This great nation and continent I am a part of is at a crucial stage in its history. Africa has never been poised in such a pivotal position as it is in today. With Africa’s economies displaying their importance and impact they have on the global stage, it is imperative that the African people acknowledge this influence and more importantly use it in a way to better its people and environment.
For the last three and a half years living in Zim, I’ve had the privilege (and learned patience) to slowly understand how the cogs of this great nation turn. I’ve made my mistakes (learnings), and keenly taken note of the characters to surround myself with and who to desperately avoid. I’ve observed and noted what I believe Zimbabwe in particularhas, lacks, needs to change and must do more of to reach its fullest potential. This is the compressed version of my list but it is what I feel is imperative and necessary NOW…
what we have: potential
I define POTENTIAL as the ability to adapt to and grow into increasingly complex roles and environments. As I look back at what Zimbabwe has been through over the last 12 years , I am in AWE at the way we handled the pressure and how we are slowly crawling out of the dark pit stronger and more resilient… We now have a lotthicker skin and this is advantageous for our people. Couple this with our impressive spread of diasporians across the globe; we are a force to be reckoned with… Our tentacles reach far into the corporate boardrooms, hospitals, schools and government institutions of far more developed nations. If used properly, this is opportunity to gain, absorb and transfer knowledge back to Zimbabwe.
I am convinced that our people must transition to what I think of as a new era of spotting leadership – one in which our evaluations of one another are based not on brawn, brains, experience, or competencies, but on potential.
what we lack: “soft” skills
I have found that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence or EQ. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant; they do matter, but mainly as “threshold capabilities”; that is, they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. But my research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is indispensable and essential for leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he or she still won’t make a great leader.
If I were to be brutally honest (and this is all from a place of LOVE and a want to better myself and others) I would say our nation is highly intelligent and impressively technical but this is at the expense of our leadership attributes. We are hence good followers and doers, but could be better leaders… Below is a list of soft skills I feel we as a nation need to better ourselves in:
We are culturally not sensitive to our own and others’ emotions. We, like a lot of nations, buy into pre-determined roles from birth; and hence it is the norm for ‘boys not to cry ‘or share feelings and this leads to men who do not know how to handle or navigate their emotions. This can be damaging… It is in the ability to acknowledge, accept, embrace and manage our emotions where true balance is felt. We lack this as a nation; especially when we try placing our traditional roles in a modern fast-changing world… In the work place, the absence of EQ leads to a lack of concern for consequences of actions, corruption and a misunderstanding of what true leadership is: ensuring that the next person to fill your position does better than you!
what we need more of: embracing our differences
What does it mean to be Zimbabwean? Does it mean we have a certain skin tone or speak a certain language? Does it mean we must be born here or have a certain political belief? Is it being of a certain faith or religious group? If we put a label on what it means to be Zimbabwean , does it not limit us?
I believe being Zimbabwean and African first starts with acknowledging that we are primarily citizens of the world, and hence have a responsibility to make this world a better place.
It is to acknowledge and accept that we are a part of the greater humankind and hence are connected with each person primarily on a soul level. I believe it means not being above Mother Nature but a part of it; and doing what you can to ensure no harm comes to this precious land we are fortunate to be a part of…
I believe being a “Zimbo” means you enhance the atmosphere and energy of this great nation by contributing (with your heart) all you can to make this place better.
what we need less of: negative mindset
I have spoken of how manifestations are made tangible by thought and intent. So what we think and believe (of ourselves and each other) manifests in the physical world. Repetitive thought and talk of struggle, hardship, a crippling economy, a lack of opportunities and poverty sets a tone and a collective energy. We focus too much the problem and not solution!
Don’t believe that we create a collective energy of feel of a place? Well, if you were to step into a church or any place of worship, there is a certain mood, tone and feeling about it; why? Because it is a constant place of worship and people go there with the intent to commune with God. Because of this repetitive intent, an atmosphere and energy is created. Same thing if you were to go to a night club: there is a certain charge because people go there with a certain mind-set: to party! So expand this into the collective consciousness of a country… What are the majority of people saying, thinking and manifesting into existence? Are newspaper headlines positive or negative? Do they make you smile or shake your head? Remember, what you think, speak and do has an effect not only on yourself but the greater community…
what needs to change right away: individual self-belief
I mentor, coach, train and develop many people, businesses and institutions here in Zimbabwe. I am grateful and fortunate to do so. And what I tell all my clients and audiences when we first meet it to always be transparent with yourself.
The last person you should lie or cheat is yourself!
This often means confronting harsh realities about you, that you don’t like. Once you do this, your ego will slowly take a back seat and you will be in touch with your TRUE SELF – the YOU that operates on its fullest potential. The YOU that does not fear success or failure. The YOU that dares to dream and actually takes the small steps to manifest those dreams… That YOU that is connected to EVERYTHING (tangible and intangible). That YOU that is waiting for you to connect with its unlimited power…
But in order for this to happen, self-belief is needed. And too often people are distracted by their past, their egos or their lust for external power to even start this inward journey. Well I’m here to tell you that a better YOU awaits… But it starts with the belief that EVERYTHING that life has thrown at you is preparing you for the life YOU asked for… So embrace your highs and lows and start discovering who you really are: no excuses, no blaming and no playing the victim.
Conclusion: I would honestly not be anywhere else in the world right now but here in Zimbabwe where I can have a direct impact in shaping the future of a nation. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and gift from the Universe. I am grateful to be a part of this amazing story. I want only for us as a country and continent to progress into a glorious future; to not be selfish and accept that our efforts are for the generations we may not physically ever see in this lifetime. But this starts only if each of us does our absolute best; for only as a collective can we change our fate.
My success is your success, your success is mine; our success in now.
thanks for reading!
~ what do you think Zim (and Africa) need to do more or less of in order to advance? Leave your comments on this blog or on my fb page or twitter. Lets get a discussion going!~