August 2020


Leadership is like maturity. It doesn’t automatically come with age. Sometimes age comes alone.

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John C. Maxwell is my favorite Leadership Author and I like reading his books because they are always well researched, with very good stories, anecdotes, and book references that would make you want to explore the topic further. In Developing the Leader Within You 2.0, John outlines principles for inspiring, motivating, and influencing others from any type of leadership position.

Everything rises and falls on leadership. The world becomes a better place when people become better leaders. Developing yourself to become the leader you have the potential to be will change everything for you.

Success leads to the greatest failure, which is pride. Failure leads to the greatest success, which is humility and learning.
In order to fulfill yourself, you have to forget yourself. In order to find yourself, you have to lose yourself.…That may lead to failure, but it will eventually lead to genuine success. – David Brook

Here are my favorite takeaways from reading Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 by John C. Maxwell:

“Do not let your schooling interfere with your education.”- Mark Twain

I agree with Mark Twain, who said, “Do not let your schooling interfere with your education.” This statement can not be more accurate than the fast-paced world of the fourth industrial revolution that we find ourselves. Schooling is not the end of education; the school system is supposed to make us more curious and teach us the ability to think independently, solve problems on our own, and continuously reinvent ourselves by becoming lifelong learners. Unfortunately, our schooling system is still fraught with a curriculum crafted for the 2nd industrial revolution.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I changed the world. Today I am wise, So I am changing myself. – Rumi

With the growth of new media and education technology platforms such as Youtube, Great Courses, Coursera, Masterclass, EdX, to name but a few, it is the most incredible time to be a lifelong learner. Successful people such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger are learning machines. They are always looking for an opportunity to become a better version of themselves, in turn, understanding the world around them better

He who learns but does not think, is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger. – Confucius

Here are some great quotes on lifelong learning:

I still spend five or six hours a day reading.

He spends as much as 80 percent of his day reading.

Warren Edward Buffett (born August 30, 1930) is an American investor, business tycoon, and philanthropist, who is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is noted for his adherence to value investing and for his personal frugality despite his immense wealth.

Warren Buffet has been the chairman and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway since 1970. His business exploits have had him referred to as “Oracle” or “Sage” of Omaha by global media outlets. He is considered to be one of the most successful investors in the world.

  • Warren starts every morning by poring over several newspapers and estimates he spends as much as 80 percent of his day reading.
  • Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.
  • I read and think, So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.

Don’t sleepwalk through life. Don’t say it’s all going to be great. I’ll do this and I’ll do that, I’m just marking time until I get to be older. That’s like saving up sex for your old age. It is not a good idea.

Garry Kasparov, known by many as the greatest chess player of all time, became the under-18 chess champion of the USSR at the age of 12 and the World Junior Champion at 17. He then became the youngest World Chess Champion in history in 1985 at the age of 22. His 1984 World Championship match against Anatoly Karpov was controversially ended after 48 games with no clear victor. Kasparov clinched the rematch in 1985 and secured his place in chess history. He held on to the title of world’s highest-rated player until his retirement from professional chess in 2005.

His book Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins details his highly publicized matches against IBM supercomputer Deep Blue and his research on human and machine competition. While his rematch with Deep Blue ended in defeat, Kasparov believes these matches were key to bringing chess into the mainstream.

Garry didn’t become a Grandmaster overnight, but as a child he demonstrated a remarkable gift for the game of chess. He learned by watching his parents play and was soon challenging his uncle and solving chess problems in the newspaper, much to his family’s surprise. 

Here are my favorite take aways from viewing the Garry Kasparov’s Masterclass Session on Chess.

“Chess is above all a struggle, the point is always to win, no matter how you define winning.” – Emanuel Lasker of Germany, the second world champion

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Garry Kasparov was the highest-rated chess player in the world for over twenty years and is widely considered the greatest player that ever lived. In How Life Imitates Chess, Kasparov distills the lessons he learned over a lifetime as a Grandmaster to offer a primer on successful decision-making: how to evaluate opportunities, anticipate the future, devise winning strategies.

He relates in a lively, original way all the fundamentals, from the nuts and bolts of strategy, evaluation, and preparation to the subtler, more human arts of developing a personal style and using memory, intuition, imagination and even fantasy. Kasparov takes us through the great matches of his career, including legendary duels against both man (Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov) and machine (IBM chess supercomputer Deep Blue), enhancing the lessons of his many experiences with examples from politics, literature, sports and military history. 

“The stock market and the gridiron and the battlefield aren’t as tidy as the chessboard, but in all of them, a single, simple rule holds true: make good decisions and you’ll succeed; make bad ones and you’ll fail.”

Here are my favourite take aways from reading How life Imitates Chess by Gary Kasparov:

“The common denominator of success — the secret of success of every man who has ever
been successful — lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures
don’t like to do.”

The speech was first given by Mr Gray at the 1940 annual convention of The National Association of Life Underwriters, now the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), Albert E. N. Gray was an official of the Prudential Insurance Company of America. 

Several years ago I was brought face to face with the very disturbing realization that I was trying to supervise and direct the efforts of a large number of men and women who were trying to achieve success, without knowing myself what the secret of success really was. And that, naturally, brought me face to face with the further realization that regardless of what other knowledge I might have brought to my job, I was definitely lacking in the most important knowledge of all.

Of course, like most of us. I have been brought up on the popular belief that the secret of success is hard work, but I had seen so many people work hard without succeeding and so many people succeed without working hard that I had become convinced that hard work was not the real secret even though in most cases it might be one of the requirements.

Hard work was not the real secret even though in most cases it might be one of the requirements.

I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door,
And never put on again.

I wish we could come on it all unaware,
Like the hunter who finds a lost trail;
And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done 
The greatest injustice of all
Could be at the gates like an old friend that waits
For the comrade he’s gladdest to hail.

No matter what you’re facing, you have what it takes to figure anything out and become the person you’re meant to be.

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From the host of the award-winning MarieTV and The Marie Forleo Podcast, an indispensable handbook for becoming the creative force of your own life. Everything is figureoutable is more than just a fun phrase to say. It’s a practical, actionable discipline. A mantra that helps you operate at your best and achieve what you want. It’s a mindset to help you solve meaningful problems, learn new skills, and find ways to help and contribute to others. Once adopted, this attitude will make you virtually unstoppable.

Purpose fuels persistence. Reasons come before results.

Premise of Everything Is Figureoutable: No matter what you’re facing, you have what it takes to figure anything out and become the person you’re meant to be.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”- Maya Angelou

Here are my favourite take aways from reading Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo:

“I prefer the folly of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom.” -Anatole France

As Winston Churchill said, “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Having enthusiasm is a key ingredient in achieving success, as, without enthusiasm, one can not be compelling. Your enthusiasm is contagious, especially when you have it under control, the world is your oyster.

In the book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, Gary Keller shares the following story:

“One evening an elder Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us. One is Fear. It carries anxiety, concern, uncertainty, hesitancy, indecision, and inaction. The other is Faith. It brings calm, conviction, confidence, enthusiasm, decisiveness, excitement, and action.” The grandson thought about it for a moment and then meekly asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”

Here are some great quotes on enthusiasm:

Muhammadu Sanusi II was the 14th Emir of Kano, he ascended the throne on 8 June 2014, following the death of his grand-uncle Ado Bayero. He was dethroned on 9 March 2020 by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

Prior to his accession, Sanusi was an economist and banker. He served as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 2009 to 2014, when he was suspended by President Goodluck Jonathan after raising the alarm on the US$20 billion NNPC scandal.

Growing Up

Sanusi was born on 31 July 1961 in Kano to a ruling class Fulani family of the Sullubawa clan. His father, Aminu Sanusi, was a career diplomat who served as the Nigerian Ambassador to Belgium, China, and Canada, and later served as the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was also the Chiroma of Kano and son of Muhammadu Sanusi I, who was the 11th Emir of Kano from 1953 to 1963, when he was deposed by his cousin Sir Ahmadu Bello.

If you try to play checkers in a chess world, problems are your reward.

Chess is not a game of luck, and neither is business. When you win, it’s because you made good decisions.

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I am fascinated with the game of chess, even though I do not know how to play it yet. It is on my bucket list of games to master; the game contains lots of strategies that are applicable in life and business. I have seen lots of movies (Searching for Bobby Fischer, Life of a King), Documentaries (Magnus, Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine), read some books such as How Life Imitates Chess by Gary Kasparov to name but a few.

Chess Not Checkers by Mark Miller is an excellent book on how we can apply the game of chess to win in business. The author share four Chess Moves that have Parallel to Business, these moves, derived from winning strategies and principles from the chess world, have parallel applications in any organization. The four chess moves are: Bet on Leadership, Act as One, Win the Heart, and Excel at Execution.

In Chess Not Checkers, Mark Miller tells the story of Blake Brown, newly appointed CEO of a company troubled by poor performance and low morale. Nothing Blake learned from his previous roles seems to help him deal with the issues he now faces. The problem, his new mentor points out, is Blake is playing the wrong game.

The early days of an organization are like checkers: a quickly played game with mostly interchangeable pieces. Everybody, the leader included, does a little bit of everything; the pace is frenetic. But as the organization expands, you can’t just keep jumping from activity to activity. You have to think strategically, plan ahead, and leverage every employee’s specific talents—that’s chess. Leaders who continue to play checkers when the name of the game is chess lose. 

On his journey, Blake learns four essential strategies from the game of chess that transform his leadership and his organization. The result: unprecedented performance!

Here are my favourite take aways from reading Chess Not Checkers: Elevate Your Leadership Game:

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.—Mahatma Gandhi

The root word of education is derived from the latin ‘educo”, which means to educe, to draw out, to develop from within. Education is different from schooling which is the training we go through in formal institutions of learning. The formal education system is supposed to draw out our innate abilities and make us become more curious and self aware but most of us don’t have this experience.

Lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Our schooling is supposed to make us Lifelong learners who are curious and adapting to the ever-changing world of work and life. A typical college graduate has not finished a book since leaving school as they equate the end of school to the end of learning. In an ever-changing world of work where Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Efficiency, and cost-cutting are the order of the day, been a life long learner and problem solver are skillsets valued in the workplace.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.—Daniel J. Boorstin

According to Napoleon Hill in his Seminal Book, Think and Grow Rich, he said:

An educated man is not, necessarily, one who has an abundance of general or specialized knowledge. An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire anything he wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others.

Wisdom acquisition is a moral duty. It’s not something you do just to advance in life.

As a corollary to that proposition which is very important, it means that you are hooked for lifetime learning.

And without lifetime learning, you people are not going to do very well. You are not going to get very far in life based on what you already know. You’re going to advance in life by what you learn after you leave here.

Charlie Munger
delivered the 2007 Commencement Address to the graduating students at the University of Southern California Law School on May 13, 2007.

Charles Thomas Munger (born January 1, 1924) is an American investor, businessman, former real estate attorney, architectural designer, and philanthropist. He is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Warren Buffett.

Iron Prescription: “I’m not entitled to have an opinion on this subject unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people do who are supporting it.”

Charlie Munger 2007 USC Law School Commencement Address Transcript:

Well, no doubt many of you are wondering why the speaker is so old. Well, the answer is obviously he hasn’t died yet.

Who Am I?

 I am your constant companion.
 I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.

 I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
 I am completely at your command.

Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me and
I will do them – quickly and correctly.

 I am easily managed – you must be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons,
I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of great people, and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.

Tech isn’t morally good or bad until it’s wielded by the corporations that fashion it for mass consumption. Apps and platforms can be designed to promote rich social connections; or, like cigarettes, they can be designed to addict. Today, unfortunately, many tech developments do promote addiction.

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Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter is a very great book about how most of the technology products we use daily are irresistible and invariably addictive. From Social Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to Addictive Games such as World of Warcraft to Flappy Bird. I found the book paradigm-shifting, just the way I felt after reading Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport.

In Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, tracks the rise of behavioral addiction, and explains why so many of today’s products are irresistible. Though these miraculous products melt the miles that separate people across the globe, their extraordinary and sometimes damaging magnetism is no accident. The companies that design these products tweak them over time until they become almost impossible to resist.

We obsess over our emails, Instagram likes, and Facebook feeds; we binge on TV episodes and YouTube videos; we work longer hours each year; and we spend an average of three hours each day using our smartphones. Half of us would rather suffer a broken bone than a broken phone, and Millennial kids spend so much time in front of screens that they struggle to interact with real, live humans.

By reverse-engineering behavioral addiction, Alter explains how we can harness addictive products for the good—to improve how we communicate with each other, spend and save our money, and set boundaries between work and play—and how we can mitigate their most damaging effects on our well-being, and the health and happiness of our children.

Addictions bring the promise of immediate reward, or positive reinforcement. In contrast, obsessions and compulsions are intensely unpleasant to not pursue.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading irresistable by Adam Alter: