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Friday, June 21, 2013

Maslow’s Hierarchy, reloaded

Maslow's hierarchy has served motivational thinkers for many years. It has been very useful in mapping out reward systems and providing a base motivation framework for employees in industry. However, while the popular five levels of; basic needs, security, belonging, recognition and self-actualization must be carefully interpreted in different cultural contexts to be meaningful, the whole structure lacks a foundation.
Though Maslow talks about self-actualization as the "ultimate existence", it is impossible to realize oneself, let alone your full potential, without knowing who you are. The foundation then is, WHO ARE YOU?. If you can answer that question competently, then we can agree on what your "ultimate existence"is. For the most part people rush through Maslow's hierarchy in search of success only to find that they lack fulfillment at the top. They find out, too late, that they have no clue of who they are. Maslow's hierarchy makes a lot more sense with a foundation when applied to human beings.
Allan Bukusi

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Hundred Mountains

Once there was a boy who lived in a village in the valley of a great mountain. Everything that everyone needed was provided in the valley so that there was no need to go up the mountain. There were farms to prepare, seeds to plant, food to harvest and water to drink. There were herds to feed and houses to build; the sort of work that would satisfy any man. But every once in a while someone proud and strong would climb the mountain.

Strangely, whenever they came back they never wanted to talk about it or tell anybody what they had seen. The people who came back from the mountain were suddenly very humble and meek. They never talked much and always worked very hard. People said that those who came back from the mountain had met God; others said their spirits were taken away and replaced with new ones. Others said the mountain was bewitched and that it forbids anyone returning from the top from speaking about it.

None of the other boys in the village talked about the mountain and no one was willing to go there. They had not been told to stay but somehow they knew they did not need to go. So one day when all the other boys were playing in the field the boy stole up the mountain and climbed to the very top. He had to run back quickly before it was dark so that no one would know where he had gone.

The next day he did his work quickly and quietly. He played with the other boys, but was also very respectful. He ate his food but only ate enough and helped others do their chores. At last, his mother asked him, "Have you been up the mountain?" "Yes", he said, "and what did you see?" his mother asked. He stood silent for a while then said, "a hundred other mountains".  

Allan Bukusi

Friday, June 14, 2013

I used to think that growing up is the most natural thing in the world.

I used to think that growing up is the most natural thing in the world. But after half a century, I know that is not true. People do not grow up; they grow themselves up.

Allan Bukusi


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Grace is limited

Grace is limited; that is why it is grace.

Allan Bukusi

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A House A Spouse & A Cow

Tell me if you can; what is the relation between a house, a spouse and a cow? The replies to this riddle make fun reading. Yet there is great wisdom in these simple words. The counsel I am about to share with you, comes from the heart of Africa. When I set out on my first job, my father took me aside. In the spirit of local wisdom, he said to me...

Now, my son, I see that you have successfully finished school and have obtained yourself a job. You have graduated from childhood and I must charge you to quickly do three things; first, build yourself a house. Second, marry a wife – a good woman. Third, buy a cow and let me look after it for you… 

Wise words are not hard to recall, but they are easy to ignore. Twenty years later, those words still ring clear as a bell, in my mind. The first I did with speed, but only to please my father. The second I took my time, but eventually got round to. The third, I delayed and have paid the price. There is no need for you to do the same – only, you must understand the meaning of a house, a spouse and a cow and the relationship between them.
In the old days a house, a wife and a cow reflected social status and personal wealth. I thought that my father was passing on some wise words from his own father that really had no meaning or use for me today.
A House
I built the house and for four years, I lived there in a state of calm refuge. I was teaching in a nearby school and could enjoy the ease and access of my very own two-roomed “apartment”. I began to feel quite proud of myself for having done so much so early in my career. Building a house back then was a huge feat.  I had achieved high social status quite quickly in life. In those days, brick houses in the countryside were few and far apart. Very few people could afford such luxury in the village.
In time, the call of the city was too tempting. Like many other young people, I soon left the village, and headed off to the city to look for a better job. I found a new job, moved into a house and really enjoyed my climb up the corporate ladder. Four years passed quickly. As I enjoyed my new lifestyle, I found that my finances had become very rigid. I was earning more money, but had less of it to spend. Something was eating all the money I earned.
My budgets, try as I might, were frigid, flat and without profit. When I finally sat down to look into the problem, guess what I found was my biggest single expense – Rent! If you are not living in your own house, it is probably your biggest expense too. Rent is money you spend that adds no value to you. Rent pays for your convenience, but does not make you rich. Rent consumes your income and drains your wealth. The rent I paid out was making me poor.  I began to miss my house in the village.
Now let us read that “house building” advice again. Rephrase it, and update it and relate it to your circumstances... It means that; if you do not live in your own house, you will give away a major (sometimes up to 50% of income) part of the wealth you earn from your job to someone else. A house is not a house in the village. It is a home, which you own, in which you live, leave to go to work and return to find peace and rest from the pressures of the outside world under your own roof.  It is a roof under which you enjoy the fruits of your labour. A house should not be a place where you live under pressure. That is pretty useful advice!
            Let me tell you a secret; a tenant paying rent of 100,000/= to live in a high-class flat and another paying 100/= for a room in a slum have one thing in common. Neither of them owns the property. None is richer or poorer by living in a rented house. The truth is one of them gives away more money for room and board. A home (house), which you own, makes much cents - I mean sense.

Excerpt from the book - How to Prosper in Employment by Allan Bukusi 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Transformational Teacher

I recognize that you are all in the business of human capital development. You take young minds and prepare them to become engineers, doctors and evangelists. This is a very important business. It is the business of molding lives and schooling minds to change the world. In this business, we are accountable to God who delegates to us the role to teaching others. However, these days very few people recognize the power of the teaching profession to determine the destiny of humanity. So today, as I talk about your role as a Transformational Teacher I would like you to know that I deeply respect your calling and your sacrifice.
I am a leadership trainer, transformation specialist and human resources consultant. I train employees and directors on leadership, management and institutional transformation. However, I have been a schoolteacher, college lecturer and business trainer. The focus of my career has always been developing people. When you finish preparing the minds of students in schools, you send them to me as employees in industry.
The Jubilee government has chosen the theme "transforming Kenya; securing Kenya's prosperity". While this is indeed a timely theme, my question to you is, what is the role of Teachers in transformation? What is it that teachers do that only teachers can do? Kenya has had four presidents; three of the four have been career teachers. Nobody can deny that Teachers are at the very forefront of nation building.
Fifty years ago, the need was freedom and self-government. When Jomo Kenyatta started his political activities in the 1930s there were not enough people to carry the tide to force out the colonialists. Nevertheless, teachers started teaching about freedom, about independence, about self-government and gradually transformed the nation to independence. In the '60s, teachers were called upon to produce managers and administrators to run the economy. By the end of the 80s the task was accomplished. In the 90s teachers again rose to the occasion and raised the profile of the Girl child. However, teachers have not only developed leaders and managers they have also been our most visible role models in society. Much of the development and industry in rural areas was (and still is) driven by teachers. Teachers own shops, farms, dairy cattle, and Posho mills. Teachers drive the wheels of the economy even as they develop people they establish the nation's wealth and social capital.
What is the need today. Today when you look at the newspapers, you will see many things that teachers are ashamed to be associated with. We see violence, greed, political scandals and insecurity. We read about educated students turned into robbers. Children no longer have any respect for their parents because their parents are no longer respectable. It is a challenge to be called a teacher in such times. What went wrong or what is going on? Where are the teachers? If teachers do not take up their role in this hour of need, our society may suffer great loss.
When students graduate from school they become employees. I train them to be productive and socially responsible. However, I find that many of them have no clue of how to create (personal) wealth to transform the nation. I get to interview students for jobs as executives. However, out of every 1000 academically qualified applicants, employers complain that they cannot get one person of character. I work with employees to try to help them improve their performance, advise them to create personal wealth and develop character, competence and courage to work.  I have to teach work ethics and encourage them to be independent responsible citizens.
Many of the challenges employees face are rooted in their primary and secondary school education. I train managers how to manage their time, but if they never understood the importance of a timetable in school, am I really going to teach them time management 20 years later? I teach employees goal setting and work ethics. However, if the manager never developed the discipline to complete his or her homework in school, is it possible that I should teach him planning 20 years later. Today many employees retire from work without creating any wealth from themselves yet in 20 years of employment, they may have earned between 10 and 20 million shillings. A person can live in a rented house for his entire career and retire to the village with nothing. How can I teach employees to be socially responsible if they have no wealth? How am I supposed to teach business strategy to employees who do not have a kitchen budget. Yet all of these employees passed through a mathematics class?  How can this be? What has gone wrong? Are teachers not teaching?
A teacher's job is to educate student. To provide them knowledge and help them learn and prepare them for life as good citizens. However, a 2005 Stanford university paper explains that teaching may need to change to Teaching for Transformation. But it is not only about teaching students. Many of you have challenges with the teachers who you expect to teach the students. Some of them come to school with sagging trousers and very short skirts and have no work ethics. Students quickly copy them. Not only do teachers need transformation but so do schools. Especially those that continue to produce people society cannot use. People everywhere are clamoring for leaders, but I can tell you the more urgent need in society is for a new kind of Teacher – the transformational teacher, to raise leaders for our society. That is the need of the hour.
There is a huge Knowledge-practice gap between Education and Industry in our economy. It takes employers up to three years or more to train an employee to be productive. Today's graduates cannot solve problems, or apply the basic principles of the profession of which they hold a degree. Rote learning, certificates and passing exams is not helping our nation develop. The Transformational Teacher teaches VALUES, CHARACTER, CRITICAL THINKING, PROBLEM SOLVING and ENTERPRISE. The teacher will empower his students to overcome social and economic challenges and raise a generation able to transform society and create a prosperous nation!
Though we have defined the need and outlined the plan of action, we cannot conclude without taking a lesson from the Master. This short passage describes why the people called him "Teacher". The passage itself is relayed verbatim three times in the New Testament. We need to pay attention to this little passage because this teacher has been transforming the world for more than two thousand years.
Mt 22:16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. w  "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.     – repeated in Mark 12:14, Lk 20, 21
Other people recognize The Teacher. He has integrity. He did does what he says. What the Teacher does stands in the sight of God. The Teacher was willing to stand alone to bring about change in society. The Teachers word stands the truth. But the teacher has values and is not be swayed by men. This is the Teacher who will heal the nation, transform his students into citizens and teach society how to create wealth. We need you to be a transformational teacher for the Glory of God and the good of our nation.
God Bless you. Allan Bukusi, June 2013
Address to Head Teachers in Nairobi.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Beavers business

A beavers business is to build dams. Sometimes the dams get washed away, but the beavers business is to build dams. What is your business?

Allan Bukusi

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Share This Jubilee Blessing

Kenya – Happy Jubilee!
In this season of release, renewal and restoration of wealth may you prosper indeed!  May your people be transformed and the land revived. May all men everywhere hail the favor the Lord has showered upon you this day and forever!
Allan Bukusi
My prayer is that this season will not leave you unchanged.

A leader must work hard

A leader must have an extra-ordinary capacity for work. There is no such thing as a lazy leader. A leader must work hard-er and get used to it.

Allan Bukusi

Why YOU should prosper in employment !

Click here to view The 7 Principles of How to Prosper in Employment
I really cherish this book because I never realized that I was unconsciously following the common trend of getting so used to my work as a routine and not thinking about investing in myself, and for my retirement, but only the immediate budget that the salary can accommodate.

 – Research Administrator, Ghana

It may sound like common sense, but your job should really make you wealthy! just add up how much money you have earned this year and add it to all your previous earnings - how much of it do you still have? Yet you and I know hundreds of people who work "year in" and "year out" without saving as much as a few dollars. You and I also know of people whose employment purpose is to "make ends meet" or "pay the rent", "foot endless bills" and worst of all "pay debts". This book will transform your understanding of your purpose of employment, teach you how to prosper on the job and rescue you from the vicious "rat race" that keeps so many people imprisoned in financial bondage.  The price you pay for not making proper use of your job is poverty!

Why should you prosper in employment? 

The only sensible reason for you to be employed is to create WEALTH!

Why doesn’t everyone prosper in employment?

Apart from wasting the opportunity to create their own wealth, many people do not know the purpose, principles or UNDERSTAND the pitfalls of creating wealth. Many employees actually retire poorer than when they were employed! 

“All I need to become wealthy is a better job!”
Earning more money won’t help you create personal wealth. The ability to create wealth is a skill. If you get a better paying job without this skill, all you will do is waste more money! Truth be told, employment is the greatest opportunity most of us will ever get to create capital for our personal development. Wasting this opportunity is to waste a lifetime of opportunity!

Allan Bukusi explains the purpose, the principles as well as the pitfalls of employment through a simple, entertaining yet eye-opening story of his own experiences and real life accounts of employee struggles to make ends meet and create wealth. The story starts by exploring the expectations of a fresh college graduate on his first job and his introduction to the world of work. He despises those who he finds stuck in lowly jobs, but finds himself trapped in the same condition several years later. He loses all hope when he listens to the horror stories of employees who retire to poverty and regret not using the money they earned to better themselves in life. The employee (grown up fresh graduate) takes counsel from his silent mentor who explains to him, in part, that his salary is capital he earns for his personal development. He must use that capital to create his own personal wealth. The mentor helps the young man shift his "consumer" mindset in order to become a wealth creator.

 This story has helped tens of thousands of employees realize the power employment gives them to chart, create and determine their own destiny. The Story draws parallels from the character of Jacob who only became rich after he realized that employment was in fact a great blessing and not a drudgery. Many employees are shocked when they count the value of the wealth they have wasted after a just a few years on the job. Take a few minutes to total all the wages you have earned since your first job. If what you have left of those years of earnings brings tears to your eyes, you really need to read this book urgently. After reading the book, employees quickly resolve to make proper use of every job they get and set about creating their own wealth. Its not how much you earn that makes you rich, it is what you do with what you earn that makes you wealthy!

 If I knew then what I know now, I would be very far [wealthy].  Everyone should know this early (in their careers)
… That book is thorough… I have read it three times and have lined up three people to read it… I now know what a cow is!
I express my earnest gratitude for such an enriching lifetime gift for not even the knowledge I have gained for the last five years can match the wisdom shared. clickhere to see more letters from readers

Read a chapter for yourself ...

Many people are happy to have money, but have no idea how to make it work for them. Many people seek jobs, but proceed to waste the valuable opportunity to get rich and become poorer with every salary they earn. If you are one such person, there is no shame in finding out how to leave the ranks of the average employee and join the people creating wealth for themselves. Get a copy of the book and make your job begin working for you today.