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Saturday, December 17, 2016

I was born in a perfect world

I was born into a perfect world.
When I was young I thought that I was perfect and everyone else imperfect
When I grew strong I sought to make perfect the imperfect
As I grew older I made myself a judge of imperfection
As I mature I see that the perfect and imperfect get along quite well.
There is no contest between the perfect and imperfection; one will do what one will.
Though perfection be a mirror for imperfection and all imperfect an impression of the perfect, the end of perfection is not alike that of the imperfect.
To strive for perfection is in me in all I am and in all I can be.

Allan Bukusi

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Three Motivated Old Men

There is a story told of three old men. None of them was far from the grave. Though not all lay on their death bed, they all knew that the journey would soon end. As is the custom of young reporters who want to write a good story. This reporter went to see the three.

The first, though strong and full of years, said naught but lost thought. “If only there was a way I could turn back those years and live it all again. I would avoid all the vain of youth that in my latter years has cost me so much pain. It would not be so bad, but for the fact that others, from me, have nothing to gain is too much to bear and just multiplies the pain.

The second leaned back and stared into space. On his face he mused about how it would have been if he had taken his chances, put in a little more effort and a lot less sloth. He mused that others really did not know him or what he could do. He listed the grades he should have got in school, but it really did not matter because there was nothing he could do about it now. His only regret is that he did not get to know that person he thought he was. He did not know himself.

The third was sad, but not unhappy. He had done what he could and wished he could have done more. He took every chance and failed so many times that his mind was sore at the failings galore. But when asked what he would have done differently, he said, “I really don’t know. I think I got out of life all it had for me and if I thought there was more I would have taken it. I never gave up on my dreams.  When I sleep I still dream. I really have no need to go over that way again.”

The reporter gathered up his story and made his way back to the paper. On his way he met a fourth old man with an old dingy camera. The old man said “I am a reporter and I write stories for the paper”.  “But why are you still doing this” asked the young man.  “Well” said the old man, “ I never really gathered the courage to do what I really wanted, so I got stuck with a camera”. The young reporter never filed his story. In fact he never returned to the paper.  The editor found another reporter to cover the story, but the fourth old man was never found.

Allan Bukusi, December 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Corruption is not so much an act, as it is the result of a poor quality decision.

Allan Bukusi

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Folly is not a function of age, but it is predisposed to youth.

Allan Bukusi

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Word of Life

I used to think that the word of life was about a book. No, the word of life is a spirit alive, an attitude, a way of life and a knowledge of God.

Allan Bukusi

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Lessons I learned from limping organizations!

It is not often that important life lessons are drawn from the runners up or losers in a race. It would seem ironical that instead of focusing on the successful, this article suggests that there is much to be learned from the “laggards” and failings of the not so successful organizations. By sharing lessons from the not so successful and the failings of the rest of the runners, we can actually improve the average performance of all the runners in the race. These findings may not be enough to win the race, if there is such a thing as a race, but they will enable every other organization to examine its performance and empower leaders to focus on priming their organizations for stellar performance.

The first quality of failing organizations is a weak resource base. Organizations that have very little in their coffers are very weak and powerless. These organizations can say a lot of things but are unable to do very much. These organizations may have great plans, but without resources these pipe dreams are nothing but hot air. An organization must make it a primary business to build resources to the point that it can do what it says it wants to do. Unless you are a turnaround artist, and turnaround artists are always backed by well resourced sponsors (or they have the sense to build a solid capital base before making costly changes), you are not going to hack it. Many times leaders go into limping organizations thinking that a fresh leadership team with sufficient charisma is enough to secure future success. The issue of resources and resource sources, capitalization/recapitalization must be addressed first before any meaningful leadership activity can make a difference.

The second thing that hit me in every case of failing leadership is that membership of those organizations abandon their leaders (for whatever reason). The fact that the leaders have been abandoned means the organization remains a mere shell of an organization. While this may sound bad and unreasonable of membership benefiting from the services of leadership, it is not as bad as having no cash or resources to run the day to day operations of a business. Nevertheless, abandoned leadership becomes the scapegoat and target of agents and agencies outside the organization. In fact abandoned leadership is “magically” held responsible for all the “past and future” failings of the organization. This unfortunate state of affairs is deplorable because while the organization exists for the membership and the benefit of service receivers, leaders are blamed for its failings. It is assumed that it is leaders who are responsible for the delivery of outcomes in total disregard of service providers, the environment and the contribution of the receivers! If you find an organization with abandoned leadership this is not the organization to join or takeover, unless you have the capacity to take over the business without injuring your person. However, organizations with abandoned leadership are very cheap to buy and extremely expensive (loss making) to sustain or revive! From a leaders point of view there may be too much at stake!

One of the glaring components that you will find in limping organizations that could do better is the continued existence of an outdated business process. The process may have delivered sterling results in the past, but has been overtaken by the times, technology and techniques of the day. The challenge with this feature is that it requires a complete organization overhaul to have the business conform to the current trend, methods, and available ways of doing business. Archaic business processes my are effective, but they tend to be inefficient and incapable of winning new business or market share. If the business you are taking over has a weak economic engine, it will take time and a large amount of capital to fix.Most times the only way this can be done is by replacement.

The last quality you should consider before taking over a limping organization is to consider its vision, mission and “natural evolution”. I remember booking a training venue in a limping hotel and the sales agent telling me “this organization has been sold several times over, but it has been unable to get away from its political roots”. The organization was founded by a politician who used it to hold political meetings. Many owners later the managers were unable to “uproot” it from its political tradition into a business conference venue. The organization had built a culture that had become a fixture with its physical assets. Anybody taking over the hotel with a new vision was bound to come against its tradition. However, while tradition can be a very mean thing to change, some organizations come into existence for all the wrong reasons. Either they were coerced into existence or formed to get over an obstacle. Once the obstacle is overcome, these organizations lose their reason for existence and become wandering nomads boasting of some historic success that they can always point to. Such organizations are hard to lead because they have a very selfish vision. They look inward and rearward instead of outward and forward. They are selfish rather than selfless. They serve their own interests rather than the interests of others. It does not matter what kind of leader takes over this limping organization it will always return a second rate performance!      

While organizations may become and continue as limping organizations for various other reasons, lack of resources, abandoned leaders and lack of vision tend to be the last nail that seals the status of the organizations future. Young, inexperienced and enthusiastic leaders cannot be blamed for trying their hand at leading such organizations desperately in search of new leadership; however, nobody would dare risk giving these “new” leaders a chance to lead a successful organization. What matters perhaps is not that leaders should avoid such organizations, but that leaders taking over limping organization with intent to turn them into leading organization should know how to go about it. A limping organization cannot hope to get on to the winning track without the requisite resources, a supported leadership team and a service oriented mission.

Allan Bukusi   

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Entrepreneurs Prayer

Lord, Please!
Send us workers!
Who love what they do and do what they love.
Who know that we must all give an account for the work we do,
Who work first for you, the people and then the money!
Who see opportunities in problems and don’t make problems of opportunity.
Who appreciate hard work, service and sacrifice as the key to good success.
Please do not bring us employees who are a burden to hire and a misery to fire. Do not bring us those who steal, take and will not give, break things, are dishonest and gossip about others, have no heart for what they do and act with venom and guile. Reveal them for who they are and save our companies and customers from the rot of these robbers.
And Lord,

Bless those who work for you in all they do. Bless them with health and wealth and well being. Increase their borders and may they not tire even if everyone else rebels, give them strength to remain faithful. And Lord may these receive your reward today in the land of the living so that the testimony of your goodness will be seen and the wicked will not boast that “ He did good, but his God forsook him and he died a fool”

Allan Bukusi

Monday, October 17, 2016

Today's success is yesterdays investment.; tomorrows survival is today's occupation.

Today's success is yesterdays investment.; tomorrows survival is today's occupation.

Allan Bukusi

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

I never thought I was in bondage; are you?

I have just taken some time to reflect on “bondage” and the kind of baggage we carry around that can weight you down for many years. The baggage may not be a bad thing it could be it may be just weighing you down. There are some things you wish you could do and have never done. And you never seem to find the time to do them. You want to build a house, teach your children to swim or visit someone you love, but just don’t seem to make the time. These things weigh you down. There are hurts you carry for many years and the person that hurt you is not even aware. They become your personal assets you carry around while the person who grieved you walks free oblivious that you are carrying a load of them in your life. This is not life!

Some time ago I came to realize that I too am carrying burdens just to look good in the sight of others or just because I think it is the right thing to do. No doubt there is the right thing to do, but there are also the wrong things to do to make things look right. We need wisdom to work things out and know when to let things go. What are the indications that you are carrying burdens you need to examine? Do you harbor fear, grief, un-forgiveness, hurt, regret, bitterness, unending wish-lists, self righteousness, hate, anger, immorality, good or bad success, secret cravings, promises...  does your conscious continuously prod you in a given direction or need to attend to something. Perhaps it is time you started listening. Not all these things are bad, but the fact that they are never satisfied to my mind turns them into burdens, bondage and weights that you must carry with you and stop you enjoying all the blessing you have today.

Notice it is not other people I am talking about. So do yourself a favor every few months and do an offloading of those painful/ dead weights you can do nothing or won’t do anything about and release yourself to once again to live free. The procedure it up to you. You may have to contact some old friends or you may just have to deal with you. Sometimes you may just have to do what you need to do and get it out of the way. In all cases you will need to pray for Gods wisdom to be free indeed!

Allan Bukusi

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Is this Servant Leadership or just Slavery?

While the need and the demand for servant leaders seems to be on the rise, there is a disturbing trend in which servant leaders are treated as little more than bond slaves of the people they lead. In these instances followers subject their leaders to humiliating demands and then withdraw all support for the leader, but still expect the servant leader to go out of their way to accomplish the followers’ wishes at their own cost. Leaders who do not meet the mark of servant delivery, as judged by the followers, are deemed to be failures and are subject to unqualified disdain from those who have a skewed understanding of the leadership function.

The call for servant leaders is couched with innocent phrases like “we need someone who will work for us” or “save us from this aggression” or “we need someone who can help us meet our goals”. Reading these sentiments carefully will reveal a very self driven motive devoid of any collaborative agenda. In reality these followers are looking for a way to absolve themselves of all responsibility for their own success. Woe to the leader who takes up leadership to serve the peoples interests in these circumstances. Upon entering office the gentle wishes of the people suddenly turn into demands, expectations and morph into non-negotiable performance indicators. If the leader fails to secure the success of the population he or she is disqualified as a servant leader.

A careful reading of Greenleaf would characterize a servant leaders as; Listening.  Empathy.  Healing, Awareness., Persuasion, Conceptualization,  Foresight,  Stewardship,  Commitment to the growth of people and  Building community. These characteristics no doubt demand and draw on the submissive qualities and the other-centered traits in a leader. However these characteristics neglect to define the role of followers in achieving social and corporate goals. This model and attributes the accomplishment of corporate goals solely to the person of the servant leader and release the followers of any wrong or culpability of failure to achieve corporate objectives. This definition of a leader fails to acknowledge that leadership is in fact a social construct and a corporate social responsibility where followers proactively participate in the leadership process and commit resources to achieve a common goal.

The more mischievous and less knowledgeable followers are inclined to believe they have no responsibility for their own success and easily abandon their leaders to pursue noble corporate goals without lifting a finger, paying their dues or pulling their weight to achieve the desired results. It is the disloyal and unfaithful following that withholds their vote and turns their leaders into personal slaves. They blame the leader passionately for failing to succeed on their behalf and denounce the leaders’ efforts to facilitate the common good. The principles of Servant leadership are inspiring, but there is a defining line between service and slavery.

Allan Bukusi

Monday, September 5, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Foundations of Leadership in Africa

This article traces the triumphant, treacherous and turbulent tale of leadership in Africa through centuries past to the present day and creates a foundation for the development of leaders and the practice of leadership into the 21st Century.

For a thousand years Africa existed in harmony with the rest of the Earth. Each continent content in relative isolation managed its own affairs as best as each knew how. Africa was a kingdom of communities where culture was the instrument of government and goevrnance. Village setups provided essential infrastructure for social organization. Communities were bound and bonded by common heritage, history and homage. In these circumstances leadership facilitated the common good and regulated social interaction, justice and peace managed through communal objectives, events and activities. Though survival may have been an occupying engagement there is plenty of evidence to show that industry, mathematics, architecture, enterprise, education and innovation were not neglected.

Africa was first a nation of communities and it would take another thousand years to make the transition to a community of nations. In the beginning the intricate web of race, relatives & respect made up the core of social order and organization. Strong community bonds ensured that interaction between communities was minimal, as kingdoms remained essentially ethnic. Though leaders in each community were chosen by different systems, leadership remained a social function. In a closed cultural system there is a practical and direct relationship between age, experience and therefore wisdom. Leadership was a developmental function often marked by initiation or certification rites and graduation through social ranks. However, while culture thrives in isolation it becomes open to question when compared to other cultures or is removed from its “home” context.

What is not commonly appreciated is that culture is a creation and tool of leadership. It is a condition of organization that can be addressed. It can be both learned and communicated. It is not a permanent feature of people and organization it is a created or formed element of organization. It can therefore be influenced and directed by leadership.

All this was to change forever at the turn of the first millennium. Three intrusions would distort the face of Africa and disperse the kingdoms therein: Slave Trade, Global religions and Colonialism. In between would flow the exploitative trader. Africa was dragged into the global arena through the humiliating door of slavery. This trade de-capacitated leadership development across the continent and exported its leadership potential. The capacity to organize the kind of resistance necessary to put an end to this evil was disjointed. As slave trade in earnest was winding up leadership in Africa was sent reeling from the effects of global religious campaigns that swept and crept across the North, East and Southern mainland. Before leadership in Africa could prepare a frame of reference to address this new incursion in came the colonialists who formalized their stay by carving out geographical boundaries to bring multiple indigenous communities under one government for the first time in history.

1900…the turning point
The turn of the 19th century marked an intensification of leadership activity in Africa. Leadership in Africa had now come into contact with the wider world and was now facing a dilemma as to how to associate with it. The fact that Africa suffered perhaps irreparably from its misadventure on the world stage up until 1900 is recorded history. The leadership loss incurred through the slave trade may never be quantified; neither will the cost of setbacks to the preparation of Africa to participate effectively in world affairs ever be determined. One could say that this misadventure continued well into the 20th century. However, this was to be so with some major differences.

Much as the slave trade threw leadership out of its cultural cocoons, it also opened leadership’s eyes to its neighbors and friends. The carving up of Africa introduced the continent to matters of globalization, governance, administration corporate institutions and bureaucracy. Kingdoms began to establish networks, communication structures and cooperation strategies. Leadership in Africa moved from isolation to consolidation of its capacity. The seeds of national leadership were planted in association, cooperation, education and organization. Leadership in Africa began to use informal order to organize resistance and outright rebellion with rising success. During this time leadership in Africa entered a period of intense development on a scale not witnessed before outside the cultural context. Politics presented the platform for new leadership in Africa.

Many of these movements were led by the formally educated in society at the time. This is probably why later leadership in Africa was strongly associated with formal education. It was believed that education would empower one to understand the colonial structures and systems and return power to the people. The goal was therefore to take over the existing administration. This could be achieved through a popular informal movement disrupting colonial governance. And so Africa launched its first corporate effort to self-determination under the banner of political leadership. Political leaders harnessed the support of people power, available in ethnic blocks, into the freedom struggle. They took power from the colonialist who had so far succeeded in keeping them divided. This strategy much as it was successful in deposing the colonialist has cost Africa dearly in nationhood - the ghost of ethnicity refused to go away.

Political leadership is still considered as leadership in many different spheres of Africa’s existence today. Politics pervades leadership in business, social life, science, education almost everything is politicized where leadership is required. But leadership is not politics and politics is not leadership. Leadership influences the quality of politics. In fact leadership influences the quality of any endeavor. Events of the last 50 years have shown that though politics is a powerful force in informal organization, it is often inadequate to drive development in formal environments. Africa needs to develop other forms of leadership to drive its development agenda in the 21st century. Institutional leaders need to be visionary and transformational change agents who give balance, support and substructure to development and growth initiatives across the continent. Nonetheless leaders also need to learn how to manage the new forms of institutions that regulate social interaction outside cultural frames such as schools, banks and business institutions that provide social services at a fee.   The social template of mass education (schools, universities); mass healing (hospitals); mass money lenders (banks) … are all foreign. Thus leadership in Africa did not go through a ‘natural’ transformation process to prepare them to handle leadership of modern social institutions.

Leadership development in Africa was a corporate social responsibility. While social leadership positions existed leadership was a social duty. In other words Leadership is the sum total shared responsibility of all those in authority and control of institutional resources or charged with organizational responsibility to achieve corporate goals. A group of people beyond an individual leader was charged with leadership responsibility. This approach to leadership extends the responsibility of achievement beyond the leader to the team. Alongside the modern requirements of vision, teamwork and technical competencies this approach needs two important ingredients to success; EXPRESSION and PARTICIPATION. These two ingredients draw on the strength of engagement and irrepressible spirit of the people to participate in social and economic affairs. Leaders in the 21st century will need to use more inclusive strategies to harness this vibrant social energy.

Click Picture to download your free copy 

Monday, August 29, 2016

A letter to Africa

Dear Africa, 

If I could write you a letter what would I tell you. To say that I am discouraged is true, But to say I have hope is not a lie. I have put my heart into you Africa and I need you to hear me. If not for me, then for your children. I want you to be free Africa. Free to be what you were made to be. I see you in the children and I wish I could live again. I hear you among the women and feel the pain. Their struggles are my struggles. I hear you among the men and I challenge you to arise and lead. Africa why do you hide. How long will you abide until you miss the tide. Africa we must go where you can only grow. Africa, o Africa in the heart of my soul you hold the light of dignity and the spirit of freedom. You cannot be afraid Africa. You can be what no man can know. Arise and lead. in freedom, hope dignity and the destiny of tomorrow. Arise Africa – Arise.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Food for thought

Counsel is limited in time. When that time passes you must pay the price!

Allan Bukusi

Friday, August 19, 2016

Be the leader Africa needs

ON BEHALF OF MY COLLEAGUES, I want to say a few words of encouragement and share with you a gift of hope. My colleagues at AWARD and I acknowledge the weight of the responsibility shouldered by all the people in this room for the transformation of this continent.

My colleagues and I have spent three days with you on a journey. The journey you have undertaken with BEHEARD is no small commitment to the transformation of this continent. For now, you are under scholarship and sponsorship, but it is a journey only you can complete and bring to fulfillment. The dreams we heard in this room of Ministers, leaders of agricultural institutions and policy makers are worth fighting for. To paraphrase Nelson Mandela, “if a man has nothing to die for he is not fit to live”. Your commitment to the next generation will bring these dreams to reality. The scriptures tell us that life is short and we all have but a few breaths on earth and then we are gone. Nonetheless, let it never be said that you spent your time here in vain

Some of you are young students, but we have mothers and fathers present in this room too who have left their homes to run without them to pursue a dream that will outlive them. Whether you come from rich or poor families or were sent here by your institutions of countries, you carry the dreams of families, communities and more than a million people. We want to say that we are proud of you and know that your sacrifice will bear great fruit. However, Success is not worth it if all you do is achieve it. – It must be shared, enjoyed and made meaningful to others.

The gift we share with you today is neither academic nor scientific, but it will serve to remind you of the nature of the real transformation we all hope to see across Africa. We hope that you will become the agent of change in your environment and ensure that people no longer talk about leaders as other people, but of leaders as people who do what you do. Remember that your job is not to manage people and solve problems but to align them and inspire them to pursue and achieve a new reality.

When we began this course two day ago the greatest concern in this room was of the quality of leadership in Africa. We have concluded the third day with the infusion of 54 new agents of change on the continent - One person for each country in Africa and one person for every week of the year. Some of you may have discovered yourselves at this conference, but we know for sure that you can now provide leadership in any position you are in an organization.

With those few remarks allow me to say that though we have trained you and empowered you with skills  and wisdom that was passed on to us, we want you to know that we share in your struggle for self actualization, and also in your dream for the empowerment of people in Agriculture. My colleagues have worked long and hard to ensure they gave you the very best. We know that you will do the same for your people. We urge you to be the Leader Africa needs!

God Bless Africa.

Allan Bukusi

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My love must let you go...

When you asked to leave me this time, I felt sad and hurt inside
Not because it was the first time, but because I made you cry
You said I did not love you, even though you tried so hard
I couldn’t understand it because my heart is open wide

In the comfort of my arms I held you, but the prison of my love made you die
This is not the first time that you have left me, but this time I am weary.
I am all torn up inside and so I must decide
In the morning when this is over I hope you change your mind

I want to hold on to you forever, but now I know that can never be.
And If I never ever lose you, then I must let you go.
I cannot promise you a fairy, nor call my love a lie.
But if you feel that its time, then you must say good bye.

All I pledge to is not to leave you and keep an open door.
For the love I have inside me must let you walk out that door
I won’t say goodbye to the good times nor ever to the bad  
But the sad part I must face is to say goodbye to my heart

I don’t want to hold on to you and indeed I never could
So I must tell my heart to let you go.
Like a bird that has been set free,
My love must let you go.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I had a dream once. I had a dream

I had a dream once. I had a dream
I had a dream that I could change the world
I wanted to build and build a better place
I dreamed of a happy place with no fighting and no fears
I worked hard and believed in my dream
I had a dream once. I had a dream
I dreamed I had a perfect family and a place I call home
I had a dream once.
I dreamed a dream with no disease and only hope
I had a dream once, I had a dream.
I dreamed that one day it would come true
I had a dream once. I had a dream
I had a dream to end all wars and solve all problems
And put a smile on all the children
I has a dream once, I had a dream

Allan Bukusi

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The mystery of life

The mystery of life is that you keep getting older and things keep changing around you.
You wish you were, but you can no longer.
You thought you should, but you no longer would even if you could.
You wish you had, but now it is just too bad.
But even the things you did then that you thought would bring you happiness now are no longer the same. They are not be appreciated now as much as you thought then.
 Nonetheless you can still find joy in whatever life is left for hope, sunrise and surprise never give up even when your energies wane.
So what is left of all the haste to get on in life but to say that, whatever your fate, at any rate, find peace in that you have done your best and so can rest and by grace you will pass Gods test.

Allan Bukusi

Friday, August 12, 2016

The royal weevil

The cook went and told the chef that there was a weevil in the soup. The chef told the store manager there was a weevil in the soup. The manager thought about it and mentioned it to the palace administrator. The Administrator mentioned to the visiting court minister that there was a weevil in the soup. When the matter came to the attention of the King, he pondered it for a while then adjourned the business of the court. The King, being fleet of foot swept down the stairway with all the ambassadors in pursuit. He flashed past the office of state on the castle grounds and made his way to the royal kitchens. When the kitchen cabinet completed their briefing the King issued his most famous executive order- “Remove the weevil from the soup!” . high up do decisions need to be made?

Allan Bukusi

Strange Drivers

There is a strange phenomenon I have observed over the years. Whereas there are vehicle drivers and drivers of vehicles, there seems to be some drivers who are driven by their vehicles and others who drive their vehicles. Those who are driven by their vehicles are usually overly eager, anxious and erratic. They also appear to have no regard for their own safety. Rather than control the vehicle power, the power of the vehicle controls them. These drivers blame their vehicles for a puncture or for a faulty fuel pump. It is a strange phenomenon, but you may be able to identify with what I am talking about. Those who drive vehicles are for the most part calm, confident and considerate of their own and others safety and comfort. There is a subtle difference between those who are driven and those who drive. That difference emerges in the cost of maintenance.

Allan Bukusi

Family ties

The most challenging aspect of family life is not that it may be dysfunctional; rather it is that you watch it grow, disperse and disintegrate before your very eyes.

Allan Bukusi

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

When was your last defining moment?

In the humdrum pedestrian nature of life there are moments that do not qualify as normal. There are times when circumstances conspire to create a new reality that demands your undivided attention and deep reflection.  I am not talking of birthdays, holidays or even a pay rise. It is certainly not an aha moment. Defining moments crystallize all you have come to believe and all that you have accumulated thus far. These moments test your mettle when nature conspires for you a life lesson. This is not the time to make off the cuff decisions. The decision you make in that moment maps out your future and defines your destiny. These moments often emerge in crisis, conflict or competition. They can be termed as a nasty experience or may also appear with all the effects of joy and triumph. Yet these moments define you. However the decisions you make in these moments liberate you and free you from prisons that you have built around you. These moments call us to a new level of existence far beyond the comfort of success. These moments are not always shrouded in excitement and can be of excruciating pain and solitary refinement. Nevertheless the great mystery is that we cannot tell in that moment that it is a defining moment. Many of us will miss these moments in our lives and thus, alas, from these moments, we notice nothing and gain nothing more.

Allan Bukusi

Friday, August 5, 2016

The story of the servant and two rivers

Some time ago there was a businessman who owned two donkeys and a water cart. He had tried, as many businessmen do to get a faithful servant to manage his water distribution business. Each of the hands he hired would, in turn, run away after three days or get tired of the work and resign. One enterprising chap actually made off with all the water containers and left the empty cart in the village square.

As it turned out the businessman did manage to hire an excellent worker. Some people say that every cloud has a silver lining and indeed the businessman was glad that his luck had turned for the good. The hardworking servant would come in early in the morning, untie the donkeys rub them down and load them up with empty water cans to fetch water from the river, sell the water on his way back home and give the money earned to the businessman by 2.PM. This happy collabo went on for some time until the businessman started to boast about how proud he was of his dedicated and hardworking employee who came in early and always returned on time in the village.

After some time he started noticing that the villagers were looking at him a little strangely after all nobody else boasted about their hired hands. Some laughed quietly as he passed by. One day he was shocked when he overheard one woman whispering to another in the market, “it is better to leave him in his ignorance”.

The next day the businessman disguised himself and followed his employee to the river. To his dismay the servant crossed the river and continued on his way. As the businessman wondered where the servant was going, the servant was happily greeting everyone along the way. Later they came upon another river where the servant loaded up the cart with water and started the journey back home. 

The businessman thought for a while and said to himself, perhaps there is better water in the second river than the first. But to his dismay the servant began to sell the water along the way. By the time they reached the first river the water cart was empty. The servant then proceeded to load up another full cart of water and continued on his return trip. This time the servant sold the water to the people the businessman knew.

The businessman rushed home as he knew what was about to happen. When the servant reached the house the businessman he gave him the earnings from the first river. However, when the servant came for the donkey cart early the next morning the Businessman asked him casually, “to which river are you going today, the first or the second?”

Allan Bukusi

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Ito Leadership

I never met Mr. Ito personally, but I did work in the company at the time. Things were not bad, but profitability was getting out of hand.  In case you are wondering about the photograph, that is me on the far right. I was the staff development manager. The only person who was legitimately in the picture is the man on the far left. The man in blue. You have to look carefully because you might miss him. You be forgiven is you think we were the fire brigade with our bright new overalls. However, our duty had nothing to do with fire. Our job was to sweep and clean the factory!

Rational thinking corporate executives do not sweep and clean factory floors.  They sit in offices and make phone calls. The only reason we found ourselves in this bright red position because Mr. Ito asked one question – What is our business? Apparently “tires” was the correct answer. He then said, “shouldn’t we be paying more attention to where those tires are coming from?”. Apparently the correct answer to the second question was the red brigade in that picture. In between those two questions the life of the entire management team changed forever. Led by Mr. Ito we all trooped to the factory.

Our job was to clean the machine that produces the value. It was to look after the goose that lays the golden eggs. Our roles changed from papers, printers and setting prices to helping the people who produce the gold do the best they could. What happened next was amazing. The workers in the mine began to smile. They felt appreciated. We got to know them and they got to talk to us. We became a factory and in a few months production surpassed the limitations of the engineering department specifications. I do not know why it happened. But just for the record let’s call it Ito Leadership!

Allan Bukusi

Monday, August 1, 2016

So - How do you train your leaders?

Place them in a position of challenge, responsibility and achievement. Build in them the spirit of success and teamwork. Affirm their self-respect and let them know you treasure their success. Make them champions of hope, dignity and character. Teach them never be ashamed to stand up in a crowd. Ignite their dreams and enroll them in the leadership academy. 

Allan Bukusi

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Burning schools, burning education

The rising trend of “burning schools” reported in the media in the East African nation of Kenya has drawn attention to government inquiry. However, apart from the massive loss of millions of shilling worth of property lost in bonfires of books and beds there is a disturbingly loud silence of millions of parents with children in schools. Despite the fact that parents are called upon to pay for damaged property, they seem just as wretched as their children in these circumstances. Parents are bewildered as to what to do with their children. Since sending a child to school is, one if not, the most responsible and loving things a parent can do for a child, parents will pay for the rebuilding of the school. However, rebuilding school property will neither prevent them from being burned again nor inspire in a child a new desire to pursue an education. In effect it is not the school that has been set on fire, it is the desire for education that has been burned. While burning school property is an economic question, burning education is a social catastrophe. A book published by this author provides some hard-hitting insight on the relationship between education and leadership, he points out that…

Education systems remove individuals from social responsibility, isolates them in institutions, raises their ambitions and expectations to unrealistic levels, then channels them back into society 20 years later hoping that they will make a healthy social adjustment and take up leadership roles. This does not happen with satisfactory frequency. Perhaps education systems could integrate social responsibility into school programs (rather than complete isolation) to help developing leadership keep in touch with social reality and begin developing solutions (during their education) to address surrounding social needs. This approach would not only ensure that education becomes a social enterprise that continuously interacts and positively impacts the environment, but would also prepare leadership to practically address social concerns and take initiative to make a social contribution upon completion of education. Education is currently institutionalized it perhaps needs to be socialized. – THINKING LEADERSHIP IN AFRICA, 2004

Education is the seedbed of a nations’ leadership quotient. If the tree of education is burned at the roots it is only a matter of time before the fruits of leadership become embers. Schools are merely vehicles that supply leaders and facilitate the establishment of a society. However an education system that does not serve the interests of society will be as useless as an eyesore of the charred remains of a burned school.

Allan Bukusi


It is not often that you get to walk into a room full of dreams. But recently I was privileged to spend three days of my life with more than 25 AWARD consultants from 11 countries across Africa whose heart and soul breathed the fusion and life of a continent. It is hard to understand what that means if you have all you need. It comes easier when you realize that others do not have what you want. It is easy to pass it off when it does not make a difference to you, but it becomes a different reality when you want to live a life that matters. Such is the power of dreams. 
As I listened to the living dreams and the dissatisfaction with the level of success in the lives of each of those dreamers, I understood that the work to be done was far from finished. I realized that dreams bring life and visions that  light hope are fueled by faith and sustained by love. Perhaps the light of the world is not a candle but a vision of glory - a fusion of dreams. A vision so bright that poverty cannot but be put out. The flicker of success lights up the saddest hearts and puts a smile on a world of faces. Dreams do that –they create a new reality and ignite a fire within bright enough to fight on for another day.

In that room we learned, laughed, shed some tears and revised our dreams. There was good news and bad news and not a little sad news. There were setbacks and drawbacks and downright throwbacks. I think we all understood that the agenda was much bigger than ourselves. And so each of our dreams got bigger! We understood that facts and data are good things, but they must not be allowed to take the place of the hope and glory of destiny. I know life is hard and things don’t always work out, but that is not the time to visit a museum! It is time for you to walk into a room full of dreams, take a candle and go light your world.

Allan Bukusi

A definition of Courage

A close friend shared with me his current state in life....I am discouraged, I am tired and in many ways I am frustrated -by so much and so many. I have lost hope many times over. I have failed so many times I cannot recall the taste of success, but if I give up it will be because I am dead.

Allan Bukusi

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The difference between an "A" and a "C"

An “A” grade indicates an excellent mind schooled in one way of thinking. A “C” grade indicates a mind that reserves the right to investigate plenty of options.

Allan Bukusi.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Leading & managing

Leaders must have very good managers or else they will lead by managing.

Allan Bukusi

Friday, July 15, 2016

Who made God?

By creating a god you solve the problem of who made god. If God made you then you may need to be aware of it.

Allan Bukusi

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The folly of success...

Success is not worth it if all you do is achieve it. It must be shared, enjoyed and made meaningful to others.

Allan Bukusi

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Sayings of Africa !

The Sayings of Africa are not just words or platitudes to make people think. The meaning of the words and the grace with which they roll off the tongue is not meant to entertain the sayer or the sayee. They are made to be easy to recall. Anyone can say them. The sayings of Africa are accumulated wisdom accrued over years of exposure in specific environments and situations. The Sayings of Africa are condensed from the library of a communities understanding and perspective of the principles of life. The sayings of Africa are African and resonate with the souls of the past, present and future generations. The sayings of Africa are rich in school and help us mine the wealth of our heritage. The sayings of Africa teach and warn. They are life to them who live them and disaster to those who ignore them. When you say the sayings you are sitting at the feet of the great who with grace without getting drunk on detail. The sayings of Africa are not just a rich legacy or merely an anthology. The secrets they hold apply to many areas of life, but particularly to the leadership of life. The Sayings of Africa speak to everyone the same. The sayings of Africa, in their apparent simplicity can beguile the most intelligent yet are obvious and explainable to a child. Wisdom does not require intelligence to communicate simple truth. What baffles is that these sayings have universal application. They are written in code. Coded messages reaching into our time with a light to life. The sayings of Africa carry in them libraries of references and depth of content accessible to Africans. From those who have gone before speaking today. So no matter we know not what they say we must treat them with respect if we are to unlock the secrets of that which they say, that which is said and that which will be said. The Sayings of Africa are scattered and I dare say fading, when you hear them, you know them. Some of them project mischief and the naughty use them thus. The Sayings of Africa project wisdom because they frame complex situations, concepts and routine detail hidden in elementary words. Their crafting is the art of a fine mind while their application establishes social norms and forms character. The Sayings of Africa are fading away…The Sayings of Africa are African. They hold the key to Africa. When you hear these saying listen carefully for you are listening to the heart of Africa. In your teaching teach the spirit of Africa. The Sayings of Africa teach survival, give life and facilitate success!
The keys to unlocking the Sayings of Africa are;
  1. Wording; examine the choice, selection and organization of the phrase. 
  2. Context; examine the meaning of the subject and the object in the specific environment.
  3. The principle; examine the principle and unlock the value of its application, and finally 
  4. Generate scenarios in which the principle is applicable in a social (leadership) process.

You will be amazed at the simplicity of wisdom.

Allan Bukusi, July 2016

From Lilongwe, Malawi.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fooling around...

You can fool your way through college, but you can't fool your way through life.

Allan Bukusi.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Worst Kind of Rebellion...

The worst kind of rebellion occurs when the people develop a sense of entitlement towards their leaders, no longer support them and expect the leader to do everything for them. Unfortunately, this kind of rebellion is not overt. If it was it would be easy to deal with. Nevertheless, its covert, cancerous nature is responsible for the rot and collapse of more would be successful organizations than we would care to imagine.The most ridiculous thing about this rebellion is that it is both self seeking and self defeating.

Allan Bukusi

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Leaders Time

Let me conclude that leaders are here for a season and a reason. When either one expires time moves on. It does not matter that the leader is celebrated or not.

Allan Bukusi

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The sum total of life

The sum total of a mans life are his words.

Allan Bukusi

Friday, May 13, 2016

Are you a Money Maximizer or Money Minimizer?

I have come to realize that it is possible to rich and appear to be poor (not have money). While it is also possible to be poor and appear rich (having a lot of money to show off). The principle is that of maximizers and minimizers.

Maximizers find a way to stretch and multiply every dollar they earn. Maximizers invest in buildings, property and social enterprise, thus they never have any money left leave alone extra or loose cash. They may be worth millions in term of substance, but never have cash to spend on some of the more “fun” things that the minimizer loves on enjoy. The minimiser will use his earnings to take care of his basic needs and then use the rest to have fun and borrow more money to spend. The minimizer (it seems odd) is never broke but does not really own anything.

The quote in the book of Proverbs “ there is that maketh rich, yet has nothing; three is that maketh himself poor yet hath great riches’ is a powerful meditative text that will tax you to think carefully about how much you are really worth. Consider carefully whether you are a maximizer or a minimizer when it comes to earning money and creating wealth. If you are a maximizer and don’t have the money you want, console yourself that you have wealth.  If you are a minimize and enjoying life, consider the risk you run of losing everything you (don’t) have. However, in my considered wisdom it is better to avoid extremes and manage your life in between.

Allan Bukusi

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Three things are necessary for good employment

Three things are necessary for good employment; academic, process and interpersonal skills. While academic knowledge was used to map job skills in days gone by, today’s jobs require process skills. Unfortunately, process skills change rapidly, dramatically and exponentially and in ways academics cannot predict.  Work also requires interaction, engagement and collaboration with other people. The quality of this communication has a direct bearing on output and productivity. While interpersonal skills are not directly taught in school and are assumed to be a product of ‘upbrining” and culture, this assumption often leads to unwarranted communication disasters in the workplace. Employers find it necessary to develop employee work ethics and communication skills just to retain a productive community. In employment academic skills are not enough, process skills need to be updated, however, interpersonal skills are essential for success.

Allan Bukusi

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Villagers and the village

The reason villagers never leave the village is they think the village is the world.

Allan Bukusi

Leadership, Authority & Power

The president of Haiti and the president of USA have the same authority, but not the same power. Power, the capacity for violence, the command of force and the control of resources is not enjoyed to the same extent by all leaders.  A leader may have more power than the people, but the leader of many and the leader of a few are both leaders. Authority is delegated, power is acquired while leadership is assigned. The judicious use of leadership, power and authority amount to effective rule.

Allan Bukusi  

Life is a wonder

It is ironic that the impact of our lives on earth is so little and so late it is a wonder that it is worth it.

Allan Bukusi

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Seven Laws of Creation

  1.     The law of origin
  2.     The law of nature
  3.     The law of characteristics
  4.     The law of purpose
  5.     The law of design
  6.     The law of process
  7.     The law of destruction

These laws find application in multiple spheres of human existence. From social organization to entrepreneurial activity and from education to personal development. The first four laws are of the type manufacturers of phones would call SIM LOCKED. In other words they are pre-conditional for any type of creation to proceed. While very few inventors may lay claim to having original thought in creating new paradigms of existence for the good of humanity, most inventors are innovators who make use of existing concepts. While the creators of handwriting, the wheel and the fundamental process of construction can be said to be true creators, the use of documentation, vehicles and types of housing are only innovations.  

The law of origin states that the origin of a thing is beyond the thing. In other words everything has a creator. It is the reason why we are more impressed with the creator than the thing. The maker has pre-eminence over the creature.

The second law states that every creation has a context in which it is dependent for existence, survival and success. The “set” of a play enables the “act” and therefore facilitates the actors to unfold the play. The context enables the recognition and placement of the creation.

The third law of creation states that the characteristics or the character of the item defines its function and operation. The character of the creation must be functional within the environment in which it exists for it to be of use.

The fourth law is the law of purpose. The creation must add value. The unique functionality enables it to be identified as such while its purpose justifies its creation. Without a specific and unique purpose, its placement, deployment and usefulness among other creations is of questionable value.

The fifth law of creation is design. This is where most creators classified as inventors or innovators start. This law states that a creation is captured and can be registered by its unique design. This design can be the process of manufacture or the unique nature and signature of the item. Creators therefore focus of creating something new or creating a new perspective of already existing creations. While the true patent is of the creator of origin (law 1), subsidiary patents can be quantified so long as all the primary laws (1-4) are not tampered with.

The sixth law is the law of consistency. This law states that the application of a creation must be consistent and yield consistent results – consistently. In other words a creation that functions once and does not generate the same results when repeated is not a creation. The creation must meet the scientific standard of repeat out comes to qualify as a creation. A pig gives birth to a pig. Nevertheless Edison’s lamp would not qualify as a creation if it only worked the first ten times.

The seventh law of creation states that what is created can be destroyed. What is created can become obsolete. This can also be interpreted as the law of updation. This law prevents inventors from becoming complacent and satisfied with their creation to the extent that it fails to accomplish the purpose for which it was created. In other words inventors can only claim their creation if they maintain it.

Allan Bukusi


Friday, April 8, 2016

TRUMP Elections

The US elections always attract global attention. This time round the subject of this urgent attention is the participation of very loud personalities in the presidential race. Indeed nations and stock markets alongside political analysts around the world have voiced their views and concerns on the outcome of the presidential race. Reflecting on the US presidential elections makes me think about the upcoming elections in my own country next year.  The question I ask is, “are elections about personalities or about the institutions that install them?” The citizens of democracies answer that question on Election Day.

Allan Bukusi

The fear of God?

“The fear of God” can be an intimidating statement. It suggests that there is God and that there is need to be afraid of Him. While those who do not believe in God have nothing to fear, there is nothing to fear in knowing what it means to fear God. The FEAR of God has four parts,
The fear of God demand faith in his existence and of course being subject to His authority. This is not always easy to work out and work through. As being s with free will we all have a challenge with submitting to authority. However, in order to benefit from an authority a person must submit themselves to it. While it is possible to receive grace and generosity from an authority, you can only benefit from it if you are subject to it. A tourist experiences grace, citizens enjoy the benefits of nationhood.
While the fear of God creates an expectation of God in terms of reward or retribution, it is important for a person who fears God to learn about what he or she is “afraid” of. In other words it does not make sense to fear what you do not know. So the fear of God entails knowing who God is, learning about God and cultivating a knowledgeable expectation of God as God. To achieve an education of God one needs study and since it is considered by many people as a personal choice. It would be sensible to establish some sort of personal relationship with this God in order to make peace with Him to avoid having to live in fear. In other words, if you must fear God, if makes sense to educate yourself on why you fear Him.
One of the things fear triggers in a person is aspirations. Aspiration to fight or to take flight. While these two options entail consequences they do also engender that capacity to give an account. Why would you fear unless your aspirations are not achieved or you cannot give account. Of course, if you do not believe in God you have nothing to fear. However, if you do fear God then you are motivated if not inspired by the outcome of an encounter or meeting with God. If you have nothing to report or cannot give account then you have reason to fear. It might stand you in good stead if you have something to report.
There would be nothing to fear if you have no responsibility to God. However the fear of God equips you to take responsibility seriously. While it may not be correct to assume that everyone is responsible by nature, it is practical to expect everyone to be responsible by design. The fear of God enables you to work towards being responsible because your personal values, ethics and respect for God enables you to take pride and responsibility for who you are in all that you do.

Allan Bukusi          

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The folly of employee motivation!

A child does not need motivation to eat unless ill. Why should employers motivate employees? A person who cannot motivate themselves is not worth hiring!

Allan Bukusi

Monday, January 11, 2016


You have 525,600 minutes to spend this year - I urge you to spend them wisely and earn a happy and prosperous new Year 2016!

Allan Bukusi

Friday, January 8, 2016

What is Determination?

Determination is not a feeling, a function or a favorable emotional condition; it is the action, advance and accomplishment of goals.

Allan Bukusi