Category: Soft Skills


Dealing Dilemma During Crisis

Have you worked for or followed leaders who succeeded in the midst of crises? What differentiates those leaders who happened to remain victims of a crisis and those who led during chaotic circumstances well? What kind of leaders are successful during times full of dilemmas? What kind of leaders tend to fail when faced with distressful times where they must deal with lots of dilemmas at once?

Crisis breeds chaos. Things become unpredictable. The style, preference, and process that have been allowing you to lead successfully, they suddenly become inadequate. Your assets become liabilities. The ‘map’ you have been using to guide you ends up obsolete and unable to assist you to navigate safely during times of distress.

What you learned while in schools and the experiences you have accumulated thus far aren’t relevant any longer. You’re thrown off your game. Your programs, schedules, and routines are busted. You feel like you are starting from scratch. You become vulnerable and in a disadvantageous position. That is what you experience during a crisis.

A crisis moment is also full of contradictions. Your boundaries are no more there or unable to protect you. Uncertainty and doubt increase. With limited and sometimes inaccurate data you are expected to make decisions, sometimes tough ones. You no longer have the luxury of taking ample time to think, reflect, and run your ideas by your inner circle. The latter may not be there as they are dealing with their own crisis or clueless about what you are dealing with.

Those leaders who took the time to grow and stretch themselves are well prepared to deal with the dilemmas a crisis presents. They have been waiting for such a chaotic moment ahead of the curve. Those who haven’t are in big trouble.

Pilots who rescued their passengers, crews, and themselves from deadly crashes were those who did their homework. It wasn’t by chance they made a ‘miraculous’ maneuver. They had been there and familiar with the chaotic situation they found themselves well beyond it actually happened. They weren’t blindsided. They had already faced the incident (something similar to it) and responded to it successfully in their heads.

Smart leaders intentionally grow during peace, prosperous, and stable times to outgrow times of distress. They deliberately immunize themselves. They pass through so many simulations anticipating challenges before they surface.

The same with successful boxers. They had been training well and anticipating the deadly blows that might come from their opponents. As a result, they responded and even leveraged the moments that were intended to knock them down for their own advantages. They actually hit back with counter-attacks that led them to victories again and again. I like what Mike Tyson said, Everybody has a plan until they get hit.”

Leaders who never prepared for crisis moments, those who failed to grow during normal times on how to deal with unexpected hits from a crisis think that they are okay until they are hit by a crisis. When that happens, they don’t know what to do. They drop the ball and become ineffective leaders. They are unable to help their people come out on the other side safely and victoriously.

On the other hand, leaders who succeed during a crisis are those who can lead in the midst of contradictions very well. Leaders who are willing to bust their own boundaries. Leaders who could come out of their comfort zone quickly. Leaders who challenge their own style, preference, system, and those who have the willingness to change their approaches, reform their institutions, and continue to adapt to the unpredictable situations they face during times of distress.

Dogmatic leaders cannot lead during crisis successfully. They aren’t willing to disrupt their normal styles, routines, and approaches. They are either too rigid and unwilling to make changes or too slow to do so on time when it matters the most.

In Episode 12, I shared some of the dilemmas leaders may face. I also suggested how to deal with dilemmas during times of crisis. Below are the most common ones:

  1. Empathy vs. Toughness. There are leaders who have empathy. They put themselves in the place of others. They tend to make every decision solely based on how it affects their people. Likewise, there are leaders who base their decisions based on hardcore data and facts. They don’t hesitate to make tough decisions regardless of how these may affect their people. Depending on their industries, both could be successful. The question is: Are they willing to face the dilemma and entertain making decisions by stepping outside of their comfort zone during times of distress. For instance, leaders who incline to be empathetic all the time, are they willing to make some tough decisions during a crisis to protect the majority and the greater good even if some of their decisions may affect some. Leaders, who solely depend on data to dictate their decisions, are they willing to put the life and well being of their people first whenever necessary regardless of what the data and bottom-line says?
  2. Optimistic vs. Realistic.
  3. Programmed vs Casual.
  4. Strategic vs. Tactical

To learn more about the other three dilemmas, click below and watch Episode 12:

If you haven’t yet, make sure to subscribe to this channel so that you won’t miss future episodes. Like, leave your comments, and share it with those who may benefit from the show.

If you prefer to listen to the podcast version, here you go:

If you haven’t yet, connect with me on social media. Go to and on the top left side, you will find the social media icons. I post multiple times a day inspirational and informative messages. Engage with me on social media and let the learning continues until we see each other again with another episode.

By the way, I also released an online course ‘Overcoming First-Timer Syndrome’ for Team Leads, Project Managers, Supervisors, and Business Owners. The course has 11 modules. Each module has 30 – 45 minutes of video teaching and a worksheet that summarizes the main discussion points, learning objectives plus lots of assignments. There are also some downloadable samples and templates. To learn more about the course, check out this page:

Overcoming First Timer Syndrome- Know Your Place

Have you heard people saying ‘Know your place’? People use it negatively. When people think you are where you don’t belong or deserve, they tell you to know your place. When it comes to a first-timer leadership position, the skepticism could come from your own self or others.

Consciously or unconsciously, you may think that you don’t belong or deserve this new position. You doubt yourself at many levels. If In case you think you know your place and you earn it, you may face skepticism from others such as your team members and other stakeholders. Those who competed for that the new position may think that you don’t deserve it. They may assume that they were the right fit for the place. Your team members, especially if you were peers and now you are promoted to lead them, some of your team members may not accept you right away, consciously or unconsciously.

The best way to shut down your inner critics and other skeptics is to actually ‘Know Your Place’ very well. Knowledge takes away any mystery. It sets you free, and in turn, increases your confidence. The question is what kind of knowledge you do need right away to know and then own the place from the get going.

The most important knowledge you need to have include:

  1. Yourself
  2. The organization
  3. Your boss
  4. The Team
  5. Key stakeholders
  1. You

The most important first knowledge is about you. Philosophers had been emphasizing the importance of conquering self than trying to conquer the rest of the world. They realized that the most subtle and dangerous foe that stands in the way the most and stop you from succeeding than what is in the outside. There is a powerful African’s saying, “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.” Ask these questions:

  • From where did I come from?
  • Who am I?
  • Why am I here?
  • What should I be doing now?
  • Where am I heading?

The answers to these questions increase your awareness and your ability to manage and control yourself. Leadership begins with self. The more you lead yourself successfully, the more you could succeed leading others. On the other hand, if you cannot manage yourself, your emotions, time, and resources, chances are high that you may not able to lead others and their resources effectively. The more you know about yourself and get answers to the above questions, the more you develop confidence, and as a result, feel and look in charge of your new leadership place.

In Episode 7, I talked about the importance of Knowing Your Place by knowing more and in-depth about yourself, the organization, your boss, your team members, and other key stakeholders. I’m not talking about superficial acquaintances. You need to go deeper than you did when you prepared for the interview. This journey positions you to overcome the first-timer syndrome. Watch the episode and let me know if you may have any questions. If you may have any topic you want me to cover or questions you would like me to answer in the upcoming episodes, let me know.

If you’re also interested to go deeper with me, make sure to sign up for the 7-days challenge I’m planning to issue soon. During those 7-days, I will send you video clips and other helpful resources to overcome the first-timer syndrome you may already experience now or in the future. In order to get these resources for free, sign up for the email list by going to

Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel if you haven’t yet so that you won’t miss future episodes. Like, leave your comments, and share it with those who may benefit from the show.

If you prefer to listen to the podcast version, here you go:

Overcoming the First Timer Syndrome

In the past episodes, I focused on the principles mandatory to transform our status from underdogs into greats. No underdog can experience any meaningful transformation without dealing with your underlining principles, beliefs, and philosophies. They dictate how you think, talk, behave and act.

Many people try to experience some kind of radical transformation by just making some changes superficially. That is what people do with their New Year’s resolution. They come up with some alterations in their routines. They make some changes in the way they look, dress, behave, and so on. They don’t have time to deal with the underlining ideologies. That is why many New Year Resolutions don’t deliver sustainable changes. If you want to go high go deeper. You cannot go deeper without tackling your underlining deep beliefs, ideologies, philosophies, and principles. That is why I made sure to produce my first couple of episodes on principles.

Let me take a risk with a chance I may offend you. We can divide people who died in poverty and insignificant into three: a) The first are those billions who were not exposed to the right principles. I sympathize with these souls. B) The second are those who didn’t want to face their ignorance. They have certain principles that didn’t take them anywhere. They heard from others handed down to them traditionally from one generation to another. They thought they knew enough but they were taught wrong. C) The third group thought they know enough. They were prideful. They didn’t want to challenge their status quo principles. They acted like they knew it all. They closed their mind and heart refusing to challenge the existing principles they adopted and then to learn new ones. The last two groups preferred to die poor and insignificant than face their ignorance or pride.

I’m sure you’re not in these groups. Otherwise, you won’t be reading this. However, if in case you stumbled on this blog but you didn’t commit yourself to grow your self, you need to make rethink. If you are a person who surrounds yourself with people who cheer you up and never stretch and challenge you, you are in danger. You need people who stretch and challenge and guide you. Of course, I don’t need to be the one doing this for you but you must find your teachers, and mentors if your desire is to experience transformation from underdog to great.

In this episode, I emphasized the importance of always challenging our beliefs, philosophies, and principles to make sure that they are up to date and working in our favor since they dictate how we think, talk, behave and act. To learn more about the most important principles underdogs need to understand and practice to transform themselves into greats, check out the previous 5 episodes.

In Episode 6, I deal with the first-timer syndrome. I talked about why the transition to a new first timer leadership role is tough and why that happens. In the upcoming few episodes, I will give more insights, tools, and approaches that will empower you to succeed in your current or future first-timer leadership position as a team lead, project manager, supervisor or business owner.

You could be a new first timer team lead, project manager, supervisor, or business owner. You may not be at all. You could be an aspirant first-timer. Regardless, these episodes will empower you to go ahead of the curve so that you could shorten your transition and lessen the impact of the first-timer syndrome. You may not be as such fresh in your current first-timer position. You would be able to know what you’re doing right and what you need to improve.

Remember, we all pass through transitions. All transitions are challenging. Remember also that all first-timers regardless of how many times they were first-timers in the past will experience first-timer syndromes. For instance, if someone has been a supervisor and just promoted to a manager position or if a manager just got promoted to an executive position or an executive just promoted to become a CEO. They would definitely experience the syndrome. The difference is that they know how to get over this syndrome quickly. Actually, they learned from experience that they prepared themselves well ahead of the curve to prepare themselves. Thus, don’t feel bad if you are experiencing these first-timers syndrome.

Let’s address this. What makes a transition into a new leadership role hard?

  1. Lots of things changed. New goals, expectations, even new people, and so on.
  2. What helped you to succeed in your previous roles may not help you at all
  3. The things that empowered you to excel may sabotage you in your new leadership roles

What are some of the symptoms you may feel when you are infected with this syndrome? Here are some of the things you may experience when you are placed in a new leadership position:

  • Misplaced,
  • Anxiety,
  • Frustration,
  • And more.

If you like what you have read so far, I encourage you to watch Episode 6- Overcoming First Timer Syndrome.

Stay tuned for the upcoming episodes. The next episode empowers you to know and own your first-timer place. It is key to increase your confidence during the transition. Don’t forget to subscribe so that you will be notified when a new episode is uploaded. Like, comment, and also share this show with those who may benefit from it.

I’m planning to have a 7 days challenge to empower you to succeed in your first-timer leadership position. Make sure to go to to sign up for the email list to get follow up materials such as free video clips, worksheets, and so on.

Do me a favor until the next episode: Send me your questions. What kind of issues you would like me to cover that may help you to overcome the first-timer syndrome?

If you prefer to listen to the podcast version, here you go:

The Top 3 Success Principles

There are countless success laws. Out of these myriad success principles, I found out that there are 3 top foundational success principles. I discovered these when I was young in the early ’90s and practiced them in my own life and harvested some results. I also came to realize that those underdogs I studied in my latest 2 books, who transformed their lives into greats, applied these success secrets.

In this blog, I’ll share with you these 3 top success principles and how they reinforce one another to deliver extraordinary results:

  1. Seeing your unlimited potential and how far you can go in life
  2. Talking right to bring forth what you have seen and hoped to achieve during your lifetime
  3. Acting on what you saw and spoke about

Let me quickly explain to you these principles:

1. Seeing your unlimited potential and how far you can go in life. Success and greatness begins with ‘seeing’. You cannot believe what you couldn’t ‘see’ with your inner eye. Unfortunately, many depend on their bare eyes. Since what they see with their naked eyes doesn’t look, feel, and sound like great, they don’t believe that they have greatness within. As a result, they cannot fathom the unlimited potential they carry within, and therefore, they don’t speak and act that match their limitless potential. Use your insight to envision your limitless potential before you manifest them. See your potential right now because what you see determines how you handle yourself. Don’t allow others who cannot see your potential define who you are and how far you can go. Your future is glorious and will surprise and stun you if you open your eyes and ‘see’ your limitless potential. I can tell you that I’ve not become anything I didn’t see and believed years earlier. None of the major events in my life happened before I seeing them years, sometimes months earlier. I’m sure, what I’m seeing now will come to pass if I continue to talk about and take action.

2. Talking right to bring forth what you have seen and hoped to achieve during your lifetime. After seeing your potential and how far you can go, the next important step is to believe in what you saw. Let me give you a litmus test whether you saw and believed in your potential and how far you can go: You cannot help it but speak what you saw. Your faith on your potential and abilities can’t be seen. However, your words can be heard, and your actions can be seen. Talking right is not just for merely saying it or to brag about it. It is a principle for which you yourself, others, the universe, and God to respond. Once you talk about a thing, you are committed both consciously and unconsciously. Even if you forget about what you talk consciously, your subconscious won’t forget it. Your talk not only inspires you to take a risk and act boldly, but it also influences people who listen to you. You get your partners and supporters who share your vision if and only if they hear talk about it. The universe and God respond to your positive confessions.

3. Acting on what you saw and spoke about. This principle seals everything. Yes, you saw your potential no one could see. You believed that you could become whatever you want to be. You were so obsessed and confident that you began speaking first with the people very close to you. Others might think that you are cocky, overconfident, arrogant, or even prideful. It doesn’t matter. Who are these people? Sometimes we value people on face value. Yes, we need to respect people and serve them. However, when it comes to giving your ears and heart, ask who deserve it? What is their credential? Have the accomplished something? Do they have authenticity in the area they are talking about? Otherwise, you are listening to a bunch of theorists who don’t have any clue about what they are talking. Why would you listen to the people who didn’t see what you saw? Why would you kill your vision in the hands of skeptics? Why would you deny your potential and destiny a fair chance by listening to people who aren’t going anywhere and without any hope? Ignore these and begin acting boldly. Somehow, I got lucky at the early stage of my life to take actions. I acted like a kid. I didn’t overthink things or run in my head worrying what would happen if I fail. I kept the discipline to go out and take action once I take my time to strategize and plan.

Going forward, I will produce episodes that empower underdogs who either promoted themselves (by opening their own practice or business) or promoted for the first time into a new leadership position. Many organizations arrange workshops and assign coaches and mentors for such first-timers. If your organization doesn’t sponsor you or you cannot sponsor yourself to go to such empowering programs, hire a coach or mentor, which could allow you to start your new position with the right footing.

If you like what you have read so far, I encourage you to watch Episode 5- The 3 Top Success Principles. In this episode, I pointed out how what we see dictates what we believe, talk, and finally act. Using my own story from more than 2 decades ago as I was preparing and contesting to become the president of the largest university students’ union, I shared how I applied these principles without even knowing it, and got elected when I was a third-year student. If you don’t know me this episode enables you to know a piece of my past history. You would find this story funny but at the same time powerful for a college student.

If you haven’t yet, subscribe to this channel, its podcast, share it with the people that you care about, continue to engage with me on social media as I further share daily inspirational posts on this the same theme. Go to to follow me on social media. Stay tuned for the next episode.

If you prefer to listen to the podcast version, here you go:

Becoming a Person of Deeds

Have you been asking yourself why people- some even aren’t smarter than you, achieving more than you do? Have you been wondering why you aren’t getting what you believe and speak about? Have you been sick and tired of the inconsistencies between what you talk about and what manifests? In this Episode- Becoming a Person of Deeds, you’ll be introduced to the power of actions in translating your dreams into realities.

At the early stage of my leadership, I learned one seemingly simple but powerful lesson. If you ask me what helped me to get where I’m in life pursuing my passion; if you ask me how come a guy like me with so many disadvantages came to the US and started from scratched to get where I’m now traveling around the country empowering leaders, it doesn’t take me to think a lot. It was my decision to act on whatever I learned right away. Yes, even now, I still need to learn more, to go to the next level. However, with what I know so far, I have been taking actions, sometimes, with little knowledge.

When I started it all, I didn’t have the clarity I shared in this episode. I was desperate to change my life. I was living in one of the poorest villages in Ethiopia without many options to improve my life. I didn’t have the vast information and opportunities I’ve now in the US. Out of desperation and eagerness to transform my life, I didn’t wait. I didn’t care whether people would laugh at me or not. I cared less about whether I looked foolish.

Now, I can tell you boldly that you cannot succeed in life, especially if you are an underdog with so many disadvantages unless you become a person of deeds. You must despise the shame that comes from taking actions. You must be willing to look stupid in the face of setbacks when some of your actions fail to deliver the results you originally anticipated. If your desire in this world, as you live in it only once, is to lead a fulfilling life, career, and business, you must dare and willing to experience failure, again and again.

Don’t forget. Only a person of action fails. Those who are too careful, yes, they may not fail because they don’t act, but they go nowhere. They are prisoners of their own fear. They paralyze themselves imagining the worst from their actions, and as a result, they leash their soul depriving themselves of a chance to succeed in what they do. They never live fully, serve the world with their uniqueness, and ultimately die empty leaving a legacy that outlast them. Don’t take this road. Choose to become a person of deeds.

Before I proceed; let me create a connection between the previous episodes and this one. The past episodes encouraged you to:

  • Believe in your unlimited potential,
  • Recognize the uniqueness that predisposes you to excel, and
  • Appreciate the power of talking right even in the midst of facing setbacks and while things look bad.

In this episode, you will learn the importance of backing your beliefs and talk with proportionate actions. There must be a match between your beliefs, words, and deeds. Many people aren’t getting what they desperately want mainly because there is a disconnection somewhere in the process. When you get this principle, and most importantly, use it, you will never remain the same.

Think about the Farmer and Seeds analogy I shared with you in one of the previous episodes. The Farmer believes in his seeds and their potential. He keeps speaking about when he will sow them and the results he would harvest once they turn into seedlings, plants, flowers, and then harvest at the end of that season. However, it is useless if he just had a strong belief and the right talking about the seeds. Until he puts them into the soil, nothing will happen. He must take one action after another until he gets what he wants.

What so ever great potential the seeds might have, what so ever positive confessions he would make about turning the seeds into harvest, nothing comes out of those seeds and his empty talks until he takes action.

The same with you and I. Yes, we are underdogs. Regardless, we believe that we have unlimited potential. We also began talking right (we covered this in the last episode). So far, so good! However, the equation isn’t yet complete without becoming a person of deeds. You and I will remain underdogs without backing our beliefs and talks with bold deeds.

Once I heard someone sharing a true but funny story. A new convert fanatic religious man was so reckless that he missed the sowing season deliberately. He waited till the last minutes, only weeks left before the harvest season. That was only then he went out borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars to sow his seed in his vast farm. He thought his belief alone can violate the universal truth of sowing and reaping, and risked it all to find out that the seeds couldn’t even break through the soil, let alone to flourish and deliver results. It was awesome he had great faith and for sure he was speaking what he believed but he didn’t take the proper action when it mattered the most. As a result, he lost his farm for creditors 🙂

Okay, this guy is fanatic and went to the extreme. Were there times we too neglected to match our actions with our beliefs and talk when it mattered the most? How many times have we missed the boat? Looking back, how many times we hesitated to act and now we regret badly?

Looking back, I’ve many ‘regrets’ because I hesitated and failed to act. Of course, I cannot change what happened. I failed. I was complacent. Nonetheless, today, what matters the most for me is to become a person of deeds and take as many actions as possible. I don’t want to be known for my beliefs and talks alone. I want to back it up by becoming a person of deeds. What about you?

If your desire is to tap into your limitless potential and bridge the gap between what you believe and talk, and witness the ultimate manifestations you desperately need, become a person of deeds. And, this episode inspires, equips, and encourages you to go out and start this rewarding journey one action at a time…

Speaking your future and what you desire is one thing but totally useless without backing it up with actions, sometimes, bold and massive actions. And, you have what it takes. You just need to develop the right mindset and habit…

Unfortunately, many, some because of faulty teachings, ignore or neglect deeds. For instance, I was a student of the Law of Attraction. I watched the Secret movie and joined the movement practicing talking right to attract the right things. I got some results right away but slowly, as many discovered it, I realized that I couldn’t get everything I desire by just wishing. I recognized that I couldn’t attract everything I wish without backing it up with proportionate deeds like the new convert fanatic religious man I mentioned earlier. It also occurred to me that I couldn’t actually violate some universal laws to get what I desire just because I have the belief to attract. For example, I cannot drop the sun out of the sky just because I believe it happens. I cannot also see the coming picture of my dreams without taking proper actions and on time. Taking action isn’t solely about the activity, it is also about the timing. Some truths, insights, and opportunities expire unless we enact them in a timely manner.

Action is proof that you actually have faith in your words…

In Episode 4, I showed a connection between belief, words, and actions. Using some practical analogies, examples, and stories, I made sure you are well equipped to become a person of deeds. Remember, you cannot turn yourself from an underdog to great without action. Not just any action, sometimes bold and massive actions. By the way, in my book- ‘Unchain Your Greatness’, I talked about the 4Es of greatness- Explore, Enact, Endure, and Emancipate your greatness to the fullest. In Part II of the book- Enact on the truths you discovered, I narrated some stories of the great ones from diverse cultures and generations you and I admire, and how they were enacted based on their discoveries quickly and boldly. Let me stop it here.

If you like what you have read so far, I encourage you to watch Episode 4- Becoming a Person of Deeds. In this episode, I pointed out how what we believe and say must be backed with deeds. I used two analogies- car driving and ship maneuvering to explain the significance of taking action. In this episode, I also used some examples and weaved my own experience.

If you haven’t yet, subscribe to this channel, its podcast, share it with the people that you care about, continue to engage with me on social media as I further share daily inspirational posts on this the same theme. Go to to follow me on social media. Stay tuned for the next episode.

If you prefer to listen to the podcast version, here you go:

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