Part B: Lennard Taylor: Mentor of the Month of June

Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 393 Portage Ave, 2nd Floor. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/
Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 274A-393 Portage Ave. 2nd Floor Portage Place near Skywalk to Hydro building. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/

Last Monday I wrote a preview article introducing Lennard Taylor as the Mentor of the month. I am sure you have been anxiously waiting for the continuation to this exciting new mentor of ours. For a quick recap revisit last Monday’s article but be sure to return because today Lennard lets us into the journey from the grassroots of his career.
During our interview Lennard mentioned that his first love was soccer. From his childhood all he wanted to do was play soccer. Being the go-getter that he is, a judgement that I prescribed upon him, Lennard went to Scotland to pursue his soccer career and to travel. Unfortunately he injured his knee which abruptly ended his soccer career. Upon hitting a wall unexpectedly Lennard had to re-strategize. He was forced to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan. Staring out the window of his apartment in a flat in Scotland, he wondered what he should do next. Continue reading “Part B: Lennard Taylor: Mentor of the Month of June”

Stimulate Your Passion for the Job

To be more successful we need to recognize that it is our own responsibility to find fulfillment in our careers.
To be more successful we need to recognize that it is our own responsibility to find fulfillment in our careers.
I strongly believe that emotions towards what we do for a living are a great motivator for success or failure. Many successful individuals repeatedly point out the importance of passion. As much as the purpose of the job is to provide a source of income, we spend an awful amount of time working each day. While some of us may be business owners and others employees at a variety of organizations, it is important that we recognize that to be more successful, we need to make it our responsibility to find fulfillment in our careers.  Continue reading "Stimulate Your Passion for the Job"

Mentor of the Month [February]:Seeds of Leadership

Yves Vandal is the Director of Communications and Client Services at Manitoba Student Aid. Over the past several years, Yves has been a leader in multiple industries which he mentions in our interview below. Let us welcome him to Memoirs of a Kenyan, as he shares with us some tips to becoming successful inspiring leaders. 

I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.
I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.

You have managed people for a good length of your professional life.  What have you found to best motivate people to excel in their careers?
I’ve found that the best motivating factors include a chance at an opportunity to expand on one’s experiences and a chance to prove one’s ability to his/her co-workers and leaders.
I’ve had the privilege contributing to the development of a number of team members, doing the organization’s part in helping them achieve their personal and professional goals while being able to congratulate a team member on a job well done or due to their ability to accomplish something out of scope of their normal work is very rewarding.
In developing team members, you become an employer of choice.
In developing team members, you become an employer of choice.

I think that many leaders in many sectors often fear developing their team members because they believe that their efforts will be for not, and that the team members will move on to other opportunities resulting in an effort lost.  I don’t believe this.  In developing team members, you become an employer of choice and thus, increase the quality and quantity of candidates that want to compete for positions in your organization.  Increased competition always equates to high quality candidates.
If you had the ability to change how most professionals approach their work and plan out their careers, what would you change?
If I could change how most professionals approach their work and career plan, I would try to let younger professionals understand that their goals at the beginning of their careers more often than not, are not their goals at mid-point or at the end of their careers.
I think many people, including me, thought they’d follow a specific path from the beginning to the end of their careers.  We underestimate the transfer-ability of our skills and knowledge from industry to industry.  Throughout my career, I’ve led people in the restaurant industry, the health industry and now in student assistance industry.  When I first started out, I never would have believed it, if I was told where I’d be at this point of my career.
It does create an enormous amount of excitement.  I ‘m still considered a young leader and I can’t even imagine where I’ll be 10 or 15 years from now.
What are some of the key leadership lessons you would like to pass on to others?
The most important leadership lesson I’ve  learned, is that as a leader, you are here to serve your team members and not the reverse.  It is the responsibility of a leader to find out what tools and supports their team members need to do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible in a way that is inclusive of their own ideas and not solely based on a leader’s observations.
Creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance that on any given day, people will have fun at work.
Creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance that on any given day, people will have fun at work.

This should be accomplished while creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance, that on any given day, people will have fun at work.
How is a good leader expected to carry him/ her-self? And why is this important?
I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.  The importance of maintaining a certain level of professionalism is that it sets an expectation for others to conduct themselves in a similar manner.  It’s also important for your team members to know about their leader’s life so that they feel like their leader can relate to their life/professional challenges.Leadership
© [Valerie Chela N, all writers herein] and Memoirs of a Kenyan, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to appropriate author of content and Memoirs of a Kenyan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Your profit is just a result!

As I have mentioned a few times before, I am a sucker for TED Talks. I watch them all the time. Ok, maybe not ALL the time, but you know, a lot. Recently, I watched this very intriguing talk about the Golden Circle. The guest speaker, Simon Sinek was sharing a discovery he made about the way we choose to define what we do.  He said that most organizations define what they do, how they do it and then why they do it. As it turns out, this is a mediocre uninspiring way to share your passion, your dreams and your visions.
Listening to Simon’s talk got me thinking.
Leading organizations and successful people focus on what inspires them. They share their reasons for doing what they do. They tell us why they feel their ideas are important and unique, and why we should care about their products in the first place. Just like everyone else, these entrepreneurs also want to make a profit but Simon stresses this should not be your why. Your profit, is just your result.
The question is, Continue reading “Your profit is just a result!”

Why are we like using the word ‘like’ like all the time or whatever?

Whatever happened to simply thinking quietly or developing a thought completely before attempting to speak? Or sticking to the conventional non-word fillers such as “um”?goodgriefI won’t deny it. I too struggle to keep certain words that add no meaning whatsoever out of my speech. “Like” is one good example. Occasionally, and against my better judgement, this word crops up in my vocabulary. I make a conscious attempt to avoid using it and a few other words that I could still communicate greatly without.
There are several words that tend to be used an awful lot when we barely need them in the first place to communicate. Continue reading “Why are we like using the word ‘like’ like all the time or whatever?”

Timeless or Lesstime? (Guest Post)

In Search Of Lost Time
Chance is given to the opportunist…who seizes the moment (Photo credit: bogenfreund)

We live as if we have all day and every day.
But all we have is now, not someday.
If we forever miss the now, then what will be done?
If we miss our chance, then we have less than won.
Opportunity comes, opportunity goes.
What will we make of it? What seeds will be sown?
We live as if our days we can borrow.
Let me tell you something. We never have tomorrow.
For when tomorrow comes, it will be today.
So act now and not some other date.
What is that one thing you’ve always wanted to give a shot?
Would you move towards the goal in the time that you’ve got?
Maybe eighty years is a long breadth of time—
But already eight seconds passed while reading this rhyme.
You have the Now—move forward while you still have the chance.
Chance is not a roll of the die; not some probability stat.
Chance is given to the opportunist . . . who seizes the Moment for what it is.
Focus. Don’t let anything, anyone hold you back from your Dreams.
You have Today. You have Now.
Dear Opportunist, Now is the Time to take the die out of the equation and—Step Out.

Countering the Monday Blues

See Sunday evenings are generally deplorable. Depressing even I might add. After having the weekend off, the thought of getting back to it is almost unbearable. Not having the option to sleep in or have coffee while reading the weekend paper edition from back to back, or even simply just being. You know, doing absolutely nothing and still having the justification of it is a weekend, the time to take it easy. Sigh! That ship has sailed, now it is time to plan another week.
But do Sunday evenings really need to be so disheartening? Maybe not. Like the famous expression goes your cup could be half full or half empty depending on how you choose to see it. So you see Sunday evenings could be something entirely different. A chance at a new beginning, the eve for new opportunities, fresh ideas,  a new chapter! And by extension goodbye Monday Blues.
So instead of starting out mad at the universe for refusing to take a break, the morning brings an eagerness to grab that coffee and run out the door,  ready to explore what this new Monday brings your way.
Happy Monday Folks!
~Val