Notes To Women in Leadership by Dr. Karmetria Burton

In this month, we are deliberate about sisters lifting each other up. So, we asked women leaders to take an insightful Q and A, and pour out their heart to other women leaders about their Leadership journey. We took some profound notes from Dr. Karmetria Burton.

As a transformational leader, Dr. Karmetria Burton has worked in various strategic management level positions with national and international responsibility involving diversity and inclusion for such companies as Xerox, AT&T and IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group) where she served as manager of supplier diversity.

Dr. Burton’s business acumen and empowerment techniques have harvested respect amongst her peers as she is a noted contributor on Business, Corporate, Diversity, Faith, Self-Improvement, Leadership and Empowerment.  Additionally, Dr. Burton has worked in academia instructing students on business, diversity, marketing and leadership courses. She is also the founder of The Paint Your Lips Red Movement. An empowerment campaign for women.

Dr. Burton

Here Is What She Said:

It’s Not About You as The Leader but More About the Results

[Tweet “It’s Not About You as The Leader but More About the Results – @karmetriab”]

Praise and recognize your team. Understand your team’s strengths and know how to maximize and utilize them.

Never allow the position to become greater than the mission. As a leader it is important to always keep the goal in mind. Why are you there? It’s not about YOU as the leader, but more about the results.

Quit Taking It Personally

[Tweet “Quit Taking it Personally – @KarmetriaB”]

QTIP – Quit taking it personally! Sometimes as women, we can get emotional, and take things personally. Very often it is never about YOU. It’s important to have strong emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Stay Feminine but Also Keep Your Edge

[Tweet “[Tweet “Stay Feminine but Also Keep Your Edge – @KarmetriaB”]”]

As a woman leader we often can lose our femininity. Stay feminine but also keep your edge. When I have executive meetings I usually wear peals or a flower; which shows I’m a “feminine” leader in charge. Keep your edge by remaining vocal when necessary and provide a solution to the situation.

Associate with Men as Well

Be associated with MEN as well. Often as women leaders we gravitate to other women, because we are comfortable. In reality men are in key decision-making positions too. Don’t be afraid to have male mentors.

Always Do Business Ethically

Always do business ethically. Be a credible leader. Your brand is important.


The Importance of Structuring your Business – Tara Durotoye

Did you catch the passionate Instagram-live session with Tara Durotoye?

Tara Fela-Durotoye is the current CEO of House of Tara International. She is known for pioneering the bridal makeup profession in Nigeria. Tara launched the indigenous House of Tara product line, Orekelewa, and the country’s first makeup school in 2005 which has now graduated over 1,500 students to go on and start their own businesses. Through Tara’s remarkable efforts, House of Tara has become a national brand with 23 branches, over 10, 000 beauty representatives and over 100 employees in most major cities across Nigeria and distribution channels in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and a plan to expand to other cities in Africa, Europe and North America.

Just as you are excited about hearing from Tara, so was I. She recently started her online course, and took to Instagram to share a sneak-peek into this course. Well, this turned out to be not only a sneak-peak, but an educational conversation on structuring a business, This is a subject we all know the beautypreneur to be passionate about. Here is what she emphasized on:

LET THERE BE A CORPORATE CULTURE

Tara Durotoye sharing with some African entrepreneurs about building a culture of leadership using House of Tara as case-study

Tara Durotoye’s experience at Exonn Mobil has been a game changer for her in business development. Tara recalls picking up on the core value of ‘safety’ while visiting Exonn Mobil in USA.
“There was always something about safety on the toilet door, on the foot mat…when somebody puts on a screen, it was on the screen-saver. And so when I asked the people at Exonn Mobil about it, they said; this is their value as an organization, that they had a lot of talk to reiterate their values. So, I understood the importance of creating values that are tied to the business that you do. It didn’t matter if I was a makeup business or a service business”.

She shows us the ‘House of Tara’ Fun Book which documents the company’s organizational processes. “The House of Tara Fun book is a hundred-page document that says; how we attend to customers, our appropriate dressing…for us at House of Tara, with a smile on our face we say, ‘welcome to House of Tara’”.

Even though these were things they had practiced, she had to document it. “The only way you can scale is if you document processes. The more I started focusing on the steps we are putting in place, it made me less afraid for the future. Knowing that, even when I am not in Uyo, they will do what they are trained to do. Does your staff know the guidelines? If not, why are you expecting so much from them?”

She likens processes to how recipes are standard procedure, and said it leads to businesses outliving their founders.  And also, so many years later she now finds that, “I would have been less impatient with people, if I had processes.”

Another main thing, she says is treating a business as a separate entity. “Many companies don’t outlive founders because they don’t separate money that is for them and money that is for sustaining the business. I had to put myself on a salary, so it defines what I can afford. Many times, your company starts making millions and you think it is your own. It is important to separate the finance of your company from yours”.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF PEOPLE

Tara Durotoye checking up on her team at a movie set in Abuja

When Tara Durotoye was starting out in business, she found that she was going to need ‘a mindset shift’ and ‘change in language’. “It is not ‘my company’ but ‘our company’.” A sign that a strong people element was at the core of sustaining an organization. “You need to understand the role everyone played in the place. As entrepreneurs we may have an entitlement mindset; that the people who work for us are there to slave for us. Unfortunately, we are all colleagues collaborating… sharing one vision”.

She talks about businesses often downplaying on the impact of self-serving leadership, “I am looking forward to seeing more businesses that outlive their founders, because they are building businesses that give value to not just the founder but to the people.”

She says that dealing with people according to engagements and set down rules further defines a structure. “You can’t just sack people. That is why people don’t want to work for small businesses. You need to have graded penalties. What does someone do to deserve a certain punishment, as opposed to depending on the mood of the Founder or CEO.”

She notes that, the value that you get from the people who work with you appreciates only when you develop a relationship with them. “As Founder, people don’t care about what you care about until you show that you care about what they care about. When you want to have the heart of people, they have to know that you have them in your heart first.”

Apparently, developing a great people experience makes the work a breeze. “At the end of the day it’s about ‘the people’. We call our human resource; ‘the people experience team’. We say it’s a ‘human organization’ about the humans in our organization. Humans have a spirit, have a soul, and live in a body. You can’t be a manager and not care about your team member as a whole”.

Also knowing that people like to own a part of the vision, and not feel micro-managed, and that’s when they are most productive. “People want to feel like they are part of something. People want to have autonomy, and know that their voices are heard.”

Tara shows she believes, and invests in her team members, who may in turn become pillars of the organization. “My focus is not on Judas. It is about my eleven. That is how we have kept some of our makeup artists”.


My Leadership Journey – Ajoke Enebeli

In this month, we are deliberate about sisters lifting each other up. So, we asked women leaders to take an insightful Q and A, and pour out their heart to other women leaders about their Leadership journey. You will find some inspiration and takeaways from Ajoke Enebeli.

Ajoke Hepzibah Enebeli is an entrepreneur who’s founded a culinary business in Nigeria, and is currently expanding to America. She graduated from The Enterprise Development Center of the Pan Atlantic University, in addition to studying Strategic Management and Social Entrepreneurship. She has over 15 years leadership experience in public management. She also has spearheaded several development work initiatives for women. Mrs. Enebeli is currently the Coordinator of Rivers State Chapter of African Women in Leadership Organisation, and a member of Institute of Strategic Management Nigeria.

She prides in two habits that keep her grounded as a leader. ‘Perfection and performance’. “I have a natural flair for perfection and my friends from way back called me ‘miss perfect’. I was almost a critic but advancing in age and in life, I have understood the true meaning of tolerance; giving people the benefit of the doubt and giving room for errors in my walk with people”.

[Tweet “I worked with a seasoned administrator who believed in nothing short of excellence – Ajoke Enebeli”]

Enebeli’s work as the head of administration at the joint administration and matriculations Board JAMB is the one leadership experience that has shaped her. She says;

I worked with a dynamic, experienced, and seasoned administrator who taught me how to dot every ‘I’ and cross all ‘t’s. One who believed in excellence and nothing short of it.

Given my passion for growth and pursuit of knowledge, I was closest to her thereby imbibing and absorbing all she had within.

In her absence I stood in and ensured there was no vacuum, I represented her on official assignments too.

My Boss is now amazingly is one of my chapter members and supporters. A woman who now looks up to me her former subordinate, now AWLO Chapter Coordinator and leader. Here I must say is the case of praying that our children be greater than we are. She is a mentor, mother, and leader with results and evidence, – me!

She mentored me in Administration, unknown to her she was sending me forth to active leadership. She trusted me with almost everything even to the home-front. I became part of her family and friends. I speak of a grand-mother of about eight grand-children.

I could write memos and letters on her behalf, proof read and edited her papers for presentation and signed documents on her behalf as the then zonal Coordinator of JAMB River State Nigeria.

When she was on leave or official assignments, I was the next administrative head to handle the office, not just for fondness sake but because of competence and delivery. I would carry everyone along and give succor to fellow staff.

Suffice it to say that I am a born leader who needed the inspiration of a born leader to get me out to the world. Doing what I know to do best; to gather, lead, care, and mentor the less-privileged in our society.

If you would permit, I speak of no other Woman Of Worth but Mrs. Beatrice Etta -Inyiam, the South-South Coordinator of The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board ( JAMB).

[Tweet “As a leader, do not expect everyone to love, applaud and affirm you all the time – Ajoke Enebeli”]

Here are 3 lessons Ajoke leaves us with:

One lesson that women in leadership can learn from Ajoke Enebeli

Move on, don’t stop, keep moving and never let anything stop you from moving on

What type of association is crucial to a woman leader’s personal growth

A purposeful and goal-oriented association

One Mistake that every Leader must not make

As a leader, do not expect everyone to love, applaud and affirm you all the time.


LEARN ABOUT AWLO: AWLO Chapters are Women Leaders creating solutions for their Community through Teamwork

African Women in Leadership Organisation’s vision is founded on leadership development for women of African descent. We are preparing women leaders for leadership through an experiential Leadership development in AWLO Chapters. We believe that women are capable of initiating action, and mobilizing resources and people to create change for their community.

[Tweet “Being a woman is not an alibi.”]

To us, being a woman is not an alibi. Not that the sincere out-cry of those abused and disadvantaged should be overlooked or that discrimination against women should be ignored, but we are deliberately creating a new crop of women leaders who take responsibility for the change they want to see.

 

AWLO Rivers State Chapter in Nigeria created opportunities for young women to learn professional catering

How is AWLO doing it?

Through Building Relationships for Productivity

[Tweet “We are for women taking initiative and forming teams to proffer solutions”]

We are for women taking initiative and forming teams to proffer solutions. The essence is to provide access to relevant networks, and form a competitive work-force.

A chapter of AWLO is like an ecosystem; a work-force for impact. Through chapters we are creating development initiatives. This is a platform for finding coherence and shared goals, to deliver value.

A Chapter is led by a coordinator, who collaborates with her team to strategize on possible actions in alignment with the organisational theme.

Leadership Experience

[Tweet “An AWLO chapter is a leadership-tailored program for women”]

A chapter is a leadership-tailored program. For women to experience and gain transferable leadership skills. Skills such as taking initiative, team work, structuring, how to convene meetings, project management, and others. We are deliberately creating avenues for more functional leaders to emerge through a chapter structure, and changing the narrative of women not being great team mates.

Personal Development

[Tweet “It is self-leadership first; a leader who goes the way, shows the way.”]

This is all  we are gunning for. To help women leaders become better people. For us it is self-leadership first, because a leader who goes the way, shows the way. This experience helps women to improve their network, learn transferable skills to scale in their various works of life, and attain their full potential.


Squad Goals redefined for African Women Leaders by Afua Osei & Yasmin Belo-Osagie

What comes to mind when the names Afua Osei or Yasmin Belo-Osagie comes to mind? For me it is squad goals. We tend to miss out on the fact that two women being co-founders is the hottest squad goals ever. And the fact that they are delivering on a mission that is centered around ‘squad goals’ too is even hotter.

Let me put it this way. If you have a challenge, or a question, that is not about the next clearance sales, or asoebi (not to say you shouldn’t wear asoebi), or that celebrity you are stalking on Instagram, but about real life-changing decisions like job opportunities, career and business decisions. The duo has created a life hack for a ‘smart bestie’. A needed voice if you ever find yourself looking for answers from a dependable friend. This life-line is called sheleadsafrica.

At a time in Africa, many women were not very ambitious. What I mean is they did want great things, but not great enough. For instance, in sub-Saharan Africa, many women would only take-on micro-businesses. Who else can relate to that side-hustle mummy has just to get by? Totally not a bad idea, only that women can, and should want more.

[Tweet “Why can’t the next Facebook come from a young woman in Africa – Yasmin Belo-Osagie”]

Afua Osei and Yasmin Belo-Osagie came to turn things around. “Why can’t the next Facebook come from a young woman in Africa. I think that we don’t have anything against micro-finance businesses, but there isn’t just one African experience…” Yasmin told BBC.

This Duo has inspired young African women to dream big, by creating a hub. A hub, that’s what this is about.

[Tweet “We are helping young women build a network of other young women – Yasmin Belo Osagie”]

Teaching women what real squad goals should be about

According to Miss Belo-Osagie, they help young women build a network of other young women. “We sort of found that when young women were coming together, it was around entertainment and fashion, and not around many opportunities to really talk about ambition, and not be ashamed about saying I wanna build a million-dollar company, and have people that are around in line with that and also want to support what you are doing”.

Help African Women access the right Mentors and Connects for Business and Professional Growth

These two women attest to working hard to reach the right mentors that will benefit young African Women. “It is very difficult. For every big name that you see, we have 3 others that rejected us!” they told the Guardian. But surely it has been a success as they have continued to identify experts from different fields for young women. It is true that Aliko Dangote has earmarked $1m in low-cost loans for start-ups under the SLA umbrella. Through their accelerators, and shehive boot camps, young women gain first hand access to investors, partners, and experts to foster business relationships.

Ignite a new Trend

Young people like to flock around trends, and these have done great at igniting one. They know that young people like to be part of a squad, who have their own code. ‘Motherland Moguls’ as they refer to young women, are a tribe of cool, smart and ambitious young women created by Afua Osei and Yasmin Belo-Osagie.

Would you like us to feature any woman of African Descent on our blog? Please let us know via the comments section below.

 


“Women Who Are Introverts Are Great Leaders” – Eno Attai

Many times, I am fascinated by the demeanor of AWLO Member; Mrs. Eno Attai. Cool, calm, collected, and hits you with the right words when she speaks. In this month for ‘sisterly love’, as we aim to bring out the best in one other, she shares on the strengths of introvert women.

She is a Toastmaster and admits that this has been a booster to opening up and sharing more. Mrs. Attai studied  Business Administration at the republic of Benin; where she learnt to speak French in addition to 3 Nigerian languages. She is a creative with a flourishing bead-work and women read-to-wear (made by her) business.

Her day-to-day work engages her creatively. It demands a lot of focus, attention to detail and discerning approach. Mrs. Eno Attai says women can leverage on such strengths to be spectacular leaders.

There has been a Misconception

Leadership has been a thing for the bold and extroverted. You hear people proclaim themselves as ‘born leaders’ most times because of their bold nature. Sometimes, the ‘slow and steady’ really does win the race.

5 Traits That Make Introvert Women Better Leaders By

Toastmaster Eno Attai

They Listen

Listening is a sign of good communication and leadership. Being able to listen without interruption assures people that you are following. Introvert women are good listeners, and they can bring this on-board leadership.

They Embrace Solitude

[Tweet “Introverts are boosted by spending time with themselves – Eno Attai”]

Introverts are boosted by spending time with themselves. As a leader, this will give them the opportunity for self-reflection, reasoning and research. Then, interruption is less and focus and imagination is accelerated. Leader, Bill Gates has been known for always disappearing as a child, and retorting back “Don’t you think?” when his mother would find him.

They Are Prepared

[Tweet “Thoughtfulness, consideration and thorough preparation are principles every leader should deploy – Eno Attai”]

Thoughtfulness, consideration and thorough preparation are principles every leader should deploy.  Introverts have an edge here because they may overthink their tasks, since people tend to underestimate their abilities. Well, that is why they knock people off their feet.

They Think Before they Talk Or Act

Since introverts spend more time in their head, the result is usually thoughtful words and action. They think before they speak or act. During communication with team members or presentation, they are aware of the impact of their words. So, they mean what they say, say what they mean, and their words and actions are in sync. This inspires integrity and trust.

They maintain A Calm Disposition

[Tweet “Being cool, calm, and collected and not exhibiting despair as a leader, inspires confidence – Eno Attai”]

Being cool, calm, and collected and not exhibiting despair as a leader, inspires confidence. It is a sign of being organized. Nigerians can relate to Former President Obasanjo whom, when he had the opportunity to address the nation in a face of national crises his address would be interjected with lines such as ‘I dey Kampe’; an assuring Nigerian pidgin phrase meaning ‘I am fine. Nothing can go wrong’.

If you are a woman in leadership, or AWLO Member, other women can leverage on your leadership experience. You can share useful tips on networking, building great relationships, and teamwork for women leaders in this month of February. Shoot us an mail via contributor@awlo.org


These 10 things can help you save time and achieve more in 2018 if you do them

If we said “He wasted my LIFE” instead of “He wasted my TIME” perhaps we will understand the value of TIME.
– Yours truly

In the spirit of the title, I am not going to waste your time. Instead, I’ll help you save time and get more done this year. This will only take 6 minutes.

Do you feel like twenty-four(24) hours is not enough to achieve all you plan and set out to do in a day? Or do you feel like some tasks are unncessary and simply a waste of your time? Do you wish you could do less, yet get more accomplished? If you feel any of these ways sometimes or every time, then this article is for you and you should read on. If you don’t, you probably should stop reading right now, because this will be another waste of your precious time(and I won’t like to have that on my conscience).

[Tweet “In the spirit of the title, I am not going to waste your time. Instead, I’ll help you save time and get more done this year. This will only take 6 minutes.”]

Let’s cut to the chase! Here are ten(10) things that can save you time and get more done:

Touch Type or Swipe to type

Touch typing (also called touch type or touch keyboarding) is typing without using the sense of sight to find the keys. Specifically, a touch typist will know their location on the keyboard through muscle memory.

I touch type as I write this article. You can imagine that I don’t have to look at the keyboard while I type (my speed is increased, and I only look at my screen and concentrate on getting the idea out of my mind). Sometimes I shut my eyes and think deeply while I type what comes to my mind. Another finger is reaching for the next key, even before I press the first one.
You may be thinking: ‘But I don’t know how to Touch Type, and it might take too long to learn'(talk about the days of learning typewriting in school). I have good news for you: “You can learn it, and in a month or less too!”. Dedicate just an hour a day to it and you’ll be great in no time. All you need are software like Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing for PC users and Klavaro for Mac and Linux users.

[Tweet “I have good news for you: “You can learn it, and in a month or less too!”.”]

What about your mobile phone? Yes you can swipe from one key to another on the keypad instead of tapping each time. There are many keyboards to choose from: Swype, Swift Key, Gboard, TouchPal, etc.

swifitkey-stats

I personally use Swift Key Keyboard and I’m 26% more efficient. You can see from my records here that I’ve saved a whooping 34,886 taps this month alone.
We spend most of our time sending emails, replying to chats, SMS and other written form of communication, and it happens on our mobile phones, laptops and desktops computers. It is wise to save time.

Reduce or Avoid Digital Distractions

I am looking for an article about Bees. I open my browser and search. The first search result returned “Quest for a Super Bee”; an article by Nat Geo wild on Facebook. I open it and read. Next thing, I notice I have new friend requests, I am checking it out. Next I am checking my wall for those 30 seconds, funny and interesting videos. Then I click a link to some site and see something else that’s interesting. 20 minutes is gone. I have not completed my Bee Research.

Next day, I am serious. No distractions! I am looking for an article on Company Valuations. I get redirected to Forbes website. I don’t have time to look into it at the moment and I tell myself that I’ll come back for it. I forget.

Most of us can relate to these experiences. You can reduce the Digital Distractions or avoid it altogether and save pretty much anything you see online in a little app called Pocket. Pocket allows you save anything; pictures, articles, videos, tweets, Facebook posts, for later reading. It’s like a small pocket where you put things you want to see later. The best part? You don’t need Wi-Fi to access anything you saved, making it the ultimate hack for a long flight!

Save time by reducing the amount of time Impromptu Meetings take

“Hey Sophia! Do you have a minute? There’s this idea I have been thinking about…” How many of us have had those kind of seemingly harmless chit-chats develop into long talks and taking up to an hour? I see many hands  😁.

Here’s what you can do:

As soon as someone starts talking to you and you didn’t plan for it, look at your wristwatch or your phone clock before you look the person in the eye and reply. It makes the person a little uncomfortable taking your time and want to finish up talking quickly. And it makes you conscious of your time. If the person talks for more than a minute, you can politely interrupt with a “This conversation looks like it’s gonna take more than a minute. Would you like to schedule a meeting?” or “This is coming at me all at once. I don’t want to miss out any detail. Why not put it in an email and let me give it the proper attention it deserves?”

Do some little tasks as they come and don’t postpone it.

By dealing with some nagging issues as they arrive, you get to prevent them from growing into something bigger. But be careful! If you try to clear all your tasks as soon as they come, you are not being efficient. Try to cut, and if you can’t, then delegate.

[Tweet “By dealing with some nagging issues as they arrive, you get to prevent them from growing into something bigger.”]

Avoid meetings whenever possible

Let’s be honest. Meetings take more time than we expect and most of them are unnecessary. Use e-mail instead of face-to-face meetings to solve problems.

If meetings are unavoidable, keep the following in mind:

  • Go in with a clear set of objectives.
  • Set a countdown timer on your phone at the beginning of a meeting that you convened. When the time is up and you hear the beep, you’ll be compelled to roundoff or bring the meeeting to a close.
  • If you’re not the convener, try to beg to leave early and request for the minutes.

Reduce the drudgery of writing

Do you do lots of writing? Use the Hemmingway app instead and save yourself some time. That’s what I’m using to string this article together as we speak(write). It is a great little tool that checks your grammar and highlights potential sentence danger zones as you write. Give it a type here!

Be realistic about Time Management

Time management is not really about time management as it is about energy management. Structure your day into time blocks, taking into consideration when you have the most energy. Give yourself plenty of time to get things done (and include breaks).

Automate!

Remember the saying?

The shortest pen is better than the longest memory.

It still holds true. You’d expect me to say “write it down in a book”. Nope! “Type it in your phone’s Google Calendar”. You’ll get the following benefits:

  • It can be found on your PC or laptop at work or home(Google Synchronizes it. You don’t have to do a thing!)
  • You can add an alert to it; like ask it to trigger your phone alarm when it is time or send you an email to remind you.
  • You can choose if you want your reminder to be time-based or location-based. i.e. Do you want the alarm to ring when it is 4pm or when you are at the office or market?
  • You may not carry your note with you, but you certainly carry your cellphone wherever you go.

Streamline the way you consume content

We all love to read good content from news to interesting articles like this one. But it can easily take away hours of time that we’re supposed to dedicate to more important tasks. Feedly is a tool that will enable you to collect content from all your favourite websites in one place to read at a later time(it’s sorta like making all your websites visit you instead of visiting them).

You can subscribe to as many RSS Feeds as you like, organise content into relevant categories and even take actions on the articles you read, like share them to a friend and family.

Keep up with our website for more productive articles like this one

This is the easiest to do. And the more you do it, the more time you’ll save.

[Tweet “This is the easiest to do. And the more you do it, the more time you’ll save.”]

You can reach me in my e-mail if you have any questions or need help to set up any of the above on your phones or PCs. You can reach me at benson.st@awlo.org.


How did Taraji Henson Get to Where She is Today?

This month we have been talking about visionary leaders who broke the rules, and consequently broke the record. Martin Luther King Jr, Tyra Banks, and here is Taraji P. Henson. Whoopi Goldberg says, “Now, everybody knows (Taraji Henson’s) name.”

Taraji Henson could have dropped out of college when she had a son. She was also at crossroads in her life, when she wanted to reach for her dreams in California. Meaning she’d have to move across cities with just a passion, 700 dollars, and her son.

Flash back to 21 years later and Taraji P Henson says “I am 46, and I am only just scratching the surface” How did she get here?

Taraji Put dreams to Action

[Tweet “My father said you are going to be a great actress – @therealTaraji”]

“I remember the first time I was in kindergarten and I was in front of an audience

And I remember going to the mic and doing something really corky, and the audience laughing, and I was like ‘I like this’… ‘I like this attention’.

And my father saw this at a very young age. He recognized it at a very young age and he said ‘you are going to be a great actress, that’s what you are going to do…’”. – Taraji Henson

Fast forward to 2018, like Whoopi Goldberg said, everybody now knows Taraji Henson. She is the cookie on our TV screens, and has bagged award after award.

Many years ago, Taraji took a dream ride from DC to LA after college. To have a professional acting career she had to be at the hub of acting, LA, so she moved across cities. This was taking actions to necessitate her dreams.

Coach Chantelle Anderson notes that, “when we are specific about how we want our dreams to come true, then we start a journey to creating them in reality.”

“It starts with two simple words: goal clarity. Entrepreneur, Jeff Shore explains. “See it clearly, believe it passionately, and pursue it aggressively”.

The courage to Pursue Dreams

[Tweet “If you lack the courage to chase your dreams, they might as well be dreams.”]

“…My dad was like ‘how do you expect to catch fish on dry land’, and I was like ‘what?’ And he said how are you going to get acting jobs when there are not here. You need to go to LA; that’s where the acting jobs are. So, my family threw a party, we were broke, they raised 700 dollars and I moved to LA. I had a passion, I had a dream, and I dived in. I went for my dream and here I am.” – Taraji Henson

If you lack the courage to chase your dreams, they might as well be dreams.

Author; Lewis Hose on ‘The Importance of Having Courage’, says “You’ve got to be willing to risk the chance of looking like a failure. The world needs you to share your gifts and go for your dreams. There aren’t enough people who have the courage to go for it.”

Dump Comfort Zones

[Tweet “”Living too comfortably can cause you to settle for a life that’s less than what you’re capable of”]

“I graduated from college, and I had this degree… and my dad saw me coming and going to work every day, and he said ‘what are you doing?’ and I said, making a living… I was in a transitional phase. I had this degree and ‘I was just living’…” -Taraji P. Henson

It is true, and I tend to agree with Inc. columnist Sonia Thompson, “Living too comfortably can cause you to settle for a life that’s less than what you’re capable of”. It’s like waking up every day, yet the things you seem to make happen are only the things that life make happen to you.

Mel Robbins popular inventor of the 5 second rule says, “if you’re sitting around waiting for motivation… it’s not coming. If you don’t start doing the things you don’t feel like doing, you will wake up one year from today and be in exactly the same place.

According to Whoopi Goldberg a lot of people may not know what Taraji Henson did to get to where she is today. she said “YOU TOOK A BIG RISK first of all by moving to LA, and making a decision and saying ‘I am going for it’”. This is dumping the comfort zone.

 


‘Good Governance’ is what Jewel Taylor is showing in how she marks her Birthday

Africa is yet to recover from the win of Liberia’s first female Vice President-elect; Jewel Taylor. Here is a perfect scenario of beside every successful man is a woman, some people are even calling her the jewel on Weah’s crown.

In this season, It looks like Jewel Taylor has a lot going great for her. Asides from counting down to taking the oath of office on 22nd January, she turned 55 on 17th January.

What we are proud of most, was how she chose to spend this perfect day with those who really matter; the people of her community.

This should be a sign that good governance is about to sweep us off our feet in this regime. Skip back to the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit 2016 in Africa, when Barrack Obama was making a case for good governance in Africa. “Good Governance means that everybody has a Voice”, he emphasized.

Governance is truly about leaders making themselves accessible to the people, to resonate with them. This will be crucial in making decisions that add value.

Senator Taylor was also in the company of the President-elect, George Weah. Amidst spending quality time, the duo served good food to the people. We could recall that Weah spoke of identifying with the needs of the poor during campaigns when he said “Like many of you, I have been a victim of poverty”.

 

Senator Jewel Taylor truly means well for the Citizens of Liberia. And her partnership with Weah should see to the fruition of her good intentions. “Giving to the less fortunate People” she says was the goal of her birthday.

The words “We rise by lifting others up” by Robert Ingersoll have never had truer meaning than now. Here is to congratulating our Board Member; Senator Jewel Taylor on her new age and blazing a trail as the first female Vice President of Liberia.


Turn your ‘Nos’ into a Visionary’s Journey Like Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks could have been devastated the day her modelling agency broke the news that she couldn’t be hired anymore. No, she was actually devastated, but she made a game changing decision that turned the odds in her favor.

Tyra Banks is a Business Mogul cum Super Model cum Body Activist cum Media Personality, but most importantly a Leader.

Her Journey To Being A Self-starter

Tyra Banks and her T-Zone kids back in the day

Tyra Banks went through an odd phase she terms ‘the ugly duckling phase’, where she was bullied and teased in high school for her looks. Even though this is now a thing of the past, it has shaped her in the way she has risen above body-shaming and now revamped the modelling industry standards.

She coined the term flawsome; meaning ‘having flaws, but staying awesome despite it’. She refers to her prominent ‘forehead’ feature as a ‘five head’. “I don’t have a four head, I have a Five head…more like six. Whatever number you wanna count to I totally accept that.”

“When I think about models, I think about features that are corky and interesting to them. I break down a feature like; look at those chick bones or she has a million freckles and they are amazing.” Tyra told Pretty Unfiltered.

[Tweet “@tyrabanks was initially considered unfit for modelling because she no more had a certain look”]

Tyra recalls being told that she wasn’t fit for the modelling industry because she no more had a certain look. “I started crying, I said Momma I don’t know what to do, what should I do? Should I exercise every day? Should I diet? And she said let’s figure out how to work with what you have to get what you want”

Truly Leading

[Tweet ““I like to do things differently” -@tyrabanks”]

“I like to do things first, think out of the box, and do things differently” she told essence that the one word that would describe her “that would be ‘Visionary’”.

Since breaking out of the mold Tyra has raised the bar. She was a break out model in her time and has gracefully bowed out to build multiple empires.

Her courageous attempt to lead the bandwagon has led to the creation of brands such as The Tyra Banks Show, America’s Next Top Model, T Zone, Flawless Ball, Type-F.com, Tyra Beauty, The Fablife.

Filling a Gap

Tyra Banks hosting her Top Model TV Show

In many ways she seeks to make people discover their beauty. Her personal mantra is “Seeing a Model in everyone.” Tyra knows better than to try to put everyone in a mold, she is the queen of “everyone standing out”

Through her works, she has discovered exceptional talents such as Winnie Harlow – a model with a prominent skin condition called vitiligo. She has given thousands of women a voice, thought them to embrace their beauty and rise above limitations.

Tyra Banks was termed unfit for modelling because she wasn’t the stereotype model, but she took this supposed flaw and turned it into a niche for herself, and paved a way for more generations coming after her.


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