January 2018 - Archieve

Under the hood articles from the past.

Propelling Leadership Principles amidst Crisis

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Leadership development is a very personal endeavor. The better you become, the better your leadership becomes.

It is a misconception of leadership that if you engage in the best practices of a great leader, you will become that leader. Applying the idea that if I do this or if I have this quality I will become a great leader like my chosen mentor, can derail your leadership development.

That said, there are principles you can discover that if adhered to will propel you in the right direction. Harvard professor Nancy Koehn illuminates some of these principles for us in Forged in Crisis as seen through the lives of five exemplary leaders: polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, President Abraham Lincoln, legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Nazi-resisting clergyman Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and environmental crusader Rachel Carson. These principles set the stage for leadership effectiveness, but the decision to step into leadership is yours alone.

Koehn borrows from David Foster Wallace and defines an effective leader as one “who can help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better, harder things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.”

Coach Tom Landry said it this way: “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.” Henry Kissinger said, “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been." It’s intentional influence. But the ability to do that doesn’t come to us naturally. We have to work at it. But that’s good news. We can all get there. Leaders are not born, they are forged.

Each of the leaders Koehn has chosen faced an uncertain outcome in the midst of a crisis. Shackleton was marooned on an Antarctic ice floe trying to bring his men home alive; Lincoln was on the verge of seeing the Union collapse even as he tried to save it; escaped slave Douglass faced possible capture while wanting to free black Americans held in slavery; Bonhoeffer was agonizing over how to counter absolute evil with faith while imprisoned by the Gestapo; Carson raced against the cancer ravaging her to finish her book Silent Spring, in a bid to save the planet.

The crisis that can break one person can give birth to leadership in another. It’s a conscious choice to lead. Koehn brings out key lessons common to these people as they struggled with their thoughts in what were do or die situations. Here are some of the lessons that we should all take to heart:

They Were Made, Not Born

These leaders “were made into effective leaders as they walked their respective paths, tried to understand what was happening around them, and encountered failure and disappointment.”

They Were Ambitious but…

“The drive to make their respective marks was important in shaping them. It took each of them some of the way. But then, interestingly, ambition ceased to motivate and influence them as it once had. As they discovered a larger purpose and embraced it, each found his or her impetus, strength, and validation in the mission itself.” And importantly, Koehn adds, that “their leadership was partly shaped by a willingness to subordinate personal drive in a broader end, one inexorably linked with service to others.”

They Did the Inner Work of Leadership

They all worked on themselves, looking for opportunities to grow. “They did not do this as a single endeavor, but rather as a lifelong project in which they each kept working on themselves, learning specific lessons, developing more resilience, and using these resources to lead more effectively.”

(“Lincoln would have been flummoxed by talk of authentic leadership when he told a few constituents in 1862 that he did not have the luxury of publically expressing his disappointment about Union army defeats.”)

They Understood the Importance of Solitude

These leaders learned to detach themselves from the situation in order to see things from different perspectives. They “learned how to step back from a specific instant, assess the larger landscape, take the measure of their own emotions, and only then make a decision about what, if anything, they wanted to do.” Reflection and solitude helped them stay focused on the big picture.

They Learned to Manage Their Emotions

In dark moments, what Bonhoeffer called a “boundary situation,” they determined to manage their emotions. It was not willful blindness or forced optimism. They knew what they were up against. “Because they did, they used their emotional awareness and discipline to concentrate directly, almost exclusively, on how to move forward, how to take the next step, however small.” These people realized that “the emotional penetrability they experienced and that caused them so much suffering was also a door into new insights about themselves and new ways of being in the world.”

They Learned to Respond Rather Than to React

“At times, doing nothing at all was the best action each of these leaders could take. Time and time again as president, [Lincoln] refused to be goaded by the force of his own emotions or of those around him into taking precipitate action that might compromise his larger mission. Even when he was at his most frustrated, he managed somehow to acknowledge his feelings without acting on them in a way that was destructive to larger matters.”

They Were Resilient

Though these leaders didn’t always see a way through in the heat of the moment, “they vowed to find a way through the obstacles they confronted. They came out the other side of calamity without falling through the floorboards of doubt, without giving up on their mission and themselves.”

All five leaders were well chosen because of their humanity. They were not born leaders. They became leaders through successes, but mostly through failures and mistakes. Leaders can come from anywhere. As we look around the world today, if we are looking for larger-than-life heroes, we misunderstand what leadership is.

Although these leaders appear to be larger than life to us now, as you read their stories you see that they are you and me. They are ordinary people in turbulent and trying circumstances. They were often overwhelmed and depressed, but they kept moving on. What distinguishes these people from many of the leaders we see today is their approach to the experiences of their lives. Throughout their lives, they purposefully extracted the lessons they needed to grow. It was thoughtful and intentional. If you go through life any other way, you are just collecting experiences to no end. Experiences alone ensure nothing. We must reflect on them to gain insights and learn from them.

All of the lessons these leaders learned are relevant to any leader in any situation. There are no hacks to effective leadership, and you won’t find them here. You will find well-told accounts of these leader’s lives that will inspire and inform your own leadership.                                                                            -(Credit: LeadershipNow)

Graduate Vacancy at RusselSmith Group

RusselSmith Group, is an ISO 9001:2008 certified asset integrity management services company incorporated to serve the needs of the global oil and gas exploration and production industry, using rope access technology as our principal medium of access.

A career at RusselSmith offers you growth and a chance to make a difference. Throughout our history, we have continued to help our employees realize their dreams, whilst creating opportunities for them to fulfill their personal and professional potential.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Finance Intern
Job Reference Code: RS-FIN-005
Location: Nigeria
Job Type: Intern
Summary of Functions

Keep track of the money going into and coming out of an organization. This includes monitoring the accounts payable and the accounts received, as well as tracking and cataloging the progress of invoices.
Receives daily project progress reports for preparation and processing client invoices.

Assists in monitoring loans and accounts payable and receivable to ensure that payments are up to date
Assists in monitoring company’s finances, setting financial priorities and creating budgetary goals.
Responsible detecting and, where possible, correcting any financial irregularities. Codes data for input to financial systems according to company’s procedures.
Calculating financial ratios and valuation.
Financial analysis of company and projects; determining profitability of company and projects.

Foreign Exchange Management
Safety & Security the individual actively promotes and personally observes safety and security procedures, and uses equipment and materials properly.
Quality Control the individual demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness and monitors own work to ensure quality.
Process Compliance – Ensures departmental procedures are update and complied with.

Document Control – Reviewing and keeping records of financial reports.
Departmental Reports- Generate the required weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually and annually reports and presentations.
Working Capital Management
Bank relationships Management
Assists in matters related to funding and money management.
Assists in the preparation for Audit – works with the account unit and prepares pertinent information for external accounting firm and auditors in strict adherence to the company’s procedures.
Assist in the review and monitor preparation for internal audit in liaison with line supervisor
Prints, verifies, maintains and analyzes accounts receivables reports and aging reports; expected date of revenue; actual date; days overdue.
Prepare background worksheets and input information on Financial Planning exercises based on policy decisions made by the management team and within agreed deadlines.
Reports and Documentations- Assists in developing and reviewing financial reports and documentations, whether internal or external. This will include tax forms, financial disclosures, and memos or letters informing relevant parties of the company’s financial state
Provide comprehensive, effective and efficient administrative support to all departments.
Performs other duties as requested or assigned

Educational Qualifications
A university degree in Accounting or Banking & Finance preferred.
Fresh Graduate
Experience Required:

0-2 years
Skills/Qualifications Required:

One year experience inclusive of NYSC
Planning & Project Management Skills
Strong Analytical & Problem-Solving Skills
Business Writing Skills
Communication Skills – Articulation, Enunciation & Elocution
Communication Skills – Written
Statutory Laws & Regulations Familiarity
Team Orientation & Spirit
Microsoft Excel Proficiency
Microsoft PowerPoint Proficiency
Microsoft Word Proficiency
Positive attitude and approach towards assignments and successfully operate under guidelines.
Exercise good judgment in safeguarding confidential or sensitive information and adhere to high standards of confidentiality and honesty.
Customer Centric Orientation
Detail-Orientation – Meticulous, Punctilious & Conscientious
Diplomacy, Discretion & Business Ethics
Flexibility & Creativity Skills
Interpersonal & Relational Skills
Excellent Leadership & Supervisory Skills
Excellent Numerical & Data Literacy Skills
Planning & Project Management Skills
Presentation Skills – Charisma, Poise, Aura & Comportment
Physical Demands:

Ability to communicate orally with vendors, management, and other co-workers, both individually and in front of a group is important. Regular use of the telephone and e-mail for communication is essential.
No heavy lifting is expected. Exertion of up to 10 lbs. of force occasionally may be required. Good manual dexterity for the use of common office equipment such as computer terminals, calculator, copiers, and FAX machines.
Good reasoning ability is important. Able to understand and utilize accounting reports and legal documents to conduct business.
Sitting for extended periods is common. Hearing, vision and speaking within normal ranges is essential for normal conversations, to receive ordinary information and to prepare or inspect documents.

The job is performed indoors in a traditional office setting. Activities include extended periods of sitting and extensive work at a computer monitor and/or calculator.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

5 Benefits in Training Kids As Entrepreneur

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If you’re an entrepreneur and have young children, it’s very easy to feel as if you’re involved in a constant war between giving enough time and energy to your business and spending sufficient time with your family. There doesn’t have to be so much friction between work and personal life, though. In fact, your children can benefit tremendously if you get them involved in your business pursuits.

The value of raising a little entrepreneur.

Think for a moment how much you would have benefited from being exposed to entrepreneurship at a younger age. If you actually were exposed to it, think about how much it has shaped your life. There can be tremendous value in being involved in entrepreneurial activities during your formative years, so you’d be doing your children a favor to bring them in. Here are a few potential benefits they could garner from the experience.

1. A better work ethic

It should come as no surprise that young children develop a better work ethic when they’re surrounded by entrepreneurship. This happens in two ways. First, they experience business operations first hand. Whether they’re filing papers and stuffing envelopes or cutting grass and pressure-washing driveways, you quickly understand the value of hard work if you’re thrown into the middle of it. 
Second, and perhaps more important, children develop a positive work ethic when they’re exposed to yours. There’s something powerful about seeing a parent -- the most influential person in your life -- treat hard work as a normal state of affairs, and that’s seriously lacking in today’s culture.
2. Stronger appreciation for money
One of the biggest benefits of teaching your children about entrepreneurship is that you’re able to give them a stronger respect for money. Some children might believe you if you told them money grows on trees, but kids who are exposed to business operations know better.
“What helped me most is that I was always making my own money somehow, pretty much since I was 10,” says Fiona Kirkpatrick Parsons, a marketing professional who benefited from being exposed to entrepreneurship from a young age. “The message I received as a kid was, if you want something, you have to get busy and figure out how to do it for yourself. I never expected my parents to provide more than the basics, really. Learning self-reliance, trusting in your creativity and developing courage is a great gift.”

3. Creative thinking

Starting and expanding a business isn’t easy. Problems inevitably arise, and it’s up to you to fix them, and keep the firm moving in the right direction. Instead of hiding challenges and even setbacks from your kids, you should expose them directly to what’s happening. Not only will their unique input help, but you’ll show them what it looks like to think creatively.

4. Improved people skills

Certain kids are outgoing and gregarious, but most young children tend to fall toward the shy end of the spectrum when faced with interacting with adults or people with whom they aren’t familiar.
The beauty of working in a small business is that you’re forced to interact with unfamiliar individuals on a daily basis. This will significantly foster a child’s people skills and, in most cases, turn him or her into a better salesperson down the road.

5. Better goal setting

The value of setting and achieving goals isn’t something that easily registers with many children. Kids are notorious for starting something and then moving on without finishing it. Somewhere between the excitement of embarking on an adventure and the pleasure of arriving at the finished product, the average child gets bored and loses his or her sense of purpose. Fortunately, research shows that regular conversation and interaction between parents and children actually helps to shape a child’s “academic socialization.”
As a result, they’re better able to draw connections between their current behaviors and future goals. So if you spend extra time with your children in an entrepreneurial setting, where goals are clear and courses of action are constantly being developed and pursued in order to reach those goals, you can accelerate the rate of academic socialization and give your child a head start.

Get your kids involved.

The challenge many entrepreneurs encounter is finding age-appropriate ways to involve their children. Very young children obviously can’t be handed many complex and constructive tasks, but they can benefit from just being near you and feeling as if they’re involved.
As they get older, you can give them more responsibility and even begin to prepare them to enter the business -- if that’s something you and they desire. You don’t need some master plan, though. The best education you can provide your children simply entails exposing them to the duties you handle on a daily basis. This will provide them with life skills their peers won’t encounter for years to come.
Teach them about entrepreneurship, and they’ll make you proud                        -(Credit: Entrepreneur)

HOW GOOD COULD YOU BE: The Potential Principle

Potential Principle

YOU KNOW HOW GOOD you are, but do you know how good you could be? 

This is a case where it’s easy to think that good is good enough and get comfortable. Most of us live below our potential. As a result, we miss out on opportunities and therefore live below our true potential and hinder our ability to contribute to others. 

The Potential Principle by Mark Sanborn is about how we can become better – even better than our best selves. It’s not about perfect. It’s about better. 

So you might ask, “Better at what?” Sanborn presents a program to get you on the road to better. First, you need to figure out just what you want to improve. 

What Do You Want to Improve? 

Your journey toward better can be organized into four areas: Performing, Learning, Reflecting, and Thinking. 

Improvement happens by not only things you initiate like interactive, collaborative activities but also by responding to what you hear, observe, learn as represented by the vertical line. Improvement also takes place in both our inner (things going on inside us) and our outer (things going with others) worlds as represented by the horizontal line. It’s about the inner world of being versus the outer world of performing. 

Potential Matrix 


The top right quadrant is the most familiar to us. “It’s where most of us consciously spend each day doing things: the observable world of initiating, acting, and producing.” It’s what people expect of us when we show up – results. It takes deliberate practice. Performance improvement is not a straight line. There are plateaus. Also, keep in mind the FIT model: Frequency, Intensity, and Technique. How often you practice, the intensity you bring to it and the techniques you use, make all the difference. 


Learning involves the acquisition of new ideas that we put into practice. If we approach life humbly, we will be enriched by what we do not know. Intentional curiosity keeps us growing. “Develop a learning agenda.” Identify what you must or need to learn and then make the time and find the resources to do it. 


Reflecting is the inner world of responding. This is an underappreciated value in our instant, tech driven world. It’s about waiting and listening. “Epiphanies—that is, clarity and deeper understanding about yourself and how to improve your life—happen through introspection.” It’s easy to think that we have no time for this and focus on the outer world of doing, but, says Sanborn, “the inner world informs the outer world, and that for the majority of us, going within to understand motivations, hopes fears, and dreams offers some of the greatest leverage to improving every area of our lives.” 


Think about thinking. “Thinking is about proactively contemplating the world around you. It’s the source of vision, dreams, plans, and strategies. It uses external input and creates connections and directions.” Make the time to think about what you need to learn and unlearn. Focus your thinking and write it down. “Some of the biggest payoffs from thinking will occur when you review notes of previous thinking sessions and add to or modify what you came up with.” 

Sanborn explains each of these areas in more detail to help you develop the right mindset. Improvement in these four areas are key to improving consistently. 

To be sure, each of us is more comfortable on one or two of these areas. If you are not spending enough time in an area, that will signal an area where you could improve. “Each area complements the others. If you are headed toward better, you’ll want to use each of the four areas identified. Doing so will help you reach your destination sooner and, perhaps more important, enrich the trip.” 

Four Tools for Breakthrough Improvement 

These four tools will help you “prevent complacency, create improvement, and bust through barriers” on your improvement journey.

  1. Disrupt Yourself (before someone else does)
    “Unwillingness to confront assumptions, challenge your thinking, and try new things is a roadblock to improvement.” It’s proactive rather than reactive. Ask disruptive questions like: “What is the most important lesson I’ve learned this past year? What am I doing out of habit that doesn’t serve me well?
  2. (re)Focus
    “Distraction impedes getting better.”
  3. Engage Others
    “Self-responsibility is the primary step toward a successful life. But engaging others and building mutually beneficial relationships will leverage everything you do.” Solicit advice, ideas, and counsel.
  4. Expand Your Capacity
    There’s room for more. Time x Effort = Capacity. “What one or two skills, if fully developed and consistently deployed, would make the biggest difference in your personal and professional improvement?”

The ideas you will find in The Potential Principle are not all new, but they are organized in such a way as to make them actionable. Sanborn has done a great job of laying the foundation and providing a blueprint for continuous improvement. All you need to do now is to put it into practice. 

It seems like common sense: Become the best, and then hit cruise control. Right? Nope. When you reach the top, it’s time to hit the accelerator because you’re just getting started.

-(Credit: LeadershipNow)

Graduate Trainee Needed At Ornamental AgroAllied Enterprises

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Ornamental AgroAllied Enterprises is a full service agriculture firm offering professional farm management, Dairy Operation, livestock operations management, agricultural consulting. We have a practical understanding across the whole range of farming disciplines.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Graduate Trainee

Location: Lagos


  • Ability to think indicatively, pay attention to detail and seek continuous improvement.
  • Excellent numerical and analytical skills.
  • High level of integrity and transparency.
  • Dedication of time and knowledge.
  • Effective time management skills.
  • Promptness and dependability.
  • Ability to prioritize multiple tasks.
  • Must be ready to be part of a team and work with a team to meet tight schedules.
  • Must be able to handle tough fast environment. Participate in training sessions to understand the objective of the project.
  • Minimum Second Class Lower Degree OR HND in any discipline
  • Be analytical minded and be a fast learner.
  • Be confident and possess leadership skills.
  • Intelligent dont confuse with academic.
  • Must be hardworking, diligent and trustworthy.
  • Must be ready to be part of a team and work with a team to meet tight schedules.
  • Must be able to handle tough fast environment.
  • Participate in training sessions to understand the objective of the project.
  • Must be resident in Lagos State.
Application Closing Date
15th February, 2018.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should send their Applications to: careers@ornamental.com.ng

2 Graduate Jobs At Nest Oil Limited

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Nestoil Limited is the leading Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) service provider in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry. 

Applications are invites from fresh graduates for the position below:

Title: Graduate Trainee Program (Engineering)



  • The Graduate Trainee Program is a distinctive platform for recruiting fresh talents into the talent pool of the Obijackson’s workforce.
We are therefore looking to recruit graduates with first degree in Engineering across different fields and other professions such as:
  • Civil Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • System Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Production Engineering
  • Marine Engineering
  • Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
  • Candidates should be young talents who graduated not more than 3 years ago with a minimum of second class lower(2.2).

Title: Graduate Trainee Program (Non-Engineering)


The Graduate Trainee Program is a distinctive platform for recruiting fresh talents into the talent pool of the company workforce. 

We are therefore looking to recruit graduates with first degree in Other disciplines, which include:
  • Human Resources,
  • Finance,
  • Marketing and Communications,
  • Risk Management - HSE,
  • QAQC,
  • Control & Audit,
  • Information Communications and Technology,
  • Supply Chain
  • etc (other non-engineering courses).
  • Candidates should be young talents who graduated not more than 3 years ago with a minimum of second class lower(2.2)
Application Closing Date
5pm; 6th February, 2018.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV's to: recruit@nestoilgroup.com Subject of the email must be "Graduate Trainee Program - Other Disciplines"

5 Reliable Ways to Start and Grow your Modelling Career

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Modeling is one aspect of fashion and lifestyle that I love so much. Some people are born models while some are made. Becoming a successful model requires a lot of hard work and more importantly discipline because it takes discipline to see food or chocolate or cake or pizza and not eat them all. There are different kinds of modeling; there are pageantry, runway, commercials, etc. The area you decide to tread will depend on your physique, passion and opportunity. This week, I will be sharing with you just five out of many tips on how to start and grow your modeling dreams.

- Decision
The first thing you need in order to pursue your dreams of becoming a super model and be recognized worldwide is decision. You must decide that this is what you want to do with your life. The journey to the top is not an easy one and success in this regard will not come easily. You are going to be tempted, scammed and played (if you are not careful). But in the midst of this, your decision is what will keep you going. So the big question is: Have you made up your mind to do this?

- You need an identity
There's difference between having an identity and building a brand. Building a sustainable modeling brand can take months or even years but building an identity doesn't take long. Building an identity involves an easily remembered and pronounced name, choosing the right kind of modeling that suits you, and selling yourself to your clients. In building an identity alot of things are required which includes; knowledge about the industry, a sincere approval from at least 20 people that you truly look like a model etc. Circumstances and life can also help to put you in the right kind of modeling that suits your person and you just have to flow with it when it does. So many people are busy wasting their time searching for pageantries that they may likely not win. If pageantry doesn't work out for you, please try another. You need to build an identity and stick to it except an undeniable opportunity arises in other aspects.

- Get a guide
A guide is simply someone who has more knowledge, insight and connection that can help take your modeling dreams forward. You don't necessarily need to be the one seeking for casting calls, a guide should help you with that. A guide can be a modeling agency, an agent, a coach or a manager. For instance, I do the scouting for the models under my management. This doesn't mean that they should walk away from other opportunities when they arise, but with a guide, they are sure to get at least one high paying gig per month. A guide can also be a modeling magazine, website that you can visit to get tips on how to grow and profit from your modeling dreams.

- Leverage to sell yourself

After you've successfully built a satisfactory identity the next step is to sell yourself. In selling, you have to leverage on everything you have. You must leverage on the power of the social media, as well as people in your circle of influence. Tell your friends to post about you at least once in a week. If you have ten friends who agree to do this, before you know it, you will be covering tons of magazines and pocketing some cool cash. In selling yourself you must overcome fear and self doubts and go out. Tell people about you and what you do. Any product not marketed may not be bought.

- Start a Campaign
Another way to grow your modeling career is to start a campaign on a project you have strong passion for. It could be a campaign on the girl child education, or taking kids off the street, or a campaign for a cleaner environment or a campaign against child abuse or rape. Choosing a sustainable campaign could be based on your personal experiences. If people don't accept your modeling career, they can't refuse a genuine campaign. A campaign is an easy way to give back to the society (like they call it), it can also help you to network with respected individuals and organizations in the society and can also help you to raise funds.

- Keep Your Dignity In place

Succeed You Must!

Credit: Johnspeak Uwangue
Motivational Speaker, Talent Manager and Coach.