Personal Finance

Do the unusual to hit potential

Individuals who understand that to fully appreciate and align themselves with any organisation’s goals, they must raise their self-awareness to establish own personal goals. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Only the individuals who are ready to embrace the ever-changing environment emerge as leaders. Individuals who understand that to fully appreciate and align themselves with any organisation’s goals, they must raise their self-awareness to establish own personal goals. Those who understand the importance of personal discipline in raising their calibre of contribution to personal, professional and social interactions.

These are people who master the power of habit for effective, consistent, relevant and timely execution of their aspirations. They take it upon themselves to raise the bar of organisational mindsets and overall culture by personifying the leadership traits that they would like to experience. We all know people like these.

We see them scale corporate ladders and increase their spheres of influence within and outside their organisations. They establish themselves as unrivalled “go-to” people in their industries. We admire them because they continually attract greater responsibilities, gain recognition and command higher remuneration with every move they make.

This is because they make the uncommon effort to develop, internalise and embody their distinct professional edge. These are not people who scour the classifieds looking for job adverts. No, these are the chosen few who have exciting careers seeking them out.

They develop new and additional income streams. Seemingly without effort, they bolster their reputation and spread their personal and professional brands into new untapped territories creating legacies that the rest only dream of.

Unfortunately most of us do not do this. We secretly entertain great big ideas that sound ridiculous even to ourselves. We dare not breathe a word of them to anyone lest we be written off as crazy. The more unfortunate situation is that we do not know what the steps are to bring our ideas to life. So we suffer in silence. Our careers stagnate. We struggle to manage ourselves on a day-to-day basis. The teams we manage become more and more of burdens.

We can hardly carry out projects without pulling our hair out. We grow older and more set in our ways. The companies we work for begin to feel less like the exciting opportunities we sought a while back and more like mazes of unending bureaucratic systems that serve more to handcuff our creativity than empower us to give our best output.


How stifling can life be! We slide into frustration. Lethargy sets in and before we know it, we are no longer the star performers we once were. We are no longer the energetic driven professionals that our employers signed the dotted line for.

Our employers are busy people with little or no time to babysit us especially because there is no shortage of younger, cheaper, eager and energetic entrants into the workplace to pick from.

Opportunities inevitably start to skip us more than we can bear. We dream of transitioning into new roles or take the plunge into entrepreneurship for years but do nothing. We convince ourselves that we are being realistic; we are tied up in loans, school fees and mortgages, you know.

So we stay put feeding our minds on the unfortunate notion that it is better to be safe than sorry. Most of those around us subscribe to the same school of thought. This is what life is, right?

All the while, the clock’s hands tick away diligently. Soon, retirement stares right at us in the face, the children grow up, leave home and we wonder what we are supposed to do with ourselves in our empty nests.

We finally realise that we have spent most of our lives digging a hard place and now find ourselves at the rock. We are literally and metaphorically stuck right between a rock and a hard place. We are brilliant people! how on earth did this happen? What about all the vibrant dreams we had? How could life have passed us by?

Here is how it happened; we stopped developing ourselves the minute we got jobs expecting life stooped for us as well. In a nutshell, we remained normal. We did the expected, the accepted and remained on the tried and tested paths.

That’s wonderful because it means that we sailed smoothly. We didn’t ruffle any feathers or rock any boats. Unfortunately that means we did nothing outstanding, however, high up the ladder we got.

The people who truly realise their performance and achievement potential are the few who choose to do the unusual, uncomfortable, unpopular and even abnormal things that the average ones are unwilling or unable to consider.

You know that you are tired of playing in the junior leagues at the back-end of things. The question is whether you are ready to muster the courage to move forward to centre-stage with all of it’s glaring spotlights.

Yes, you risk making some mistakes and suffering ridicule and embarrassment in the process but this is the only place from where opportunity will inevitably spot your talent. The question is whether you are ready to roll up your sleeves and do the heavy-lifting that will take you the full distance to the leadership line. You know; you are here to lead. Get on with it.

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