A rat looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package. What food might it contain? He was aghast to discover that it was a rat trap. Retreating to the barn yard the rat proclaimed the warning; “There’s a rat trap in the house, a rat trap in the house!”
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Excuse me, Mr. Rat, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.” The rat turned to the pig and told him, “There’s a rat trap in the house, a rat trap in the house!” “I am so very sorry Mr. Rat,” sympathized the pig, “but there is nothing I can do about it but pray.
Be assured that you are in my prayers.” The rat turned to the cow. She said, “Like wow, Mr. Rat. a rat trap. I am in grave danger. Duh?” So the rat returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s rat trap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a rat trap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital. She returned home with a fever.
Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the barn yard for the soup’s main ingredient. His wife’s sickness continued so that friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer’s wife did not get well. She died, and so many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide meat for all of them to eat. And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
LESSONS TO LEARN:
The next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when there is a rat trap in the house, the whole barnyard’s at risk ~ when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.
Each of us is a vital thread in another person’s tapestry.
Our lives are woven together for a reason. Ignoring the needs of the most vulnerable among us often produce grave consequences for the rest of us.Read More
A servant leader leads by serving others. Servant leaders place the interests and needs of their followers ahead of their own self-interests and needs. They put others first. One of the qualities of a servant leader is that he thinks “you,” not “me” first. They value the development of their followers, act authentically and build their communities. In other words, servant leadership is living to serve and share. Nothing more, nothing less.
One of the best-known altruistic leaders who have walked on our planet and provided exceptional example of inspirational and servant leadership is Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela. He once said, “I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people.” Another leader who inspired and motivated others to make change not by words but through exemplary actions is George Washington. He was the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
In the American Revolutionary War, during preparations for a battle, a man in civilian clothes passed a corporal who was arrogantly ordering his men to lift a heavy beam. The man stopped and asked the corporal, “Why don’t you help them?” “Sir,” the answer came back indignantly, “I am a corporal!” With a muttered apology, the stranger stripped off his coat and pitched in to help the soldiers.
“Mr. Corporal,” he said, when the task was done, “whenever you haven’t enough men to do a job, call on your Commander-in-Chief. I’ll be glad to help”. With that, George Washington put on his coat and left. The true leaders and heroes of the 21st century and beyond will be servant leaders who walk and work selflessly behind their followers to create change in our world.
Members of Salimo–Wits Leadership Initiative gathered on Saturday 22nd August 2015 for the Youth Leadership Club event at the organization’s national office in Yaba, Lagos. This was the first meeting since the last leadership training programme which was held on August 30th, 2014 in commemoration of the international youth day. The guest speaker and lead consultant, Living Templates Mr. olamide Opeyemi spoke on the seed as the foundation for personal, social, metaphysical and governmental greatness.
According to olamide Opeyemi a seed is something you use to buy the future. Every potential is a seed and every potential has the capacity for greatness. Life is a cycle and every time is a time to sow towards the future. He explained that everything in life runs on principles. He outlined the four cardinal seed principles as the principle of self-discovery, the principle of economy, the principle of environment and the principle of delayed gratification.
The speaker explained that the destiny of a seed determines the appropriate environment for it to be planted, to germinate, to function and to grow into a massive tree of greatness that serves humanity. Olamide Opeyemi conclude his insightful and inspirational session with this statement: “Your life is not about pleasing yourself; it is about love, sacrifice and service. Sacrifice is the shortest route to greatness; refusal to sacrifice makes the journey a very tedious trek.”
The meeting also featured a presentation by an upcoming young entrepreneur, Nonni Michaels (CEO) Learned Creators Limited who spoke about his experiences as a shoe maker and designer during the ‘Sharing of Entrepreneurship Experience’ segment. The training was concluded at 4.10pm with a musical performance by Abikoye Damilola (Dammy Sax). Salimo-Wits Leadership Initiative which is committed to raising visionary and servant leaders organizes inspirational leadership trainings for young Nigerians passionate for national transformation and global impact.Read More
When geese fly together, each goose provides additional lift and reduces air resistance for the goose flying behind it. Consequently, by flying together in a v-formation, scientists estimate that the whole flock can fly about 70% farther with the same amount of energy than if each goose flew alone. Geese have discovered that they can reach their destination more quickly and with less energy expended when they fly together in formation. When people work together harmoniously on teams, sharing common values and a common destination, they all arrive at the destination quicker and easier, because they are lifted up by the energy and enthusiasm of one another.
When a goose drops out of the v-formation it quickly discovers that it requires a great deal more effort and energy to fly. Consequently, that goose will quickly return to the formation to take advantage of the lifting power that comes from flying together. Sometimes people playing on teams will drop out of the group and try to accomplish goals on their own. However, like the geese, they usually discover that they miss the synergy and energy that comes when they are an active part of a cohesive team moving toward their destination, and want to return to the group.
Geese rotate leadership. When the goose flying in the front of the formation has to expend the most energy because it is the first to break up the flow of air that provides the additional lift for all of the geese who follow behind the leader. Consequently, when the lead goose gets tired, it drops out of the front position and moves to the rear of the formation, where the resistance is lightest, and another goose moves to the leadership position. This rotation of position happens many times in the course of the long journey to warmer climates. When a team is functioning well, various members of the team may take the leadership role for a while because of a particular expertise or experience. Consequently, on good teams, everyone has the opportunity to serve as a leader as well as a follower.
Geese honk at each other. They also frequently make loud honking sounds as they fly together. Scientists speculate that this honking is their way of communicating with each other during their long flight. Similarly, when working on teams, it is exceedingly important for each team member to communicate regularly with all the other team members. Teams frequently fall apart because of the lack of adequate communication among the various members of the team.
Geese help each other. Scientists also discovered that when one goose becomes ill, is shot or injured, and drops out of the formation, two other geese will fall out of formation and remain with the weakened goose. They will stay with and protect the injured goose from predators until it is able to fly again or dies. Likewise, human teams work best when they do more than just work together, but care for the well being of each other.
Perhaps the greatest leadership lesson from the geese is this: TOGETHER WE STAND AND TOGETHER WE FALL. TOGETHER WE CAN BUILD THE NEW AND BETTER NIGERIA THAT WE DREAM, DESIRE & DESERVE.
Dear Friends and partners,
Salimo-Wits Foundation (SWF) extend a warm welcome to our friends and partners.It is truly inspiring to see that our work is starting to spark a new generation, impact mindsets and make a difference in the lives of the youths. Now in our 3rd year, we are establishing ourselves more and more as an organization that is totally committed to harnessing and maximizing the potentials of young people. We enter 2015 filled with renewed optimism and commitment to the re-orientation and development of Nigeria’s future leaders.
SWF will continue to ignite within our beneficiaries the passion to learn, create, discover, and lead. As one of our ancestral proverbs states, “A Single Bangle Does not Jingle.” Thus, it is only through our minds and hands in unity can we forge a country that is responsive to our aspirations.
Barak Obama’s book title state aptly, each year we have the audacity to dream, pray and hope for change. And 2015, heralds hope for change in our individual lives and in our nation, Nigeria. It’s a New Year. And, yes, it’s possible to change. We need a better Nigeria, new leaders and radically different thinkers. On behalf of the board members of Salimo-Wits Foundation, I wish all our friends, partners, allies and the general public a great 2015.
President and Founder
Salimo-Wits Leadership Initiative rewarded winners of the first Edition of its National book review Competition in an award ceremony held at Ikorodu, Lagos State yesterday with three youths smiling home with different prizes. Patrick Ofori Enoch emerged winner, carting away a brand new laptop and Ipad. Other winners included Williams Iniobong who emerged first runner-up and Orimogunje Samuel who emerged as the second runner-up. They were rewarded with an Ipad and smart phone respectively.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Dan Ekoko Founder and President of Salimo-Wits Foundation commended the winners for their efforts. While praising the quality of entries received for the competition, he congratulated all the finalists. He said that Foundation takes pride in the Book Review competition because it encourages healthy reading culture and stimulates intellectual competition amongst the youths. “The competition is part of the foundation’s contribution towards youth development and increasing the intellectual capacity of Nigerian students and youths. You should be happy you made it to this point because it shows that the quality of your entry was good.”
He stressed the continuous commitment of the organization to youth development and leadership re-orientation. “We are proud and truly inspired to see that Salimo vision and work is starting to spark a new generation, impact mindsets as well as make a difference in the lives of the youths. We remain dedicated to identifying, harnessing and maximizing the potentials of young people” he said. Mr. Dan Ekoko challenged the winners/awardees to be good ambassadors of the non-profit organization.
The Salimo-Wits Book Review Competition is open to youths between the ages of 18 and 35. The competition aims to provide a competitive platform to develop the intellectual and writing abilities of young NigeriansRead More
In the spirit of the International Youth Day which was celebrated around the world on August 12, Salimo-Wits Leadership Initiative hosted her third leadership training and youth forum for the year on 30th August, 2014 with the theme ‘Youth and Mental Health.’ The event commenced a few minutes after 2:00pm with members of Club SLI introducing themselves and stating two unique attributes of themselves. An interactive discussion ensued on the heroism and patriotism of Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh the senior consultant at the First Consultants Hospital, Obalende, Lagos who treated Liberian-American Ebola patient Patrick Sawyer. The 20 minutes documentary of armless American motivational speaker, life coach and pilot; Jessica Cox was the focus of the video session. The documentary highlighted the challenges, courage and determination of Jessica Cox to make the best of her condition and challenges.
The featured speaker Mr. Nathaniel Ayodeji (a Health Psychologist) defined mental health as a psychological state of well-being in which an individual realizes his own ability, can cope with normal stress of life, work productively and is able to make meaningful contribution to the community. He also described mental health as a state when one is comfortable with others, one’s environment and is able to meet-up with daily demands. The speaker described the factors affecting mental health and wellbeing as biological, environmental, and sociocultural.
He linked productivity and the realization of one’s life goals and aspirations to good mental health. Mr. Nathaniel Ayodeji concluded the discussion session with the statement, “In every disability there is still ability to learn and stand out if you are willing and determined.” He fielded questions from SLI members. Amongst the factors discussed were childhood experiences, abuse of alcohol or drugs, ethical and moral upbringing, genetic predisposition, traumatic experiences and tragedy.
One of the SLI coordinators Owoyemi Emmanuel spoke on the importance of positive mental health to building leaders and transforming society. He stressed the need for the members of Club SLI to serve as conduits of information, to spread the right message about mental health to their friends and communities. Finally, the August edition of Club SLI forum and training came to an end at 3.40pm with closing prayers from the Founder and President of Salimo-Wits Foundation – Dan Ekoko and rendition of the Club SLI Anthem.
Salimo-Wits Leadership Initiative organizes inspirational leadership meetings and trainings to galvanize young Nigerians passionate for national transformation and a new Nigeria.Read More
Leadership lessons from the World Cup Sporting activities such as football offer lessons for leaders and entrepreneurs. Here are valuable leadership lessons from the games, players, organisers, hosts and even the fans of 2014 World Cup held in Brazil.`
1. Nurture your stars and aces It is natural for teams and fans to look up to the star players, and every team certainly has some super-talented wizards. If you have budding stars in your team by all means give them the support, skills, training and resources they need to become super-achievers. What would football be without legends like Pele, Maradona and today’s Messi, Neymar and Rodriguez?
2. Don’t underestimate teamwork Nurture your stars – but not at the cost of teamwork. Don’t make your team so lopsided that it disintegrates without your stars. That puts your performance at risk, puts too much pressure on the stars, and is not fair for the rest of the team. The World Cup champions Germany are a great example of a team with heavy-hitters such as Klose and Muller as well as a broad support cast of well-coordinated team players. In contrast, many feel that ‘Messi won but Argentina lost’ – he won an individual award but his team lost. And Neymar’s injury exit after the Colombia game cost Brazil dearly.
3. Sell the vision and mission Sell the vision and mission and get everyone on your team aboard. Alignment is key for success. There will always be dissenters, but engage them creatively and genuinely address their concerns. This is a lesson also for the political leaders and government heads who decide to take on major initiatives: events like the World Cup are expensive propositions, and the Brazilian government was criticized for not making the case properly to its citizens for hosting such an expensive event in a resource-constrained country.
4. Don’t fake and whine Don’t fake your problems and don’t unnecessarily complain about them, you will lose respect among peers, colleagues and other stakeholders. On several occasions, many football stars in the World Cup were shown to be faking injuries, unnecessarily complaining to the referees and generally whining about getting a rough deal during tough tackles. This lowered their esteem in the eyes of fans, and may even have led to wrong calls by referees which unfairly changed the game.
5. Be gracious in victory Winning is great, but be magnanimous to the team you defeated. Show your pride but also your dignity, appreciate your competitors for their good performance on a meritocratic basis. One of the beautiful gestures after Brazil’s victory over Colombia was Brazilian David Luiz consoling young striker James Rodriguez from Colombia, and asking the audience to applaud him.
6. Be gracious in defeat You can’t always be winner, so be gracious when you lose. Take it as part of the cycle or spiral of life and recoup to fight another day. Identify the real causes of defeat and plug those gaps. During the World Cup, some complaints were made by losing sides about the national origin of the referees, instead of addressing the real shortcomings of the team or style.
7. Be an ambassador for your team You are more than your role in the team, you are an ambassador for your whole team and country. On the world stage, tournaments like the World Cup show that some players do their countries proud and instill respect for the broader community, others just pander to stereotypes and make things worse. There were displays of leadership and creativity everywhere at the World Cup – among the fans as well. From the heart-wrenching tears of Brazilian fans to the astonishing face paints of Argentinean fans, the stadiums of the World Cup were a treat of human reaction and wisdom.
8. Learn from your mistakes Mistakes are inevitable, they are a part of human nature, organisational mis-steps and bad luck. So learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them, treat them as a new form of learning or a source for next practices. Brazil should have learnt from its mistakes during its defeat by Germany, but not doing so led to its next defeat by the Netherlands, among other reasons.
9. Learn from others’ mistakes Mistakes are costly, so keep an eye on others’ mistakes also. There’s a wealth of learning in study and analysis of the mis-steps of others – your competitors and counterparts. Argentina learnt well from watching Brazil’s rout by Germany, and made sure its defense was tighter; though it also lost, it was by a narrow margin.
10. Be prepared for the long haul Success is short-lived, and you have to keep fighting to achieve success and even more to protect your success in the long run. The global economy is a tough place to compete, and new kinds of talent can emerge from anywhere. Big transformations take a long time, and creativity needs to be coupled with patience. It took Germany 14 long years to transform its football image from ‘tough brutal bully’ to the slick coordinated team of 2014.
Published | July 14th, 2014 (by Madanmohan Rao)Read More
Salimo-Wits take the message of ‘Say No To Drugs’ to the Youths of Ibeju- Lekki Communities of Lagos State
Global societies are witnessing an upsurge of issues for example drug abuse, human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, environment degradation and pollution etc. Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is the patterned use of a substance (drug) in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods neither approved nor supervised by medical professionals. Drug abuse constitute a major public health problem all over the world and in the recent time, there has been an alarming increase in many countries around the worldespecially amongst young adults, with no exclusion to Nigeria. According to the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the use and abuse of drugs by adolescents have become one of the most disturbing health related phenomena in Nigeria.
Gone are the days when drug use was regarded as a stigma, with drug users generally hiding to indulge in the act. Nowadays, drug abuse, addiction and peddling are gaining more ground in our society and more fashionable to young people. Several types of drugs are susceptible to abuse by youth. These drugs range from most common and less expensive such as cigarettes and alcohol to expensive and more deadly such as cocaine and heroin. Though the use of illicit drugs is not a new trend, it is growing at a worrisome rate with more ‘leaders of tomorrow’ embracing drug abuse due to poverty and unemployment, deteriorating family values, negative peer pressure, societal influence and decadence among others. The menace of drug abuse has eaten deep into the fabrics of our society; however, with the intensification of anti-drug campaigns, re-orientation and awareness programmes, the government and other relevant authorities can curb the spread of this scourge amongst our youths.
Based on the desire to re-orientate and build a new generation of young Nigerians towards a drug-free society, Salimo-Wits Foundation in collaboration with the Divine Treasurers and Prisoners’ Rehabilitations And Welfare Action (PRAWA) on 11th April 2014,organized a one day Youth Empowerment Workshop for the nine (9) communities of Ibeju-Lekki, Local Government Area, Lagos State, Nigeria. The sensitization workshop which took place in Dongo Community and themed: “Implication of Substance Abuse on the Future of the Youth” was attended by over 130 participants including childrenfrom Dongo and adjoining Communities. Arrival and registration at the venue of the event started at 11:00 am. The programme commenced with an opening prayer, the Nigerian National Anthem, as well as a keynote address by the president and founder of the Salimo-Wits Foundation and Divine Treasurers, Ambassador Dan Ekoko. He opened his inspirational speech with a definition of the term, ‘Youth’. Dan Ekoko described ‘Youth’ as the period from puberty to the attainment of full growth. According to him, in 1998 the United Nations predicted that by year 2010, the number of young people around the world would grow to more than 1.2 billion. Currently, half of the world’s population is under the age of 25. In Nigeria, one third of the population comprises of young people between the ages of 10 and 24.
He underlined drug abuse as one of the major distracters of Nigerian youths in the pursuit of their dreams for relevance, impact and greatness in life. He stated that when a person has no personal vision or goals, drug abuse and irresponsible living become almost inevitable. He spoke further that youth is the best time to prepare, plan, dream and strategize for the future. Youth is not a time for alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and marijuana use, participating in cult activities or other wasteful ventures. Using highly influential people in Nigeria and around the world as references, he explained that a person’s socio-economic background should not be the determinant of his or her future. He advised the participants to maximize the time of youth appropriately and wisely since everyone can be a youth only once in a lifetime. In conclusion, he declared the workshop open
The first workshop session was anchored by Pharm. Nonso Maduka (PRAWA), the Program Officer of Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA). He began his presentation by listing three major drugs – Alcohol, Cigarette and Marijuana which he referred to as the gateway drugs. The speaker debunked stories and popular myths associated with substance abuse such as the statement that “Alcohol is harmless.” He linked alcohol use and abuse to increase in the level of mental illness and mental disorder. He explained that peer pressure, imitation of role models, experimentation, the desire to feel grown up and dysfunctional families as some of the major reasons why young people start using and abusing drugs. Pharmacist Nonso Maduka concluded his presentation with the statement that staying drug free is the safest strategy to staying alive. He also responded several questions from the participants.The second workshop session titled: “Drugs to Wealth” was anchored by Ambassador Sunny Ikhioya – a trained sociologist, human capital development expert and writer. He explained to the participants the need for self-discovery, entrepreneurship, self-reliance, taking responsibility, skill acquisition and talent development. He closed his presentation with emphasis on resourcefulness, hard-work, perseverance, patience and determination as the key to success.
The empowerment and sensitization Workshop was concluded with the sharing of life experiences by ex-drug users and former cultists, as well as vote of thanks by the Baale of Dongo community and other elders of the participating communities.Read More
Members of the Club SLI gathered on Saturday 12th July 2014 for their July Leadership meeting at the Emotional Development Academy training center in Yaba, Lagos. The focus of the training was ‘Building Personality.’ One of the Salimo-Wits Executive coordinators, Sunny Ikhioya spoke on the need to build and maintain a good personality. He defined the term ‘Personality’ as a combination of our natural attributes and learned skills. According to Ikhioya, personality building is a continuous exercise throughout our lifetime because of environmental and situational factors. Ikhioya went on to highlight ten ways to build personality which included being a good listener, meeting new people, reading more and expanding one’s interest, having a positive outlook, respecting others and being supportive of others.
The training also featured the introduction of the first edition Salimo-Wits book review competition. The book review and public speaking competition based on Stephen R. Covey’s international bestseller: “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” further demonstrates the organization’s commitment to youth development and nation building. A presentation on Book Review techniques was anchored by Ambassador Roland Eyetu. The speaker presented the audience with a simple step by step method for writing the review and the guidelines for the competition. He fielded questions from SLI members before the meeting came to an end at 3.30pm.
Salimo-Wits Leadership Initiative organizes inspirational leadership meetings and trainings to galvanize young Nigerians passionate for national transformation and a new Nigeria. The next forum with the theme ‘Leadership and Relationship’ holds on Saturday 16th August 2014.Read More