Are you a thought leader in your industry?
I’ll share four short stories with you as I dip into this long treatise.
Story 1 .
On the 1st of July, I’d decided to package 5 of my published books this year and give them up at 50% slashed price. It was my birthday and I thought that would be one way to add value to humanity that I bless with my works.
Some folks were irked about that decision. They felt I was being too commercial on my birthday. To them, I was to give people stuff, perhaps, give all my books away for free.
One particular event stood out for me. I got a feedback from someone that by slashing by 50%, it could be a spiritual dip that may signal cutting my existence on earth by half. It sounded a bit irksome and funny to me at the same time.
By the way, if you still want to grab the 37th Leverage, you can.
On Tuesday, 4th of July, I was gifted a spa experience by the quintessential skin fairy, Funke Roberts-Quadri at her spa, PEACHES'n'CREAM Spa. Truth be told, it was my first time experiencing a pedicure. After the sessions, I shared the blissful experience on my wall, gently teasing that pastors can also enjoy massages to ease stress and heighten divine revelations.
A pastor commented that having a massage where a strange woman touched my body with her hands was ungodly. He said he hadn't bothered if I did it, but mentioning pastors was delving into sacred quarters.
The girlfriend of a friend of mine started behaving nasty. The first few months of their relationship were rosy, but she had started nagging, snobbish, and acting irrational.
I had once worked with a client who seemed not to be getting a headway when it came to teamwork, especially with university graduates.
In the stories above are sprinkled a few lessons that I shared in this post.
Nobody was born a Christian, Jew, Muslim or Hindu. We grew to learn about it and depending on our environment, we become identified as one. That is why a Christian born in South East Nigeria could as well be a Muslim born in Afghanistan.
We are holding different maps of the world because the body of knowledge is like an elephant. We are holding or touching different parts of the elephant. We present these parts and also argue about them because they're what we believe in so strongly. That is why I don't quarrel or demean folks who come to my timeline with differing views, no matter how nonsensical I feel they may be. They're holding their own maps. To be at rapport with them means respecting their own model of the world. It doesn't mean acceptance, but respecting.
Respecting or appreciating their views establishes a rapport with them with a view to engaging them in a conversation.
So, an atheist approaches me and tells me God doesn't exist, establishing a rapport with him or her is by saying, "Oh that's fantastic. Tell me about it. I'm keen on knowing why you say so." If I immediately quote Scriptures by saying, "A fool says in his heart that there's no God," I immediately raise a wall of defence because the word "fool" creates a feeling of idiocy in the body of the atheist. That emotional response may lead to chaotic arguments that do both of us no good.
For the pastor who condemned body massage, he was merely expressing his model of the world. How do I know? I rode in a car with a female friend of mine. She told me that in the Deeper Life church where she used to be, it would have been a sin if we were in a romantic relationship and seen together sitting so close (our legs and shoulders were touching) in a car.
Many of the adherents are raised with that ideology, so much so that people in relationship in the church aren't allowed to visit one another in their homes before the marriage is fully consummated. In contrast, adherents in churches like Christ Embassy and Winners Chapel don't abide by that ideology.
Understanding that the pastor who condemned the massage could be a member of the Deeper Life church helped me to appreciate his model of the world and therefore establish a rapport by understanding why he said so. Any attempt to say that he's foolish to have said so would definitely create sparks.
You know why I don't react defensively to comments on my wall, no matter how caustic or demeaning they can be? From the foregoing, I wrote about people having their maps of the world. Yes, that's true, but then I don't negate the fact that some are dealing with some psychological disorders that affect how they relate with people.
There are many reasons people come to your timeline to read a post and then instead of engaging you civilly, they veer off the discourse and resort to condescending name-calling. It can be very pathetic and painful. Trust me, some do it to feel good about their own opinions. So, when they call you offensive names and shut you down, they feel so cool with themselves.
I know that as a leader, I am in the eye of people. My opinions, no matter how well-intentioned, will not go down well with many. I am aware of that fact because I am touching a part of the elephant of knowledge. I don't engage in caustic correspondence on my postulations because the moment I do, I relinquish my power to the one who is on the offensive. I don't hand over power to them because doing so robs me of the core of my essence.
Secondly, check how you feel when you're done arguing defensively with someone who tries to put you down. Truthfully, the feelings in your body aren't pleasurable at all. So, I need the feelings of greatness to surge through me consistently. It's by doing so that I remain at cause. Consequently, the streams of creativity flows through me to do the things that I do.
Many years ago when I crossed over from the Catholic Church to the Pentecostal fold, I began to see some things which were hitherto condemned being practiced in the churches I attended.
I began to question. Why will the pentecostals condemn holy water being used by Catholic priests during mass, but then accept the same when Daddy G.O tells them to drink water blessed by him? Why will the pentecostals condemn the hanging and veneration of the picture of the Pope by Catholics, but then feel so great to wear bracelets, armbands, shirts and other materials with the pictorial inscriptions of the G.O? Why would pentecostals condemn the prayer made in the name of saints, but then utter sentences like, "In the name of my Daddy G.O, Lord I pray...."?
I didn't really get valid responses, but then my questioning made me want to scratch beyond the surface.
One of them was the transactional belief I had about God and his blessings. One day as I journeyed in a bus to Lagos, I had an epiphany. With all the mountains, hills, vegetation, humans, and all that were on the earth, why would God be so legislative as to consider my monetary offerings in church to bless me?
If Christ has died to set me free and give me all things that pertain to life and godliness, why would I still need to activate such with monetary offerings?
Why would I need tithe, a tenth of earnings, to be able to 'buy' into God's blessings and protection, if he was the Almighty that reigned supreme?
Peace eluded me. Worship of God shouldn't make me feel guilty. His presence shouldn't be what I always stepped into with trepidation.
Something had to give. It did. Today, I owe all to Him. My gifts are an expression of his divinity. I see him expressed in all around me - microphone, laptops, stones, barks of trees, buttocks of newborns, nudity, animals and humans.
By consciously attacking the maps I hold in the different areas of my life, I continually expand my worldviews with the aim of bettering my existence and always being at cause.
As for my friend who confided in me that his girlfriend had become bitchy, he said she was all sweet and nice when they met, but a few months down the line she had become a nagging champion, not trusting his words and very suspicious of all his acts.
He'd receive a phone call in the toilet, she'd nag and want to know whom he was talking to. He'd apply a new body spray, she'd want to know whom he was going out to meet. Calling a girl darling online, the way I freely do, was an invitation of the type of war in Syria.
Steve (not his real name) was exasperated and needed help. I asked him to let me speak to her. When we met, I began to dig deep. The revelations were stunning.
Stella (not her real name) comes from a broken home. At the age of 15, she'd seen her parents' marriage erupt in smoke. From the time she was 4, she'd seen them bicker and fight like animals.
What her relationships? She'd had a string of relationships that all ended in heartbreaks, each one due to one distinct reason or the other. As at the time we chatted, she could remember 12 different relationships with men. She was aged 28. Steve was her 13th.
All the failed relationships, including her parents' divorce, had left deep emotional scars and deposits that she carried along with her into new relationships. Unknown to her, her subconscious never forgets. When Steve takes his calls in the toilet while she was at home with him, he triggers a recall in her subconscious which makes her remember how Dume cheated on her with another girl by taking calls in the toilet.
Each of Steve's actions was a trigger or recollection. Because she didn't know how to deal with the situation, her coping mechanism was to become bitchy.
When we consider the scenario above, there are parallels to our own lives.
In Nigeria, the discussions around Biafra create emotional sparks that enter the zone of verbal attacks. The remembrance of deaths of loved ones many years ago trigger painful feelings.
Same thing happens when you're dealing with folks. When you've been cheated by an Igbo man who sold you fake spare parts, the next time you hear an Igbo man in business, your emotions become that of pain. You will feel it in your body. If you've been shortchanged by a Yoruba man because you don't speak Yoruba, when you meet another Yoruba, the feelings in your body aren't so cute.
NLP helped me to change the meanings that I give to the events in my life. By doing so, I'm empowered to be in charge.
What if going into the toilet means he wants some privacy where he can hear what the person is saying so clearly and not cheating with another lady?
What if your husband coming late at night means he's working so hard to keep family together and not coming from another woman's home?
What if the knocks your parents gave you were their own expression of love the way they deemed fit?
What if the divorce was to show you an alternative way to love your spouse and live happily ever after?
What if the Yoruba man you're dealing with turns out to be one whose love and grace would be a pedestal to your greater achievement?
When you look at the above, the new answers to the questions form the premise upon which forgiveness begins to brew.
By doing so, the mind begins to work on newer information and creating newer anchors that leave you feeling awesome. That leaves you empowered to live your life beautifully.
For the fourth story, the client had commenced a coaching session with me. To actualise her ultimate goal, she had to work in a team with other people. I noticed she always stalled during the teamwork activities. I had to dig in to understand why.
I found out that at her office, her non-acquisition of a degree had affected her promotions. At every point, she was constantly reminded that because she had no degree, she couldn't compete favourably with degree holders. Sadly, she was the only one in an office swarming with degree holders. Repeatedly, she heard those demeaning words on a daily basis that it seeped into her subconscious and that played out in the real world, away from the office. When it comes to working with people in the world, she unconsciously shrinks back.
It was just terrifying for her to be in that position, living like a ceiling was placed over every effort of hers. Subconsciously, it meant that she couldn't break through. She felt she wasn't intelligent and smart enough to handle certain tasks in her life, not because she couldn't, but because she wasn't certified to do. By retooling the meaning she gave to the circumstances of her life, she was able to break free.
On a personal basis, a very rewarding discovery for me was when my NLP trainer told me that I'm a conversational hypnotist. On reflection, all the comments that I'd heard from readers of my works came flashing before my eyes. Many always tell me that they're sucked in by my posts, reading from the headline down to the last word on the post.
That definition guides my journey as a thought leader in the writing industry. It speaks when I help personal and organisational brands create hypnotic content that gets them notice, loved, and patronised. It speaks when I help other writers write compelling content that gets them loved by the tribe of followers who are connected to their works. I'm so glad I made that discovery.
Whatever industry you're playing in, the knowledge of NLP can help you if you want to become the go-to thought leader in that space.
If you've been confused about how to clarify what you ought to be doing, communicate your ideologies and commence growing your audience who are blessed by what you do and are willing to invest in you, I've got a gift for you.