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VOL. 7 NO. 1



Inside TIMELESS this month Obama’s Rock

“Walk Hot, Fall Not”

Do you love or loathe your job?

Death of an Icon

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January 2009


Chikodi Chiedo & Helga Ojinmah

Rtd. Group.Capt Yomi Sotubo & Mrs Funmi Quadri

Rev Mrs M.E Oduntan,Rev Barnabas Terence & Rev Mother T.Sobowale

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January 2009


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I.I.P.S. Chief speaks on Security Issues In an interview Stanley Etta had with the Director General of I.I.P.S., Anthony Ofoyetan, a arnge of issues including government contribution to security operations, the role of private security outfits during the September 11 attack and some personal security tips for everyone to observe.


nternational Institute for professional security (I.I.P.S.) is a security institute established on the 5th day of December, 2006 that trains security practitioners and infuses ethical standards into professional security in Nigeria. The institute also acts as a resource center for security practitioners and plays advisory role to government security agencies. The director general, Anthony Ofoyotan spoke on the issue of security in Nigeria: “The government is performing wonders for example look at Lagos state, before now armed robbery incidents have become rampant since September. To battle this, the state government security agencies have been working hard. It simply means that these agencies are keeping watch over the night; I am not a police man, nor do I speak for them but whenever they perform above board, they deserve commendation”. Being a man who hails from the southern part of the country, Anthony understands the need for security. “Armed security men are stationed at strategic places, especially at night to prevent traffic robbery and other assaults in the state”. “Because just a few days ago I learnt Lagos state government donated 500 rifles 2000 bullet proof vest, 2 million rounds of ammunition, armored vehicles to the state security agencies”. Apparently, Lagos state is experiencing a progressively encouraging and wonderful improvement on security of lives and property. “In terms of private security agencies, their contributions are enormous. The Nigerian police are just about three hundred thousand, and we are talking of a population of 140 million. How do you think 300,000 armed police men can effectively police 140 million people? This implies that there is a great vacuum and this vacuum is being filled by the private security practitioners. Companies employ them these private security agencies, individuals employ them, and streets employ them. These days even government makes use of private security firms .If you visit Abuja, one will se that almost all government owned facilities are being guarded by Kings guards and other security outfits”. When asked how his organization has helped in improving the operational dynamics of the various players in this industry, Anthony stated that learning is best understood when presented by professionals, “in security matters that professional is IIPS. We train practitioners on what to do? How to do it? When to do it? And why it should be done?” He suggested separating the private and the government owned security outfits because the ailment that affects one is different from the other. Government security are statutory established while the private security are incorporated under the public and allied matters act and are also licensed by the Nigerian security and civil defense corps. Though they both work together towards the same goal, which is protection of lives and property, they have different challenges. The government agencies include the police, NAFDAC, EFCC, Nigerian security and civil defense corps ARMY, NAVY, Air-force, NDLEA and so on. “Let us narrow it down to the police which is the immediate organization responsible for civil defense, we know they are under-funded and don't own fat bank accounts. Secondly, the level of illiteracy in the Nigerian police is alarming; the minimum qualification is an OND but if

you listen to their oral English, you will be ashamed of your own police. This does not mean that there are no

contractual relationship, both parties must have a common ground of agreement called 'Consensus add idem' being

intelligent ones among them, but the illiterate ones embarrass there intellect and organizational prowess. Another thing is orientation; the police want us to believe there are our friends but they request for money, written statements and ridiculous requirements before rushing to our rescue, which usually is too late.” Anthony confessed that the public security the have failed woefully but also said the government alone cannot do everything. “It took America many years before they understood the relevance of private security. It was until the September 11 terrorist attack when the American society for industrial security (ASIS) took over the analysis, evacuation, and venerability analysis and so on”. “It was then that it dawned on the government there was a vital section of security that we have been underplaying. Some people still see private security in Nigeria as Maiguards. They don t know that security is no longer at the gate, it is now in the board room, any board room discussion without the Chief security officer is incomplete.” As a lawyer by profession and an owner of a master's degree in law, Anthony spoke about labour laws and the locking of the ware houses. “One will have to find out what the purpose of locking the ware houses is. Is it to prevent then from moving from one place to another or to enslave them? It is an infringement on their fundamental human rights. Also one has to know if the staff are part of such an arrangement and if they are fully understand what the law can do. But if it is enslavement or an exploitative act, then it becomes a criminal and ungodly act or offence. If somebody says I want to go out to ease myself or eat, will such a person be prevented from doing such? The employer-employee relationship is a

interpreted as the meeting of two people. Anthony spoke about a program he hosted on MC TV (Multichoice Television) called 'workers rights'. “The idea behind it was due to the fact that we discovered that a lot of employees in Nigeria are ill treated. The program actually ran for two years and was stopped because the station increased the rate of airtime. We discovered that a lot of organizations even the multi nationals underpay their workers and ill treat them amounting to double jeopardy. There was a matter we handled against Eleganza during that program, the company was owing a young man fifteen thousand naira and this young man had been asking for this sum for close to a year, boarding vehicles to and fro, such that the money he had spent on transportation was almost equivalent to the amount they were owing him. We stepped in and he was paid. There was another case of twenty two thousand naira. The foreign owned companies, the Asians, the Koreans, the Chinese etc, their own major problem was that they were treating our people like slaves; if you are employed you will work as if you are in a sugar care plantation during the slave trade era. You will not be allowed to even drink water, regardless of the fact that you will be paid peanuts. Most of them have no safety measures as such they are daily occurrences of industrial accidents, hands are being chopped off by machines, some body was blinded because of industrial particles that entered into his eyes etc. Annoyingly the companies will now bring in the work man compensation act to analyze that the man is entitled to twenty thousand, thirty thousand or ninety thousand naira” “I remember there was a case concerning one Ismaila Akinoye that we held at Lagos High court then, where the company were offering him ninety thousand naira for one who has been permanently disabled its so annoying! Thank God at the end of the day we got

judgment for two million naira. However, some of this employee are so poor and ignorant, most of them can not even pay a lawyer to write a letter, all I did then was basically sacrifice my time for most of them till the company paid. Some will resign to faith and say God will fight for me; it is not all battles that God fights, so we encourage them to fight for their rights”. Anthony stated that there are not enough laws to protect the consumer, “we need good consumer protection rights”. “The government is only concerned with net profit. GLO, MTN, ZAIN etc are daily exploiting Nigerians. Have you ever been a victim of buying substandard products? If you report MTN for example to government agencies, those in charge will say the person who is suppose to see you is not on seat or they may ask if you have an appointment? How funny. It shows that somebody is compromising. If not for Glo, we would never have known that per second billing is possible. The government must protect its citizens with good consumer protection laws. If for example one discovers that P.Z. instead of pampers, Packaged something else and a report or complaint is made and the company is closed down for even two weeks they will all sit up”. Anthony also spoke on H. S. E. (Health, safety and environment). Some people call it H. S. S. E (Health, Safety, Security and Environment). The international Labour Organization (I. L. O) has put in place a number of standards in terms of safety and keeping industrial Environments clean. “For example, it is a must for you to put on a helmet when you are inside a construction site, and ear mugs for high frequency vibrating organizations. S. P. D. C. has (H. S. E) as their own standing company policy, but it applies to all organizations the world over. When questioned on the issue of Kidnapping in the Niger Delta, he says “kidnapping is a simple thing and is not originally port of the Niger Delta agenda. It is basically a means of forcing government to listen. However some people have commercialized it by demanding for ransom before their hostages are released. This becomes a criminal offence”. To stop the unrest in the Niger Delta, Anthony suggests that the government should provide the needed infrastructure and free Education for the people living in the region. An idle man they say is the devils workshop, but when they are engaged in one thing or the other, the spate of kidnappings will naturally stop on basic amenities are provided for them”. Anthony's advise to everyone one in Lagos is to never be in a rush to open their doors to unfamiliar voices. “Instead, try to start a conversation with him still standing outside then determine by the state of his voice, whether or not you should let him or her in, otherwise tell the person you are very busy and cannot attend to him or her now”. Also, when you pick a call form your phone do not disclose your identity, let the other person call your name or state his intent. Furthermore, if you are driving, make use of your side mirrors and the interior mirror, observe them carefully every five to ten minutes to see if any one is following you, if you suspect anything go to a very busy place and stop there; rest for a while, before you continue. Discretion it has been said is the better form of counter intelligence, never let your daily routine be known by all, be security conscious always”.

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School of Business. Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. His 1999 profile of Ron Popeil won the American National Magazine Award and in 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of two books, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference, (2000) and Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), both of which were number one New York Times bestsellers. From 1987 to 1996, he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business, science and then served as the newspaper's New York City bureau chief. He graduated from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a degree in history.


n the past few months, a new school of thought has been making the rounds amongst the intelligentsia on the definition of success, how it is achieved, what separates extraordinary achievers from the rest of the crowd and how we can all key into this new mode of thinking. The whole concept itself upends conventional wisdom and requires one to discard old ways of thinking and embrace these new ideas unflinchingly. The crux of the argument is simple: success is not just by brains, hard work or some strange kind of talent and talent is overrated. Two provocative new books have been making the rounds in the last few months championing this argument. Talent is Overrated by Fortune Senior Editor at Large, Geoff Colvin and Outliers by New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell are making the case that there must be something beyond hard work, talent or brains that carries achievers to the heights of their success. Both authors are highly respected writers and public commentators. Donald Trump calls Geoff Colvin's groundbreaking new book, (Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World Class Performers From Everybody Else) “inspiring” and “enlightening” and says it's “a terrific read all the way through.” Herb Kelleher says, “I rejoice!” Daniel H. Pink calls it “profoundly important.” Ram Charan calls it “exciting” and says “read it!” As a leading thinker, writer, broadcaster, and speaker on today's most significant trends in business, Colvin has engaged hundreds of audiences on six continents. As a longtime editor and columnist for Fortune Magazine, he has become one of America's sharpest and most respected commentators on leadership and management, globalisation, shareholder value creation, the environmental imperative and related issues. Colvin is heard daily across America on the CBS Radio Network, where he reaches 7 million listeners a week and has made more than 10,000 broadcasts. As anchor of Wall Street Week with Fortune on PBS for three years, he spoke each week to the largest audience reached by any business television program in America. Geoff is an honours graduate of Harvard with a degree in economics, and holds an MBA from New York University's Stern

Having established the pedigrees of the scholars peddling these new ideas, let's take a look at what exactly they are saying. Malcolm Gladwell's curiosity about highachieving lawyers was the germ of his new and third book, Outliers, which was published in November 2008. It's a book about exceptional people: smart people, rich people, successful people, people who operate at the extreme outer edge of what is statistically possible. Robert Oppenheimer. Bill Gates. The Beatles. And fancy lawyers. Gladwell starts with the lawyers. "Why do they all have the same biography?" he wondered. "We take it for granted that there's this guy in New York who's the corporate lawyer, right? I just was curious: Why is it all the same guy?" An 'outlier' according to Gladwell is a technical term for a phenomenon that is outside normal experience. “Scientists use it all the time when they are graphing data. You've got a nice little bell curve and then you have a couple of things that are way out here. Well, this book is about people who are way out there. I was interested in writing about success. I just became convinced that our explanations of what drives success were lacking. We have the kind of self-made-man myth, which says that super-successful people did it themselves. And we have a series of other beliefs that say that our personality, our intelligence, all of our innate characteristics are the primary driving force. It's that cluster of things that I don't agree with.” The premise of his book is that you can learn a lot more about success by looking around at the successful person, at what culture they belong to, what their parents did for a living. Successful people are people who have made the most of a series of gifts that have been given to them by their culture or their history or their generation. Gladwell's goal is to adjust our understanding of how people like that get to where they are. Instead of the Horatio Alger story of success, a gifted child who through heroic striving within a meritocratic system becomes a successful, rich and famous adult, Outliers tells a story about the context in which success takes place: family, culture, friendship, childhood, accidents of birth and history and geography. “It's not enough to ask what


successful people are like,” Gladwell writes. “It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn't.” Gladwell advocates what he calls the 10,000-Hour Rule as the most obvious key to success. Studies suggest that the key to success in any field has nothing to do with talent. It's simply practice, 10,000 hours of it. The 10,000-hours rule says that if you look at any kind of cognitively complex field, from playing chess to being a neurosurgeon, we see this incredibly consistent pattern that you cannot be good at what you do unless you practice for 10,000 hours, which is roughly ten years, if you think about four hours a day or 20 hours on a five day week. As we shall see later, Colvin also advocates same calling his own, Deliberate Practice. Gladwell is asking, “whether successful people deserve the praise we heap on them.” Using himself as a case study, he entered college two years early but got lousy grades. “College was not an intellectually fruitful time for me,” he says. He was fired from his first job in journalism, at the American Spectator. It wasn't until he wound up at the Washington Post that he really bore down and learned his craft. “I was a basket case at the beginning, and I felt like an expert at the end,” he says. “It took 10 years, exactly that long.” (There you have it: the 10,000Hour Rule in action.) According to Outliers, genius isn't the only or even the most important thing. Gladwell's weapon of choice when assaulting myths is the anecdote and one of the book's most striking and saddest, is the strange story of Christopher Langan, a man who despite an IQ of 195 (Einstein's was 150) wound up working on a horse farm in rural Missouri, USA. Why isn't he a nuclear rocket surgeon? Because of the environment he grew up in: there was no one in Langan's life and nothing in his background that could help him capitalise on his exceptional gifts. “He had to make his way alone,” Gladwell writes, “and no one, not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires and not even geniuses ever makes it alone.” “People talk about Bill Gates. The mythology is that he was spontaneously drawn to computers. But that's not the case. Bill Gates has this utterly extraordinary series of opportunities. When he's 13, it's 1969. He shows up at his private school in Seattle and they have a computer room with a teletype machine that is hooked up to a mainframe downtown. Anyone who was playing on the teletype machine could do real-time programming. Ninety-nine percent of the universities in America in 1969 did not have that. Then, when he was 15 or so, classmate Paul Allen learned that there was a mainframe at the University of Washington that was not being used between two and six every morning. So they would get up at 1:30 in the morning, walk a mile and program for four hours. When Gates is 20, he has as much experience as people who have spent their entire lives being programmers. He has this incredible headstart.” Gladwell also uses the contrast of Michael Ventris (who cracked the undecipherable code called Linear B of Minoans from Knossos on Crete) and Andrew Wiles (a Mathematics Professor who solved what

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some thought might never be solved: Fermat's Last Theorem). While Michael Ventris was the pre-modern genius: working mainly alone, in his free time, utterly brilliant and solving in a flash of insight after 1.5 years of free time during nights and weekends spent on the problem, Andrew Wiles, on the other hand, took about ten years to solve the theorem (close to those same 10,000 hours) and built on scholarly work over decades by a dozen other mathematicians. Gladwell notes that Wiles was less a pure genius and more a master at diligently working away at this problem and building on the shoulders of other math giants. Gladwell argues that instead of thinking about talent as something that you acquire, talent should be thought of as something that you develop. “Procter & Gamble is a great example of a company that does that and has prospered as a result. Look around Wall Street, or what's left of it today and you'll see lots and lots and lots of people from Goldman Sachs. That's not a coincidence. It's because they took their mission to invest in people seriously. Paradoxically, (despite the global economic crisis) this might be the perfect time for companies to take the issue of developing talent seriously. When it's easy to make money, you have no incentive to think about development of talent. Now, you're forced to. At least that's my optimistic hope.” Geoff Colvin tells the following story in his own book, “It Is Mid-1978, and we are inside the giant Procter & Gamble headquarters in Cincinnati, looking into a cubicle shared by a pair of 22-year-old men, fresh out of college. Their assignment is to sell Duncan Hines brownie mix, but they spend a lot of their time just rewriting memos. They are clearly smart, one has just graduated from Harvard, the other from Dartmouth but that doesn't distinguish them from a slew of other new hires at P&G. What does distinguish them from many of the young go-getters the company takes on each year is that neither man is particularly filled with ambition. Neither has any kind of career plan. Every afternoon they play waste-bin basketball with wadded-up memos. One of them later recalls, “We were voted the two guys


January 2009 probably least likely to succeed.” These two young men are of interest to us now for only one reason: They are Jeffrey Immelt and Steven Ballmer, who before age 50 would become CEOs of two of the world's most valuable corporations, General Electric and Microsoft. Contrary to what any reasonable person would have expected when they were new recruits, they reached the apex of corporate achievement. The obvious

question is how. Was it talent? If so, it was a strange kind of talent that hadn't revealed itself in the first 22 years of their lives. Brains? The two were sharp but had shown no evidence of being sharper than thousands of classmates or colleagues. Was it mountains of hard work? Certainly not up to that point. And yet something carried them to the heights of the business world. Which leads to perhaps the most puzzling question, one that applies not just to Immelt and Ballmer but also to everyone: If that certain special something turns out not to be any of the things we usually think of, then what is it?” In excerpts from the book, (Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separtes World Class Performers From Everybody Else), Colvin argues that we believe that people without a particular natural talent for some activity will never be competitive with those who possess that talent, meaning an inborn ability to do that activity. “We'll steer our kids away from art, tennis, economics, or Chinese because we think we've seen that they have no talent in those realms. In business, managers often redirect people's careers based on slender evidence of what they've “got. Most insidiously, in our own lives we'll try something new and, finding that it doesn't come naturally to us, conclude that we have no talent for it, and so we never pursue it. The concept of specific talents is especially troublesome in business. We all tend to assume that business giants must possess some special gift for what they do but the evidence turns out to be extremely elusive. In fact, the overwhelming impression that comes from examining the lives of business greats is just the opposite that they didn't seem to give any early indication of what they would become. Jack Welch, named by Fortune as the 20th century's manager of the century, showed no particular inclination toward business, even into his mid-20s. With a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, approaching the real world at age 25, he still wasn't sure of his direction and interviewed for faculty jobs at Syracuse and West Virginia universities. He finally decided to accept an offer to work in a chemical development operation at General

Electric.” According to Colvin, if specific, inborn talent doesn't explain high achievement, what does? Researchers, he says have converged on an answer. It's something they call deliberate practice but it isn't what most of us think of as practice, nor does it boil down to a simplistic practice makes perfect explanation. It isn't just hard work, either. Deliberate practice is a specific and unique kind of activity, neither work nor play characterised by several elements that together form a powerful whole. The greatest performers have consistently combined these elements, sometimes just by luck. But now that researchers have decoded the pattern, the path to top performance is becoming much accessible. The elements of deliberate practice are each worth examining: · Deliberate practice is designed specifically to improve performance. The key word is “designed.” The essence of deliberate practice is continually stretching an individual just beyond his or her current abilities. That may sound obvious but most of us don't do it in the activities we think of as practice. At the driving range or at the piano, most of us are just doing what we've done before and hoping to maintain the level of performance that we probably reached long ago. By contrast, deliberate practice requires that one identify certain sharply defined elements of performance that need to be improved and then work intently on them. Tiger Words, intensely applying this principle, which is no secret among pro golfers has been seen to drop golf balls into a sand trap and step on them, then practice shots from that nearimpossible lie. The great performers isolate remarkably specific aspects of what they do and focus on just those things until they're improved; then it's on to the next aspect. · Deliberate practice can be repeated a lot. High repetition is the most important difference between deliberate practice of a task and performing the task for real, when it counts. Tiger Woods may face that buried lie in the sand only two or three time times in a season and if those were his only opportunities to work on that shot, he'd blow it just as you and I do. Repeating a specific activity over and over is what people usually mean by practice, yet it isn't especially effective. Two points distinguish deliberate practice from what most of us actually do. One is the choice of a properly demanding activity just beyond our current abilities. The other is the amount of repetition. Top performers repeat their practice activities to stultifying extent. Ted Williams, baseball's greatest hitter, would practice hitting until his hands bled. Peter Maravich, whose college basketball records still stand after more than 30 years, would go to the gym when it opened in the morning and shoot baskets until it closed at night. · Feedback on results is continuously available. Obvious, yet not nearly as simple as it might seem, especially when results require interpretation. You may think that your rehearsal of a job interview was flawless but



your opinion isn't what counts. Or you may believe you played that bar of the Brahms violin concerto perfectly but can you really trust your own judgment? In many important situations, a teacher, coach or mentor is vital for providing crucial feedback. It's high demanding mentally. Deliberate practice is above all an effort of focus and concentration. That is what makes it “deliberate,” as distinct from the mindless playing of scales or hitting of tennis balls that most people engage in. Continually seeking exactly those elements of performance that are unsatisfactory and then trying one's hardest to make them better places enormous strains on anyone's mental abilities. The work is so great that it seems no one can sustain it for very long. Nathan Milstein, one of the 20 t h century's greatest violinists, was a student of the famous teacher Leopold Auer. As the story goes, Milstein asked Auer if he was practicing enough. Auer responded, “Practice with your fingers, and you need all day. Practice with your mind, and you will do as much in 1½ hours.” What Auer didn't add is that it's a good thing 1½ hours are enough, because if you're truly practicing with your mind, you couldn't possibly keep it up all day. It's hard. This follows inescapably from the other characteristics of deliberate practice, which could be described as a recipe for not having fun. Doing things we know how to do well is enjoyable and that's exactly the opposite of what deliberate practice demands. Instead of doing what we're good at, we insistently seek out what we're not good at. Then we identify the painful, difficult activities that will make us better and do those things over and over. After each repetition, we force ourselves to see or get others to tell us exactly what still isn't right so we can repeat the most painful and difficult parts of what we've just done. We continue that process until we're mentally exhausted. If it seems a bit depressing that the most important thing you can do to improve performance is no fun, take consolation in this fact: It must be so. If the activities that lead to greatness were easy and fun, then everyone would do them and no one could distinguish the best from the rest. The reality that deliberate practice is hard can even be seen as good news. It means that most people won't do it. So your willingness to do it will distinguish you all the more.

If you work in careers such as sports, literature and music where the concept of deliberate practice is most deeply entrenched, you're probably thinking that the researchers have explained and elaborated on ideas that many people in your world have understood for a long time. But if you're among the far more numerous people who make a living in business-related fields, you're probably thinking. This is absolutely nothing like work! Life at most companies seems ingeniously designed to defeat all the principles of deliberate practice. Most fundamentally, what we generally do at work is directly opposed to the first

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principle: It isn't designed by anyone to make us better at anything. Usually it isn't designed at all. We weren't hired to produce results. While deliberate practice demands that we push ourselves to the point where we break down and then develop a solution, in our business lives the cost of mistakes is often high. Every incentive urges us to stick with what's safe and reliable, which ensures that we won't improve. At most companies,

the fundamentals of fostering great performance are mainly unrecognised or ignored. A few companies are however beginning to realise that adopting the principles of great performance are huge. But maybe you don't work in one of these organisations and maybe you're not in a position to change your company's culture and way of operating, you can still apply the principles of great performance on your own through self regulation. Why do certain people put themselves through the years of intensive daily work that eventually makes them world-class great? This is the deepest question about great performance and the researchers do not offer us a complete answer. We're reached the point where we must proceed by looking in the only place we have left: within ourselves. The answers depend on your response to two basic questions: What do you really want? And what do you really believe? What you want, really, deeply want, is fundamental because deliberate practice is an investment: The more you want something, the easier it will be for you to sustain the needed effort until the payoff starts to arrive. But if you're pursuing something that you don't truly want and are competing against others whose desire is deep, you can guess the outcome. The second question is more profound. What do you really believe? Do you believe that you have a choice in this matter? Do you believe that if you do the work and do it with intense focus for years on end, your performance will eventually reach the highest levels? If you believe that, then there's a chance you will do the work and achieve great performance. But if you believe that your performance is forever limited by your lack of a specific innate gift, then there's no chance at all that you will do the work. Talent is good, hard work is also good but then not everyone who is talented or who works hard is successful. These new ideas force us to look at the issue of practise, isolate good and bad factors in one's environment, take advantages of the good factors, eliminate the bad factors and open our eyes and mind to make maximum use of opportunities that surround us or come our away. It may sound a bit simplistic but that

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eaders walk alone, but they become myths when they enhance their world and touch the lives of those around them. The names of these men and women are no doubt very familiar. These are the faces of heroes who have brought about notable revolution in the affairs of the world. Some of them are renowned for the inventions they have created, some of them, for the political conflicts they have resolved and some, for the number of lives they have transformed through the message they preach. It was Warren G. Bennis that said, “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born, that there is a genetic factor to leadership.” These great men and women were not born from some other planets; most of them came from humble backgrounds but they distinguished themselves from the crowd. In the course of their lives, they imbibed in themselves, attitudes, habits and characters that have made them evolve into heroes. What were the things that distinguished these people from the crowd? What qualities did they have? From where did they get their inspiration? How did they scale through all the hurdles of life victorious? How did they emerge great leaders and achiever? If we know the secrets of their success, it will be easier for us not only to celebrate them but to also emulate them. Abraham Lincoln is considered by many scholars to have been the best President of The United States. He successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, saving the Union and ending slavery, only to be assassinated as the war was virtually over. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was the first President of South Africa to be elected in a fully representative democratic election, serving in the office from 19941999. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist. Mandela has received more than one hundred awards over four decades, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He is currently a celebrated elder statesman who continues to voice his opinion on topical issues. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an African American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States and he is frequently referenced as a

human rights icon today. At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. E.A. Adeboye is the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). He was a former Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria and also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Resident in this great man of God, is a mix of qualities that has helped him build what is probably the largest Pentecostal church in Africa. He yet dreams of making it the biggest in the world! Bill Gates is no doubt one of the most influential people in the world. He is cofounder of one of the most recognised brands in the computer industry with nearly every desk top computer using at least one software program from his company, Microsoft.

This man Bill Gates topped the list as the richest man in the world for over a decade until he retired from active work. Sir Alex Ferguson is the most successful manager in British football history, winning 30 trophies during his time in charge of the Reds. Yet despite more than two decades at the Old Trafford helm, he remains focused on increasing that tally, bringing yet more silverware to Manchester United.


William Franklin Graham Jr. was born on November 7, 1918. He is an evangelist and an Evangelical Christian. He has been a spiritual adviser to multiple U.S. presidents and was number seven on Gallup's list of admired people for the 20th century. Graham has preached in person to more people around the world than any Protestant who has ever lived. According to his staff, as of 1993 more than 2.5 million people had "stepped forward at his crusades to accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour". As of 2002, Graham's lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped two billion. Oprah Gail Winfrey, often referred to simply as Oprah, is an American television host, media mogul, and philanthropist. Her internationallysyndicated talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, has earned her multiple Emmy Awards and is the highest-rated talk show in the history of television. She is also an influential book critic, an Academy Award nominated actress, and a magazine publisher. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the most philanthropic African American of all time and was once the world's only black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world. Edson Arantes Do Nascimento (better known as Pelé) is known as a legend and the best soccer player to ever play the game. Pelé's statistics are staggering. During his career he scored 1,280 goals in 1,360 games. He scored an average of a goal in every international game he played, the equivalent of a baseball player's hitting a home run in every World Series game over 15 years. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was born in central Monrovia in 1938 and has led a distinguished career spanning nearly four decades in the private and public domain in Liberia and internationally. When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was inaugurated president of Liberia in January of 2006, she not only became the first elected female president in Africa but also the focus of hope for a country that had seen little of it for 26 years. Her two popular nicknames, "Ma" and the "Iron Lady," reflected the combination of feminine caring and political toughness she projected. There is no doubt that the qualities that distinguish these people are somewhat the same. These great men and woman share many things in common. The rules of success are somewhat the same, whether in business, sports, faith, politics or religion. We will look at 10 qualities that these people share, qualities that will also distinguish us if we imbibe them. 10 Qualities of Great Achievers Vision: Vision is what distinguishes a leader from his followers. These men and women that we celebrate today are prophets and visionaries, and for those of them that are no more, the prophecies they made

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have gradually come to pass. These leaders had eyes that were sharp enough to peer into the future. They saw the state of the world ten, twenty, thirty years ahead of others and were therefore able to lead others into the future. Martin Luther King Jr. is a man who was well noted for his popular speech, I have a Dream- a speech that changed the course of the world forever. Today, the dream that he saw has become a reality in the history of America. Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye saw the future. One day, while this renowned man of God was travelling in the company of two of his faithful followers in Miami, USA, they saw a large number of people gathered at the beach for a musical festival. “Why can't we have a two-million-man gathering for Jesus?” he asked. The result was Lekki '98, the first Holy Ghost Festival that up to that time was arguably the largest religious gathering in Nigeria if not Africa as a whole. This is the power of vision, it is

a quality that is found in every good leader. From these great men we learn the ability to see ahead. These men saw the future ahead of their generation. Courage: It was Nelson Mandela who said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Samuel Johnson said, 'Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a

January 2009 man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other.” Courage is one of the most important qualities of a great leader. Many of the times, a lot of people have solutions to world problems but they find it rather difficult to act on their knowledge because they lack courage. Many times, people wait for one man to take the first step and thousands will follow afterwards. That is how a leader is distinguished. At the time when many could not stand against the influence of racism, Martin Luther King Stood up to take the lead and many others followed. Though they faced the consequences but they won in the end. That is courage: the ability to overlook danger and fight for the cause of others. Knowledge: Great leaders are people with wide knowledge. No leader can lead without knowledge. The power to lead effectively and efficiently lies in the soundness of the mind. Abraham Lincoln pursued knowledge from childhood. It was said that he used to walk miles to borrow and return books. He read them by candlelight after working long, hard days. There is no doubt to it that his devotion to books made a difference in his ability as a leader of America? Bill Gates was a man who pursued knowledge from his youth. Part of what makes him so enigmatic is the nature of his intellect. Watch him at his desk...He works on two computers, one with four frames that sequence data

streaming in from the Internet, the other handling the hundreds of E-mail messages and memos that extend his mind into a network. He can be so rigorous as he processes data that one can imagine his mind may indeed be digital. That's Bill Gates for you, a man who through knowledge ruled the world economy for over a decade. Persistence: Probably the greatest example of persistence is Abraham

Lincoln. If you want to learn about somebody who didn't quit, look no further. Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and once suffered a nervous breakdown. He could have quit many times but he didn't and because he didn't quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of America. Lincoln was a champion and he never gave up. What more do we need to learn about persistence? Nothing more! This man's story sums it all up. His life shows clearly that anyone who must lead must be ready to persevere. Selflessness: Nelson Mandela's life has been an inspiration not only to South Africans but also to people across the globe. His sacrifices, humble and selfless leadership continues to inspire new generations of leaders, far beyond the African continent. Recounting the words of his own children he said, “my children said, 'We thought we had a father and one day he'd come back. But to our dismay, our father came back and he left us alone because he has now become the father of the nation.” That is an attribute of a great leader. Bill Gates is another man known all over the world for his acts of selflessness. This man has been able to create one of the world's largest charitable foundations, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This Foundation has an endowment of more than $28 billion, with donations totalling more than $1 billion every year. Passion: Resident in the minds of great leaders is the passion to cause positive change in the lives of others. In 1998, Winfrey began Oprah's Angel Network, a charity aimed at encouraging people around the world to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged others. A c c o r d i n g l y, O p r a h ' s A n g e l Network supports charitable projects and provides grants to nonprofit organisations around the world that share this vision. To date, Oprah's Angel Network has raised more than $51,000,000. Winfrey personally covers all administrative costs associated with the charity, so 100% of all funds raised go to charity programs. In 2005 she became the first black person listed by Business Week as one of America's top 50 most generous philanthropists, having given an estimated $303 million. Winfrey was the 32nd most philanthropic. She has also been repeatedly ranked as the most philanthropic celebrity. Integrity: Integrity may be seen as the quality of having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one's actions. Oprah Winfrey describes real integrity as “doing the right thing, knowing that nobody is going to know whether you did it or not.” Oprah is a person of integrity because she honestly believes in the ideas she promotes. Moreover, she promotes ideas that encourage and benefit others. A side effect of this is the fact that through her kindness, she motivates others to be better people. For example, the Oprah Winfrey Foundations are active in the area of "global humanitarian efforts in developing countries." Integrity affects not only our own personal lives but also the lives of those who come in and out of our influence. It has been said that to be true to oneself is to have this quality of integrity. Some define this

COVER FEATURE concept as an undivided completeness with nothing wanting while others give the definition of integrity as the inner sense of wholeness. This one factor is what makes a leader to win the trust and loyalty of his followers. Optimism: Great leaders are optimistic people. They always have this ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When everybody says we have come to a dead end, the leader says there is yet another way out. When everybody says there is defeat, the leader says there is victory. Leaders have this ability to believe in the impossible and bring great feats to past. Ellen Sirleaf Johnson was very optimistic about the restoration of peace to Liberia. After years of fighting for freedom, justice and equality, spending time in jail and being forced into exile more than once, she is now entrusted with the most challenging task any Liberian leader has ever faced rebuilding a post-conflict nation. But she is optimistic! She has revived national hope and restored Liberia's international reputation and credibility. Through her leadership, the government has identified four pillars in support of its development agenda: Peace and Security, Economic Revitalization, Governance and the Rule of Law, and Basic Infrastructure and Services. Hard work: Great Leaders are usually known because of their great works. The

truth however, is that no great work can be accomplished without hard work. Any country, football team, ministry or business that must thrive must have a leader that works and works and works. Pastor Adeboye of the RCCG is a man devoted to work. Once he sets his heart to do or carry out an assignment, Adeboye simply pulls all the plugs. He wanted the International Office at the Redemption City ready under a month; he simply

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moved floodlights to the site and personally supervised construction workers round the clock. When Bill Gates was in the sixth grade, his parents decided he needed counselling. He was at war with his mother Mary, an outgoing woman who harboured the belief that he should do what she told him. She would call him to dinner from his basement bedroom, which she had given up trying to make him clean and he wouldn't respond. 'What are you doing?'

she once demanded over the intercom. 'I'm thinking,' he shouted back. 'You're thinking?' she asked back. 'Yes, Mom, I'm thinking,' he said fiercely. 'Have you ever tried thinking?' Decisiveness: Leaders are decision makers. They make decisions virtually every minute and these decisions are usually very crucial. They could either bring positive or catastrophic results. Take football for instance. If a coach decides to change a team's strategy, make a substitution, buy or sell a player, the effect could be positive or catastrophic. Decisiveness is what separates a great coach from an ordinary one. There can be no denying that Sir Alex Ferguson is a great manager. During his career, he has won 14 domestic titles, 20 domestic cups and seven European or International Cups. But what is it in Alex Ferguson that has driven him to such outrageous success? It boils down to one factor, his ability to make audaciously risky decisions and stick by them no matter what fans, pundits, and his players think. The man trusts himself, and that makes him the ultimate managerial winner. Yes, he's a solid tactician. Yes, he's got an eye for talent and the pocketbook to bring them to Old Trafford. He is a heck of a motivator. He is as intimidating to other managers and teams as the Red Devils' stadium. He is a very decisive man. There is no doubt that there are countless other things that we can learn from the lives of these renowned men. They are all men who have served their generation with passion, they all are great communicators. They faced challenges, met with obstacles and the emerged victors. Today we celebrate these men for the great feats they have accomplished. But, more importantly is the fact that they have left a legacy for the world to follow. The situation of our world will improve if we choose to emulate them. They changed the world for good, but we can make it better if we lived the way the live.

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January 2009




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ichelle Obama was never much interested in calling attention to herself. As an undergrad at Princeton in the 1980s, she was interested in social change, but didn't run for student government. Instead, she spent her free time running a literacy program for kids from the local neighbourhoods. At Harvard Law, she took part in demonstrations demanding more minority students and professors. Yet unlike another more prominent Harvard Law student who would later take up the cause, she was not one to hold forth with high-flown oratory about the need for diversity. "When [Barack Obama] spoke, people got quiet and listened," recalls Prof. Randall Kennedy. "Michelle had a more modest, quieter, lower profile." Barack won election as president of the Law Review. Michelle put her energy into a less glamorous pursuit: recruiting black undergrads to Harvard Law from other schools. For her, politics wasn't so much about being inspirational as it was being practicalabout getting something specific done, says Charles Ogletree, one of her professors. "She was not trying to get ahead."

law career to work in public service. She has no secret dreams of seeking office herself. When a reporter recently joked that she could run for Barack's Senate seat if he were elected president, Michelle made a face of mock disgust. "Ugh," she grimaced. "No, thank you." She travels the country giving speeches and attending events (her mother watches the kids when she's on the road), but resists staying away for more than one night at a stretch. When the couple catch up several times a day on the phone, the talk is more likely to be about their daughters than the latest poll projections. Michelle has made it her job to ensure that Barack, who now lives full time inside the surreal campaign bubble of adoring crowds and constant attention, doesn't himself lose sight of what's normal. Onstage, Obama introduced Michelle as "my rock"the person who keeps him focused and grounded. In her words, she is just making sure he is "keeping it real." She does this in part by tethering him to the more mundane responsibilities of a husband and father. She insists that Barack fly home from wherever he is to attend ballet recitals and parent-teacher conferences. When the couple host political gatherings at their home in Chicago's Hyde Park, Michelle asks everyone to bring along their children. To help bridge the physical distance between father and daughters, Michelle bought two MacBook laptops, one for Barack and one for the kids, so they could have video chats over the Internet.

Now a very public figure, Michelle has accepted the role of aspiring First Lady and the sometimes uncomfortable scrutiny that comes with it. On the campaign trail, she is sometimes slated as the opening act, introducing Barack to the audience. Direct and plain-spoken, with an edgy sense of humour uncommon in a political spouse, she complements her husband's more grandiose style. She can be tough, and even a little steely, an attitude that stems, at least in part, from wanting to live up to the high expectations her father set for her.

Deeply competitive by naturegrowing up, Michelle stayed clear of team sports because she couldn't stand the idea of losingshe wanted the White House as much as he did. From her vantage point outside the day-to-day chaos of the campaign, she serves as a source of official calm. One senior adviser, who asked for anonymity talking about a private meeting, recalls fretting to Michelle early on that Obama's support among Southern black voters wasn't picking up quickly enough. Michelle told him to relax. "Don't worry," she said. "It will be just like [Obama's Senate campaign in] Illinois. The numbers will all move our way." As it turned out, she was right.

From the beginning of the campaign, Michelle made it clear to her husband that she would give the effort her all but not at the expense of family life. At two meetings with the candidate and his political aides shortly before he announced his intention to run, she grilled them about particulars, practical concerns that had nothing to do with his sweeping themes of "hope" and "change." What demands would the campaign place on their lives? Where would the money come from? Could they really take on the Clinton machine and win, or was this just an extended ego trip? "She didn't want Barack to launch some kind of empty effort here," says senior strategist David Axelrod. Michelle also raised concerns about her husband's safety. It was one of the first questions her own family had asked her when she first aired the possibility of running. He was assigned Secret Service protection very early in the campaign, in response to the huge crowds he was drawing and threatening e-mails. At the meetings, Axelrod and the other aides addressed each of Michelle's questions. "Suffusing these discussions was, if we did it, she and he both wanted to make sure it was consistent with who he is and what he thinks, and wouldn't distort that," says Axelrod. She has expressed fears that the nastiness of presidential politics could wind up sucking the idealism out of her husband, leaving him just another soulless, cynical Washington pol. "Michelle has always been in the camp of, 'Let's not forget what we're fighting for'," Axelrod says. After the meetings, Michelle gave Barack her blessing. Since then, she has largely left the details of the campaign to her husband and his political team. Michelle does not sit in on strategy sessions, vet speeches or spend hours on the phone fund-raising. "I hate fund-raising, haaaaate it. Hate, hate it." Politics and policy animate herlike her husband, she turned away from a lucrative

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Meet America's New First Lady Michelle Robinson Obama Adeola Adegboyega Throughout the election period, everyone focused on the presidential candidates and how they'll change America. However, I am more fascinated by Michelle Obama and what she will do, not just for America but as an African American woman. As a first lady, she has the world's attention and that means that for the first time people will have a chance to get up close and personal with the type of African American woman they rarely see.

She played a similar part after the surprise loss in New Hampshire, where polls had Obama leading Hillary Clinton by wide margins. It was Michelle who delivered the pep talk to the candidate's dispirited aides waiting anxiously outside the couple's hotel suite. She cautioned them against listening to the pundits and polls: "We need to send a message to all our supporters to not take a single thing for granted." Michelle then turned her ministrations to her husband. As he walked onstage that night to deliver his concession speech, she took his hand and led him around the front of the podium so he could recharge himself with the cheers of the crowd. She paused with him for a moment, then patted him on the cheek and left the stage. Those who know her invariably describe Michelle as poised, relaxed and confident. "There is no difference between the public Michelle and the private Michelle," says University of Chicago law professor David Strauss, who sits with her on the board of the University of Chicago's Lab School. (The Obamas' daughters attend the school.) "There's no pretence." Yet that confidence did not come naturally. Now 44, Michelle has had to overcome persistent self-doubts and insecurityabout her abilities, about race and class, and about what kind of life she was supposed to lead.

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January 2009


ttitude counts for a lot. Just think of how often people's attitudes affect your perception of them. First impressions often come down to phrases such as “he had the worst attitude” or “she has the nest attitude of anyone I've ever met”. When you walk into your workplace-whether it's a department store or an hospital-what are you thinking? Do you feel excited because you love your job or are you filled with dread because you hate your job? Your attitude toward work might impact your career more than you realize. The runway model When models work the catwalk they act as if the audience isn't there. The flashbulbs blind them but their faces seem to say “I don't have time to care about this crowd; I have a cat walk to strut down.” They are on emotionless autopilot, if you will. What works for models doesn't work for everyone…in case that unsuccessful liquid diet you had wasn't enough proof. A numb approach to work raises questions about your performance: do you care about your job? Do you know what you are doing? How long will you stick around? Does anyone even interact with you? Todd Dewett, associate professor

of management at Wright State University, suggests these workers take a step back to look at their work in this appropriate context. “All work is interdependent, yet most people have difficulty understanding where much of their work came from and where it will go-they don't see the connections in the larger process,” he says. “The more someone understands how their work impacts others, the more they are likely to care.” Dewett advises you think of yourself as a part of a team working towards a goal, not as an isolated cog in a machine. Look at the end result of your hard work and maybe you can find a reason to care about your job even if you don't like it. The emotional teenager Teenagers are nothing if not expert at looking at the cruel, tortuous underbelly of life. A bad day when you are 15 years old isn't just a bad day; it's the worst day anyone has ever experienced in the history of human existence. Every phone call is a life altering conversation of import no one can comprehend. Hyperbolic workers aren't too different. They don't know how to put their workdays in perspective. Yes some jobs are nightmare incarnate, but no job

is nirvana either. Difficult customers or incompetent bosses can mar the occasional day. Are you able to draw a distinction between a bad day and a bad situation? “It is possible to frame things mentally such that you see them as only short-term realities that can change over time. From this 'glass half-full' perspective, any single bad role or colleague is but a few frames in a long roll of film. The focus then shifts from obsessing in the current situation to designing a real plan of action to create a new and better future situation. On the flip side, rather than make you appreciate your job more, a new perspective might make you realise you belong elsewhere. If you're conditioned to despise work every time the alarm rings, you could end up stuck at a job that's just wrong for you. If you do actually hate your job, you might not be in need [of] a job tweak, but rather a full-fledged job change or career change,” Dewett suggest. “Having said that, even in the worst professional situations for the open minded, there is a lot to learn about how you got there and what [likely exists] there that will help you avoid it completely in future.” Pollyanna.

The classic children's book “Pollyanna”, which follows a girl whose philosophy to focus on the positive, is an admirable if not impossible, model to follow. Yet, some workers' abilities to covey Pollyanna's unrelenting optimism astound others and can be detrimental to their own careers. The draw back to this work method is that you might find yourself out of the loo when it comes to how decisions are made, as they aren't always made in open discussions. Dewett cautions workers to pay attention to how decisions are made so that they can be aware of or participate in the process. “People with overly rosy views (due to solid 'fit', a great boss or colleague or both) can be somewhat naïve politically.” Dewett warns. “I would never advocate that a person with character and rosy glasses engage in too much political behaviour, but you need to be aware of it.” Don't sacrifice the love you have for your job. After all many people will be thrilled to enjoy going too work in the morning. A balanced perspective is all you need. Anthony Balderrama, writer.


January 2009


n today's densely interconnected work places, working with others globally and productively drives organizational and personal effectiveness. Employees work in teams formed to tackle projects, in virtual teams with colleagues and clients, or in ad hoc combinations. Whatever the provenance of the teams in your workplace, your organization depends on them. For five years I examined collaborative working practices at companies such as Nokia, Linux, Goldman Sachs and British Petroleum. I found that while almost all managers and companies recognize teamwork's critical value, many actually encourage behaviors that undermine cooperation. A gap exists between the rhetoric of cooperation and the reality of competition. How can companies close this gap? My research uncovered four crucial practices: * H i r e f o r cooperation Companies in which a cooperative mindset flourishes seek to attract cooperative people and discourage highly competitive people. At investment bank Goldman Schs, candidates interview with as many as 60 senior members. Interviews are not about intelligence or focus; they are simply about whether the candidate's talent and ambition are married to a willingness to work collaboratively. Established and highly profitable, Goldman Sachs has the resources to engage in multiple interviews and discussions. But even companies with limited resources can implement these practices: Review the competencies used to judge candidates. Do they include proven abilities to work in teams, deal with conflict and share knowledge? Involve collaborative people in the hiring process. (Research shows that managers are likely to recruit candidates in their own image.) Present real-life work scenarios to candidates. Ask them how they would respond. * Institute onboarding practices that foster collaboration

Four Ways To Encourage More Productive Teamwork

In the first few weeks after starting a new job or joining a new company, new employees are particularly sensitive to cultural and behavioral norms. Implement onboarding procedures emphasizing collaboration. In a newcomer's first weeks at Finnish mobile phone company Nokia, for instance, his supervisor introduces him to at least six members of their team and six people outside their team. This promotes the development of critical working relationship and encourages people to cooperate both

with immediate colleagues and with those beyond their team. To organization can do in its onboarding process to encourage collaboration: Think about the newcomer's first weeks on the job. Whom should she meet? Charge someone with the responsibility of helping her establish those relationships. If a new hire is expected to work collaboratively, make sure that those most responsible for onboarding that person demonstrate cooperativeness.


Support mentoring

Of all the human resources practices I studied, the one most strongly associated with highly cooperative people and teams was that of mentoring. Mentoring is most powerful when both parties volunteer for it and when senior executives are mentors. Lynda Gratton is professor of management practice at London Business school.

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January 2009

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January 2009


What's Fueling World Food Crisis This Time? Adeleke Adeyemi


ood and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) marks World Food Day on 16th October. It is observed annually in 150 countries to commemorate the founding of that United Nations organ in 1945 in Quebec City, Canada. Six decades on, worries over worsening world food situation persist. With the number of undernourished people now estimated to be 850 million, high food prices not only put at greater risk of diseases the hungry; now they are on the brink of poverty and oblivion. The accelerating rise in the prices of essential goods over the last three years, especially grains, skyrocketed to record levels this year. The current situation presents some characteristics common to the past: the increase in prices, which affects almost all the main food products, is

occurring in many countries at the same time and lasting for a considerable length of time. The last two years have seen dramatic rises in world food prices, creating a global crisis and causing political and economical instability and social unrest in both poor and developed nations. Since early 2006, the average world price for rice has risen by 217%, wheat by 136%, maize by 125% and soybeans by 107%. Several factors have contributed to this. Analysts attributed the price rises to a “perfect storm” of poor harvests in various parts of the world, increasing biofuel usage, lower food reserves, the US Federal Reserve decreasing interest rates so that money is no longer a means to preserve wealth over the long term (people invest in food

commodities which causes an increase in demand and therefore price), growing consumer demand in Asia, oil price rises, and changes to the world economy. What really is behind the worldwide increases in food prices? Initial causes of the late 2006 price spikes included unseasonable droughts in grainproducing nations and rising oil prices. Oil prices further heightened the costs of fertilizers, food transport, and industrial agriculture. These factors, coupled with falling world food stockpiles have all contributed to the dramatic world-wide rise in food prices. As farmers devoted larger parts of their crops to fuel production than in previous years, land and resources available for food production have reduced correspondingly. This has resulted in less

food available for human consumption, especially in developing and least developed countries, where a family's daily allowances for food purchases are extremely limited. The crisis, in a sense, highlights the great gulf fixed between rich and poor nations. For example, filling a tank of an average car with biofuel, equals the maize (the staple food in most parts of Africa) an African person consumes yearly. A leaked World Bank reported estimated rise in food prices caused by biofuels to be 75%. The socio-economic phenomenon, now known as “Agflation” the increased diversion of maize harvests to biofuels, tying of maize to rising oil prices by commodity traders, and a resulting price rise has caused market substitution, with concomitant effects on other commodities.

Entrepreneurship vs “Job-preneurship” Amenze Emma-Iyamu


here is a subtle debate as to whether being an entrepreneur or being what I call a “job-preneur” is better. By job-preneur, i mean a person who prefers the “comfort” of a “secure” job, that is working in an established organisation (what we call a salaried worker) as compared with the entrepreneur who prefers to “run his own show” by setting up various business entities to make money. The entrepreneur's publicized advantage is that he is in control, especially of his own finances. He can accurately plan and measure how much he is going to make within the next few months. He is his own Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Also, given the fact that statistics has proven that the average entrepreneur is capable of making nothing less than 300% more than what a

salary earner of equal status can make per month, entrepreneurship sells. The entrepreneur must possess leadership, management and people skills for without these, he will soon be out of business. The entrepreneur also contributes to society directly for in taking the risk to start a company or a business enterprise, he will have to create jobs for a good number of people. The job-preneur on the other hand is also a very essential part of society. He can be found in the civil service and in those private companies set up by the entrepreneur. While it is the entrepreneur who sets up the corporation, the industry, the firm, or the company, it is the job-preneur that does all the work that the entrepreneur cannot

do within the organisation. It is he who will type that letter or who will clean the office premises. He is also the person who will be the customer service officer in that establishment. He is the one who will teach the students in that academic institution. He helps in many other ways that I cannot enumerate. His main function is to be a partner in making the entrepreneur's dream come true. He can also rise on the corporate ladder, a luxury that the CEO does not have. His only undoing may be that because he loves the safety of having a job, he may never go beyond the limits and transform into an entrepreneur by creating a company to meet needs for a profit. While I have lived with the notion that being an entrepreneur is more profitable than being a job-preneur, the

simple truth is that both are extremely important for they both need each other. The risk-taking attitude of the entrepreneur is what the job-preneur responded to and because the job-preneur will always require an avenue to express himself, he helps the business to continue. What is imperative is that both categories need to continually improve on their leadership, management and people skills and to constantly educate themselves. This is the key to becoming a better job-preneur, or an entrepreneur, or to translate from a job-preneur to an entrepreneur which is a concept many people prefer. Amenze Emma-Iyamu can be reached on and +23408053258223, 07028126880

Focusing OnAjose Your Career Path Kehinde 'It was 25 years ago when we started the company. But there's no doubt that if we take the habits we formed and stick with them, the next two decades should give us a lot more potential…..I've also learnt that only through focus can you do world class things, no matter how capable you are”-Bill Gates


igeria's first all sports radio, BRILA 88.9 fm was founded in October 2002 by a man who was committed to focusing on his career path. Sports fascinated Larry Izamoje extremely. Today he is building an entire empire on this career path. An odd passion over a decade ago is spawning an entire industry today, because “big larry” as he is fondly called by his colleagues focused on his core competence. What would make a man with a masters degree travel from Lagos to Abeokuta for six years just to present a live 15minutes programme. In the words of Sydney smith:” Whatever you are by nature, keep to it; never desert your line of talent. Be what nature intended you for and you will succeed” It's not enough to find your career path, fact it is very crucial for you to focus on your career path if you desire to grace

life's limelight. It's so amazing that you find some people in a particular career and the next moment they are found pursuing another career. It is concentration that gives rise to penetration in any endeavour of life. Bill gates has been there with his fascination in an undying love affair for all of his life. That is why his profiting has appeared to all. He dropped out in his junior years and opted to focus his energy and ability on a then Microsoft corporation, which he and Paul Allen founded in 1975. F.O.C.U.S is an acronym for Follow One Course Until Successful. All great men who have

succeeded in their various career built their lives on their major fascinations. You can summarize their lives in one word or sentence. Pablo Picasso was art inclined, Mikel Obi focuses on playing football full time, Lagbaja is crazy about making good music, Tigerwoods is crazy about golf. The bitter truth is that, there will be moments in the pursuit of your career when you will be tempted to call it quits and pursue another career path. You just have to stay with it through thick and thin. The storms you encounter shouldn't make you lose your focus; when things go bad, as they sometimes will, never ever despair, just learn from the situation and move on. In a book 'Be Your Own Brand'

written by David McNally and Karl .D, they stated that: “Consistency is the hallmarks of all strong brands , inconsistency weakens brands and suspends belief”. Bob Biehl says: “Focus precedes success”. Confucius observed that: “He who chases two rabbits catches none”.. Management gurus of our time are telling organizations to cut down on many varied interest and gravitate towards focus. When you focus on “your focus” {your career path}you become a focus (a reference point). Ajose Kehinde is a career coach/ motivational speaker.

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January 2009

'Strutting' in High Heels Adeola Adegboyega Ladies [and a lot of men] will agree that wearing heels is a tedious exercise. Though many of us love high heels, others don't wear them very often. Some are intimidated by high heels, while others have just never had the occasion to wear high heels. The grace and appeal stilettos and other high heel shoes radiate makes wearing them worth it. However some women have suffered long term effects from high heel shoes; this is a consequence of wearing them wrongly. Wearing heels give you confidence, sex appeal and makes you appear stylish [even if you really are not] but you must know the how to(s) in order to enjoy your heels and live to tell the tale. · Start with a lower 2-3 inch heel and work your way up to 4-5 inches after practicing walking around your home. Shoes higher than 5 inches are really not meant for walking far at all. You will notice that adding an inch to your heel height does make things significantly more difficult, and you may find that a 4 inch heel is the highest you can deal with, but it is different for everyone. The larger your feet are, the higher a heel you will be likely to be able to wear. · It is easiest to walk in high heels with a bit wider of a heel (platforms). Wedges are the easiest to walk in because they have a wider base, and can't get a heel caught in a crack or other obstacle. High platforms with spike heels are the hardest to walk in, and the most likely to make you twist an ankle. Rounded toe, or open toed shoe will be more comfortable than pointy toe shoes. A shoe with a slight 1/2 inch platform will have more padding that single soled shoes, and also adds to the comfort factor. · You will find it easiest to walk in high heeled shoes with an ankle strap, tstrap, or other straps to keep the shoe from sliding off. High heeled mules are more difficult to keep on your feet, especially if you are new to wearing heels. · Make sure the shoes fit well. If they are too loose, you will have problems keeping them on your feet, and if they are too tight, you will wish they would fall off. It is better to be a little loose, because you can easily add spongy little foot cushions available at most supermarkets and drugstores. · Leather shoes will be the most comfortable, will last longer, and will gradually mould themselves to the shape of your feet. They are also the easiest to stretch a bit, should you need to. · Watch your step! When walking in high heeled shoes you must be aware of your walking surfaces. Sewer grates, train tracks, stairs, grassy or sandy areas, thick rugs, slippery or rainy surfaces, must all be watched out for. On sandy surfaces you will want to walk mostly on the balls of your feet, like on tip toes to keep your heels from sinking in. When wearing heels and dealing with stairs, always use the handrail, and make sure to have the entire shoe land on each stair, even if you have to turn your feet slightly sideways. · While wearing high heel shoes, you should take shorter steps than usual,

and as you bring each foot down have the heel touch the floor just slightly ahead of the ball of the foot. Keep your legs close together and walk slightly on your tiptoes. · To appear graceful while walking in heels, you will want to keep your feet pointed as straight ahead as possible, and each step should be placed in front of you like you are continually stepping on a single line painted on the floor ahead of you. The famous models catwalk or runway strut takes this a bit further, and each step actually crosses slightly over past the line on the floor to the opposite side. This helps create the sexy hip sway that catwalk models are known for. This does take some practice. · Your weakest link is your ankles. You will need to develop strength and confidence that comes from practice in walking in heels and other leg strength development exercises that you will find offered at most gyms. There is even a course called Stiletto Strength specifically for this and the development of poise and confidence while wearing high heels that is available at Crunch gyms. · Swing your arms as you walk in high heels which will help with the balance, and add to a graceful appearance. · If you are out wearing your heels for an extended period, take them off from time to time, or at least make sure to flex and bend your ankles once in a while to keep them from getting sore. · Driving a car in heels is not a good idea, especially in very high heels or platforms. This is even more dangerous with a standard transmission. You can always bring a pair of sensible shoes for driving, and change into your favourite high heels after you arrive at your destination. · Never put weight on a high heel that is tilted backwards or you may break the heel. · You may find that it helps to walk in heels if you think of yourself walking on tip toes. · When turning while walking in high heels, you will find that it is easy to pivot your foot on the point of your heel. This will become second nature to you after a while. · If you cannot stand up straight in your heels without bending your knees, then you need to switch to a lower heel. Often just a half inch lower heel can make a big difference. · Dancing in high heels takes practice. Practice this at home first. You will also make things much easier if you have some sort of straps holding the shoes to your feet. · Wear new shoes around the house a few times to break them in before wearing them outside. This will also scuff the sole a bit making it less slippery on polished surfaces. · High heel shoes with lots of thin straps especially in the vamp and

toe area may dig in after a short while and become quite painful for extended wear. · Don't wear high heel shoes every day. Give your feet some recovery time. If

you insist on wearing them every day, at least make sure to vary the heel heights, and if they are leather shoes give them a chance to dry out from any perspiration.

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Voice of Nigeria (VON) Engages Staff in Professional Training Seminar Stanley Etta


taff of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) was recently engaged in a professional training seminar. This training is one out of the numerous policies initiated by the Director General in person of Alhaji Abubakar Jijiwa. The D.G. is a core professional himself and an astute administrator. He also doubles as the chairman of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (B.O.N.), the umbrella body representing all major stake holders in the broadcasting industry. This illustrious son of Nigeria was recently re-elected in the Bahamas to serve as the President of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (C.B.A) for a record breaking second term. The training seminar was anchored and facilitated by Mr. Jide Jimoh and Mr. Tunde Akanni, the pair are seasoned journalists and senior lecturers with the department of journalism, Lagos State University (LASU).The programme coordinator, Mr. Ahaziah informed the participants that the programme would hold at different dates, at various bureau offices of VON. However, Abuja and Lagos bureau offices were given first and second place priority respectively.

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January 2009


roper care of your car's exterior finish is the one of the single most important lessons to learn about ownership, regardless of the car's age. Your car's paint job is one of the most obvious features and expensive to replace and repair. We can say with absolute certainty that taking the time to learn which products to use and when to use them, will add years to the life and lustre of your car's paint. Here are some things you must know to keep your paint job dazzling: · Always start by properly washing your car using the proper tools. Get a cotton or paint-safe microfiber washing mitt, a 5 gallon bucket and good cleaning products specifically designed for automotive use. These products should be pH balanced, non-detergent formulas that won't strip off wax; and combine them with lubrication to prevent scratching and conditioners to maintain the shine protection. They are usually gentle on all painted finishes as well as rubber, vinyl, and plastic components. · Never skip drying! Drying your vehicle after washing is necessary to prevent water spots those pesky mineral deposits that etch the outline of a drop of water into your vehicle's paint. Auto detailing professionals advise using 100% cotton detailing cloths or sheepskin chamois to dry your car - polyester and microfiber can scratch your paint surface. If you want to get more high-tech, many car care product lines have “paint safe” drying

towels that are super absorbent and claim to be lint and scratch free. · If a good wash wasn't enough to get off all the road grime, bug residue, pollution or tree sap, the next step would be to use an Auto Detailing Clay Bar because it "pulls" contamination off the surface without abrasion or scratching. Detailing clay usually comes in a kit with a lubricating spray to protect your paint. You just spray the area to be cleaned, and then glide the clay along the surface of your paint - it will grab anything that protrudes from the surface. Detailing clay is not designed to remove paint scratches or swirl marks. Heavy tar or insect deposits may need to be removed using a specialty solvent. · But the paint still looks dull! At this point, you have one problem with three solutions. The problem is old oxidized paint and the solution is either car polish, cleaner or rubbing compound. All three remove unwanted dull paint, but in varying degrees of aggressiveness. Polish removes the least amount of paint for a given application, while rubbing compounds remove the most and cleaners are somewhere in the middle. We recommend starting with an application of polish first before moving on to a cleaner. Rubbing compound is a very aggressive abrasive and you should talk to a professional before giving that a try.


· Can I wax my car now? Waxing is the most important thing you can do to protect your car's paint and an absolute “must” if you have just used a polish or cleaner. We suggest a carnauba wax or a paint sealant. Carnauba car wax produces a deep, healthy shine that you can't attain with a sealant, but only has the longevity of eight to twelve weeks. Paint sealants give you longer lasting protection and will not melt, wash off or wear away for about six months. · Tips: Always start your project with the car out of direct sunlight. Make sure the paint is cool to the touch before applying any cleaning product or wax. Spray your car with ample amounts of water before washing. Use the water to spray off dirt and other contaminates that will scratch your car if you immediately start using a sponge and water first. Be sure to wash and rinse in sections so the car wash soap doesn't dry before being washed off. Read the manufacturer's directions on all car care products prior to use. Matching Your Suit to Your Date's Outfit This is a huge issue for the guys. They tend to over match sometimes, and end up looking sordid. No matter what type of formal event it is that you are planning on attending, one of the things that you will be faced with is matching your suit to your

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date's outfit. There are a variety of different things which you need to take into consideration when you have to do this. One of the main things that you should never do is overmatch. What this means is that you probably do not want to match every little detail of your date's outfit to your suit. For example, if her dress is gold with specks of purple, chances are that you will only want to match the gold. The next thing that you will want to consider is what aspects of your suit you will want to match. For example, let's pretend that your date is wearing a pink dress. Chances are that you do not want to wear both a pink dress shirt with your suit, and a pink tie. If you do not want to stand out, you probably also do not want to wear a pink suit. If this is the case, you should wear a black man suit, a pink dress shirt and a different tie colour or a white dress shirt and a pink tie. One of the best ways to match your date's outfit is by getting a man suit that has pinstripes. If your date is wearing a light blue outfit, you might want to consider getting a navy blue or black suit with light blue pinstripes. You can then also wear a light blue tie. There are a variety of different things that you will want to consider when matching your man suit to your date's outfit. Overall, however, it is important to make sure that you do not overmatch, and that your matching is subtle.

January 2009


hile perfect skin is usually the hallmark of babies and retouched photographs, beautiful, healthy skin is within your grasp. For black women, a smooth, even complexion is attainable with proper care. White skin requires a different regimen from black skin. The latter, which is darker due to the presence of more melanin, requires more care because it is prone to hyper pigmentation. This is where the skin darkens even more and gets very oily. Black skin also has the tendency to lose its elasticity quickly. Beautiful skin often begins inside and radiates outward. A healthy diet is vital. This means eating good-for-you foods and saving indulgent treats for special occasions. Fruits and vegetables should make up a large portion of your daily intake. Fatty, fried foods should be kept to a minimum. Instead, bake, sauté (in olive oil or oily sprays), or boil your food. Also, the importance of water cannot be overemphasized. Drink at least the recommended eight cups a day and compensate for alcoholic and caffeinated beverages with more water. Exercise is also a good component to skin care. Regular workouts keep the skin toned and make you feel good. Find an activity you like, be it biking, walking, jogging, swimming, or sports. If you like what you do, you're more likely to stick with it for the long haul. Moisturizers are a must. Darker skin has a tendency to appear "ashy" when it's not well-lubricated. Creams and lotions, best applied after showering when skin is slightly damp and better able to hold in moisture, are plentiful. They range from drugstore brands to department store brands and you're sure to find one in your price range that you like. For the face, it's best to use a separate moisturizer made specifically for your facial needs. Some women have dry skin, some have oily skin, and some have a combination of both. Once you identify the type of facial skin you have, use products geared toward your particular needs. For any type of skin, gentle handling should be followed. A facial cleanser should be used in the morning and at night, especially to wash off cosmetics and a day's worth of grime. Dry skin tends to do better with non-soapy cleansers since soap can be even more drying. Oily skin often likes soap. Like moisturizers, there are dozens of cleansers to choose from. You can use your clean hands to wash your face, but if you use washcloths or sponges, these items must be washed or replaced frequently to prevent an overgrowth of germs and bacteria, which will lead to skin problems. Contrary to popular belief that black women are somehow “protected” because of the presence of more melanin in their skin, they still need to know some black skin care tips especially since their skin is very prone to scarring. Such happens during plucking, shaving or squeezing blemishes and results in dark spots or pockmarks. Make sure to use sunscreen daily, yearround, to prevent wrinkles and skin cancer. It's also a good idea to wear wide-brimmed hats if you know you're going to be outside

for a while, whether gardening or just being out and about; the hat will shade your face from the sun. The first thing one should understand about black skin care is that it does not involve the same products as one would use on white or yellow skin. First of all, black skin needs heavy (but not too oily), deep penetrating oil to maintain its elasticity and health. Hence, black people should still use sunscreen as often as possible because this can prevent hyper pigmentation. Another thing to avoid is using bleaching creams. Skin lightening creams may result in streaks in the blood vessel. Experts say that creams with Tretinoin, which is an acid form of vitamin A and is normally used to treat acne, are also helpful. Black women should avoid using skin peeling products since these may cause damage to the skin. To maintain healthy black skin, one can choose from the many products especially designed for black skin available in the market today. Most of them are made out of shea butter, which, in the world of cosmetics, is a popular ingredient among emollients and skin moisturizers. Products with shea butter, when used for the face, for instance, can help develop and maintain the skin's flexibility and can further protect it and when used for the whole body, can be relaxing and revitalizing. Shea butter products are also ideal for use on sun damaged skin and can soothe chapped or rough skin. Many of those who use products with shea butter apply it before they go to bed and after their showers in the morning. They attest to the fact that products with shea butter have helped the skin regain freshness. All these are primarily because shea butter contains vitamins A, E and F as well as cinnamic acid (from cinnamon), which acts as a natural sunscreen. Ideal makeup for those with black skin should also depend on the tone and hue. Always use a foundation that can even out your skin tone and buy products that have a high level of SPF to further protect your face from the harmful rays of the sun. Colours that will


complement black skin include caramel, apricot, honey and mauve. If you suffer from acne, do not pick at pimples. This often leaves unattractive scarring and black skin is much more prone to developing keloids as a result. Keloids are scar tissue caused by trauma or surgical incisions. It is important to treat the acne gently, but effectively. Washing too vigorously and handling roughly will only make the problem worse. You'll have to find a cleanser and moisturizer made specifically for your skin's needs. There are several acne-specific lines to choose from. Again, following a healthy diet and being active also can help to prevent breakouts. There are a lot of natural methods to attain flawless skin. Here are some suggestions. You will be astonished at the speed and efficiency of nature's product…I know I was. The following suggestions are valid for oily skin, dry skin and other indications where specified. · A facemask of egg white and honey gently removes the tan from your face. · Mix oats with honey, yogurt and ground almonds. Apply this in your face, leave it for five minutes and wash with lukewarm water. · Cucumber is a natural cleanser. Mix cucumber juice with milk and use it instead of a cleanser. · For oily skin, apply a mixture of grapes, lemon and egg white. Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water. While lemon acts as a natural cleanser, grapes will soften your skin and egg whites will tighten it. Don't be alarmed if your skin tingles. · Cut the lemon and rub the wedge all over your face. Leave it for about 20 minutes, rinse off with cold water. This will refresh your face. Avoid doing this if you have dry skin. · Mix honey, lemon and vegetable oil .This mixture is a good moisturiser for dry skin. Apply this mask for 10 minutes. · Apply the mixture of honey and milk on the face. This will make your skin glow. · Prepare a mask by mixing a slice of pumpkin with egg yolk and milk. Let this mask set on your face for 30 minutes for a glowing skin. · Mix half-a-cup honey to your bath water for soft and smooth skin. · For a soothing body pack, prepare a paste of mint leaves and almonds. Mix it with warm water and apply all over your body. Leave it till it dries and rinse with warm water. · Buttermilk dabbed on skin for 15 minutes will soak up oil from your skin without drying it. · Carrot juice applied daily fades blemishes. · For dark underarms and neck apply lemon juice mixed with cucumber juice and a pinch of turmeric daily. Leave this on for 20 minutes. · For removing facial hair. Apply a sticky paste of egg white blended with sugar and corn flour. When it dries, gently peel it off. Repeat this three to four times a week.

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· Thin apple slices rubbed onto oily skin will help in controlling oily shine. · For supple skin, apply a ripe smashed banana on your face for 20 minutes daily. · Cauliflower juice applied on warts regularly will make them fall. · For a fair skin, try this natural bleach. Mix orange peels (sun dried and powdered) with milk. Apply this paste for 25 minutes and wash off. · Mix half teaspoon dried curry leaf powder with multani mitti (fullers earth) and apply on the face. Wash it after it gets dry. · Apply the mixture of tomato juice and honey on the face and neck, wash it after 15 minutes. · Apply the mixture of carrot juice and basin. Leave it till it dries and wash the face. · Add two teaspoon of tomato juice with 4 teaspoon of curd and apply on the face. · Add a pinch of yeast with 2 teaspoon of cabbage juice and apply. · Mix 1 table spoon of barley powder with half teaspoon of lime juice and 1 teaspoon of honey. Apply it on the face and wash after 20 minutes. · Mix pineapple juice and carrot juice together and apply it on the face and wash it after 15 minutes. · Mix vinegar and rose water in equal quantities and apply. · Mix curd and cucumber juice and apply it on the face. · Apply the mixture of coconut water and thick pineapple juice. Make a paste with 1/2 teaspoon of milk powder, 1/4 teaspoon of egg white and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and apply on the face. · Apply the mixture of honey, basin, cream of milk and olive oil as a face pack. For Black Spots · Make a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and glycerin and apply it on the spots · Apply the paste of turmeric and curry leaves on the face and wash it after 15 minutes. · Grind dried basil leaf, neem and mint (100 gm each). Add some turmeric powder and rose water to make it in a paste form and apply it on the spots. · Grind betel leaf and add a little coconut oil and apply it on the spots · Soak a chappathi in milk overnight. Make it into a paste and apply it on black heads. Repeat for several days · Make a paste of saffron and add some honey, apply it on the face to remove black spots. · To remove black spots... apply a paste of turmeric and basil. · To remove wrinkles on the face, apply a mixture of sandalwood powder, rosewater and glycerin. Wash with cold water after some time For most of us, having healthy skin takes a small amount of work, but beautiful skin is worth the effort. Whether you have ten minutes or an hour's worth of pampering, take the time you need. Every time you look in a mirror, you'll be glad you did

January 2009

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January 2009



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January 2009


How to Prevent Employee Burnout Work & Learn Stress Management

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January 2009


ometime in the middle of this year I attended a seminar that cut across the age bracket of the young working class. The seminar bothered on various topics, one of which was the ideals of writing a good CV and appropriateness in attending a job interview. By the time the Speaker designated to treat the issue was through it actually hit me there and then that most job applications never pass the first stage, due to the badly drafted CV most companies receive. The speaker, who heads one of the top recruiting consulting firms in Nigeria, actually voiced my thought when she stated that, the problem with most Nigerians, is not their qualification but the fact that the first contact they have with employers, which is their CV, leaves a sour taste in ones mouth. Thus if your CV is badly drafted be rest assured that it will only end up in one place, the trash can. It's important to always have it in ones mind that a CV is an advert where you need to sell yourself better than the other applicants. It is the first contact an employer has with you and it must hold his or her attention. It is also the test used by employers in streamlining applications. Writing or drafting a good resume or Curriculum Vitae, which in Latin means life history, is very easy when the basic principles are applied. It's as simple as ABC. The first step in writing a good CV is identifying the basic information an employer requires: Personal details: Most CVs start with these but take care to avoid superfluous details, such as religious affiliation, children's names and so on. It includes your name, address, telephone number and so on. Education and qualifications: Take care to include the names of institutions and dates attended in reverse order; university attended before certificates obtained. Work experience: The most widely accepted style of employment record is the chronological CV. Career history is presented in reverse date order starting with the most recent position held. Achievements and responsibilities are listed against each role. Emphasis should be laid on recent jobs done. Ensure all dates link up; leave no suspicious gaps. If you were out of work for a period, or travelling, include it as a stage in your history. There is no reason to include your reasons for leaving each job on your CV but be prepared to answer these questions during your interview. Write no more than a few lines about the job content and responsibilities. If appropriate, show how you progressed from one position to the next. Skills: Include computer skills and (genuine) foreign language skills and any other recent training or development that is relevant to the role applied for. Hobbies and Interests: Keep this section short. Under leisure interests, demonstrate breadth of character by mentioning varied interests, energy with sporting interests. Don't fabricate interests as you may well be quizzed on them, particularly if the interviewer shares those interests.

Referees: These can simply be 'Available on request' but in Nigeria it is advisable that you include references. Always remember to inform your referees before you include them. It is important to be positive, specific, providing relevant information in accordance with the position and organisation you are applying to. The content of a CV is not the obstacle most applicants face rather the presentation and those little details which adds finesse to ones CV, is where the battle is mostly lost. There are basic standards that must be complied with. After drafting your CV you must cross check it with these rules to be sure you are on track. Always type the CV - use a word processor if possible - on good quality paper.

Never use more than two pages: employers are easily bored! Don't write the words Curriculum Vitae at the top: it's perfectly obvious what it is. Don't preface the CV with a descriptive statement like 'A well-educated enthusiast who will undoubtedly make his mark in journalism'. Let the facts speak for themselves, and the employer be the judge of your capabilities. Ensure all spelling is correct. Don't trust computer spell-checkers. Ask an ' independent' party to review the whole document before you send it out. Current salary details should not be included. A good covering letter should always accompany your CV. Yes, it is different from your CV. The content of your cover letter should be brief and structured, avoid lengthy repetition of information covered

in your CV. Your CV must stand out from the rest of the pack - it is an advert for your skills and services you have to offer!! Don't be afraid to over sell yourself. Obviously don't blatantly lie but you can exaggerate your existing skills Customise it for each job application so the information is relevant to the job that you are applying for. It is the information on which your potential employer will base his or her decision on whether to bother interviewing you. It is your foot in the door! Remember, your CV is the key that unlocks the door to an interview. It should contain information that will achieve that goal only, it is not an autobiography it must be concise, easy to read and attractive.

January 2009 Unlike her husband, who did not know his father well and never had a stable home life, Michelle Robinson was raised in a loving, two-parent family on Chicago's South Side. Her childhood home, a one-bedroom apartment inside a brick bungalow, isn't far from the $1.65 million house where the Obamas now live. Her mother, Marian, was a doting presence, a stay-at-home mom who often made lunch for her daughter and friends and listened patiently to all the school gossip. But the family's home life was dominated by her quiet but formidable father, Fraser. Once a gifted athlete, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in his 20s. Despite his physical limitations, he woke early each morning and went to work at the municipal water department. A lifelong Democrat, he was a precinct captain. Her father lived vicariously through the accomplishments of his children. He was especially proud of Michelle's brother, Craig, a star basketball player whose talent and grades got him a scholarship to Princeton. (He is now head basketball coach at Brown University.) Fraser Robinson would never raise his voice to his children when they misbehaved. Instead, he would fix them with a cold stare and say, "I'm disappointed." Hearing that would make young Michelle and her brother collapse into tears. "You never wanted to disappoint him," she says. "We would be bawling." For Michelle, Craig's easy success was intimidating. "She was disappointed in herself," her mother says. "She used to have a little bit of trouble with tests, so she did whatever she had to, to make up for that. I'm sure it was psychological because she was hardworking and she had a brother who could pass a test just by carrying a book under his arm. When you are around someone like that, even if you are OK, you want to be as good or better." She did well in school (she skipped second grade), but she was not at the top of her class. She didn't get the attention of the school's college counsellors, who helped the brightest students find spots at prestigious universities. "Princeton, the Ivy Leagues swoop up kids" like Craig, Michelle says. "A black kid from the South Side of Chicago that plays basketball and is smart. He was getting in everywhere. But I knew him, and I knew his study habits, and I was, like, 'I can do that too'." Some of her teachers told her she didn't have the grades or test scores to make it to the Ivies. But she applied to Princeton and was accepted. Overwhelmingly white and privileged, Princeton was not an easy place for a young black woman from the inner city. There weren't formal racial barriers and black students weren't officially excluded. But many of the white students couldn't hide that they regarded their African- American classmates as affirmative-action recipients who didn't really deserve to be there. Angela Acree, a close friend who attended Princeton with Michelle, says the university didn't help dispel that idea. Black and Hispanic students were invited to attend special classes a few weeks before the beginning of freshman semester, which the school said were intended to help kids who might need assistance adjusting to Princeton's campus. Acree couldn't see why. She had come from an East Coast prep school; Michelle had earned good grades in Chicago. "We weren't sure whether they thought we needed an extra start or they just said, 'Let's bring all the black kids together'." Acree, Michelle and another black student, Suzanne Alele, became inseparable companions. The three of them talked often

about the racial divide on campusespecially how white students they knew from class would pass them on the green and pretend not to see them. "It was, like, here comes a black kid," says Acree. The black students tended to hang out together at the Third W o r l d C e n t e r, a social club on campus, while the white party s c e n e revolved a r o u n d Princeton's eating clubs. Michelle felt the tension acutely enough that she made it the subject of her senior sociology thesis, titled "PrincetonEducated Blacks and the Black Community. " The paper is now under lock and key, but according to the Chicago SunTimes, Michelle wrote that Princeton "made me far more aware of my 'blackness' than ever before." She wrote that she felt like a visitor on the supposedly open-minded campus. "Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with Whites at Princeton," she wrote, "it often seems as if, to them, I will always be Black first and a student second." (Today, Michelle says, not quite convincingly, that she can't remember what was in her thesis.) She didn't share such concerns with her parents, who were proud of their college-bound children. "She didn't talk about it a lot," says her mother, Marian. "I just learned from reading some articles that she did feel like she was different from other people. But she never let that bother her." Instead, Michelle was determined to prove that no matter how she got there, she deserved her place in the class: she graduated with departmental honours and was accepted to Harvard Law School. At Harvard, she felt the same racial divide. Verna Williams and Michelle became friends in their first year of law school. She remembers many of their fellow black students worrying that white classmates viewed them as charity cases. But she suggests Michelle was not among them. "She recognized that she had been privileged by affirmative action and she was very comfortable with that," Williams recalls. Michelle recalls things differently. A campaign spokeswoman says she had an edge getting into Princeton not because of affirmative action, but because her older brother was there as a scholar athlete. She was a "legacy," just like any other applicant with family ties to Princeton. Her aides say Michelle earned her way into Harvard on merit by distinguishing herself at Princeton. Michelle did well enough at Harvard to land a job at Sidley & Austin, a bluechip corporate-law firm in Chicago. She was making good money as an associate

LIFE & SOCIETY on track to becoming a partner. But the workshe was assigned to copyright and trademark caseswas dull. "I didn't see a whole lot of people who were just thrilled to be there," she says. "I met people who thought this was a good life. But were p e o p l e waking up j u s t bounding out of bed to get to work? No." In 1989, she was assigned to mentor a y o u n g , unconventio nal summer associate by the name of B a r a c k O b a m a . Michelle w a s unimpressed by the office gossip about the hotshot Harvard Law student, a biracial intern from H a w a i i whom she dismissed as "a black guy who can talk straight." But she was disarmed by his confidence. He walked up to her one day and said, "I think we should go out on a date." She resisted, thinking it was inappropriate. She dropped her guard after he asked her to go to one of his communityorganizing sessions in a church basement, where he delivered a stem-winding speech about closing the gap between what he called "the world as it is, and the world as it should be." She was smitten. "I was, like, 'This guy is different'," she says. “'He is really different, in addition to being nice and funny and cute and all that. He's got a seriousness and a commitment that you don't see every day'." She recalls thinking, “'Well, you know, I'd like to be married to somebody who felt that deeply about things." At this, she paused for a second. "Maybe I didn't say 'marry.' Scratch that part. It took him a little while." Each of them offered the other something they had lacked growing upfor her, a free-thinking outlook, for him, a sense of stability. Michelle introduced him to her family. They liked him, but didn't expect him to last long. Michelle was a demanding girlfriend, always breaking up with one suitor or another, and it was something of a family joke that sooner or later she would toss him overboard, too. "The first thing I was worried about was, is this poor guy going to make the cut?" says her brother, Craig. "How long is it going to be until he gets fired?" Her mother remembers Obama as quiet and respectful. "He didn't talk about himself," she says. "He didn't tell us that he was running for president of the Harvard Law Review. We never realized that he was as bright as he is." Soon after meeting Barack, Michelle suffered a personal crisis that made her rethink what she wanted to do with her life. Her father passed away in 1991 of complications from MS. Around the same time, her dear college friend, Suzanne Alele, died of lymphoma. She had admired Alele's free spirit. Unlike dutiful Michelle, her friend tried not to take life too seriously and she travelled widely. Looking back, she says she realized she had unthinkingly climbed onto an "automatic path" of a corporate career. "I started thinking about

Page 23

the fact that I went to some of the best schools in the country and I have no idea what I want to do," she says. "That kind of stuff got me worked up because I thought, 'This isn't education. You can make money and have a nice degree. But what are you learning about giving back to the world, and finding your passion and letting that guide you, as opposed to the school you got into'?" She resolved to leave the law firm and mentor young people from the neighbourhood she grew up in. But she was daunted by how little money she would make, and feared she would not be able to pay back her sizable student loans. Obama convinced her that if they married and combined their incomes, they could afford a more frugal life. Michelle began writing job letters to various charities and city agencies. One landed on the desk of Valerie Jarrett, deputy chief of staff to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. "I interviewed Michelle, and an introductory session turned into an hour and a half," Jarrett said. "I offered her a job at the end of the interviewwhich was totally inappropriate since it was the mayor's decision. She was so confident and committed and extremely open." Michelle was flattered by the quick offer. But though she came across as supremely confident to Jarrett, she had doubts about whether it was the right decision. She asked Barack to meet with Jarrett to discuss the job before she accepted. Jarrett, who is now a senior adviser to the Obama campaign, became Michelle's mentor. She set Michelle to work with businesses caught in red tape between city departments. It wasn't exciting work, and it paid far less than her law-firm salary, but Michelle saw it as a first step in her new career in public service. After she worked for the city for a couple of years, Barack led Michelle closer to community activism. He was on the board of a start-up group called Public Allies, a non-profit that encouraged young people to go into public servicejust the kind of encouragement she felt she had never gotten. The organization needed a Chicago director. The job paid even less than her city post. "It sounded risky and just out there," she says. "But for some reason it just spoke to me. This was the first time I said, 'This is what I say I care about. Right here. And I will have to run it'." (Michelle jokes that she took a pay cut with every new job. The couple finally got out of debt when Barack's book, "The Audacity of Hope," became a best seller.) More recently, she inspired a program to send doctors from the prestigious University of Chicago Medical Centre into community hospitals and clinics in poor surrounding neighbourhoods. (At nearly $275,000 a year, her work at the University of Chicago paid much better than her earlier publicservice jobs.) Last fall, Michelle took a leave of absence from her job to participate in the campaign full time. What are her plans as First Lady? It's a question she gets all the time now. Yet it's not one she ventures to answer in any detail. She is interested in issues women face balancing work and home, and in lowering barriers that keep poor students from college. "There are tons of things. It's endless what you can do in the White House," she says. “The truth is I'm not supposed to be here. I'm a statistical oddity. Black girl, brought up on the South Side of Chicago. Was I supposed to go to Princeton? No … They said maybe Harvard Law was too much for me to reach for. But I went, I did fine. And I'm certainly not supposed to be standing here." Whatever lingering doubts Michelle Obama may still have, moving into the White House would go a long way toward putting them to rest.

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January 2009


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Victoria Tandoh

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January 2009

Adieu to Crichton and Makeba


ichael Crichton

Michael Crichton was a physician, a teacher, a movie director, and a screenwriter, but he is probably best known for his novels. His writings often combine aspects of science, technology, and suspense, and he has been called a pioneer of the "techno-thriller" with novels such as The Andromeda Strain, Sphere, and Jurassic Park. Many of his books have been adapted and made into popular movies. He was also the creator of the television series ER. John Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, Illinois on 23rd October 1942, and raised on Long Island in New York. His father was a journalist, and Crichton has said that his own broad knowledge may have come from his father's wide interests. His mother also regularly took her children to museums, plays, and movies. Crichton was often ill as a child, which led him to spend much time indoors playing with electric trains and performing amateur scientific experiments. The young Crichton also began to write. At fourteen years of age he wrote and sold articles to the New York Times travel section. In 1964 he earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University. The following year Crichton entered Harvard's medical school, where he began to write novels in order to support his medical studies. He used the pen name (a fictional name adopted by an author who does not want to use his real name) John Lange. In 1969 Crichton published his first book under his own name, The Andromeda Strain. This novel, which tells the story of a disastrous virus brought to Earth from outer space, brought fame to Crichton. It became the first of many works that were brought to the movie screen. Crichton soon began a full-time writing career. Crichton became involved in moviemaking, as well. He directed his screenplay (movie script) of his novel Westworld (1973) and wrote the screenplay for his book The Great Train Robbery (published in 1975; released in a movie version in 1978). In Westworld, which concerns robots who begin to make their own decisions while inhabiting an amusement park, Crichton shows how technology can blur the line between reality

and fantasy. The Great Train Robbery tells the story of an actual robbery that occurred in nineteenth-century England. With his 1980 novel Congo, Crichton returned to a plot involving one of his favorite themes: the dangers of science, technology, and greed. In the novel three adventurers travel through dense African rain forests in search of some diamonds that can drastically change computer technology. Amy, a gorilla that is capable of communicating in human language, accompanies the three adventurers. Congo was made into a movie in 1995. An encounter with alien life forms and alien technology was the focus of Crichton's next novel, Sphere (1987; released as a movie in 1997). In this book scientists undertake an underwater exploration of an alien spaceship, which lies one thousand feet below the surface. While the scientists explore the spacecraft, disastrous events occur, including an attack by a mysterious, huge squid. Huge creaturesdinosaursare also important in Crichton's Jurassic Park (1990). In this tale of greed and technology, a billionaire attempts to build an amusement park on a remote island. The park features actual lifesized dinosaurs created through the wonders of the most advanced science. The project goes terribly wrong when the dinosaurs are freed to roam at will, leading to a deadly battle between the ferocious creatures and a small band of humans. In 1994 the film version of Jurassic Park helped to ensure the worldwide popularity and success of Crichton's novel. The movie's sequel, The Lost World, was based on Crichton's book of the same name (published 1995; released as a movie in 1997). Crichton's other novels include The Terminal Man (1972; with a movie version appearing in 1974), Rising Sun (1992; movie version 1993), Disclosure (1993; movie version 1995), and Eaters of the Dead (1976; filmed as The Thirteenth Warrior in 1999). He has also written a number of non-fiction books, including Five Patients: The Hospital Explained (1970) and Travels (1988). Crichton's fame, however, is not limited to his literary efforts. In addition to writing screenplays for movies adapted from his books, he has also directed a number of popular films of his own, including Coma and Looker. He is also the creator of the long-running television drama ER. In a fitting tribute to Crichton's fictional creations, a reallife Jurassic dinosaur species, called Bienosauraus crichtoni, was named after the author after its discovery in China. In April 1999, Crichton formed Timeline Studios, a video game company that failed to reach the success of Timeline, Crichton's novel of the same name. Like so many of Crichton's previous books, Timeline was snapped up by Hollywood for a film adaptation, scheduled to hit movie screens in 2003. Michael Crichton died of cancer on November 4th in Los Angeles at the age of 66; it would require several obituaries

to do justice to his polymathic professional accomplishments.


ariam Makeba

“She was at the United Nations years ago before it was even fashionable”, said the South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka of Miriam Makeba. Zenzile Miriam Makeba was born in Johannesburg in 1932. Her mother was a Swazi sangoma and her father, who died when she was six, was a Xhosa. As a child, she sang at the Kilmerton Training Institute in Pretoria, which she attended for eight years. Makeba first toured with an amateur group. Her professional career began in the 1950s with the Manhattan Brothers, before she formed her own group, The Skylarks, singing a blend of jazz and traditional melodies of South Africa. In 1959, she performed in the musical King Kong alongside Hugh Masekela, her future husband. Though she was a successful recording artist, she was only receiving a few dollars for each recording session and no provisional royalties, and was keen to go to the US. Her break came when she starred in the anti-apartheid documentary Come Back, Africa in 1959 by independent filmmaker Lionel Rogosin. She attended the premiere of the film at the Venice Film Festival. Makeba then travelled to London where she met Harry Belafonte, who assisted her in gaining entry to and fame in the United States. She released many of her most famous hits there including "Pata Pata", "The Click Song" ("Qongqothwane" in Xhosa), and "Malaika". In 1966, Makeba received the Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording together with Harry Belafonte for An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba. The album dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid. She discovered that her South African passport was revoked when she tried to return there in 1960 for her mother's funeral. In 1963, after testifying against apartheid before the United Nations, her South African citizenship and her right to return to the country were revoked. She has had nine passports, and was granted honorary citizenship of ten countries. Her marriage to Trinidadian civil rights activist and Student Non-violent

Coordinating Committee leader Stokely Carmichael in 1968 caused controversy in the United States, and her record deals and tours were cancelled. As a result of this, the couple moved to Guinea, where they became close with President Ahmed Sékou Touré and his wife. Makeba separated from Carmichael in 1973, and continued to perform primarily in Africa, South America and Europe. She was one of the African and AfroA m e r i c a n entertainers at the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman held in Zaïre. Makeba also served as a Guinean delegate to the United Nations, for which she won the Dag Hammarskjöld Peace Prize in 1986. After the death of her only daughter Bongi Makeba in 1985, she moved to Brussels. In 1987, she appeared in Paul Simon's Graceland tour. Shortly thereafter she published her autobiography Makeba: My Story Nelson Mandela persuaded her to return to South Africa in 1990. In November 1991, she made a guest appearance in an episode of The Cosby Show, in the episode "Olivia Comes Out Of The Closet". In 1992 she starred in the film Sarafina!; about the 1976 Soweto youth uprisings, as the title character's mother, "Angelina." She also took part in the 2002 documentary Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony where she and others recalled the days of apartheid. In January 2000, her album, Homeland, produced by Cedric Samson and Michael Levinsohn was nominated for a Grammy Award in the "Best World Music" category. In 2001 she was awarded the Gold Otto Hahn Peace Medal by the United Nations Association of Germany (DGVN) in Berlin, "for outstanding services to peace and international understanding". In 2002, she shared the Polar Music Prize with Sofia Gubaidulina. In 2004, Makeba was voted 38th in the Top 100 Great South Africans. Makeba started a worldwide farewell tour in 2005, holding concerts in all of those countries that she had visited during her working life. Her publicist notes that Makeba had suffered "severe arthritis" for some time. On 9 November 2008, she became ill while taking part in a concert organized to support writer Roberto Saviano in his stand against the Camorra, a mafia-like organisation local to the Region of Campania. The concert was being held in Castel Volturno, near Caserta, Italy. Makeba suffered a heart attack after singing her hit song "Pata Pata", and was taken to the "Pineta Grande" clinic where doctors were unable to revive her. Several reports gave her cause of death as cardiac arrest, apparently quoting a death certificate signed by licensed physician: most physicians refuse regard cardiac arrest a symptom of death, rather than a cause. In Makeba's case, the cause would be a heart attack.

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Not Forsaken Acts 3:1-11, Philippians 3:4-9, Isaiah 60:11-16 “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up” (Psalms 27:10) (Acts 3:1-11) We want to learn a few lessons from this story. First, although the man was born lame, he did not die lame. This tells us that anything that has a beginning also has an end. Every problem in your life has an expiry date. Since it started one day, it will surely expire one day. That you were born poor is not an excuse to die poor. If you die poor, it is because you choose to end that way; that was not God's original plan! God's plan is to bring the best out of your worst. You must hold on in faith until your problem expires. Between the manufacturing date and expiry date of a problem, stay in the place of faith, and look up to one person God. As you look up in faith and continually serve, worship and praise Him, irrespective of your challenges, the problem could expire before its problem could expire before its programmed date. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says there is a season for everything. This is your appointed season of change. The lame man could not move about except when carried by people. His situation made even close family members turn away their faces, yet some people still volunteered to carry him to the temple premises daily. This shows that no matter how deplorable or repulsive your situation may be, God has appointed some helpers to stay with you. If nobody stays to help, God will always be there to do so. When Bartimeaus cried for help, nobody volunteered to assist him. They rather shut him up but the lord heard his cry. Are you going through a situation where there seems to be no one to help? Be not dismayed, the Lord will help you. He will hear your cry. He will answer your prayer. Call upon Him today. He will surely make a way for you. Hence, David says in Psalms 27:10: “When my father and my mother forsaken me, then the LORD will take me up”. Are you forsaken by your loved ones, friends and neighbours? If you are, rejoice! That automatically qualifies you as a divine project. God will take you up and care for you with His everlasting arms. The Lord will never abandon you. Never allow any situation, trial, lack, denial, disappointment or failure makes you forsake your one only Helper. As long as you have God, situations and conditions have no choice but to adjust in your favour. Another lesson from the story of the lame man who was healed in Acts 3:1-11 is that there is a limit to what man can do for you. No human helper can deliver the help he or she does not have. When God appoints helps for an individual, the nature, scope and volume is clearly define by heaven. Most times, we attempt to pressurize our helpers to produce what they do not have,

rather than go to the unlimited Helper (Matthew 19:26). Your pastor, leader, parent or spouse has an amount of help to deliver to you. Any attempt beyond this limit is like milking an ant. You can be sure you will get nothing out of it. Asking your helper to deliver what he does not have amounts to help abuse. It happens when people put a man in God's place. It can make the offender help seeker lose on both sides. You should know when you have overstayed your welcome in the house of your helper, or else it will backfire and lead to bad blood (Proverbs 25:17). Also, although the church where the lame man was daily laid was called Beautiful Gate Parish, it had many ugly problems. This beautiful church was externally decorated with ugliness sorrow, rejection, stagnancy, poverty, long standing illness, etc. Do you have a beautiful name yet are besieged by ugliness? The Lord will release His beauty into your ugliness this season. Some people have a beautiful spouse, house, car, job or ministry but they are surrounded by lot of ugliness sorrow, stagnancy, pain, sickness, demonic oppression, suppression and manipulation. If that is your case, the Lord will turn such unpleasant situation around in Jesus' Name. “Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal e x c e l l e n c y, a j o y o f m a n y generations”)Isaiah 60:15). Do you have a handsome husband or beautiful wife but no child? Do you have a fine job but no promotion? Do you have a lucrative business but no orders or contracts? Do you have a vibrant ministry but no souls are won to the Lord? Do you pay your tithes yet you are free the hands of the devourers? The Lord will put an end to your ugliness. His beauty and glory will swallow up your ugliness. You shall end in joy. An end is coming to your shame and failure this season. The Lord is releasing your blessings to you. “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). In Acts 3:1-11, when the lame man demanded alms from Peter and John, Peter said he can give what he has. It is good to appreciate what you have. Peter did not have money but he had the anointing. It is important to have something in the first place. Whether

you like it or not, someday, a call will be made for what you have. It will be a shame for you not to have something on that day. A demand on your anointing may come when you least expect it. That is why you should be prepared for the rainy day. If you are financially impoverished like peter, and spiritual impoverished as the lame man that will be double shame. For many of God's financially challenged children, God's intention is to give them what money cannot buy, so that the price, hence they lose out on both ends. What do you have? If you have no money, you should have the anointing. If you do not have the anointing, you should have something. In Acts 2:1-4, when the Holy Spirit came at the feast of Pentecost, Peter knew he received power. In other words, the anointing that is required to set you free has been released over 2000 years ago. If you lack it, you are only being lazy. The Holy Spirit is here on earth. He does not need to come from Heaven. If you cannot attract Him through quality praise, worship and wholehearted devotion to His person, then your fellowship or worship is void. If you cannot get His gifts, how could you ever purchase them if they were sold? Another lesson here is that it took Peter to grab and move the lame man up for him to respond. Although the man was disappointed that peter lacked the money he wanted, he still walked that very day. This means the day your sun rises, nobody will be able to stop your miracle not even your enemies or yourself. From the account of 2Kings 5:1-14, we learn that when your day of appointment comes, your pride or unbelief may not shall be well. This season your sun will rise. Your breakthrough will come to you. It shall be will. The Lord will ignore your limitations and release your blessing. What do you have? “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ” (Philippians 3:7). There is a price for knowing Christ. There is nothing precious or valuable that comes cheap. Salvation is the most expensive thing in the world, yet it is offered free because Jesus paid for it. Sand is all over the place hence nobody fights for them, even some pastors. Knowledge is power. When asked to study God's Word and read healthy Christian books, many refuse because they think they are doing you a favour; whereas, it is to empower them the more. It costs to know Him. If you are not ready to pay the price, you may never know Him. While

PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE approaching 40, the Lord showed me two graphs. One went up like a mountain while the other went down like a valley. The former meant that you have reached your peak at 40, henceforth, you will descend. The valley-like ascend. He asked me to choose one, and I picked the latter. Then the Lord said, 'In that case, everything you have from this moment will be reduced to zero so that you can begin a fresh climb'. I had treasured my Ph.D. in Mathematics because it took me 27 years to acquire it. That very day, I gave it up. That was the day I became a pastor in the sense of the word. I even volunteered to be known and addressed as 'Brother' but He asked me to retain 'Pastor' so that people can know my calling. What price are you ready to pay to know Him? Paul gave up everything that meant anything to him just to be able to know Him. Do you want to know Him? Knowing Him makes all the difference on earth and in Heaven. Are you still pursuing money, title, fame, your rights, etc? All these may have to go if you really want to know Him. By the time the Lord asked me to go on full time service, I was a key player in the Mathematics department of the university. Besides other allowances, my income was about N2000 per month. Leaving all that to become the General Overseer of a church whose entire monthly income was N6000 was very unattractive. Infact, after paying the few pastors, there was virtually nothing left for me. Yet I obeyed hoping that I will fall back on my gratuity from the university. When I discussed it with Him, and that He asked me to share the gratuity into three and give to three different people, and that He will become my source. Sometimes I needed just N2 as toll fare to go from the camp ground to Lagos with my wife, but didn't have it. I would console my wife by saying, 'Maybe there is an accident on the way'. What are you ready to give up, to know Him?


January 2009


ast week, everyone who's anyone in global health was in New York City for a series of meetings capped by the United Nations General Assembly. Among the crowds, one gathering stood out. Bono, the activist rock star, was on hand to “set the tone”, and Jeffrey Sachs, the Columbia professor and key thinker in efforts to fight poverty, lent his support. The occasion was the unveiling of the most ambitious program in half a century to fight malaria, a disease that kills a million people each year. The Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP) sets out in detail what health officials hope to achieve over not just the next five or 10 years, but the next 50. The cooperative mood of the meeting was in marked contrast to a smaller, and sometimes more combative, gathering almost a year ago in Seattle, where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had brought together almost ever major malaria researcher and health official in the world in one room for the first time. At the heart of most of the debates was one major question: whether to think big and try to eradicate the disease, a la smallpox, or to settle for what seemed to be the more realistic option of controlling it. On the second day of the gathering, Melinda Gates settled the worldwide progress. The goal to wipe malaria off the rest of the map is audacious in scope, for the simple reason that malaria is one of the most stubborn of diseases. But the men and women pursuing this goal are some of the world's most powerful; they include British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, News Corp. honcho Peter Chernin and Gates, who has called efforts to combat malaria “the most repeated failure in all of global health”. He does not intend to fail this time. If the new efforts are successful, they will save millions of lives. The world, she said, now faced “a historic opportunity, not just to treat malaria or control malaria” the participants shifted in their seats “but to chart a long-term course for eradicating malaria “. One delegate, a philanthropist at a major corporation, said the Gates had “changed the game” with one word: Where they went, he said, the world goes. After decades of neglect, African and Western nations are now attacking malaria with a fervour that borders on obsession. The West has boosted funding from $50 million in 2000 to $1.1 billion this year, and it is starting to get results. In Ethiopia, a country once racked by the disease, case reports have fallen to 1.2 million, the lowest number since 2001, down from as many as 9 million in previous typical years. The country is now held up as one of several models for entire continent out of poverty.

Moreover, they will open the door for future fights against many other diseases such as HIV, TB and pneumonia. “It's a little like putting the first mammal into orbit”, says Scott Case, vice chairman and CEO of the non-profit Malaria No More. “Once you see that it can be done, it opens up a whole new set of possibilities”. But success is not guaranteed. Eradication is probably the greatest challenge in all of public health; it requires that commitment remain high even as infection rates drop and other causes start to look more compelling. Vaccine development will also be daunting; there is very little precedence for immunization against anything as tricky as the malaria parasite. And then there is the sheer difficulty of collecting enough money to pay for what needs to be done. Last week, as past of the GMAP rollout, world leaders committed $3 billion to malaria prevention but also announced that to fully implement their plan, they'd actually need $5.3 billion for 2009, followed by $6.2 billion for 2010, plus another $900 million or so each year for scientific research. Eradication may turn out to be a luxury we can't afford. This won't be the first time the world has gone after malaria. After World War II, widespread spraying of the pesticide DDT killed the parasitebearing mosquitoes in many developed nations. In 1963, at least one developing nation had come close to becoming malaria-free: Sri Lanka, home to a measly 18. The world rejoiced and then abruptly gave up. The public-health community reversed course on malaria partly because of a reluctance to continue using DDT. But the effort also failed precisely because it came so close to succeeding. Policymakers decided they were finished before they actually were. “They wanted to use their resources on something else that had more cases,” says Kimberly Thompson, a risk analyst at Harvard University who has worked on other eradication campaigns. As spraying stopped, malaria staged a comeback. By 1969, Sri Lanka's 18 cases had rocketed back to half a million a year. Disheartened, public-health workers turned away. “One of the selling points had been that this was going to be a relatively time-limited effort,” says David Brandling-Bennett, a senior program officer in infectious diseases at the Gates Foundation. “The

only thing the effort really succeeded in doing was eradicating malariologists”. As the research community fell into disarray, the malaria parasite gained new ground. A notorious shapeshifter, the parasite is a complex organism with 5,000 genes and a multistage life cycle perfectly designed to find a human host, infiltrate it and evade any weapons, natural or pharmaceutical, used against it. It enters its victims when mosquitoes bite at night; it slips into the bloodstream and cloaks itself in proteins that the immune system does not recognize. Thus disguised, it makes its way to the liver, where it reproduces rapidly system mounts a response, it's often too late. Drugs may be ineffective because malaria, like many of the world's some of its many strains may survive treatment, then spread as hapless doctors watch their drugs become useless in the population at large. That happened in the 1980s when the malaria parasite developed resistance to chloroquine, the drug most commonly used against it. At the same time, HIV began to ravage Africa, providing newly weakened victims for malaria while drawing away public-health resources. Westerners were largely unaware: by 2000, most thought the disease, which killed 1.1 million people that year 90 percent in Africa “just wasn't a problem”, says Regina Rabinovich, director of infections diseases at the Gates Foundation. Change, however, was coming. In 2002, major new source of financing appeared: the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is now the largest malaria funder in the world. There were technological breakthroughs as well. The most common type of bed net at the time had to be dipped in pesticides every three months to stay effective. In real life, it was largely useless. In the early 2000s, though, scientists developed woven into the fibers that remain potent up to five years. A new drug also gained prominence in the early 2000s: Coartem, based on a Chinese herb called artemisinin. It was expensive and inconvenient, requiring multiple doses. But unlike chloraquine, it worked. Suddenly, one of the major reasons for inaction was gone: now there were weapons. “In the past, we could say, 'We don't have the nets, we don't have the science, we don't have the technology''', says Prime Minister Brown. “Now, gradually, we were developing the science and the technology, so there was no excuse”. Malaria began to attract high-profile business leaders eager to do good. Raymond Chambers, the reclusive billionaire, had been talking to Sachs. “Jeff showed me photos of little children sleeping in a room, and I commented on how cute they were”, says Chambers. “He said, 'You don't understand. They're all in malaria comas. They all subsequently died'''. He began to think of malaria as “genocide by apathy” and threw himself into the cause. Meanwhile, Chernin, the COO of News Corp., had become co-chair of malaria No More, and he leveraged his professional resources: in 2007, he got the producers of a charity “American Idol” episode to feature the disease. Celebrities started visiting African on mission. By the 2007 meeting in Seattle, malaria prevention had major momentum. The world's second effort to stamp out the disease was fully underway. Today, Ethiopia is not the only success

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story. Many other countries have designed their own plans and used donor money to pay for them. Eritrea, Sao Tome and Principle, and Zanzibar have all cut malaria deaths by 50 percent or more since 2000. A tenfold increase in bed nets in Kenya has yielded a 44 percent reduction in child mortality. Even Rwanda, with its grim recent history, says it has reduced deaths from malaria by two thirds. President Paul Kagame says the key has been checking up on local leaders: “The majors, the counsellors, they all have signed performance contracts. They go to homes and follow up to be sure that mosquito nets have actually been used”. Still, not all the news out of Africa is good. Coverage levels (the measure of how many people are benefiting from bed nets and pesticide spraying) in many countries hover around 10 percent. In two nations Nigeria the situation is especially dire. Neither country has much of a health budget. Congo is currently sending bed nets out by trucks, bicycles and canoes, but even so it is vulnerable. And since, as the saying goes, “mosquitoes don't respect borders”, the whole continent could still backslide. To succeed in the long term, scientists eventually will have to develop new drugs and a vaccine. Drug research is already showing some potential. One intriguing candidate mimics the action of Coartem, but unlike that drug, it can be given in a single dose and thus would be much more practical for use in developing countries. Unfortunately, malaria will ultimately evolve around whatever new drug is used against it so widespread use of any medicine can work for only so long. Without a vaccine, we will be condemned to a never-ending cycle of outbreaks. There is some reason to hope that a malaria vaccine could be developed. “We know there is a potential to create an immune response [against malaria], because our bodies do it if assaulted by this disease repeatedly build that immunity”, says Sachs. How our bodies build that immunity, however, is still a mystery. There has never been a vaccine for any parasitic disease, let alone one as complex as malaria. Today, more than 30 serious candidates are in development. One, from GlaxoSmithKline, may progress to large human trials in Africa within the next few months. Even so, Gates himself vaccination says no vaccine is likely to be available for at least two more decades. By then, who knows what the fight against malaria will look like? The idea of outlining the 50-year Global Malaria Action Plan is to harden people's resolve for the battle ahead. The report advocates “front-loading” money, or spending a lot in the first few years, a strategy that proved successful in Ethiopia. It addresses all the nations where malaria is a serious threat, but reserves a special focus for Nigeria, Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania, which account for half of malaria deaths worldwide. Even if $11.5 billion somehow comes through, even if it's all well used, even if malaria deaths drop by 95 percent in the next 20 years, there is yet another possible pitfall: that success will once again breed failure. The responsibility for eradicating malaria, then, will rest not just on the shoulders of the researchers and the public-health workers. It will be on everyone: the donors who may turn to other causes, the villagers who receive nets but don't or can't use them properly, the Westerners who could so easily again forget about the disease and assume it's “just not a problem”. If the world is to succeed in wiping out malaria this time around, all parties will have to stay in the fight. The malaria parasite certainly will.

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