“Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes – one for peace and one for science.” — John F. Kennedy
That’s how they opened the Auto Water 2018 Conference on Saturday, 10th February at Pragmati Maidan, New Delhi Indi. These startling statistics followed:
1. India has 4% of the world’s fresh water yet 16% of the global population. India is water-stressed.
2. Nearly 50% of the rural population have a mobile phone yet only 20% has access to fresh drinking water.
3. More than 20% of death & diseases in India are water based.
4. Agriculture accounts for the bulk of water consumption (70%); Industry 20%, & 10% Auto consumption.
The auto sector accounts for the majority of water consumption (washing, cooling, broiling, etc). The sector accounts for 50% of India’s manufacturing side of the GDP. Overall, 10% of GDP is from the auto sector.
Ironically, as a provider of worldwide mobility, the congestion on the streets of India is incredible (Incredible India, I guess).
The discussion pointed in the direction that the problem of water is not of availability but rather distribution similar to what obtains for the world’s food supply. India has the highest precipitation in the world. Mother nature has been kind. The problem isn’t natural but man-made, requiring a mind-set shift. For example we pour a full glass of water yet only drink half and more often than not, throw away the rest.
Lest we think this water challenge is just happening in India, Cape Town, South Africa has been having water restrictions for a while. If the situation doesn’t improve, come May, 2018, they will be the first city in the world to not have water.
What has been my response to my awareness of the situation and will be even more so since the statistics are so glaring?
- I brush my teeth using water from a recycled bottle rather than allow the tap to run while I brush
- I turn off the shower while bathing instead of letting it run constantly
- I fetch water in a bucket and wash by hand instead of using the washing machine which takes more water for 1 cycle.
- I don’t change my clothes everyday unless I need to, that reduces the amount of water used to wash.
Loving my friends from Bhutan
Of course, I’m from Jamaica – the land of wood and water and even us have been faced with significant periods of drought.
Let’s play our role in making development sustainable for those who will come behind us.
One love @ Noida, India
Being a good leader is a very difficult yet rewarding task. But what makes a leader a good one? It doesn’t matter whether you are a veteran or just starting out, knowing the main traits of a good leader is integral for you to do your own litmus test as to whether you measure up. After all, if you don’t know what it entails then you won’t be able to work towards getting better at it.
As you focus on leading yourself, here are eleven leadership skills that you will need to develop.
When we think of all the leadership traits, rarely does humility come to mind. In fact, humble leaders are often seen as soft, push-overs and gut-less. This has probably stem stemmed from our narcissistic nature as human beings with its vestiges of pride and pompousness. We love the display of over-the-top persuasion power which often lead to a win-lose outcome in negotiations. But Stephen Covey in his ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ encourages a win-win style of engagement. Humble leaders seek feedback, focus on the needs of others and as a result get buy-in from those they lead.
More than ever before, leaders are faced with a myriad of shiny objects vying for their attention on a daily basis. Ideas come at the blink of an eye. It is easy to become distracted from the vision. As such, it is very important for leaders to keep focused on the mission. When you are easily distracted you don’t earn the respect of those you are trying to lead. Your team need a strong sense of direction to carry out the mission. If they can’t count on their leader to be focused, this will affect outcome in a negative way. Staying focused is key.
Some leaders are good, some are great. What separates them is usually discipline. While being flexible, adaptable and fluid are necessary traits of a leader, being disciplined must form part of the ingredient mix in order to win. Disciplined leaders get things done and they stand out as a result. The ability to stand your ground and not be tossed about by every wind of doctrine and idea that blows your direction augurs well for your success as a leader.
“The quality of a man’s life is proportional to the commitment it takes to excellence” – Ignacio Aranguren Castiello. Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well. Have you heard this before? If you have, then you’re hearing it again because it is true “whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well”. When leaders work to be extremely good and outstanding in their mission, they will stand out. Fitting in is easy but it isn’t quite as rewarding as being different. And this doesn’t have to be in what you consider big areas, it is the seemingly little things. It could simply be standing up for the voiceless or taking a stand against injustice.
The ability to put yourself in the shoe of others is a gift. Leaders who display such qualities are able to build rapport with those they lead. This goes way beyond sympathy. It is a rare quality of being able to experience the emotions, thoughts and feelings of others without experiencing them in a literal way. This allows you to give the relevant support and sensitivity that is needed. It shows you care and that is critical if you are to lead effectively.
Albert Einstein reminded us that doing the same thing over and again expecting a different result is insanity. This same old same thinking can’t resolve critical issues. In fact, challenges cannot be resolved by applying the same mindset in which they were created. The onus is upon leaders to find innovative solutions to issues. How one treats with especially structurally complex situations determine their effectiveness as a leader. Whatever is necessary to find answers must be done. The leader who is able to do this increases his influence.
Without vision the people perish. You may not physically die from a lack of vision but then again, this may very well be the case since we are spirit beings housed in physical bodies. You must have a compelling ‘why’ to motivate others to want to follow you. Do you have a vision and are you able to be able to get buy in from team members? Get clarity on it and communicate it to your team so they can appreciate that they are part of something bigger than themselves and you as the leader.
So many people put forward one persona to the public and have a totally different one when they think no one is watching. Though it is important to have a solid character, few have come to grips with its impact. If you are perceived as one that others can trust to do the right thing regardless of the consequence and who is watching, you’re eons ahead of the game. When all is over and done, it is your character that will last.
As a leader have you ever felt uncomfortable? Scratch that. The question ought to be, when was the last time you felt uncomfortable as a leader? Stepping into leadership is an open invitation to discomfort. They go hand in hand like coffee and cream, milk and honey, bacon and egg, peanut butter and jelly (you get the picture). Stepping into the unknown takes courage. It takes a certain level of boldness to go against the grain and be the lone voice crying in the wilderness. But it is expected of you, even from those who criticize your actions. You must show up with ferocity, inadequacies, insecurities and all.
Are you able to work for an extended period towards a goal even when all the odds are seemingly stacked up against you? If the answer is yes then you no doubt you have what is called grit, a necessary trait of solid leadership. We need leaders who will keep going when the going gets tough. Team members need to be assured that you won’t bail at the first sight of a challenge. As a leader, you are most certainly judged by your willingness to push through the thousand ‘nos’ to get to the one ‘yes’. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Anything that is worthwhile will take enormous amount of time to build. Your ‘sticktuitiveness’ or grit can set you apart and win you more than ‘brownie’ points with your team.
Leaders need crocodile skin to withstand the test of time. They must be willing to put their egos on the line, to publicly apologize for misgivings. In fact, they should be willing to go further, to not only apologize but to be able to say, “I was wrong”. This level of vulnerability isn’t weakness, it is strength. It takes guts to do but when done, is met with great admiration and acceptance. This vital and non-negotiable trait lets others be aware that perfection is not required but a willingness to learn and try and experiment with new ways of thinking and doing things.
How would you rate yourself as a leader? Comment below.
From as far as I can remember there has been debates about what makes a good leader. When you analyze leaders across industries and cultures, you will find that leadership styles vary from one leader to the next.
Based on a study of over 3,000 Executives, Daniel Goleman identified six different leadership styles:
- Coercive (or Commanding)
What is clear however is that to be in the running as a ‘good leader’ candidate, there are some basic soft skills that are necessary.
As it turns out, there is no one right way to lead in all circumstance. In fact, one of the main characteristics of a good leader is their ability to be flexible enough to adapt to changing tides. They must be able to ride the wave of the moment. Whether the environment be that of church, school, government, non-profit, or the home, leaders must be able to exercise some level of fluidity.
Being flexible in your approach, allowing your team to feel at ease will win them over on your side. When persons are at ease they perform at their best. The converse is also true, you may get persons to respond to you in the short run by driving fear in them but you eventually limit their long-term output using fear as a driver for action.
If you are a Coercive leader, think about flexing your style to improve your relationships and become a better leader. For me this is personal. As I look back at how I was as a leader when I operated a ‘brick and mortar’ I realize that I was quite coercive in my approach. My firm demeanor would often be interpreted as bullyism. After a while, I had little or no impact on those I lead. Though that was never the intent, my retrospective look tells me that is exactly how it came across.
I’m thankful for those experiences as I am in a better place to understand what I did wrong and the things I must improve upon to be effective. I also assess the styles of others to see how they operate and note critical take-aways and of course acknowledge style differences and work to meet half-way.
Suffice it to say, I’ve always been open to new ideas (or so I thought). But even with that, I held on closely to doing things how I believed it should be done without much room for what others thought (I never admitted this though). I was rigid and stubborn. I have learnt well.
Now, I do things that no one has ever done before and have a willingness to ‘first seek to understand then be understood.” This is one of Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people, a book I recommend that everyone especially leaders ought to read.
Flexibility is essential to maintaining productivity during periods of confusion and uncertainty. When you become skilled at being flexible, you become open to new ideas and get to work with people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures. The more flexible you are, the more effective you are at leading others.
Have you been holding on to your ideas and way of thinking without allowance for the viewpoints of others? If you are feeling resistance from your team and those you work with, your flexibility meter may need readjusting. Do this and watch things change in your favour.
If you have comments or reactions, we’d like to hear from you. Comment below.
In territories like Australia, Brazil, Europe and the UK and USA, podcasts are quite popular. In many developing countries, not as much. Ever since I came into an awareness about the awesomeness of a podcast, I feel head over heels in love.
A podcast is a digital audio file available via the internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, which can be received by subscribers automatically. There are, to a lesser extent, video podcasts. A llive video stream is sometimes confused with a podcast, which is not quite correct.
To access a podcast, you have the option of downloading the file straight from its website via an RSS feed. The Entrepreneurial You is available on henekawatkisporter.com for example. You may also use media software to automatically download podcasts for you like iTunes that checks for new podcast episodes when it detects an internet signal coming from your feed. This download the podcast automatically and syncs it to an MP3.
Streaming on the other hand is to listen or watch content directly from the Internet without actually downloading the file to your computer or other device. The file is downloaded from a host server in real time instead, requiring only a web browser and high-speed internet connection.
The Entrepreneurial You started as a traditional radio show in 2014 on a local radio station in Jamaica. It was profitable, running for three seasons with corporate sponsorship. BUT I knew there was more. Deep inside there has always been a drive to have a global impact – “I must move from just desire to action”, I thought. There has to be a way.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, podcasting presented itself to me. My love affair with this convenient form of content started from a conversation with Damar Hutchinson whom I met at a conference which continued with a Caribbean technology trailblazer, Ingrid Riley, who was also at the said event. I stated what I wanted to accomplish having a radio show. To cut a long story short, she recommended gong digital as a viable option. That would help me achieve my objective of wanting to reach more people to live my purpose of life transformation through inspiration. Eventually, it would become easier to garner sponsorship if I still wanted to do traditional radio, after I would have developed a large enough online following. The digital choice was podcasting.
Hooked, doesn’t begin to explain what happened since I started listening John Lee Dumas. That was in 2016. By end March 2017 with equipment in hand, research on tools software training done and guests booked and interviewed, I successfully published my podcast in iTunes.
Seth Godin – Photo Credit: Brian Bloom
The sense of joy and peace I get from sitting behind a microphone, having a conversation with the most global, high-impact entrepreneurs is inexplicable. I don’t see me stopping anytime soon. Why would I, when it has afforded me the opportunity to connect with persons like Richard Branson, Les Brown, Seth Godin, Jim Kwik and so many established and phenomenal entrepreneurs changing the world as we know it? During Global Entrepreneurship Week, a special edition episode was produced with a select six. This is the episode that Richard Branson is on. I’ve been able to leverage The Entrepreneurial You to achieve bigger things such as hosting conferences (both on and offline). On May 4, 2018, I will host Leadercast in Jamaica. Podcasting has enabled me to do that – it gives me life.
I get to reach people from scores of different countries including Japan which is 3rd on my list of listenership. Not only am I personally connected to my guests, I also feel a sense connection to my community of listeners as well. I’m grateful for this opportunity.
Interestingly, my stats tell me that mobile devices are where most of my community of peak performers listen from. This is very telling as it is in line with where the trend is. This easy access speaks to the amazing opportunity open to marketers. There is so much to be said for this (but imma leave it right here for now).
As podcasts form part of my personal growth strategy, there a few others that I listen to including John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire, Kattie Couric and several others randomly selected. I find this to be a great way to increase my knowledge and awareness in general – a great way to learn.
What was the first time you learnt about a podcast? Share your response below.