Quality for a lifetime
Esteemed June - July â€˜07 Edition
Employment vs Entrepreneurship A long star studded employment record
Perspectives Surviving Office Politics Customers valued Investment Reaping from mind empowerment
At peace Making the most of your current
Managing Editor Wangari Kimani Advertising Executives Nahashon Mithanga Contributors Wangari Kimani Winnie Mwangi Design and Photography Frederick Rukungu Nahashon Mithanga Distribution & Circulation Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd. Published by: Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd. P.O. Box 24329, Karen 00502 Contact us: Email: email@example.com URL: www.esteemedonline.com Copyright Information
Thank You In between the hustles and bustles of everyday, we all need a break during which we relax our minds and rebuild our hopes for the future and ideas on how to make the present a little bit better. Thank you for making Esteemed a part of that break and with this second edition, we hope that you will have a good read and get a new outlook on life. Successful is the term I would give to our launch edition. We received very humbling responses that were the icing on the cake. You should have seen the finger biting and wrist rubbing that went on after the upload on the website (www.esteemedonline.com) was done. Your responses have served to spur us on to another edition. According to our statistics, we had a total of 2,948 hits since our launch on March 31, 2007 with e-visits from Kenya, USA, European Union, Bahrain, The Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and France among others. Thank you for passing the word on Esteemed and please continue sending us those comments and points of concern to make us better and to provide a better read for you. In this edition, we interview three individuals in different industries hospitality, motoring and academic (a teacher). They give us an insight on what keeps them going in their chosen career paths and where they see themselves in relation to their daily arenas. We also feature articles on customer relations, human relations - if you work, then you know office politics can be as interesting as national politics by our honorable members! For the quiet moment, we have quite a read in store for you as well as the investment idea of the season, and much more which is sure to make No. 2 a good No 1 read.
Esteemed is a bi-monthly magazine published by Eagle Afric Holdings Ltd. Views expressed in the articles and contributions are not necessarily those of the publisher. In our editorial this time around, we take the opportunity to console and share our All rights reserved. While every reasonable effort has been made and precautions taken to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the content herein, neither the Esteemed team, nor its advertisers, nor printers can accept responsibility for any damages or inconvenience that may arise there from. The views expressed within the publication are those of the authors exclusively and not necessarily those of the Esteemed owners. Any material sent to us will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and may or may not be acknowledged as receipted. This material will also be subject to scrutiny for unrestricted editing and commentary at the discretion of the Editorial team.
heart felt condolences with the bereaved families of the KQ flight 507 and those whose kin have fallen prey to the Mungiki spate of killings. Our God in heaven is all seeing and all mighty. As His good and right word says, He made everything and everyone for a purpose even the wicked for the day of trouble. God will do justice to those that have been wronged and for sure, He knows our joy and our sorrows. Nothing is hidden from Him and if we need the comfort, He will provide it.
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Be strong and of good courage. God picks up from where you cannot take it anymore and remember this, He is not so unjust that He will bring to us, trials that we cannot stand, or trials that are beyond our strength. If you know a cake bakes at 80° Celsius that is the temperature you will set for it to come out perfect. If you know it cannot withstand 95° Celsius, you will not give it that. How much more, God in heaven? He knows us better than we know ourselves and as He watches over us without so much as batting an eyelid, nothing will happen to us that He has not okayed.
Enjoy and learn!
“I read and re-read the articles in the first edition and my my my... they made such good reading and I was so encouraged especially by the entrepreneurs and the inspiration pointers and especially the one on stop being afraid. Yaani, I must say I learnt a lesson from those two guys article of just how things can come to be and not to give up and to press on.”
“...haiya, where have these people been?" “when is the magazine going to the shelf?”
Contents Employment vs Entrepreneurship
Principles behind a long standing employment
“the articles are really nice” “the quiet time was refreshing it was a reminder for me” “the articles are short and precise and not monotonous we are used to.” “the pictures in the magazine can be improved.
Entrepreneurship vs Employment E: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in n pursuit of understanding what keeps some of us in one your field? company or industry for so long a time such as more than five P: The funniest thing and sometimes I think is the most basic. My years, we got to interview three individuals: mother, back in those gone years, was very strict with academics Priscilla (P): Teacher at a private primary school; 45 years old;'O' Level training, Teacher Training from a teacher's training institute; Work and my siblings and I had to read or face the music. In school, we were very many in one class and the teacher would not have Experience of 25 years teaching lower level primary school enough time for each of us and as a result we had to struggle a lot Passion: Children individually. So in my very conventional mind, I decided that when I grew up, I would be a teacher and I would be very attentive to each Nicholas (N): Sales Executive at a local motor vehicle dealership; 30 of my students. And look where my dream got me some thirty years years old; Polytechnic Diploma; Work Experience of 7 years in sales later. Today, even my worst academic performer stands out from the dealing with FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), motor crowd for something that he or she is. May be it's the sporting skill, vehicles Passion: Speed and making money! or ability to memorize things, that gets them into an acting level at Susan (S): 3-Star Hotel Manager; 29 years old; College higher diploma; the drama club, or a beautiful face and voice that get them on stage to entertain during events. You see, I purposed to teach lower Work Experience of 4 years working in the hotel industry. Same primary, because they are such impressionable minds and if I can employer since graduation challenge them to be great at that tender age, then I know, going by Passion: Satisfied customers! statistics, that only a negligible percentage will fail me. When I see my students today, I remember the child that I was and I work with The interviewees requested that their photos are not used during this an adult mind fitting into those shoes - it is the most humbling interview and so we substituted them with modeled pictures. experience. N: I wouldn't say that I planned my career. I actually studied to be a E: How much has your career impacted upon your life? mechanical engineer because I loved messing around with engines P: I have worked as a teacher for the past 25 years. My work is my life and my life is basically my work. I eat, sleep and drink teaching. I find it and motors and all that; however, when I was in college, I always wanted to have some extra cash so I found myself a job at a certain the noblest career on the planet. boutique and I was asked to sell cosmetics to ladies. (He smiles N: My job has increased my knowledge of people of different cheekily with tongue in cheek) You guys sure are in a class of your characters, my network of acquaintances and friends has continued to grow everyday and for sure I can say, it is an endless sea of knowledge own when it comes to choosing! E: Well, you know, ladies, we want the best, so we take our time to out there. A good sales person is one who is blest with the gift of garb. Combine that with the virtue of truth and honesty and he or she can sell choose the best. N: No mistake! So anyway, I learnt so that I wouldn’t lie and appear anything. That's me and that's what my job has cut me out to be unknowledgeable about what I was selling. It was a tough one, but S: A lot! My career has done a great deal for my naivety, if I may call it not tougher than a brother who needed to get to the top of the that. I have greatly come to appreciate that everyday is a new day to ladder. I love people and talking to them is a part of sales. learn and the worst thing I can do is approach issues, people, Unfortunately, life started going downhill after my parent's couldn't circumstances and our environment with a slow and closed mind. Attitude/ mindset is the greatest hindrance to personal development but pay fees for me any more. I had to get serious with life and when I realized that my hobby was earning me more than my academic it is also the greatest asset in succeeding to unbelievable heights of certificate would, a light bulb lit in my head. I decided to finish the success. Mechanical Engineering course and in the working world, combined E: What is the most fulfilling part of what you do for a living? it with my love for people. And here I am, after a brief sales and P: Let me first put it across that no one in this world will ever come to you and say, “Hi, here is your fulfillment reaped from the good work that marketing course. By no means am I wealthy and rich from this you have done!” Not even the mother who gave birth to you will ever do employment, but I love every minute of it. S: I didn't do very well in school, I have to admit that except in that. As an individual, you have to find that out for yourself and believe me, it cannot be limited to one thing only. By thing here am referring not English and Home Science. I was also very good at public speaking but through our education system, these were not exactly the only to the physical but to even emotional, psychological, social and courses your parents wanted to hear you are successful at. If it much more. My fulfillment is in seeing an otherwise feeble mind, pick wasn't the sciences then it was mathematics and vice versa. So up on their performance and develop it to great heights. I also derive when I finished school and my father was through with being great fulfillment when I am walking in town or in the market and I meet disappointed, he agreed to pay for a hotel management course. I with one of my former students who I may not know because the last I then went into internship at several hotels at the coast. This was saw them, they could barely fit into their shorts or they had pussy cat hair styles with colorful beads. There is no greater joy for me when they made possible by the fact that I always emerged top of my class and recommendations both verbal and written were in plenty. Honestly, tell me of their exploits in business or in their personal lives because I back then, when the words, “You failed me” came out of my father's know I was instrumental in shaping that brain. I would spend close to eight hours a day, pumping knowledge into their very impressive minds. mouth, I always beat myself up about it wondering what I ever did And if they turn out as great people in their own way, I will know, I did a wrong that I could not become the lawyer my father wanted me to be. But today, he sings a different song. good job and if the past is anything to go by, then I am still impacting E: What is the least favorite thing in your job? another generation! P: I have two actually. One is spanking a child and second is being N: My fulfillment comes through watching my customers react to their new cars with nothing but joy and pride written all over their faces. After the only point of solid reference the child has. There is nothing as lousy and disheartening as a child who knows that the teacher is the all it doesn't happen everyday that you will get a new car from the only person they can run to in times of trouble. Some parents bring showroom! Honestly, my second most fulfilling moment of my work is their kids to school and expect the teachers to raise them on their the pay factor. Do you know why I choose to find fulfillment in that? (I behalf. We are supposed to complement not to be substitute shake my head in awe because of all things, this answer I did not parents. Tiny children are expected to be adults who know how to expect) It's very simple actually. I get paid because I put effort and plan their work, dress themselves. Tell themselves not to watch energy into it. If I did not work at satisfying a customer, my life will not some programs meant for adults and so much more. It's true that be the way I expect it to be. So when I work and the financial fruits of the children spend most of the day at school and with the teachers my labor are reflected through my bank account then why should I not and that is where they are moulded. But remember every teacher be happy and get fulfilled? S: (She smiles before she answers): The most fulfilling part of my job is has about 30 children per class and that is a small number in a small private school. How in all honesty, are we expected to take when a customer's stay at our hotel under my service is rated (by that customer) as “It's just like I have been home” or something close to that care of each individually with 100% attention? It pains me when a kid tells me they would rather be at school than at home. From the sentiment. Our hotel is not just an alternative accommodation or sit years I have spent with children, those who know that the overall down meal place. I believe it’s a place where if you come to stay for a person in their lives is their parent, develop a stronger character and night, you will get so comfortable, you will want to stay under our care every time you are in town or out having fun. My team and I purpose to personality. welcome a guest, make them feel at home right from the moment they enquire about our rates, to when they enter through our doors, fill in the check in forms, their first meal, their sleep and even when they leave. And my fulfillment is doubled when I see that for the rest of the team and myself, serving like this comes naturally. It is not plastic and we love it. I am hoping that it is our good service that will bring the next star home. E: If you ever need a vote on that, please let me know, because for sure, I know, you are not lying. I came there long before Esteemed was, and I did enjoy a wonderful afternoon meal, and it did not do injustice to my wallet either. S: Thank you very much. Welcome again and I will take you up on that vote.
in love with your job
On spanking, I believe in what the Good Book says. “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him”. That's Proverbs 22:15. Discipline a child and years later when they are grown up, they will thank you for it. How do you tell a child, after they have done wrong and even you as an adult know that it is wrong, tell them to go to their room and think about what they have done? The same brain that was responsible to reach the wrong decision is the same one that should be trusted to figure out and convince the same child that his actions were truly wrong? Give me a break! Spank him right, not to the point of injury or damage, but enough to make them know that they will be in more serious trouble next time. Let the punishment act as a deterrent for wrong behavior. Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived, even in our time today, and am sure he was not speaking out of imagination. N: Inability to fulfill a promise to a customer. Selling cars is a business that involves several parties, most of whom are invisible to the customer. So when all these parties work in harmony, the customer is happy and I am happy because I get to serve my customer right. In the event that I cannot meet the very deadline I gave, I tell my customers and therein comes my least favorite time. It doesn't happen often but when it does, (he shakes his head), I am my own worst judge. I demand the best from myself and when I don't get that, I am not a very happy camper! S: Withstanding insults has to take the day on this one. There are some customers who are just a pain, and I say this with all due respect. You go out of your way to make them comfortable, offer the food at the right temperature, air the room they want to sleep in and smile at them, but they still find something to whine and nag about. Sometimes it is so trivial and may even have nothing to do with the hotel but they still find a way of making it your shortfall. I have come to appreciate that for some of these, there is an underlying problem and when they need somebody to be the scapegoat of their woes, trust me, they will pick on you. On the other hand I think these scenarios have enabled me become a better person. Humility, patience, self control and the ability to forgive I have developed these over a long time and I thank God for each difficult customer I have ever had and I thank them too for being difficult. E: If you were to go back in time, what would you do differently? P: Nothing. The experiences I have had, both painful and joyous have made me into what I am and I am proud of who I am and what I have become. I would add onto my academics though, in the sense that I would take a course in child psychology to enable me be of further help to my children. I call my pupils my children. N: Develop my academics further than a certificate level in different courses. For me, selling comes naturally, but should I become a manager, I know, I would be a walking disaster. With this in mind, I am now doing night classes to prepare me for a managerial position. Our company is rapidly growing, but should the opportunity of a promotion to a sales or branch manger come up, I would not be considered because of my academics. I may be a good salesman, but I have no evidence of successful team leadership such that I can be a sales manager. If I want to go up the corporate ladder I need to be both streetwise and paper-wise. S: Grow a spine for dealing with people sooner than I did. After my 'O' level results came through, I got into a psychological war and I almost gave up on myself. My dad called me a failure. My mother had to tolerate my father's insults about how useless my life would become. I could see her struggle and pray that something good would come out of it all. Even the joy of success I had in catering school was not very long lasting because I believed my father. For a long time I worked to ensure my father would eat his own words. Then soon when I started working here at the hotel, I attended a seminar that changed it all for me. Since then, I work for me, and not for vengeance. The joy I have at every success lives for as long as I want it to. (Cont. Page 4, Col. 1)
Business Principles Entrepreneurship vs Employment (Cont .from Page 3, Col. 3) E: What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career in your field? P: Work on developing nine very basic principles of life: - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. Also, learn as much as you can from the classroom. Assess our society and understand which courses to pursue and will be applicable like I said previously, a course like child psychology will enable you deal with the different personalities of children to be found in a classroom. N: Know your strengths and weaknesses. Capitalize on the strengths and learn how to create opportunities out of your weaknesses. If you are shy when talking to people, go for public speaking courses and equip yourself. If you have a problem pampering someone's ego, deal with that. If you do not know yourself, you are in a world of trouble S: Give yourself room to grow and develop. As human beings, we all make mistakes in life and the question is what you do about it. The hospitality industry requires someone who is beautiful and strong both on the inside and the outside. Customers can detect a phony character and once they do, they don't judge you as an individual. They look at you as the organization. You are a representative of the company you work for. When people see you, they see the company. E: Have you ever thought of venturing into private business and abandoning formal employment? P: Yes I have. I always wondered what kind of a headmistress I would make if I started my own school but because of several reasons such as lack of capital, love for children and my dedication to my own family, I figured out a long time ago that I am fit to be employed. N: Standard procedure. Here is a question, how many of us have wanted to go it alone? But I figured, my salary at end month supported by several investments here and there will do me good. Furthermore, I have not gained enough experience and skill for me to establish my own company. But I believe that once I do get that experience, I will start my own company. Don't ask me whether it is in the same field because I am yet to figure that out. S: Yes I have. But at the moment, I need to build the experience and proper foundation. I know most start ups are in a litmus test for the first three years and since I do not want to start something and it fail, I am watching my steps before I go down that road. E: What would you consider the most important investment one can make for a successful employment period? P: Education and respect for yourself, for others and respect from others for you. N: Savings. You never know what tomorrow holds, and while a payslip at the end of the month is good and stable, you need to save up so that even if the company goes bankrupt, and God forbid, you will still have enough financial resources to continue living your life. Your company is an entity of its own and should it go down, it doesn't need to go down with you. S: Network of contacts and friends. These are people who you associate with at different levels and since no one is an island, you need to keep in touch with people and don't burn your bridges, even if you have already crossed the river. You just might come back down that path and you will have to use the same bridge if you did not burn it, or spend time building another one E: Where do you see yourself in another five years? P: Retired and taking care of my grandchildren. N: I see myself having gone up the corporate ladder in this company. As a manager with a team to manage and playing a pivotal role in developing salesmen and saleswomen with a passion from deep down inside. S: Hopefully retail manager in charge of several hotel branches when it is converted into a five star hotel. I intend to grow old with this hotel. E: Do you have any endorsements for Esteemed? P: Keep up the good work and thank you for recognizing that even teachers contribute enormously to the corporate world. N: If Esteemed has passion as one of its founding values, then we had best watch out. Keep the fire burning. S: Thank you for the interview.
Success doesn’t come easy Have you ever wondered how our parents, aunts and uncles ever managed and still manage to work for the same employer for like more than 10 years and they are still waking up at four to beat the traffic and get to the office by eight a.m.? And if any of them sat you down for the tale of “back when I first started working” you will shake your head and wonder how they can even begin to relieve their hey days with the same employer who is now looking for someone with your skills. The one thing that consistently repeats itself is that when they were employed, their families being well taken care of was the most elementary. Career development, profession, and career paths were as much foreign concepts as computers and mobile phones. So in trying to share on the principles that govern loyalty for long employment, please pardon our concentration on the 21st century employee. So how do people manage to work for such long durations for the same employer in the current day and age without getting bored with the jobs they hold? 1. Self Motivation: No one in this job market and business environment will ever motivate you. They may create environments that encourage you to be motivated but they sure won't say, “Hi, my name is Jared, and I am here to motivate you!” Motivation is like a bonfire. A woodcutter may provide the wood and the matchbox to light it, but if the one who intends to get warmed by it does not bother to gather the wood and strike the match, then the fire will not be lit. No matter how long he/ she looks at it. Same thing happens with employment. Your employer may offer the right perks in addition to your salary, you may have heavenly ergonomics to work around, you may have all the resources but if you do not have an interest in the job and you do not use your talents and abilities, that job will always be a heavy burden to bear. Self motivation to a great extent pegs itself on creating and seizing the opportunities to apply your knowledge, skills, talents and creativity to deal with interesting, important problems, issues and situations as and when they arise. Such an employee will remain in their current organization even when their skills and competencies are in high demand elsewhere. 2. They strategically place themselves as ambassadors for their companies: Years back, once or twice while under employment in a certain company I asked myself, “why should I give up so much of myself for this company? Does it belong to my father so that I can easily justify the hard work and long hours?” Often, at night, I would go to bed feeling guilty because of that question but sometimes we all feel like that. Yes even the loyal employees. What differentiates them though, is their ability to get over it and get moving on to accomplishing the next task with fire and passion. There is no greater feeling than knowing you have given it your best and unless one has a vendetta against you, there is no ground available for claims of lack of dedication. Doesn't it do you proud to walk on the streets and see your handiwork in your company's products? You always make sure that those around you know that you deal with that product. And if you are asked to dress to represent your company, you would gladly take your best suit out of the wardrobe to be seen to work for that company. You will tell a company's ambassador when he or she begins with words like, “At my company, we …” And you would be forgiven to think that they hold a high office in the company 3. Matured mentality of Office is Home: If you thought it is difficult to cultivate a culture of self-motivation, wait till you get to the level of cultivating the mentality that your office or place of work is your home. And this is a major component to you being a loyal employee such that you can work for eight to ten years or more without suffering burnouts that have major irreversible effects on your life. The trick is to find the emotional connection to your company by asking yourself questions such as "What's important about the work I do?”, “What can I do to make my workplace a little better for me?”, What do I love doing, what do I have passion for? What is it that I can continue to do joyfully even in the absence of a pay slip? If you do this exercise as truthfully as possible, you will reveal things about yourself that you didn't even know. If the answers are mostly money related with little, if any, connection with passion and drive, then consider some change in your mind set. Once you have realized where your passion lies, align your actions with the direction of the overall company. Once you tap and connect with this, you will see yourself going places just as the company does. 4. Being the change you want to see: There is nothing as challenging as leading by example; nevertheless, in a corporate culture that values experience and encourages growth from within this can and should be a very fruitful endeavor for the individual. Often in change management classes, there has always been a reflective thought of “be the change that you want to see”. Long Term employees will witness and shape unforeseen changes in the organization's mission to its clients, and resources and processes of business. Based on the change processes adopted in the company, these employees will help the desired change take root. But it doesn't happen overnight, neither does it happen successfully based on only the individual's commitment. You have to see the organization through its owners eyes and embrace it. The concept of initiative is what stands out the most here and for sure if it is appreciated and tapped into by management of a company, then it shall stay there, within that company for a long time, without suffering burn out. 5. Wisdom is the only true friend to embrace: A loyal employee is a wise person. He/ she is able to read between the lines, pick out the relevant data and leave the useless. They are able to read the signals sent out by their employers and thus they are able to know if they have a future in the company or not. To illustrate the importance of wisdom in our daily lives, look at King Solomon who is reputed to be the wisest man to ever walk the face of the earth. There he is in the presence of the Almighty. He would have asked for live everlasting on earth to enjoy the pleasures he had as a king. He would have gladly said, let me remain king over Israel forever, he would have asked for so much more but he said, “…Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” And God did not just give him what he asked for. “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for both riches and honor so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life”. That was God's reply to Solomon's request. In one of his famous proverbs and sayings Solomon put it very simply, “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you” and in another phrase he said “Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?” Whether employed or retired or self-employed,
Wisdom cannot be too much.
6. Not for love of the money: Some very harsh reality to deal with: No one will ever employ you to make you rich. Unfortunately, a lot of us might get into the trap of thinking our future is in the company and we refuse to look elsewhere in terms of income generation. We then get to retirement age in the same company and even if a bigger opportunity were to arise in another place, we would not be eligible for that. Imagine being employed as a caretaker and due to advancement in years you cannot even be appointed as Assistant Security Manager of your company. How sad! Even if you choose to remain with the same employer, sharpen your skills and fight to climb the corporate ladder so that even if you retire in the same company, it will be at levels higher than you were initially employed.
Food for thought
oyalty hinges on the alignment of values between employee and employer. If an employee finds value in the company cause, he or she will naturally support it.
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends and spirit and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends and spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life." -Brian G. Dyson
… From now on, you will be paid for your "human capital," your knowledge, skills, experience, creativity and adaptability, not on your past education, resume, number of years in the organization, rank, and position. You earn an income by trading hours for shillings/ dollars with a fixed salary. You create your fortune and your future security by selling your ability and creativity. You must act self-employed from now on, moving from employee to entrepreneur. No matter what organization you work for, you must take responsibility for your own career security and advancement by constantly improving your skills and contribution. You must consider yourself a permanent student and lifelong learner. The shelf-life of your formal education is about 18 months. So more than graduation from a university, you need a lifelong learning commitment. This means constantly upgrading your computer literacy and understanding of electronic commerce and the awareness that customer satisfaction will be the critical edge in personal branding of products and services…” Borrowed from http://www.deniswaitley.com/ezines/2005/ezineissue27.htm
hen it comes to employees' personal experiences of their workplaces, the top five drivers of loyalty are: 1. Care and concern that the employer shows for workers displayed by working conditions, policies and style of management. 2. Fairness of pay and evaluations. 3. Employees' feelings of accomplishment in their work. 4. Satisfaction with daily activities. 5. Management appreciation for employees' ideas and input.
egarding employees' attitudes about their work and workplaces, the top five drivers of loyalty are: 1. An employee-focused atmosphere in the office demonstrated by a clear priority put on staffers. 2. Development opportunities evinced by training. 3. The quality of the employee's job. 4. The corporate brand that is, how the employee feels about it. 5. Personal sacrifice required for the job that is, the so-called work-life balance. Source: http://www.cio.com/article/29836/_Ways_to_Develop_Truly_Loyal_ Employees
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Investing Wisely Computerized Study Centre Summary Tap into the very vibrant society of professionals who have opted to increase the number of balls they are juggling by going back to school. Details The other day I got late in the city centre of Nairobi and was very impressed to see quite a number of students in suits, carrying handbags and folders, all coming from the general direction of where several colleges are located, including the university of Nairobi. It was then that I began to appreciate one of the local Ohangla songs where the singer says we have turned night into day and day into night as we are doing things meant for the day, at night. The investment idea being applauded by Esteemed today comes from this back-to-school phenomenon. If you live around an estate such as South B, South C, Nairobi West, Madaraka or such other estates in other large towns think about the following:
v how many of your neighbours are in night school trying to juggle books, family and the office
v how many of these would highly appreciate a quiet study place where they can revise for
v v v v
exams, do assignments and even hold group discussions without being disrupted by playing children, loud TV, loud music, or a house help singing while washing dishes and ironing clothes how many of these would appreciate a facility being a stone throw away from their houses such that they can easily walk there early in the morning or late at night without fear of being mugged how many of these would further appreciate the ability to surf the internet to get through their assignments with good references (think about it for a moment, you will be saving a lot of employers the loss of man hours spent doing personal jobs on the net) how many of these would gladly pay for the service do you have a location in mind where you can easily set up a computerized 24 hours internet study centre
If you have been getting positive and very indicative answers to the questions above, then you may need to start putting together a business plan and may be establish this in one estate and lay a foundation for a chain of them. Some aspects to consider would be: 1. License of operation 2. Security 3. Ownership of premises 4. Size of premises 5. Furniture 6. Internet Access 7. Equipment - computers and printers, scanners 8. Staff to man the study centre 9. Electricity Charges 10. Water & Sanitation 11. Refreshments
Starting A Business That Will Succeed 1) Invest in and do what you love. A new business will demand a lot from you in every way - money, time and energy and so it's really advisable to engage in that which you truly deeply enjoy doing - pottery, painting, cooking, laundry e.t.c. 2) Start your business while you're still employed (if you are). If you were to quit your job today, how long can you do without a guaranteed cash flow? Definitely not long; and it may be a long time before your new business actually makes a profit. If you a start your business while you are still employed, that means money in your pocket while you're going through the business start up process. 3) Don't do it alone. No man is an island, you NEED a support system while you're starting a business (and afterwards). This can be comprised of a family member or friend that you can talk to and let them know what you are thinking, your ideas and they will provide a reliable support during the hard times. If possible and even better, find a mentor -experienced guidance is the best support system of all. 4) Write a business plan. A business plan is an objective look and future lay out of your business. A good one will enable you see the business truly and it can help you avoid sinking your time and money into starting a business that will NOT succeed. 5) Get professional help. Do not lie to yourself that you know everything there is about the business you are doing. Seek professional help when you and your business need it e.g. A lawyer to draw up an agreement, an accountant to do your books, a furniture maker to make good furniture e.t.c. You will waste more time and possibly money in the long run trying to do things yourself that you're not qualified to do. 6) Get the money lined up. Your savings are the best capital source you can ever have. Save up from your current source of income. Approach potential investors and lenders and at the same time figure out your financial fall-back plan. Traditional lenders don't like new ideas and don't like businesses without proven track records so don't expect to start a business and then walk into a bank and get money. 7) Be professional from the start. Everything about you and the way you do business needs to let people know that you are a professional running a serious business. That means having professional business cards, a business phone and a business email address, and treating people in a professional, courteous manner. 8) Get the legal and tax issues right the first time. It's much more difficult and expensive to clean up a mess afterwards. Figure out which requirements you need to be compliant with to avoid being shut down, trouble with the government revenue authorities e.t.c. Remember - Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Learn what your legal and tax responsibilities are before you start your business and operate accordingly.
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Writing your Business Plan Contents of a good business plan In our last edition, we discussed what a business plan is. Our assignment from that was for us to align ourselves to the business we have in mind and begin researching on it. (If you missed our last edition, please visit www.esteemedonline.com). This time around we cover the contents of a good business plan. There is no preset and standard set length to a business plan but the average length seems to be 30 to 40 pages, including the supporting documents section e.g. certificate of registration, partnership agreement, business licenses etc. In generating your business plan, the text and wording used must be concise but at the same time must contain as much information as possible. This sounds like a contradiction of some kind but let us explain it. Imagine you are the loans manager of a big commercial bank responsible for loan approvals for small SMEs. You receive like ten loan applications each having an attached business plan, which you must go through before you decline or approve the loan. You are also pressed for time because in your marketing campaigns, you promise loan disbursement within 48 hours of applying. As the manager, you need to go to the first page and from the summary therein, you will have a generally good appreciation of the business that requires the loan. In the event that you need more insight on say for instance, cash flow projections, the summary introduction on the chapter on these projections should tell you everything you need to know. In essence, when you are doing your business plan, lay it out with your reader in mind. Break down the plan into segments/ sections and using the Key Word approach you can easily do the plan providing both summary and detail. The words are (i) Who (ii) What (iii) Where (iv) When (v) Why (vi) How (vii) How Much Write them on a card and line them up on your work desk every time you are writing your business plan. Then Address all of the questions asked by the key words in one paragraph at the beginning of each section of the business plan. Based on the paragraph summary put in the details by telling more about each item in the text that follows. To avoid a rush and confusion while working on your plan, you need to address each section in its own time. Set up blocks of time with target dates for completion. You may find it effective to spend time at the library where the reference materials needed will be close at hand. It takes discipline, time and privacy to write an effective business plan. Please note that your flow of information will rely very much on how you plan you time and work schedule. You will save time by compiling your list of supporting documents while writing the text. For example, while writing about the legal structure of your business, you will see the need to include a copy of your partnership agreement. Write â€œpartnership agreementâ€? on your list of supporting documents for that segment. When it comes to compiling that section of your plan, you will already have a list of the necessary documents. As you go along, you may realize the need for information that you do not have at hand and so you make a note of it and have it provided by the time you complete that section. With these in mind you are ready to begin formulating your plan. Assignment: With the network that you have and the resources such as the library and the internet, go through several business plans and see how they are laid out. Make short notes of how you would wan to structure yours and next edition we get down to more details on your business plan.
Customers are important in your business There is no business that I have come across that does not involve a customer. One customer relations professional is said to have told her class that even for a housewife, her husband and children are her customers. In that regard, it occurred to me that everyone who deals with people needs to learn some very basic customer service and customer skills. At Esteemed Magazine, there is no way we are going to work on raising the bar of professionalism in all businesses without talking about customer, how to handle them and how to handle ourselves as customers and so much more that would encompass customer relationship management. But not all at one go! Today we talk about what customer care is and some of its very basic background information According to Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_Care) “customer service is the set of behaviors that a business undertakes during its interaction with its customers”; while according to http://www.iec.org/online/tutorials/cust_care/ “Customer care is a customer service that seeks to acquire new customers, provide superior customer satisfaction, and build customer loyalty”. (www.flexiblelearning.net.au/toolbox/demosites/series3/317/resou rces/glossary/gls_idx.htm) says “customer-care is a phrase that is used to describe the process of taking care of our customers in a positive manner. The term is used in place of complaint handling due to its positive focus, and is a reminder that customer satisfaction is a priority”. Given the business society we have today in Kenya and what the future seems to hold, the definition by IEC applies greatly. In taking care of our customers we want to: a) Acquire new customers – “The average person who has a bad-service experience tells at least nine others about it and l3% of complaints relate their experience to more than 20 other peoples. In comparison, people who receive an excellent service only tell three or four others about it" Research Institution of America b) Provide superior customer satisfaction – this will lead to return customers who will not mind how much they pay for the service as long as you treat then as royalty. Surveys suggest that service-driven companies are able to charge up to 9% more for the goods and services they offer and grow twice as fast as the average. These are powerful incentives for becoming the best customer-service company in any industry. Equally, poor service has a cost penalty. It costs up to five times as much to go out and get a new customer as to retain those we have. C) Build customer loyalty – a well-treated customer is one who will always come back to you because of the superior way you handle their business. The doctor who takes the time to listen to your tale of what is wrong with your body and takes the time to explain what may be wrong and what tests he wants to do and what they will accomplish and even takes the time to empathize with you even if it is just a flu, is one that you will keep going back to. If you make a purchase and your supplier simply gives you a quote and expects you to work out the math and other details, then when you give him/ her an order they don’t even bother to update you about its progress, you will have doubts about their quality of work and even though their product quality is good, you will be open to alternative suppliers who even though they may charge more for the same quality, you will be willing to make the extra payment if only for the peace of mind about your transaction. Keeping existing customers is easier than finding new ones, and satisfied customers will do a lot of our advertising for us. Most people consider doing business with a certain company because of recommendation by a friend or acquaintance. Unhappy customers spread the bad news like bush fire and undermine our business, which ultimately threatens everyone's jobs. Am sure a lot of us can testify to this. Bottom line – The best customer care that you can give matters more than can be valued in monetary terms – you can go home at peace with yourself that you have been of help to someone and that you have resolved somebody’s problems. Your self-esteem is raised Make a resolve today that in being Esteemed this time around always aim for excellence, provide the highest standard of Customer Care possible. You don’t need to work in a customer care department to treat a customer well. Just as an extra remember, the outside world is not your only customer.
You need to devise and cultivate a strategy to help ensure that your business matches that extra ordinary standard on a daily basis. Dr. Noelle Nelson, author of "The Power of Appreciation in Business" puts it across beautifully, "Often, being extraordinary YOU NEVER GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION – This cannot be overemphasized. If means offering someone a truly exceptional experience," and "The quality of something may be good, but it's the overall you disappoint a customer on the first deal, then it is experience that will really define customer loyalty." almost guaranteed that repeat business from that customer is a sad tale to tell. I recently came across a WORK WITH YOUR WORKFORCE - Ever heard the phrase sticker that read, “ We don’t only get it right the first time. ‘walk the talk’? Saying you want top-notch service for all your We get it right, all the time.” On reflection, that message was in essence saying, getting it right from the word go is customers is one thing and carrying it out another story all together, more so if you do not have the necessary manpower something that should come naturally to any person who desires to give exceptional service to their customer. What and the established authority. The business environment stops being static when you are dealing with more than one party. should then be conditioned into the activity is getting it There are issues to deal with such as shifting conditions of right all the time. Imagine yourself in the worst state of operation; employees and colleagues mind-sets, customers’ attire and the look of your future or current mother in law mind-sets and expectations, market trends, personal when she first sets her eyes on you. You will never ever commitments and so much more. As a manger or entrepreneur erase that image from her mind, no matter how many Giorgio Armani suits you wear later on after that first meet. or team leader or junior staff member of an organization, exceptional customer service always boils down to the one-onThe same case with our customers; If we serve them one interaction with the customer. Availability of necessary below expectations the first time, that is what they will information to the personnel dealing with customers, whether always judge us by and we will have to work twice as hard directly or indirectly, impacts on your organization’s level of to improve that image we have created in them. customer service. Also contributing are factors such as – commitment (and no lip service) to extraordinary service by KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS – Imagine you own an management, reward top performance – if your customer is African buffet restaurant in the heart of Maasai land and there are some tourists from China that have come to visit impressed by the work of your janitor, tell the janitor, in the very same words the customer used!, investing in training for the the area, who have only heard of the sumptuous roasted entire workforce to help the team carry out and maintain high goat meat yet the best ready to eat meal you can offer performance standards, allowance of a reasonable level of them is chips and sausage? You need, as a businessperson, to understand what your customers really freedom of choice to read a situation and react accordingly.; Sharing the information with your employees lets them know want and what they really value. Why? You may ask. Knowing your customers forms the very basis upon which what's hitting on all cylinders. Customer buying habits, particular needs, interests and other data can be stored in a central you establish and build the character of exceptional location and easily shared. As Karen Leland, author of "Customer service into your business. An understanding and Service for Dummies", says, "… creating a lifelong culture for embracing of this character plays a pivotal role in establishing the procedures and the mind set with which to service excellence … helps build an understanding of the concept of service. And that means a top-down commitment. achieve it. Know what is good enough for your business and the customers you attend to, then seek to go beyond Leadership should set the tone for the entire effort." that to reach and take a firm grip on the actions that will make it a goal to be consistently attained PREPARE FOR EVENTUALITIES – As mentioned before, high . quality, extraordinary service is not a simple matter of saying, “I By the way, it will not be an instant! But with maintained do” It is a challenging path to follow and only the strong of consistency, the next tag line you will find people using to characters make It through. More so, pretending that it is smooth your company is “the place where I have no qualms sailing and that everything is okay when obviously your world of spending my money” customer service is falling apart is a perfect recipe for disaster Acknowledging a slip up and slight set back is the beginning of a DO NOT SETTLE FOR “GOOD” CUSTOMER SERVICE re-commitment to extraordinary performance. For example, if a customer’s order is delayed because the expected shipment was - Good customer service is more often than not, the level of service given for the sake of getting the money from the not dispatched on time from head office, go beyond an apology and a normal delivery and a give away worth less than one dollar client’s pocket and even in our Kenyan business setting, - if it is an electrical gadget, go the extra mile and install it for him isn't good enough anymore. Exceptional service is what or her, offer your extra services and little but well meaning the customers are now expecting. And this by all means, giveaways like key rings. The bottom line is to let the customer does not come easy. It means using route 11 or letting know that you're sorry for the mistake and build their confidence your fingers do the walking as you seek to know what is that it won't recur. According to Berke, "Build customer loyalty, top-notch client service. When, with your employees and not just satisfaction ... and ...When you apologize for problems clients, this kind of service becomes the rule rather than and really listen, you build a relationship." the exception, then you are assured of a long-term relationship with every customer who walks through the door. And they are most of the marketing that your Finally remember,Some mistakes are too much trouble and cost too business needs. Anything less, and it’s a disaster. Here are a few pointers to being exemplary with your customers.
much to only make once.
Surviving Office Politics Coffee Break Moment Kiss and Slap A young Technician and his General Manager board a train headed through the mountains on its way to Wichita. They can find no place to sit except for two seats right across the aisle from a young woman and her grandmother. After a while, it is obvious that the young woman and the young tech are interested in each other, because they are giving each other looks. Soon the train passes into a tunnel and it is pitch black. There is a sound of a kiss followed by the sound of a slap. When the train emerges from the tunnel, the four sit there without saying a word.
With Winnie Mwangi Often, office politics is deemed as a bad thing but on the contrary, it can be a positive thing and anyone in every organization is going to play the politics of the day, especially if, they are individuals whose ambition is to get to the top of the corporate ladder. Ever notice how some mediocre employees rise while more competent ones languish? Often, it's because they know how to play office politics. We'd all like to think we can succeed purely on our merits. In some offices you can, but in many others, you must know how to play the game and win without selling your soul. Office politics can be found in anything from the gossip in the office to ego trips, envy and resentment both from self and from Avoid the “self-talk of resentment.” And stop dwelling on others. the idea that co-workers are resenting you. Shift that focus to energy and goals ahead. How? Learning how to respect and Office politics is neither good nor bad, I would say, for human relations. For example, two colleagues fight - if you do not take recognizing someone else’s talent or ideas would help to keep sides and remain on the periphery, you are not exactly avoiding the mind away from thoughts of resentment. Try and start by listing down strengths and weaknesses of others and develop politics, if anything, you have actually participated in the a training pattern to improve others. That way, you become listening and all you are doing is being the good guy. Sometimes though, this can backfire on you big time. Reason slower to judge. being when you are a good guy, you automatically become a threat as there will be a tendency of no one trusting you as they Also, learn to share credit. Credit is usually not limited and it can be shared. Rewarding anyone especially junior staff and do not know when you will take sides and to which direction. analyzing their positions in trying to see their output can also There is the positive of that for sure (good guy) and the be another way of surviving the politics. It will enable one to negative which is being a threat. put aside any ego tendencies and also to study individual When does office politics occur? Usually it is when there is shortcomings. lack of strong management, and people have to resort to political maneuvering to get things done. When that happens, If you are able to engage the above, you will learn to consider things like the source of any politics you hear and be able to people start having the feeling of “what if the boss pulled the analyze and to see if it is a genuine concern from an older rag off my feet?” With that in mind, people find themselves wanting to be unfair because they think that is what is expected colleague berating (in a cooing manner) for not paying attention to the political process at work or it might be a of them. They start having self-interest first and treat others detriment or still, might be crazy stuff that will keep you awake. the way they want if they can do it without negative consequences. This attitude forces people to align and shift to Although, not all of those in office politics sleep well, they have this thinking which I must say, may corrupt a few. There is then a higher craziness tolerance than you. the probability of facing resentment and envy and the feeling of maneuvering people to get things done. Just remember, if you Office politics take up your space. you need to ask yourself if the politics contribute to the overall efficiency or productivity can prevent it, please do. It is far worth less than trying to and once you doubt, then its not a good idea. recover from effects of politics. Politics can sometimes be hard to avoid and please don’t think you can avoid them forever. If anything, if you say or think office politics don't matter, you will die a slow, painful career death. This is because there's no getting around office politics. Office politicians will always be on the prowl for a target. It is not wise to always ignore someone who is trying to undermine you, nor does it help to play tit for tat. You find that with this, the first thing to do is try the defensive game, doing only what is necessary to let the boss know that you are doing a good job. Ironically, this takes more energy and fore thought. The trick is to play positive politics, though, and your coworkers and bosses will probably turn any stabbing instincts elsewhere.
A few thoughts on office politics: Perform Deliberate Acts of Kindness: e.g. help a coworker on a deadline by staying a little late. Do Visible, Important Tasks: If such tasks aren't in your job description, ask if you can take one on. Be sure everyone knows you did the work. For example, you might email key employees a draft of your project's final report, "for feedback," ensuring your boss or rival doesn't try to steal the credit. Keep Your Antennae Out: Listen to people you will be surprised what you will hear.
I would suppose that the best tactics for survival are: Office politics is inescapable because it's about dealing with the people. People who are good at politics are generally empathetic (they understand who needs what) and they have good self-discipline (they can moderate themselves so they are pleasant to be with.) Anyone who is being their best self kind, considerate, expressive, interested in others will do fine Be honest with and to yourself - if you have no confidence in in office politics. yourself or you often doubt yourself, your colleagues will read Don't try to change or resist company culture including that and for sure it will be used against you. Your enemy dress, communication styles and office hours. Being different knowing your weakest point is equivalent to you giving them the gun to shoot you and licence to bury you. We all have our does not work. strengths upon which to build results and the willingness to look at ourselves honestly is what makes us want to improve. Practice self-awareness. This is a life-long task and every day you can become a little bit more aware of how people If you can learn to do that, then you can survive the game perceive you. Just doing your job is not enough. You need to brutality. do it in a way that makes a positive impression on everyone else. Do not be petty - You must learn to be above pettiness and have no ego trips. Pettiness impacts the ability to get a job Manage your stress levels so you can avoid emotional done and ego trips makes the job difficult. displays of inconsistent behavior and inconsistent messages. Learn to stand up for yourself - As mentioned, many people Most emotional outbursts come from unmanaged stress. have self interest and sometimes expecting to be treated fairly Be approachable all the time can block you from seeing reality. If you lower your expectations regarding fairness and expand your range of phrases to improve, you will start to find yourself in positions of Network before you need to network. Being good at politics means that you are good at relationship building, and you can count on a wide range of people when you need them.
Watch what you say - words spoken can never be retrieved. That’s why we are often told that the power of life and death are in the tongue. Ensure that it is aligned to the corporate values or culture
* Pack the ego * Forget the experience and attend to responsibilities * No gossip * Focus – stay on the business * Apologize Focus those extra hours on being incredible in your job and your career will be fine!!
The grandmother is thinking to herself, "It was very brash for that young man to kiss my granddaughter, but I'm glad she slapped him." The General manager is sitting there thinking, "I didn't know the young tech was brave enough to kiss the girl, but I sure wish she hadn't missed him when she slapped and hit me!" The young woman was sitting and thinking, "I'm glad the guy kissed me, but I wish my grandmother had not slapped him!" The young tech sat there with a satisfied smile on his face. He thought to himself, "Life is good. How often does a guy have the chance to kiss a beautiful girl and slap his General manager all at the same time!”
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Rating Comment - but if what they contain was to have a price tag, we would never afford it.
Technology Review By Stephen H. Wildstrom Later this year, most new PCs will probably use some kind of hybrid solution to help satiate Vista's hunger for processing power and memory. Pure SSD drives will take longer to hit the mainstream, mainly because of their cost. But they have great potential, especially because of the added flexibility they can give designers of small laptops.
Gateway to East Africa
Inspired by the Author and Perfector of our faith
The other day I was in a predicament, wondering about two life altering decisions about my profession, earning a livelihood, what I do to place food on the table, pay rent and make an impact on society today. While going through the psychological struggle God in heaven sent a word to me to consider His servants depicted throughout the entire Bible. What I have gone through was and still is an inspiration even as my heart calms down after the tempest. When God wanted something done (even today in the 21st Century), He did not and does not need to physically come down from heaven to get results. When God wanted to punish a rogue society, He recruited Noah because He (Noah) was found to be the only righteous man on the face of the earth. Upon his employment , God established a covenant with him - God told Noah “... I now give you everything”. The second covenant God established was “Never again would all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the We could endlessly talk about the people of God put in the right earth”. The rainbow is a frequent reminder of this. Genesis place at the right time to conduct His business and from all of 8 and 9. them, at least all the values needed to be successful at your workplace will be found. Honestly, every time we attend a Abraham was employed by God with the promise of being customer care training, supervisory skills course or training in made into a great nation, to have his name made great. time management, strategy meetings, selling skills refresher Those who would bless him would be blessed by God and courses, leadership skills, planning and so much more, we will those who would curse him would stand cursed by God. repeatedly hear of values whose very first foundation is the Bible Abraham would be the channel through which God would and not boardrooms worldwide. Patience, trust, loyalty, humility, bless the peoples of the earth. During his employment, honesty, faithfulness, habit, character, love, self control, growth Abraham had to give up much comfort, and to travel far and development, peace, happiness, contentment and risk are and wide, had to endure famine, food rations and most of just a few. Whatever our position at our workplaces, there are all lack of a son. He had to keep up with God’s promises basic tenets that have to be employed. These are essential for that came every so often as much as the physical status/ healthy relations and unless one is connected to God for divine circumstances spoke a different prophesy from what God guidance, it becomes very challenging to deal with the diversity kept repeating to him. At one point he even asked God, that exists in the company. Simple example - Patience is “What can you give me since I remain childless...?” In demanded highly of wronged parties while respect for other return God told him that if he (Abraham) could indeed people’s jobs no matter how menial they may seem and count the stars, indeed, his offspring could also be counted. appreciation for good job done keeps the person going. (Genesis 14, 15 and 16) There is no better teacher of the values and virtues of life than the Joseph was a dream guy - he could dream ( a gift that Bible. The work place can be a complex nightmare or a place you worked well enough to have him sold off like a slave), look forward to going every day. You can choose to be nasty or interpret people’s dreams and he was used of God. His call you can choose to embrace the virtues that require a personal to be under God’s employment was a little indirect though; commitment to be successfully applied but whatever he put his hand to, Joseph was successful God was with him and He (God) gave him success in On such a background, I choose to share with you a few pointers everything he did. Entrusted with the wife and properties of to guide you to be almost at par with God’s appointed servants: one of pharaoh’s officials, Joseph caused his master to prosper over and above his imagination and then as with (a) Appreciate the very obvious fact that you have a job all things that go well, there had to be a challenger of God’s Remember the days when you were in college wishing you had a purpose. Joseph was hustled back into prison and even job through which you could earn some money to move out of there success for Joseph was guaranteed to the point that your parents’ home, groom yourself, party all night with friends, Pharaoh was ready to step aside for Joseph to be King. drive your own flashy car and all those other dreams you had? Pharaoh was quoted as saying, “You shall be in charge of You may not be holding down your dream job, it may not be my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. paying as much as you believe it ought to, you may have to deal Only in respect to the throne will I be greater than you...I with a boss who is as difficult as they come, but guess what? am pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or That’s the job you have right now. Be grateful that you are not a foot in all Egypt.” At 30 years Joseph was still so humble statistic under the unemployed percentages even being in such high command that when he was blessed with a son he named him Ephraim saying, “it is (b) Remember why you are holding down that job - I will give because God has made me fruitful in the land of my this a two-pronged approach. suffering.” How many of us remember to tell God thank you (i) Is your job an answer to a along standing prayer? Can you when finally great blessing comes amid all the mess we stand up before a congregation and testify that the job you have may be going through? was a direct result of God’s intervention? If your answer to these questions are a solid yes, then quit being negative about it. Am Moses was employed to God’s service from the day of his sure in the hundreds upon hundreds of prayer sessions you made birth and his direct calling by God was as dramatic as it is God so many promises that you should fulfill now that you have a taught in bible class. Here is a guy who gave every job. God in His wisdom knew what the job would entail. conceivable reason (at that time) as to why the job he was Remember Job in the Bible? Even after losing everything, with his being given should not be assigned to him. In current day, it wife telling him to curse God and die and even with his friends would boil down to things like: I am not competent enough; arguments about God’s unfair treatment, he (Job) stood firm that I am okay with the job I currently hold; people won’t accept whatever was happening to him was not happening behind God’s me; people will doubt and test me to know if I have got the back. And for sure, God had granted permission to the devil to try job through the right means e.t.c. The good book says that and shake Job’s faithfulness. The end result of this steadfastness given Moses’ arguments, the Lord’s anger burned against was a replacement in multiples of all he had. Serve the Lord him. Moses tendered his resignation as a shepherd to do through your job with diligence and a cheerful heart. The end God’ assignment. You know, that’s the amazing bit about results will make the tough times look like small mountains. God’s work. Its rewards are great but so are the sacrifices. God comes before your comforts so when He asks you to (ii) Is your job supposed to maintain your lifestyle, make you rich give them up for His glory to be seen, best thing is to follow (money wise), develop your profession or career, earn you a daily His word. With all the drama that ensued, Moses was one bread for today while tomorrow cries for itself Is your job just one person who had serious issues as far as his new job was of those things you were forced into, otherwise the couch and TV concerned and even though he was dealing with the remote would be the perfect 24 hours companions, because your Almighty God, he had no qualms telling Him what he folks are set with the inheritance? Is your job just another thought about the entire assignment. Moses even asked to something you have to cope and put up with in life? The right be distinct from the rest of the pack - “what else will attitude and being honest with yourself will determine your distinguish me and your people from all the other people on reception of the job, its challenges, blessings, humourous the face of the earth?” Moses even demanded that God moments, tearful moments and much more. If you are working show him His glory! At the close of his job, Moses had this simply for the payslip, you will not even work at improving yourself to say about his Boss, “He is the Rock, His works are as a person. You will not read books on your profession, your Perfect and all His way are Just. A Faithful God who does work may be yielding the expected results, but that is the most no wrong, Upright and Just is He.” you will do - be a mediocre person.
God’s blessings for sure do not add any sorrow in our lives.
(c) Refuse to be complacent and refuse the “reaching early” attitude - In one of the many languages in Kenya, when someone has achieved a lot and is wealthy as per the defined society’s standards, he or she is defined as “akinyire tene na akihuruka” (that is to say indirect translation, he/ she arrived early and rested). This is usually the beginning of many people’s downhill spiral. You get a job that pays your rent in one of the upmarket estates, you can afford to repay a car loan, and after all other deductions and normal expenses, you have enough cash left over to party in pubs across the country every weekend. You fail to see that there is more land to be covered, more battles to be won, in Swahili, yaani wewe umefika. My friend, best you wake up. Complacency is not a character of any of the top ten richest persons in the world. Just because your current pay can accommodate your basic needs, doesn’t mean your purpose on God’s earth is attained. Far from it, it is just beginning. You are just enjoying some of the fruits to be found along the way. If your job is not keeping you happy, do something about it, send out job applications until the right one comes your way. Appreciating your circumstances and embracing them to the point that you start having a one-man pity party are two very different things. At one point I got tired of being hustled everyday while going to work and going home by matatu conductors and I remember asking Jehovah how I could endure the misery everyday of daylight robbery from unreasonably hiked fares and dangerously speeding matatus while I was in college and then I still have to put up with it while working. I appreciated that my job was not very well paying at that time, but I chose not to have self pity and whine every day at the feet of Jesus. I prayed to Him to give me a car that would get me home peacefully without much hassle. And for sure, a certification that God hears and answers our prayers came six months into a new job - I was driving a sports car and to date, the biggest issue it has ever had cost Kshs. 5,000/= to repair in addition to the normal car service. Complacency and a “reaching early” attitude, will hinder you from going as far as your potential allows. (d) Pray and seek for guidance from God Almighty - Nothing, and allow me to repeat, NOTHING in this world can ever take the place of prayer to God and meditation on His true word found in the Bible. Sometimes the answers to our prayers may not be what we want or expect but if they are from God, then they are undoubtedly guaranteed to be right and appropriate. Sometimes we may feel that our prayers are going as high up as our ceilings then they get back down to our head or if they do get to heaven, they are swept under some carpet or collected and thrown into a dustbin. There is no dustbin for prayers in God’s presence; sometimes we are in the valley of decision and all around is haziness and God’s clarity is not coming through. Take this word our God is not a God of confusion. Sometimes His answer to our payers may tarry but for sure, He does answer prayers. His word should be meditated upon for our sustenance because God speaks to us through His word for every situation and we just can’t afford to do without it. Prayer is the best link to God and you can have it at anytime of the day. Hannah in the Bible prayed constantly to God for a son in spite of the co-wife’s taunts, her husband’s words and even despite being perceived as a drunk woman by the priest and God blessed her with a son after years of barrenness. (e) Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all your heart and with gladness, and God Almighty in HIS RIGHT & APPOINTED TIME will repay ALL your efforts. You ask how long it will take for God to see your good work and repay it or bring His blessing upon your faithful and cheerful effort. My answer is, (though i would not be in a position to say this if I had not gone through what I have), in His Own Time. Remember Moses was asked to lead the people into the promised land. He did not set foot into it, he only saw it from afar but his benefits in the journey have never in history or in the future been experienced by any other human being. How long did it take Abraham to get his son; and even after that , imagine his agony when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. So what are we doing asking God how long it will take for our paycheck to come through the bank account, as long as we remain faithful to Him. HE IS NOT AN UNJUST GOD! (f) Enjoy the walk. Don’t wait until arrival. There may be more joy in the journey than in the destination. A little story from the Bible may help us get by. Remember how Jacob got His bride? Jacob fell in love with Rachel at first sight and when he was told he would have to work on Laban’s farm for Rachel for seven years, he accepted it and the seven years seemed like days to him. When the time was over and he asked for Rachel, guess who he was deceived into bearing a child with, Rachel’s older sister Leah. Jacob was furious to say the least, but based on the love he felt for Rachel and with God on his side, Jacob worked another seven years for her. Unfortunately, God closed her womb and she could not bear her very loving husband any children. The more Leah got sons, the more Rachel nagged Jacob to give her a son. Her desperation led her to given Jacob her maid servant to give birth to a son. From then on Jacob was tossed to and fro between his wives. He even got blessed with a large family, cattle and the promise that God gave him about his prosperity did come to pass. But if he had waited only to enjoy at the end of it al, the man would have suffered greatly. Don’t do that to yourself. Enjoy the ride, even God wants you to enjoy it. Believing otherwise is deeming God unfair and that is one of the many things that He is not.
Desiderata Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
We give recognition to the African Child
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, The Day of the African child falls on June 16, 2007 be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, At Esteemed, we honor all the parents who have committed no less than the trees and the stars; themselves to the upright raising and development of their children you have a right to be here. despite and inspite of the hardships on the African continent. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. For those that have faltered along the way, we pray for grace to be Therefore be at peace with God, upon them, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with For those that have taken it upon themselves to share in the your soul. upbringing of orphans, AIDS affected children, Children who have With all its sham, drudgery, and broken suffered uncalled for violence, we honor and salute you here at dreams, Esteemed Magazine. it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. The day of the African Child - â€œit dates back to the 1970's when there was Strive to be happy. violence in South Africa and youth stood up to make a difference. this day celebrates the lives of those who we lost in the battle.â€? (Source http://www.unicef.org/voy/discussions/calendar.php?do=getinfo&e=701&da Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952. y=2007-6-16&c=1)
Esteemed Magazine takes this opportunity to convey our prayers and messages of condolences to all families, friends, relatives, colleagues and the entire Kenya Airways community affected by the tragedy of flight KQ 507 May the good Lord in heaven give you peace and serenity in these trying times. May He give you strength and courage to move on positively and live in His grace