The Kubuka NGO Experience

Meet Elena Gomez and Joyce Kanimba, (above) representatives from Kubuka NGO in Livingstone, and guests on the most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring Jay Hillz. ‘The Experience’ is our weekly radio show airing from 20.30 hrs CAT on Zambezi 94.1 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. We often feature guests staying at the lodge, sometimes members of staff but often local Livingstone personalities such as Elena and Joyce.

The ladies told listeners that ‘kubuka’ in the Tonga language means ‘waking up’. Milli Jam decided he would address Elena by her Tonga name ‘Mutinta’ throughout the show, meaning ‘first of a kind’ – apparently! Kubuka NGO is a non-profit organisation created to guide the most vulnerable communities in Zambia on their journey to sustainable development. Elena, one of a group of five Spanish young people involved in the NGO has been coming back to Zambia every year since she first landed in Livingstone when she was just 18 years old. She is now a qualified doctor from Madrid University and is back in Zambia until April taking the affairs of Kubuka one stage further. Joyce is Kubuka’s permanent representative in Livingstone and hails from a teaching background.

The NGO works with local people as one. They are working in Maramba and Mwandi communities in Livingstone. They have a programme to sponsor 60 children from the Mwandi community. They give workshops to young teenagers to improve their knowledge on health, sex, business and other useful topics. They are working with a home based care group in Maramba, creating a farm that can generate income to be able to give back to the community by buying medication for HIV patients, and building a cultural centre to give talks and providing a library for youths.

The music on the show was right up to standard. We opened with smash hits from Fergie and Karen Harding. Milli Jam and Jay chose ‘Jovial’ a brand new and great track from Zambia’s own Chilu Lemba, as well as others from Fall Out Boy, The Weekend and Zambia’s Salma Dodia ft Cactus. Our pick of the week was former ‘Experience’ host Kaufela’s latest ‘For You’. Our oldie of the week was by TLC and the prize we give of a dinner for two to the first person to text us the name of the artist on the track was snapped up by Mwiinga.

Joyce told us that she was very married with a large family and that her favourite music was gospel. Elena is single. “Spoken for?” Asked Milli Jam. Pause. “Errrr…” the reply. We jumped! “That was very hesitant” I said. “Just imagine!” Said Milli Jam but we were unable to prise out any more detail in this regard. Elena is a fan of Real Madrid and her favourite player is Casillas. “A goalkeeper?” Queried Milli Jam. “I bet it’s not about football” I said and our Guest blushed and laughed! She likes all kinds of music but her favourite artist is Despatch.

Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing in ten years’ time, Elena said she would like to be a practising doctor in Africa still supporting Kubuka NGO. Joyce hoped still to be working to help vulnerable boys and girls in Livingstone. “Great stuff”! We said.


Fear! And How To Cope….

I loved this from Chris Heivly writing in Inc Magazine. If you run your own business you’ll know exactly where he’s coming from, and even if you don’t, it’s well worth a read:

“On the outside, I am an extroverted, sometimes over-the-top cheerleader for my portfolio companies. The Startup Factory (TSF), the accelerator I run, has 31 investments. But I have a secret. I worry. I worry a lot. At its core, my worry is all about fear. What do I fear? I am afraid that my investments are bad and I won’t return capital back to my investors. I am afraid that my reputation (whatever that is) will be crap and I won’t be taken seriously. I am afraid that I will have wasted three, four, five years for no gain. Ultimately, I am afraid that I will be a failure. Again.

Why me, you might ask? I have had success. I co-founded MapQuest, served as the president of Rand McNally, and worked as a corporate venture capitalist. Now I operate one of the best seed investment funds in the Southeast. But I have had real failures as well. In the late 1990s, I spent a year raising investment capital to roll up and combine a handful of map publishing companies that never materialized. I was brought in as an executive (along with a CEO I had worked with before) of a multimillion-dollar software company that was losing millions a year. We got close to rescuing the company before the recession hit us hard. It is a shell of its former self today.

The Startup Factory is on its third iteration.

You want full transparency? I feel like the successes were lucky and that the failures were entirely my fault. I think about it every day. And I worry. I’m not the only one, of course. Everyone worries. The difference is I now know how to cope with my own insecurities.

Take credit for the good, along with bad. Ultimately, with age, I have come to realize that I had something to do with both the successes and the failures. There it is. I said it out loud. I am responsible for the successes. I earned that. My brain, my experiences, my personality, and my drive can make positive things happen. This is a positive building block for my own daily psychology.

Develop a support system. A few years ago, a very close friend and I were talking about this issue and how our brains naturally took us to the dark place (we have a code for it–ask me sometime). We were lamenting how peers we knew had seemed to naturally transcend our demons, and we committed to helping each other. We developed a trick for me. I was raising capital for the first iteration of TSF and I would call him before each meeting. He would ask me one question: “Who’s the king?” My answer: “I am the king!” Corny, but I like to think it helped put me in a different frame of mind.

Let it go. When I look back on what factors are integral to my successes, I can clearly see a distinct pattern emerge. When I had no fear or worry, I was free to be in the business-moment. I operate best when I have released the baggage of fear. I love this quote from Jack Canfield, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

My goal, every day, is to find my way to the other side.



Some quotes from Lee Colan

• Leadership is about others, not ourselves.
• Leaders who give the best of themselves get the best from others.
• If you do not take care of the little things over the long term, you won’t take care of the big things.
• Leaders who underestimate the intelligence of their employees generally overestimate their own.
• Great leaders appreciate their employees, not just their contributions.
* Don’t worry about leaving your leadership legacy. Just live it.

Some of my favourites:

* What gets rewarded is what gets done
* Fixing the blame does not fix the problem.
* People tend to do what you do not necessarily what you say.
* There are no problems only opportunities to learn
* Honest people do not lie, steal or cheat


Leadership Quotes

Here’s a nice one from Lee Colan (above) writing in Inc Magazine

“As an author, the question, “May I quote you?” is a humbling request and a great compliment. For anyone who is in search of leadership excellence a good quote is fuel for your team and your journey. It’s amazing how a short, simple quotation can quickly provide perspective, inspiration, comfort, motivation or insight. What a wonderful return for our invested time! Take 10 seconds each morning to read a new quote and our day, maybe even our world, is changed.

I wanted to share a few of my favorite leadership quotes:

•    “To add value to others, one must first value others.” – John Maxwell

•    “A company is stronger if it is bound by love rather than by fear.” – Herb Kelleher

•    “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.” – Yogi Berra

•    “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

•     “Those who let things happen usually lose to those who make things happen.” – Dave Weinbaum

•    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  – Winston Churchill

•    “In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Lee added some of his own but I’ll save those for a future post and chuck in a few of my favourites as well!


Confident Leadership

I loved this piece from Steve Tobak in Inc Magazine – a great read and a great site for all aspiring young leaders and managers. These are Steve’s thoughts on what confident leaders do NOT do:

1. What everyone else is doing.
Quite the contrary, confident leaders seem to have a natural tendency to question conventional wisdom and challenge the status quo. Fads, cultural norms, groupthink, forget it. They don’t worry about their personal brands, personal productivity, or social media. That is, unless that’s their competency, their passion, who they are. I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey manage to update their Facebook and Twitter pages from time to time.

2. Worry about weaknesses.
Maybe they should. For all I know, maybe that’s the difference between successful people and really successful people. All I know is, they’re usually confident and comfortable with who they are. They’re not plagued by the fear and self-doubt that derails so many people. They don’t fixate on what they’re not. They accept it. Don’t get me wrong. They are human. They have fear. But one of the key reasons why they’re so successful at what they do is because it is their passion. They’ve found their true path. When they’re doing what they love, they’re comfortable with it, not fearful of it. And it shows in their work.

3. Waste a lot of time.
It’s not that they’re concerned with productivity or time management. They don’t waste a lot of time because they have a vision–a mission. They truly want to spend their lives on whatever it is they love doing, so that’s what they do. Period. They don’t indulge activities that so many people waste their lives on. They don’t try to get inside other people’s heads. They don’t ask why things happen or why people do the things they do. That is, unless it’s a problem they really want to solve. They don’t wish for things to be different. They make things different.

4. Try to be successful.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying they’re not savvy business people. What I am saying is they’re usually just trying to accomplish something. Then they’re trying to accomplish another thing. Then another. Most successful people are driven to do, to accomplish, to win. It’s one thing at a time. Success just comes with the territory.

5. Breathe their own fumes.
There is a downside to being too indoctrinated with your own vision. You can become blinded by it. That’s what ultimately takes down lots of people who are initially successful but can’t sustain it. They stop asking questions, succumb to their own status quo, stick with flawed ideas. Highly accomplished people do not surround themselves with yes-men, give in to group think, or accept anything other than the genuine unfiltered truth. Sure, they might bite your head off at first. But that doesn’t mean they’re not listening. What can I say; that’s how it is.

6. Fear competition.
They understand competition, know their competition, are comfortable with competition. They’re generally confident in their abilities and courageous in the face of competitive battle. That said, they’re not fools. They’re not sure they’ll prevail. It’s just that, the question doesn’t usually enter their minds. They just do what they do best and give it all they’ve got. After the fact they may look back and see that they’ve won, but only briefly. By then, they’re usually on to the next battle.

7. Try to be what they’re not.
Not a single successful executive, VC, entrepreneur, or business owner that I’ve ever known has ever gotten to where he is by being something he’s not. Not a single one. Anyone who tells you to focus on self-promotion instead of doing whatever it is you love to do just doesn’t get it. It sounds so simple, but this is the big takeaway that will set you apart. In a world full of wannabe entrepreneurs and leaders, where everyone’s a CEO of their own little world, don’t try to be what you’re not. Just be you.


Think For Yourself!

Many moons ago when I was GM of Southern Sun Ridgeway Hotel in Lusaka I used to give training lectures to assistant managers and department heads, based on the works of Peter Drucker. Some found it tiresome, others lapped up the knowledge. This, therefore, from Inc by Steve Tobak (above) grabbed my attention, if you’re a manager or a leader it is some of the best advice you will ever hear.

“There was a time when nobody talked about leadership. We managed our companies to develop great products that beat the competition. The goal was to maximize sales, profits, and the almighty holy grail of the corporate world, shareholder value. We didn’t give a crap about our employees. Then came emotional intelligence. Command and control style management was out; soft skills were in: empathy, self-awareness, social skills, motivation, communication, and all that. Employee engagement soon followed. Finally, business leaders learned to treat employees with genuine respect and dignity. Hallelujah. I know that sounds great, but that’s not how it happened.

Actually, we learned all that stuff decades ago from the father of modern management, Peter Drucker.That’s right, it was Drucker, a management consultant, who taught a generation of executives how to effectively run large, complex organizations. He was the first to argue the importance of serving customers versus profits, knowledge workers and their productivity, and respect for employees as assets, not liabilities.

He invented many of the management concepts used by every company to this day, including managing by objectives, decentralization, outsourcing, simplification, and focus. And he was an outspoken critic of out-of-control CEO compensation, calling it “morally and socially unforgivable” and saying, “we will pay a heavy price for it.” Drucker was a major influence on some of the most successful CEOs of the past 50 years, including GE’s Jack Welch, Procter & Gamble’s A.G. Lafley, Intel’s Andy Grove, and Toyota chairman Shoichiro Toyoda. And they in turn mentored another generation of executives who lead hundreds of companies today.

More than anything, Drucker was a great observer and a brilliant thinker. And a central theme behind much of his teaching was the idea that business is all about the behavior of individuals. That managing companies is about managing people. Well, that’s exactly how I’ve always thought of it, as well. Along those lines, one thing I’ve observed over the years is that some companies are well run by good people who aren’t terribly dysfunctional, others are run like mini-monarchs with the CEO as supreme ruler, and there’s everything in between. In any case, it’s all about the individuals and their behavior. Like it or not, that’s the way it is, and as it should be.

People always ask me why I’m so critical of leadership concepts like emotional intelligence and employee engagement. I’m really not. What I object to is plastering sound-bite labels on otherwise good ideas and marketing them more or less like miracle cures and diet pills. More importantly, I object to the notion of turning a crank and running a company by management fad du jour, as opposed to thoughtfully developing unique plans designed to accomplish specific strategic objectives.

You see, as a consultant, Drucker was known for telling managers what he thought. He didn’t give them answers; he gave them unique insights that opened the door for them to come up with their own solutions to their company’s specific dilemmas and challenges. And that’s exactly what you should do. Because every business, every company, is as unique as the individuals that develop its products and serve its customers. Running a business or an organization is never, ever about buying into canned solutions or turning a crank.

By all means, ask your lieutenants and trusted mentors for advice. Listen carefully to what they say. But don’t ask them what you should do. You know your business, your company, or your organization better than anyone. Trust your gut, find your own path, and make your own decisions.

Think for yourself. It’s an attribute that’s in short supply these days.”


Great Quotes From Famous People

Thanks to Australian Judy here are some good quotes from famous people!

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, ‘Lillian, you should have remained a virgin…’
– Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)

I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: –
‘No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.’
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement..
– Mark Twain

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible!
– George Burns

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
– Victor Borge

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
– Groucho Marx

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.
– Jimmy Durante

Money can’t buy you happiness …. But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
– Spike Milligan

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
– Will Rogers

Don’t worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
– Winston Churchill

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he’s too old to go anywhere.
– Billy Crystal


Business Cliches That Show You’re Lazy!

This from Inc – better read it if you’re in any way involved in management or leadership!

Whipping out a platitude isn’t just annoying. Using some platitudes also shows you’re lazy, and not just in words but in actions:

“Work smarter, not harder.”
What happens when you say that to me?
One: You imply I’m stupid.

Two: You imply whatever I’m doing should take a lot less time and effort than it does.
And three: After you say it, I kinda hate you.
If you know I could be more efficient, tell me how. If you know there’s a better way, show me how. If you think there’s a better way but don’t know what it is… say so. Admit you don’t have the answer. Then ask me to help you figure it out. And most importantly, recognize that sometimes the only thing to do is to work harder… so get off your butt and help me.

“There is no ‘I’ in team.”
Sure there is. There are as many “I”s as team members. Those individuals, the more “individual” the better, serve to make the team stronger. The best teams are often a funky blend of the talents, the perspectives… and the individual goals of each person.
If you want a team to work hard and achieve more, make sure each person feels she can not only achieve the team’s goal but also one of her own goals. Spend time figuring out how each individual on the team can do both… instead of taking the lazy way out by simply repressing individuality in the pursuit of the collective.

“It just wasn’t meant to be.”
Fate had nothing to do with it. Something went wrong. Figure out what went wrong and learn from it.
“Oh… it wasn’t meant to be…” is not just lazy but also places responsibility elsewhere.
“Oh… but let’s figure out what we can do next time…” is empowering and places the responsibility where it should be: on you.

“That’s probably not what you want to hear.”
It sucks to hear bad news, no doubt. But when you say that something isn’t what I want to hear you shift the issue over to my side of the table. Somehow it’s become my problem. Don’t shift. Explain why you made a decision. Explain the logic. Explain your reasoning.
I still may not want to hear it… but that way the focus remains on the issue and not on me.

“Perception is reality.”
Yeah, yeah, I know: How I perceive something is my version of reality, no matter how wrong my perception may be.But if other people perceive a reality differently than you, work to change that perception. Make reality the reality.
Besides, perceptions are fleeting and constantly changing. Reality lasts forever… or at least until a new reality comes along to replace it.

“We want your feedback.”
You see and hear a similar line everywhere: websites, signs, meetings…
Don’t be passive if you truly want feedback. Don’t “make it easy” for people to provide. Go get it. Be active.
People who really want feedback take responsibility for getting that feedback–they don’t wait to receive it.

“Do it now and apologize later.”
You’re not a bold, daring risk-taker; you’re lazy and self-indulgent. Good ideas are rarely stifled. People like better; if they don’t like your idea, the problem usually isn’t them: It’s you.
Don’t take the easy way out. Describe what you want to do. Prove it makes sense. Get people behind you.
Then whatever you do has a much better chance of succeeding.

“Failure is not an option.”
This one is often used by a leader who gets frustrated and wants to shut down questions about a debatable decision or a seemingly impossible goal: “Listen, folks, failure is simply not an option.” (Strikes table or podium with fist.)
Failure is always a possibility. Just because you say it isn’t doesn’t make it so.
Don’t reach for a platitude. Justify your decisions. Answer the hard questions.
If you can’t, maybe your decision isn’t so wise after all.

“Let’s not reinvent the wheel.”
Because hey, your wheel might turn out to be a better wheel… which means my wheel wasn’t so great.
And we can’t have that.

“It is what it is.”
Here’s another shutdown statement. “It is what it is,” really means, “I’m too lazy to try to make it different… so for gosh sakes stop talking about it.”
“It is what it is” is only true if you take the easy way out by letting “it” remain “it.”


Godfridah Chanda Stars On ‘The Experience’

Meet Godfridah Chanda (above), young, upwardly mobile and acting station manager of Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station. Godfridah was our guest on the latest edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient, featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela – that’s our regular Sunday night radio show airing between 20.30 and 21.30 on Godfridah’s own station! The programme is a nice mixture of music and chat.

Answering Milli Jam’s rapid fire questions, Godfridah told listeners that she’d been with 107.7 fm for a year, originally having been employed as a senior producer, but quickly promoted to production and programmes manager. Following a short course in Kasama in the north of Zambia (from where Godfridah actually hails), she was promoted to acting station manager, a position she’d now been holding down for a few months. Milli Jam – who should know these things – asked Godfridah if it was difficult handling DJ’s and broadcasters with big egos, seeing she was not only young, but also female. She replied that although it was challenging, she believed that if you loved your job, were hard working and committed as well as willing to learn, things would go well. She believed in consultation and respect for others.

Godfridah told listeners that she was a graduate of the University of Zambia in mass communications and development studies – she’d been selected to join 107.7 fm following a request from the station to the University department for the name of the hardest working, brightest graduate on her course!

The guys played some great music! Lionel Ritchie with Billy Currington ‘Just For You’ opened proceedings – a track from Lionel’s latest Tuskagee album. This was coupled with Alexandra Burke’s ‘Elephant’. The local selections included Macky 2 featuring P-Jay with ‘Landlord’ back to back with B1’s ‘Mr Perfecto’. Milli Jam chose Nicky Minaj’s ‘Young Forever’ coupled with ‘Bright Lights’ from Tinchy Stryder featuring Pixie Lott. His ‘oldie of the week’ was ‘Sitting On Top Of The World’ by Mase and Brandy, and the prize for the first person to text us telling us who was singing the track was quickly snapped up! George’s pick of the week was JK featuring Hanni with ‘Pistol’ – and it’s hot!

Godfridah told listeners that she was single, had one daughter Kalaba, aged 1 year and 9 months, currently being cared for by her mum in Kasama. When she was not working she loved to read, mostly Christian and motivational books. She intended to start her own programme on 107.7 fm – ‘Winning Women’ – very soon. She declared herself passionate about the affairs of women and children in society. When it came to sport Godfridah told listeners that she had little interest in soccer but loved volleyball – she was a keen player before she became a mum! On the subject of music, Godfridah told us her taste is ‘Zambian through and through’.

Asked where should would like to be and what she would like to be doing 10 years from now, she replied that she would like to be married with another child, holding a masters in development studies, as well as having her own business. I, for one, would not bet against that!


‘The Experience’ is Mission Possible!

Meet Ruth and Richard Wallis from Cambridge, England, guests on the most recent edition of ‘The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela’, our weekly radio show. ‘The Experience’ is a great mixture of local and international music, as well as lively and interesting conversation with our guests. Chanters Lodge sponsors the show which airs live every Sunday from 20.30 – 21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm. The programme has been a popular regular feature on local radio more or less continuously since October 2007. The station reaches an audience within a 75 km radius of Livingstone and also streams live on the net. The links are on the station’s site here, and on the lodge site here.

Richard told listeners he’d worked in Zambia for ZCBC (Zambia Consumer Buying Corporation) between 1972 and 1977 and explained that ZCBC were the stores in which Zambians shopped before there was Shoprite! The company was a parastatal (quasi Government) organization. He must have shocked our audience telling them there were so many shortages in those days, that when the stores were due to receive a consignment of cooking oil, sugar or other essential commodities, the first thing management did was to call the police, asking them to come and control the inevitable crowd who would flock to the store the moment they heard that a commodity was back in stock! Long queues and rationing were the order of the day.

After Richard returned to UK amongst other positions held he was the managing director of Scripture Union‘s chain of retail book stores. Ruth had been working for the same chain. Steven told listeners his first wife Susan had died in 2005 and in 2007 he and Ruth had married. In the same year Richard established Mission Possible with a mission to advance the Christian faith by serving the poor, forgotten, and marginalised by serving children and families at risk, training Christian leaders and distributing Christian literature. Mission Possible works in Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda as well as Zambia in Africa, and in some European countries too. While back in Zambia Ruth and Richard would be conducting leadership training for upwards of 100 interdenominational pastors in Livingstone. “Great stuff!” We said, and meant it!

The music on the show was right up to date. We opened with Jesse J’s UK number one ‘Domino’ back to back with ‘More Than This’ from One Direction. George’s Zambian selection promoted CQ featuring Exile with ‘Ndekeleni’ and ‘Ikashishita’ by Pilato featuring Chif. Milli Jam dropped ‘Losing’ by Joe Thomas and ‘Try’ by Frank Ocean. We usually give away a prize of a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge every week to the first person to text us telling us who’s singing our oldie of the week, but this week no-one listening knew it was Paul Simon singing ‘Boy In the Bubble’, so no prize! Sometimes I do make it tough! My pick of the week was Madonna’s ‘Masterpiece’ and we closed with hot Nigerian Davido’s hot ‘Demi-Duro’.

We wondered whether Ruth and Richard would have time to do any of the tourist activities during their week in Zambia with daughter Anna and grand-daughter Beatrice. “Well” said Ruth “we’ve already seen, heard and felt the Falls!”. “Felt the Falls?” I wondered. “Yes” said Ruth “I’ve never felt so wet in my life!” We laughed. “Do you work?” I asked Ruth and she explained to listeners that apart from helping Richard with Mission Possible she drives a mobile post office for Royal Mail back in England. Richard also revealed that he chauffeur drives for a limousine company to help meet the expense of running their NGO. “Any famous passengers?” I wondered. “Sometimes” he said “recently Ken Clarke”, explaining to listeners that Clarke is currently Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice in UK.

This Christian, engaging and loving couple told listeners that when they left Zambia at the end of the following week they would be proceeding to Rwanda for more missionary work. Their answer to the inevitable question? In ten years’ time they hoped to be still fit, strong and fulfilling Mission Possible’s mission! Bet they are too!

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