my perspective. I am the person leaders turn to after they have gotten second opinion advice from key people within the organization. I am the third opinion. The third opinion. The person they turn to with their most confidential questions, risk, and uncertainties. As a thinking partner, I provide an outside perspective, which helps test or tear ideas. This process allows for the leaders to vet tough calls while driving a leap in performance.
Outside thinking partners are too important to be left to chance. Seeking advice is as old as biblical times, from Pharaoh’s counselors to JF Kennedy’s, and the missile crisis history is full of wise ones whose primary role was to be a sounding board and intellectual foil for the one in charge. History is full of business littered with smart executive teams that didn’t see it coming. Leadership in this modern era demands external thinking partners in addition to a top-notch internal team. For the COVID and Post-COVID Era, my advisory job with boards, C-level organizations, and teams is my job description and most of my work most would be signed with non-disclosures where need be. We all need a third opinion and thinking partner in these trying times and I’m open more to this season.
One industry we all should learn from during this global crisis era is the sports industry and how they keep up with star players. Therefore, this is heads up for talent managers. Every athlete has a routine that keeps him or her fit every day even without showing up in his or her club training ground. So rather than letting your team stay back at home and count the days and you becoming transactional with your demands from them how about your relationship elevates to a transformational state. Every athlete has a keep fit ritual every day that is checked off by coaches assigned to them. What this schedule looks like is that it mainly focuses on the activities that keep their body I continuously in shape and movement. Some of their checklists include sharing video schedules of their workouts, where they fail it is the role of the teams’ personal trainers to spot it and find out how to help them be on track.
So you see the COVID 19 stay home period is lag time on the project delivery date of most of our work and the danger of lag time on the journey to success is detrimental to everyone on the team hence even in isolation someone has a job to make sure everyone is in high spirit and is still in sync and aligned hence one weak link makes a fool of our collective efforts
I kind of had a full DEJAVU of what this means recently when I choose to embark on my body fit exercise ritual after a long break and noticed my body was getting heavy and the pains hit me badly. The reality of what a simple break had done to me thanks to my lag time was not good news. Lag time is always normal until your trainer gives you a new prescription to punish your body and let you play catch up. You must make use of your lag time smartly the mind also works that way it needs an intellectual workout.
In an era of information overload, your job as a talent manager to millennials and Generation Z is a full hand from giving them routines of books and podcasts to listen to specific skills and checking on the general and attentive to the unspoken word. Keep the mind continuously stretched which always births growth in individuals and organizations.
Since the internet is a leveler its best to give mind-stretching tasks that help the team stretch and encourage opportunities to share new learning. Therefore, some global authors have decided to embark on a virtual book club and answering questions from their readers globally this season and it has been a completely new learning catch up with them. I’ve seen Simon Sinek masterpiece start With Y book club global and Susan Cain of QUIET you can try letting teams during your virtual meeting each read a chapter and share insights which are one way of bonding, connecting and keeping the mind safe and sane. The mind once continuously stretched and engaged never returns to its same spot but the moment you let the mind relapse into idleness, you create a weak link for a toxic team. Most millennials and Genz’s have been likened to energy-charged teenagers, which if strength is well-channeled births different versions of magic.
Post COVID 19
You would definitely find out some football league would birth surprising results in the new season because the break sure fires you up to be an unforeseen underdog or a champion worth the race and that’s what you should make happen for your teams in the workplace. Let this be your finest moment.
If you have team members slow on learning digital tools follow them up and offer help where need be the best perks in this era which has always been a driving force for this era could be “Internet data” and anything that helps raise the team’s spirit is a plus.
Have you ever wondered why a bottle of coke to the American soldiers during world WarII was a big motivation and nostalgic for the soldiers to the extent it improved camaraderie? It reminded them of who got their back
You see, at war times when we watch each other’s back we send a signal to the team we all are in this together and a loss and win for all affects all. It’s Easter time you could also put smiles on their faces by finding how you meet their needs half way even in the midst of the crisis you must lead by example and be the beacon of hope because like we are aware its WWIII since we are in a new era, the spirit must be high so we come out blazing for the rest of the year
One of the beauties of being a talent manager in the workplace is your ability to understand everyone’s strength on the team and how they function I am of the opinion that the modern-day talent manager in the workplace must have multi-facet skills with the various generations in the workplace you must understand how each works and make their work tied around their skills set.
The modern world is like a football team where you have a starting 11.
Where you also have a strong bench who possibly must have strongly contributed to the team on the field.
A client recently showed me his team squad list and job description. He operates a 24hrs team here in Nigeria With clients around the globe so while we were closed for the day the night shift was logged on and closing deals at night because of the different time zone.
It was another clear example of what the future of work really is. So do you know Kemi on your team does much better if you explain a brief to her using the audio version of your mail than sending her a written email of the brief? You can simply convert written mails to audio for her with tools. Have you asked your team how best they worked and listened to them? you can pair them in symbiotic groups and use the feedback to improve on further understanding of your team’s dynamics?
Was Listening To the host of the Daily Show Trevor Noah Behind the scenes episodes during Covi19 and he shared a story that got me thinking
fufi & pamper were his childhood dog fufi was deaf but no one in the family ever knew he was deaf until an accident when he goes to the veterinary Doctor and Doctor asks how he had been coping with a deaf dog all these while.
In the words of Trevor, fufi was fierce and likely very aggressive but even at that he was “tagged dumb”
You must take out time to understand your team more this period and find out how many Dumb fufi’s you still have and complement their strengths else you find out you had diamonds in the rocks teammates you simply ignored all these while.
While learning one of the reasons we were told not to cram words to pass was simply because we might pass but never get to experience the things we spoke so fluently about.
In the new era and the future of work, the biggest challenge isn’t AI (Artificial intelligence) which has come to stay but us the people. So the smartest kids of this era would be the ones who practice the Japanese model of Kizien (continuous learning) and become masters of their workplace and space because the answers they seek would be found in the evolving textbooks that haven been written yet.
The bigger challenge for us is trying hard to convince the next ones coming behind us to throw away what they crammed to pass grade exams if they still use it courtesy all the textbooks they must read to pass and embrace the tools of technology staring at them because if we use the tools of the era and are aware of it, we all would-be drivers of A.I because then we would be aware of what’s new and what’s coming.
The newest teachers of the new workplace are no longer demigods they are people whose thirst for knowledge, the internet and mentors gave a platform to be.
The drivers of the new decade would possibly be fulltime students of time who immerse themselves in culture and trends and most especially are experiential with their insights.
The current workplace has 5 generations below are insights into 4 of them for anyone who would drive impact and change this little awareness would make your life super easier. we have always had disparities in the duration these eras are but the insights on the humans in it and how to connect with them remain priceless.
There is no end to change but the student of the evolving era must be aware of the continuous change around them so as to be valuable and have a voice on the table.
You can’t afford to be on the table in this era and be silent it’s a waste of space. You either be memorable or forgotten by giving up your space for someone who has a Voice.
Charles Umeh is a TED Speaker an International published Author Millennial Influencer and Coach. Born in Lagos, Nigeria. He also serves as a management Consultant and hosts the B.T.C (Breaking The Coconut) TV Show which gives us insights into the litany of lessons entrepreneurs and change-makers in Africa face. His first book BREAKING THE COCONUT, tells the stories of African Millennial Change Agents and their capacity to beat life’s odds. His book is available in over 38,000 online stores globally and on Amazon.com. His TV show is watched all over Nigeria and Africa.
He works to create a workplace where people and organizations are at par
with global best practices with the evolving future of work through the
“coconut work- lab” a workshop held quarterly which he hosts helps
intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs learn and unlearn most new insights in the
workplace benchmarking global best practices. He leads the team at Breaking the Coconut