Are You Responding or Reacting?

by Onyeka Nchege on December 15, 2014

TrafficTraffic jams can make the most patient man feel the urge to turn into the Incredible Hulk. Today was one of those days, and as I look at other cars, I can see the drivers in those cars are feeling the same impatience. Do I get off at the next exit; do I take another route? How far up in the road is the delay? Is it temporary? Should I just sit tight? As I look ahead as far as I can see, my hope is waning fast as all I see is the red lights of others in similar positions or decisions.

I bite the bullet, after looking at all my options on my GPS, and decide to get off at the next exit to try an alternative route. Of course I made the same, impulsive decision as many others on the road hoping to also speed up their journeys. Getting off on the side road only traded one traffic jam for another. At least we were moving, but it was stop-and-go all the way. Eventually I decided to get back on the highway and doing that made me realize that I had not made much progress on the side road as I expected. Back on the highway, I asked myself all of the same questions that led me to the hasty decision. Again, I resist turning into the Incredible Hulk, and this time I decide to inch along the highway until we pass the traffic obstruction. I realized that I do not have all of the information as to what is delaying us on this road, so I truly cannot make an informed decision.

    Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we are waiting ~ Joyce Meyer

During that time of wrestling with my exasperation, I thought about my organization today and how, as a leader, I am asking folks to have patience as the organization is making decisions that will benefit us all in the end. I always say, and justly mean, our people are our biggest asset. Unfortunately, it is often that our people are, just as I was sitting in traffic, unable to make an informed decision, because they do not have access to all of the information at that time. Just as I did, they ask questions out of impatience, frustration and restlessness and often times they make hasty decisions in hopes of answering those questions. Right now, I am wondering how many people in our organization are asking the question, “Do I get off at the next exit to take another route?” And my hope is that people are resisting their urge to turn into the Incredible Hulk and answering with, “Let me see what lies ahead first, so that I can make an informed decision.” With impatience you will react; with patience you will respond even when you are frustrated and restless.

Sitting in traffic forced me to learn that there are things we can all practice as leaders through our personal and professional journeys.

    Communication – provide your people with the relevant and pertinent information they need so that they can make intelligent decisions for the benefit of themselves and for the organization at large

    Patience – be intentional about practicing patience so that you provide yourself with the time to review all of your options that will lead to the best decisions for you and your people

    Deliberation – ponder past decisions and their outcomes to allow yourself to make better decisions for the future and to reflect on your progression

Responding to a situation will always merit more than reacting to a situation whether it is in your professional or personal life. Being receptive and providing information to your peers, exuding patience in your decision making and deliberating on past decisions allows you the platform on which you will respond versus react.

Take Action: What does your current situation require from you today – to respond or to react – which one will serve you best?

Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N.


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.


Pursuing Your Passion Is The KEY

November 3, 2014

I’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 […]

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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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