Tag Archives: business

From our Intern, Erica

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A testimonial from our amazing Intern Erica, who we will miss dearly <3

Interning for LAS has been one of the greatest experience of my life , I never thought it would be this interesting at first but as I finish my internship I wish I had more time with these three very focused, passionate and ambitious ladies.

Coming from a background of little PR knowledge these ladies were willing to open up and impart so much knowledge into my life. They have taught me so much about work ethic, professionalism, time management, growing a business, and how to brand and network my business. I now know that having an idea is one thing but nurturing the idea into reality requires hard work and dedication.

Not only did I learn a lot about the corporate world, I also learnt about giving back to the community by simply sharing skills and knowledge. LAS in partnership with Mint n’ Tea have an amazing initiative called HerAfrica. Through this they impart knowledge, skills and tools to girls and young women. Through HerAfrica, I got to understand the theory of giving back to the society in a whole new level. I had the opportunity of visiting a girls school in Bagamoyo, and played my part in sharing skills and advice to the next generation of female leaders. It felt so good to spend time empowering others!

As I mark the end of my time at LAS consultancy, all I have is a deep appreciation for these ladies. LAS has made me a different person at heart – I feel I can now boldly take on the corporate world! Salha, Asnath and Lilian are experts in the their field and I am honoured to have been able to learn from the very best!

Love,

Erica.

Embrace the search for purpose

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I can not count the number of times this has been a topic of much musing and discussion in our office. What is  purpose? Do our lives have a meaning? Is what we are doing as a business meaningful? Is working at LAS, our calling or are we doing this to make money and pass time?

Been there before? We certainly have! In all honesty, we are yet to figure it out. We are all in a continuous journey of self discovery, reflection and evaluation.

This blog post is not aimed to help you figure out your calling. Sorry. But hopefully it will rattle your cage and make you start thinking of where you are and where you would ideally like to be.

Many people conflate calling with identity. They confuse who they are with what they are made to do. While the two are connected, they are not the same. Identity is who you are, but calling is how you express that. It is the string that connects our dots and allows us to feel fulfilled. It is, according to most widely accepted definitions, where your deepest passions and your greatest strengths intersect.

Calling: where your deepest passions and your greatest strengths intersect.

So are you in a work environment where your passion and strength intersect? Why not take a moment to evaluate your satisfaction? A lot of people say, “I work to live rather than love to work”. That sounds reasonable, but it’s usually a rationalization tool used by those who hate their jobs so they can muster the strength to endure them. The truth is that life is too short to work somewhere you are not passionate.

Ideally we should aim to love our work and not just endure it. Yes, not everyday will be glamorous, but if you dread getting out of bed, and diving into your occupation – something must change. You should love what you do. Or at least like it. Don’t settle for just going through life enduring Monday through Friday.

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Sit down quarterly or as often as you can and ask yourself critical questions about whether or not you are content in your current assignment:

  • Do I love what I do?
  • Do I feel I’m just enduring this?
  • Has this become a means to an end [money, fame, significance], or does it give me a sense of purpose?
  • Is the greatest intent of my week to get to the weekend or next vacation day?
  • If someone told me that I had to quit this assignment tomorrow, would I be relieved or disappointed?
  • Am I still being challenged?
  • Would my friends and family say that this assignment is right for me?
  • Is where I am integral to getting me where I really want to be?
  • Am I dreaming about next phases more often than thinking about what is currently in front of me?

After asking these questions, if it is clear you aren’t satisfied, you have two choices: work to change the dynamics of your current assignment or begin looking for a new one. Stave off guilt and shame and grant yourself permission to be honest and take action. It’s too important.

Share with us your thoughts! Where are you in your journey to find purpose in what you do? What has helped? What advice can you give others?

 

 

 

 

DEVELOP THE LEADER WITHIN – AMBITION!

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DEVELOPING A HABIT OF AMBITION


Ambition: A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

If I got a shilling for every time I heard that young Tanzanians are lazy, lack ambition or unreliable, I would probably be a millionaire by now! Yes its a huge generalization, however a some truth it!

I have recently been doing a little soul search and reading – and before I point the finger at my fellow brothers and sisters, I too see so many elements of lethargy in my own life. That attitude of procrastination or a lack of drive that creeps in so often or that lifestyle of under-performing, or doing the bare minimum just to get by, when you know that you know, that you can do far better than what you are currently doing.

OK, before we get bogged down here is a bit of encouragement: Everyone is born with a measure of ambition…but the rest still must be nurtured. Some people are born with an extra helping of it, others have to really work to nurture ambition in their lives and fight the temptation to become too comfortable wherever they find themselves.

Yes, we all have an overachieving friend who is always on the move towards greater heights and bigger things – and we also know that very polite 30 plus year old who can’t seem to get there life together even though the world was literally laid at their feet for the taking! Before your mind wonders off, ask yourself, what about me…?

No matter what spectrum you find yourself on, ambition is buried deep within you.

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So there’s hope! Now what? Here are some tips I found really useful from the book H3 leadership to help you feed your ambition appetite :

 

1. Sketch tomorrow. Leaders must begin with the end in mind. But it is hard to believe what you cannot see. When you look at your future what do you see? Or rather, what would you like to see? To create goals, you need to know where you are headed. But many people don’t set goals because they have never dreamed specific dreams about the reality they hope to create. So start dreaming !

 

Leaders must begin with the end in mind

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2. Set good goals. Most people have some sort of goals, but many of their goals are not good ones. The best goals are specific, not general. They are attainable, not unrealistic. They are challenging, not easy. They are measurable, not indeterminable. And they are clearly communicated, not assumed. Make sure you have clear and specific goals for yourself and your team that can be evaluated after a set period of time. What we like to use at LAS is an app/online platform called Asana, which helps us as a team stay on track on what goals we need to achieve within a defined period time. Its also a great way to keep each other accountable when the desire to slack kicks in.

Goals are supposed to be challenging, not easy

SMART-goals

 

3. Stop to celebrate. Those who have no ambition won’t recognize cause for celebration, and those with too much ambition will move on to the next goal. Whenever you or one of your teammate accomplishes a major goal, pause for celebration. Celebrating a goal encourages goal-setting and achievement. This is a springboard to setting and pursing new goals.

 

4. Keep going and keep trying. Rejection is not the end of your influence. Great leaders continue to improve and don’t allow for mediocrity to set in. Push yourself on a daily basis. Get up early, stay up late and keep plugging away. Rejection is not the end of you influence, but may actually be the beginning of something great. A habit of ambition many times is built because of more nos than yeses.

Push yourself on a daily basis

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Now, look at your own life and ask, “How am I feeding my ambition appetite?” and “Is it producing any fruit in my life?” When your ambition is properly fed, it will yield a desire to achieve, to grow, to perform and to do ones best. It will also yield a healthy job environment, healthy relationships and a healthy work-life balance.

 

All the best!

DEVELOP THE LEADER WITHIN – CONVICTION

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DEVELOPING A HABIT OF CONVICTION


Hello Reader!

Did you know you are a leader?! Yes everyone, you included, is a leader in some capacity or sphere. Be it at home or in your circle or friends or in your business. We are all leaders and we owe it to ourselves and those around us to better ourselves in leadership. This is the passion that has grasped my heart this year, and it is my hope that as you take this journey with us, you will find useful and tangible skills that will grow you as a person and as a leader.

In this first part I will share thoughts from a challenging, yet easy to read book called: H3 Leadership [Be Humble, Stay Hungry, Always Hustle]. One of the things that stood out to me is the concept of becoming a leader of conviction. In the business world in Tanzania, and even in the public service, it is so rare to find such leaders – people who say no to bribery or apathy and laziness in their fields of people. People who give their very best because it is what is right, even when they do not feel like it on that particular Monday morning. So in that vein, allow me to share some brief thoughts from Brad Lomenick’s book, H3 leadership. And it is my hope it will be beneficial in your growth as a leader:


A habit of conviction is essential to becoming a change maker, but it s also the one habit that if ignored will destroy a leader most quickly. Every person of influence will face a moment – or moments – when they will be tempted to compromise their integrity. If the leader chooses wrongly at this critical crossroad, it can tear him down in a whirl wind of fury. A habit of conviction means doing what is right instead of what is easy. And the further you go and the higher you climb in your leadership journey, the harder it gets.

Talent and ability may help you get to the top, but takes takes character and integrity to stay there. The depth of your character will determine the vertical depth and horizontal reach of your influence. The further and faster your influence extends, the deeper your foundation of character and conviction must be. Build who you are off the stage and behind the stage and beside the stage, way before you start thinking about getting on the stage.

Talent and ability may help you get to the top, but takes takes character and integrity to stay there.

The best leaders are people of integrity and principles who know the difference between principles and preferences. These leaders value their reputation, their consciences and their values. Your private life determines your public legacy. The best leadership moments will probably be the ones that nobody sees. The night before, the meeting afterward, the follow-up phone call, the insignificant work on the back end, that is where the real leadership is built and tested and tried. Work on those moments. A strong leader builds a habit of conviction, knowing that the times when no one is watching are when true character is built.

As you become aware of and live by your convictions, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Treat every assignment as if it is your legacy: We often compromise our principles when we feel that the project or task is insignificant. Do it with quality and conviction and principle. Do what is right, instead of settling for the easy. Right takes work.
  • If you say you will do it – Do it! Even if it costs you. The value of a promise is plummeted in modern society. Don’t contribute to its devaluation. Be a man or woman of your word. Trust is the foundation and bond of credibility. A great reputation means nothing unless you execute and fulfill the latest promise to your customer.
  • Make sure your character outdistances your competence: Character>Competency. Develop the foundation of your “who” that is drilled deep, and developed way early and long before it’s ever truly needed or compromised. Our integrity, moral compass, discipline and honestly must constantly be advanced.

If you say you will do it – Do it!

Have any other tips on growing in conviction as a leader? Leave us your thoughts below.

Till next month, Happy Growing!