WINNING LEADERSHIP: How to define yourself and brighten up your prospects

Thursday July 14 2016

Seraphine Ruligirwa-Kamara is an expert on

Seraphine Ruligirwa-Kamara is an expert on Attitude and Human Potential 

By Seraphine Ruligirwa-Kamara

Who are you?  I can almost see your forehead wrinkling in wonderment as to where I might be going with this question. Yes, I just asked you who you are.  Do you know who you are?

Now you are probably thinking; “well, I am Conspicuous Njeri Odhiambo Abdulahi”. 

Nope.  That’s not you.  It is the given words used to identify you as a member of the society.

If you said; “I’m a man/woman”.  That’s not entirely true either.  Your gender is only a determinant of the role that you hopefully play in populating the world

Are you “Regional Head of Partner Relations - Emerging Markets, Eastern Africa Cluster?  Perhaps an impressive mouthful of a title that I hope comes an equal mouthful into your bank account on a monthly basis.  I you’re one of those pompous people who flash their cards at anyone they meet saying; “this is me”, you’ve got to stop.  Your business card is a piece of dead, bleached and re-coloured wood.  The title printed on it is certainly not you.  It is simply a role you play for your employer at this time. 

Now, who might you be?  Father, mother, brother, sister, friend, husband, wife, colleague and so on?  Sorry, you’re not quite there.  All those are the very emotive purposes you fulfil in other people’s lives.  Oh dear!  So who are you, Dear reader?  The answer to this question is that there is not a single response that fits all. The answer lies in a process that only you can take the wise decision to experience to reveal it yourself and the world around you.  


The answer lies in understanding how your world operates and how well you align yourself to its modus operandi.  It is in engaging your life compass to point in the direction that you know you must set off towards.  And then you must start walking. You must ensure that every step you take is geared towards the direction of your compass no matter how many shiny distractions lie in your path. While you walk, you want to spend time in deep introspection.  Mentally go back in time and decide to leave behind all the words, thoughts and actions that no longer add the spring you need in each step that you take.  Those unhelpful belief-systems only serve to maintain the status quo in your life. They keep you living an unfulfilled personal and professional life.  No matter how much sense they made before you set off on your self-seeking sojourn, it’s time to leave the behind.

Your answer is in recognizing the robotic ways in which you exist because that is how you have been trained to live for so long.  To truly find yourself, you cannot merely exist as others have told you to. You must act in accordance with the purpose for which you are  alive.  This must be clear in every endeavour that you undertake.  Going through the motions of everyday life is for the average, it is not the way of the self-actualizing individual.  It is imperative that this be done with utmost care as to the aura you give off at every stop on your way.  Is it the aura that is pleasing, attractive and likely to induce the cooperation that you are wont to require on your travails?  If it isn’t, stop. Take a break.  The search for the self is not an undertaking to embark on alone. You will need the help of others. Ensure that you are able to attract the help you need at the snap of your fingers.

Are you getting a little anxious yet?  Never mind, all  the people on this journey are.  Some go beyond that and get to the T-Junction of choice.   Here, they are forced to either take the decision to join the masses of those doing a lot of mileage in their walk but going exactly nowhere.  They are a tyrannical majority.  The other option is to transcend their anxiety.  This is no mean feat.  This is the junction at which sleeves are rolled up, the sun is up, there is a large dry tract of land to be tilled.  The requirement for this transcendence is that you pick up one of the dirty shovels lying around you and get to work. These shovels were abandoned by the masses going in the opposite direction.

This is where your journey to self-discovery really begins.  You will be tried and tested with every step you take from here on.  There is thirst, heat, biting insects in the ground, blisters in your hands as you work the dry land.  You’re not likely to have much In the way of help with the heavy-lifting on  this journey. Keep going still.  Tired?  Keep going.  Giving up?  Don’t.  Your true self lies not in yonder but in the way you till the dry land.  In what you make of it and the you that emerges as a result.  This is when you will encounter your true self.

This is my best answer.  If the you that you encounter does not please you,  take heart, find someone who has walked this long demanding journey to hold your hand.  Find a good coach to work with you.  You will still need to do the work.  At least you will know how to do it more efficiently and get to meet, understand, improve, experience and enjoy the real you a whole lot sooner.