We Thrive on Menial Tasks!

by Onyeka Nchege on July 20, 2015

Vintage still life.As I have mentioned many times before on this platform, mentoring is one of my favorite aspects of the position I hold. Of the group of individuals that I have mentored over the years, I really enjoy working with young people to achieve their professional and personal goals. One aspect that I noticed, which has been consistent with that group in particular, is they often focus solely on the rewards and benefits that accompany their goals. Focusing on the rewards and benefits of a goal is not an incorrect approach to achieving it, in fact it can serve as a great motivator, however, a better approach is to define a set of tasks that when completed move you another milestone closer to achieving your goal. In other words, the only job where you start at the top is when you dig a hole; in all other jobs, you must define a plan of success to reach the top.

When discussing the tasks that need to be set for achieving the ultimate goals of this group of young people, I often have to explain that there are no menial tasks. Provided it is not illegal or unethical; if this is your goal, then there should be no task that you are unwilling to do to achieve it. Remembering a conversation I had with a young man a few years ago, who was in high school at the time, about his ultimate goal of being a photographer so that he could: make a lot of money, travel the world and meet famous people. My reply to him was that he needed to start investing in the equipment and applying to some internships to get the needed experience. His smile was erased when I went on to explain to him that there was a strong possibility many of the internships would be unpaid.

As with that young man, there are many others I enlighten to the fact that those who sit at the top, from LeBron James to Warren Buffet, are all faced with daily tasks that do not garner immediate rewards and benefits. In that same respect, there are many things that I, too, must do daily from which I earn no tangible accolade, however, I know they are required to sustain my current position and fuel my growth.

The mentoring aspect of my position allows me to not only educate and advise others; it also allows me to be educated and enlightened. In my own education and enlightenment, I have learned that when Onyeka worked as a Sunday newspaper stuffer or when he was the early morning biscuit maker at Hardees, he was completing the needed tasks to achieve his goal of being in a position where he can positively influence and help others.

Take Action: Remember, there are no menial tasks when it comes to pursuing your dreams, vision, mission, or goals. All tasks play an integral role in pushing you to your destiny. Dig in and stay focused.

Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N.


It’s Hard to Build a Solid Brand

by Onyeka Nchege on July 1, 2015

Developing a BrandJust like pictures, a brand is worth a thousand words. When we see a bitten apple on the top of a computer or a circled tri-star on the hood of a vehicle, we know that we are getting a quality product that has been built by a company with a solid reputation. The immediate, positive recognition of these icons by consumers shows that companies like Apple and Mercedes have effective brand strategies. Brands are the identifiers of and differentiators between products and services offered by an entity and it is the strength of that brand that determines the consumer base.

In addition to brands triggering immediate recognition to consumers, they are also essential building blocks to an organization. Brands allow the individuals within organizations to rally behind a set of common values and goals that aid in strengthening their identifier and differentiator. In other words, the many individual roles within an organization function as one team under their brand.

In each organization where I have served as the CIO, I find it essential to create a brand for the IT department. Our brands not only signify the products and services we offer, but they also send messages of loyalty, promise, collaboration and stability to our teammates in the overall organizations. A quality logo means we are not going anywhere anytime soon; it serves as a compass, guiding our actions and endeavors. As we strengthen our brand through positive practices, our teammates can trust us to offer innovative and comprehensive solutions and services to their business needs when they see our logo throughout the organization.

As an individual, I have also grown to understand the importance of strengthening my own personal brand. Our personal brands are built on the same premises as those of an organization. Consistent, positive interactions and quality experiences with your consumers will grow and fortify your consumer base. As individuals, we do not tend to think of ourselves as having consumers, but every communication we have with other individuals, be it verbal or non-verbal, determines our consumer base. And how we choose to communicate with our consumers determines the strength of our brand. Hence, the product we are offering is ourselves. For a basic example, the individual who takes the time to address everyone they encounter with pleasantry is going to have a stronger brand than the individual who offers a scowl and negativity to all they encounter.

Brands are symbols – images that represent a greater idea that a group of people can rally behind and believe in. Our brands, whether they are at an organizational or individual level, help in identifying the reputation around our products and services. When our consumers see our names or logos displayed, we want them to have that immediate, positive recognition. And following that recognition, we want them to assess and utilize our offerings.

Take Action: Whether on a professional or personal level – decide who you are, brand it and then live up to it every time.

Leadership on the GO…..It’s O.N.


“Transitions” is The New Life Defining

June 15, 2015

We tend to look at our lives as a timeline, moving from one point to another. It is only human that we organize our lives in this way – we remember the big moments; the good and the bad. Getting married, losing a loved one, going to college, the birth of a child – I […]

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Feed-Back to Advance-Forward

June 3, 2015

In the coming weeks LeBron James will be contending for his 3rd NBA championship. With proven talent as great as his, I am sure many believe he has nothing left to learn in regards to the sport of basketball. However, in numerous interviews LeBron himself has stated that he only gets better when he heeds […]

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Altitude of Attitude Affects Aspiration

May 15, 2015

In 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to stand on top of the world. In the brief fifteen minutes when he was on the tallest peak of Mount Everest, he had just enough time to take some photographs and say a prayer thanking God while burying a crucifix. In one of the interviews […]

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