Categories
Character Development

Honesty

Almost everyone has been hurt at some point by the discovery of a secret, a distorted truth, a lie, and/or something that should have been talked about openly. Dishonesty hurts because it undermines relationships, breaks trust and destroys intimacy. Instead of feeling secure in the fact that you know the other person and are known by them in turn, you have doubts about them and no longer feel safe in the relationship. 

Honesty is a facet of moral character that connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, as well as the absence of lying, cheating, stealing, etc. Honesty also involves being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere. Honesty is a choice; it is an acquired trait.

WHY CHOOSE HONESTY?

Being honest isn’t always easy, otherwise, we would all be honest. However, here are five main reasons why honesty is important: 

  • Honesty is the foundation for lasting relationships in any context whether with family members, friends or romantic interests. Honesty is the voice of love that builds trust. Without it, even “I love you” becomes a lie in itself and there’s no real security in relationships. 
  • People can’t read your mind. Being honest doesn’t just mean telling factual information but also the way you feel. If you were hurt by something someone did, he or she may not realize it until you are honest with him or her about how it affected you. If you hide the way you feel instead, you disempower the other person from doing something about the problem and refuse the relationship the opportunity to grow. He or she may also feel hurt if he or she realizes you were upset with them but said nothing, or if he or she knows you’re not being honest with them about the way you feel. This could fester and damage the relationship. On the other hand, being honest about your feelings can bring healing, solve a problem, renew hope and foster good communication.  
  • When people don’t know the truth, they try to guess the truth. That is, not being honest about something makes people try to figure out what you’re not saying, or what the truth is. This breeds gossip which can foster lies that others mistake as truth. Finally, this causes many more people to feel hurt and betrayed when the truth is revealed, all of which could have been avoided if honesty was shown in the first instance. 
  • People are usually more hurt by the concealment of the truth than the truth itself. Some people lie because they’re afraid that the truth will get them in trouble or cause another pain, but more often than not, while the truth may be painful, it is usually less painful when delivered honestly than when it is wrapped in deception. Holding back or lying to cover up only causes people to feel betrayed and hurt, and to question why you weren’t honest with them in the first place. 
  • Being honest improves relationships and saves us from having to live as liars. A lie rarely stops at one; one is usually needed to cover another, and this continues until it spirals out of control. It becomes complicated for the one who started the lie and confusing for the one(s) being lied to. On the other hand, being honest about difficult situations may be uncomfortable at first, but if worked through, relationships are strengthened, trust is built and love is deepened. 

Although the words, “I’m sorry,” can ameliorate certain ugly situations, they can’t heal rifts or set things back to order before they went to hell. If someone finds out that you have lied to them, they may never fully trust you again, never. Even if you spend the rest of your life being a paragon of honesty and integrity, the person you lied to may always wonder if you’re being dishonest on some level. You may be sincere to your very marrow, but they may never have faith in you again…

Can you live with that? 

AUTHOR

Folakemi Oyeyemi is an Associate Solutions Architect at Lead Resources, a strategic human capital development social enterprise that helps organizations become the best they can be using world-class tools and practices. She is a Mathematician and is also passionate about entrepreneurship.

Categories
Human Capital Development

Human Capital Development

The most valuable assets in both developing and developed countries are humans. Human Capital refers to a collection of traits – knowledge, talents, skills, abilities, experience, intelligence and training – possessed individually and collectively by a population and used to create economic value. It is a form of wealth which can be utilized to accomplish the goals of a Nation or an organization.

Human Capital Development deals with increasing the number of persons who have the skills, education and experience that are critical for economic growth and organizational development. In my Nation, major projects are often outsourced to foreign hands because the skill-set required to execute such projects is unavailable in the Nation. This is a fallout of the negligence of Human Capital Development. Apparently, Human Capital Development determines the development of any Nation.

Human Capital Development in an Organization is the process of improving employee performance, capabilities and resources. This is vital to the growth and development of any organization. In recent times, many organizations have incorporated the use of digitized services. This is because the Nation is swiftly migrating into a digital economy – an economy driven by technology. We are no longer in the age of stereotypical work. This means that employees must skill up and co-evolve to keep up with the demands of this new economy. Skills like transdisciplinarity, novel and adaptive thinking, virtual collaboration, social intelligence and design thinking go in tandem with this rapid evolution and deployment of innovative technologies. The skills, values and perspectives required must be instilled into employees through Human Capital Development.

Apart from Organizational Growth, Human Capital Development in an organization brings out the best in employees. Employees like to acquire new skills on the job. A sense of pride and loyalty develops when employees realize that their organization invests time and resources in training them and this generates maximum productivity in return.

I advocate for the empowerment of humans with the skills required in the digital economy. When we engage in Human Capital Development, innovative solutions for organizations and the Nation can be birthed speedily.

At LEAD Resources, we leverage Human Capital Development for Organizational and National Growth. Want to know how? Learn more here.

AUTHOR

Oluwatobiloba Dairo is an Associate Solutions Architect at LEAD Resources, where she is exploring a rapid Knowledge Acquisition path, building digitized competencies relevant for Career Development and stimulating solutions for Individuals, Organizations and the Government. She is a graduate of Mathematics and an advocate of Women in Leadership. She is interested in Financial and Data Analysis.

Categories
Finance and Accounting

An Introduction to Financial Literacy

According to Wikipedia, financial literacy is the possession of the set of skills and knowledge that allow an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.

Most of us believe that having more money or getting a bigger pay at work will reduce our financial stress and solve half of our problems. However, we fail to realize that one’s financial wellbeing is considerably more determined by how they manage and spend their money rather than how much money they make. Your beliefs about money and your spending patterns greatly influence your potential to create wealth. 

Financial literacy covers topics such as budgeting, expense tracking, investing, debt, taxes, emergency funds, retirement savings and estate planning.

WHY IS FINANCIAL LITERACY NECESSARY?

Financial literacy is necessary because it equips people with the knowledge and skills needed to manage money effectively. What do I mean? Financial literacy ensures that every financial decision you make is backed by a rationale that empowers you to be confident and secure in your choice. 

Statistics from a study in 2019 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in America showed that lack of financial literacy cost Americans a total of $295 billion in 2018. Some of the households which participated in the study reported annual losses of up to $2500 due to poor financial decisions. Furthermore, it was stated that 63% of Americans could be categorized as “financially illiterate.” This buttresses the fact that financial literates make better money decisions than those who are not. Imagine how much you will be able to do if you can track your expenses, seal the loopholes in your purse and save more money?

Also, we must intentionally seek financial literacy because it is a subject that is rarely taught in our conventional education system even when much of what happens outside the four walls of school revolves around money management. Without financial literacy, even a well-educated and gainfully employed graduate can slide into bad debt and poverty. 

FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE AS A PRODUCT OF FINANCIAL LITERACY

In my words, financial intelligence (FINTEL) is the basic knowledge of how money works and the application of this knowledge in making financial decisions that make life better. It is the knowledge and skills gained from understanding finance and accounting principles in the business world. This understanding, financial intelligence, can only be gained through financial literacy. 

There are three types of education: academic, professional and financial education. The primary school system places much emphasis on basic literacy skills such as reading, writing, speaking and solving arithmetic. Students are graded based on their ability to develop these skills and apply them in solving real-life problems. Very little or nothing is taught about financial education and money management in higher institutions. Hence, you must be deliberate about educating yourself on money. As you strive to build your intelligence quotient, also work on your financial intelligence. 
 
Interestingly, the skills gained in FINTEL are NOT innate; rather, they are learned and can be developed at all levels. So, you don’t have to worry about having a low grade in this. You can improve no matter the level you are. Contrary to popular beliefs, financial intelligence is NOT the state of having a lot of money. It is neither a goal nor a course that you are graded for. Rather, it is the means to the goal of financial freedom!

QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU GAUGE YOUR FINANCIAL LITERACY

It is easy to assume that you are financially literate because you “know yourself.” However, your personal finances need extra attention if you want to live well. The only way to get a better handle on your personal finances is by identifying what you don’t know and putting in the effort to get educated.  

Here are a few questions identified by Bayportsa to help you identify your financial literacy gaps: 

  1. Budget: Do you have a monthly budget that includes all of your basic expenses, debts and savings?  
  2. Expenditures: Are you tracking your expenses and do you know about how much money you spend to cover living expenses over a period of three to six months? 
  3. Debt: Are you in debt? Are you taking active steps to reduce your debts? 
  4. Emergency Funds: Do you have emergency funds that can help you to get through an event like losing your job or crashing your car without having to borrow money? 
  5. Savings: Do you pay yourself first? What percentage of your income goes into savings? How do you manage your savings? 
  6. Investing: Are you investing and growing your money? Do you understand how compound interest grows invested money? 
  7. Insurance: Do you understand the importance of insurance? Do you have insurance to protect you in the event of a major life emergency? 

If you answer “No” to two or more questions, you have some learning to do. 

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR FINANCIAL LITERACY

  1. Read self-help books on financial education. Follow authors like Robert Kiyosaki, Dave Ramsey, T. Harv Eker, Brian Tracy, etc. 
  2. Read blog posts and articles on personal finance in newspapers and magazines. Some popular blogs include investopedia.com, entrepreneur.com, forbes.com, Business Insider, Bloomberg and fintelcoach.com. For a steady supply of information, you may subscribe to their email newsletters. 
  3. Watch YouTube videos on money management.
  4. Attend financial literacy seminars online and/or offline and take notes. 
  5. Take an online course on any aspect of financial literacy that you want to master.
  6.  Listen to podcasts and radio programmes on financial management. 
  7. Get a competent financial intelligence coach or personal finance expert to give you financial advice. 
  8. Join a community of people who learn about financial intelligence. This allows you to ask questions and learn faster from other people. 
  9. Practice and share your knowledge. Put your newfound literacy into practice. Draw up and stick to a budget. Save. Invest. Don’t just learn and keep the knowledge you acquire to yourself. Teach others whenever you have the chance. This is the best way to consolidate your knowledge. 

BENEFITS OF FINANCIAL LITERACY

In an article by Georgiasown.org, it was stated that financial literacy is important because it helps people become self-sufficient and achieve financial stability. Financial literacy enables people to save money, distinguish between wants and needs, manage a budget, pay bills, buy homes, pay for college and plan for retirement. In a nutshell, it helps you create a realistic roadmap for making financial decisions all through your life.

Financial literacy empowers people. Although I am not trying to imply that you need to become a financial guru or accounting expert, however, knowing how interest rates work, the difference between stocks and bonds and the factors that impact your financial wellbeing will give you a sense of financial security and control over your life. 

Need I say that financial literacy decreases your stress level? When you lack financial education, anything that resembles credit, interest rates or investments seems intimidating and leaves you feeling at a disadvantage. When people are well versed in the state of their finances, they have the information needed to take action, modify their investment portfolio or continue with their current strategy. 

Furthermore, understanding your finances helps reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud. Some tactics are easy to believe especially when they come from someone who seems to be knowledgeable and well-intended. A basic level of financial education will help you recognize red flags and, at the very least, talk with a trusted advisor before making financial commitments. 

In conclusion, financial literacy is an essential life skill that every person, whether employee or entrepreneur, should deliberately learn and hone. If you stay committed to personal development and investment in financial intelligence, you are on the pathway to achieving financial freedom. 

If you would like to take an in-depth course on financial literacy and how to manage your personal finance, I recommend that you enrol for LEAD Resources’ Digital Economy Emerging Managers’ (DEEM) programme as more practical measures of attaining financial freedom in the digital economy have been distilled therein.

Obot Essiet Jr.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Obot Essiet Jr. is an Associate Solutions Architect at LEAD Resources, a Financial Intelligence (FINTEL) Coach and a Co-founder/COO of Naiyuan Mart, a Chinese-Nigerian procurement and manufacturing company. He runs a blog and a community on financial intelligence. He is passionate about helping people journey towards financial freedom through practical financial literacy solutions. Obot Jr. loves writing, gardening, watching adventurous movies, cycling and playing chess. 

Categories
Human Capital Development Technology and Innovation

LEAD Resources Commemorates World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) 2020

On 15th July 2020, LEAD Resources joined YALI and NACCIMA to commemorate the World Youth Skills Day (WYSD). WYSD is designated by the United Nations to celebrate skillful youths who channel their competencies towards causes that benefit the society. By so doing, WYSD creates awareness about the value of youth skills development.

LEAD Resources commemorated WYSD by hosting a seminar themed, “The competencies the youth should develop to leverage on COVID-19 era opportunities.” The speakers at the event were Alhaji Popoola (Ogun State Coordinator, NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs) and Mr. Kehinde Sogunle (Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources).

WYSD
LEAD Resources Commemorates WYSD 2020

How to Leverage Your Skills for Growth

Alhaji Popoola was the first speaker at the event. He taught, “How to leverage your skills for growth.” He stated that he was particularly pleased that the event was commemorated at a time where many have lost hope in Nigeria. The aim of his presentation was to help the youths identify skills (often regarded as useless) and determine how to make the contribute their quota by engaging their skills.

He explained that many youths regard their skills as irrelevant for income generation. He gave an example of a friend that loves to iron who established a laundry business that is scaling. Leveraging skills for growth begins by identifying one’s skills. He suggested that youths ask themselves the following questions to identify their skills:

  • What can I do effortlessly?
  • What do I derive joy in doing?
  • What are my parents and grandparents good at?
  • What skill do I believe can make me a better person?

Next, he emphasized the principle of apprenticeship. Submitting to a mentor helps one refine a crude skill to the end that it becomes money-spilling. Everyone needs to follow successful mentors to know the ups and downs to generating income from their skills as well as what made them successful.

He gave the following tips in submitting to mentorship:

  • Understand that building a brand takes effort, patience and determination.
  • Allow your mentor to determine the time-span of your apprenticeship.
  • Note the points that your mentor makes at every opportune time.
  • Determine to be a voice in your choice industry.
  • Avoid bad company and societal influence.
  • Connect with people of like minds.

He informed the youths that his organization, NACCIMA, pools information about relevant opportunities such as:

  • Training with GIZ for the growth and commercialization of tomato and chili pepper.
  • Access to CBN COVID-19 response loan (as well as multiple kinds of loans).
  • Aso-oke textile production in an organization in South Africa.

He encouraged the youths to connect with organizations such as his, play their roles and benefit from the influx of information to develop their skills and/or scale their businesses.

He wrapped it up by emphasizing that in this digital era, businesses become seamless, efficient and worthwhile when digital competencies are integrated in the administration of one’s skills. He said, “If you want to work for the future, learn whatever you need to learn including AI.”

“If you want to work for the future, learn whatever you need to learn including AI.”

Alhaji Moruf Popoola, Ogun State Coordinator, NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs

The Competencies the Youth Should Develop to Leverage on COVID-19 Era Opportunities

After acknowledging the efforts of NACCIMA and YALI in raising skilled youths especially in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Kehinde Sogunle (Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources), the second speaker for the day, took the stage at the WYSD celebration.

He started out by pointing out the fact that following the outbreak of COVID-19, a new era has emerged. Due to the restricted movement of all peoples for over 90 days, it is scientifically proven that this new lifestyle has been formed. He gave examples of how convergences happen online via the use of networking tools as opposed to unnecessary physical meetings.

Therefore, he highlighted the need to develop necessary competencies to thrive in this new era. He gave the following framework for personal discovery:

Self-Discovery – Self-Development – Self-Mastery – Self-Actualization

He said, “There are two types of people in life: Those who live with purpose and those who don’t.” In addition to the simple steps given by the first speaker, he gave the following steps to personal discovery:

  • Understand why you are here.
  • Identify where you are going to.
  • Have confidence in your convictions.
  • Determine how to arrive there (character and competence).

He said, “Those who create their life purpose are often able to live with extraordinary energy and motivation to overcome challenges.” He gave the example of the situation the Nigerian teachers have found themselves in: the inability to teach in classrooms and get paid. He explained that teachers in this age can thrive by sharing knowledge using new age tools and techniques to leverage their skills.

“Those who create their life purpose are often able to live with extraordinary energy and motivation to overcome challenges.”

Mr. Kehinde Sogunle, Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources

Purpose is an intersection of the following:

  • What you love doing.
  • What you are good at.
  • What the world needs.
  • What you can be paid for.

Furthermore, he taught the concept of the virtual realm. The virtual realm is the realm between the physical realm and mental realm. For example, people wrote on paper tangibly but now write on devices intangibly. The former exemplifies the physical realm while the latter exemplifies the virtual realm.

He made the audience understand that this is the new normal for the new economy, the digital economy. He gave the elements of traditional economy:

  • Resources, e.g. Raw materials.
  • Secondary, e.g. Manufacturing.
  • Tertiary, e.g. Real estate.
  • Quaternary, e.g. Education.

He also gave examples of the elements of the digital economy:

  • Resources, e.g. Big Data.
  • Infrastructure, e.g. Data Carriers.
  • Services, e.g. Software-as-a-service.
  • Customers, e.g. IoT, eCommerce, eLearning.

The Business and Sustainable Development Commission gave a projection that a staggering $12 trillion & 380 million new jobs will be enabled by the digital economy in 2030. Especially in Africa (the continent with the largest and youngest workforce), the youths need to develop the new age skills to create solutions, play in the Digital Economy and make Africa great.

He taught that regardless of what a person studies, he or she can find a niche in the virtual economy. He highlighted that the critical areas and business imperatives that Africans can engage among the 17 global goals:

  • Food & Agriculture.
  • Transport, Infrastructure & Logistics.
  • Health.

Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them.” Mr. Kehinde Sogunle explained that the problems we created in the traditional economy and physical space can only be solved in the digital economy and virtual space.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them.”

Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

Furthermore, he encouraged the youths to choose to contribute to the global goals by leveraging technology. He explained that they will get value if they resolve to attain them.

After it was established that accelerated acquisition of knowledge and skills is required, he taught that it is wise to subscribe to the offerings of transition organizations such as LEAD Resources that help raise a new breed of competent youths that can take the world by storm.

He said, “Education + Vocational Skills + Computer Literacy are not enough to guarantee employability and entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy.” He stated that the required competencies for the digital economy are:

  • Digital Literacy.
  • Financial Literacy.
  • Business Enterprise Literacy.
  • Talent Management.

“Education + Vocational Skills + Computer Literacy are not enough to guarantee employability and entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy.”

Mr. Kehinde Sogunle, Chief Solutions Architect, LEAD Resources

He stated that LEAD Resources’ offerings for new age competencies include:

  1. Enterprise Development
  • Access to Finance through Business Enterprise Development
  • Start Up School Nigeria/Scale Up Academy

2. Digital Conversion/Leverage

  • Digital Quotient
  • Digital Economy Emerging Managers’ Programme
  • Digital Economy Conversion Programme
  • Turning Academic Research into Innovation

3. Personal Talent Management

  • Personal Assessment
  • Personal Digital Profiling & Management

4. Successor Generation Streaming Initiative

To learn more about these offerings, click here. He added some other relevant avenues for the youths to upskill such as:

  • IBM Digital Nation
  • Google Digital Skills
  • LinkedIn Opportunity

He gave the ten jobs in highest demand in 2020 and encouraged the youths to explore and acquire skills in these areas:

  1. Digital Marketer
  2. IT Support
  3. Graphic Designer
  4. Financial Analyst
  5. Data Analyst
  6. Software Developer
  7. Project Manager
  8. Sales Representative
  9. IT Admin
  10. Customer Service

Mr. Kehinde Sogunle rounded off with the parable of the sower in the Holy Bible. He encouraged the youths to have hearts that are fertile soils by choosing to develop their skills, acquire competencies and revolutionize their world, one day at a time.

To subscribe to relevant updates and opportunities for youths, click here.