Values & Character

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Synopsis and Bio of the new book

Everyone is greatness material. We all are endowed with unlimited potential. Greatness is chained within us waiting to be unleashed. Unfortunately, in every generation, very few unchain their greatness. The overwhelming majority fails to attain any level of greatness at all.

In ‘Unchain Your Greatness’, the author recognized the four stages the great ones from diverse cultures and generations passed through to achieve their inherent greatness. Those who unchained their greatness were like everyone else except that they followed four straightforward steps (the 4 E’s). They Explored, Enacted, Endured, and Emancipated their greatness to the fullest.

The great ones explored and discovered what predisposed them to manifest greatness. They took bold actions based on their findings. Those who attained greatness also faced numerous obstacles as a result of taking massive actions and pursuing the road to greatness. However, they endured, outlasted continual setbacks, emptied themselves, and ultimately emancipated the greatness shackled within and left enduring legacies.

On top of providing the model the great ones adopted to unchain their greatness to the fullest, the book narrates the stories of great men and women from different religions, age-groups, and fields to show you the attitude and mindset they had as they progressed through these four simple phases. It also shares with you what the great ones discovered, the actions they took, the challenges they overcame, and the legacies they left because they unchained their greatness to the fullest.

Dr. Assegid Habtewold is a coach, speaker, and facilitator at Success Pathways, LLC. He is also the host of ‘Pick Yourself Up’ show that airs on Channel 16. Assegid serves diverse clients including some government agencies, major corporations, and community organizations. He is the author of four books. His latest book is entitled ‘The Highest Level of Greatness: purpose-oriented, vision-centered, and values-driven greatness’.

Jobs tapped into the downtime as he worked hard for his comeback

“After one of the most humiliating outings in the history of US corporations, Jobs returned to Apple after 12 long years as Moses to take it to its Canaan. Jobs eventually regained his leadership position. He was crowned and placed at the helm of Apple once again.

However, one thing many people tend to forget is that Jobs didn’t waste his time in the wilderness. His glorious return wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t tap into the downtime. Between the time he was fired and his triumphant return, he didn’t waste his energy, time, and resources complaining and whining. Rather than blaming the Board and John Sculley- his mentor and the man he himself begged to join Apple, Jobs kept himself very busy. Rather than nursing his wounds, he was actively working toward his comeback.

During that downtime between 1985 – 1997, Jobs could have run away from the valley, called it to quit, or mourned his loss for a very long period of time. If he did, no one would have blamed him. Many would have sympathized with his decision. Instead, Jobs tapped into that downtime to further create. Next Generation and Pixar were the two classic innovations of Jobs that came to existence while he was passing through hell…”

The excerpt is taken from the upcoming follow- up book to The Highest Level of Greatness p.124

Extraordinary leaders are don’t waste any time. While passing through hell, they tap into the downtime working hard for their comeback. That is why the world loves comeback stories. Even from their rivals and enemies.

Assegid Habtewold, Bridge Builder

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PRO Leadership Global Inc. (www.proleadership.org) is a non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes the right kind of Leadership, PROduces great leaders to bridge the leadership gaps (including gender leadership gap) worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

Teddy Afro- the sensational singer, and his resilience (excerpt)

“…Back home in Ethiopia and in the Diaspora, the name Teddy Afro is a household name. He is a sensational singer known for his songs of love, tolerance, unity, and forgiveness. Teddy is also a well-celebrated singer in East Africa. Moreover, his latest Album ‘Ethiopia’ came in 1st on the Billboard World Albums chart.[i]

Unfortunately, Teddy’s messages didn’t go well with the previous government in Ethiopia. He encountered many roadblocks aimed at discouraging and ultimately changing his messages. He faced jail time, cancelation of his shows, visa denials to travel and perform outside of the country.

Other artists in his place would have easily and quickly given up a long time ago. Not Teddy! Regardless of experiencing continual setbacks and losing lots of money, he kept singing his messages while also improving his craft. After so many years of persecution, finally, because Teddy kept going while passing through hell, he began getting acceptances including from some unlikely circles.

The Amahara regional state is governed by one of the members of the ruling party (EPRDF). The state extended an official visit to Teddy a couple of months ago. When he arrived in the beautiful city of Bahir Dar, he got a heroic welcome. What is more? On top of performing in a concert that attracted thousands of fans, Teddy gave an interview to the state-owned media.

The moral of the story is that since Teddy kept going while experiencing continual setbacks, he continued to produce. He didn’t slow down. He refused to change his messages to appease those who opposed him. He didn’t quit nor decided to wait and see. He remained optimistic while keep going…”

This excerpt is taken from the upcoming follow-up book to The Highest Level of Greatness p. 175

Extraordinary leaders are resilient. They endure and outlast continual setbacks. They are willing to be stretched beyond their breaking point. You are a candidate to become one of the great world changers. However, this task requires to stand up for your values and willing to pay the prices in defense of your values…

Assegid Habtewold, Bridge Builder

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PRO Leadership Global Inc. (www.proleadership.org) is a non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes the right kind of Leadership, PROduces great leaders to bridge the leadership gaps (including gender leadership gap) worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

Book Excerpt- Daniel Bryan fought for his dreams

“…One of my wrestling heroes is Daniel Bryan. To his dismay and disappointment of his fans including myself, he retired prematurely on February 8, 2016. For more than two years, he had been depressed since he couldn’t do what he loved to do: Perform in the ring and entertain millions of fans around the world.

However, Daniel resolved to fight for his dreams till the end. Without giving up, he kept fighting until he was cleared to compete. Due to his resolve for more than two years, Daniel finally outlasted this tough setback that dashed his dream to wrestle in the WWE ring.

Filled with emotions and tears, Daniel publicly announced on March 20, 2018, his being clear to return to in-ring competition. In his emotional speech, he said, “If you fight for your dreams, your dreams fight for you.” Yes! (His signature slogan) His dreams fought for him. And thus, he competed at WrestleMania 34 on April 8, 2018.

Have you resolved not to give up so easily? Have you stayed in the fight long enough? Have you determined to outlast the setbacks you’re facing right now a little longer?…” Taken from the upcoming follow-up book ‘The Highest Level of Greatness’ p. 161

Extraordinary leaders are visionaries. They see the end from the beginning. What is more? They fight for the translation of their dreams into realities. The two combinations are important. Leaders need to have both abilities: The ability to see and the resilience to fight for the vision until it comes to fruition…

Assegid Habtewold, Bridge Builder

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PRO Leadership Global Inc. (www.proleadership.org) is a non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes the right kind of Leadership, PROduces great leaders to bridge the leadership gaps (including gender leadership gap) worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

Book Excerpt- Nelson Mandela’s resilience

“…Why was Mandela celebrated, not just by South Africans but also around the world? Simple. His endurance. Otherwise, there were many freedom fighters who paid more dire prices including their very lives than Mandela. What made him unique and different was his courage to face seemingly insurmountable challenges. His determination to outlast all of them.

Mandela once said, “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.” The unspeakable trials he encountered didn’t break him. He withstood the setbacks he experienced believing that he would win in the end. And, sure enough, he won…” Taken from the upcoming follow-up book to The Highest Level of Greatness p. 157

The 21st C desperately needs extraordinary leaders like Mandela. The challenges humanity, your community, and organization face demand you to develop resilience. Quitting isn’t one of the words you would find in the dictionaries of extraordinary leaders. This is my hope that the resilience story of Mandela may inspire you to outlast continual setbacks…

Assegid Habtewold, Bridge Builder

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PRO Leadership Global Inc. (www.proleadership.org) is a non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes the right kind of Leadership, PROduces great leaders to bridge the leadership gaps (including gender leadership gap) worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

ESFNA is at a Crossroads: Should it allow Dr. Abiy address the Diaspora or not?

(This article was posted on some Ethiopian websites)

One’s leadership is tested when confronted with tough decisions. ESFNA’s leadership is at a crossroads. The decision in front of them makes or breaks the organization. It is going to leave a positive or negative scar in the history of the organization.

The decision? They have to make a quick decision, by tomorrow, whether to allow the newly named Prime Minister of Ethiopia- Dr. Abiy Ahmed, to address the Diaspora community at this year’s annual event in TX.

By the way, if the info I got is correct, it wasn’t ESFNA that initiated the invite. The PM himself took the initiative. He deserves appreciation for taking this historic and bold gesture!

Past leaders despised the Diaspora because of its firm stand about Ethiopians unity and its fight against repression and lack of democracy back home in Ethiopia. Unlike his predecessors, however, Abiy chose to reach out. This by itself regardless of the final decision ESFNA reaches is a massive milestone in Ethiopian politics!

That being said, here are a couple of facts. Though I don’t have the accurate statistics, from what I’ve read on social media in the past couple of days, Ethiopians in the US are divided on the issue. Some are advocating for his invitation while others oppose it. Both parties have strong positions and arguing based on the higher purpose of the organization and one of its internal regulations, respectively.

Ethiopians who are quoting the mission of ESFNA are saying that since the organization’s purpose is “Bringing Ethiopians together” and Dr. Abiy promotes Ethiopians unity, love, tolerance, and forgiveness among Ethiopians, he should be allowed to address the gathering when he visits the US. On the other hand, those who oppose the idea are quoting one of the internal regulations that prevent inviting politicians as guests. The latter argue that he is the chairman of the ruling party that ESFNA should be nonpartisan and refrain from showing favoritism to any political party. Of course, others counter-argue about the last statement by saying that though Abiy is the chairman of EPRDF, he is appearing at the event as the leader of the Ethiopian state, in his Prime Minister office.

There are many other forceful arguments from both sides, which I’m not covering for the sake of space limitation.

For your info, one of the themes I covered in my third book entitled “Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success” was problem-solving and making tough decisions. From my experience as a workshop facilitator for some government agencies, major corporations, and community organizations on the same theme, I shared some insights, models, and approaches in the book on how to tackle problems like the one ESFNA leadership is facing. By the way, when I coach leaders, I don’t tell them what they should decide. My job is helping them gain clarity to make the right decision. It’s not my place, as a coach, to suggest what I think personally is right.

One of the most common challenges leaders face is making choices between two rights- Right Vs. Right. It’s easy to choose right from wrong. What would you do when you have two seemingly right choices like ESFNA is confronted with?

I encourage ESFNA’s leadership to do their homework and also take away emotion. You should be rational. Use your value as a barometer to make the right decision. For that to happen, nonetheless, you should avoid making a hasty decision. ESFNA’s leadership should first gather enough data to fully understand the issue, employ critical analysis, consult key stakeholders, sit down and brainstorm, and finally, make the RIGHT decision you and the coming generation leaders won’t regret.

At the end of the day, the question is whether the leadership should side with its purpose (mission) or the internal regulation. Which one should override? Is it the mission or the internal regulation that should take precedence? Which value (s) of ESFNA should dictate the final decision?

Of course, the decision should not be binary- Yes or No. During the brainstorming session, some of the leaders should come up with alternative options (middle grounds) that may satisfy both sides.

If you were one of the leaders of ESFNA, what would be your decision? Why?

Dr. Assegid Habtewold is an organizational and leadership expert and author, and the founder of PRO Leadership Global (www.proleadership.org). Assegid can be reached at ahabtewold@yahoo.com

PM Abiy and a call to build the capacity of key stakeholders

Below is an article posted on many Ethiopian websites:

Title: PM Abiy and a call to build the capacity of key stakeholders

In my latest commentary, I shared the second leadership attribute of Dr. Abiy, one of the New Breed Leaders of Africa. I pointed out that since he had done his homework and developed his personal growth very well that he outgrew his past leadership positions and outlived the challenges he had been facing. This is my hope that this same quality is one of the virtues that could empower him to lead the country’s transformation successfully.

However, before I cover his third leadership attribute on New Breed Leaders of Africa Facebook page, I’d like to emphasize that the personal development of the top leader alone is not enough to undertake a lasting and sustainable change at this critical moment in the history of our country. Yes, he has a clear vision many including those outside of his party bought in easily. Nonetheless, translating his vision into realities and making a smooth transition to democracy is impossible without having cabinet members, leaders of the various institutions, and departments of his new administration who have well developed personal growth like him. Don’t forget, a nation cannot go any farther than its collective leadership.

That is why it’s very critical for the new PM to assemble cabinet members who share his vision, and those who have also the ability and character to carry out his new mandate. He should appoint those who have done their homework and already worked on their personal growth. Of course, having capable leaders in your team who are constantly able to lead their organizations and teams successfully requires a continuous effort. The PM office should create an office that focuses on empowering the new administration’s leaders’ personal, professional, and leadership development. This is a worthy investment with a high return on investment, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. This office should be comprised of knowledge management professionals, content designers, facilitators, coaches, and mentors both within and outside of the country including experienced foreign experts in the fields of personal, professional, and leadership development.

Some of you may question and wonder: Why do we need foreigners? Well, simple. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We should learn from other countries’ experience. However, we need to customize it to fit our objective conditions on the ground and according to our historical and socio-cultural contexts.

Let’s remember. Ethiopia is a geopolitically positioned strategic country with lots of responsibilities for the stability and prosperity of the region and continent, and beyond. Thus, the new PM has a historic responsibility and a golden opportunity to shape the destiny of the country, and in turn, the Horn and Africa. Nonetheless, this cannot happen unless he has able leaders around him. The question is: Will his party allow him to have the freedom to pick the cabinet members of his choice? Or, at least, can he be given the lion’s share in selecting key cabinet members? We will see.

From the quick research I’ve conducted, PM Abiy has the right attitude; the ability to envision, articulate and communicate his vision, and the capability to execute it; and the character to lead the transition. His vision, which he articulated in his inaugural speech, was inclusive and very powerful. His overall intention, which he has been expressing in recent tours intended to bring together diverse stakeholders, is commendable, to say the least.

Please note that I’m well aware that some stakeholders have already expressed their unhappiness about some of his chosen words, and his priorities so far. By the way, I’m not surprised at all. The stakes are high, and the PM himself has been setting the expectations of all stakeholders high in his speeches and discussions thus far. That being said; however, this is my hope that we Ethiopians employ one of our virtues- patience, to give the new PM a fair chance to prove himself.

Common! He hasn’t even formed his cabinet yet. He is just communicating his vision, strategies, and approaches, most of which are commendable compared to where we have been as a society for the last many decades. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t air your grievances and doubts but delay your conclusion a little bit. Don’t just yet be dismissive. Doing so, at this early point, doesn’t serve anyone well.

I’m not a politician, and don’t have any hidden motive. I ask your patience as someone who cares about our country. I’m sharing my expertise as a leadership expert and workshop facilitator for some government agencies, major corporations, and community organizations for over a decade. I‘ve studied change management cases around the world. A transition isn’t easy, as it seems from afar. There are many factors, players, and phases that the new leader needs to navigate through before he gets a chance to translate his dreams into realities that we all are hoping to see. We’re just at the very first stage of the change process and he is doing his part in this initial phase by communicating his vision and strategies. We too, we should play our roles at this stage proactively.

Please remain optimistic for a while and, of course, while finding ways to negotiate for the consideration of your views, the prioritization of your needs, and the inclusion of your change proposals in the change agendas of the new leader. To be effective in your efforts, please get organized in groups with people who share your goals. Some have already begun doing so and have taken some proactive steps. I applaud the latter. You too, use this critical moment and juncture in our generation to put a dent in the future of your beloved country. Don’t just be an onlooker, and critic alone. Do something while it matters and now! As the saying goes, if not now when; if not you, who?

That being said, PM Abiy cannot turn his dreams- what so ever glorious his vision may appear to him and his supporters- into realities. He cannot turn the liabilities of his party into assets. He cannot also turn the ashes covering this lovely country for so long into beauty without having well-abled leaders from top to bottom in his new administration! Achieving these demands a strong team, not just one or a couple of well-developed leaders at the top. In short, unless the new PM brings in new breed leaders like himself at all levels, it is an uphill battle to fulfill his obligations to lead over 90 million diverse people with different interests and priorities into their Canaan land.

Well, transforming Ethiopia shouldn’t be left to the new administration alone. Other stakeholders such as citizens (inside the country and abroad); opposition parties; the media; civic organizations; community organizations; and regional, continental and global strategic partners and friends of Ethiopia should also play their share in this regard.

However, the reform cannot succeed by having leaders in the new administration who have well developed organizational and leadership capabilities alone. So far, PM Abiy called upon oppositions, civic and community organizations, and the media to play their fair share and engage proactively and meaningfully in creating a vibrant political playing field. He is challenging, especially the oppositions to come out and be equal players with the ruling party. Though his open arms and willingness to welcome and put ‘the alternative parties’ (as he calls them) in a positive light should be appreciated and oppositions should accept his challenge, it should be clear that the opposition parties and the free press need empowerment to develop their organizational and leadership capacity so that they could be able to play their roles.

Though oppositions, civic and community organizations, and the media should be proactive and do their own homework to build their capacity, PM Abiy should also go further than demonstrating his goodwill to work hand in glove with them. He should put in place some laws (revoke others), institutions, and also set aside funding that should be dedicated to developing their capacity. Otherwise, these key stakeholders that are vital to the transformation of Ethiopia into democracy, stability, unity, and prosperity cannot easily and quickly step up to the plate considering where they have been in the past few decades.

At this point, I can see that there may be some complications when a PM of the ruling party showing a vested interest to empower oppositions. I’m also uncertain whether the latter accepts such an offer. If that is the case, what about the PM allowing other stakeholders inside and/or outside of the country to support oppositions and the media to develop their organizational and leadership capacity? This is a win-win. All parties need more helping hands on this…

Many home-based civic, organizational, and leadership institutions should team up to empower both the new administration’s leaders, leaders of the oppositions, civic, community and media organizations. Friends of Ethiopia such as regional, continental, and international institutions that have already been involved in providing development assistance to the nation should be invited to play their share too.

As an Ethiopian-American, I also call upon the US, whose Congress just endorsed HR128, to play a proactive and hands-on role through the appropriate US development agencies in developing the organizational and leadership capacity of key stakeholders including leaders of the new administration, oppositions, media, and civic and community organizations. These key stakeholders need empowerment to implement HR128 resolutions. In order to widen the political space and build democratic institutions, Ethiopia needs to develop its organizational and leadership capability. This is a win-win to both countries. A stable, prosperous, peaceful, healthy, and strong Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa is a win-win to our country and other regional, continental, and international stakeholders who have a strategic interest in the region.

Civic and community organizations in the diaspora and experts in the fields should also contribute their share toward empowering the organizational and leadership capacity of the country.

I’m emphasizing the significance of developing the organizational and leadership capacity of the new administration and other stakeholders because one visionary, charismatic, and well able leader alone cannot lead a lasting and sustainable change in a country like Ethiopia with deep-rooted and complex problems coupled with diverse interest groups. Bringing lasting peace, stability, democracy, good governance, and a vibrant socio-economic and political environment requires going beyond having the goodwill to bring change, the desire to initiate reform, and exuding optimism toward the future. There are necessary soft skills our leaders desperately need to turn their good intentions into realities, their zeal into tangible fruits.

By the way, the business community and citizens too need the same attention since they are key stakeholders in this transitional state the country is in. The young generation stepped up and demanded change and did what they had to including sacrificing their lives with little organizational and leadership empowerment from the grown-ups. If the government is serious about engaging the new generation and making them active players in transforming Ethiopia, it must invest in their capacity to engage by developing their civic, organizational, and leadership skills.

Likewise, regardless of corruption and many other stumbling blocks, the business community tried its best and contributed a lion’s share in the economic development of the nation so far. As the PM himself mentioned during his recent discussion with the community, both public servants and business leaders need to work on their envisioning and execution abilities including developing their project management capability. He also called for discipline, ethics, and character from both sides. However, these things cannot just happen without an upfront investment.

Let me conclude this article by emphasizing the importance of acknowledging the rare opportunity our country just got following the inaugural of Dr. Abiy as the new PM. The latter’s acceptance speech inspired, I’d say, the whole nation except a few. Unfortunately, this new enthusiasm seems to decline in certain sections of our society. Many people on social media began expressing their disagreements with some of the contents of the new PM’s recent speeches. Some started questioning his motives, impartiality, and ability to translate his optimism into realities.

As far as I’m concerned, personally, it’s too early to reach any hasty conclusion. This is the time to try all we can and give our best to equip the key players to undertake their organizational and leadership responsibilities effectively and successfully. They need help. Punitive criticism at this early stage serves little toward our future though essential to air our concerns right away. We have ample time in the future to evaluate and judge the performance of the new administration. Now is the time to roll our sleeves up and do our part first. It’s not yet time to get distracted.

Last but not least, leaders back home- both in the new administration, opposition parties, civic and community organizations and in the media, need to learn from other successful nations, which led fruitful transformations like the one we’re hoping to undertake. Our leaders need to be up-to-the-minutes concerning the latest theories, principles, models, and tools available in the world; especially from countries whose objective conditions and socio-cultural contexts are similar or close to ours.

Zeal alone isn’t enough! Good intentions by itself are inadequate! Vision without execution remains a fantasy! Implementing the change agendas and reforms the new PM promised requires well-prepared, equipped, and empowered executioners at all levels and multiple fronts.

We shouldn’t squander this uncommon chance. The whole world is watching. Can we repeat history? We defeated aggression. Can we defeat poverty, conflict, poor governance, and diseases, the new enemy of Ethiopia, by coming together to achieve our shared goals for the sake of the common good? Could we be able to make the next generations proud? Would they look back to learn that we were capable enough to address our internal differences through dialogue and negotiations without resorting to violence and bloodshed?

Are we willing to be leaders again in Africa in the 21st C as we were during the colonization era? We should make our forefathers proud by resuming our leadership role by taking a leading role to lead the continent out of her shame- chronic poverty, corruption, poor governance, diseases, and so on.

However, we cannot assume leadership again without first putting our house in order. It’s unlikely we could be able to say ‘we’re back’ again while we are unable to settle our differences through dialogue and team up together to address our common challenges. How can we claim leadership without demonstrating that we have the ability to march forward toward a shared destiny as a nation while having some disagreements on the way? If you ask me, at the moment (I’m hopeful going forward), we don’t have the moral ground to be the seat of African Union, let alone to lead our brothers and sisters in Africa as our forefathers and mothers did.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that we didn’t elect him. He may not be your first choice and preference as a national leader. You may have some disagreement with his ideologies, worldviews, and policies. However, here we are. We have now a smart, inclusive, and well-versed leader who expressed his willingness to lead us all into our Canaan. Why cannot we tap into this opportunity?

Let’s give him a little bit time. Most importantly, let’s support him where we can and on issues we agree so that he may have enough leverage to force his own party (those who are fighting to maintain the status quo) makes genuine reforms. Those of us who have the means, expertise, influence, and connections, let’s play our fair share in empowering leaders of the new administration, oppositions, civic and community organizations, the media, and businesses to help them navigate this important season in our history and finally make sure the transition goes smoothly. This call is for all concerned Ethiopians back home, here in the Diaspora, and friends of Ethiopia whose desire is to see a democratic, prosperous, and stable Ethiopia, the Horn, and the continent of Africa.

Assegid Habtewold, Bridge Builder

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PRO Leadership Global Inc. (www.proleadership.org) is a non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes the right kind of Leadership, PROduces great leaders to bridge the leadership gaps (including gender leadership gap) worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

Three takeaways from Oprah Winfrey Golden Globes speech

75th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS — Pictured: Oprah Winfrey, Winner, Cecil B. Demille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 — (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech when she received the Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes was inspirational. Here are three significant takeaways from her speech:

    1. Those who watched her shine on the stage today are tomorrow’s candidates in whatever field they may choose to dedicate their lives
    2. Time is up for those who undermine the dignity of any human being regardless of their gender, ethnicity, and race.
    3. A new day is on the horizon.

I. Tomorrow’s candidates
Winfrey had been on the bench and watching while other stars before her were honored to receive this the same award. These awardees inspired her when she was young. Now, this happens to be her turn to inspire millions of kids who watched her make this historic speech. Her story especially resonates to those who are wondering whether they too have what it takes to reach the height she attained in their respective field and industry. We strongly believe that, if they develop her mindset, dedication to grow continually, the courage to take bold actions, and determination to outlast the setbacks she had been facing, no doubt, today’s spectators are tomorrow’s candidates to inspire many others. Wherever you may be in life right now, don’t listen to the little voice within that belittles you. Don’t bow down to the noise around you that tries its best to lower your expectations. You have the seed of greatness within. You have the potential. You will be one of the great world changers in the area of your passion. You have a purpose unique to you. Find that cause and give it your best. It’s your ticket to attain personal fulfillment, serve others with excellence, and inspire many others with your story of overcoming seemingly unbeatable odds. Your hour of greatness will undoubtedly come at the right time. Don’t give up…

II. Time is up
Winfrey said, “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up.” ‘Time’s up’ is a movement. Movements don’t just happen. Multiple factors lead to a particular movement. This is one of the proudest moments in the history of humanity where courageous women and men stood against abuses. We’re in the 21st C, and we should never tolerate abuses against any human being because of their gender, race, ethnicity, and so on. A human being is an image of God. God is Spirit, and a human being is a spirit housed in a bio suit. Many use the outside body to think that they’re better than others and belittle others who don’t have the same physical attributes they have. That is superficial. The inner man/woman doesn’t have gender or color or cultural affiliation. A just God equally created us all in His own image. The least we can do to others is to give them the same respect we have for ourselves. Discriminating, and abusing another human being shouldn’t be tolerated in the 21st C. Time’s up!

III. A new day is on the horizon
Winfrey finished her speech on a high note. That is awesome. Yes, there are many troubles around the world. These afflictions of humanity seem insurmountable. It’s easy to feel helpless, down, and give up altogether. However, we are humans. We have come a long way. We have beaten so many unspeakable odds and overcame many tragedies collectively. We have the ability and what it takes to overcome, and Winfrey is hopeful that a NEW DAY is on the horizon. No doubt! Our better days are ahead. Let’s all contribute our share wherever we are for the advancement of humanity, to overcome poverty, diseases, violence, discrimination, and abuses. Here is how she concluded her speech: “I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.”

Oprah Winfrey’s speech inspired us because, at PRO Leadership, we firmly believe that leadership is the birthright of all. Each individual has a unique place to take the lead according to her or his purpose in life. However, though there is a leadership gap in every society in the world, we have focused on raising leaders in developing countries. The simple reason is that leadership is more needed in developing countries that are more affected by the major ills of the world.

We also believe that though women shoulder more responsibilities in their communities, organizations, and nations, they aren’t at the front where they have the passion and ability to lead. That is why we advocate for women’s leadership. We cannot address the challenges we face in our communities, organizations, and societies without removing barriers such as discrimination, abuses, and biases against women, and without empowering them to the fullest.

We also believe that the future is for the youth. The destiny of every community, organization, and nation is in the hands of its youth. Unfortunately, many institutions and societies don’t invest in their youth proactively. There is a huge generational gap, which needs serious attention.

Accordingly, PRO Leadership aims at bridging the three (Geographic, gender, and generational) leadership gaps. Join this movement and let’s bridge these gaps and tackle the major ills your community, organization, and society are facing.

To remain connected and updated, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on social media by going in the middle of our website’s homepage where you will find the icons… 

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PRO Leadership Global Inc. (www.proleadership.org) is a non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes the right kind of Leadership, PROduces great leaders to bridge the leadership gaps (including gender leadership gap) worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

Answering questions on how the new book contributes toward the mission of PRO Leadership

Following the publication of my book entitled ‘The Highest Level of Greatness’ (check out the release video if you’ve not yet), I had an informal interview to answer some tough questions such as ‘Do you really think everyone is a greatness material? You wrote a book on greatness, have you attained greatness yourself? Your country is one of the poorest. You talk about greatness while millions are starved and in need of food? And so on. If you’re interested in watching the interview, click here and check it out.

In this blog, I’d like to answer some key questions regarding the contributions of the book toward the mission of PRO Leadership.

  1. Is there a direct relationship between greatness and leadership?

Yes! There is a direct relationship between greatness and leadership. When you study your great ones, you could easily figure out that they were great leaders. It’s impossible to attain greatness without the ability to lead.

  1. How does this book contribute toward the mission of PRO Leadership?

PRO Leadership Global Inc. is a non-profit organization whose headquarter is in Maryland, USA. The mission of PRO Leadership is to bridge the leadership gaps to tackle the major ills of the world one community at a time. We need as many great leaders as possible to tackle the acute and chronic challenges this generation is facing. We cannot fix poverty, famine, conflicts, poor governance, environmental degradation, displacements, and other challenges we are facing without raising leaders among the people who are affected by these ills primarily. We need extraordinary leaders who believe in themselves; individuals who believe that they have greatness within; individuals who are willing to serve well beyond their immediate needs, and family. Our goal is to raise competent leaders who step into their greatness and serve the world around them and beyond based on their purpose, passion, and strengths.

Our motto is PROmoting Leadership, PROducing Leaders. As you can see, it has two parts. We promote the right kind of leadership. In my first book ‘Redefining Leadership: Navigating the path from birthright to fulfillment in life,’ which was published in 2011, I simply defined leadership as ‘Knowing oneself, the reason for existence, and pursuing it until fulfilled’. This definition permits each and every individual to venture out and take leadership. You don’t need to have leadership in your bloodline. You don’t necessarily need to graduate from college.

Leadership isn’t, first, about others. It’s not also about the position you occupy and the title you hold. It’s first to know oneself very well, and one’s purpose. We cannot lead others successfully before we know ourselves and lead ourselves first successfully. The great ones were clear about who they truly were and why they were there in that particular space, time, and generation. They went out to pursue their purpose. They didn’t begin by saying, ‘Let me go out and inspire, influence, and guide others.’ They first led themselves successfully. Those people who shared their purpose saw the self-assurance, confidence, and their ability to lead self. Then, they believed, trusted, and followed them.

The second part of our motto is Producing great leaders. There are lots of insight and approaches you could get from this book so that you too become a great leader like your great ones. You’re unique. You have what it takes. The great ones before you were where you’re today. Learn from their journey. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You can learn so many great lessons from these great ones who changed the world for good because of their extraordinary leadership ability. You too can follow their example, and become one of the great world changes in your lifetime, and in turn, contribute your share in tackling the major ills that are tormenting your community in particular, and the human race at large.

  1.    Who are some of the great leaders you mentioned in the book?

The book narrated the stories of many great ones from diverse religions and cultures. I’m sure that you could be able to relate with all or, at least, some of the great ones who attained the highest level of greatness. Let me give you some examples. Think about Mahatma Gandhi who is from India. Mother Teresa and Joan of Arc from Europe. Nelson Mandela from Africa. Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, and Martin Luther King Jr. from the US. And many more. Some young, others were old. Some blacks, others whites. Some from the West while others from the South and East. They were also of both genders. Their industries were also diverse. Some of the great ones were from politics, others from science, religion, still others from humanitarian fields.

  1. What are the key takeaways for leaders?

There are lots of takeaways. I encourage you to read the book. This book took me over two decades of research, reflections, and implementations of the truths I had uncovered about the human potential. However, for now, let me give you a couple of takeaways.

  • First, like greatness, everyone can become a leader. And, leadership is the birthright of all. However, having the potential and what it takes to become a great leader is not enough. We have to pay our dues. Every good thing has a price tag.
  • Second, the book doesn’t promote any kind of greatness. Likewise, we at PRO Leadership don’t promote any kind of leadership. The book emphasizes that one’s greatness (leadership) should be based on a worthwhile purpose. In history, great leaders were those who had a cause and those who went all in to pursue it. They were persuaded that they were the right persons to pursue and fulfill those causes for which they were willing to die for. One cannot go far, have impacts, and leave a legacy, unless that person’s leadership is based on his/her uniqueness, their reason for existence.
  • Third, the key roles vision plays in one’s success in life. We may know who we are, and the reason for our existence. However, we need to see the accomplishment of our purpose in a picture clearly. That is why the great leaders that we all admire were visionaries. Actually, the world has been influenced and shaped by visionaries. They saw the end from the beginning. The vision kept motivating them till the end. They overcame challenges and continued to lead against all odds because the end they saw was too good to let it go that they were willing to keep getting up even if they were knocked multiple times.
  • Fourth, the significance of becoming a values-driven leader. It doesn’t matter that we have a grand cause and a glorious vision. We need values that define who we (individually and as a team) are. We need to discover those values that can advance the purpose, and protect the vision. Review history, the leaders who succeeded and left a legacy were principled. On the other hand, think about the leaders who stumbled. They didn’t have values, or they had, but they compromised their values or violated some universal values.

The book provides a lot more insights than covered above. To add a little more, the book:

  1. Defines and explain what purpose, vision, and core values are
  2. Enlists the vital roles the above three key attributes of the great ones that empowered them to attain greatness
  3. Describes what purpose-oriented, vision-centered, and values-driven lifestyle means

To read more about the book, the press release, the release video, and where to get the book, click here…

I’m sure this book empowers you to become an extraordinary leader. You can also use it to empower your team.

If you’re interested me in speaking at one of your future events based on the book, or a portion of the book, feel free to reach out to me: 703-895-4551 or Email me at assegid@proleadership.org

Assegid Habtewold, Bridge Builder

To remain connected and updated, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on social media by going in the middle of our website’s homepage where you will find the icons… 

You may also sign up for free to receive our newsletter for free:

Join our mailing list!



PRO Leadership Global Inc. (www.proleadership.org) is a non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes the right kind of Leadership, PROduces great leaders to bridge the leadership gaps (including gender leadership gap) worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

New Book: The Highest Level of Greatness

Hello Bridge Builders,

To refresh your memory, the mission of PRO Leadership is bridging the leadership gaps worldwide one community at a time.

These gaps were created because of some barriers. Nonetheless, the main reason is that the overwhelming majority doesn’t believe that they are greatness material and becoming leaders in the area of their passion and according to their unique purpose is their birthright. Many shy away from taking leadership responsibilities by citing so many lame excuses. 

Though it is understandable why many avoid stepping up and be part of the solution to the major ills the world is facing, we cannot just exempt ourselves and expect others to take leadership initiatives and address these challenges we face. The major ills the world faces demand great leaders like yourself. You have what it takes within you to unleash your greatness by becoming a leader in your life and your mission in life.

In my latest book entitled ‘The Highest Level of Greatness: Purpose-oriented, vision-centered, and values-driven greatness’, I shared the stories of great leaders from diverse cultures who were like you and me when they began their leadership journey. Using a framework, I clearly showed how ordinary individuals could achieve extraordinary results and attain greatness as far as they discover their unique purpose, envision the completion of the purpose, and demonstrate an unwavering commitment toward their core values. 

You’re not exceptional. The challenges your community, nation, and the world face demands that you step up. Like those who went before you, the great ones, you should bring out your best, impact the world around you and beyond, put a dent in the history of humanity, and leave a legacy that outlives you and your generation.

Filled with stories, insights, and conversations, the book will help you become one of the great world changers. To learn more about the book, and also download the Introduction and first chapter of the book, check out the Press Release: http://successpws.com/?p=2599

If you haven’t yet, check out the Facebook live interview I had in September at UN Migration Agency- IOM office in DC: https://www.facebook.com/IOM/videos/10155003995669021/ Here is the YouTube link if in case you don’t have yet a Facebook account: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvKbIIXRMeI

More Greatness books and specific books on Leadership are coming in 2018. We’re also preparing to launch a Show that brings to you high impact interviews in our effort to bridge the leadership gaps. Stay Tuned!

To remain connected and updated, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on social media by going in the middle of our website’s homepage where you will find the icons… 

You may also sign up for free to receive our newsletter for free:

Join our mailing list!



 

Assegid Habtewold

Bridge Builder

PRO Leadership Global Inc. (www.proleadership.org) is a non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes the right kind of Leadership, PROduces great leaders to bridge the leadership gaps (including gender leadership gap) worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.