Thanksgiving: The Essential Ingredient

by Onyeka Nchege on November 25, 2014

Thanks God written on the roadThe holiday season has always been my favorite time of year. Not only because I get to spend the much needed quality time with my immediate and extended family, but also because I’m a true foodie. A tender turkey leg, some homemade macaroni and cheese and a piece of sweetened cornbread are all on my list of favorite things to eat during the holidays. But I must say that my most favorite thing of all to eat is my wife Yulanda’s famous pound cake, which gets constant requests during this time of year. In my house, we’ve given her famous pound cake our own name of the “Partial Pound Cake”, because of course I have to indulge before the cake actually makes it to the family gathering.

While watching my wife the other night prepare the “Partial Pound Cake”, I noticed how much care she took in measuring the correct amounts of each ingredient and mixing them to guarantee the final product will live up to everyone’s expectations. This thought led me to a conversation I had earlier in the week with some colleagues about the requirements for success. In that conversation, we talked about how there are key ingredients that need to be present to ensure a person will be successful just as there are key ingredients in the “Partial Pound Cake” to ensure it too will be the success it always is.

During the conversation with my colleagues we talked about the fact that there are five things that have to be present for there to be promotion and/or success in any endeavor that you and embark on. Your five key ingredients to seeking success in your goals and dreams are the following:

    Competency – your ability to actually get things done

    Character – your ability to arrest the things within you that might work against you being successful

    Opportunity – the availability of circumstances and the right environment that is conducive to your success

    Desire – the ownership and accountability to pursue and overtake your dreams

    Advocacy – the need for relationships and community in the pursuit of dreams

Following the conversation, in my own private meditation time, I took inventory of how I am doing against all five of those principles and asked myself was there something missing from the list. I had to admit to myself that there’s probably one other ingredient that I am sure most people do not tend to think of, and that is a dependence on GOD. I recognized completely, and I admitted from a very personal space, that as I look back on any level of success I have been blessed with, it is only out of the abundance of God’s grace and mercy that I am and that I have.

I believe that is the often forgotten, seldom acknowledged, and absolutely essential ingredient in the pursuit of success. Without that one ingredient, you can only hope to achieve minimal success at best.

So on this Thanksgiving week, I am grateful for that essential ingredient in my life’s recipe, and I am thankful that God allows me to serve on a platform that has the potential to “impact lives in a positive manner“.

Take Action: Take the time to reflect on which of the 5 principle ingredients you need to focus on today and watch your dreams “rise” and most importantly, take the time to give thanks to God for his mercy, grace, guidance, and direction in your life.

Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N.



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Pursuing Your Passion Is The KEY

by Onyeka Nchege on November 3, 2014

2fafbf92-6436-456e-80a3-f75c9fa5580dI’m often asked if I always knew that one day I would be CIO of a large corporation, and my answer is always “Absolutely not”. However, I did always know that I enjoyed developing and presenting solutions to complex and simple business oriented problems, interacting with and serving a variety of people, and mentoring and coaching others. I am blessed to have found a position/platform where I am able to practice the things I enjoy on a daily basis.

In Proverbs 18:16, it states very simple and straightforward that, “A man’s gift maketh room for him before great men”. I believe that to be true, and, hence, I believe that pursuing your passion (God given gifts inside you) is the key to fulfilling your destiny and achieving success.

I wholeheartedly believe that when you pursue the things you are passionate about then your passions will provide a path of success for you. Though I didn’t realize early on in my career that I was on the path to becoming a CIO, I always sought out roles that leveraged intentionally developed relationships, and positions that involved presenting information/solutions, because I knew these were things that I had in my “passion toolkit” which represents strengths for me.

Now though I encourage everyone to pursue their passions so that they can move further down their path of success, it must be understood that there will be trade-offs while walking your path. For example, being a CIO means that there are times when I have to travel extensively. Fortunately, I have a wonderful family that is very understanding about the time I have to spend away from home. Pursuing your passion could mean that you will also have to sacrifice some of your personal time, or that you will have to stretch yourself to truly study your passion, or that you will have to build relationships with people whom you would not normally interact. The basic point to remember is, don’t allow the trade-offs to turn you off from pursuing your passion.

A great law of growth is to try, fail, adjust and try again until you succeed. Many of us are so afraid of failure that we don’t realize we are risking the success we can have when pursuing our passions if we let our fear of failure take precedence. Trust me, you will be successful when you pursue your passion; not necessarily because you will make a lot of money or because you will hold a position of authority, but because you will have built a platform on which you will naturally shine and that platform will give you maximum opportunity for success.

Take Action: Decide today to identify your passion, believe in your passion, and pursue your passion. It will make room for you to be your best YOU!

Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N.



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The Triumphs and Challenges of Recognition and Awards

October 21, 2014

Recently, Apple stores across the world were flooded with patrons waiting to purchase the new iPhone6.  Many will agree that the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 raised the bar in the technology industry and ushered in a wave of innovation.  Apple has not only profited greatly for setting a new industry standard, it has […]

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How Good is Good Enough

October 7, 2014

By now, most people across the world know that Apple has recently released their latest phone, the iPhone 6. Like many technology enthusiast, I waited anxiously to see what the post Jobs era release would bring. Admittedly, over the past several years, I have not, as my children say, been on “Team iPhone” so I […]

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Diversity of Personality Deserves Promotion (WHY?)

September 22, 2014

Often I have spoken about how competition breeds innovation, which I standby because I have witnessed it firsthand within my own organization. Another catalyst to innovation success is diversity. By definition, a diverse organization is one that is comprised of eclectic individuals of varying races, sexes and backgrounds. Additionally, there is one other characteristic that […]

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