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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