One of the ironies of the world today is that there are many more phones in use than there are toilets around the world. One example where we've seen this to be true is in Cambodia.
The Leadapreneur team has concluded a 9-month program designed to transform rural commune councillors in Cambodia into Civic Champions who can transform the civic reality of their environment. The objective of this program was to catalyse the installation of toilets in rural villages in Cambodia.
The initial focus was on improving sanitation by increasing the rate of toilet installation, however, the Civic Champion is engaged with all civic issues for example education & health. The key question is, how to transform an ordinary councillor into a Civic Champion?
By finding a way to activate their desire to be a “Civic Champion”. Our approach is to focus on activating the desire within an individual to become a Civic Champion, to make it something that is so desirable that you are willing to work like never before to achieve that status. We believe that if people want something badly enough, they will find a way to make it happen. A fine example of this is the profusion of expensive phones that can be found in ‘poor’ areas that one would never think could afford such a luxury. This is indeed a global phenomenon and one of the ironies of the world today is that there are many more phones in use than there are toilets. If people are to become Civic Champions, if they are to push themselves out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves, then it has to be worth it. How do we do this?
By awakening, engaging and driving them to be excellent. The starting condition for all outcomes is the desire to achieve that outcome. Either you want it or you don’t. Once you are clear that you want to achieve something e.g. become a Civic Champion or just improve health in your community, then you are concerned with finding out how you can do this. Thus, our starting requirement is to awaken people to the question ‘do you want to be a Civic Champion or not?’ followed by ‘how badly do you want it?’ Most people don’t want to be Civic Champions so our task is to find those who will work to be a Civic Champion and avoid those who won’t. This is done by awakening people to the possibility of becoming a civic champion by presenting them with concept. People must then decide if they want to become a Civic Champion or not and this decision is what leads them to become engaged with the program.
At the engaging stage, people are challenged to grow and develop themselves and translate that enhanced capacity to achieve better results. The key point is to ensure that they feel their learning experiences are relevant to enhancing their capability. At this stage, participants are asked to meet standards of performance that require them to step out of their comfort zone and into their stretch zones. This requires them to continuously participate in the program and therefore ensures their continued engagement.
The final stage is driving. The difference between the engaging and driving stages is that in the engaging stage the participant is pushed to excel by the program whereas in the driving stage the participant is pushing themselves and others to excel. In other words, rather than being driven to succeed, they choose to drive themselves forward to be as excellent as possible. Further, their desire to achieve excellent outcomes in their chosen area e.g. sanitation, leads them to engage & drive others to improve the chosen area. Thus, the circle closes itself in that new people have been awakened to improve themselves and their community and the participant can now lead them through the engaging & driving stage.
In the end, we are defined by the challenges we set ourselves. The greater the challenge the greater our opportunity for growth; if we are to become great leaders then we must find the courage within us to go on a great learning journey, one that awakens and engages us to drive ourselves forward and achieve our dreams.
Have you ever thought about what kind of education you really need? The rational idea is that you need “knowledge” to be successful but that’s like thinking you need oxygen to have life. It’s important (true that!) but there’s a lot more to life than just oxygen. And in the same way there is a lot more to education than just learning stuff out of books. To educate yourself and be successful you need to master the following 3 domains:
Character is about who you are, where you are going and how you get there.
1) WHO you are. You need to understand what makes you, "you". This means being aware of your belief systems, value frameworks, culture, history, strengths, weaknesses, etc. It's very important that you are authentic to yourself, be true to who you really are.
2) WHAT your goals are. You are defined by the goals you set yourself. Create goals that challenge you to use your strengths to be your best. It's important to understand that self-awareness and goal creation go together, you cant first know yourself then create goals, you need to do both at the same time.
3) HOW will you realize yourself. You need to create a clear education plan for yourself that allows you to achieve your goals. Do not be naive in simply following the existing education system because the existing system is not designed to make you be at your best. Focus on your goals and search for the right experiences that can develop you in a way that is best for you.
Competence is the ability to do something successfully because you have the right combination of knowledge, attitude and experience. There are 3 fundamental skills that all 21st Century leaders need today:
1) Communication - The ability to communicate effectively with different people from different generations. An educated leader is able to understand different points of views and unlock people’s beliefs system in order to influence them to achieve goals. Communication skills are not for chatting, they are for ensuring that goals are achieved in the right way. Advanced communication skills is what you need. (hint: Leadapreneur’s premium digital course on “Advanced Communication Skills” will be released in 2 weeks! Stay tune by signing up here).
2) Collaboration - The capacity to work with other people effectively. If you can’t work well with others, you’ll make it very hard on yourself to achieve anything.
3) Creativity - Collaboration is the engine of creativity and communication is the fuel. You need creativity to find new and better ways of doing things .To be a creative leader you need to fuel your mind with new and different ideas. You can’t continue to do the same things over and over again – remember what got you here won’t get you there. Creativity is a skill that can be developed, you don't need to be the most creative person on the planet, you just need enough creativity to do the job well.
It is not the smartest people who are truly successful as there are many important factors that come into play. And these are probably the most important ones you should focus on:
1) Social Capital. You are correct: it matters who you know. A lot. It's not just the size of your network that matters, the quality and diversity are also important. It is not enough to know the right people. You need to invest in building the right authentic relationships with the right people. To measure how authentic your relationships, ask yourself these 2 questions: “do I know and trust this person? And, does this person know and trust me?”
2) Economic Capital. Money matters. It always does. The ability to access money to find ways of creating, developing and growing your projects is key.
3) Technology. Accessing the right technology assets will allow you to achieve your goals. You can't build your reams if you can't access the right machines.
Without these we do not believe you can be successful in the 21st Century. Put in the time to develop the character, competencies and capital you need to achieve your goals.