Food For Thought

Image courtesy podpad/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy podpad/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Patience with family is love. Patience with others is respect. Patience with self is confidence and Patience with GOD is faith.

Never Think Hard about the PAST, It brings Tears. Don’t think more about the FUTURE, it brings Fear. Live this Moment with a Smile. It brings Cheer.

Every test in our life makes us bitter or better. Every problem comes to make us or break us. The choice is ours whether we become victims or victors.

Search for a beautiful heart not a beautiful face. Beautiful things are not always good but good things are always beautiful.

Do you know why God created gaps between fingers? So that someone who is special to you comes and fills those gaps by holding your hand forever.  Never forget this advice. Happiness keeps You Sweet. Trials keep You Strong. Sorrows keep You Human. Failures keeps you Humble. Success keeps You Glowing. But Only God keeps You Going.

Reflect on these…

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Decision Making : The Most Sensitive And Far-Reaching Function Of A Manager

courage-compu.jpgAs a student of Business Administration and Management, I had had to do a project on the most sensitive and far-reaching function of a Manager. Then, I had thought that providing good leadership was the most challenging, as every organisation was made up of all sorts of people- permit me to say , the good, the bad and the ugly – which makes leadership very complicated and in some cases, very frustrating.

Much later, the following questions stared me in the face: What could make a very successful business go down the drain like a small road side one-man business? What could make a business that falls within the first five in the world collapse like a pack of cards? What could make the CEO of a company which used to be of a house hold name, suddenly become a reference point for business failure? What could make a world class business with the best of the best world class hands collapse like a business with a Board made up of a bunch of illiterates?

A critical look at the collapse of ENRON, which used to be one of the foremost energy companies in the world and their auditors, revealed one thing – these businesses collapsed because of the wrong decisions taken by some persons. One fact is indisputable – if the right decisions were taken, the damage done to the image of these businesses would not have taken place.

My graduation from school and years of working has further buttressed what I have now discovered – that decision making is actually the most sensitive and far-reaching of all the functions of a manager.

2009 provided me with further evidence of my conviction of how far-reaching decision making can be. This was the year the current Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido ordered an audit of banks in Nigeria. The result was very ‘’interesting.’’ It was because some of the banks that failed the CBN audit were actually banks which I (and I am sure most Nigerians too had) had a l lot of respect for, as well as their CEOs. Today, some of  those banks have either been taken over by government or ‘’swallowed’’ by other banks – all because WRONG DECISIONS, like in the case of Enron and Arthur Andersen, were taken.  by some  managers.

There are so many businesses out there that have suffered or are suffering similar fate. There are some that are have not closed down, but are  going through harsh times or stagnated progress simply because the managers do not know the A-B-C of decision making and have therefore taken wrong decisions in the business.

For a business owner, the worst decision is to employ managers who will continue with the trend of wrong decisions. Managers who take decisions before thinking. Managers who do not know the difference between a plan and a decision. Managers who give priority to self-fulfillment rather than business interests. Managers who lack foresight and cannot decipher the immediate consequences of their decisions, how much more the long term consequences. Managers who take decisions like complete illiterates. Managers who live and work in the past and are guided by the past, in a fast moving world.

Show me a very successful business and I will dig up a catalogue of beautiful decisions they took. Show me a stagnant, troubled or collapsing business and I will dig up many terrible, misguided, not-well-thought-out and destructive decisions that they took.

My last line ? For every business (irrespective of the size) failure is traceable to a decision(s). Equally true, is that every business success is traceable to a decision(s).

Read between the lines.

 

Thanks for your time.

 
 

Impact Of Parental and peer Influence On Career Decisions

You can force a horse to the stream, but you cannot force it to drink water. So goes the popular saying. This is apparently akin to one of the major challenges that teachers face on a daily bases, namely, teaching unwilling students or students who are obviously in the wrong class or career. One of the major causes of these is a student offering a subject or in a career forced upon them by their parents or the effect of peer influence.  

Children should be helped to discover their talents

Children should be helped to discover their talents

Parental and peer influence is a serious problem that has serious and far-reaching consequences. A student who prefers one subject or career and the parents or friends prefer another, is simply reduced to a programmed robot that simply does what is expected of him with disregard for the preferences and feelings of the boy or girl.

Such a student will definitely have problems with concentration, assimilation, dedication and focus in school. It will be a miracle to find such students do well in school. Assignments and classwork will be big burdens for such a student. Such students will always have mood swings and may appear completely withdrawn from school activities. He or she is just like a feather being tossed around by the wind. The student does not have a mind of his or her own. School results and reports will definitely reflect these facts.

At work, competence will definitely play out the history of their education.  Such an individual cannot live up to expectation. This should not come as a surprise. In jobs where the competence of the person is very easy to see like teaching, medicine, law, architecture, accounting, engineering, computer science and the like, the person’ s career may be in a disaster.

This is the powerful and far reaching effect of parental and peer pressure in career decisions.

Many lives have been destroyed in the course of parents trying to make their children be what they (the parents and friends) want them to be, not caring about the preferences of the child. My take on this is very simple. Children should be allowed to make their career choices.  They should be allowed to identify their talents, preferences and areas of interests and explore them. Parents in particular, should only guide and advise their children. They should be interested in the reasons behind a particular choice being made. This is to ensure that the choices made are based on enough facts, not based on peer pressure and misguided assistance from outsiders. The highest parents can do is to try to persuade and not to force.

It is necessary to remind parents that it is the child’s life we are talking about here. So the child should have the final say on subject and career decisions.

Thanks for your time.

Searching For True Love ?

Image courtesy photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I watched an interview granted by two octogenarians who had been married for over 50 years. Yeah…50 years !!!  Holding hands throughout the interview, they looked like today’s lovers whose relationship had just started.

Fifty years is quite a long time. What is s the secret? Their answer included perseverance, tolerance, no materialism, contentment, patience, trust, constant communication, sincererity to one another …. And to sum it all, TRUE LOVE – straight from the heart.

Over time, I have been searching for the real definition of true love. Dictionaries have not really helped.  I have heard two people say I love you to each other. Not too long they were separated. How come the ‘’love’’ could not keep them together. Or could it be said that some type of love does not include endurance and tolerance. Does a guy or lady really want to say ‘I love’ when they actually wanted to say ‘I like you or I admire you?’ It goes to show that so many of us do not actually know the real meaning of love. How do you explain a situation where a couple constantly fight, curse, pack out and park in, cheat on each other, and yet you still hear them say to each other ‘I love you’.

A pastor friend told me of a marriage that lasted for just eight hours. Yes! Eight hours. Eight hours earlier, I believed they had said   ‘I love you’ to each other. Celebrities are the worse hit of this so-called kind of love. Did you observe that after all the glamour and media hype that usually goes with most celebrities’ wedding, it usually does not last? The reason is not hard to deduce – the ‘I love you’ they said to each other were simply different from the one that can keep a couple together till death do them apart.

The result of being unable to draw a thick line between pure love, infatuation, admiration, love-with-a-motive and love-with-a-reason, are not pleasant : heartbreaks, depression, mental issues, polygamy and even bigamy, breakups, divorce, single parentage and sometimes death!!!

I might not be able to give a a generally acceptable definition of love, but one thing I know too well is that love does not come from the mouth /lips ; it comes from the heart. Love is based on nothing. True love should not be traceable to anything. It can be likened to the pure and unconditional love of God, which is shown on all despite tribe, gender, religion or even level of sins committed. If love is based on something, then it will fade away as soon as that thing is no more there. If it is love-with-a-mission, it comes to an end as soon as the mission is either aborted or accomplished. If it is material love, it will fade away as soon as your satisfaction reaches a climax, and there is nothing new anymore.

So, my advice is simple : do not settle for the love that comes from the lips. It will NOT last. When true love comes, even your heart will jump for joy, because true love comes from the heart – pure and real.

And if you believe in God almighty, be prayerful, because God answers prayers. He is the only one who has the ability to search the darkest corners of your partner’s heart, and guide you appropriately. There is so much deception everywhere these days. It takes the amazing grace of God to find the ‘flesh of my flesh, and ”the bones of my bones.” I have been deceived before for four and a half years by a lady who appeared like a saint. She was a ‘smooth operator’. I caught her red handed four times with another guy!!!  I forgave her each time. Yet she professed love. It took dedicated prayers to bring down the ‘’walls of Jericho’’ that she apparently and unknowingly was.

So you see that it takes the amazing grace and mercies of God not to be a victim of  the so-called love that comes from the lips – the type that is very common these days.

It is my prayer that you find true love … if you are searching for one.

Divorce And Separations : The Fate Of Children

Cases of divorce are very common globally today, being the aftermath of a number of factors ranging from infidelity, dwindling finances, lack of contentment, intolerance, unsubmissiveness on the part of the woman, arrogance of the husband, amongst others. In some cases, legally processed divorces are not the case, but a mere walk-out by either the man or the woman.  And in some cases, what you have is what I will call in-house divorce/separation – a situation where the spouses live together, and do not communicate with each other. In all, one thing is obvious – the once happy home is no more!!!

Image courtesy  David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Look at it this way: before things go awry, there was this moment when the man and woman loved each other so much that they gathered people together to come and see them tie the nuptial knots. Meaning : if we reverse the ‘’hands of behavior’’ backwards, it is possible for things to return to normalcy if the spouse(s) involved is WILLING. If this is true, then there should not be divorces except very very serious issues are involved such as that which exposes a spouse’s life to danger, like possible man slaughter. Biblically, except for adultery, divorce is not allowed.

However, this has not been the case in many cases. A young man once told me that he was ending the relationship because his spouse was ‘‘unsubmissive and talks back at him’’. Then I asked him, if there was a time when all was well. He answered in the affirmative. Then I said the solution was not separation but that two of them should trace back their relationship and take corrective actions because there is no perfect relationship anywhere. I want to be quoted on this. Some people see the pre-divorce turbulent period as a dark tunnel which can only be brought to an end only by a divorce. The question is: is it always the case? Does divorce guarantee light at the end of the dark tunnel.

My sojourn in the academia has been very beneficial in many fronts. One of the greatest benefits is my exposure to all kinds of children – yes I mean all kinds of children – the intelligent, average, weak, very weak, children with disabilities, emotionally balanced and those that are emotionally traumatized.

It is very interesting to note that most of the students that I have had to have a chat with for having moral or academic challenges were those whose parents had SEPARATED OR DIVORCED or their marriage was on the verge of collapse.

One of my former students once said: ‘’how can I concentrate when my parents are always fighting.” Another who I noticed was always absent minded in class once told me what I feared: ‘’her parents were divorced and home was no more home sweet home.’’ Another who was always in a bad mood told me that their home was a war zone on a daily basis. The kids of my former neighbor always spent their time in my apartment. The reason is not far-fetched – daddy comes back late, since he was always fighting with the mum; even when he returns late, as he usually does, it is fighting all through the night. A prostitute once said that the abandonment of their once happy home by the dad pushed her into the streets. If you checked the confessions of most of the street kids, armed robbers and other criminals, one fact is common – they are mostly products of broken or troubled homes. Take and examine ten emotionally disturbed and traumatised children. More than five cases will be the aftermath of troubled homes.

No doubt, the absence of that father figure, no matter how poor he may be, in any home tells a lot about what eventually becomes of that child in future. Any man who says he can bring up his kids alone without their motherly love and attention should give his views a second thought. And it is usually time that proves each person right or wrong.

What about the prolonged emotional problems that creep in for both spouses, with each wearing an all-is-well face.  What about families’ and societal perception of the new status of both spouses. It is no hidden fact that some remarriages sometimes end up in friction and disunity with a long list of commonly found unpleasant consequences. If you say divorce cases sometimes end ‘’well’’ it will definitely be that there was no child between them.

So wherein lays the light at the end of the dark tunnel which divorce, separation or in-house separation was meant to bring about. What I see instead is a continuation of the dark tunnel, which in most cases eventually turns into a darker tunnel.

The summary of my submission is this : spouses should ALWAYS give priority to the effects of their actions on their innocent children. They deserve to be happy like every other child, secured and free from trauma, and assured of a blissful tomorrow. The spouses too deserve marital bliss as planned out by God. For this to be so spouses should swallow the humble pie and always remember their MARRIAGE VOWS, and above all be PRAYERFUL.

Wishing you a blissful marriage and an enviable family.

Thanks for your time.

 

Related post :

Dealing with post-divorce-syndrome

 

Tips On Safe Usage Of The Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

ATMAn automated teller machine or automatic teller machine (ATM) , also known as an automated banking machine (ABM), Cashpointcash machine or sometimes a hole in the wall in British English and Hiberno-English, is a computerised telecommunications device that provides the client of a financial institution with access to financial transactions in a public space without the need for a cashier, human clerk or bank teller.

The customer is identified by inserting a plastic ATM card with a magnetic stripe or a plastic smart card with a chip that contains a unique card number and some security information such as an expiration date.

The first ATM was put into use in 1959 in the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Upper Arlington, Ohio.

The ATM machine is a modern day invention that has been globally applauded, accepted and used. However, like every other very good invention, it has not been without its own setbacks.

I have been a victim of this machine a number of times. Same goes for my friends. Hence, I decided to do this post.

Setbacks

The major setbacks are basically of three types:

Fraud. There have been so many reported cases of ATM card’s password forgeries.  Fraudsters have devised a means of getting and using the ATM card users’ password to steal money from their bank accounts. This they do without the cards.  One low-tech way is shoulder surfing (i.e. looking over someone’s shoulder, to get information) your card’s personal identification number (PIN) or password by a criminal. Another way is to steal both the card and the PIN and use it withdraw money from the account.

Seizure of cards. So many ATM machines have ‘swallowed’ the cards of some users due to, in some cases, technical defaults. This usually causes untold hardship for the account owner who has to spend days, weeks and sometimes months waiting for a solution to the fraud.  It can even take a longer time where is an inter bank problem.

Debits without payments. I have fallen a victim of this setback, say thrice. Fortunately for me, I was credited within one hour of the occurrence of the problem. Some people spend months pursuing this error. An account holder in one of the banks said for three months he was yet to get his account credited.

Tips on safe usage

Here are a few tips which I have been sharing with people to reduce the risk involved with the usage of the ATM :-

1.  Insist that no one is within a distance that can make the person see your PIN when typing.

2. Where you suspect that your PIN has been seen, change it immediately, either using the machine you are using or use the nearest machine.

3.  Where the machine seizes your card, report immediately to an officer in the bank who can act fast. Where they are slow on retrieving your card, I will advise you authorize you bank to stop your account until you are convinced that all is well. As soon as you get your card change the PIN immediately.

4. To collect money, follow the following steps:

i. Check the balance first to confirm that your banks’ network is connected to the ATM’s internet service.

ii. Start with a small amount. This reduces the risk of being debited with a huge sum without payment, as a result of either the machine not being able to dispense cash or that there is no enough cash in the machine.

5.  Keep your password very close to your heart. Where you have to inevitably release your PIN to someone, change it immediately after collecting it back.

6.  Do not be careless with your card.

7.  Where a particular machine is notorious for ATM-related problems, avoid it.

8.  From experience, it is advisable to always use the ATMs of the banks where your account is located. Apart from  not paying a fee of N100(as it applies in Nigeria) it reduces the stress you may have to go through if there is any problem; and also it reduces the time you may have to wait to get the problem sorted out.

9. Where the transaction’s processing is slow, it is advisable that you discontinue the usage of the machine, if your card is not seized by the machine. Cases abound of card seizures after a prolonged waiting for the transaction to be processed.

10. If you have forgotten your password, contact your bank. Your card may be seized by the machine after three failed attempts.

It costs nothing to take good advice.

Thanks for your time.

Congratulations To President Obama : Matters Arising

I have never been to the USA, but I love the country to a fault. For me, it is one of the most organized and matured countries on earth. A few other countries also impress me. Good enough, they have always lived up to expectation.

Obama reelectedAnother election has come and gone and as expected the USA lived up to the love and respect I had for them. To the best of my knowledge, the election was very peaceful, devoid of violence, ballot box snatching, assassinations, thuggery, accusations and counter accusations, threat of litigations and all other dirty aspects of politics that dominate the election of other countries. In fact, there was no sign of the incumbency advantage or manipulation by President Obama. He was just a candidate, just like Mr. Romney was.

What mattered to the Americans most was their country and not Mr Romney or President Obama. I use to feel ‘jealous’ when I hear the very common prayer “God bless America. Rather than watch chaos on TV, what I saw was intellectual and matured battle. Issues of national interest were the main subjects of the ”battle” rather that personal witch hunting common in the elections of other climes.

Just like I expected, I just watched a video of Republican, Mitt Romney, conceding defeat in the 2012 presidential election to President Barak Obama, saying ‘I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory….and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.” I knew the American blood was in Mitt Romney and he will definitely do as I expected him to do.

Obama votes figuresI join the whole world to congratulate President Barak Obama and wish him and his cabinet well too. I also praise the Americans for living up to the expectation of those who see them as the best democracy in the world.

For other countries where the game of politics is a very dirty and blood-sucking game, I pray that God will heal your lands. I look forward to a time when politics will be mainly for the purpose of service to humanity and not for self-centered and ungodly motives. I hope a time will come when politics in those countries will be free from violent crimes, acrimony, unnecessary litigations and ill-motived god-fatherism. It is very possible….it takes willingness and a strong resolve from all those concerned.

Once more, CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT OBAMA and God bless  America……and God bless Nigeria !!!!

 

NB : This post was actually written immediately after the 2012 USA elections. I am sure the content is still timely.