Start With Why

My current read is Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. I appreciate the fact that I am reading the book now that we are just hours away from entering into a new decade. Funnily enough, I was supposed to have finished reading this book back in 2014 but I just cannot figure out what happened along the way up until now when the decade is at its edge. I guess it is because I entered the autopilot mode and found it hard to push myself into finding time to flip through the pages. Anyway, the vital thing is that finally, I have landed my hands on the book and so far, I have accomplished significant milestones towards ensuring that I finish the book and most importantly apply the lessons learned.

images (4)

Image Credits: Hamilton Lindley Organization

There are aspirations, motivations, dreams that often “disturb” us in our youth. At this stage, majority of the individuals are still finding ways to achieve stability. There is also the desire for security. One of the ways though which individuals find security is through the establishment of routines. The most likely reason for developing a routine is to guarantee safety in times of uncertainty. The likely result of a routine is the establishment of an autopilot program within our systems and before we know it, we find ourselves asking questions such as, “How did I even get here?” “Why is all this happening now?” The question then becomes how do we avoid entering the downward spiral? Perhaps, the starting point of solving this question is to approach situations with the “why” in mind.

images (6)

Image Credits: Kawi Snippets

Starting with “why” inspires a call to action within us. It paints a clear picture of the end that we desire out of our actions. It also helps maintain focus as one pursues the desired end. In the book, the author gives a case in point where a select team of American automobile makers visited an assembly line in Japan for benchmarking. Everything that both the American and Japanese automakers did during the assembly process was the same except that the Japanese had a difference in the final step of fitting the doors into the automobiles. The Americans had a line worker taking a rubber mallet and tap the edges of the door to ensure that it fit perfectly but to the Japanese, this procedure was absent. Puzzled by this finding, the American automakers asked the Japanese how sure they were that the doors would fit. The reply of the Japanese was that they ensured the doors fits when they design them.

From the above case example, it is evident that the Japanese engineered the outcome they wanted right from the beginning. Perhaps, we could also use this approach to design how we approach the various situations in our lives. For a start, we could use it in how we approach our days. We could also apply it in goal setting. In essence, the desire for order calls for clarity and one of the ways of being clear in our approach to tasks is by starting with why in mind.

There are other two anchoring parts that help in ensuring the “why” is clear. These parts are the “how” and the “what”. Together, the “why,” the “how,” and the “what” form The Golden Circle –  a critical model to approaching and handling tasks. Even though the author explains the application of The Golden Circle in corporate entities and organizations, there is still room for it to be applied in our daily lives. Essentially, The Golden Circle predicts and finds order in human behavior. It is a crucial tool in helping people understand why they do what they do. A demystification of The Golden Circle highlights how much more can be achieved if we bring ourselves to the point where we start everything we do by first asking why. The “why” aspect of the circle gives us a purpose, a cause, and a belief that then drives us into commitment towards a particular course of action. The “how” aspect outlines the approach we use to accomplish the task before us. The “what” aspect outlines the various actions we use to attain the tasks at hand.

images (3)

Image Credits: Disruptive Advertising

As we go into the new decade, we ought to approach our days and whatever tasks that lie ahead of us with why. “Why should I choose this instead of that?” “Why should I take on that project?” “Why should I study this course and not that one?” and the list goes on and on. Perhaps, the outcomes of our decisions would be more clear owing to the fact that we designed them by first asking why. Our autopilot mode would also be positive when we approach our days using The Golden Circle. Eventually, we shall install predictable steps into attaining our goals if we follow the tenets of The Golden Circle. Start each task with why and at the end of it all you will be better placed to achieve the desired outcome.

Happy New Year and Happy New Decade in advance!

images (5)

Image Credits: 123 Wishes Messages



Wow! It’s been a while! First things first, Happy New Year and Happy New Month!

Away from the niceties and into the central theme of this article. So, today I would like to handle a critical matter, that is, execution. I felt the urge to begin my writing this year with an important subject that really separates leaders from followers, the successful from the unsuccessful, the rich from the poor, and the wise from fools. In one way or the other, execution is one of the most significant elements to success in any field. Time and again, we have heard that “procrastination is the thief of time.” Also, we know that procrastination is the silent killer of man’s deepest dreams yet we still find ourselves pushing forward a significant activity. How many times have we backed out of important but not urgent matters? In any case, what often makes us fail to spring into action may be fear, paralysis by analysis, or the discouragement concerning the effort that we need to put into attaining the success. At other times, it may be the lack of enthusiasm or drive to just get it done.


Image Credits: Board of Wisdom

On a lighter note, I read someone’s post on social media where he had written that the year often begins in March; January and February serve as a period of reminiscing the past year and also as a grace period for preparing to enter into the new year. Funny weird, isn’t it? It is easy to conclude that such comments come from a lack of enthusiasm and motivation to seize the day. In effect, inaction breeds immobility and yet time and tide wait for no man! We ought to be in action, but this does not mean that we just move around aimlessly without a purpose. We need to have a purpose and to attain this purpose, we ought to set goals. To accomplish the goals, we need to execute the steps necessary to achieve them. Ever heard of the quote which says, “Dreams without goals are just dreams…and they fuel disappointments.” We hate disappointments, right?


Image Credits: Quotefacny

The Good Book tells us that, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” [Proverbs 4:7, KJV]. So, in the above scripture, we have two elements – Wisdom and Understanding. The latter is gotten as people gain knowledge. We know that wisdom and knowledge go hand in hand. However, there is an important factor that connects the two. This factor is execution. Even as man searches for knowledge, there is the need for them to appreciate that the wisdom is in the execution! If you cannot put into practice (execute) what you learn, then the knowledge becomes useless.


Image Credits: Highland Park Baptist Church

Imagine you are an archer and you have really prepared well for a particular global tournament. When you win the competition, you get to walk home with a fortune. So, the tournament is held in an arena as large as the Wembley Stadium and is being broadcasted worldwide. It is your turn to march on to the field and take your shots. The only challenge is that there is no target! What! After all the preparations you walk into a competition, and there is no target? Well, that’s madness, isn’t it? Well, that’s how a large portion of the world is today! Shocked? Yes, we have many people with all the knowledge in the world, but they do not know where to apply it! It is said that the greatest tragedy in life is not death but a life without purpose.


Image Credits: InspireCast

Knowing one’s purpose is the first step to living a great life. However, we also have individuals who know their purpose, but they have a rough time living their destiny. They have all the knowledge concerning the direction they should take but are still unsuccessful. In essence, their outward life does not portray who they are on the inside. On the inside, they may be having all the knowledge concerning their specialization, but on the outside, they are unsuccessful in their profession. Mercy! One of the challenges could be that they are poor in applying the knowledge they possess. Yes, we all desire to be wise. However, in our pursuit for wisdom, we face a lot of hurdles that at times make us play low in the name of sparing ourselves the blushes. However, there is a remedy for all that. The power lies in the execution. Simply put, “gaining knowledge is good, but wisdom is in the execution/application of whatever one has learned.” Also, “Knowledge is power but knowledge without action is useless.”


Image Credits: Brainy Quote

Indeed, wisdom is the principal thing. We could go on and on expounding on the subject, but I choose to leave it at this point. Well, wisdom is knowing your strengths and weaknesses and taking the necessary actions to improve further. So, for a long time, I have been battling with execution. It has been a struggle not only in business but also in life. From time to time, I was wondering why my life was not improving despite all the effort I put in gaining knowledge only to know that I was poor when it came to execution. However, now I have a clear picture of my weakness.
For a start, I have begun reading Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan’s book titled, “Execution – The Discipline of Getting Things Done.” I have not gone past chapter one, and I am already learning a lot. In the book, Bossidy and Charan investigate how great leaders are masters of execution. In essence, they state that most companies struggle to make great strides because they are weak at execution. My reason for reading the book is to help revive my side-hustle which is in the negative zone despite having a great strategy and a grand master plan.


Image Credits: Amazon

Even you today, you can identify areas in your life where you have failed to take appropriate action and begin to move. Remember, wisdom and power lie in the execution. Also, remember that the knowing is in the doing. And when you are overwhelmed, remember to seek assistance. Indeed, there is no shame in asking for help.

Happy Execution folks!


Bonus Thought

We have a lot of self-improvement books, and we also have a lot of motivational speakers. In the present age where technology is transforming the way we live, we also have motivational channels and accounts. So, we are well equipped with the knowledge we need to live a great life. However, the challenge lies in the execution. Yes, the information we get from all the books, channels, accounts, and the people around us would not work unless we apply it, period! Even the reading of the scripture and listening to sermons would not work unless you work it out! At times, the results may take longer to manifest, but one thing is for sure, the right execution techniques will yield the desired results.


Image Credits: Pinterest


By the time I am writing this, I am sure that we are all guilty of playing one dangerous game. That game involves “resting our eyes for a further five minutes” before waking up. This game is successfully orchestrated where we often set our alarms on a five-minute or ten-minute snooze delays depending on our preferred settings. Woe unto you if you are in employment and fail in this game! I do not want to explain how the rest of your day goes. If you are successful in this game, well done to you because you are a winner!


Image Credits: Gizmodo

Okay, let’s move away from the dangerous game and look into other events in our lives. Have you ever been indecisive when faced with certain situations? These situations could involve choosing what to eat in a fancy restaurant, choosing what to wear to special corporate evening dinner, or even seizing the moment to talk to that gorgeous lady that you have been planning to take out on a date. In most instances, indecisiveness makes us settle for less than that which we desire.


Image Credits: 3coze

On another note, indecisiveness makes us ineffective and inefficient. For instance, at your workplace, you may be contemplating on whether you should make a call or send out an e-mail to a particular client. Nonetheless, you could be in a meeting and you feel this burning desire within you to propose a particular point of view but before you know it, the manager has already moved to the next agenda and you are left to “die” with your proposal. Your work could also involve sourcing for new clients, and so you may be on your commute, and you spot a prospective client, but then one thing keeps you from pitching your idea to them. This thing is often indecisiveness that is plagued by the fear of the outcome – rejection.

Besides indecisiveness, there is another type of habit that makes us ineffective and inefficient. This habit is characterized by the feeling of not wanting to do something that you ought to do. Some individuals may call it laziness. For instance, you may walk into your room and find out that there is a quite large pile of laundry that needs to be done or worse still a huge collection of dirty cutlery and utensils. Frequently, you may not feel like cleaning the items especially if there are still clean ones that can be used at the moment.

So what are you to do to overcome the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness that are brought about by indecisiveness and the feeling of not wanting to do what you ought to do? Well, there is a solution. And the answer is simple yet so hard. The solution is this – the 5-second rule. The proponent of this rule is Mel Robbins, a renowned motivational and keynote speaker. In essence, the rule is summarized as follows: “If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds, or your brain will kill it.” This means, if you are meant to take a certain action, you ought to act within 5 seconds or else you won’t take any action. To fight the hesitation that often comes before you take a certain action, Robbins proposes that you should count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action. Easy, you may say. However, the challenge comes because you have to deal with “you,” you who within whom lies all the excuses and the triggers of hesitation! So, you need to push yourself into action the moment you reach the 1-GO stage lest you remain stagnant.


Image Credits: Four Minute Books

What makes the rule effective is that it tricks the brain into doing things that it would normally not do. The reason why 5 seconds is chosen is because there is a 5-second window between when we have an instinct to act and our brain coming up with excuses as to why we should not take action. The reason for counting backwards 5-4-3-2-1 is that the process requires our focus and concentration. Additionally, counting backwards wakes up our prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex switches our mind onto the decision-making process.

Let us get back to the beginning of this post and look at snoozing. For a long time, Robbins was having a difficult time waking up in the morning. It is only when she began applying the 5-second rule that she overcame the challenge. I was also having the same challenge waking up in the morning. It seemed like my bedding had conspired to make me enter the comfort zone and miss out on my morning routine! However, since I began applying the rule, waking up has become so easy. So at this point, I would like to pose a challenge to you that starting tomorrow morning; you will apply the 5-second rule when you encounter difficulty when waking up. I would be glad to hear your feedback.


Waking up without snoozing (Credits: Runtastic)

This rule is effective in overcoming the hesitation and indecisiveness that we face each moment that we are on the brink of taking action. There are situations where the rule operates on the premise: action now regrets later. These situations are those whose outcomes you are unsure of such as pitching to new clients or even talking to a lady that you have been admiring for a long time. In most cases, there are no regrets but joy for having taken action!


Left: Employee after successful deal (credits: Techedge)

Right: A successful date

Robbins opines that if you did things that you did not feel like doing, then you will have everything that you ever wanted. This is the motivating factor that ought to push you into applying the 5-second rule. Or best still, everything that you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear. On the same breath, I would like to state that everything that you have ever wanted is on the other side of indecisiveness. For instance, getting that client to sign up for that policy or even getting to take out that charming lady on a date or even proposing a certain idea during a tense corporate meeting or even talking to strangers. All the desired results lie on the other side of fear and indecisiveness.

So that is it on overcoming the challenge of waking up in the morning, indecisiveness, ineffectiveness and inefficiencies. Remember, 5-4-3-2-1-GO!


5-second rule visual summary (credits: Visual Synopsis).

More info concerning the 5-second rule may be found at:




Wow! Just wow! What a while it has been!

Sincerely, I missed blogging. It has almost been a year since I last composed a blog post (314 days to be precise). Well, I attribute it to a hiatus, a hiatus pegged with many factors: work, travel, reading, business, and worse of it all – writer’s block.


Image Credits: Wine In

On the one hand, I would say it was necessary that I have the long break from what I used to do best. On the other hand, I feel that I have missed out on a lot regarding the advancement of the mckanyanga brand. Essentially, this is the first blog post for 2018! Just imagine what I have missed for the past eight months!

The hiatus has taught me about life’s brevity. There are so many moments I told myself that I was going to finish the next part of Almost doesn’t count. I had even mapped out the story’s outline. However, I just could not come up with the words to fill it up! I was stuck. I suffered the writer’s block. There are other moments that I wrote a paragraph, and before I knew it, I had hit the backspace key to clear it! I could not feel the flow of the words. I could not make sense of what I was writing. Many writers will tell you that they often have to feel the flow and make sense of their work before they publish and share it with their audience.

During the hiatus, I have learned significant lessons about life which I would like to share with you.

It is okay to be tired, but never to give up

“I think that writing/business/ministry/accounting/sport/law [insert any pursuit here] is not my thing…”

Many are the times we have heard people complain that a particular profession, pursuit, or job is not their thing. In most cases, they reach this point after a long period of trying here and there. It is common to hear them say,

“I did everything right, I followed the rules, I put all my effort, I dedicated myself to the course, but things are not working out at all!”

Perhaps, such comments are made when one is tired, and their mind is clouded with negative energy as a result of the toil. During such time, it is necessary to unplug and do whatever you like – taking a walk, cooking your favorite meal, munching your favorite snack, watching your favorite series, or even listening to soothing music. Such activities have the effect of “deceiving” your mind into forgetting the negative and focusing on the good vibes only.


Image Credits: Virgin

Remember that it is never that serious. Being tired is okay. Being tired makes us human. In essence, being tired shows that you are putting in the work and that is good! However, take care not to be chocked up in the negative mood that is brought about by fatigue. In this case, the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing – focusing on your work.

The break is necessary

When one suffers a writer’s block, they cannot achieve much. It is at this point that taking a break becomes handy. The break is necessary because it helps calm down your mind. Research shows that the brain generates fascinating ideas when it is at rest. As a writer, one of the most important assets to have is a creative mind, and that mind is often achieved when one is at rest. It is advisable that one writes up the fascinating ideas that come through their mind during the break. These notes are necessary for coming up with future blog posts.


Image Credits: Meet, Plan, Go

Perhaps, breaks are essential in clearing up your mind and hence enable you to come up with better ideas. Additionally, taking a break is instrumental in shaping up your view of the world. In essence, during the break, you tend to focus on other things besides writing, and these activities influence you to see the world from a different viewpoint. Besides, these other activities may give you the answers or inspiration that is needed to fuel your passion.

So, the next time you feel stuck, remember to unplug from what you are doing and take that break.

Consistency is key

Consistency, or lack thereof, can be the defining factor between failure or success. Let’s say that I decide to do a blog post every fortnight and stick with it; it would somewhat be predictable for you to check into my blog for a new post, wouldn’t it?

Consistency enables you to measure your performance. For instance, in the above case where I choose to blog every fortnight, it would be right to say that I would come up with two blog posts every month and twenty-four in a year. My work would somewhat be predictable, and this would prompt me to come up with the best pieces.


Image Credits: Quotefancy

Besides, consistency breeds accountability. Perhaps, if I know that I should have a blog post two weeks from now, I will start coming up with an outline soon. I would not want to miss the satisfaction that comes with the successful completion of the blog post. This satisfaction and the desire to be consistent in coming up with blog posts would be the catalysts that will enhance my accountability.

Do not chase the result

Your whole focus ought to be on the process. In writing, there is the tendency to focus on the number of likes to your blog post, the target reach, the number of individuals visiting your blog, and the money you make out of writing. It is worth noting that these parameters are not the main goal. I was guilty of focusing on the result, and I was frustrated when I never got the anticipated feedback. Eventually, I forgot the passion, the first love – writing.


Image Credits: Float Universe

What I appreciate is that I have learned my lesson. When you focus on chasing the result, you will rarely get them. Instead, you ought to focus on the “why” of your work. Perhaps, it could be to inspire lives of teenagers out there or to guide first-time parents on how to raise their first child.

Remember, chasing after things and results only produces a tiring life. Essentially, focus on the “why,” and in no time, individuals will recognize it and start giving you what you are seeking – be it likes, readership, or money.

Have fun

During the hiatus, I invested more time into my business. It is less than a year old and is yet to break even. Of course, as a businessman, there are other great businessmen that I look up to for inspiration. One of them is Sir Richard Branson. Branson is known for his mighty exploits in business through his company named Virgin. I happened to study his autobiography titled Losing My Virginity (I am not talking about what you think here), and one of the essential lessons that I have learned is that you got to enjoy the process. Branson prides himself in having fun at work. If you look at the company’s structure, it is evident that he prioritizes the needs of the employees. He understands the importance of having fun in attaining the desired results. Well, I also transferred the same idea into my work plan. I would rather have fun while writing than being grumpy and grinding out an unsatisfactory piece of writing.


Image Credits: AZ Quotes

Well, that’s it. Remember the break is necessary but do not give up yet. Consistency matters. Focus on your passion and have fun while at it.


[Featured Image credits:]

Is this the best career advice ever?

So you are out of high school and you cannot wait to join campus and pursue a course that will land you in your dream career. Or probably you are out of campus and are busy paper chasing as you try to get that dream job. You probably want to make the best out of your career if the opportunity presents itself. You want to really avoid instances of making unnecessary career switches as you have seen some of the people who are older than you doing. All you desire is becoming an expert by sticking to one specific career. You probably prefer being a master rather than a Jack of all trades. So you go in search of some of the best career advice available. First, you identify those individuals who are most successful in your area of study. You even go further and find out some of the pieces of advice they offer concerning what it takes to have a successful career. You just can’t help it but admire their successful career. It also becomes your goal to emulate their achievements as you look towards becoming successful as they have.


Jack of all trades but master of none..

Image Credits:

From the emphasis on hard work to being nice to everyone to keeping it real to never giving up when the going gets tough to embracing failure, you find out that all these career advice from these successful men and women are related in one way or another. Inside you, there is still this burning desire that keeps you on your toes on your mission towards finding out what is the best and most effective career advice that one can get. So the next challenge becomes identifying the unique career advice that will help give you that desired edge. You go out of your way to compiling a list of the available best pieces of career advice ever given. One of the best advice ever given is that you need to find a mentor. Take this interesting case, Warren Buffet hails Benjamin Graham as his mentor and Bill Gates, the richest man on the planet who esteemed the early guidance he received from Dr. Ed Roberts, says that Warren Buffet is his mentor. Interesting, isn’t it? What is more captivating is that Buffet and Gates have consistently featured in the list of the richest people on the planet in the recent years.

Forbes' 2015 Philanthropy Summit Awards Dinner
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 03: Warren Buffett (L) and Bill Gates attend the Forbes’ 2015 Philanthropy Summit Awards Dinner on June 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

So why is finding a mentor so important? A mentor is someone who is older than you that you admire and trust his/her pieces of advice. A mentor is usually experienced in your area of interest having encountered a lot of experiences that have taught him/her great lessons about success and failure. So the moment you encounter failure, your mentor will be of great help by aiding you in getting back to your feet. Remember, a mentor is someone whose hindsight can become your foresight. A mentor acts as a reference, also as a guide. Just the same way as the father leads his son in the journey of life so does a career mentor guide a worker in his/her career path.

Another piece of advice that will help you enjoy your career is that you need to be aware of your personality. We are all wired differently. No two humans are the same. Identifying your personality will help you be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. In addition, you easily become aware of what you are passionate about. You are also able to bring out your unique sets of interests, skills, goals, experiences and even a new way of viewing the world. This is the reason why reputable global firms such as the ‘Big Four’ administer aptitude tests and personality tests so that they can be able to help you know your personality type. The reason why these firms remain successful and reputable is the fact that they hire people with personalities that match those required in their workplace.

It is interesting to note that being aware of your personality type early in life holds the key to your success. Look at the professional sportsmen, they identify their passion for sport early in life and probably enroll in an academy. They develop their talents early in life and before long they are already plying their trade in the first team. The same can be said of people who are successful in their careers. Those who have successful careers are probably those who identified the path they wanted to pursue and set out to discover if it matches with their strengths and abilities. They then went on to fulfill what is required of it. It is never too late to begin finding your passion. The reason why we have a lot of men and women who are secretly unhappy with their careers is because they just pursued it on the basis of other reasons like the huge paycheck, the ‘big name’ and fancy job titles associated with it or even the desire to be seen that they are putting the grades they attained into good use.


Personality types.

Image Credits:

For a recent college graduate, it will be important that you choose to pursue something you love over money. This is according to Brian Tracy’s advice to college graduates. In other words, this means that one needs to be aware of his/her strengths and passion. It is better to do something you love for the rest of your life rather than ending up in a career that you hate. Being aware of your personality and strengths will enable you to take up roles that fully utilize these strengths and at the end of the day, you will be satisfied with your career. If you are still finding it hard to identify your core strengths, there are a good number of online sites that offer free personality tests with the results being delivered to you immediately you are through with the test. In attempting these tests, you will become aware of your strengths and find ways of utilizing them. For your weaknesses, you will find ways of converting them to new strengths. Isn’t that what we all desire?

The bottom line, therefore, is being aware of your strengths and weaknesses then finding a qualified mentor. Personality awareness will help you stay focused on your career roles and will also be important in helping you enjoy what you do. On the other hand, mentors offer great assistance especially when we are faced with a situation which we do not fully understand. They are like a tour guide leading us through a path we are unsure of. So the next time you are confused as to what is the best career advice you can ever get, remember that you will first need to be aware of your strengths and most importantly what you are passionate about before even embarking on a journey towards a successful career.


Time and again, we have always been told that our goals and/or objectives need to be SMART:


In the recent past, firms are being faced with the challenge of ensuring that their activities are in line with a certain code of conduct. In this code of conduct, ethics is always the underlying issue that is of importance. However, from time to time, firms have always gone against their code of conducts to achieve certain goals and objectives. This usually means that ethics is ignored so that the firm easily achieves its objectives. In as much as these set goals and/or objectives are SMART, they ignore the ethical part of the activities that will be undertaken in order to achieve them. Moreover, the set objectives are usually not recorded using methods that may stand the test of time from generation to generation.

During my second last class in campus, our Business Policy and Strategic Planning lecturer introduced us to a new way of composing goals and/or objectives. He told us that firms these days go a long way in ensuring that their objectives are SMARTER:


In November 2015, H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta directed all firms in Kenya seeking to do business with both the National and County governments need to sign a code of ethics. For more details on this directive, click on the link below:

This means that as firms conduct their businesses, they need to resist any form of unethical conduct. This starts by setting goals and/or objectives that are SMARTER. SMARTER goals and/or objectives ensure that the firms are efficient and effective in their operations. This is due to the fact that SMARTER goals and/or objectives are often simple and clear. In addition, they ensure that the employees work smarter and not harder.

not harder.jpg