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Celebrating our own- against all odds

As I am writing this I am airborne. Yes 37000 feet above sea level. Those that know me well will know what this means given my fear of flying.
Be that as it may I am cruising at 37 000 feet and decided to confront my fears and write this short piece to the sisters out there as a word of encouragement and affirmation.  The desire to celebrate at the moment far outweighs the fear and as I am happy to embrace the moment and forget about my daily struggles and jot something down in women’s honour.
We are celebrating women’s month and regardless of the issues that face women today and society today e.g. femicide,  increasing trend of under representation in key structures of political parties,  rising unemployment and economic hardships etc.   I still believe that this is  a momentous occasion. Women still need to be being celebrated for their efforts and bravery across the length and breadth of our country.  The other motivation for writing this piece is to join South Africans in honouring a struggle veteran, Ma Albertina Sisulu – who through their struggles and selfless commitment to bring about change and make the world a better place to live for current and future generations.
It is a moment of celebration whilst acknowledging the reversal of  some of our gains in society.    It is a moment of stepping forward whilst acknowledging our vulnerability.  (Noting that showing vulnerability is a sign of strength and has more to do with being human than being weak).   It is a moment of expressing concern whilst acknowledging the victories and gallant strides of our forebears. More importantly it is a moment to reflect whilst recalibrating our bright bright future.
Our future is bright and not less rocky though. Women have done it before and we can stand tall and say that history is on our side but only if we step up to the plate. It is a bright future but only if we face our fears and rise to the occasion. It is a future alive with possibilities only if we don’t delegate what it poses on us and urging us to march ahead. It is a time for sisterhood; young and old to stand up and be counted.
I want to use this time to honour my mothers; sisters and forebears to remember that the 9th of August 1956 was a historic moment. It defined history and it propelled us to move forward and never look back.  As a result, no matter what we should all stand up and say forward ever and continue to change the South African political and economic landscape.
As we celebrate Women’s month I would like to raise my hand and be counted. I would like to foster sisterhood. I would like to stand alongside my sisters( young and old) and say if it’s gonna be then it’s up to me. I raise my hand and I say “Count me in” not because it’s women’s month but because history calls on me to rise and shine and contribute to a brighter future for all women regardless of age; race; occupation; sexual orientation or religion.
This month I am in and I am marching forward to a rewarding and bright future. I commit to sisterhood; girls support and advancing our noble cause. More importantly I commit to love and dedication. Love for humanity and dedication to change the status quo and work towards a better world.
In honour of Ma Sisulu’s efforts and other mothers like Winnie Madikizela Mandela and in the spirit of Thuma Mina I have decided to set aside the 29th of August as a day of “free mentoring session” for women leaders.  All you need to do is indicate your interest at info@zenandeleadership.com or call 012 998 7337 to book your slot.   On this day I will be working with women leaders who have immediate challenges or burning issues to share or help navigate and work one on one to try and resolve these or agree on an approach.    I am super excited about this opportunity and should you want to take me up on it….you know what to do.
Happy Women’s Month

Loving what is!!!!

February is celebrated as a month of love. All our stores and restaurants are already gearing up for mega sales; romantic dinners; red roses etc.; all of this leading to Valentines Day.  Of course all of these are symbols of love as well as expression and appreciation of what is good between humans. It is a time of plenty; celebration; commitment and appreciation.

This year is particularly interesting as the 14th of February marks the beginning of Lent. Those who believe know that Lent is the beginning of a time of sacrifice and repentance. It is a time when Christians through fasting or giving up certain vices; embark on a journey of spiritual preparation for Easter and a time for deeper connection with God.

When I realized this I could not help but wonder why are these two events occurring on the same day in 2018. I have been cracking my skull, wondering if this is a contradiction or a unity of opposites. In philosophy unity of opposites is taken to “define a situation in which the identity of a thing or situation depends on the coexistence of at least two conditions which are opposite each other and presupposing each other, within a field of tension”

I have come to the conclusion that this is by no means an accident; it is a time of deep reflection on what lens do we use to look at life? It is a time to look at the concept of love from a completely different perspective. It brings to bare that the expression of love can be multidimensional and if you take a cursory look at it you can see contradictions. Sacrificing something as an expression of love; whilst at the same abundance and celebration can be an expression of love!

Here is the thing- do we focus on celebration or do we focus on sacrifice? Are these concepts opposite or presupposing each other? The more I look at it; the more I see the connection…. it is LOVE itself.

Love is the foundation of our being… it has a number of dimensions, which at face value might look diametrically opposite to one another and yet they are intertwined in the most fundamental way!!! It also is the epitome of the co-dependencies, which are present in our paths as we journey through life.

As we approach this month of love…. let’s us remember it’s all about the lens you are using to look at any given situation. If you focus on the difference then you will have a different outcome to what is. At the same time if you focus on the connection you will also have a different outcome to what is.

My advice is in this month of LOVE let just focus on loving what is and by so doing we shorten our path to joy and fulfilment.

I would love to meet you in my programs (please visit www.zenandeleadership.com)

Loving you always

Pam Yako

Leadership and Success Coach

‘Helping women leaders to be attuned and find their inner goddess’

http://www.zenandeleadership.com

+27 12 998 7337 or +27 82 550 5225

pam@zenandeleadership.com

Skype: pam.the.coach

p.s. please feel free to contact me if you wanna learn or chat some more or sign up for my newsletter at http://www.zenandeleadership.com

 

 

What are you grateful for

Gratitude is the ability to be thankful and appreciative for all things in life. Things might be good or appear to be bad and as the Bible says…. in all situations give thanks.

Oftentimes we go through situations where things don’t go our way.  We don’t get the job we want; we don’t get a tender; we carry extra weight; we lose our friends or lovers or we can’t pay our bills etc. Those situations often invoke a sense of despair where we want to give up or even worse start blaming ourselves.

Have you ever sat and reflected on the blessings those situations bring? It could be a message to start afresh; change direction; recalibrate or simply gather more strength and tenacity to give yourself a second chance.

Here is the thing…. I believe in the saying that “everything happens for a reason” and we need to be grateful that it happened as this will make you wiser and give you another perspective. Many successful people have one thing in common they exercise gratitude and embrace the deep learning that comes with failure or a setback.

As we start 2018 I invite you to join the gratitude trip and give yourself time and permission to reflect and see the bright side of life or embrace the belief system that says, “Joy comes in the morning”. Maya Angelou (one of my favorite and inspiring poets) talks about us being a rainbow in someone else’s cloud and that someone could be you; a family member; a friend or a colleague.

Here some gratitude tips:

  • Keep a gratitude journal and everyday write Keep a gratitude journal and everyday write down 5 things that you are grateful for on that day – Oprah has been doing this for at least 16 years;
  • As you wake up each day say thank you to God/universe that you woke up that day (practice this daily for 42 days and it will become a habit);
  • Speak your gratitude – as you find parking in a busy shopping mall; miss that accident or slow traffic on the highway; a stranger gives way in an intersection; someone offers their seat to you on the train/bus – say thank you!!!!
  • Create a gratitude jar… Add slips of paper in a jar with reasons on why you are grateful (like we you used to keep a cash/money box and before we know we have saved cash). Buy the jar from Clicks or somewhere like that and use Post-it notes to write; and
  • Buy or offer small tokens of appreciation for friends and colleagues to show gratitude.

These are small gestures and practices that help to refocus us towards the bright side of life. You do it consistently and consciously then your happiness bank will show a positive balance.

I am grateful that God has given me the courage to share my gifts and worldview with you through this blog and other programs that I offer.

I would love to meet you in my programs (please visit www.zenandeleadership.com) and for now let me say “Ciao”

Forever grateful

Pam Yako

Leadership and Success Coach

‘Helping women leaders to be attuned and find their inner goddess’

http://www.zenandeleadership.com

+27 12 998 7337 or +27 82 550 5225

pam@zenandeleadership.com

Skype: pam.the.coach

p.s. please feel free to contact me if you wanna learn or chat some more or sign up for my newsletter at http://www.zenandeleadership.com

What do you focus on?

2018 is upon us and I hope that everyone has an awesome year ahead.

I have a great feeling that this year has a lot of positive things in store for me personally; the country and the world at large. It can only be better from here…. C’mon let’s face it; the world becomes a better place when all of us start looking on the bright side of life.

This brings me to the essence of my blog today. Firstly it is to reconnect with you in the New Year. Secondly it is to share the personal space I am in and thirdly is to invite you to join on a self-fulfilling journey of self-love and self-belief.

2017 might have been a long and difficult year for some and they are hoping that 2018 will be somehow be miraculously better. Well here is the thing…. it all depends on what you focus on. If you focus on what went well and be grateful for it then the whole picture changes.

I choose to focus on the positive things that happened in 2017 and guess what? I have now realized that I have just had the most amazing year, filled with love and abundance. It is so because for once I have stopped focusing on “lack” but more on what I gained and what I experienced. Even the things that did not go well; as some did; were not a result of a lack of effort on my part; it was just life. The reality is that you win some and you lose some as you “dance with life”. Where I have not achieved my goals I have gained a lot of wisdom and experience and that is what I am focusing on.

This good feeling is what I am bringing into the New Year. I have drawn up a new list of things to achieve and I will relentlessly pursue these in the only way I know how. Hopefully I will achieve all or maybe not however; I know for sure that come end of 2018 I will be a better human being.

In 2018 I am focusing on my strengths; my achievements and my God given gifts and I am inviting you to do the same. I have developed new programs for you and I commit to write more. Just to share some of the things in store:

  • Host and launch of the Dining Room table Mastermind series for professionals and entrepreneurs in February;
  • Host the Grahamstown Girls Leadership project from February 2018 in partnership with Nombulelo and Ntsika High Schools;
  • Hosting the Annual Free Online Women in Leadership Conference on the 8&9th of March;
  • Launch my e-book on the “Unleash your inner goddess- 5 C’s to your destination” by end of January;
  • Finalize and publish the book on the Personal Stories of some Phenomenal SA Women (most ambitious project to date); and
  • Host the Women Leaders Retreat in September 2018.

These are some of the things that are on my to do list this year and just the mere thought of how much am stretching myself in 2018 gives me goose bumps. Of course all of this is made possible by a focus on the right things and having the right mindset.

Let’s keep in touch this year, as I would really like to connect and share my gifts with you.

Interested in any more info: visit my website www.zenandeleadership.com or give me a call or send me an email.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light; not our Darkness; that most frightens us” – Marianne Williamson.

I choose to focus on Light…. Happy 2018.

Pam Yako

Leadership and Success Coach

‘Helping women leaders to be attuned and find their inner goddess’

http://www.zenandeleadership.com

+27 12 998 7337 or +27 82 550 5225

pam@zenandeleadership.com

Skype: pam.the.coach

 

 

Love and Success

Last week I celebrated my birthday and I was so humbled by the amount of love that I was showered with. This included my social media friends; ex colleagues; business partners; clients; family and close friends.

This experience once again taught me how fortunate I am to be a human being and to be surrounded by such love and affection. It reinforced my long held belief that people are inherently good. They are often looking for outlets to show and express their love and kindness. Of course someone’s birthday gives them that opportunity and space to say …you are one of us; you matter and we love you.

Given that reality what is then my reciprocal responsibility as a person? Surely it must be to receive love and also give love. It must also mean to live a life that is worthy of being called a human being and do onto others in the same way I have been or like to be treated.

I cannot fulfill this responsibility if I don’t attach a significant meaning to being human. It means that my definition or outlook of success must include the notion of giving and receiving love. You can give love by fully embracing the concept through a number of ways namely:

Building lasting relationships;
Applying your trade to the best of your ability;
Being an ambassador of excellence;
Looking after yourself; and
Being a good citizen by living a life of integrity and benevolence.

In my next workshop (s) to be held on 28th October and on November 18 (choose one); I would be exploring the concept of SUCCESS for individual participants.

I know for me it definitely includes LOVE and am curious to find what it means for others.

As I conclude I would like to end with a quote on Love….”We loved with a love that was more than love” ( Edgar Allan Poe).

Love and Success to all

Pam Yako

Leadership and Success Coach

pam@zenandeleadership.com

012 9987337

Interested in attending the workshops?  Visit:  www.zenandeleadership.com to register.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet taste of success

Last month we ushered in a new season…Spring. For many of us it is a time for renewal and rebirth. It is the last season as we prepare for summer and the year-end. People use this time to get rid of all of winter’s practices (good or bad). For some people it is time to get back on the grind and accelerate the pace to the proverbial finish line.

The hive of activity that is focused on self-renewal; care and rejuvenation is encouraging; fascinating and a marvel to watch. I genuinely love the idea of people doing more and working on being more. I have also witnessed some feelings of despondency when people either realize that they are either behind on their plans or have regressed. Whatever your personal circumstances are, we should not despair; as you can start again…why not?  It’s a season of second chances.

I have decided to write about success as I have observed that oftentimes the anxiety around the spring season is linked to progress towards someone’s dreams and goals. I have spent the winter months reading about the concept of “success” and sought to translate it to what it means for me. The more I researched the topic the more I realized the personal nature of the meaning and application. Just to give you a teaser on some of the thinking and discoveries

The key to success is to start before you are ready” – Marie Forleo

“Unsuccessful people make decisions on their current situation. Successful people make decisions based on where they want to be” (Quoteistan.com) 

“ I’m coming for everything they said I couldn’t have” (Words of Success, Instagram)

It dawned on me that success means different things to different people however at the core of that is a personal decision.   Oftentimes we think about “what would others think of me” if I don’t succeed or measure our success based on others or societal pressures. I do believe that there is a lot of value in benchmarking what we do and our way of being with others however comparing ourselves to others can be quite disempowering and lead to feelings of despondency…”I am not good enough.”

I am super excited to be sharing my discoveries and share them by hosting a workshop series on “Nurturing Success”. During the workshop (s) we work on a personal definition, reflect on our unique circumstances, create the necessary benchmarks and then set up monitoring measures that are unique and tailored to the individual. We do this in a chilled; non-judgmental; supportive and interactive one day workshop (s) on Oct 28 and Nov 18 2017…please choose one day.

The workshops are individually based; foster a sense of collectivism and creativity with the support of a leadership and success coach. There is space to reflect; design and learn new tools for nurturing our success journey.

Let’s face it…being successful is cool…provided you have defined it for yourself based on your own values; dreams and aspirations.

Join me and embark on a rewarding success discovery and individual mapping journey as I can I assure that we all looooove the sweet taste of victory.

Pam Yako

Leadership and Success Coach

‘Helping women leaders to be attuned and find their inner goddess’

http://www.zenandeleadership.com

+27 12 998 7337 or +27 82 550 5225

pam@zenandeleadership.com

Skype: pam.the.coach

p.s. please feel free to contact me if you wanna learn more about this or sign up for my newsletter at http://www.zenandeleadership.com

 

 

 

Leading through change

Last week I wrote about “weathering the storm’ and that was a first bite at the interesting topic of leading in challenging times. I gathered enough information to write a second blog on the same issue. Is it not wonderful that notwithstanding the challenging and volatile times that a lot of practioners and authors are sharing with the rest of us their thoughts and experiences on how best to navigate the times?

Let us count ourselves as extremely blessed that notwithstanding the so-called adverse conditions there is enough material at our disposal to equip us with the relevant tools.

John Maxwell’s reflections on the topic are quite encouraging as he asks the question – when do people need a leader the most? He argues that it is in times of volatility and uncertainty, as most people often freeze; stand still; start doubting themselves and there is a lot of indecision. He sights the role the then Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani played during the 9/11 crisis. What had happened in New York was unprecedented and many people were left despondent. The role Mayor Giuliani played was instructive in terms of leading the charges, making the necessary decisions to bring New York back to functionality; created a makeshift command centre whilst calming everybody in and around the city.

Leading from the front requires agility, self-confidence, resilience and clarity of purpose. Great leaders are not the ones who run for cover during difficult times; they stand up to be counted and ensure that they rally the troops and bring a sense of hope and direction, in other words they bring a certain level of calmness to the situation and bring everybody on board in seeing the bigger picture.

It is my submission that in order to play this role a leader needs to have certain attributes that they bring to the party and these I discuss below:

  • Know your worth– leaders need to know what they stand for; what are their strengths and what destination/direction are they leading everybody to?   Often times I ask leaders what do they have to offer; what do they bring to the organisation and more importantly what is their legacy? I often get surprised about how many people have not confronted these questions. My advice is – spend time on these big questions and create clear and measurable indicators for yourself in whatever leadership role you play.
  • Be content – knowing your worth and value proposition put a leader in great stead to lead the charges and often times he or she is less swayed by stuff that derails them from their course. They are able to discern between a small breeze that is creating a minor turbulence from the real winds of change, which might even require a change in strategy and tactics. More importantly, they know when things are about themselves and when stuff is about the environment and are able to respond appropriately.  In addition, they are confident in what they do and don’t personalize things.
  • Strengthen your emotional intelligence – I have come across many leaders and managers who are often not conscious of their impact on others. They could be knowledgeable and outstanding individual performers but are oblivious to the needs of the collective and often lose support from team members just by the way they relate to others.   The doorway to greater emotional intelligence is self-awareness. Ask for feedback on how you impact on people and dedicate time to personal reflection as well.  Maya Angelou famous quote on this is – “I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but will never forget how you made them feel”
  • Build stamina and grit – this quality is required and gives you that extra motivation to work harder than everyone else.   Angela Duckworth’s work on this is instructive and she defines “grit” as that extra something that separates the most successful people from the rest – it’s the passion, perseverance and stamina that we must channel in order to stick to our dreams until they become a reality.

I am starting Mastermind classes in September in order to work with leaders to build these often intangible but necessary skills. Working in groups and online (video calls from the comfort of your office/home) I will be leading conversations and engagements with like-minded leaders who are prepared to invest in themselves and build their success index up a few notches. If you are game please contact me so that we enroll you accordingly.

Pam Yako

Leadership and Success Coach

‘Helping women leaders to be attuned and find their inner goddess’

http://www.zenandeleadership.com

+27 12 998 7337 or +27 82 550 5225

pam@zenandeleadership.com

Skype: pam.the.coach

p.s. please feel free to contact me if you want to learn more about this or sign up for my newsletter at http://www.zenandeleadership.com

 

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