People in Glass Houses Need to Throw Stones

by Onyeka Nchege on January 11, 2016

hand holding stoneMost of us have heard the glass ceiling adage in which one can see the place they want to reach but is stuck at a certain level due to a “glass ceiling” impeding them. It is true that there are many glass ceilings, (often ending in the suffix ism), that can be imposed to limit our upward mobility: ageism, sexism and racism. Though it is very unfortunate that those ignorant isms still exist and are limiting the ascension of some talented individuals, it is more so unfortunate when we limit our own progress with our self-imposed “glass ceilings”.

In this age of our society, we are taught now more so than ever how important it is to be our own loudest cheerleader. Even though we know how much that practice contributes to us striving forward to greatness, we insist on being our own worst critics. Talking ourselves out of taking new chances, because there is a good chance that we will fail at them. Stifling thoughts of creating new things, because we are sure the work will not be good enough. Taking stock in the disheartening, negative rhetoric from those around us, because they are sometimes our superiors. These are ways that we impose our own glass ceilings.

Self-imposed glass ceilings can hinder us both as individuals and as collective organizations. In organizations, self-imposed glass ceilings often take the forms of stifled creativity and less risk taking. When an organization is continually getting the message from their consumers that their products or services are not needed due to any number of reasons, their unfortunate response can be to simply stop trying.

So how do we break through our self-imposed glass ceilings? We break through our glass ceilings by throwing STONES.

  1. Stake your claim – Stand up for yourself. You matter! Be confident in the choice you are about to make and go out there and get it. Find mentors and other visionaries that will help you on your road to success.
  2. Take necessary risks – It takes courage to make a difference. The only way to make change is to be bold and take a chance on yourself.
  3. Own your achievement – Take responsibility for your own success. No one can do it for you. You have to take ownership of your goals, visions, and dreams.
  4. Note external interferences – Be aware of your surroundings. They can come in the shape of people, media and your environment. Then make the necessary changes to minimize those interferences. 
  5. Execute your plan – Set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, & Time-bound [SMART] goals and then start working towards those goals. Set yourself benchmarks to reach and check-in with yourself from time to time.
  6. Setbacks are opportunities for learning – It’s OK to make mistakes. Mistakes are necessary for success. Use those mistakes to help change your game plan.

Our professional lives can come with many challenges imposed by others that we all have to overcome in order to continue to reach our goals. When we impose our own glass ceilings, we too are contributing to the challenges of meeting our goals.

Take Action: Don’t let glass ceilings keep you from achieving your goal. Break through those barriers – whether imposed internally or externally – and take charge of your future by throwing STONES


Simply Grateful…

by Onyeka Nchege on November 25, 2015


“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others” ~ Dalai Lama

 During this time of year we are encouraged most to think of others and reflect on all that we are thankful for. In both of those regards I can honestly say that I am thankful most for those that surround me. In my personal life, I have the honor of being: a husband to my beautiful wife, a father to wonderful children, a son to loving parents, a brother to remarkable siblings and a friend to many outstanding people. In my professional life, I am privileged to lead an organization of talented individuals into greatness.

Throughout most of our careers it is ingrained in us to focus on our individual experiences and achievements, and that is understandable since it is our responsibility to drive ourselves forward. However, just as there is a need to take stock of ourselves as individuals, it is equally important to pay homage to those who paved the paths we travel, work diligently alongside us and support us in our efforts. We all need to recognize that our individual achievements are often essential parts of a greater collective.

Having been, and currently residing as the leader of an IT organization, I am grateful for the system architects that ensure we build solutions that align to with our strategic outlook, the help desk specialists that work through issues in a timely manner with our end users, the network and telecommunications specialists that ensure our entire company and external customers have connectivity to us and our systems, the analysts who ensure we deliver high-quality solutions to our end users based on their needs and specifications, the PC technicians that ensure our entire company of users have the hardware and devices they need to perform their daily tasks. These, and many more, are all essential parts of the greater collective that my position is dependent on, and I am grateful to support them as they support me. 

Take Action: My ask to everyone reading this is to not only take the time during this season to reflect on all that you are thankful for, but to also tell those who surround you why you are grateful to them. As individuals we are each strong, and as a collective we are absolutely substantial. 

I am grateful to YOU.  Thanks for reading and sharing and commenting on the Leadership on the GO….. It’s O.N blog posts.   


Mastering Those Martian Moments

November 14, 2015

“Mastering Those Martian Moments: Surviving as a Leader When You Feel Stranded on Mars” Those of you who know me are aware that I love going to the movies. It’s my chill thing and it’s one of my “relax and revive” stress busters. A couple of weeks ago, we had a family outing and we […]

Read the full article →

Looking Between The Trees

October 20, 2015

Many of us have heard the old adage, “Can’t see the forest for the trees”; meaning one doesn’t realize the vastness of what they are exploring, because they are focused only on the immediate things in front of them. As I ponder this saying, I think about my own personal and career journeys that I […]

Read the full article →

Patience is NOT Overrated!

September 17, 2015

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. – Thomas Edison It is the unfortunate circumstance that we are […]

Read the full article →