The Gateway to Career Success: Exploit Your Potential Using the Hallmarks of a Leader

The talk by Gabriel Lubale to Vision Institute of Professionals – Mombasa Campuses during Thank Giving Event on19th August 2011.

Title: The Gateway to Career Success: Exploit Your Potential Using the Hallmarks of a Leader

The Chief Guest, The Principal, Faculty Members, Invited Guests, Students, Ladies and Gentlemen. Good afternoon, Salaam Alleikum.

I thank you for inviting me to come and speak to the great family of Vision Institute of Professionals (VIP) Mombasa. I am humbled and indeed honored to be here.

I am told that the theme of your event is “Thanks Giving and celebrating the KASNEB results”. Knowing the giant VIP, I am sure you have a reason to be grateful.

I would like ask all of us to sing this chorus from the Hymn – Count Your Blessings composed by Edwin Othello Excell.

Count your blessings, name them one by one
Count your blessings, see what God hath done
Count your blessings, name them one by one
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done


Part of my research to today’s talk took me to an article by John Maxwell titled “the Hallmarks of a Leaders”.

Also I looked at the works of Myles Munroe; Myles described the term Potential  and I quote Start of Quote “Potential is:  Unexposed ability…. Reserved power….untapped strength….capped capabilities….unused success…dormant gifts…hidden talents…latent power…. what you can do that you haven’t done….where you can go that you haven’t gone..who you can be that you haven’t yet been….what you can imagine you haven’t yet imagined….how far you can reach that you haven’t yet reached…what you can see that you haven’t yet seen….what you can accomplish you haven’t yet accomplished.” End of quote

And Myles goes on to tell us that we are all capable of much more than we are presently thinking, imagining, doing or being.

Main Body Remarks

I reflected on the Famous words of Charles Darwin and I quote; “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.”Nothing changes like change! Appreciate that change is unstoppable. Adapt to it. Do not over-complicate life through detailed analysis and complicated plans. Like Tom Peters says “if there one thing that makes God laugh is to see us plan, and plan and plan” Analysis can cause paralysis!

The rules of life should be Fail; Fast; Forward. Try it and if it fails try again fast and move on! In the metaphor of cheese story in the book – Who Moved my Cheese? By Johnson Spencer You need to know and accept when the cheese moves and that it has moved! Do not spend time and energy mourning the fact that it has moved! A lesson from evaluating my life…every-time the cheese moves, it creates an opportunity for me to reach higher heights and achieve greater success but ONLY IF I seize the moment. The same applies for all of us. The two hardest things to handle in life are failure and success.

I would like to share with you a true story I read from one of Mr Eric Kimani’s speeches. He wrote a person worked closely with an African president and the President died; the late president was mentor to the Person and had built his career through the years and rose to be one of the top 5 people around (Power Brokers) the departed President. The late President died in a hospital overseas and this gentleman in the company a selected few went to pick up the body for state burial. When they got to the airport, they were delayed unnecessarily by the release order of a junior customs officer who had to certify the casket. It was unimaginable that the body of the late president who wielded so much power could be held at the whim of a junior customs officer. After a long and irritating wait the customs officer released the coffin and inscribed the following words “Cargo without value, charge no customs duty”.

As we seek success, we must remain focused on the fact that we are but cargo without value and the only true value we can bequeath the World is to ensure we lead impactful and significant life – to eternally live in the hearts and minds of generations to come. Stephen Covey talks about “the 8th habit, from effectiveness to greatness” – your legacy. What or how do you want to be remembered?

The secrets to doing this is the key subject of my talk today and it underlines that Character. Perhaps remains the only proven key to enduring success is humility as opposed to pride.  Since time immemorial many sages have talked about it. I mentioned earlier in the speech the article by John Maxwell. This is intellectual rights probity in practice! I would  like to share its insights.

Most leaders have an abundance of ambition, talent, and confidence, but few possess the humility necessary to sustain influence over time. Many shun humility, seeing it as a sign of weakness or self-doubt. Yet, in reality, humility is the pinnacle of wisdom and assuredness. Here are seven (7) qualities humility brings about in the life of a leader.

#1 Responsibility

Humble leaders readily accept responsibility for failure. When things go wrong, they instinctively look within to understand what they could have done differently instead of looking outward for someone to blame. Willing to take ownership of mistakes, humble leaders are quick to fix them; they do not wait for someone else to solve a problem.

The Poem – “don’t quit” written many years by anonymous Author and I quote it here tells you what to do.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.


#2 Objectivity

Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.” Humble leaders do not consider their own ideas and projects to be sacrosanct. They do not insist on having their way, but on following the best course of action—regardless of who suggests it.

#3 Open-Mindedness

Humble leaders have awareness of how much they don’t know. As such, they’re inquisitive, quick both to listen and learn. Secure in their abilities, they are unthreatened by the input of others. Not only do they welcome feedback, they solicit it.

#4 Flexibility

Whereas prideful leaders rigidly adhere to an initial strategy long after it proves to be unfruitful, leaders with humility nimbly switch courses as soon as warning signs appear. Unafraid to admit having made a bad decision, they’re able to adjust quickly.

Humble leaders have no qualms about abandoning a product that’s past its prime—even if they personally had created it.

#5 Inspiration

Humble leaders are appreciative people. When they experience success, they’re quick to shine the spotlight on others. Mindful of their dependence on others, humble leaders regularly express gratitude for the contributions of their teammates. Their thankfulness inspires those they lead and boosts team morale.

This Optimists Creed original text created by Christian Larson and edited version shown in quotation marks by Rhonda Byrne in her Bestseller Book the Secret should be your companion to inspire you.

(“I’’) Promise Yourself-

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your (“my’’) optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your  (“my’’) own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance (“cheerful expression”) at all times and give every living creature you (“I’’) meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself (“my self” ) that you (“I’’) have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

“To think well of myself and proclaim this fact to the World, not in loud words, but in great deeds. To live in the faith that the whole World is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me”.

#6 Respect

Remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others. They see life as far bigger than themselves, and add value to other people by serving them. By committing themselves to the success of those within their sphere of influence, leaders gain respect and earn loyalty.

#7 Connectedness

Humble leaders embrace the Law of Significance: “One is too small of a number to experience greatness.” They recognize that their vision cannot be accomplished in isolation, so they invite others to join them in pursuing it. They cherish relationships and intentionally cultivate friendships. They view life, not as a quest for individual glory, but as an adventure to be enjoyed in the company of fellow travelers.

Closing Remarks

Leadership belongs to those who do the extra mile- ordinary people do not spend much time on the extra mile. But who ever said you were ordinary?

I will conclude my talk by throwing a challenge at you this afternoon. I challenge you to promise yourself that in the next few months you will practice some of what I have told you. I promise you that you will not regret it. You will be amazed at what it will bring your way.

Career success is about belief in yourself; it is about conquering your natural and both  real and imagined fears; it is about identifying, anticipating, monitoring and adopting to a changing world!

Begin to anticipate what will change and I trust I have provoked our thoughts adequately on this subject.

Thank you very much and God bless you.

About the Author

2 thoughts on “The Gateway to Career Success: Exploit Your Potential Using the Hallmarks of a Leader

  1. Dan Musungu - Sales Manager - June 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Uncle Gabriel, your above letter could have not come at a better time. I am experiencing one of the hardest time in my career managing a large team with very high expectation from my principals. But reading through your letter and seeing the qualities of a leader that you have discussed I really got inspired.I was reminded on the need to be objective and to take responsibility for all the outcome of my work but at the same time take note that I need to be responsive to the changes and dynamics of the market. You have really influenced my attitude. By the way, I already read Robin Sharma’s book that you recommended to me and am trying to apply the 8 habits of effective leadership. It was such a great one. Keep up the spirit of writing.

  2. Ikechukwu - June 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Gabriel. Thank your for the wounderful speech. We all live to obtain successful living. As for me on my analysis to success. Failure is not a crime but only when we fail and quits all our efforts……..


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