The Silence of the Eleven |The voice of the One

Who do People say I am? Is a famous Question asked by one of the world’s greatest leader – JC. However, before we go to the answer from Peter to this question I would like us to take note that what is incredible is not the answer that Peter gives, It is not the statement of the One that amazes me rather the Silence Of the Eleven. – Read Story here.

From this text we can learn three Key Lessons on Leadership:

As a Leader be comfortable with Controversy.

Often when you are in Leadership, you probably leading people who do not know who you are. The Position of a Leader is a position of controversy, but that is alright. Controversy builds your Character as a leader.

John Quicy Adams says “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Thus as a leader ensure you are committed to the vision and Purpose. Your actions thus must always further the vision upon which you are committed.

Commitment has to be accompanied by Character. Remember Hitler was committed, but his Character was rotten thus commitment without Character is Dangerous. When you have great Character then controversy will not distract you from your goal. As a leader, remember your team is always watching you. How we treat people we perceive that we do not need is a great indication of people’s Character.

Take Time to Choose and Know your Team

It is about the 12. Picking your Team is one of the most Critical tasks a Leader has to get right. In your team there are different groups or categories. Let us look at these:

Confidants – Looking at the Text above Peter was indeed a confidant. He knew Exactly who JC was. The confidant’s commitment is to YOU not the mission. Trust them. A Leader must have someone he or she can talk to. The confidants feeds off their relationship with you.

Recently I had a conversation with my long time friend and Confidant Lenin Oyuga. He gave me a concept that I have since found to be very important. He called it “The Last six ” . Your casket when you die can be carried by six people, take time to think about who these people will be. These are people who are with You till the end no matter what.

Constituents – These are people who are with the mission. They are with the course, the mission is what attracts them. They are with you as long as you facilitate their mission, they will resign immediately someone approaches them with a mission that furthers their objective, It is never about you. The difference between them and Confidants is they do the same thing but with different Motives, One will be with you even when the mission is compromised the other will leave you in a heart beat with your heart beating. You have to be able to work with people who come and Go, some of your employees came to leave don’t get bitter. A great example in my view for this in the text is Judas. When he saw that money could further his course off he went.

Comrades – When you are in a fight and someone joins you in a fight, do not always think they are your friend. Comrades are not for what you as a leader are for they are against what you are against.

As a leader you ought to have all these. You MUST understand among your Team which one is which. For example as a leader you can never confide in your comrade, he or she will use it against you when the fight is over. You can never have a room full of confidants 🙂 .

You can only pass the mantle to someone who knows you

Identify Peter, the person who knows who you are. Then pass the mantle to him. Groom him/her for your position when you transition. He or she is the person who will speak up for you, he will defend you with a sword when that time comes. Peter got to preach the inaugural message because you cannot pass the mantle to people who do not know who you are as a leader.

In my first Leadership (Team Leadership) role at Dimension Data I have learned to always remember that as a great leader you cannot inspire people to follow your lack of commitment. You MUST be committed and have Character. As a leader you ought to hang tough – be comfortable with controversy. Great leaders Never commit to more than their competence. Like a Rubber band, it is designed to stretch not to pop. If you stretch it too much, it will Pop. Similarly as a leader, be willing to stretch but watch out not to Pop.Know your Limits.

No Matter What | keep Moving Forward

“No matter what, we don’t stop, we keep moving forward”

When I first took up my role as a Practice Lead , I went hiking with my immediate boss. On this particular day, it was quite chilly in Longonot and so it would be quite challenging. However, we were determined to climb. So my boss and I set out to hit the top, make one lap round then come down.

As we began, we had a series of conversations with him some of which revolved round the challenges I have faced thus far and those that I would be facing. In a way, I was taking up a path he had walked for long (Both literally and figuratively ). In the midst of our conversation, I was getting quite exhausted and so I believe he figured this, so I decided to ask ” NK, Could we slow down a bit?” he responded with “Sure (Pause), no matter what, we keep moving forward”. Three lessons I learned on Leadership:

Know your Team and their environment of engagement

As a leader, you ought to be fully aware of your team. This applies to individuals and not a generalization. Aspects like the team Morale as well as any challenges they are having delivering their core responsibilities. Creating and fostering relationships with each member of the team is critical for success. Like my boss, he was keen to understand from my request to take a break that I was losing morale, as such, he didn’t dismiss it but found a more effective way to address it. He says “Sure ” this is affirmation, he understood that being my first attempt at Climbing Longonot, I would have challenges, just like a first time manager, then he proceeds to say, “no matter what, we keep moving forward” -Encouragement, with a clear goal in mind – The Summit!

Inspire Through Clear Vision, Goal and Commitment

As a leader you must have a clear Vision and Commitment. Great Leaders are committed to their course and ensure that their team members understand and see that commitment from them. Through Commitment to the Vision and Goal – which for us was reaching the Top, as a leader I must find ways to inspire and motivate each member of my team. “No matter What, ” this statement shows his commitment to the vision. He was aware of the challenges, but with a strong will, he sought to assure me that we will “keep moving forward” that we never lose sight of the goal or mission because of challenges.

Be clear on what we won’t do

As much as a leader is clear on what we will do, a leader ought to be clear on what we as a team and hi or her as an individual won’t do. It is NOT success at whatever cost. As a leader, your character is always on the line and whatever you do, is under watch. This doesn’t mean you cannot make mistakes, however, mistakes must just be that – Mistakes. “No matter what, we don’t stop,” It was clear to me and to both of us, stopping was not an option. We would rather slow down but keep moving forward. However, we don’t stop. Dag Hammarskjold, once remarked ” Never “for the sake of peace and quiet” deny your own experience or convictions.” A leader must be a man of conviction.

In summary, as a leaders, we have the responsibility to inspire our team members to become more, learn and do more. We can only do this through conviction and commitment to the clear vision that we have defined. And no matter the challenges, we always keep moving forward.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Next: When You don’t Give Up | You Can NEVER Fail