As a young Banker, almost 10 years ago, it was my first foray into the corporate world, and little did I know that I was encountering the first specimen of what would turn out to be a special corporate … Continue reading →
For some time now my family and I have been resettling back in our native home, Nairobi. For those who have lived in Nairobi know how fast life is in this town and how addictive the place can be once … Continue reading →
Submitted by Kevin Gikonyo, Former Banker,financial market consultant and a contributor to Nairobi business Monthly. Harry Markowitz a renowned scholar corralled a theory in 1952, otherwise known as the Management Portfolio Theory (MPT). His empirical literature emphasized on diversification of … Continue reading →
By Kevin Gikonyo, Former Banker,financial market consultant and a contributor to Nairobi business Monthly. Dr John Pombe Magufuli popularly known as “The Bulldozer” in his country, is living up to his nickname barely a year into his presidency. He was … Continue reading →
A famous saying goes thus: “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go further, go with others.” Another one says that, “He who travels alone goes fast, but he who travels with others goes further.” I would like to remind you again that if you really want to go beyond the limits in your life, you only need three things: people, people and more people.
The struggle between the book smarts and the street smart
In my past experience as a credit officer I had many chances of interacting with all sorts of business persons and I can tell you for free that most successful and influential business persons are not book smart but street smart. The stories of success are most humbling yet they upheld a vision and sought the opportunities in smart way. In a book written by Robert Kiyosaki titled, Why A Students Work for C Students and B Students Work for the Government. Simply explains that because C students are known to be street smart and charming. They are very good with people and very good with numbers. They can easily influence and are convincing because they have what I call ‘likability.’ They are likable and like people too; they know how to treat people, respect them and make them feel valued. They are less egocentric and more people empowering. They understand the universal truth that the greatest desire of every human being is to feel important, and whenever they interact with others, they apply this law. They make others feel superior to them and in the process, find their way around them, cross all barriers, go beyond limits and reach the summit of their potential.
Examples the late, great Steve Jobs dropped out of school before graduating. Thomas Jefferson dropped out after only a few months of formal education. John D. Rockefeller dropped out of high school two months before his graduation and decided to go off and start a little company called Standard Oil. Walt Disney, Richard Branson, Elton John, James Cameron, Frank Lloyd Wright all dropped out of school to pursue their passions. These are just a few names on a very long list of brilliant or ambitious individuals who gave lackluster performances in the classroom but crushed it in real life!
We know now that there are many different types of intelligence and grades only measure a select few, and poorly at that. A GPA does not measure a person’s emotional intelligence, it does not measure their leadership ability, it does not necessarily measure their ability to think outside of the box and solve problems. It does nothing to evaluate a person’s ability to predict the needs of society or consumers. It does nothing to illuminate the ability of an individual to work with others and find middle ground in standoffs or conflicts. All of these things are vitally important to an individual’s success in life and almost none of them are measured by grades. Grades, GPAs and standardized test scores largely measure one’s ability to answer questions and regurgitate information and not much else.
Think about this. Throughout history, legendary leaders have had great people skills. Your people skills will take you to places where your brain and papers cannot. A book by Robert Shemin titled, How Come that Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not? Well most ‘idiots’ outsmart most educated fellows for the simple reason that for their advancement, the ‘idiots’ solely rely on their gut and power of leverage. What is leverage? It is simply using other people’s goodwill, other people’s intelligence, other people’s resources, other people’s influence, other people’s ideas and other people’s contacts
ESTABLISH YOUR BOUNDARIES “Train your colleagues to know that you won’t engage in drama,” Walk away from gossipy or negative conversations. Ask for facts and ignore rumors. Some people thrive on drama—it fills a need for attention or for feeling … Continue reading →
Networking by definition is Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit. This did not mean anything to me until I landed in a new country and my only network was my husband whom I had to rely … Continue reading →