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Woman Leader w w w . t h e w o m a n l e a d e r . o r g

Handling conflict in Marriage Become a more gorgeous You 5 ways to Optimize Social Media for Your Business

I have had my own share of faulty life decisions —Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1, 2013


Contents

The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1, 2013

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The Proverbs 31 Superwoman; could she be you?

From the Editor

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Take the Lead

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Handling Conflicts in Marriage

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Staying Fit by Eating Right: Lets start with Breakfast

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I have had my own share of faulty life decisions —Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili 22 The Proverbs 31 Superwoman; could she be you?

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Vol 1/Issue 1  2013  The Woman Leader

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Handling Conflicts in Marriage

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Contents

About The Woman Leader PUBLISHERS Pastors Taiwo & Nomthi Odukoya

18 Staying Fit by Eating Right: Lets start with Breakfast Why Should I be interested in knowing My Personality Style?

39

Become a More Gorgeous You

43

Books to add to your Reading List

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55 5 ways to Optimize Social Media for Your Business

Botswana48 Potato Porridge

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Does Your Passion Match Your Aspiration?52 5 ways to Optimize Social Media for Your Business

55

Now She Belongs to the Ages

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Dealing with toddler defiance

60

Call to Action

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60 Dealing with toddler defiance

Copyright ©2013. All rights reserved. The Woman Leader Magazine is a quarterly publication by The Woman Leader Outreach, Lagos. All comments, opinions, enquiries and advert requests should please be directed to: The Editor, The Woman Leader, 12 Industrial Estate Road, Off Town Planning Way, Ilupeju, Lagos. E-mail: editor@thewomanleader.org  Tel: +234-813 893 8495

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The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

A vision of Pastor Taiwo Odukoya with a mission To equip and challenge women to arise into their position of leadership and to be catalysts for change in Christ. ~Mode~ To connect and share wisdom with others and build a community of learning and friendship through physical and internet interactions. ~Areas Of Focus~ To help women explore and understand their true values, strengths, goals and dreams.  Appreciate and leverage on her strengths and achievements to move forward whilst lifting others up.  Demonstrate her courage and confidence to act and lead.  Plan and pursue her unique life, ministry and career path.  Create a work/life balance that is right for you and your family.  Explore and integrate her spirituality and the power of positive attitude.

Vol 1/Issue 1  2013  The Woman Leader

EDITORIAL Mrs ‘Detoun Ogwo Sylvester Ojenagbon Efe Paul Azino Tochi Eze CONTRIBUTORS Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe Lanre Olusola Mrs. Sherese Ijewere Mrs. ‘Detoun Ogwo Efe Paul Azino Tochi Eze Ometere Jagun Alexia Horsfall PHOTOGRAPHY Blaze Photography Studios DESIGN Tonye Edet Working Committee Pastor Nomthi Odukoya Pastor Ronke Aladesuru Pastor Ibukun Awosika Pastor Tosin Sowemimo Pastor Mrs. Jane Pela Mrs. Yinka Morgan Hon. Amb. Folake Bello Mrs. Olamide Balogun Mrs. Julia Jack Mrs. Shirley Okharedia Mrs. Lai Koiki Mrs. Subu Giwa-Amu

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Contributors Oyindamola Soderu

Oyinda is a counselor, media consultant and a Pastor at The Fountain of Life Church. She is happily married to her heartthrob Pastor Biodun Soderu, and they blessed with two Children.

Efe Paul Azino

Efe is widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s leading spoken word poets, he is an editor with the Senior Pastor of The Fountain of Life, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya. He lives in Lagos with his wife and lovely daughter.

Tochi Eze

Tochi is a communications strategist and blogger who believes that everyone should dream wide and passionately pursue their divine assignment. She works as an editor to Pastor Taiwo Odukoya.

Mrs Sherese Ijewere

Sherese is a Jamaican married to a Nigerian. She is the CEO of Carribean Heath and Nutrition and holds a bachelors degree in Communication and Nutrition from the University of South Florida.

Detoun Ogwo

Detoun is the founding executive director /CEO of AGDC Employability & Enterprise, a social enterprise that prepares and upskills the Nigerian youth for the 21st century workplace. With a career spanning over nearly two decades, she has functioned in the human capital and customer relationship divisions of several multinationals in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Detoun is wife to Amechi Ogwo an Architect and mother to four lovely children.

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The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

Alexia Horsfall

Alexia is the head make up artist at ‘Make up by Alexia Horsfall’, she spends her time writing, reading and making women look and feel beautiful.

Lanre Olusola

Lanre is a peak performance coach. He brings years of extensive study spanning the fields of Engineering, Performance Improvement Management, Theology, Science, Human Behavioral Psychology, Governance, Organizational Design, Business Transformations and Meta Medicine.

Vol 1/Issue 1  2013  The Woman Leader

Nimi Akinkugbe

Nimi is the founder and CEO of Bestman Games Ltd. She is the personal finance columnist for Genevieve Magazine and contributes articles to BusinessDay and Punch Newspapers’ Personal Finance and Family columns among several other publications.

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From the Editor

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Leadership is crucial to progress and development, but not every single one of us will have leadership thrust upon us by appointment or election. 8

elcome to The Woman Leader magazine, an offshoot of The Woman Leader©initiative of the Fountain of Life Church targeted at empowering women in leadership positions and equipping them for greater and more sustainable impact. In this maiden edition we call on women to launch out, take that bold step and contribute to society on whatever scale – small, grand or in-between. Leadership is crucial to progress and development, but not every single one of us will have leadership thrust upon us by appointment or election. Instead, some of us will find ourselves in circumstances where we will be required to rise to the occasion. It is by making a difference–no matter how little–in our spheres of influence that we will earn the followership of those who have been impacted by us. Pastor Taiwo’s article enjoins us to shine the light of God in a dark world, showing us from scripture that every woman has innate capacity to do exploits. Of course, the starting point is identifying what drives you from deep within so as to focus your energies on it, hence the discourse on how to identify your passion and use it as a basis for evaluating your choices and actions. An inspiring interview with Oby Ezekwesili, a woman of many parts, brings the message closer home: you can indeed love and serve God faithfully, champion righteousness and professional competence on a global scale, as well as maintain a wonderful home front; all with God’s help, of course. We also touch on conflict in marriage – an inevitable occurrence – and how a godly woman should approach it. On financial matters, amongst other things, we can draw several lessons from the Proverbs 31 woman. The insights the Bible offers the godly woman are truly awesome. Have a wonderful time flipping the pages, but over and above all TAKE THE LEAD. Detoun Ogwo Editor The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

C o m i n g

S o o n !

THE WOMAN LEADER MENTORSHIP SCHEME WITH PASTORS TAIWO AND NOMTHI ODUKOYA

www.thewomanleader.org


T h e D e b o r a h M a n d at e

T h e D e b o r a h M a n d at e

Take theLead By Pastor Taiwo Odukoya

“You are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” —Matthew 5: 14

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t is difficult to ignore the inspiring story of Leymah Gbowee, the Liberian activist who was awarded a Nobel prize in 2011. This woman is reputed to have given hope to Liberian women. She was particularly credited with helping to end Liberia’s civil war by leading women in non-violent protests. Her efforts to end the war, alongside her collaborator Ellen Johnson Sirleaf helped usher in a period of peace that enabled a free election in 2005 which Sirleaf won, making Liberia the first African nation with a female president. 10

Leadership is indeed a critical tool in facilitating any kind of change. As a matter of fact, every notable attainment that has been recorded in history was spearheaded by a person who either initiated the cause or passionately ran with an existing vision. Today, it is increasingly evident that women are gaining renown and occupying various social and political leadership p ositions . There are more female presidents in this dispensation than history has ever recorded, particularly in Africa where the role of women on conspicuous political platforms has The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

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become prevalent. Besides Liberia which produced her first female president, Ellen Sirleaf Johnson in 2006, Malawi also produced a female president in 2012 in the person of Joyce Banda, and very recently, the African Union held its first summit with a female Chairperson; Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Women have so proved their mettle in the management of affairs much that various international bodies and governments have earmarked huge budgets for the adequate empowerment of women. Research has shown that women make great leaders. They combine passion and tenacity with the propensity to give everything to a cause they believe in and deliver desired results. Whether in the market place, the corporate world, in government or on the home front, women are consistently proving by their actions

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that they are not merely available but capable. The book of Judges Chapter 4 narrates the exemplary leadership style of Deborah, a woman who remains a point of reference to women to thrive as wives, mothers and change agents in the society. Her story depicts strength and the resultant victory when one relies on the power of God in the office to which they are called. Thomas Paine said “We have it in our power to change the world over”. As a matter of fact, nations have thrived and been preserved by the singular influence of women who understood their strategic role in the scheme of things. Th e s to r y o f Q u e e n E s th e r a s recounted in the Bible is a classic example of how God can position one woman to preserve an entire nation. This woman, acting under the instruction of her mentor, refused to be blinded by the wealth that attended her by virtue of her position as the Queen; rather she chose to declare a fast and pursue the cause of her people even at the risk of the King’s wrath. The courage and wisdom of Abigail is also a critical example of the influence of a woman on the home front. By exerting a more subtle influence and pleading for mercy, she was able to preserve her husband and entire household from David’s rage. The truth is, all through history women have taken the lead to pursue great causes, defying the odds of social stereotypes, societal corruption and cultural vices. To d a y , y o u h a v e t h e s a m e

empowerment to fulfill your purpose and accomplish divine exploits on the earth. The Bible is very explicit when it comes to our individual and corporate influence on the earth, particularly in the book of Mathew 5:14 which says “You are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” This is the commission given to us as Christians. We became light bearers the moment we gave our lives to Jesus. No doubt, women such as Leymah Gbowee, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the several other women in Africa and beyond in political and business leadership positions represent the growing participation of women in nation building and global influence. I believe this embodies what Jesus Christ spoke of in the context of this scripture. Incidentally, one of the intriguing qualities of light is its potency to provide illumination. Wherever there is light, there is clarity of purpose and ultimately direction to a divine destination. As women in these contemporary times, it has become imperative that the

light inside of you be deployed in the pursuit of godly causes and landmark achievements for society. This same light is what sets you apart from the darkness of corruption and compromise. You have the light of God inside of you which perfectly positions you for the fulfillment of your life’s assignment. Woman, it is time to take the lead as God’s instrument of influence. The grace of God has qualified you for kingdom exploits. Indeed, God is able to accomplish mighty feats on the earth through your hands. In this dispensation, God is raising nation builders in all ramifications. Rest assured that your influence will spread beyond the borders of Africa and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. This is the moment of destiny. The world earnestly awaits women who will arise to execute the righteous mandate of God on various platforms or in diverse offices. You are the Light. You have what it takes. Shine forth in Jesus Name. 

The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

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As women in these contemporary times, It has become imperative that the light inside of you become deployed in the pursuit of Godly causes and landmark achievements for society. This same light is what sets you apart from the darkness of corruption and compromise.


His & Her

Handling C nflict in Marriage By Pastor Oyinda Soderu

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother” —Matthew 18:15-17.

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onflict is a normal part of any healthy relationship. After all, two p e ople c annot b e expected to agree on everything at every time. Learning how to deal with conflict – rather than avoiding it – is crucial. When conflict is mismanaged, it can cause great harm to a relationship, but when handled in a respectful, positive way, conflict provides an opportunity to strengthen the bond between two people. you can keep your personal relationships strong and growing by learning how to resolve conflict in a wholesome way. When an argument arises, your

His & Her

goal is to resolve the issue at hand and not to hurt your loved one. If your actions are not conducive to resolving the issue at hand, then you are not fighting ‘a good fight’. In taking the lead, sometimes you can, apologize for something you did (even if you didn’t ‘start’ it), it can disarm your partner and result in him or her apologizing as well. Always remember: don’t apologize for things you didn’t do just so the fight will be over. Be sincere. Of course, this is easier said than done in the midst of the conflict. If you are holding out for an apology and your partner isnot giving it, consider openly forgiving him anyway. If your argument has been a nasty one, you may want to make an agreement with your partner about the boundaries and terms of your relationship. For example, “I agree not to call you nasty names” or “I’d like for us to agree that we talk about what’s going

Successful conflict resolution is about effective communication. Avoid telling your spouse what he needs to change about his personality. If you do not understand your spouse, ask him questions so you can understand him better. 14

The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

Vol 1/Issue 1  2013  The Woman Leader

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His & Her

By making a heartfelt apology, you acknowledge the hurt you have inflicted on another. This can also begin the process of restoring the trust that has been broken. on without yelling at each other” . The sooner you two can experience some form of joy and light heartedness, the better. Remember, the Bible says “A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1) Successful conflict resolution is about effective communication. Avoid telling your spouse what he needs to change about his personality. If you do not understand your spouse, ask him questions so you can understand him better. It is also important to recognize that your limit is likely to be different than your partner’s. Asking for forgiveness is not losing face, it is actually ‘loosing’ your face for a deeper joy ahead! Learn to say “I’m sorry”. Apologizing is not something that comes naturally to a lot of couples and knowing how to do it properly takes practice and learning. So here are some tips on how to say sorry and make sure your partner knows you really mean it. 16

1. COME TO TERMS You need to do some thinking by yourself before even considering an apology. Are you truly sorry, or do you still think you were justified in doing what you did because you were provoked? Sometimes both people are partly to blame and in this case you both need to take responsibility for your actions. Work out exactly what you are sorry for and make sure you are not angry any more. There is nothing worse than an angry person giving a bitter apology as it will just serve to make their partner angry too. Apologizing can be a very difficult thing to do, but your partner will appreciate you trying your best to swallow your pride and just going for it. Sometimes you may need to apologize multiple times a day (Matthew 18v 21). Yet a true apology can clear the air and potentially heal a relationship. 2. DROP YOUR JUSTIFICATIONS Our tendenc y is to take things so personally that our egos and minds convince us that we were justified in acting in a way that hurt another person. We focus on the ‘Why’ instead of on their feelings. Rather than acknowledge that we have contributed to sadness or anger or disappointment in another, we hide behind reasons for doing what we did. By making a heartfelt apology, you acknowledge the hurt you have inflicted on another. This can also begin the process of restoring the trust that has been broken. q

The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013


H e a lt h P l u s

H e a lt h P l u s

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Staying Fit by Eating Right Lets start with Breakfast By Sherese Ijewere 18

The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

am often amazed by how people take better care of their cars than their bodies. They get regular oil checks, replace worn out parts and put proper gasoline in car. We recognize the necessity of proper care to get the best performance and longevity out of our motor vehicles. When will we realize that proper care also gives our bodies the longest life and best performance? Scientific research has confirmed that most leading causes of death and chronic diseases are preventable. We seem a bit health conscious in Nigeria, with information on health in magazines, newspapers, on television and radio. Interestingly, adding breakfast to your eating pattern is a major step to improving your lifestyle. So, why bother with breakfast? Food is fuel. Many studies have emphasized the importance of a healthy breakfast and linked it with less chronic disease, increased longevity and better health. Starting your day with a good breakfast boosts your energy, increases your attention span, and increases your sense of well-being. Breakfast puts you in better control of your emotions. A good breakfast is one that provides at least one third of the day’s calories. If you want to make the most of your day, fuel your body early with the right stuff. It is also essential for children to have breakfast, as it keeps them alert, attentive and focused. Most people give a variety of reasons for not eating breakfast such as, “I am never hungry in the morning”, or “I don’t have time”. It is important that we make time for everything else, we make time for taking care of our bodies. Many people eat late meals or snack late at night. When they go to bed, the body is still busy digesting all that food. Digestion slows down during the hours of sleep and there is still food in the stomach in the

The effects of a skipped breakfast are short attention span, lack of alertness, longer reaction time, low blood sugar and decreased work productivity.

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morning. The stomach needs to rest too. When you wake up in the morning, it is recommended to drink at least two glasses of water at room temperature. The water rehydrates your body from the night sleep (as we become dehydrated at night – sweating, breathing), wakes you up, and helps your bowel move freely. When you get up in the morning, your glucose or blood sugar level is at its lowest point in the day. Glucose is the basic fuel for the brain and central nervous system. The effects of a skipped breakfast are short attention span, lack of alertness, longer reaction time, low blood sugar, decreased work productivity. A good breakfast will keep you from being tired and irritable by mid-morning. How To Do It Plan wisely for a healthy breakfast. Create a meal schedule. Many prepared cereals have added refined sugar, which is often hidden. Read labels carefully to select cereals prepared without excessive sugar, salt, fat and additives. „„ Start Small. If you’re not a breakfast eater, begin with whole wheat toast and/or a piece of fruit. In a few days, add more food. „„ Choose Fruit for Breakfast. Fruit gives you fiber. Fresh fruit is the best choice. There are many to choose from: oranges, grapefruits, apples, bananas, grapes, melons. Eat two servings of fruit every morning. „„ Eat High-Fiber Hot Cereal. Hot cereal is the best choice, and there are 20

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Subscribe & Save Get 4 issues for only N1,600 several brands of cereal on the market that are high in fiber and low in sugar. Oatmeal is a favourite hot cereal. Try a seven grain cereal and experiment with different grains such as millet, brown rice, quinoa, corn grits for variety. Pap is a wonderful hot cereal. – Choose a cereal with at least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving. – Choose cereal that have 5 grams or less of sugar per serving. – Rememb er 4 g rams of sug ar=1 teaspoon. Moi-moi is also a great choice for breakfast. You can do it! Try this simple experiment. Eat one or two servings of fresh fruit every morning for the next three weeks. Eat as many different kinds as you can find. Remember, health is by choice, not by chance and the choice is yours. You do not have to be a health statistic. By adopting a better diet and wiser lifestyle habits, you can live longer, feel better, and enjoy a healthier, more productive life. q The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

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Handling conflicts in Marriage BecoMe a Mor e gorgeous You

5 waYs to opti nMize ow my social Media for I have had Your Business lIfe share of faulty Oby Ezekwesili —Mrs. decIsIons I ha ve had my share of fau own lty lIfe decIsIons —Mrs. Oby Ezek The Woman Leader

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F e at u r e I n t e r v i e w

F e at u r e I n t e r v i e w

I have had my own share of faulty life decisions —Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili needs no introduction. From the Ministry of Solid Minerals, to the Ministry of Education, to the World Bank, this adovcate of transparency, good governance and accountability leaves an imprint of excellence and integrity in serivce everywhere she graces. Frank, intelligent, and eloquent, Mrs. Ezekwesili is an interviewers delight. The Woman Leader editorial team discovered this first hand. In this interview, she reaches into the past, illuminates on the present and projects into the future, letting us into details of her life and sharing her thoughts on attaining excellence in public service and private practice. Enjoy. 22

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Vol 1/Issue  2013  The Woman Leader

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Ma, you have been a model to women in various spheres of influence. Can you share with us how you have been able to achieve the delicate balance of combining the roles of wife, mother and public servant; especially considering that over time, women have experienced challenges in balancing their various roles. The most important gift we received from God is the power of Choice. Being rational beings, we are constantly making choices when we are faced with options. When I was getting married, I promised myself that with the grace of God, I would absolutely love and prioritize my husband and our children no matter how successful I ended up as a professional. My husband and I were blessed to have been so in love with each other and expressed that deep love by agreeing that we would be guided by one Vision. Yes. We do have our Family Vision. We agreed that we would not pursue “each individual’s success” 24

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but would support each other to achieve “our family successes”. I also learned from observing successful families that true success for a career woman is really possible where the entire family affirms a wife and mother as a success. In other words, you cannot be successful if as a wife and mom; your family does not think so, primarily because you “succeeded” at th e i r exp e n s e . S o i f th e w o rl d celebrates you as a success but within the household, your family sees nothing worth celebrating, then all is not well. You must stop and review your priorities, have a discussion and all come to some understanding. Realizing this quite early as a professional who also got married at a relatively young age, I entered marriage determined to make my husband and our children the center of my professional choices and decisions. So, in my family we always discuss and agree every one’s career moves before it is made. Mine has been frequent. Each one of those moves was discussed by the family. We talked through not just the opportunities but laid out the adjustments that we and the children would have to make if we agreed that it was worth making. We have an agreement to never compromise our relationship regardless of what assignment I am fulfilling. Everyone close to us knows that for a fact. In our family we understand sacrifice. So at different times in our lives, we willingly sacrifice for one another so that we can each be the best that we can be- my husband Pastor Chinedu who is my greatest cheerleader The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

and bedrock besides Christ and our three sons spoil me rotten though! The tradeoffs in terms of time and availability can however be tough no matter how much you tried sometimes and there have been periods in my life that I wished I could have walked away from an assignment, a meeting, a travel or something work related just to be home. My consciousness is always to reduce the times that I have to trade off being with the family as I am a real family buff with deep love for being in the company of my husband and our children. Just being home has a particular thrill for me and so although I am public in my professional roles, you will notice that socially, I am very private. The support of my mom who became widowed in her late forties just before I had our first sons- the twins- Chine and Chuba has also been especially inestimable. Given your passion for reform in the education sector and the structures you put in place to reform our institutions, we can easily say that you have done well as a technocrat. However, there seems to be a perception that technocrats have been unable to successfully navigate the public sector. In fact, technocrats are perceived to be unable to strike a balance between policy formulation and politics. What do you think is responsible for this? Thanks for your very kind words. I always try to give my best shot to every task I am given because like my husband inculcated in me, I was “created to fulfill Assignments and not to do jobs”. The Education ministry task was my most Vol 1/Issue  2013  The Woman Leader

emotional Assignment ever for the sheer pain of the dysfunction that I saw and set to fix just to help ensure that the children of the poor can once again have the advantage that public education gave many of us to be socially and economically mobile. Now to your question! Well, I do not think that it is about failing to strike a balance between policy formulation and politics really. I think that the failure and lack of continuity of reforms of the kind that I worked with teams to implement whether in Due Process (Bureau for Public Procurement), Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Solid Minerals and Education ministries respectively; are as result of too many factors outside the control of

“you cannot be successful if as a wife and mom; your family does not think so, primarily because you “succeeded” at their expense. So if the world celebrates you as a success but within the household, your family sees nothing worth celebrating, then all is not well.” 25


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the technocrat as you put it. A technocrat does not have to be in politics but should of course have a consciousness that policy formulation and implementation happen within a political context. I for example studied and specialized in economic policy so I know how important the politics is for the policy process. In fact I applied a lot of my knowledge of the importance of stakeholders approach in policy making and implementation for each of the reforms I implemented in

F e at u r e I n t e r v i e w

government. Furthermore, citizens do not yet fully understand their roles and responsibilities in demanding accountability and results from those that govern. Therefore, when a new government acts in ways that truncate even the soundest of policies of their predecessor, it should be the citizens; that is the larger public that should raise the voice of scrutiny and demand for explanations. Also, the civil service which by its very nature as a tenured agenc y of government remains constant even w h e n p o l i t i c a l a c to r s change became a shadow of itself over the decades of militar y rule. Their incentives shifted from policy and vision related focus to transactions. The public sector therefore suffers from the disease of being a theatre of contracts and such financial activities that offer opportunities for corruption. It is for reasons like these and many others that low level politics ends up truncating reforms. Opinions have tilted towards the fact that mediocrity in the Nigerian public sector seems to be a bigger problem than corruption. Can you share with us your take on this? In many ways these

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two–mediocrity and corruption- are twin manifestations of the malaise in our public sector. Corruption is the result of compromise of the integrity of inputs, processes, decisions and outcomes. Mediocrity or the sacrifice of merit is a derivative of a corruption infested public sector which ends up making choices based on personal benefits rather than for public good. So, really we do need to avoid what my Dad when he was still alive called “semantic obscurantism” – i.e. obscuring the key point by dissipating energy on semantics. We have a tragic problem of a collapse of our integrity or value infrastructure as a nation and there is nowhere worst affected than the public sector. If we do not get a handle on the cancerous corruption that has undermined the capacity of our public sector to lead the rest of the nation- private sector and the citizens sector I am afraid we could face an implosion that engulfs our politics, economy and social fabric. I do of course underline your point on mediocrity by pointing out that the stellar performance of Nigerians everywhere else in the world where merit is rewarded should make us question our internal or domestic contempt for merit, excellence, competency, character and capacity. Constant compromise of merit for primordial or other reasons that sacrifice competency has seen our nation gradually being overtaken by the lowest common denominator in terms of leadership across the spectrum of our national lifein civil society, in private sector and even Vol 1/Issue  2013  The Woman Leader

worse in government. Nations that play with their best team – that is, their first eleven -have been shown by research to outperform nations that do not. I believe in the mix of competency, capacity and character as attributes that everyone person that can produce good results in leadership must have. The three must function together as none is a substitute for the other. The more we can emphasize there criteria for deciding those we thrust with public and private responsibilities, the less we would see the growing scale of corruption and governance failures that in turn breed cynicism and despondency in citizens and make them lose confidence in government. You are a de voted Christian and have consistently maintained that your Christian values drive your passion for service. We would like to know the role that your faith has played in shaping your convictions and the challenges you have had to face by holding on to such convictions in public service. My faith is actually my essence. Everything that I am! My life values, choices, priorities, aspirations, interests, assignments, service and sacrifices are shaped by my strong belief in the Almighty God who is the Maker of heaven and earth. That He alone has the power to make and unmake is key to my anchoring everything about my life in Him. For me, God is not a cliché. I know that where it not for the grace of God I will never have had the life that I have had. So, my lifeline has always been and will always be hiding 27


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myself in Him. My husband calls God the Perfect Planner, the Perfect Arranger. He has been that and more in my life. People who are close to me know that one of my favourite scripture verses is by Prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1v4: I knew you even before your mother conceived of you; I named you before you were born; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. It says everything about you and I being people on Assignment. We did not just drop into the world to make up the numbers needed for the population of the world, Africa or Nigeria. My strong faith means that I am constantly asking His affirmation and validation to ensure that I would at the end of my years have fulfilled “what He named me or ordained me even before I was born”. The scriptures also provided me the heroes and heroines

“I tried my best to reflect the standard of sacrificial hard work that Christ and Paul preached about a lot in the Bible. I believe so much in the teaching of James that we as Christians must strike a productive balance between faith and works.” 28

that I have modelled my public service on. I love four women from whom I arrived at the acronym DARE! Deborah, Abigail, Ruth and Esther. The four of them teach me daily the values of courage, wisdom, commitment, character and selflessness. For the men, I dwell on Nehemiah for character and focus, Daniel for excellence and courage, Abraham (especially the 14th chapter of Genesis where he refused the gift from Sodom), Moses and Joseph for their sacrifice and gift of administration, David for his fear and love of God in good measures and Paul for his exceptional brilliance. Of course, the Lord Jesus is the foundation of all I have been or ever hope to be. I am not one bit ashamed of the gospel of Jesus and so many that worked with me in government knew my deep faith. However, what mattered more to me was to “live my faith” and not to “talk my faith”. I tried my best to reflect the standard of sacrificial hard work that Christ and Paul preached about a lot in the Bible. I believe so much in the teaching of James that we as Christians must strike a productive balance between faith and works. I did not face any challenge as such for it but perhaps the challenge that came from people who felt that I was too rigid with my anti-corruption stance especially when I was in charge of Due Process. They would call me names like “Madam Due Process” in those days and some even said I was a ‘Deeper Life woman and so had no interest in making money and was therefore standing in the way of people who wish to make money’. I have to say The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

Vol 1/Issue  2013  The Woman Leader

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F e at u r e I n t e r v i e w

that one of the best things that someone ever said to me in my public service had to do with my faith. When I resigned to go to the World Bank and the Ministry of Education staff had a send forth party for me, one of the directors said that for her the positive impact I had on her life was that although she knew that my family is very religious with my husband being a pastor, I did not need to preach to her because my leadership style and the strong values that I reflected as a her minister did the preaching. Well, that was a very positive and strong feedback but it made me realize even much more the level of scrutiny that we as Christians must realize we would face when we lead in the public space. There are people who contend that the Church has not proved its mettle in proffering sustainable solutions in Nigeria’s advancement. Personally, do you think the church has risen to the occasion in influencing our socio-political discourse? Then again, what do you think the church can do, in practical terms, to engender national transformation? I agree with those who are unhappy with the performance of the church in positively influencing the nation. I preach messages on that all the time. The truth is that without the Church cleaning up itself and becoming the salt and light that Christ came to have it become, our nation will languish in the hands of the wicked for the foreseeable time. The Church regrettably reflects all the vices that we see in our larger society with so much 30

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emphasis on the “here and now type” pursuits and values. Frankly, I consider it a tragedy that we in the church are crazy for the “mere substance of things” that Christ promised us would naturally be ours if we would can put Him and the Kingdom first. We have mostly failed to do so and in the process of allowing the “tail to wag the dog” in our Christianity, the church assimilates itself into the failed values context of our nation and loses its moral pedestal. If the foundation be faulty, what would the righteous do? We must begin with a determination to first clean up the church. Clean up ourselves. Hold ourselves as Christians to higher standards of the kind the Lord laid down for us. We have fallen short of it. We have joined in condoning the primitive accumulation of wealth and showiness that pervades our society. Our sights are now too much on the things below and hardly on the things of the Spirit- the things above. Character is the one word I use as a synonym for our Lord after whom we are supposed to model our lives as Christians. I never worry about my reputation which is merely what people think of me and as you know they may hardly be correct. I spend time working on my character for my character is the real me. My character is the me that God knows. How far from His standard do I fall? That is what should worry us. What is the character of the people in our churches today? Let us individually do introspections. If we do not deceive ourselves, we will come to the conclusion that a lot is wrong with The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

the church both as individuals and as a collective. We must then quickly begin to make amends. Adjust our focus. Demand accountability from one another. Eschew the syndrome that has made the church condone ignobly acquired wealth. Seek the face of God in repentance. Ask for His Spirit to come back to the church so that indeed like Prophet Isaiah said “the law can go forth from out of Zion-which today is no longer a place in Israel but each of us as individual believers and the church when we gather as a collective. The Church needs to then get back to being at the forefront of leading a moral revolution for Nigeria. We need a New Nigeria that rewards hard work and sanctions bad behaviour. We need a society that only values and respects wealth that came through hard work; through effort. We must become a society that ceases to condone indolence, ignoble behaviour, celebrate and reward corruption and such other bad behaviour. The Church should begin this by refusing to celebrate the “sudden wealth syndrome” of its members who may have become rich through the same vices that Christ preached against. It may be a little step but it could become the catalyst that we need to begin our cleanup of the Aegean stable that Nigeria has become as a result of systemic corruption that has engulfed the entire fabric of our society. There are a plethora of theories on development, from free market capitalism to socialist welfare. Unfortunately these theories have not produced Vol 1/Issue  2013  The Woman Leader

“Character is the one word I use as a synonym for our Lord after whom we are supposed to model our lives as Christians. I never worry about my reputation which is merely what people think of me and as you know they may hardly be correct.” tangible results in most parts of Africa. As a former Head of the World Bank in Africa, what do you think is responsible for this? How do African Nations surmount developmental challenges? Character based sacrificial leadership that mobilizes the entire nation toward a rallying vision is fundamental for the success of nations. Throughout history, there is no substitute for this foundational factor of success of prosperous nations no matter the economic philosophy or ideology that they choose to pursue. Without vision a people perish, as wise King Solomon said. Inspiring leadership rallies huge possibilities in talents/human capital, geography and natural resources toward greatness; the bases for economic policy choices are pragmatic and targeted 31


F e at u r e I n t e r v i e w

at what achieves the best outcome and impact for the larger number. That is how nations develop. That is how everyone gets a stake in contributing to and benefiting from the development process. The combination of sound policies, effective and efficient investments and strong institutions that collectively drive economic growth is more likely to occur when our individual actions are governed by a collective sense of destiny. We have to pray and work for that to happen at every level of governance in our nation as speedily as possible. How important do you think mentorship is to younger women and do you think accomplished women are doing enough to mentor younger women? Mentoring of younger women is extremely important. It is something I have committed myself to doing across the nation and even the rest of Africa where I have so many young women that I mentor or for whom I am simply a Big sister and friend. The vast array of challenges that today’s young women face can sometimes be totally overwhelming. There are many young women I know who feel so alone in the midst of the crowd because they somehow feel disconnected from all that goes on around them and feel they have no one to transparently open up the inner turmoil of their heart to. Having someone who can with utmost sincerity support you with counsel as you clarify the choices and options you make at 32

The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

Vol 1/Issue  2013  The Woman Leader

different stages of life can be quite helpful. I am working toward a more structured vehicle to expand mentoring to a larger number of young people-women and men. I believe in the generation of the present youthful. I believe that for our nation and continent, they are the Turning Point Generation that can make a detour from the past failures of my generation and those before us. In whatever way, we can help guide them along as they exercised the leadership that is thrust on them even at this time, we must consider it part of our Assignment. We do need to get as many of us as possible that are willing to share our failings and triumphs to do so with our young women. Oh, I have had my failings too. Sometimes, when people look at me and assume that I have it all together, I just sit them down and tell them a bit of the stories of my own failures and how God kept the faith with me. That can be all that a mentee needs in order to raise her chin and boldly face the dawn that will break following the darkest nights of her life. I love my mentees and some of them particularly make me so proud. Outstanding young women like Uche Okoro, Detoun Ogwo and Toyosi Akerele here in Nigeria for example make me confident that the next generation will do considerably better than ours. That gives me plenty joy. Ma, looking back at your career in the private and public sectors are there any decisions you regret? Are there things you could have done 33


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“A deliberate policy to support women with everything they need to thrive in the work place is part of the “new deal” of the 21st century world in which governments, companies and families must maximize both their male and female human capital in equal measures.” better? Oh! I have had my own fair share of faulty life decisions. Some of them have been faulty relationship decisions. Some have been faulty professional decisions. On the upside however, each of those faulty, poor or tragic decisions helped me gain experience as I grew in age. At the time I faced the consequences of those decisions though, they did not seem like they brought me any value other than the pain and shame of failure. In fact some of them still make my eyes well up with tears when I recall them. Frankly I do sometime feel like I am 500 years and not fifty simply because of the amount of decisions I have made in my lifetime! Regret is however not the word to characterize what I feel 34

F e at u r e I n t e r v i e w

about my failings. I would rather call them my stripes for character development. We all must permit ourselves to fail. Permit ourselves to fall. We however must never ever permit ourselves to stay fallen or failing. We must always rise from the ashes of bad decisions and choices. There is always His grace for a new race once we set our feet to run the track. It is obvious that you keep a very busy schedule. How do you find time to relax in the midst of it? Please help me find the recipe for relaxation o! Ah, but for His grace I would probably be gone by now. He alone has kept me in full health despite my very poor record with respect to relaxation. My mom keeps rebuking me for what she calls our generation’s ‘poor quality of life’ due to restlessness. She says that now at 50, I will see how much of the midnight candle I burnt doing so much in a 24/7week since my youthful years. Well, I agree with her but I know that God will renew my youth so I will not suffer any of the weaknesses of the 50 years olds and above. Seriously though, I will need to do a better job of caring for myself. My most loving husband, Pastor Chinedu alarms me by always telling people that the only aspect of my life in which I have shown little or no integrity is in taking care of my own personal needs. Each time he says it I feel so bad that I make a resolve to do better and then…I fail! The reason is there is simply so much that we who have received so much grace owe those without our privilege. That sense of duty pushes The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

me to burn myself in the process of doing ‘just one more thing’ that can benefit someone else, meaning that I sacrifice my rest most of the time. Please pray with me that my 50th birthday resolve to embark on a lifestyle improvement through rest and exercise regimen will actually endure! Do you really think there is a glass ceiling; in the sense of women not having enough opportunities to get to the top. Or is this just another mirage? It is both. In some situations, it is a mirage especially if it is merely in the mind of women that they are being overlooked for their sex when in fact the reason no one reckons with them is due to their failure to excel in an equal opportunity environment. In other cases, it is real when there is an absolute lack of consciousness by organizations that corporations which support and reward excellence of their women outperform those that fail to do so. A deliberate policy to support women with everything they need to thrive in the work place is part of the “new deal” of the 21st century world in which governments, companies and families must maximize both their male and female human capital in equal measures. For example, simply supporting women professionals with the provision of early child care facilities within proximity of their work places have been found to make all the difference in career progression of women in some firms and countries. For the individual woman however, a personal decision to conquer Vol 1/Issue  2013  The Woman Leader

limitations and barriers must be made. I always counsel women to seek every avenue for professional improvement and keep working and walking as though there were no glass ceiling because somewhere along that corridor, opportunity which is the best friend of preparedness will come and lift them to the next level. A lot of people think that leaders in this part of the world do not have a culture of documenting their experiences. What is your take on this? Should we expect your memoirs soon? That is sadly true. It does however look like things are beginning to change, albeit gradually. I think it would have been presumptuous for me to write my memoirs in my forties. Now that I am a proper elder who has entered her fifties, perhaps the season lends itself to writing such experiences. I therefore plan on writing a number of books in the coming years. For now though, we still have our three sons at different stages of their education so I really must earn a living working full time to support with their education. The extremely swamped global schedule that I presently run also makes it challenging to immediately embark on writing books that document my many experiences. But, I promise that once we are done with giving our sons and several other dependents the same kind of education that our own parents gave us, I will retire and as part of my extended relaxation, I will write and write and write. q

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P u r s e St r i n g s

P u r s e St r i n g s

The Proverbs 31 Superwoman:

Could she be you? By Nimi Akinkugbe

G

enerations of women have held up the Proverbs 31 woman as their role model. Even though she was spoken of thousands of years ago, the Proverbs 31 woman and her approach to life and money matters is more relevant than ever to the 21st Century woman. She forms the perfect picture of a busy woman running her home, rushing

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to work, running a business, making investment decisions, and volunteering her time for charitable causes, whilst continuing to be the rock of her family; a wonderful wife and mother. What can we, today’s women learn from this ancient biblical ideal as we play out our diverse and complex roles, juggling family, home, work, career and business? Whether you are married, single, divorced, widowed, with or without children, young or old, there are many lessons to be learned from the Proverbs 31 woman. This discussion however, will focus on the very practical financial lessons and concepts that come to the fore which we can imbibe and include in our lives. Let us examine the characteristics of this remarkable woman and see if we can come any closer to this ideal in our own lives. A business woman “She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.” “She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” This woman runs a business from her home and has the business acumen to be a successful trader in the marketplace. An entrepreneur, her effort and industry bring benefit to her family, as she is able to supplement the family income. She values her customers and is quality conscious and will go the extra mile to ensure that she has good quality products. She is frugal Vol 1/Issue 1  2013  The Woman Leader

“She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.” She is prudent about her shopping and will go some distance to shop around for quality items at bargain prices to ensure that she gets good value for her money. We too can be frugal in our shopping, by avoiding impulsive buying and shopping with a list. She invests wisely “She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard”. Apart from working to earn a living, she invests carefully. She not only plans for the short term but understands and seeks the benefits of long term investments and income, and contributes to the financial well-being of her household. She is reliable and dependable and watches over the affairs of her family. Her husband has full confidence in her and trusts her to make the right day-to-day decisions and manage the family assets efficiently. She plans ahead and is organized “When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” She plans ahead for a rainy day and is an organized and energetic woman who manages her time efficiently and can accomplish more by starting her day early and carrying out her responsibilities with diligence and good cheer. She is talented and industrious “She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle” She uses her creative talents to earn 37


P u r s e St r i n g s

P e r s o n a l Eff e c t i v e n e s s

With determination and focus, the 21st Century woman is capable of having a successful work-life balance. additional income to support her family. What gift have you been blessed with? Do you use it? With a little imagination and determination you can use your talent to earn some money. Let us consider our own God given talents and see what benefit these can bring to us, our families or to our community. You may be a great cook, have a special voice, or be a gifted tailor or carpenter. How can you develop these skills through diligent application to the point where they can increase your income, change your life or indeed someone else’s? She is generous “She extends her hand to the poor, and stretches out her hands to the needy.” She is generous in her giving; not only does she care for her family, and her domestic staff, but she also gives back to society and hasthe sensitivity and compassion to care for the poor and needy. She keeps well and strong “She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong”. We get the impression of a woman who keeps 38

Why should I be interested in knowing myself and my personality Style?

By Lanre Olusola

herself fit and well, through exercise and an appropriate diet going vigorously about her duties as so many people depend on her. She is God-fearing The Proverbs 31 woman realizes and acknowledges that her skills, talents and industry are all by God’s grace. As she places her full trust in Him he enables her and gives her the wisdom and ability to create wealth and accomplish all that her heart desires and more. I know it sounds daunting but it is far too easy to place her up on a pedestal as if to try to emulate this ideal is an unattainable goal. The Proverbs 31 role-model highlights areas which could change our lives if we were to focus on them. You are probably practicing some of them already and just need some encouragement in others. Proverbs 31 forms a veritable guide to all women of what we can aspire to be. Working outside the home is a reality for most women and balancing a career and family can be very stressful. With determination and focus, the 21st Century woman is capable of having a successful work-life balance. q

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Vol 1/Issue 1  2013  The Woman Leader

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P e r s o n a l Eff e c t i v e n e s s

Why should I be interested in knowing myself and my Personality Style? “In other living creatures the ignorance of themselves is nature, but in man it is a vice” —Boethius ntil you know yourself and your personality style you will not be truly fulfilled or satisfied, firing on all cylinders towards the successful life that you deserve. Many people go through the cycle of life feeling unfulfilled, unsatisfied, unhappy and discontent. The ‘rat race” makes italmost impossible for them to switch and pursue a purpose and passion which aligns with their personality style, natural gifts and talents. However, this in fact is the key to achieving purpose effortlessly and finding fulfillment, happiness and satisfaction in life.

U

“It’s a sad fate for a man to die too well known by everyone, but still unknown to himself” —Francis Bacon You either belong dominantly in one of the following personality types, or combine the features of more than one. GENERALS G enerals feel important , are selfopinionated, logical but not detailed and 40

P e r s o n a l Eff e c t i v e n e s s

welcoming them with a smile and with a friendly greeting; and because they are enthusiastic, you must respond with positive enthusiasm around them.

SOCIALIZERS Socializers are friends with everyone and often very chatty. They are enthusiastic and easy going. They give much information therefore you will often need to separate what is key from the waffle. They use a lot of examples when communicating. They are honest and often assume other people are too. They are excitable, fast paced talkers and often gesticulate. They are fast decision-makers and often come across as being disorganized. Because they are friendly, you must act in a relaxed way and stay calm around them, always

TEAM PLAYERS Team players are quiet and unassertive. They are supportive, corporative, kind and warm. They are slow paced, use few gestures in communication, avoid risks , dislike conflict and are very accommodating. They have excess sincerity and are very good at reading other people at work and at home. Because they are quiet, you must be thoughtful and quiet around them. Because they are kind and unassertive, you need to show concern to make them comfortable. When talking with them, you must use words like we and us. As a man, if your wife is a team player and is pregnant, the best way to communicate this to your friends, especially in her presence, is to say “We are pregnant” not “She is pregnant”. On a team, say ‘We’ and not ‘I’: “We are about to achieve this” or “We are setting these goals”. For team players, it is really about ‘us’ not ‘me’. Because team players use very few gestures, they might come across

The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

Vol 1/Issue 1  2013  The Woman Leader

they delegate lots of tasks. They come across as assertive and tough minded. They are poor listeners, they lack patience, and are usually cold and formal. Generals feel important so you must pay real attention to them and play to their strengths. You must show them that they are winning and getting something right. Being self-opinionated, they expect you to listen to them and not interrupt even when you have a different opinion, but simply nod your head as though you are in agreement with them. Because they are logical, you must know their goal or intention and affirm that you are on track. They are abrupt so you must keep to the point when responding to them.

as slow, so you may need to reduce your gestures and pace of speech. DETECTIVES Detectives are formal, therefore when you are around them it is advisable that you adopt a formal approach and give them space. They are logical, and that is a major reason why they may sometimes come across to people who do not understand them as unfriendly or unapproachable, paediatric, selfpossessed and a bit stand-offish. The y can be picky, critical, serious-minded and unassertive. They like to ask a lot of questions and because they are logical, in interacting with them you must respond with details, descriptions, quality and quantity. They have a need for facts to be presented orderly; therefore you must have your facts straight when dealing with them especially if you have a detective as a boss. Because they are unassertive, you must hold back and be unassertive too.

Until you know yourself and your personality style you will not be truly fulfilled or satisfied, firing on all cylinders towards the successful life that you deserve.

“Knowing who you are, is the best defence against who they think you are.” —Dodinsky  q 

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Im a g e a n d St y l e

Im a g e a n d St y l e

Become a More Gorgeous You

W

By Alexia Horsfall

orking as a beauty consultant, I find that there are several factors combined which give a woman that total sense of confidence and charisma that she exudes easily. Whether she works as a corporate executive, a regular working lady, a business person or even in an informal social sector, one thing is certain: as a woman, putting your best foot forward in all areas is key, beauty and style inclusive. Here are a few pointers.

The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

2

A SKIN CARE REGIMEN Magic cannot be found in a bottle or the promise of youth in a tube, yet beautiful skin is so within reach. A skin care regimen consists of 4 basic steps: cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturize. I hear people say that they want a beautiful complexion and are on a quest for ‘complexion-utopia’. Take Helena Rubinstein’s advice: “Take care of your skin and your skin will take care of your complexion”. Many decades later, that is still excellent advice. Don’t worr y so much about the fairness or other wise of your skin.

EYES THAT SPEAK The e yes are a good place to experiment with makeup and try out different looks till you have a variety of favourite looks. With the very many makeup artists easily available, get an appointment to get your brows shaped nicely and regularly too. I always recommend mascara because it opens up your eyes. You can instantly have thicker and fuller lashes with a few wand strokes. Also, where lashes are cross haired, you can cause them to straighten over time with regular mascara usage. There is this mysterious air about eyeliners: eyes rimmed in black have always been so intriguing! Now, there are even more colour variants: navy blue, metallic blue, green, purple. These make your eyes

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1

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Whether you have oily, normal, dry or sensitive skin, treat it right. Wash off dirt and oils day and night, remove dead skin cells by exfoliating, moisturise properly and your skin will look and feel better in about 3-4 weeks. With consistent use, you should have the smooth, beautiful skin you desire.


Im a g e & St y l e

pop without you having to wear a lot of makeup.

3

SMOOTH HANDS AND FEET There are a few things that relax and make one feel pampered without costing a lot, one of which is taking care of your hands and feet. There are these foot and hand sets that include hand and foot washes, scrubs and moisturisers. The hands do not lie. By looking at a woman’s hands you can predict to a degree how old she is. With proper care, your hands and feet can be even more beautiful as you grow older. Good examples are Mary Kay Satin Hands and Avon Foot Works.

4

GET A STYLIST AND A GOOD TAILOR In every circle, there is at least one person who knows how to throw things together, knows where to shop, knows what works and what does not. Ask her how you can put things together, how you can have a variety of looks and not look the same all the time. If you do not know such a person, then ask someone whose style you like although she may be outside your circle. There is always a chance that she would be happy to help you. In the worst case, you can actually hire a professional stylist to help you get a wardrobe makeover. Having a good designer/tailor is priceless! Once you find that precious person who can amend your clothes perfectly, sew something in a few days and can make almost anything you show her 44

out of a magazine, she’s a keeper.

5

A HEALTHY DIET What we eat generally shows up on the outside. Have a regular balanced diet–fruits, proteins, low carbohydratesand endeavour to drink lots of water. Sometimes you can indulge in some chocolate, cake and ice-cream. Staying off fizzy drinks goes a long way in keeping weight down.

6

LAUGHTER The Bible says a merry heart does good like medicine. Always find a reason to laugh regardless of how you feel. When joy radiates from your inside, it causes your face to glow. When you are happier, you are a more relaxed and beautiful person.

7

TAKE A MAKEUP CLASS: There is no reason to be at a party with horrible makeup or hair gear(gele): no reason at all. If you would rather not engage the ser vices of a professional makeup artist to tie your gele and/or get your makeup done each time you have to go out, it is expedient that you know how to sort yourself out. Take a class. There are 1 day classes and weekend classes where you can learn basic makeup techniques and how to tie your gele in easy steps. With a bit of practice on your part, you will always look fabulous whether you are going somewhere really fancy or not. q

The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

Books Travel Food Laughs


R e v i e w­s : B o o k s

Reviews: Books

Reading List

120 Days Of Victory (Devotional Series) by Pastor Taiwo Odukoya his devotional series will guide you into timeless truths that will enable you enforce victory in every sphere of life. It draws from a wide range of topics including courage, opportunity, joy, relationships, business and career amongst others, to provide winning strategies for everyday living. It combines riveting ane cdotes w ith p owerf ul principles you can easily apply, to give you a resource tool for victory all year round.

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121 Days Of Blessings (Devotional Series) by Pastor Taiwo Odukoya ou were created for blessings. Picking up from 120 Days of Victory, the first volume in this epic devotional series, 121 Days of Blessings provides a practical guide to walking in the blessings of God, drawing from a wide range of topics including destiny, ability, power, parenting, increase and so much more.

Y

Tribes by Seth Godin he Web can do amazing things but it cannot provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals–people just like you who have passion about something. The explosion in tribes means that anyone who wants to make a difference now has the tools at her fingertips. This book will make you think (really think) about the opportunities in leading your fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers. It is not easy, but it certainly is easier than you think.

T

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The Lean Start Up by Eric Ries his book defines a start up as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business. Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Start up offers entrepreneurs–in companies of all sizes–a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it is too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful start ups in an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

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The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy he author shares his unique leadership philosophy with you in The Mentor Leader, revealing what propelled him to the top of his profession and showing how you can apply the same approach to virtually any area of your life. From this book, you will learn the seven keys of mentoring leadership and why they are so effective; why mentor leadership brings out the best in people; how a mentor leader recovers from mistakes and handles team discipline; and the secret to getting people to follow you and do their best for you without intimidation tactics.

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“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.” — Vera Nazarian Vol 1/Issue 1  2013  The Woman Leader

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H o l i d ay D e s t i n at i o n

H o l i d ay D e s t i n at i o n

Botswana E

verybody longs for an unforgettable travel experience. Whether it is a one-off exciting adventure round the world or it is the traditional and more regular vacation, one thing is certain: we all want to return with memories and with the satisfaction of truly unforgettable moments. At least that is what I like to believe. It is so easy to get lost in the sights of Europe or impressive infrastructure in the United States, but the truth is that there are hot spots that take your breath away right here in our beloved Africa. For instance, do you know that Botswana is a premier safari destination offering some of the best wildlife views on the planet? Yes, on the whole planet. 48

Here are a few places to explore in Bostwana. 1. Chobe National Park: Chobe National Park lies in Bostswana Ochavango Delta and covers four distinct ecosystems. Chobe boasts over 100,000 elephants that can be viewed from the water on a safari cruise. The best time to visit is between May and September. Chobe is accessible by car which makes it a little less expensive than some other Bostwana parks. There is also a wide The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

Botswana is a premier safari destination offering some of the best wildlife views on the planet.

variety of accommodation to suit all budgets. 2. The Okavango Delta: The Delta river cuts through the center of the Kahalari desert creating a unique inland water system that gives life to a huge variety of birds and mammals.

that area as far as 100,000 years ago. This should perhaps explain why this is a UNESCO World heritage site. Visitors can expect to hike the three main hills using the local people as guides.

3. Tsodilo Hills: The Tsodilo Hills is an outdoor gallery, showcasing more than 4,000 ancient rock paintings. Some of the rock paintings date back to 20,000 years and archaeologists have ascertained that people lived in

4. Moremi Game Reserve: Moremi is a small reserve with a very high density and variety of wildlife. Its bird life is unrivalled with over 500 species to gaze at from your binoculars. Wild dogs are usually spotted there as well as Big Five with the recent introduction of black and white rhino. q further research, goafrica.about.com

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Food Court

L au g h s

The Pious Woman

Potato Porridge By Tere Jagun

„„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ 50

4 medium sized Sweet potato 1/2kg Irish potato 1 cup of Tomato puree Fresh tomatoes diced Fresh pepper to taste(diced or blended) 1 large Onion bulb 2 large Smoked catfish 1 cup of Crayfish 2 Seasoning cubes Salt Scent leaves (as desired) 1 cup of Vegetable oil Sufficient Chicken or beef stock

Directions 1. Peel and wash potatoes 2. Cook potatoes in stock adding tomato puree, salt, seasoning, smoked fish, onions 3. Add fresh tomatoes, pepper, vegetable oil, crayfish 4. Cook till the potato is soft 5. Mash a couple to aid thickening 6. Taste for salt and add scent leaves 7. Cook for another 5 minutes 8. Serve

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Picture: 9jafoodie.com

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flood was on its way, forcing everyone to evacuate. The police rowed up to the most pious woman in town and said, “Ma’am, you have to leave this house! People are dying out here!” The woman replied, “No, I’m not leaving. God has always helped me before, and He will do it again.” So as the water started to rise, she went to the second story of her house. Another boat came by, and the captain yelled, “Ma’am, you have to get on this boat or you’re going to drown!” The woman replied again, “No, God helped me before, and He will do it again.” The water rose even higher. This time she went to the top of the roof, where a helicopter came and hovered overhead. The pilot called into his loudspeaker, “Please climb aboard, ma’am. You are going to drown!” The women sniffed and again replied, “God is going to save me!” But the water rose higher, and soon she drowned to death. She went to Heaven, and there she asked God, “Why didn’t you save me, O Lord?” And God replied, “I did help—I sent you two boats and a helicopter!

The Strength of a Woman

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here were 11 people hanging on to a rope that came down from a helicopter. Ten were men and one woman. They all decided that one person should get off because if they didn’t, the rope would break and everyone would die. No one could decide Vol 1/Issue 1  2013  The Woman Leader

who should go. Finally the woman gave a really touching speech on how she would give up her life to save the others, because women were used to giving up things for their husbands and children and giving in to men. All of the men started clapping. 51


Op i n i o n

Op i n i o n

Does Your Passion Match Your Aspiration? By Detoun Ogwo

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e happen to live in an environment which can sometimes seem far from ideal. On very many levels, this part of the world seems besieged by peculiar challenges, some of which can prove extremely daunting to a woman with hopes and dreams of making a difference and thriving. Granted, there are things we wish were different but I believe we each have the capacity to do what needs to be done – something to better our world. Some of us have faint notions of ‘someday’ springing into action but Matthew 5:13-16 mandates that we affect the world in which we live for good. By comparing the world without our influence to food without salt, we are shown just how crucial we were designed to be in the scheme of things, and just how significant a role God would like us to play. He certainly does not expect us to remain passive; rather His intention is for us to be so relevant that the world depends on us and the difference that we make. 52

Against the background of the myriad of challenges in our environment, there appears to be some nonchalance and a lack of urgency. Sometimes some of us who actually CAN do something fold our arms and leave things be. On the other hand, I often hear well-intentioned people express some frustration at not knowing what to channel their energies towards. I recently stumbled upon a post in the HBR (Harvard Business Review) Blog Network written by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. (She is a professor at the Harvard Business School and author of the books Confidence and SuperCorp, both of which give a fresh, unique perspective on seemingly familiar personal and business themes). In her article, she strongly suggests that passion and tenacity are fundamental to accomplishing one’s aspirations. In her words, “Leaders who create extraordinary new possibilities are passionate about their mission and tenacious in pursuit of it. Many people have good ideas, but

many fewer are willing to put themselves on the line for them. Passion separates good intentions and opportunism from real accomplishments.” Interestingly, a lot of us women state that we have a passion for one thing or another but are unable to translate this

passion into tangible accomplishment. Quite a number of us feel overwhelmed – perhaps too much for deep introspection. This is due in part to the many roles we are required to play on a daily basis and in part to our very nature. Being women, we process things thoroughly and are quick

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It is my desire that every one of us women do the best we can with what we have while we can.


Op i n i o n

to second-guess ourselves. Perhaps you are at a point in your life where you constantly wonder what course to chart or cause to champion wholeheartedly; or maybe you find yourself at a crossroads and feel it is time to discontinue what you have spent considerable time doing. Conversely, you may simply want a deeper sense of purpose instead of incessant activity that you do not find fulfilling. You might even belong in my category: having chosen a path to follow, you’re asking yourself if it is truly worthwhile. The reason I am so thrilled about her article is that she encourages us to ask ourselves several key questions, inviting us on a journey of self discovery with the outcome being that we can tell with near-absolute clarity whether or not our passion(s) and aspiration(s) are in tandem. Whatever point you are at – uncertain what your passion might be; certain what your passion is but unsure what to do about it; or living your passion but daunted by life’s many challenges – answering these questions as honestly as possible can only help you. I can honestly say I have repeatedly asked myself similar questions to these over the years – maybe not in quite as organized and academic a manner as she – but with the singular goal of evaluating my choices and actions for posterity. 1. Do I feel strongly about the need for this? 2. Does the idea fit my long-held beliefs, values, and convictions? 54

Op i n i o n

3. Have I dreamed about something like this for a long time? 4. Do I think that this is vital for the future of people I care about? 5. Do I get excited when I think about it and convey excitement when I talk about it? 6. Am I convinced that this can be accomplished? 7. Am I willing to put my credibility on the line to promise action on it? 8. Am I willing to spend time to sell it to others who might not understand or support it? 9. Can I make this the major focus of my activities? 10. Am I willing to devote personal time, above and beyond organizational time, to see that this happens? 11. Do I feel strongly enough to ignore negativity and fight for this? 12. Am I committed to seeing this through, in the long haul? I like to think that everything good comes at a price, hence the thirteenth question which she didnt include but which we must be prepared to answer nonetheless. 13. A m I w i l l i n g t o a c c e p t t h e consequences of committing to my passion? I enjoin you to answer these questions as honestly and as thorughly as possbile, as you are bound to find yourself in a better place afterwards: a place of clarity and a deeper sense of purpose. It is my desire that every one of us women do the best we can with what we have while we can. The world awaits us. q The Woman Leader  Vol 1/Issue 1  2013

5 ways to Optimize Social Media for Your Business

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By Tochi Eze

ccording to the Social Network statistics (statisticsbrain.com), there are about 1.2 billion people on Facebook alone. YouTube has a total of 490 million unique viewers every month and an average of 190 million tweets go up on a

daily basis on twitter. The online economy is no longer emerging, it has fully blossomed and come to stay. The internet is a world of infinite possibility for brand advertising, business growth and global connections. The implication is that businesses must begin to take advantage of the leverage that social media provides and invest in the measures and strategies to convert social media engagement into profitable business solutions. S o c i al Me di a i s a communication channel and you can leverage on it for your business even if you think that your business is not media based. Here are a few tips on how you can grow from casual engagement to a more

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Op i n i o n

deliberate approach for your business and personal growth on Facebook and Twitter.

1

Use Your Real Name: To be taken seriously, you need to appear serious. It is usually better for brands to use their real and full names on Faceb o ok esp e cially. This w ill enhance your visibility on search engines. For instance, a proper name is more professional than‘ Cutie’ or anything along those lines.

2

Fill Out The About Me Section Your ‘About Me’ section is a very critical par t of your so cial me dia engagement strategy. The reason is simple: once people read your compelling content, the next thing they look out for is your profile. Your profile should be a balance of your background, your experiences, interests, areas of competence and your business offerings. Note that this suggestion covers your Facebook profile as you are your business fan page. Try as much as possible to avoid using one liners to describe yourself.

Op i n i o n

The Social Media is a communication channel and you can leverage on it for your business even if you think that your business is not media based.

4

List Your Business In Popular Directories Be sure to register your business on popular online directories. Some of which are GooglePlus, Bing and Yahoo respectively. It is also better to host a blog for your business and have an online referral to place on your listings on these directories.

5

3

Consider Hiring A Professional If you think you do not have a firm grasp on social media marketing and content generation, do consider hiring a professional. This may increase your expenses but the potential benefits are very rewarding. Conclusively, having as many viable tools with which you can market your product or service is essential to any kind of business growth. Social media is a tool that should be explored from every angle for the optimization of your business and personal brand online. q

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Post Actionable Content It is true that the internet is clogged with very much information. However, you need to draw from your industry experience and provide tips to your readers that they will not find anywhere else. Offer giveaways and exclusive discounts. Let your audience have a feel of your offerings. This goes a long way to giving credibility to your business brand.

Now She Belongs to the Ages By Efe Paul Azino

S

he was nine years old when she received her first prize at school. Quizzed about how lucky she felt to have received the prize, little Margaret Roberts unflinchingly replied, “I wasn’t lucky, I deserved it”. A terse reply whose underlying ethos was to define her life, her reign, her legacy. The world received the news of Margaret Thatcher’s passing with mixed reactions. In life and in death, she divided opinion. History has been revisited and, in some cases, revised, in a bid to situate her legacy. The convoluted state of Britain pre-Thatcher has been conjured to justify her reforms and the purported sanity she brought to England. Indeed, Britain in the mid-70s was a nation adrift. Henry Kissinger, America’s famed secretary of state, in a remark to President Gerald Ford said, “Britain is a tragedy. It has sunk to borrowing, begging Vol 1/Issue 1  2013  The Woman Leader

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Op i n i o n

and stealing.” Incessant strikes, power shutdowns, a stock market crash and high inflation, amongst other challenges were forcing the British government, in 1978, to consider declaring a state of emergency. This was the Britain Thatcher inherited. The big question is, what did she do with it? She showed it tough love. She reined in the unions, cut income tax and gave enterprise the much needed boost. She created abundance and fell the prices of utilities through privatization and by breaking up the existing monopolies.

Op i n i o n

celebrated with mugs of beer and back claps. In a time of increasing global and local crisis, economic uncertainties and worsening inequalities, Thatcher’s nuanced legac y invites thoughtful consideration. It is easy to argue that the quality of leadership across spheres has suffered a worrying decline over the years. The world that produced George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Kwame Nkrumah, Obafemi Awolowo

and Nnamdi Azikiwe amongst others has since vanished. As democracy, in its various shades, entrenches itself across the globe, what is keeping in its wake is a crop of leaders beholden to narrow interests. Compromise has become the new dogma. The demand for decisive actions borne of conviction, principle and an eye for the common good has been answered by vacillation and pandering to popular sentiment. Indeed leadership today faces the peculiar challenge of leading in the midst of amplified opinions. Every move you make is being closely monitored and instantly judged. Everybody has something to say about what the problems

are and what they think needs to be done. And they have myriads of platforms to say them. Leaders who would succeed today therefore, must elevate their minds above the discordant clamouring of the majority, think through what needs to be done and muster the wherewithal to do it. This does not presuppose shutting off the opinions and demands of the people, it means being ready to do the right thing, even it flies in the face of popular opinion. Republicanism remains the most thought out mechanism for national leadership. Its central tenet is the selection of “a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.” Whatever the responsibilities of leadership that have been thrust upon us, we would do well to remember that leadership is often a lonely endeavour that requires us to carefully invest thought, fo r m co nv i c t i o n s a n d act decisively in the best interests of the constituency we have been called to

lead. This, of course, is not implying solo dashes of solitary opinion. Wide consultations are a given, but the onus ultimately rests with the leader. So, as we reflect on the life of Britain’s first female Prime Minister and argue over her legac y, let us consider the questions of conviction, standing for what you believe, daring, trying, failing, and trying again; all of which are posers the iron lady leaves us with in death. For now, in the words of Edwin Stanton, she belongs to the ages. q

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She created abundance and fell the prices of utilities through privatization and by breaking up the existing monopolies. And in what remains one of the boldest decisions of her career, she made a move to retake the Falkland Islands from Argentine occupation by military means, repositioning the cowering nation’s stature in the international community. But every move she made, every accomplishment, was at a huge cost and dogged by endless controversies. Her domestic policies provoked new discontents. Her stance on apartheid and friendship with Chilean strongman, Pinochet, put her on the wrong side of history. For some, Thatcher was the transformational leader who saved Britain. For others, she was an unfeeling neo-liberal whose death was deservedly 58

as we reflect on the life of Britain’s first female Prime Minister and argue over her legacy, let us consider the questions of conviction, standing for what you believe, daring, trying, failing, and trying again; posers the iron lady leaves us with in death.


Pa r e n t i n g

Pa r e n t i n g

Dealing with toddler defiance Culled from www. Parenting.Com

D

ealing with outright disobedience is an uncomfortable part of parenting: in part because most of us have no idea how to handle it, but also because decades of advice from parenting experts have both confused us and left us scared that we will somehow compromise our darlings’ burgeoning self-esteem if we react in the wrong way. Below are five proven ways to deal with high-test naughtiness. What works one day in one situation might not work

in the next when the stakes and settings are different, so it pays to be flexible. Just make sure, however you manifest your intolerance, that your child knows quickly and for certain that defiance will not be tolerated. This may be termed a one-sizedoesn’t-fit-all guide to solutions:

1

Create Consequences When the misbehavior is not so sitespecific, or when you cannot just leave or you are at home, you need to find a threat that matters to your child. As his or her mom, you are uniquely qualified to find her Achilles’ heel. After all, one child’s time-out is another child’s excuse to daydream. This may include first a spanking, then no TV for the day. A removal of a privilege also fits in this category.

2

Empathize Currently in vogue is the notion of letting the child know that you understand how he feels. Empathy is a good choice when you suspect something besides outright defiance is causing the problem.

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3

Laugh It Off Of ten a to ddler c an simply b e distracted from bad behaviour. Jennifer Ingle has a “Manners” poem she gets her two kids singing if they start acting up at a restaurant: Matthew, Matthew, strong and able/Get your foot off the table/This is not a horse’s stable/But a first-rate dining table. “The poem turns it into a silly situation” she says, “which is much easier to defuse”. Plain old distraction can work, too. “The only way I can get my three-year-old into the car for preschool every morning is if I make it a big excursion to go see the garbage trucks,” says Rae Sullivan of Durham, North Carolina. “He’s obsessed with garbage trucks, so as long as that’s where we’re going, it works.”

Just make sure, however you manifest your intolerance, that your child knows quickly and for certain that defiance will not be tolerated.

Do Nothing Unfortunately, as every parent knows,

hunger and exhaustion (or, worse, both) can render your child immune to any discipline technique you have. What do you do then? Sometimes, not a thing. Jennifer Greenberg of Portland, Oregon, was stuck in traffic with her newborn and preschooler when 3 ½-year-old Solomon demanded a lollipop to top off his snow cone. He hadn’t slept well the night before and it was a sweltering 100-degree day, so when Mom said no way, it sent him over the edge. She considered every one of the above-mentioned discipline tricks, then realized the best she could do was stay calm and get everyone home safely. “It wasn’t like I could pull over in traffic and give him a time-out.” Fi n a l l y h o m e , s h e c a r r i e d h e r thrashing, shrieking child into the house under her arm and plopped him in the time-out chair. When she returned to him a few moments later, her son had fallen sound asleep where he sat, slumped in the chair. Sometimes, it seems, kids deal with their defiance all by themselves. q

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4

Make A Deal When power struggles with my daughter Annie started when she was around 3, I decided to cut a deal. I agreed to keep the hall light on so she could sit in bed and look at a book as long as she promised to stay there and “rest.” She won a little, and I won a little. And she’d fall asleep within 20 minutes every time. Another name for deal-making? Compromise. It’s frowned upon by some, and you’d be wise to use it sparingly and only for annoying (but predictable) behaviour, rather than out-and-out misbehaviour.

5


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Discovery for Women

Pastor Taiwo Odukoya teaching the Word

Guest Minister, Lara George

Pastor Nomthi Odukoya ministering to the women

Cross section of women in the audience

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Discovery for Women

Grace Levites leading worship

Pastor Tosin speaking to the women

Pastor Ronke speaking to the women

Idayat Briggs sharing her testimony

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Get a 15% discount on any of the following Pastor Taiwo Odukoya’s books purchased at The Fountain of Life Book Shop. Buy & Save

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Call to Action 1. Take the Lead hat immediate steps can you take now to make a difference in your sphere of influence? Starting today, begin to meditate on God’s word, asking for light and directions to fulfil His mandate for your life. Colossians 1:9-10.

2. Conflict Resolution f f irm your partner deliberately and more often. Invest in your partner’s happiness. Always resolve issues as they arise and guard against strife in your home.

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3. Healthy living hat th ree things can you add to your daily diet to improve your standard of living? Starting tomorrow, inculcate a habit of healthy eating especially by adding fruits to your diet.

4. Proverbs 31 Woman ow have you achie ved a worklife balance in the 21st century? What adjustments do you need to make to ensure your life mirrors the Proverbs 31 woman ideal? Make those adjusments.

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5. Discovering my personality arry out a further research on your unique temperament. Identify certain qualities or character traits that endear you to others. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you model the Jesus temperament.

6. Does your passion meet your action? ow have you channeled your passion to translate into tangible results?

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7. Now She belongs to the ages hat actions are you taking in your sphere of influence and how does it affect public opinion? Above all, let your actions be guided by truth and not majority.

8. Social Media hat adjustments do you need to make on your social media page? What kind of information do you need to endear your audience to you? Start implementing.

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The Woman Leader - Edition 1  

Features Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili speaking with TWL, 'I hvae had my own share of faulty life decisions'

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