Recently, we discussed the imperative of thought leadership for Africa’s development; the need for a drastic change in mindsets; and the assumption of virtue at the individual, domestic and continental levels. A powerful African adage comes to mind in relation to this subject: “the fish gets rotten from the head.” Truth be told, if Liberia were a fish, the decay would have reached the tail by now – what with nearly two centuries of deceit, corruption and division. But, by the grace of God, we are still here – a salvageable mess. The question now is “what must be done?” After all, thought is meaningless if not followed up with action. The answer: we as individuals and as a people, must follow Hamlet’s advice to his mother; “Assume a virtue, if you have not one.” That’s right. We must fake it ‘til we make it. “‘We’” you ask? “The problem is the Government, not the people! ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God!’” For those subscribing to that notion, we refer you to the Books of Samuel, which recount the Israelites’ rejection of theocracy in favor of a monarchy. They wanted to be like other nations, serving a king instead of the God who had set them free. God did not approve of the people’s will, but he granted it; and they lived to regret it. Deeply.The story sounds familiar. We no longer wanted a ‘Congor’ leader, so we shouted “Country woman born soldier!” and ushered in Samuel K. Doe as president. When we were fed up with his tyranny, we told Charles Taylor he could “kill our ma and kill our pa”, but we would vote for him. In both cases, we got exactly what we asked for, and lived to regret it. Deeply.Yes, “We the People” are just as rotten as our leaders. Not only are we unable to spot a good leader if one were staring right at us, but we have serious vices of our own. We use sex, flattery, bribery, manipulation and blackmail to gain favors; we relish marital infidelity; we refuse to work, but depend heavily on our employed connections to support us; when employed, we consider ourselves to be on a perpetual paid vacation…on an on. We are, as a people, indisposed to personal responsibility and unaware that leadership belongs to us all. Not just Ma Ellen or Pa Joe. When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them ‘dominion’. That’s an inescapable leadership mandate resting equally on both their shoulders. But, in Liberia, we shy away from leadership, and instead make excuses: lack of funding, poor capacity, the rain, and (our favorite) “no money wa in my foon.”We also live in fear of retribution. How many public and private sector employers make excuses for poor institutional performance, just to avoid getting ‘big foot’? How many are afraid to legally and reasonably fire staff because of political backlash? How many feel sorry for underachievers and keep them on board, not wanting to “take food from someone’s mouth”?We Liberians (we Africans) are hell bent on national, institutional and personal sabotage, because we refuse to be held accountable, and are afraid to hold others to account. The tales are endless that depict this vicious cycle. Wherever those scenarios exist, no one has the right to complain about challenges, because we create and sustain them. After all, even the most competent and hardworking team cannot function optimally under the leadership of a coward who does not set standards, follow and enforce them. Managers cannot lead well if their superiors undermine reform efforts just to avoid political risks. Breaking the cycle starts with courage. Is your superior, subordinate or peer underperforming or playing foul? Peacefully confront them today and offer to support them in correcting the issue. If they don’t, report it or begin the severance process (if authorized). Then run to your religious leader for prayer. Breaking the cycle of poor leadership also starts with pretense – assuming a virtue. If your fingers are itching to steal, pretend for a day to be honest, and act it out. Pretend you have a spotless character and act it out. Your new found integrity will serve as grounds to hold someone else accountable – with humility and courage – knowing that you are changing the world. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
In a series of five articles, we share stories from Gift of the Givers volunteers in their own words as the organisation marks its 25th year of serving humanity. We find out more from beekeeper, Owen Williams.Being involved with Gift of the Givers gives Owen Williams a sense of purpose. (Image: Owen Williams)Sulaiman PhilipSouth African humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers, the largest African organisation of its kind, has brought aid and comfort to people in need in 43 countries.It has ongoing feeding programmes in South Africa, humanitarian missions in war-torn Syria and has helped to free South African hostages in Yemen and Mali. The group, founded and led by Dr Imtiaaz Sooliman, has helped to deliver water to drought stricken areas of South Africa and fed refugees in Somalia.William’s met Dr Sooliman while trying to rescue bee colonies that had survived the Knysna fires. (Image: Honeywood Farms)Owen Williams: BeekeeperI met Dr Sooliman for the first time on 15 June 2017 as Knysna was dealing with the fires that devastated the area. In hindsight it seemed that our paths were destined to cross.The day before, I got a phone call from Grant [Liversay, one of my partners in Honeychild Honey] asking how he coud help with protecting our hives. We had saved a few hives but the bees were starving; we needed to get sugar to make syrup to feed the surviving bees. We abhor artificial feeding, but it was either that or lose the colonies we had rescued.Despite his efforts – and Grant is not a man who understands the word no – we were only able to find a few broken bags of sugar from local supermarkets. Remember, the region had gone from extreme drought to a fire storm and back again. We were not the only beekeepers in dire straits.Grant had heard of this humanitarian organisation whose station was located in the mall. So he went up to them to ask if there was any chance they could spare a few bags of sugar. I can only imagine their thinking when faced with this manic, slightly built redhead asking for sugar. After explaining his need, Emily [Thomas], felt it was important enough to speak to Doc.I feel I should point out that Gift of the Givers was working around the clock but Doc wanted to know more about, as Grant said, “this bee story”. I don’t believe in co-incidence, but when the call came Meagan [Vermaas, William’s partner] was giving free therapeutic massages and I was delivering basic goods donated by the community.We met Doc, explained the need and how unique the Cape Honey bee was. Immediatley he wanted to know how Gift of the Givers could help, but he also wanted to see the bees. Back at Honeychild me, Meagan and Doc were all kitted out in beekeeping gear inspecting a colony I had rescued from the side of the N2.We pulled a frame from the hive, and right there in the middle of the comb was the queen. The sun was just beyond the apex and Doc’s face was lit up by the sun. I could see through the veil as he watched the queen and bees working. He looked so amazed and serene.Doc wanted to know how his organisation could help; he wanted to know our objectives. He suggested we set up an NPO – Hope for the Honeybee – and then Gift of the Givers donated R250,000. We ordered pollen substitute, bought sugar for syrup, collected data on losses, designed a strategy for feeding stations and contacted renowned bee scientists.From what I can tell, Hope for the Honeybee and the support from Gift of the Givers is a world first. In the middle of the kind of human suffering that we saw in Knysna, that they took the time to consider the plight of honey bees speaks to the aura of love and caring that surrounds them. I remember that look on Doc’s face when he was inspecting the hive, and my vision became clear. What we are doing is about the survival of the honeybee and benefits humankind as a whole. There are no personal agendas, just this aura that comes from giving.Through Hope for the Honeybee we are tools that spread the help that springs from Gift of the Givers. I read about the landslides in Freetown; hundreds have died. In the past I would have said a silent prayer. This time I found myself wondering if Gift of the Givers might be headed there and if there was a way I could go along.Williams joined the Gift of the Givers humanitarian mission in Knysna after meeting the team. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Read the next profile on Emily Thomas, who works in logitistics at Gift of the Givers.Our first profile was on medical co-ordinator, Dr YM Essack. Click here to read more.Ahmed Bham is the head of search and rescue. Read his story here.Orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Livan Meneses-Turino, shares his experience in Nepal, Haiti, and Palestine.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
I like to support local businesses. To that end, for the last 10 years I’ve used a local dry cleaner. They’re a very small shop, and they’re inexpensive. I used them because they’re local.A few months ago, this little local dry cleaner damaged a really nice shirt. The word “damage” doesn’t go far enough; it was ruined.They’re a small business, and accidents happen, so I didn’t say anything about the damaged shirt. But then they completely mangled two more shirts, both of which were kind of expensive. I didn’t want to hurt them because they’re a small business. So I didn’t ask them to replace the shirts. But I did decide to save the rest of my shirts and find another dry cleaner.I didn’t know another dry cleaner that picked up and delivered dry cleaning, so I went to a larger chain. This meant I had to drop off and pick up my own dry cleaning. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but when you’re busy it isn’t something that you want to do. (Okay, to me it’s own of the worst things in the world. I hate having to take it in and pick it up.)Timing Is Everything (Almost)A few weeks ago another local dry cleaner, left a card on my door comparing their pricing to the big chain I was now using, also pointing out that they pick up and deliver. To sign up, all I had to do was call the number, sign up for service, set up billing, and basically take 20 minutes to organize the relationship. So I never did it.Then a few weeks later this new local dry cleaner dropped off another card, but this time they included a very nice branded plastic bag in which I could drop my dry cleaning. All I needed to do was put my clothes in the bag, fill out the information tab on the bottom, and leave it on the front porch. They would take care of everything from there.Establishing a relationship with a dry cleaner isn’t really very complicated. But this new dry cleaner got my business because they made it easy for me to buy.It’s Not Always ComplexA lot of what we talk about here at The Sales Blog is about the complex sale. It’s about identifying dream clients, creating value, building consensus, and capturing some of the value that we create. But sometimes winning new business means being there at the right time (something you’ll never be if you don’t prospect and if you don’t persist) and being easy to do business with.Remove the obstacles to a “yes.” Make it easy to order. Make it easy to pay. Everything matters. Everything counts.QuestionsCan you remove the obstacles between your client and a “yes?”What do you do that makes it difficult to buy?What can you do to make it easier to buy?How can you remove the obstacles that prevent your client from saying yes to your offer? Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
Junior running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) carries the ball during OSU’s 38-10 win over Penn State on Oct. 17 at Ohio Stadium.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorAfter eight wins in as many tries to begin the 2015 college football season, Ohio State is the third-best team in the country.That at least comes in the mind of the College Football Playoff selection committee, which released its first rankings of the 2015 season on Tuesday night.The Buckeyes opened the season as the unanimous No. 1 team in the Associated Press poll and have held that spot throughout the season, though their number of votes has dwindled from the start.OSU is joined by four Big Ten counterparts in the top 25: No. 7 Michigan State, No. 9 Iowa, No. 17 Michigan and No. 21 Northwestern.Alongside the Scarlet and Gray, the other three teams rounding out the current four-team playoff are No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 LSU and No. 4 Alabama.Last season, OSU appeared at No. 16 in the first CFP Poll after a 6-1 start to the season, including a second-week loss at home against Virginia Tech.The Buckeyes ended up winning their next six games to earn the fourth seed and went on to win the national championship after playoff wins against Alabama and Oregon.The College Football Playoff selection committee is made up of 12 members and is currently in its second season. New rankings are released each Tuesday until the end of regular season, followed by the final rankings on Dec. 6, the day after the end of the conference championship games.The complete top 25 of the first iteration of the rankings can be found below:1. Clemson2. LSU3. Ohio State4. Alabama5. Notre Dame6. Baylor7. Michigan State8. TCU9. Iowa10. Florida11. Stanford12. Utah13. Memphis14. Oklahoma State15. Oklahoma16. Florida State17. Michigan18. Mississippi19. Texas A&M20. Mississippi State21. Northwestern22. Temple23. UCLA24. Toledo25. Houston
KUSI Newsroom SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A man convicted of sex crimes against children was released from custody and placed in an East County home.Despite public outcry, sexually violent predator Alan James will live in a house in Jacumba Hot Springs.A judge had ordered James be released from custody by April 25th.Alan Earl James, 56, was convicted in 1981 and 1986 of numerous sex-related felonies involving several minor victims — which included James’ younger relatives– and sentenced to 28 years in state prison.James, who is classified as a “sexually violent predator,” was committed to Coalinga State Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment “for an indeterminate term,” until he petitioned for a monitored conditional release last summer, prosecutors said.RELATED: Hearing held to determine placement of convicted sex offender Alan James Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, Posted: April 11, 2019 Alan James placed in Jucumba Hot Springs home April 11, 2019