Friday, April 27, 2007

TRUE LEADERSHIP- The Donald Duke/Tinapa Experience

The subject of Leadership is a widely discussed one, but the truth is that a lot still needs to be said about it. The fact still remains that with the increase in Leadership thoughts and lessons, the world is still in serious crisis which is traceable to the ineffectiveness of world leaders. This has prompted my developing this series on my blog where my thoughts can be expressed. It is a unique one in the sense that I will use practical examples of people who have been exemplary leaders in their fields, communities, countries, and in the world at large.
A little on the subject of LEADERSHIP:

“Leadership” has been given different meanings by different people at different times. A few are listed below, although the list is endless.

Leadership is the ability to obtain followers – James C. Georges, ParTraining Corporation

Leadership is Influence – John C. Maxwell

My definition of a leader . . . is a man who can persuade people to do what they don't want to do, or do what they're too lazy to do, and like it- Harry S. Truman, 1884-1972, Thirty-third President of the United States, Miller, More Plan Speaking
Leadership occurs when one person induces others to work towards some predetermined objectives - Massie

Leadership is the ability of a superior to influence the behaviour of a subordinate or group and persuade them to follow a particular course of action - Chester Bernard

There are other thoughts that have been expressed by various people too, let me take an excerpt from Chris Clarke-Epstein, in his book, 78 Questions Every Leader Should Ask & Answer -
· “Leadership takes on different meanings depending on the person who leads and the people being led. On any given day, leadership can mean teaching, coaching, assigning, cheerleading, counseling, guiding, correcting, protecting, explaining, and observing. Leadership asks you to fill out forms, chair meetings, hold hands, explain decisions, think about the future, and resolve conflict. None of these actions or tasks will happen discretely; usually they’ll happen all at once. If you thought becoming the boss would give you more control of your time and tasks think again. Like the new entrepreneur, you’ll discover that you have less control over your daily activities as you work to help and support the people you lead”

· “Leadership is more than a skill set. Real leadership is a combination of well-honed skills combined with an open and gracious spirit. How you feel about being a leader will always influence how you act as a leader. People who believe that leadership is their right, who believe that their title demands the respect of others, or who believe that leaders should always have the final say are carrying feelings about leadership that will constantly get in the way of their effectiveness as a leader”.- Chris Clarke-Epstein (78 Questions Every Leader Should Ask & Answer)

A leader I respect, Bill Clinton also said:
“I believe the job of a president (Leader) is to understand and explain the time in which he serves, to set forth a vision of where we need to go and a strategy of how to get there, and then to pursue it with all his mind and heart”

Let’s now take a look at my leadership model for today Mr. Donald Duke
(The Donald Duke/TINAPA Experience)
My leadership torch today focuses on the man behind the TINAPA Project, Donald Duke. For those who do not know what TINAPA is (most especially on the African Continent), you probably have been on vacation in Mars! But I’ll try bringing you to the knowledge of it.
When you think of TINAPA, think of a Business/Leisure Paradise, a place you want to be.
Tinapa is Africa’s Premier Business Resort & Free Zone; it’s a new trading hub of West Africa. It has over 80,000m2 of gross lettable area for retail and wholesale shopping, restaurants, leisure land, a hotel, an eight-screen digital cinema, a casino, a movie studio and a lot of other world class infrastructure. It will satisfy over 300million consumers.

Tinapa is located on the Calabar Rivers in the rubber plantations of Adiagbo Community and contiguous to Calabar Free Trade Zone (NB: Calabar is the capital city of Cross Rivers, one of the states on the south coast of Nigeria).

A little more about Tinapa; the resort complex will provide –
International Standard wholesale emporiums, integrated shopping complexes and product distribution elements supported by business tourism.

Leisure and Entertainment facilities; International movie studio and 8 movie theatres, world class restaurants and food courts, games arcade, water-world theme park, children’s play area, fisherman’s village, bowling alley, casino, studio, amphi theaters.

300 room international standard hotel

A fast track monorail transportation from Tinapa to the airport in about 15mins making four (4) stops within Tinapa.

Artificial lake created by dredging the Calabar River;

Tinapa which was declared open on the 2nd of April 2007 by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, offers outstanding opportunities for investors (you can contact me for more investment details). It promises a high economic growth and prosperity for her people and for Nigeria.

All these explanations are there just for you to have an idea of what Tinapa is, an even more to appreciate the visionary and courageous effort of Mr. Donald Duke, my leadership icon for this week, the executive Governor of Cross Rivers State, and the brain behind it all.
In a world and at a time where true and effective leadership is lacking and hard to find, it is without doubt /fear that I make bold to say that there are still few individuals who understand the concept of TRUE LEADERSHIP. Many so-called leaders see leader ship as:
an opportunity to be served instead of an opportunity to serve,

an opportunity to gather resources and be made rich rather than an opportunity to invest in the lives of the entire populace of followers and help the get to the state of self-actualization,

an opportunity to victimize rather than an opportunity to mend broken relationships,

an opportunity to make a name rather than an opportunity to help others become relevant….

The list is actually endless and varying as much as human beings vary in perception. A whole lot of people get it all wrong. Leadership is a privilege and not a right! Perhaps if we understand that, we will help make the world a better place in our respective positions as leaders.

Mr. Donald Duke has showed the world that “everything good can come out of ‘Jerusalem’, but in this case NIGERIA”. His exemplary life and leadership style has transformed Cross Rivers state and the life of her citizens. Mr. Donald Duke has showed the difference between a visionary leader and one who is just there to acquire wealth. His concern for his people and their welfare, the image of the country, and his concern about his protecting his own name have helped him achieve these feats. Like the Holy Book (The Bible) says, “A good name is better than riches…” so Donald Duke has done. His name will forever be recorded in history as one of the few men who stood for ‘Real Service to Humanity” when in a position of authority. If you doubt me, then visit the capital city of Calabar, and you’ll find the cleanest city in Nigeria, maybe Africa!

Those who fail in leadership are:
those who never had a vision for leadership
those who had a vision but either lost it along the way or neglected it
those who have a wrong perspective of leadership

Perhaps the most important lesson to be learnt from this is that ‘leadership is a privilege and an opportunity to serve’. Where this is not realized, then there is a crisis.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Opposition To Your Vision Is Not To Destroy It
But To Confirm It!
Every True Vision Must Be Tested For Its Authencitity

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Never Keep Company With People Who Don't Make You Grow.
Befriend People Who constantly Make You Think.
The Moment You Discover You Are The Smartest In Your Group,
Then Is The Right Time To Get Out!
Always Strive For More Than Good.
Go For "Excellent".


People want to be appreciated, not impresesed;
they want to be treated as an end in themselves,
not as a means toward the gratification of another's


You Can Impress People AtA Distance,
But You Can Impact Them Only Up Close.


It Doesn't Matter Much How Hard You Work As How Much You Accomplish.There's A Difference Between Faithfulness(Hard Work) & Fruitfulness (Accomplishmens).
Where Do You Belong?

Friday, April 6, 2007


(Life’s Training Camp)
My view of life and way of doing things changed when I discovered a very important fact & truth about life – “principles don’t change”. This is absolutely true because all that we see and experience in our daily existence hinges on certain principles. For example, there’s the principle of seed & harvest, or sowing & reaping, also called cause & effect by some others. It simply states that without you sowing/planting a seed, no harvest should be expected. When you multiply zero by 100million, the result is still zero. For every effect, there’s always a cause. Principles such as this govern the universe.
Building on the premise above, I make bold to say that in order to emerge strong and victorious from life’s training camp, some periods of tough challenges cannot be bypassed. An army General never becomes one in a day, nor a year; it takes long years of training and testing. He must have gone through both bad and good times and emerge on top. This period of “HARD” training cannot be escaped. Testimonies from various Olympic Champions reveal that they spend two-thirds of their time practicing and training. Most of them would have felt then that their trainers were wicked, but it was for their good. No one has ever won an Olympic medal without sweating. It requires rigorous daily, focused and disciplined exercises.
The period of preparation in life (often appearing as hardship), is as important as the period of actual performance and manifestation. In fact, success during performance is tied to discipline, diligence and dedication (the 3Ds of peak performance) in training. This period is often not an enjoyable one, and many individuals are not patient enough to pass through the training. This is an error. It is the same as saying a child should move from the Primary School stage straight to the College/University, leaving out high school. You’ll agree with me that such a person is headed for failure in a grand style.
Never give up in the face of adversity, hardship or tough times. Robert H. Schuller said “tough times never last but tough people do”. Always view periods of hardship as training periods in Life’s Training Camp. Those who are committed to emerging gold from the camp are always patient enough to go through it. Remember, Generals are not made in a day. Put up the right attitude and heart-ti-tude every time life throws you darts – catch them and make them useful for you. Many people ask “Why Me?” I ask them: who else if not you?
A man’s greatness is measured by the weight of troubles he’s had and has come out victorious. laoluojed
You can write your own story.

Remember: Life is too interesting to be lived halfway

Thursday, April 5, 2007


(Your Tool To Great Fulfilment)
It is worthwhile to know that every man has a talent inside him. The only clause is that some men never discover theirs till they die (most times in poverty). But it is much more important to know that your talent cannot make you rich! Are you surprised? If talents make rich, then everyone on the earth’s surface should be rich since everyone has a talent.
The truth is that talent that is not developed is as good as unrefined gold which is worthless at that stage. It is only developed and treated talent that can make one rich when sold. This developed (or trained) talent is called SKILL. Men don’t pay to see your talent, they pay to watch you skillfully and beautifully display your talent in such a way that it meets their needs.
“Your earning is dependent on the level of professionalism displayed in the use of your skill” – laoluojed
Joseph had a talent inside him which he discovered early in life and as he grew, he developed his talent as his experiences taught him. Joseph had a way with dreams, and they were no small dreams; no wonder his brothers were angry at him. They hated him with a passion, such that they planned to kill him – thank God they eventually sold him. But Joseph didn’t call a pity party, he moved on. Even while in Potiphar’s house, he was excellent. Little wonder Potiphar gave him charge of everything he had but his wife. Even Mrs. Potiphar that wasn’t under him tried all possible means to put herself under him. That is a result of the display of excellence, skill and expertise by Joseph.
Joseph went a little further in developing his talent such that even while in prison (where he was the chief and most honorable prisoner), he became the dream interpreter. What more can we say to that? I’m sure you’ll have consulted him for interpretation to your dream if you were living in his days. Skill and expertise took Joseph from the prison to the most exalted throne in the whole world in those days.
Never rely on your raw talent (like a lot of people are doing today); there are probably over two billion individuals have it the same way too. Instead, constantly work on your talents to improve them. Make yourself irresistible, and indispensable. Put yourself in a place where you are in high demand. Make yourself a HOT CAKE in the market.
“Your contribution determines your reward; little contribution=little reward, great contribution=great reward” – laoluojed
Remember: Life is too interesting to be lived halfway

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


A wise man once said that courage is the capacity to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. This is absolutely true because you are not a failure until you accept defeat. Even when you are knocked down, it’s not a knock out. When life knocks you down, ensure that you land on your back ‘cos if you can look up, you can get up.

Joseph in the Bible exhibited this character trait continuously; little wonder he got to be the second most powerful person on the earth’s surface. In fact, he was the most powerful and influential individual in the world. Why? He never allowed his courage to die.

Joseph as a young lad had great dreams which he shared with his family members. But they rebuked and mocked him. They never saw anything good in him. They even hated him for it, but he kept at it. He didn’t stop sharing his dream, he moved from one level of rejection to another. But he never lost enthusiasm. That’s courage! He was courageous enough to resist Mrs Potiphar’s lure and seduction.

Whatever life throws at you doesn’t really matter. What matters is what you do with it. Can you make your stumbling blocks into stepping stones? Do you give up easily? Do you just sit and rot in self pity or do you get up and try again? Failure is never final; it only teaches you that that is another wrong way of doing whatever it is you are doing. Therefore, find the right way.
Abraham Lincoln’s popularity and achievement is not hinged on his being America’s president, but on his doggedness towards life and his determination to overcome failure and taste victory. His was a case of Courage.

“If your dream is big enough, then you’ll possess a great dose of courage. If you have a small dream, you’ll most likely be overrun by giving in to failure”- laoluojed

“Lives that make impact are lives of great dreamers. Though they die, but still they live, because their dreams never die”laoluojed

Remember: Life is too interesting to be lived halfway