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Lessons for emerging leaders.

Janet Kalulu Ngombalu

I love social media; I especially love my LinkedIn account. I love networking with colleagues and peers, who I have met and interacted with during my working years, on LinkedIn. However, every year, LinkedIn has this reminder that makes me cringe whenever I receive it. This reminder on my work anniversary has begun exuding some emotions and marvel at the same time. This year, 2021, when LinkedIn popped the same notification congratulating me for 11 years worked at my current workplace, I almost requested for a re-count, but this gave me an opportunity to look back at the lessons learnt along the way, how they impacted on my career and my professional growth.

The fact that I have stayed these many years with my employer intrigued me because I understand that from a recent research, the typical employee stays at a job for just over four years, according to a study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020[1]. That same study found that these numbers apply to both men and women, and that older employees typically have longer tenure at a company than their younger counterparts. This last part made me think of all the possible reasons that made me stay on and why this was important for me as I consider leadership.

As a mentor and coach for emerging leaders, I would like to share some important lessons that I have learnt on resilience, growth, inspiration, and perseverance in a dynamic and changing career path.

  1. Personal Mission and Vision

The biggest deciding factor for success in any area of life is understanding the WHY. WHY we do what we do. What is it that makes us wake up every morning? Once we understand the WHY (purpose, cause, belief), then everything else falls in place (Sinek 2020).[2] The next important thing is when you join a team that shares in your WHY, then this becomes your guiding light. The reason to stay or leave must be bigger than the current situation. The journey over the 11 years has had its own share of ups and down. There were uncertain times when many people had to be let to go. We had several challenges during hard economic times, which drove us to the lowest pits. But one thing I learnt is that “your why, must be bigger than your how – Tom Deuschle in his book Building People, Building Dreams, says, those who know how are always going to be at the mercy of those who know why. The reason to stay or leave must be anchored on God who is in control, and moreover, He has good things in store: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.

As an emerging leader, one must understand, WHOSE WE ARE, WHOSE RACE IT IS, AND WHOSE KINGDOM WE SERVE. For in Habakkuk 2:2-3 And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay”. When we understand these divine truths, we will always be anchored to the divine will of God.

  • Diversity of Roles and Responsibility.

During my 11 years tenure at my current workplace, I have changed roles and responsibilities close to four times. On average, I was in each office for a period of about three years. I joined the organization in a managerial position, but after a stint at that office for one year, I had to leave the organization, however, within the following year, I was back at the same organization, same job, but with a bigger mandate. I was working on a dynamic digital information system and had to do a revamp of the system at the time. During those times, we achieved a lot including expanding the system across different countries. We also expanded the roles to include corporate communication, and customer services, which further increased the responsibilities, meaning, that there were no routine activities in the position and I was constantly learning new things. Every day was unique and exciting, which made me stay.

2 Timothy 1:6 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you. This teaches us to continue renewing ourselves a fresh and discover the gifts God has put in us. These gifts will always come in handy as we diversify in areas and responsibilities that we find ourselves in.

  • Self-awareness and self-Motivation

I was always confident in my job, and had a great drive for high performance, which in turn made me a high achiever. I did everything in my way to ensure that my work, results, and achievements were beyond reproach. Once I achieved and succeeded at work, the self-confidence also grows in the same magnitude and in turn self- awareness and motivation grows and enlarges leading to better performance. This is one of the key drivers that made me stay, because I did not wait to be motivated, I motivated myself each day, knowing that I was not just serving myself, but serving God, who had orchestrated my ways, to have me at this position at this time. I never doubted the fact that my job and career was ordained by God.   

As a leader, I know that every career path requires specific credentials and skill sets. This gives a person the required knowledge and willpower to achieve their mandate and succeed in their roles. With both learned credentials and skilled learnt on the job, I was able to get a better grip on my confidence and drive which improves my self-esteem. My values, passions, and aspirations, and how well the standards fitted in my workplace environment were very critical.  With high self-awareness – my thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses, become assets, to drive me to exemplary performance and growth. I hold on to God’s guidance through 2 Peter 1:3 says “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” 

  • Divine Kingdom Connections

One day I woke up to vicious attacks and condemnations from colleagues, who were hell bent to get me under the bus. A cohort from the Director’s had also weighed in on this, and there was a clout baying for my dismissal. I had the hardest period at this time at my work. During this time, my performance was at its peak, networks externally were high, all that mattered in the department was going okey. However, the situation was draining and traumatic. This was like a situation when David had killed Goliath bringing, victory to King Saul, but King Saul had been filled with rage and fury at the response David had received from the people. It was at this time, that spears came in rocking from every side leading David to go into exile. However, I discovered that it was at this worst time, that God was closest to me and came through for me. I survived the storm! I learnt that in such moments one has to retreat and go it where it matters most. Psalm 34:17-20  Says, When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. God will always, come through when we a guided by his will and his kingdom purpose.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

About the Author

Janet Kalulu Ngombalu, MA Sociology – Entrepreneurship (UON), BA Community Development (Daystar University), is a Catalyst Leader, Mentor and Trainer. Her Mission is to inspire people to live better and be more than they thought they could. Janet is committed to developing emerging leaders, through divinely ordained leadership precepts, based on the premise that “bend a tree while it’s still young”. Janet believes that the youth are the hope of the world and their future rests primarily in the hands of its leaders. She loves to speak and write to inspire humanity so that they can live in love and abundance.

Facebook:       lulu K.Janet

Twitter:            JanetNgombalu

IG:                   lulus254.ke

Linkedin:         Janet Ngombalu

Blog:                kalulujanet.com


[1] https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/tenure.pdf

[2] https://www.scribd.com/read/381530988/Summary-of-Start-with-Why-How-Great-Leaders-Inspire-Everyone-to-Take-Action-by-Simon-Sinek

Uncategorized

Leading through times of uncertainty

By Janet Kalulu Ngombalu

The current COVID-19 pandemic has placed a high toll on leaders across the board. It has stretched and tested the limit on their resilience and buoyancy during such unprecedented times. Decision making, team management, and economic flexibility have required immediate adjustments for many organizations especially considering the mitigation measures that have been put in place such as lock-downs, closure of businesses, closure of churches, schools, reduced interaction with customers for long periods amongst others. Also, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “the COVID -19 pandemic has been associated with mental health challenges related to the morbidity and mortality caused by the disease and mitigation activities, including the impact of physical distancing and stay-at-home orders”[1] . The report further indicates increased cases of depression and anxiety among leaders but also the teams, who look up to its leadership for direction.

As an emerging leader,

  1. Where do you draw direction during such unprecedented times?
  2. The whole world is in limbo, what can we do differently to endure during this crisis?
  3. Are there divine precepts that can guide leaders during crisis?  

A recent incident happened during this pandemic, that led me to question and review my leadership style through such uncertain times. I was part of a leadership team that was going on a mission to support needy people in one of the rural villages. The organizers were ready, and all arrangements had been made. However, we had a last-minute cancellation, due to a lock-down directive that was announced by the President a few hours before the scheduled travel time. This did not correspond well with the team. During this time, we all begun complaining, murmuring, protesting, grumbling thus creating a lot of chaos among the team. This reminded me of the times of Moses and the Israelite’s, when he had successfully led them out of Egypt but when they were faced with challenges, they began complaining. At that time, all Moses could do as the leader was to go back to God, while responding that, what can we do? We do only what He tells us to do, so your complaints are really against the Lord.”

I learnt that above everything, Uncertainty is unavoidable. We are not in control…we never have been! We are encouraged that trusting Jesus in the moment of uncertainty is the best position to lead from.

The key lessons that I learned about leading through uncertain times are:

  1. Effective Communication

During uncertain times, people look up to the leader for guidance. Therefore, early, and continuous communication becomes very key to avoid creating a vacuum for speculation. Besides, a key part of effective communication is feedback for we know that communication is not about speaking what we think but listening to ensure others hear what we mean (Sinek 2018)[2]. Consequently, as emerging leaders, we are called to allow the teams we influence to voice their concerns but also provide solutions during a crisis. As leaders, we must remain humble and voice the truth. This creates a win-win situation for everyone while averting a crisis within a crisis. We are guided through Colossians 4:6, where God calls to “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Therefore, as a leader, it is good to know how to communicate to everyone during such uncertain times and provide guidance with confidence. Hebrews 10:35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

Leaders should refrain from counterproductive directives of “getting back to work, or sentiments that imply “sort yourselves out” during uncertainty, and emotional stress such as during the COVID-19 Crisis.

  • Create unity and provide guidance among the team.

What I also learnt is that during times of crisis, people hold on to any emotional support system around them. This could be both positive and negative emotions. More often colleagues develop mistrust among each other, but more so towards the leaders. It is therefore important that leaders focus on uniting the team towards a common solution. As leaders, we need to reach out to the teams on a personal level to create re-assurance and openness. This gives the leader an opportunity to get common solutions that are beneficial to all and avoid the spirit of divide and rule.

We are guided through, 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. For it is important that during these uncertain times, we as leaders must remain guided as in the book of Psalm 133:1-3 which clearly shows us the need for unity that “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore”.

  • Turn to the Lord for Guidance

At the end of the day as a leader, we must remember, that we are always under divine guidance. So, in times of certainty, take it all back to God in prayer. God, who is all knowing and ever present will enlighten and guide. Philippians 4:6-7  says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. Similarly, in Psalm 32:8,  God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you”.

About the Author

Janet Kalulu Ngombalu, MA Sociology – Entrepreneurship (UON), BA Community Development (Daystar University), is a Catalyst Leader, Mentor and Trainer. Her Mission is to inspire people to live better and be more than they thought they could. Janet is committed to developing emerging leaders, through divinely ordained leadership precepts, based on the premise that “bend a tree while it’s still young”. Janet believes that the youth are the hope of the world and their future rests primarily in the hands of its leaders. She loves to speak and write to inspire humanity so that they can live in love and abundance.

Facebook:       lulu K.Janet

Twitter:            JanetNgombalu

IG:                   lulus254.ke

Linkedin:         Janet Ngombalu

Blog:                kalulujanet.com


[1] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm

[2] https://www.scribd.com/read/381530988/Summary-of-Start-with-Why-How-Great-Leaders-Inspire-Everyone-to-Take-Action-by-Simon-Sinek

Inspiration, Leadership, Spiritual, Truth

STILL I RISE

Janetkalulu/kalulujanet.com

In Maya Angelou Poem Still I Rise, it gives hope to everyone to Still Rise, even when we have been through our toughest journey.

When I need a lift up in life, l go right into her poem.

Will you join me in remembering that:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Soak in the vibe of her words remembering, never to give up not matter what you are going through.

Love
Your Catalyst Leader

Janet

Authority, Influence, Inspiration, Leadership, Opportunity, Spiritual, Truth

CANDLE UNDER THE BED.

Lest we forget. All we are is divine. Let’s use our wisdom, understanding and skills unto the Lord and be the change we want to see in this world. Let us not bury what has been given to us freely.

We are given Divine qualifications to do the divine will of God. We are wise to contrive, diligent to execute, and able also to teach and help others.

We all have distinguished abilities, zeal, and knowledge, wisdom, to truly fulfill our calling and life purpose at any level.

Whatever we have learnt in school or anywhere else, if we are not using the skills, knowledge, understanding, truth to bring solutions, help people, speak truth, teach others, co-create then we become as useless as the candle under a bushel.

Blessings.
#divineguidance #leadership #purpose #wisdom #catalystleader #influence, #gifts #Solution

Uncategorized

BE SUNSHINE

In this era of C19, protocols like Sun and Fresh air are hard to beat. They have become the most precious natural protocols. AND SO ARE YOU!!

Give the world some of your natural protocol, – Your Sunshine – today!!

Be generous, joyful, smile, dance, give your time, give what you can. Do something GREAT for someone today.

Be the reason someone smiles today.

Blessings

Godgotmecovered #GodGotUs #sunshine #happysaturday #happiness

Uncategorized

BE USABLE TO GOD

Deborah in the Bible doesn’t question God’s voice or wonder what others will say or think she simply has the faith to do what God tells her. Whether people follow or not is not her concern. Her only concern is doing what the Lord has called her to, and not letting anything get in the way of that.

When God has an assignment, he don’t just give to anyone. He looks for people he can use. People available and willing to do his Kingdom Assignment.

Do we have courage and wisdom to do what God has called us to do in spite of and despite the circumstances? Are we ready to tread on paths that are scary, murky, uncomfortable and unfamiliar?. Do we have enough faith as Women in Leadership to be of use to God?

Let’s explore Deborah’s Faith and Leadership Path, as the only Woman Judge and Prophetess during her time and how God used her to guide Barak.

Blessings.

KingdomLeadership #womeninleadership #GodsVeryOwn #servantleadership #womensupportingwomen #courage #wisdom

Influence, Inspiration, Leadership, Opportunity

BE A LID CRUSHER We have to open the lid that is limiting us from achieving our highest potential. We have to break the lid off our comfort zone and grow to higher levels – Read more, change the status quo, step into new horizons, get new networks, get into new spaces, influence others, strengthen character, learn new skills, new perspectives, do things differently, want more and better – Once you want more for yourself, your family, your community, your company, your life, your country – You will break open the lid that is limiting you. #KingdomLeadership #fearless #LawoftheLid

Bible, Leadership, Spiritual, Truth

DON’T REMAIN SILENT.

God’s Spirit wants to flow through us as rivers of living water (John 7:38). We must believe this, and as the days darken we must learn to be His voice and speak His truth!

The broken places need repairing. Nations are in turmoil, evil is rampant, people are discouraged and frightened. We can stand in the gap and bring healing to the earth as we are God’s voice of hope and life. We can help destroy the works of evil and rebuild, repair, and restore through our prayers.

Psalm 29:3-9. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

Blessings
#KingdomLeadership #fearlessummit #GodsTruth #Defendthetruth #servantleadership #catalystleader