Your Skills, Your Currency

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I met the old successful businessman from my hometown, in one of the events back at home. We had a brief discussion about my business developments. I shared my challenges in growing my business. He said the reason most of our businesses are not growing, is because money is the currency and most people do not have money. I asked what do you mean? The old men said I started my first business with the barter system. I trended my castles for the construction of my shop and vegetables to be sold in my shop. In our day, people have skills. I ask myself, why people are not trending their skills? Since that is the only thing they have.   

From what the old successful businessman said, I decided to look into this barter system idea.  In the olden days, the barter system was the way of doing business. People used to start and grow business, using a barter system preserves working capital to apply to your venture. This was kind trade, trade-outs, counter-trades or contra agreements, that was a process of funding day-to-day operational expenses without cash outlay. The 1st Source Bank article state that the definition of a barter system is the exchange of goods and services for other goods or services. They are research indicates that nearly one-third of U.S. small businesses use some type of bartering system (Barter News Weekly). Even so, some experts believe companies are not maximizing their barter possibilities.

Some expect believe that our skills are our currency. Some even go far as saying individuals are missing opportunities because they still believe in working capital to start and grow a business. The WITS digital campus says the word “currency” is associated with money or assets, something you can use to buy or barter with. Global business leaders find themselves in an interesting predicament – while they are geared to making more money and gaining more assets, they face a critical shortage of skilled employees to make it happen for them. These three global expert views confirm that skilled employees are worth their weight in gold. 

The Deloitte report indicated careers no longer progress in a neat line from learning to earning to retirement. Not only are people more likely to change jobs and even career tracks over the course of their lifetimes, but freelancers who contract out their skills rather than work for an employer have also become a significant portion of the labour market. The challenging aspect of this transformation is that many learning institutions and companies have still not adjusted to the reality that skills are the new currency. Acknowledging that requires offering working professional’s frequent opportunities to add skills on an ongoing basis throughout their careers. Effective training is key to helping people excel today.

After reading these articles, one question came to my mind. What is stopping us from starting and growing a business, if the barter system is available? In my hometown, we call this Stokvels but even at home we still using money as a currency. What fascinates me more in the Deloitte report is the technology impacts that change skills for currency. Technology is transforming the workplace and fundamentally changing the way companies around the world are hiring talent. Skills – technological and “human” skills – are quickly becoming the new professional currency, a benchmark by which managers and human resource leaders are evaluating candidates.

What is stopping us from using our skills as currency? Expect believes that we are fixated on the idea of money being a currency. Human nature forces us to embrace the status core and not challenging it. That may explain the reason, why we do not commit to a barter system for starting and growing a business. It also explains why many hometown stokvels still focusing on money as currency. If skills can be a currency, what is a skill or what is a currency? 


A skill is an ability to use one’s knowledge effectively, readily in execution and in a competent manner. Skills can be classified into three main types: Transferable/Functional, Personal Traits/Attitudes, and Knowledge-based


Currency is a medium of exchange for goods and services. In short, its money, in the form of paper or coins, usually issued by the government and generally accepted at its face value as a method of payment. Currency is the primary medium of exchange in the modern world, having long ago replaced bartering as a means of trading goods and services.

If the currency replaced the bartering system, this means the currency created uneven grounds for everyone. We live in a world where only individuals with capital can start or grow business. We sell our skills to these individuals every day and get paid in the currency of the day. 

Skills as a Currency

The idea of skills as currency moved, creates a world of opportunities. The idea of a software developer, engineer and marketing officer developing the engineering software by contributing their skills to make and sell the products. At the end of trading skills as currency, every individual shares the profits as per the contribution of the skills. I know this sim to far fetched but it an idea. If the freelancers who contract out their skills rather than work for an employer have become a significant portion of the labour market is possible. What is stopping us from trending skills as currency?  They say it’s only when you are pushed to a corner you start realising things can be done differently. I hope that day is coming soon as per the three articles mentioned above.

The PosetiveMind believes in Skills as a Currency and possibilities it possesses, that way we looked at both words in the positive lights illustrated by quotes. 

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S – Secure: The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain. Aristotle

K – Knowledge: Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile. Abu Bakr

I – Inspire: “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash

L – Leaders: A Leader is a dealer in hope, Napoleon Bonaparte

L – Leverage: When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results. Warren Buffett

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C – Courage: Courage is grace under pressure, Ernest Hemingway

U – Unlock: When you are grateful – when you can see what you have – you unlock blessings to flow in your life, Suze Orman

R – Rewards: The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more, Jonas Salk

R – Results: Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort, John Ruskin

E – Enjoy: Simply enjoy life and the great pleasures that come with it, Karolina Kurkova

N – Natural: Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries, Jimmy Carter

C – Currency: The true currency of life is time, not money, and we’ve all got a limited stock of that, Robert Harris

Y – YOLO: You only live once but if you do it right once is enough.

The Dying Tree – Roots

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It was summer, last session coming back from a construction site and full of emotions. I went to the park to clear my head before going home. At the park I met an old man, we gritted, and he started the conversation.  What is eating you, my son? I responded, the employees are not happy, and I cannot assist them this time. How big is the problem?  I’m not sure but the morale and results are gone. That bad, this means the tree is dying since roots are getting weak said the old man. I asked, what do you mean? The old man gave me a good one-hour lecture about the structure of the tree and the importance of the roots. 

Hours later, I was home and recalling what the old man was saying. I started looking at the tree with the old man eyes. I found out that the Tree of Life symbol represents our personal development, uniqueness and individual beauty. Just as the branches of a tree strengthen and grow upwards to the sky, we too grow stronger, striving for greater knowledge, wisdom and new experiences as we move through life. The Tree of Life symbol also represents the connection to one’s family and ancestors. The Tree of Life has an intricate network of branches that represents how a family grows and expands throughout many generations. It also symbolizes fertility as it always finds a way to keep growing, through seeds or new saplings, and is lush and green, which signifies its vitality. 

The roots play a very vital role in the structure of the tree. Roots are the underground branches of the tree. They reach down into the ground to get the minerals and water for the tree’s growth. The roots also anchor the tree in the ground. The more the branches grow and expand in the crown, the more they grow deep and wide under the ground. The roots of a tree are the parts that don’t bear any nodes, nor do they ever leaf. They are the base of the tree. Just like a house, the stronger the base, the stronger the structure will be. Everyone knows that tree roots are important to a tree. But do you know why they’re so important? Well, without the roots, the tree would not be able to survive; it’s as simple as that. Just like the organisation that does not value its employees.

The tree structure is well illustrated by Stephen Covey speed of trust 4 Cores of Credibility

Integrity: To use the metaphor of the tree, integrity is the root. Even though it’s underground and not even visible most of the time, it is vital to the nourishment, strength, stability, and growth of the entire tree. 

Intent: In the dictionary, the intent is defined as “plan” or “purpose.” No discussion of intent would be complete without talking about three things: motive, agenda, and behaviour.

Capabilities: Using the metaphor of a tree, capabilities are the branches that produce the fruits or the results. Capabilities are particularly essential in today’s changing economy, where technology and globalisation are outdating skill sets faster than ever before.

Results: Results matter! They matter to your credibility. In the words of Jack Welch, having results is like having “performance chits” on the table

What fascinated me is the positioning of the integrity and intent in the 4 cores of credibility in the tree structure. They have a character of the ROOTS, that create capabilities and results. I recalled that the old man said almost something. The ROOTS is the anchor for the tree, the tree will not survive without the roots. If the employees represent the roots and organisation represent the tree. The old man is correct to say the tree is dying. This tree will lose its uniqueness, strength, energy to strive for greatness and growth.

The character of the word ROOTS made me ask the positivemind question, what is in the word ROOTS illustrated by quotes.

Respect: “Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.” Bruce Lee

Offer: Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer. Rick Pitino

Operative: The employee is regarded by the employer merely in the light of his value as an operative. His productive capacity alone is taken into account. Leland Stanford

Thriving: My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. Maya Angelou

Success: A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. David Brinkley

Traditional Route or Your Passion

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I usually hear people saying, I took the traditional route instead of my passion. I once read a book by Jack Canfield called Success Principles,

in one of the chapters he describes the functioning of our brains. He said when we were kids, we were certainly sure of what we want and what we wanted to do in life. He further explains what change our minds to Traditional Route. He said the environment around us has a major role in transforming us from Passion to Traditional Route. 

I read the article online titled, following your passion is bad career advice but it concluded with “finding your passion is about what defines you, makes you who you are. It’s not what pays the bills”. They advise was don’t give up the day job while pursuing your passion. For me, this was the confirmation of Jack Canfield theory. After leaning this theory, I wanted to find out what is my Passion. I had to travel back memory lane, guess what? I found out that, I’m very good at art, drawing and building things. Now it explains why I end up doing Civil Engineering that needs drawing and building. Within the profession, you can get lost from your Passion. A few days later I read 2nd articles, the article was about following your passion and success will follow. The article concluded with “enjoying the work you do, in some ways, is more important than having a large bank account”.  

The biggest question remains if passion will make success follow us, why there is the biggest drive to change our mind to Traditional Route? Is it the change by defaults or intentional? That what made me want to know the secret behind the word: PASSION

Power: The capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events. Personal power is a source of influence, command, control, dominion, jurisdiction, and sway a person has over his or her others or the course of events. If we have power, why we are not taking control of our passion so that success will follow. Let try it we may enjoy the work we do for life.

Action: The action is something the subject of the sentence or clause is doing. This means if we use our source of influence and transform it into action, will be a few steps away from obtaining our passion.

Spirit: Spirit comes from the Latin word for “breath,” and like breath, the spirit is considered a fundamental part of being alive. If the spirit is behind the secret of passion, does it means if we are not following our passion we are not living? We are just visitors in this world. Let breath a little, we may end up enjoying the work we do and life in general.

Strive: To strive is make a great effort to achieve or obtain something. Madeleine Albright said, “I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success but because the act of striving is in itself the only way to keep faith with life.” If striving is the only way to keep faith with life, what are we going to lose if we strive of our passion?

Inspiration: Inspire means to excite, encourage, or breathe life into. Inspire comes from the Latin word that means to inflame or to blow in to. When you inspire something, it is as if you are blowing air over a low flame to make it grow. Let blow air over our passion of flames to make us grow. 

Over: The word over means something, or someone is completely finished, defeated, or dead. Let defeats all the narrative that says following your passion is bad career advice.

Negativity: Negativity is a tendency to be downbeat, disagreeable, and skeptical. It’s a pessimistic attitude that always expects the worst. Using our power, taking actions, breathe a little and blow air over our passion of flames we are going to defeats all the negativity that stopping us from doing our passion. Afterall following your passion is to keep faith with life for success to follow.

I still do not have answers to why the world is focusing on Traditional Route over Passion. If you have the answer, please share.

Time To Battlefields

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It was the 4th of December 2020 travelling to my friend wedding at Battlefields. Myself and my wife we agreed to travel at 13:00 to avoid driving at night. She asked to start at the saloon to look beautiful for the wedding. Knowing my wife, she needs her time at the saloon. I do not know what I expected when agreed for her to start at the saloon on the same day we travelling.

Time tells the story, create emotions and it heals. At 10:00 my wife called me and said the saloon is full but she still going to make it for 13:00. 5 hours late she was still at the saloon and she was not updating now, I think she understood that she has broken the agreement. I was so upset with her, but deep in my heart, I knew that she will not make it for 13:00 as agreed. I do not know why I was upset because I know my wife when it comes to beauty and fashion. She eventual she arrived at 17:00 and she apologies, but I couldn’t say angry at her she was so beautiful it was worth the wait. We eventual travelled and we had a great time to battlefields.

After dinner, we went back to the room to prepare for the wedding the following day. While my wife was working on her dress for the wedding the following day and I started doing my daily reflection before I go to bed. I started reflecting why I was so angry when I knew that she will be late and it hit me, the importance of time. Time means different things everyone, it is something we deal with every day and something that everyone thinks they understand. What fascinates me is the compact and robust definition of TIME has proved to be remarkably tricky and elusive. I wanted to understand what TIME means to me, that made me angry. I realized that TIME means:

Trust – Reliability and firm belief. I trusted my wife will be here at 13:00 as agreed. I had a firm belief that she will be on time, even if I knew she is always late I still believe that she will be there. 

Integrity – The state of being whole and undivided is imported. To me being whole means keeping your promises and agreements. Not keeping the promises met not being whole to me. 

Measured – carefully considered and restrained, assess the importance, effect or value of something. The measure was 13:00 and we both failed 

Engaged – Formally agreed to a commitment. We did not meet keep to our commitment.

Before I went to bed, I realized that the deeper meaning of time has a different impact on everyone. Form me it Trust, Integrity, Measured and Engaged, what is your deeper meaning of TIME?

Complaining at Spiritual Retreat – The Deeds

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After some months of hardship in our space, I decided to go for the Spiritual Retreat that my old sister had recommended. When she lost her job last year, she went through a lot of hardship and Spiritual Retreat was what helped her to be normal again. We both took a drive to the north coast of KwaZulu Natal, it was a 6-hour drive. The alone drive was therapeutic, having to catch up with my sister and discussing important family issues. 

6 hours late we arrived at the venue and the first Spiritual Retreat was scheduled for 8 am the next day. All the sections were great, I was learning something new and the growth in my spiritual connection. On the 3rd day during the section, the facilitator stopped and asked one of the attendees. Why you always complaining? From day one you were negative, I was hoping by day three you be better. For a moment, we were all quite and the was no response from the lady in question.

The facilitator illustrated the impact of complaining in life and for our health in general. That afternoon it took time to found out more about the impact of complaining in life and on our health in general. I came across the article on entrepreneur which suggested that while it’s not an exaggeration to say that complaining leads to brain damage, it doesn’t stop there. When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol shifts you into fight-or-flight mode, directing oxygen, blood and energy away from everything but the systems that are essential to immediate survival. One effect of cortisol, for example, is to raise your blood pressure and blood sugar so that you’ll be prepared to either escape or defend yourself.

All the extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. It even makes the brain more vulnerable to strokes

What I liked about this article it introduced the concept of Deeds based on the common law. The purpose of a deed is to transfer a title, a legal document proving ownership of a property or asset, to another person. This met to transfer the title of complaining to something with a positive purpose.


This concept says something truly worth complaining about — is to engage in solution-oriented complaining. Think of it as complaining about a purpose. Solution-oriented complaining should do the following:

  • Have a clear purpose. Before complaining, know what outcome you’re looking for. If you can’t identify a purpose, there’s a good chance you just want to complain about its own sake, and that’s the kind of complaining you should nip in the bud.
  • Start with something positive. It may seem counterintuitive to start a complaint with a compliment but starting with a positive help keep the other person from getting defensive. For example, before launching into a complaint about poor customer service, you could say something like, “I’ve been a customer for a very long time and have always been thrilled with your service…”
  • Be specific. When you’re complaining it’s not a good time to dredge up every minor annoyance from the past 20 years. Just address the current situation and be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, “Your employee was rude to me,” describe specifically what the employee did that seemed rude.
  • End on a positive. If you end your complaint with, “I’m never shopping here again,” the person who’s listening has no motivation to act on your complaint. In that case, you’re just venting, or complaining about no purpose other than to complain. Instead, restate your purpose, as well as your hope that the desired result can be achieved, for example, “I’d like to work this out so that we can keep our business relationship intact.”

The dangers of complaining are also illustrated in the Philippians 2:14-16 ESV / 1,741 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish amid a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.

The concept of Deeds led me to PositiveMind question of what is in the word DEEDS, illustrated in a quote.

DESIRE: The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way. Robert Kiyosaki

ENHANCE: I think that’s the great thing about acting you get to play different characters and enhance one part of yourself to really bring that out and create a new person. Danielle Campbell

EXCELLENT: Successful people will always tell you you can do something. It’s the people who have never accomplished anything who will always discourage you from trying to achieve excellent things. Lou Holtz

DESTINY: Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. William Jennings Bryan

SUCCESS: Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

Find My Phone – The Courage

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Most of us have changed our Sunday routes since we are not able to meet and worship with congregant due to lockdown regulations. I have also changed my Sunday routes. I start with my Anglican pray book section and read bible verses, guided by an Anglican prayer book. This is normally followed by watering my bonsai tree, drowning inspiration from Bonsai meaning. Bonsai symbolises harmony, peace, an order of thoughts, balance and all that is good in nature

On this special day, after finishing watering my bonsai tree I went outside to relax in front of my wife’s car. Few minutes late I was back inside the house, forgetting my phone on top of the bonnet. A moment later was off to visit her sister at Verulam north of Durban, she did not see my phone on top of the bonnet.

Later in the afternoon, I wanted to call my parent to check if they are fine. That when I realised my phone was missing. I started looking for it and the phone was not in the house. I called my phone, it was rigging with no response on the other side. At that moment I was panicking and not thinking straight. After taking a deep breath and recollected myself, I remembered that my phone has to Find My Phone functionality. I searched for the phone on the App, the App located 600m from my house. At this moment I know the location and believed that my phone is at the address the App indicated.

Knowing the location of my phone, created the COURAGE to go out there and FIND MY PHONE. The courage to go to someone’s house and ask if they FIND MY PHONE was unbelievable. In my mind there was no obstacle that could prevent me from finding my phone, Eminem side it well: Lose Yourself “Look If you had one shot or one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment would you capture it or just let it slip?” I decided to capture the moment to FIND MY PHONE. I drove to the address and I found my phone, but the screen was crashed. They told me, they found the phone on the road next to my house being crushed by passing vehicles. The phone fell from my wife’s car after joining the main road. I must say I was grateful to find my phone and did share my gratitude with the young men that found the phone by giving him R 250.00

On my way back home, I was asking myself. Where did I get the COURAGE to go to someone’s house and ask for my phone? I realised that knowing create believe and believe create COURAGE. Courage is something that everybody wants—an attribute of good character that makes us worthy of respect. There are different types of courage, ranging from physical strength and endurance to mental stamina and innovation. The below quotes demonstrate six different ways in which we define COURAGE:

  • Feeling Fear Yet Choosing to Act: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” —Nelson Mandela
  • Following Your Heart: “Passion is what drives us crazy, what makes us do extraordinary things, to discover, to challenge ourselves. Passion is and should always be the heart of courage.” —Midori Komatsu
  • Persevering in the Face of Adversity: “Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.” —Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924)
  • Standing Up For What Is Right: “Sometimes standing against evil is more important than defeating it. The greatest heroes stand because it is right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself.” —N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire
  • Expanding Your Horizons; Letting Go of the Familiar: “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” —Lord Chesterfield
  • Facing Suffering With Dignity or Faith: “There is no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bear witness that a man has the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.” —Viktor Frankl

Knowing different types of courage is not enough, we need to find the meaning behind the word COURAGE. The below quotes demonstrate the meaning behind the word COURAGE:

  • Choice: “Life presents many choices, the choices we make determine our future.” – Catherine Pulsifer
  • Objective: “Know what your objective is. Anything that does not contribute to that objective is unnecessary; let those things go.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich
  • Understand: “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” Albert Einstein
  • Respect: “ knowledge will give you power, but respect character” – Bruce Lee
  • Action: “Belief means nothing without actions” ― Randa Abdel-Fattah, 
  • Gratitude: “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar 
  • Empathy: “Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” Anonymous

Let assume knowing create believe and believe create COURAGE. Do you have the COURAGE to act on it?

Response from Brother In-law – HOPE

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Last year was difficult for everyone, people losing jobs and love ones. I was also not immune to this situation. My older sister lost her job at one of the leading retailers in South Africa. A few months later, I met my sister with her husband in one of the restaurants in Durban central to collect some heabs. One thing I’ve learned from COVID is the importance of African heabs to boost our immune system.

They invited me to join them while enjoying their dinner. We discussed the current development in the world. The story of me travelling to the north coast came up and I proposed to travel with my sister. The response from my brother-in-law was not expected. He said if she is still around. We both sad what? He said she may have a job by the time you travel to the north coast my brother-in-law responded. His response moved me, his HOPE and believe was out of this world.  His HOPE made me realise the impotence of HOPE in life.

Psychology today said having hope is to imagine a positive outcome. The directive of many motivational principles is to visualize what you want and imagine positive outcomes so that your behavior is unconsciously structured to create them. However, one does not need to turn to quantum explanations to account for the positive effects of hope. 

The crossway illustrates the deeper meaning of HOPE “In a word, hope: hope understood not in the weak sense of optimistic whistling in the dark, but in the strong sense of certainty about what is coming because God himself has promised it. This hope is unique in the fields of both religion and philosophy. The philosopher Kant observed that the question, “What may I hope for?” is one of the most important questions one can ever ask, but he did not claim he could answer it.

To have hope is to want an outcome that makes your life better in some way. It not only can help make a tough present situation more bearable but also can eventually improve our lives because envisioning a better future motivates you to take the steps to make it happen. In a way, having hope links your past and present to the future. You have a vision for what you hope will happen. Whether it does not, just envisioning it can make you feel better. And if it’s something you can somewhat control – like the kids working to get out of poverty – then hope can motivate you to take whatever steps you need to take. Dr Neel Burton, a book author who writes about emotions, writes that he always asks patients for what they hope for, because if they say “nothing” then that is a sign of depression or worse. Having hope is important to the very act of being a human being. As Dr Judith Rich writes, “Hope is a match in a dark tunnel, a moment of light, just enough to reveal the path ahead and ultimately the way out.”

After reading articles about HOPE, I realised that HOPE is HAVING ONLY POSITIVE EXPECTATION. PositiveMind questioned what is in the word HOPE, illustrated in a quote.

Hero: The hero sees values beyond what’s possible. That’s the nature of a hero. It kills him, of course, ultimately. But it makes the whole struggle of humanity worthwhile – JOHN GARDNER

Observe: The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it – George Bernard Shaw

Positive: Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder

Expectation: Expectations Don’t magically Change Reality. Expectations Do Something Even More Powerful They Change The Way you Deal With Reality!!


Leading by fear – The Respect

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Leadership has changed over the years, we have seen leaders becoming innovative in motivating and getting positive results. Leading by fear was starting to despair in some of the workplaces, thanks to the work done by organisations like Steven V Covery. Since COVID came into our life’s, I have seen the elements of leading by fear returning, it triggered by working from home. Most leaders were not ready for this arrangement.   I have seen it often throughout my career. Many leaders still show a leadership style of fear, even at a time where society is becoming more progressive and entrepreneurial.

One of the problems is that leading by fear can work. Fear is a very effective motivator, even if it involves an unpleasant sensation. There is no doubt that leading by fear can get things done. For humans, fear is a primal motivator that can prevent the lion from eating us. That is when there were lots of lions around. In a work environment, there are no lions. Only people.

Fear is a powerful motivator, there is no doubt about that. However, leading by fear has several consequences that I’ve noticed during my career.

1. Leading By Fear Stops Teamwork

2. Leading By Fear Creates Workplace Gangs

3. Leading By Fear Stops People From Speaking Up

4. Leading By Fear Kills Confidence in Team Members

Tom Flick believe that leading by fear is like a nasty virus that will plague the organisation. Sometimes, leading by fear appears effective in the short term; it can cause immediate action, and ensure temporary accountability, but it’s the biggest problem is that it creates a sense of false urgency in people, a heightened sense of anxiety which in turn creates a lot of activity, but not a lot of productivity. Leading by fear creates false evidence that appears to be real. Often, leaders who have reached a point of desperation will resort to leading with fear. However, there are some drawbacks to joining this dark-side method of leading. Its human nature, when you’re are scared the defencing mode kicks in. That is why leading with fear is effective for the short term. This was not a surprise when    Wikipedia said “Fear is an emotion induced by perceived danger or threat, which causes physiological changes and ultimately behavioural changes, such as mounting an aggressive response or fleeing the threat. Fear in human beings may occur in response to a certain stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk to oneself”

The alternative is a respect-based leadership model. This practice is done by great leaders and can have enormously positive results in the organisation. Great leaders make those around them better. They find ways to discover the best in people and enable their full potential. Those inspired folks, in turn, go out to influence more people, and a domino effect of possibility occurs in the organization.

When employees are empowered, they’re focused externally, and more likely to look outside themselves and put their attention on bettering their team and the customer experience. Respect a man, he will do the more. James Howell

Respect is a key requirement for a healthy work environment. It promotes teamwork and increases productivity and efficiencies in the workplace. It lets employees know they are valued for their abilities, qualities, and achievements, and that their role is important to their company’s success.

The characteristics respect-based leadership model led me to the PositiveMind question of what is in the word RESPECT, illustrated in a quote.

RESPONSIBILITY – Responsibility is accepting that you are the cause & the solution of the matter.

EMPOWER – As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others. Bill Gates

SERVE – The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. Albert Schweitzer

PRODUCTIVITY – “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -Francis Of Assisi

EFFICIENCY – Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. Peter Drucker

COOPERATION – No leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of national importance or significance unless he has the support and cooperation of the people he is tasked to lead and sworn to serve. Rodrigo Duterte

TRUST – You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough. Frank Crane

SERVICE of the Men With an R4 rifle

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2020 was a difficult year for everyone, one of the things we could not do was our date weekend with my wife. After 8 months of lockdown in South Africa, all our relationship culture was not the same. After our annual couple retreats, we reinstated some of our relationship cultural practise and one of them was dates weekend.

On our way back from our first date weekend, I had to pass through police station to get commissioner of oats to sing off for the trust documents that my friend and I were working on for our legacy. We stopped at the police station to get commissioner of oats sings off, my wife said she will wait in the car. I entered the charge office, at the front desk one couple was sitting there to report missing person case. Only one officer was on the front desk, but you could hear that someone was in the back office. I waited for about 40 minutes without any service provided, for a 2-minute service. 15 minutes later one young lady entered the charge office for certification of documents, a minute later middlemen age entered the charge office, he was on the cell phone. 

A few minutes later the men left the charge office and the middlemen age officer that was in the back office appeared with car keys on his hand. He walked to the door, living the charged officer. On his way out he stopped and asked, are you both together? I replied, no and he stops for a minute but continued to walk to the police van. It now 1,5 hours sitting at the charge office for a 2-minute service. I’m now fuming inside, and you can see it in my eyes, what makes things worse is the middlemen age officer that did not provide the 2-minute service after asking. What made me angrier, why did he ask if he’s was not going provide the 2-minute service?

A minute later one officer came in with one suspect in handcuffs, followed by the Men With an R4 Rifle. The men on the phone returned and walk straight to the back office with some documents. A few minutes later, he was done and left the charge office. I was starting to lose it and I was 5 minutes away from walking out, but the officer that came with suspect came back and walk out of the charge office door followed by Men With an R4 Rifle.  Something unexpected happened, the Men With an R4 Rifle stopped and asked the officer at the front desk, are you working alone. She responded, yes I’m alone.  The Men With an R4 Rifle asked who are here for commissioner of oats sing-off and certification of documents? We responded with the young lady, the Men With an R4 Rifle told his partner to wait for 10min he needs to assist the officer at the front desk.

The Men With an R4 Rifle went to the front desk, put his Rifle down and ask who came first. I was on my feet first, 2 minutes late my document was done and, on my way out of the charge office, I said to myself the Men With an R4 Rifle understand the concept of SERVICE. As was driving home I could not stop thinking, how can men without a gun do not help us but the Men With an R4 Rifle stop helps? That afternoon I could not stop thinking about SERVICE, I started looking for what is in the word SERVICE?

The Men With an R4 Rifle clearly understood the concept of SERVICE, which is in the word SERVICE. 

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SOCIALIt a responsible ethical framework and suggests that an individual has the obligation to work and other individuals for the benefit of society at large. The Men With an R4 Rifle understand the police service responsible ethical framework to benefit me and the young lady.

ETHICALIt the moral principle that governs conduct with its customers. The Men With an R4 Rifle moral principle are still in place which governs him with his customers.

RESPONSIBLE: The duty to perform the work for benefit of society at large. The understanding of his duty made him ask the question are you working alone?

VISION: Understanding of organisational vision to improve social services, by assisting the officer at the front deck improved the service provided to us.

INTELLIGENT: Having the capabilities of identifying the custom needs at all levels. The level of INTELLIGENT from the Men With an R4 Rifle made him identify the customers need while walking out the charge office.

COURTEOUS: Having good manners and respect for others in peruse of social service excellence. The respect of the Men With an R4 Rifle to us as customers in peruse of social service excellence.

ENGAGE: Be involved and pay attention to serving others for the benefit of society at large. Being involved and paying attention, making it easy for the Men With an R4 Rifle to serve while focusing on the task at hand.

The Men With an R4 Rifle made me forget the bad service from the middle men age officer that asked to serve us but left without helping. His understanding of the concept of SERVICE saved the day.

Your Biography, Can You Buy it?

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The past holidays I got some time to visit my old friend Jabulani in Richards Bay after charismas. The aim was to see the new house that he bought after his wedding. I had to stop at the Mall to get some small groceries. In our Zulu culture you do not come to visit someone’s house without umngenandlini (entering the hut). 

At the Mall, I bumped to my old colleague Mpho. Mpho has launched his new book called CRACKING THE PROPERTY INVESTMENT CODE 3 months ago. I congratulated him and asked how does it feel like to be the published author. He was so excited about his book, he even expressed the feeling of seeing your book at the book store. I could see the excitement in his eyes, it was so fulfilling seeing someone living his dream. We concluded our discussions and went our separate ways. A few minutes later I was at Jabulani’s house, the house is big and beautiful. We spend most of the day catching up and braai meat, a few hours later it was my time to go back home in Pinetown. On my way back home I recalled Mpho’s excitement and something came to mind. If having your book published make you feel like that, how is the feeling of buying your own book? I realized that the question does make sense. The question exists if the book is about your life story (Biography), written by another author.

Will you buy your life story book at the book store? Will you read it till the last page? Will you be proud of your life story? These questions made me reflect on my life and I started questioning some of my moment in life. I realized that I’m not sure about my story. The life story is unique for everyone and it based on different principles. My principles lead me to the following meaning of LIFE-STORY:


· LOVE: Love means to be deeply committed and connected to someone, yourself or something. The basic meaning of love is to feel more than liking towards someone or something. Love is when you choose to be at your best when the other person is not at their best. This plays important role in writing our life story, giving your best when the other person is not at their best.

· INSPIRE: Inspire means to excite, encourage, or breathe life into. Inspire comes from the Latin word that means to inflame or to blow in to. When you inspire something, it is as if you are blowing air over a low flame to make it grow. While writing our life story we must breathe life into our communities. Let make sure we aspire to inspire before we expire.

· FORGIVE: Experts define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. Practising forgiveness on our life story releases all the negative feelings that may stop us from achieving our goals. 

· ENGAGE: Engage is being with someone/something to make an effort to understand and deal with someone or something. Being engaged brings support/contribution to positive change within the communities.


· STRIVE: Make great efforts to achieve something. Let make a great effort to achieve our goals, so that will be proud of our life story.

· TRUST: Reliability and firm belief. Trust the process to your goal and review it when needed. Be a firm believer of the plan and process that it will deliver, even if take too long. They say patience is a virtue, let be patience with our life story.

· ORGANIZE: To arrange/plan/ order things so that they can be  found easily and quickly. It easy for us to organize things for companies we work for, but difficult to do the same for our life story. Try a 5-year plan for your life story like the companies you work for, the progress can surprise you. 

· RESPECT/REWARD: Respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. The Dalai Lama said “ mutual respect is the foundation of genuine harmony” Practising respect on our life store will create genuine harmony with our yourself and others.

The reward is something that is given in return for good or evil done or received or that is offered or given for some service or attainment the police offered a reward for his capture. They say the journey is a reward, so as our life story. Latin proverb says ” after the battles come the rewards”. It is very important to celebrate your achievement, reward ourself to create the positive energy that will carry you during the difficult times. 

· YOURSELF: This is about loving yourself, accepting yourself as you are and to come to terms with those aspects of yourself that you cannot change. It means to have self-respect, a positive self-image, and unconditional self-acceptance. Steve Jobs said, ” your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”. Let all write our life stories that will be proud of.

What are your principles of LIFE-STORY? I know it difficult to be sure of your answer to the existing question about your life story. Remember you still have time to rewrite your life story if you are not sure as me.