THE MOST RESPECTED IS THE MOST RESPECTFUL

Today we feature a recap of last thursday’s Food For Though session on Joy Fm

 

Sometimes it takes a while for the significance of something to hit you. I have known and celebrated Mr Prince Amoabeng for being voted Ghana’s Most Respected CEO three times. But I must confess that the significance of that achievement hit me only this week as I read a book entitled, Living Naked written by Daniel Amuzu. The book talks about the wit and wisdom of Mr Amoabeng and I recommend it to every manager and every boss. But the thing that caught my eye was the possible reason Mr Amoabeng is the most respected CEO in Ghana.

UT Bank has 6 values and each value is given an icon. The values are: Ubuntu, Integrity, Stepping up to the plate, professionalism, Why Not and Respect. The icons for the core values are individuals whose life and achievements personify a particular value. Now for Respect, the staff and management of UT Bank choose its CEO, Amoabeng as the icon. This was not a matter of sucking up to the boss or fan-fool respect. The staff made the unanimous decision based on Mr Amoabeng’s value of respect. Mr Amoabeng takes issue with the statement that respect is earned. He believes that no one has to earn respect. He believes that we owe each other respect because we are human beings created in God’s image. No human being as the option of deciding whether he should respect someone or not. As far as Mr Amoabeng is concerned, you owe it a duty to respect everyone you deal with. Simple.

And he does not just preach respect; he lives it. He believes that he does not need to know you and what you are worth before he respects you. In his office, he attends to people in the order in which they arrived and not in the order of their relative importance or status in society. So that if you are a taxi driver and you went to see Mr Amoabeng with a minister of state and you got there before the minister of state, he will see you first before attending to the minister. He believes that the taxi driver and the minister deserve equal respect.

We know of CEOs who do not permit anyone to ride the lift with them. If they come to the lift, everyone has to get down so they alone can go up or down in it. We know of CEOs who do not permit anyone to take the stairs with them. If you meet them in the stairway, you are supposed to get back or stand aside for them to pass. This is the picture of the typical Ghanaian CEO. He sees himself as superior to his staff and creates a gap between himself and his staff.

But that is not the style of Mr Amoabeng. I once had an appointment with him for 8.30 in the morning. I got there just in time and I was told that he had just arrived. So I went to his office to wait for him. It took him a long time to come. When he finally showed up, he apologized for keeping me waiting and explained what had kept him so long. He said he had to go to every office to hug his staff.

“Hug your staff,” I asked.

“Yes, I hug every one of my staff every morning when I arrive for work. I go from floor to floor doing that. And I get into trouble if I omit anyone.”

In the book, Living Naked, Daniel Amuzu gives several instances of the respect Mr Amoabeng shows everyone. Amuzu writes that Mr Amoabeng takes his respect for others further to respecting their time. As far as Mr Amoabeng is concerned, if you don’t keep to time, you are disrespecting those whose time you are wasting. And since a person’s life is measured in time, when you waste someone’s time, you have robbed them of some of their life and you are guilty of reducing their life and so you are guilty of partial murder. That is just how seriously Mr Amoabeng takes respect.

You know the bible says we reap what we sow; that we receive when we give. Mr Amoabeng gives respect. And he receives respect. And for three times, he has been voted Ghana’s Most Respected CEO.

There are simple principles that have huge returns when we adhere to them. Many of us want to receive so much and yet we give so little. No wonder we never receive what we want. Many of us want to have great relationships. We want to receive love and attention and affection and yet we do not give these. And we complain and are bitter because love and attention are not coming our way. Well, pay attention to the principle. Give and you will receive. Indeed the full principle as taught by Jesus goes like this:

“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)

You cannot withhold goodwill from others and hope to receive goodwill yourself. You cannot disrespect people and not be disrespected yourself. You cannot be critical of others without being criticized. You cannot cheat without being cheated. It all comes back to you. Everything we give, comes back to us.

 

GAMES MEN PLAY: AN INCREDIBLE PLAY WORTH WATCHING.

rovermanproductions:

A critic’s thoughts on GAMES MEN PLAY. Enjoy!

Originally posted on CulArtblog:

A powerfully acted play to be admired for its technical aesthetics and story; a departure from the usual storyline Roverman Production is noted for’.

ImageThere was an advert of a deodorant with the tagline that goes like ‘Some things are for men only’. This tagline was manifested at the National Theatre during the media screening of the latest Roverman Production play Games Men Play

At first glance, the poster may leave you with an idea of what the play may reflect. But that is where you get it wrong. This isn’t one of the ‘usual’ Roverman plays which run high on love, marriage, relationships themes. No. ‘Games Men Play’ leans on a different kind of relationship-one between a football coach, his players, and members of his technical team.

Coach Bediako, a patriotic, focused, stern but affable coach of the Black Stars, bent on seeing his team perform creditably well…

View original 434 more words

FOR MOTHERS

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. – Abraham Lincoln

Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love. – Stevie Wonder

My mother is a walking miracle. – Leonardo DiCaprio

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh

A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother’s love endures through all. ~Washington Irving

I have spent the better part of the week trying to find something to say today to celebrate mothers, whose day fell yesterday. Over the past 10 years or so, I have always celebrated mothers on Mothers’ Day with a message for mothers and I did not want to break the tradition neither did I want to repeat any of the earlier messages I have given on mothers and motherhood.  Then last night, I came upon two stories that set my thoughts working. The stories are very different and teach very different lessons but they are stories about two mothers and they teach different lessons on motherhood.

The first story was the story of Christina Simoes. Christina is 23 and has a son who is 18 months old. Last Wednesday, Christina was watching TV in her third floor apartment with her son when she saw smoke outside the window. She looked outside the window and saw flames. She dashed to the bed and grabbed her son and made for the door but when she got to the door she discovered that the smoke was too thick in the hallway for her to make it out of the building with her son safely. She was trapped. Next, she run with her son still in her arms to the bedroom farthest away from the fire and hoped that she and her son could wait there till help the fire service people came to rescue them. When she got to that bedroom, she realized that the fire was out of control and there was no time to wait for any rescue. The fire will get them before any help arrived. So, what does a mother do?

Christina kissed her son, told him that she loved him and then she jumped with her baby cushioned in her arms. She landed on her feet and broke her back so badly that she could not walk but they were still not out of danger. They had fallen too close to the burning building. So, with her baby still cushioned in her arms, Christina crawled with her elbows to safety.

It was only then that helped arrived and she was rushed to the hospital. The doctors spent 6 hours operating on her back but the damage is so severe that the doctors do not know if she will ever be able to walk again or not. Her son did not suffer any harm.

Rudyard Kipling said, “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” And  William Makepeace Thackeray said, “Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.”

Christina’s example is only one of the uncountable cases where mothers have put their very lives and health on the line for the sake of their children. In little and big ways, mothers make great sacrifices for their children, often without a moment’s hesitation. And sometimes the price they pay is irreversible and yet if they have to do it again, they will do it with hesitation. Christina was asked if it was worth sacrificing her life for her son and she said, “It is so worth it because he’s ok.”

And this is one of the reasons we celebrate mothers. A mother will rather die than let her child come to harm. A mother will rather starve than have a child go hungry. A mother will rather go in tatters than have her children go naked.

As a man, I will never know what it is to be a mother. It is one of the privileges nature has withheld from men. But I know what it is to have a mother and I know that I can never understand full capacity of a mother to sacrifice for her children.

The second story has to do with a woman who was in the news in 2010. Do you remember Elin Nordegren? She is the ex-wife of Tiger Woods. If you remember, she is the woman who chased him with a golf club over his numerous affairs. Well, last Saturday, Elin graduated from Rollins College in Florida at the top of her class with a degree in Psychology and with a 3.96 GPA.

And as is the practice at Rollins College, the top student gets to deliver the commencement speech at the graduation and last Saturday was Elin’s day. I was very eager to hear what she has to say because this is a woman who managed to stay quiet even in the heat of all the controversy surrounding her divorce from Tiger Woods. Now towards the end of her speech, Elin spoke about her mother. She said her mother put her career on hold to raise her children but when the children were grown, she picked up her dreams again and today she is the Governor in Sweden. Elin herself has managed to earn her degree while raising two children as a single parent.

When women become mothers, they often are compelled to put their own dreams and aspirations on hold just to raise the children. Unfortunately, few go back to their dreams even when the children are grown. Many think it is too late for them to go back to their dreams. Others are made to feel guilty for even harboring the hope of picking their dreams or careers up again.

This morning, I am taking a cue from the life Elin’s mother and from Elin’s own life and I am saying to mothers, please don’t let motherhood become the death sentence to your dreams. And please don’t use the children as an excuse to put your life on perpetual hold.

It took Elin 9 years to earn a degree. Nine years because she had to put her education on hold on two occasions to have her children and then she had to hold her education on hold again when she was going through the difficult divorce from Tiger Woods. But, thanks to the example of her own mother, Elin did not give up and she managed to graduate with all the challenges, at the head of her class.

Going back to your dreams after becoming a mother will be hard and it will call for sacrifices from you, your children and your husband but it is worth it because it becomes an inspiration to the children. Besides, a fulfilled mother who is living her dreams is always a better mother.

What I have discovered that a mother who puts her life on perpetual hold at one time or the other becomes a difficult and an embittered mother. Such mothers become difficult for the children to deal with and some children run away from home or put a distance between themselves and their mothers because dealing with her has become too difficult and complex. The children still love their mother but they cannot cope with her whining and nagging.

Thank God that today, there are more opportunities for mothers to return to their dreams. And on the occasion of this mothers’ day, I say to all mothers who have put their lives on hold, please don’t give up on your dreams completely. Keep your dreams alive and keep looking for the opportunity to return to them or pick up new dreams that can equally fulfill you.

A belated happy Mothers’ Day to all mothers.

GO HARD

The 100 meters final race is one of the high points of Olympic games. And we have seen a lot of super-fast human being doing wonders at the finals. A typical example is the fastest man in the world right now; Usain Bolt. He bolted his way into victory and ran 100 metres in less than 10 seconds. Bolt makes running the 100 metres looks easy. As a matter of fact, if you have observed him, it actually looks like he’s just having fun on the tracks, and yet none of the other runners are able to catch up with him. In a documentary on Usain Bolt, his training regimen was shown, and with the kind of work-outs he did to get to that level it was obvious that his workload during training is not child’s play. He works hard when no one is watching, and it is obvious on the tracks that this is someone who is on top of his game.

 

David Beckham was a master free kick taker. He was so good that a phrase was coined out of his free kick taking abilities. The phrase was “Bend it like Beckham”. Give Beckham 10 free kicks and he was likely to score about 8 of them. How did he do this? In an interview, Beckham said that after every training session of the whole team, he kicked about 200 free kicks from different positions on the pitch. And he did that constantly.

 

In a Youtube video of Ronaldinho the skillful soccer genius, he was seen ball juggling and after a while he kicked the ball towards an empty net. The ball hit the cross bar and came straight back at him. He did it again and again. Initially it looked like it was a mistake, because ideally the ball should be going into the net and not hitting the cross bar. But after a while, it was obvious that it was intentional, and he kept hitting the cross bar, every time. It was target practice for him.

 

People are amazed when they watch Roverman shows. At the end of the show, people are amazed at the beauty of what they just saw. Reviews are written on the splendor of the production but the truth is this; What you actually see on stage on production day is the output of hard work, sacrifice, commitment and a determination to go a notch higher than the previous show. Long rehearsal sessions, voice training sessions, research, character observations are but a few of the things that contribute to the final product you see on stage. We rehearse for an average of six weeks for a production that will last for only two hours.

How are we working at become better at what we do? What do we put into preparation? How hard do we push in the shadows so that when our work comes to light, we will be able to achieve a flawless feat? A well prepared person is always a force to reckon with.

Adopt a slogan by the army in doing our work; HARDER ON THE TRAINING GROUND, EASY ON THE BATTLEFIELD.

Be The Difference, go hard!

 

 

THE 8 HABITS OF THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND LOVE

This is a piece taken from a previous edition of Rover Report Monthly. Read and learn.

 

From what is happening in most relationships, it is obvious that although everyone talks of love, very few understand what it is. I want you to test how much you understand love. I am going to give you 8 habits of those who truly understand love and see how many of them fit you.

  1. Those who understand love hold themselves accountable to those they love. Holding yourself accountable to anyone is not easy and yet real freedom comes only when we are accountable to someone. And that is one of the blessings of a love relationship. A love relationship gives you someone to be accountable to and this goes for both men and women. It is therefore unfortunate that many people in a relationship do not see why they should inform their partners of where they are going and explain why they have not come home on time. Such people show by their unwillingness to be accountable that they do not really understand love. Some men just get up and leave home without saying anything to their wives. Now, picture the following. Imagine that when you leave home, someone comes looking for you and asks your wife, “Where is your husband?” How can your wife answer that question? Or what if something happens to you when you leave home. Where do your wife and family begin looking for you? If you cannot tell your loved one where you are going and why, then you are living a double life and you are a danger to yourself.  Those who understand love know that to love is to be accountable because you recognize that someone also has a stake in your life.
  2. They are kind to their love – kind in their words, kind in their actions and kind in their thoughts towards their love. Kindness is missing in a lot of relationships. Many are not kind in their actions or with their words etc. but love is kind. Love does not aim to hurt and when love hurts, it is very eager to make amends and to ease the pain as much as possible.
  3. They are supportive. We yearn for love because we want someone who will be there for us and someone who will be supportive, someone who will affirm us over and over. And when our partners do not support us or affirm us, they undermine the basic reason why we entered into the relationship. Those who understand love understand that a key job description of a lover is to be supportive and affirming. You must be your partner’s biggest fan and cheerleader. Being supportive of your partner can come in many ways. It may mean that when your partner’s schedule at work gets too tight, you take on more of the household chores. It may mean making time to listen to your partner talk of his/her fears and insecurities and giving the necessary assurances. It may mean putting off the TV when your partner is studying for an exam. I hope you get the idea.
  4. They broaden their minds. Those who understand love do not stop growing and learning. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a relationship with someone who refuses to broaden his/her mind. Too many women stop growing and expanding their horizons once they begin having children. Some men stop growing and learning as soon as they begin to earn good money. Those who understand love know that love grows when those in the relationship are also committed to their continual growth in maturity.
  5. They give more than they receive from the relationship. Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than to receive and this applies in love relationships too. If you are receiving more from your relationship than you are giving, then something is wrong and you don’t really understand love. So, take a critical look at your relationship and ask yourself what your contribution is to the relationship.  If you draw a balance sheet for your relationship can you balance the accounts? Find ways of contributing to the health and vitality of your relationship and you will be securing your own fulfillment.
  6. They do not sacrifice who they are. They may suspend their own programmes and plans for a season but they do not give up their dreams completely. Anyone who sacrifices who they are for a relationship eventually makes the relationship pay for the sacrifice. It is sad that many people, especially women, sacrifice who they are just to keep a relationship going. They give up dreams of going back to school. They give up dreams of pursuing a career. They give up dreams of exploring their creative selves. They may even stop being fashionable because their men are not comfortable with it. The issue is, when you give up so much for the relationship, over time, you will become resentful and it will come out in surprising ways and undermine your relationship. So, suspend your dreams in the short term maybe, to make time for the children to grow but as soon as the children are able to take care of themselves or as soon as you find someone to help with the children, reactivate your personal programmes. Now that you are in a relationship, the dreams may need some revision and adjustment but definitely not total abandonment.
  7. Those who understand love don’t take their partners for granted. One of the giant killers of a relationship is the tendency to take your partner for granted. This is where you get to the point where you don’t bother with the needs of your partner and don’t even bother to show appreciation. Love grows when you don’t take your partner for granted. When was the last time you added please to a request you made of your partner? Is it: Please close the door behind you or hey, close the door behind you. The first is respectful and shows that you are not taking your partner for granted. The second is rude and shows that you are taking your partner for granted. Give me money shows that you are taking your partner for granted. Can you please give me some money? This shows some respect. It is better to even say, Darling, do you have some money on you? I need some money. Can you please sort me out? When was the last time you said thank you to your love? Thank you for your love. Thank you for tidying the room. Thank you for the meal. Those who understand love do not take their partners for granted.
  8. Those who understand love don’t fight to win; they fight to save and strengthen the relationship. It is very easy to want to fight to win. The problem with that is that when you win, your partner whom you love loses. And if you really love that person then his/her loss is your loss too. So, victories in fights between lovers are always Pyrrhic victories. Where there is love, you don’t fight to win; you don’t fight to beat the other into submission. Your objective for fighting is to save the relationship and to strengthen it. Now if that is your goal then you will choose your words carefully in your fights. You will be careful with your actions when you are fighting because you have no intention to hurt the person you love but to call attention to what could be a threat to your relationship.

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MAKE ME A WOMAN TONIGHT- ANOTHER CLASSIC BY UNCLE EBO WHYTE

It was not until the stage lights went off that the audience realized two things. One, that they had lost track of time whilst enjoying themselves and two, that it was only a six member cast that held the audience spellbound for this long.

And enjoyed themselves they did!

When Uncle Ebo announced that MAKE ME A WOMAN TONIGHT was his best play yet, it was quite difficult to believe. The patrons had seen the best in the previous play, and they did not think that any play could overtake that one. But they didn’t know what was coming. They didn’t anticipate that level of excitement. They couldn’t fathom that depth of knowledge. They couldn’t imagine that level of laughter. And oh, they didn’t think that the curtain bow could have been so mesmerizing.

 All in all, it was a very fantastic show, and patrons who were interviewed shared their experiences. This has been a worthy opener for 2014, and this is only a warm up session.

Like Uncle Ebo Whyte will say, “that was a great play, but my best play is my next play.”

Can Uncle Ebo and the team from Roverman outdo themselves in next quarter’s production? Be at the National Theatre to find out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sqpUfyHIPw

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WHEN GOOD PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED

This piece was taken from edition 61 of the Rover Report Monthly. Grab a copy of Rover Report from any Shell Shop and enjoy inspiring pieces such as this one.

 

Seth was appointed the CEO of a state owned enterprise that was on the verge of collapse. Everything in the organization had broken down. Its service to the public had become unreliable and erratic. Staff morale was at its lowest ebb as salaries were in three months’ arrears. Many thought that Seth was crazy to accept the appointment but he was convinced of the potential of the company and could not see how with the right leadership he could not turn the organization from a loss making to a profit making firm. He took office and immediately put in place some measures meant to turn the fortunes of the company around.

He discovered a number of serious loopholes: (i) the purchasing system was flawed to the extent that non-existent suppliers could claim multiple payments for the same supply. And the organization was paying 100 times the prices for items on the open market. What was selling for 10 cedis in the market was being invoiced to the organization for 1,000 cedis. Invoices were paid in full without any system to ascertain that the goods have been delivered.

(ii) The organization was providing service without any system for demanding payment from its customers and clients. In most cases there was no record of who owed the company.

Seth, an experienced manager and corporate leader, immediately put in place effective internal controls. The result — stealing stopped; over invoicing stopped; suppliers who had not delivered were either blacklisted or forced to deliver; those who owed the company were put under extreme pressure to pay up and most of them did pay up. The salary arrears were cleared and within 6 months, Seth had turned the company around. Its accounts had moved from deep red to black.

Meanwhile, there were things happening that baffled Seth. He had always kept the board and management in the picture and had involved everyone in the company and yet there were persistent anonymous letters to the government and reports in the media accusing him of running a one man show, of abusing his office, of embezzling funds and all manner of misconduct. Initially, he dismissed these letters and reports as the work of those who were stealing from the company and now had no way of milking the company dry. He was sure that he would be supported by his board of directors and by the generality of the staff who had ample evidence of the huge difference he had made to the fortunes of the company. He was convinced that those who mattered would know that he had saved the company from bankruptcy. So he was not that bothered.

Then one day, the staff went on strike, a strike that was extensively covered by some sections of the media. The staff accused him of killing the company and demanded his immediate resignation or dismissal. The staff addressed a press conference and painted him as the worst manager the company has ever had. The charges in the statement were blatant lies. But the next thing he knew, the board had called an emergency meeting to ask him to resign and when he asked why he should resign, the sector minister ordered his dismissal. Within two days he was out, and publicly disgraced as a corrupt and incompetent CEO.

The corrupt and greedy people in the company had had their way. They had been able to paint a good man black to get him dismissed. Seth was shattered. His reputation was in shambles. He was finished.

Where is God when good people are targeted by evil people for destruction? Where is God when decent people are framed up and put into trouble by those whose selfish and greedy interests are threatened by the uprightness of decent and good people? Why does God permit evil people to get away with destroying good people?

If you have ever tried to make a difference or bring change to a terrible situation then I am sure that you have asked yourself these questions before. A good minister of state who wants to protect the interest of the state against the corruption of greedy people is given a bad name and sent packing and those who did that get away with it to continue raping the nation. The person who stands up against corruption in any setting is framed up and dismissed and those who did that get away with it. Why do these things happen? Where is God when these things are happening?

These are questions the story of Easter provides some answers for. Jesus was a good man who healed the sick, raised the dead and gave hope to multitudes with his teachings. And he exposed the corruption of the religious authorities of his time. But these authorities were able to use their influence to arrest him; put him through a sham trial and get the Roman governor to pass the death sentence on him. And you look at Jesus being beaten and tortured and finally being nailed to the cross and you ask yourself, why do good people suffer and why does God allow these things to happen to good people? Where was God when the corrupt religious leaders were using all kinds of shady means to destroy Jesus?

Well, if you know the Easter story, you will know that God was there and was actually working out his purposes for Jesus and for us all. From my own experience, I have come to the conclusion that whenever God allows evil people to destroy a good man, it means that God has something far better in mind for the good man. A good man cannot be destroyed no matter how far his enemies are allowed to go.

I am reminded of the case of one of Vice Chancellor at one public university in Ghana. He took office and set about turning the fortunes of the university around. In the process he made some enemies who committed themselves to destroying him and removing him from office. Fortunately for them, the professor’s adult son joined a syndicate that was involved with the leaking of exam papers. Note, the VC’s office had nothing to do with exam papers and yet the professor’s enemies quickly latched onto the young man’s misconduct and demanded that he resign. It was a bitter battle but in the end, the professor’s enemies got their way and he was ousted in disgrace.

Those of us who knew the professor were shattered. We asked, why will God allow things like this to happen to good people?

Well, two years after the disgrace, I met the professor’s wife at a public function and I asked her, how is my brother?

The woman smiled and said, “Your brother is very fine.” Then she said, “You know, his dismissal was the best thing that happened to us. It drew him closer to God and made him clean up his private life. And it opened doors for him internationally that we never dreamt about.

It turned out that as soon as the world knew that he had become available, offers began to come in from many good universities around the world. The professor’s disgrace had been God’s way of moving him on. And that is how I believe good people should take some of the things that are thrown at them. Let your enemies have their way but you, continue trusting God and doing the right thing and you will discover that you will have the last laugh.

When good people are being targeted, God laughs because he knows that good people cannot be destroyed. And that is the truth.

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