Wow! Thank God for 2023! It’s still a relatively new year and I have been hearing a lot of people say, “I do not make new year resolutions anymore.” Similarly others confess, “I have stopped goal-setting.” Do not make that mistake. Let me tell you why.
First of all, this may sound cliché, but it is true: “if you aim at nothing you will hit it.” Goal setting is a timeless, universal law. It’s a principle. I am of the Covey school of thought that principles and values are not the same because you can choose to value principles or not. That’s your business; but you won’t be spared the consequences of breaking an eternal law.
To illustrate this for those in Ghana presently, because the government is inundated with debt and is at the brink of defaulting in paying coupons and principals of domestic bonds they have instituted a Domestic Debt Exchange programme that is making nonsense of people’s savings and investments. Don’t forget that usually government bonds are so low in risk that investment advisors are often tempted to call them “risk free.” Consequently, I’ve come across people arguing—and you can’t blame them—vehemently inquiring, “What is the point of saving? We should have just spent our monies and enjoyed ourselves.”
But be wary: you cannot determine right laws to rule your life by just based on a one-off, unusual, unfortunate incident. What is going on in Ghana is rare (perhaps only Argentines, Zimbabweans and Jamaicans would understand); totally abnormal. So, one cannot refute the importance of savings and investments, which is a timeless, universal law (principle) just because one bad government has gone broke. In the same way, the fact that you have set goals in the past and it hasn’t worked out for you (or others) does not mean goal-setting doesn’t work.
Let me give you five things (a point per finger) to think about:
(1) GOALS MUST BE SET RIGHT
In the first place, are you setting the goals right? And are you setting the right goals? Are your goals specific? If not, they are not going to work. You can’t seize what you can see. Your goal cannot be fuzzy. Then, is it a stretch goal? Many of us will only get up and run after what really challenges us. Is your goal measurable, qualitatively or quantitatively? If not, one cannot keep score and one sees no point in running around in circles. Is it attainable, realistic? If it isn’t, you won’t even start when you know there is no winning, there’s no point venturing.
How about relevant? If it doesn’t really matter immensely to you, you are not going to live by it, let alone die for it. The goal must be right. If it isn’t important to your life purpose, that you won’t thrive without it or survive without it, you aren’t really going to pursue it. Are your goals time-bound? Whether it is a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual goal, it not only defines clear parameters but also creates a sense of urgency knowing that one doesn’t have ‘forever’ to accomplish it.
And oh! an essential part of what would be considered setting goals right and setting right goals would be to write/type them down. Many people underestimate the power of converting a metaphysical thought or idea into a physical one on paper or a device, grounding it on firma terra.
(2) NOTHING WORKS, REALLY
People set goals, even if they are done right and they are the right goals, go to sleep and then turn round to blame goal setting for not working. Remember, nothing works unless you work it. Even a car won’t work unless you work it, let alone things like marriage. Nothing works unless you work it, buddy. Of course goals don’t work; only people do! Are you working your goals, working on your goals, working out your goals?
(3) HOW ABOUT YOU YOURSELF?
But the third thing, apart from these first absolutely important duo above, is working on yourself! I keep repeating myself like a broken record and how key it is that the person at the centre of the goal-setting process grows in order to goal. So with every goal one sets, it is helpful to ask oneself: how/where do I need to grow in order to achieve this goal? There’s no successful working out goals if one doesn’t work on the person(s) whose goals they are.
(4) KEEPING TABS
If you’re like me, you may do all the above but just don’t make the time to periodically review how things are going with your goals. I tend to ‘go go go’ and not make the time to sit down on my blessed assurance to evaluate. Many times, it is in evaluating weekly, monthly or quarterly that one realizes things that need to be urgently adjusted or attended to in order for the goal to be hit. Imagine a pilot that doesn’t often do any course correction, they wouldn’t end up where they intended when they set out. These days there are instruments that automatically do the constant monitoring and course correction hence the plane can be left on autopilot. Until such autopilot instruments are invented for life itself, remember there is no way round the management cycle: planning (goal-setting right), implementation (working on yourself and working out your goals) and evaluation.
(5) GOT ACCOUNTABILITY?
A lot of us have no accountability. What are the structures you are putting in place to ensure you live by these goals? Don’t forget, as one professor says, human beings have an incredible capacity to deceive ourselves and that’s why l highly recommend that every one of you gets a coach. I have a coach, I have more than one coach. Get a coach, even if it means paying them. They would help you keep inspired and accountable; helping you keep your integrity to yourself and your goals until they are achieved.
You may also join a Mastermind this year, to find a group of goal-setters-go-getters who can keep each other motivated and mutually accountable. At YAW PERBI we will have Personal Growth, Family Foundations and Financial Whizzdom masterminds this year.
NO OBITUARIES IN 2023, PLEASE
So with just these five points, might you now have an idea why new year resolutions and goal setting in the past haven’t worked for you? Are you sincerely able to check all these boxes: (1) setting goals right and setting right goals, (2) working out your goals, (3) working on yourself, (4) keeping track by periodically evaluating and (5) getting accountability?
Neither goals nor goal setting is dead; rather you are, without them. Align your life and leadership with the timeless, universal laws of the universe. Don’t hurt yourself by kicking against the pricks. Goals and goal setting are not ancient landmarks you can remove and succeed. You will achieve nothing in 2023 without goals and you will have no one but yourself to blame—because you aimed at nothing, and hit it.
Hello! It’s a new year and guess what? It’s a blank cheque and we’ve got to grow to be able to meet our goals. I like to say, you’ve got to grow to goal. In other words, you’ve got to move from who you are today to what you could be in order to score your goals.
My YP Team and I know these are tough economic times and people are scrambling to make ends meet but I can tell you one thing for sure: your refusing to grow or not investing in your personal growth is not going to make things any better. In fact, your guarantee that you are going to come out of this time is actually investing in your personal development and professional growth today.
So, I greatly encourage and highly recommend that you to sign up for this year’s 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth Mastermind. Every year we’ve hosted a cohort, these people have moved, grown! People have changed in their lives. People have literally moved into their own homes, moved countries, moved jobs… Why? Because when you make a move, you grow; and when you grow, you move!
So, sign up today! Sign up now, right here. Even if for some reason you do not have all the money and you want to make an arrangement, we would be flexible because we know times are hard but we want you to grow. After all, if all of us grow, all of us can succeed together. Put in the investment NOW!
I have done that many times, signing up to grow when things have been hard, and I’ve reaped a harvest in the drought. If you know anything about investing then you are aware that we invest all the time–in good times and not-so-good times, when the market is up and when it is down. I would have never owned properties in Canada and the United States if I hadn’t put in nearly $20,000 in learning. I wouldn’t have been a John C. Maxwell Certified Coach if I didn’t put in some $10,000 about 10 years ago. Within months I had used the knowledge, skills and toolkit to recoup all the money back and more!
Guys, it costs something to get something. So, invest in your personal development and professional development today. Sign up for the Growth Mastermind. It’s not a matter of whether or not it will won’t work, it does–without fail. Don’t throw your hands up in the air saying, “I don’t have the money. ” No! Rather ask yourself, “how can I get the investment required because I need this to grow?” Let’s make it work. Yes we can! Yes we will!
Here’s to your growth, success and significance in 2023! Make the move here.
The prophets are as mad as the politicians and public servants—even madder are the people who make them lead the masses further into hell.
Dr. Yaw Perbi
Global CEO, The HuD Group
INTRODUCING MY MADDEST PATIENT, EVER
Let me tell you about the maddest patient I’ve ever seen in all my medical practice, Anahg. As we speak, she is at post-retirement age, about 65, still uncured, but I have been seeing her since age nine. As a scientifically trained person I’m not one to be superstitious but I surely do acknowledge spiritual realities. Twenty-eight years before she was even born, one of her maternal uncles warned that unless certain practices were carried out and others eschewed, she will never progress in life. Born she was, yes, even first-born; but progress, no. Anahg was born alright to festivities galore, but she has been brought in several times since nine, since that first time she started going gaga, ostensibly due to a self-inflicted blow to the head.
Ever since that initial attempt at self-harm she has proven that her gross mismanagement of her otherwise well-endowed self with a concomitant addiction to things she would be better off without are her undoing—sometimes she’s prostituted herself, but most often rather borrows and gambles, to get a fix. I cannot count on my fingers anymore how often she’s been wheeled in as a complete mess—my last count was 16 or 17 times to my facility alone (who knows of others?). Every time she leaves my consulting room she does the same things that brought her back on admission the previous time—after she’s promised “never again.” And this is the part that blows my mind (and perhaps I’m mad too): she does the same things over and over again and somehow she expects different results.
Her self-mismanagement can be as funny as wearing shoes before her socks and her underwear over her skirt or as serious as, on her way out of home, locking her children in the house behind the door all day, supposing she had rather locked the door after them (yes, she’s had many children with as many men). She thinks her children are weird and insane; not her. And her delusions of grandeur are of the kind I’ve hardly come across: as a self-anointed Royal, in her mad mind she has tea with the Queen of England at 4pm daily without fail and wonders what all the fuss is about Lionel Messi, Pele and Christiano Ronaldo when she is the GOAT—Greatest Of All Time. While she may sing “How Great Thou Art” to herself, everyone else knows she’s certifiably mad…and broke too.
I could tell you more about Anahg but let me stop here and ask you: what predominant emotion did you feel as you heard about this client? What do you propose I should do next as her doctor?
PARABLE PUT PLAIN
Well, Anahg, A-N-A-H-G, is actually Ghana spelt backwards. Born in 1957, her first visit to the IMF was after the 1966 coup d’état. We don’t have the luxury of time to delineate the details of all the 17 visits to the IMF (sometimes more than once a year) but suffice it to say that our taste for free services, the high-time life (especially big cars, luxurious mansions and fat ex gratia for our big people), mismanagement, unleadership, addiction to foreign goods and insatiable appetite for debt—domestic and external—have been our undoing. And our sense of self-importance is through the roof, largely living more on past glories than current exploits. And yes, our gross mismanagement is as hilarious as prioritizing entertainment when we haven’t earned a break from any hard work or as annoying as finishing an asphalt road, then immediately after breaking it to install a pipe across it, underneath. Headless.
If you think we’re doing well, you are part of the problem—as a people, we are just too easily satisfied with minimal public progress. See how we stage a funfair over the commissioning of infrastructure, not caring a hoot about what the superstructures shall be, that ‘infra’ by nature is only foundational. Yes, thank God for electricity, water roads and bridges but these are built so that… what??? Somehow our insatiable appetite for the best and the most progressive is only for personal and private benefit. Believe it or not, it was in 1929 in the Gold Coast, nearly three decades before independence, when Dr. Ephraim Amu warned us about greed, selfishness and conceit. “So will our nation succeed or always suffer from greed, on what we do today depends our future way,” goes one translation of his Y3n Ara Asaase Ni chorus. Think about it: he composed it in 1929 even before we became Ghana.
Why are we mad? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Most famously attributed to Albert Einstein—and to other individuals and groups like Alcoholics Anonymous—there is no substantive evidence that Einstein wrote or spoke that statement. While we cannot agree on who formed that definition of madness we can agree that the diagnosis is sound. Seventeen times to just the IMF between 1966 and 2022, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, dare we say we are not mad?
Fortunately, we know the cure (I’ll come to that shortly) but we must begin our own “Twelve Step” process like Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization designed to help addicts and their families. Step 1: They admit they are powerless over alcohol—that their lives had become unmanageable. Step 2: They come to believe that a Power greater than themselves could restore them to sanity.
The story is told that an attendee at one such meeting hesitated to accept the accuracy of the second step. Not all the women were willing to admit they needed to be “restored to sanity.” In fact, one of them adamantly maintained that she had never reached a point of insanity. But another remarked, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Tell anyone who doesn’t believe we are a mad nation that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, like voting for the same two political parties every four years, and expecting different results. Our own 12-Step process should begin with step 1: Admit we are powerless over debt, greed, corruption, partisanship, sycophancy, selfishness, self-mismanagement and yes, external forces—that our lives have become unmanageable. Step 2: Believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Fortunately, that Power greater than ourselves has provided a cure if only we have the men and women with the brains, brawn and balls to make it work [yes, females have balls too, they just don’t show them off like males do—they’re called ovaries]. By the way, the fact that we are little less mad than our other African siblings doesn’t help anybody; and it certainly doesn’t cure us. Oh and about prayers to a higher Power also, we might want to modify these from the kind we pray to kill our enemies because “we have met the enemy and he is us.”
As for our delusions of grandeur, George A. Kelley’s 1955 book included a definition that corresponds with our madness definition above: “From the standpoint of the psychology of personal constructs we may define a disorder as any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation.” We are not as great as we think. We are mad.
A cure has been found in a Ghana Compact for our political and economic transformation with six thematic areas and three binding constraints—all undergirded by a solid foundation of refurbished values. Initiated by Dr. K.Y. Amoako (former head of the U.N.’s Economic Commission for Africa and founder of the Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET)), together with eminent individual voices of reason like former president Kufuor and Dr. Ibn Chambas, plus every credible policy think tank in the country, numerous impactful Civil Society Organizations in Ghana and government arms like the Council of State, Peace Council, NCCE and the National Development Planning Commission, we have researched, jaw-jawed and recognized that over the past twenty-five years, three key factors have impeded Ghana’s political and economic transformation and must be addressed urgently under this Compact for Ghana:
First, the now 30-year-old “1992 Constitution has not been entirely fit for purpose, and key provisions including the separation of powers between the executive and legislature as well as issues of governance and administration at the district and local government levels require reform.” The call for changes will take real leadership—managers can keep steering this constitution; only leaders can change it and change our course.
“Second, the frequent transfers of power between the two major political parties have resulted in policy direction and program implementation interruptions, setting back Ghana’s economic transformation. The underlying cause is the absence of an agreed national long-term vision with clear and measurable targets aligned with medium-term plans of the government in power.
“Third, governments in the Fourth Republic have historically run budget deficits, which have tended to balloon during election cycles, forcing governments to increase their borrowing to plug the financing gap. As a result, our debt-to-GDP ratio has reached an alarmingly high level and has increased our debt servicing costs, starving the country of much-needed public investment spending.” Now we know that democracy brings people to the table but doesn’t necessarily put food on that table!
Consistent with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Ghana’s commitments under the African Union’s Agenda 2063, there are six key focus areas to help us build the Ghana we want to see over the next 25 years:
- “Education and skills for the future of work. We must expand access and improve senior high school quality, as well as balance the supply and demand of skills.”
- “Youth leadership empowerment. We must nurture and harness the strong interest of young Ghanaians in contributing to the country’s development by engaging them in policy formation and giving them a platform for their voices to be heard.
- “A healthy and productive labor force. Establishing effective health institutions, robust insurance schemes, stronger maternal, child, and adolescent health policies, and better hygiene and treatment conditions [will] quickly and vastly improve health outcomes.
- “Private sector-driven transformation. Businesses continue to be held back by out-of-date regulation and lack of reliable basic services. Appropriate investments in infrastructure alongside technology and regulatory reforms can create an even more conducive and competitive business environment.
- “Gender equality as a moral and economic imperative. Ensuring women’s equal voice and participation in society, politics, and the private sector is a necessary precursor for Ghana’s political and economic transformation. That transformation will not take place without girls and women having equal opportunity throughout their lives.” What is the sense in a bird with two perfectly healthy wings, trying to fly with only one wing?
- “Climate change adaptation and mitigation. Climate change will have substantial impacts on Ghana. Ghana can turn these risks into opportunities by using technology to manage key climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, ecosystems, and energy.”
What is different about these well-coalesced thematic areas and three binding constraints as a way forward is the research-informed, non-partisan, non-polarized collection of a broad spectrum of prominent individuals, policy think tanks, civil society organizations and government agencies that have reached consensus in a compact that was launched earlier this month (6th December). And there is an imminent national conversation with the grassroots via a roadshow between now and a grand national durbar in June 2023, before all these political parties begin their manifesto machinations and campaigning for Election 2024. As for the importance of all of this on a foundation of renewed national values, you may check out Dr. KY Amoako’s op-ed or mine on Myjoyonline entitled “On Saving a Nation.”
If we say we are not mad, then we do not have what psychiatrists call ‘insight,’ and that implies our prognosis is very poor. Just before Christmas, I checked a prodigal son into a rehab. He had been gone God-knows-where for the last 15 years. His prognosis is great because he admits he is a sick addict and is highly motivated to make meaning out of his existence, especially after a change of environment and being introduced to several well-standing members of the University of Ghana community soon after his return from the wild.
Whichever way you look at it, whether madness as a state of having a serious mental illness or exhibiting extremely foolish behaviour or a state of wild, chaotic activity, Ghana is a mad nation. Our prophets are as mad as our politicians and public servants—even madder are the people who line up every four years—with World Cup and Olympic Games frequency and fervor—to vote for mad men, male and female, to lead us further into hell. Oh wretched beings we are, who will deliver us from this mess? Certainly not the IMF long-term. It’s just an addict’s fix. Nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Mensa Otabil is on record to have said, “we will always be running but never catch up … I get amused when we talk of breaking the yoke of colonialism and still use the blacksmith called IMF or World Bank to sharpen our tools.” Just as we yearn for powerful strikers in our national football team, we yearn for potent strikers in the political arena.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten,” said an educator and counselor in a speech as far back as October 1981. 2023 beckons. There will be policed prophecies on 31st night, tonight. And soon the election fever of 2024. When the next president and their government is sworn-in come January 2025, beginning the second quarter of the 21st century, will we remain mad or a little less so? Come with me to 2050: imagine the freedom, imagine the prosperity—the Ghana we want—IF we’ve had the leaders—male and female—with the guts, gumptions and goods to strike and score where it matters, when it matters, especially between now and then. “God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong,” not broke and mad.
 It is listed within a section called “Misattributed to Einstein” in the comprehensive reference “The Ultimate Quotable Einstein” from Princeton University Press. 2010, The Ultimate Quotable Einstein, Edited by Alice Calaprice, Section: Misattributed to Einstein, Quote Page 474, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.
 1981, October 11, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, “Al-Anon Helps Family, Friends to Orderly Lives” by Betsy Pickle (Living Today Staff Writer), Quote Page F17, Column 2, Knoxville, Tennessee.
 From Walt Kelly’s funny animal comic strip Pogo, phrase coined in 1970 based on an 1812 war comment by Master Commandant Oliver Perry.
 1955, The Psychology of Personal Constructs by George A. Kelly, Volume 2: Clinical Diagnosis and Psychotherapy, Quote Page 831, Published by W. W. Norton & Company, New York.
 Executive Summary: Securing Ghana’s Future: A Compact for the Next Quarter Century by ACET, 2022. For more information visit www.acetforafrica.org.
 Paul Gifford. 1994. `Ghana’s Charismatic Churches’, Journal of Religion in Africa, 24 (3), 261.
 1981, October 24, The Milwaukee Sentinel, “Search For Quality Called Key To Life” by Tom Ahern, Quote Page 5, Column 5, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Google News Archive)
The story is told of a man who traveled from a developing country to a more economically advanced one in search of a better life. Upon arrival, the man was shocked to find that no one managed the local milk shop. Customers would take what they needed from the refrigerator, leave the exact amount of money for their purchase, and be on their way. Neither the milk nor the money was under lock and key. This would never happen in my country, he thought.
The only thing that surprised the man more than the honor system of the unmanned milk dispensary was the price of the product. The milk was cheaper here, even though his country had more milking cows than people—and in turn produced more milk. How could this be? Then it finally hit him. The higher price at home included the additional costs of dishonesty and thievery.
In his country, locks would be purchased for the refrigerator and money box. A worker would be hired to conduct the transactions. Another person or two would be hired as security, in addition to needing expensive CCTV cameras. This is not to mention the added logistical and utility costs from inefficient or unreliable systems. It all adds up, reflected in the price of a single bottle of milk.
What the society of the man’s home country lacked in cultural values, it paid dearly in economic value—in other words, a higher cost of living than a country with a higher standard of living.
The commercial cost of values
What makes a nation great and strong, ultimately, is its people and their values. Societal values determine what people consider good or important, and this informs how they act. If we consider present-day Ghana in this context, we are likely to be disappointed.
Money and material possessions. Greed and selfishness. These values permeate our society. So I thought it wise to speak to the issue of values in terms of commercial costs. My hope is that even those who place money and materialism and personal gain above all else—including the common societal values espoused in our national anthem and pledge—will realize that real values, such as service and integrity, still affect their bottom line. They will make more money with them, than without.
Consider that Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest men and most successful investors, advises leaders to look for three things when assessing job candidates: intelligence, initiative, and integrity—but to weigh integrity above all else. If a worker lacks the latter trait, Buffet says, “the first two will kill you. Because if you’re going to get someone without integrity, you want them lazy and dumb.”
It is with near-total trust that we poke an opaque tin of milk and pour out its content without a second thought. We’ve got to trust the regulator, trust the manufacturer, and trust the entire supply chain. A friend and former senior manager in a company that produces perishables once told me that the company would destroy whole batches of product at the slightest hint of compromised quality, because the negative cost of their brand being brought into disrepute would be much greater in the long run than the temporary loss of the thousands of dollars flushed down the drain by an honest act.
Values at the core of a nation
Little drops of values at the individual, family, organization, and sector levels of a society eventually coalesce to make a mighty nation. This is how I have long thought of Ghana. As a mighty nation, rich in social and cultural values to emulate.
I grew up in the early 1990s, when neighboring countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone were decimated by war. Hordes of refugees made their way into Ghana. As a World Vision Youth Ambassador, I toured refugee sites in the country with donors, and the tentative nature of life in tents made me tear up. I have always been grateful to God that Ghana in my life has been an island of peace in a sea of strife.
But bombs and bullets are not the only way to destroy a country. Rather than exploding in external violence, a society can implode through internal valuelessness. I fear Ghana is on this path. I see it all around. We have swung from one extreme to another in a few generations. My grandfather cared little about money or material possessions. He was not alone. How often can we say such things now?
Too often, money and materialism seem to the motivation for the world around us, even at the peril of our lives and at the cost of future generations. Look no further than the dastardly acts of inordinate illegal mining (galamsey), stinky corruption in politics and public service, brazen cheating in exams, rampant illegal practices which combine modern internet-based fraud with African traditionalist rituals (sakawa), food sellers using dirty (waste) water to cook, changing expiry dates on expired medicine or outrightly selling fake medicine… need I go on?
Building the Ghana we want, rooted in values that matter
I worry that in our hurry to catch up with the rest of the industrialized world, we are focusing on infrastructure, industry, and education without a values-based foundation. For instance, STEM education is being touted as the panacea for the challenges we face. But what use is STEM without roots? STEM or any other body of knowledge must grow from a deeply rooted network of shared social and cultural values and norms. Otherwise, patients needlessly die, shoddy infrastructure inadvertently collapses, common funds are looted, and justice is denied.
Ghana is at a crossroads, not just economically, but also culturally. There is a commercial cost to values that must be recognized and incorporated into the policies needed to set Ghana on a more prosperous economic course. Thankfully, influential Ghanaians are talking about it.
Earlier this year, the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), which is based in Accra and was founded by Dr. K.Y. Amoako, a Ghanaian, organized a retreat at at the Peduase Valley Resort for more than 50 people representing various civic and political stakeholder groups and organizations in Ghana. The topic of conversation was a new initiative that is set to launch officially in the coming days: the Compact for Ghana’s Political and Economic Transformation.
A roadmap for a stronger democracy and lasting economic prosperity, the Compact is a hopeful approach because it is rooted in strengthening our common values. I attended the Peduase Valley retreat, and values featured heavily in the discussion. It was stressed that the quest for Ghana’s economic and political transformation is meaningless unless it is underpinned by a radical shift in our mindset and values.
Indeed, the discussion focused on identifying values we can glean from the national anthem, the pledge, and the lyrics of “Yɛn Ara Asaase Ni,” written almost a century ago by Dr. Ephraim Amu, one of the fathers of our nation. From the conversation, values such as honesty, selflessness, hard work, and loyalty stood out.
Such discussions must continue in Ghana. Particularly, the all-binding value of integrity needs to be ingrained in every stratum and segment of our national life if we are to realize a greater Ghana, rooted in values that matter rather than tarnished by ones that do not.
Although less dramatic, a definite way to destroy Ghana without bombs or bullets is by eroding the very values that birthed the nation, slowly but surely. “Whether or not this nation prospers,” goes the resounding anthem from Dr. Amu, “clearly depends on the character of the citizens of the nation.”
Dr. Yaw Perbi has practiced medicine in both his home country, Ghana, and with the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire as a U.N. peacekeeper. He is the founder and Global CEO of The HuD Group, inspiring holistic emerging leadership development in 25 countries on all continents. He is co-founder of PerbiCubs, an edtech company impacting over 8,000 children in Ghana. Yaw is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative as well as the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Kathleen Addy is the Republic of Ghana’s National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) chairperson, appointed in 2022 by the president of the Republic from her Deputy Chair of the Commission role. Ms. Addy had been in charge of Finance and Administration since 2017. Kathleen is highly regarded as a civic activist with particular interest in women’s empowerment as well as accountable and responsive governance, and has supported different civil society groups fighting for good governance and women’s rights in Ghana.
She was once upon a time a Research and Communications Officer at the Center for Policy Analysis focusing on Women’s Economic Empowerment and was the Afrobarometer Communications Manager at the Center for Democratic Development. Kathleen holds a first degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Communications from the University of Ghana, Legon. She is also an alumna of Achimota School and Holy Child School. In her role as a Chairperson of the NCCE, Ms. Addy brings her expertise and vast experience in the development sector, as well as her passion and drive to bear on the work of the commission.
Gravitas was one of the ancient Roman virtues that denoted “seriousness.” It is also translated variously as weight, dignity, and importance and connotes restraint and moral rigour. It also conveys a sense of responsibility and commitment to the task. Kathleen’s got gravitas. Meanwhile cīvīlitās, the feminine Latin word that speaks to politics and the art/practice of government, also connotes courteousness, politeness, dignity, civility, moderation, and restraint. Not only has Lady Kathy got all these, she has a passion to see every Ghanaian born of a woman possess these, and in abundance too, hence her passion for civic education.
INTEGRITY AND A NEW GHANA
At the just-held Live2Lead conference, the First Lady of Civilitas began her submissions with a chuckle, as she noted with candour how the public sector from which she hails has become the poster child for lack of integrity. She herself shared how coming from think tanks and CSOs, she got a culture shock when she first landed in the public service in 2017. “A lot of people don’t even know what the wrong thing is because wrong has been normalized,” she asserted.
But she ended with a ROAR. By the time she had shared how ‘friends and family’ who expected favours like getting an upper hand in the commission’s hiring had had a rude shock that she only gave them enough support to follow due process, the audience would doff their hats for such a principled public sector leader. We trust that the many public sector folks sponsored to attend were inspired to also lead with integrity, right in the corner where they are.
Live2Lead Ghana was wildly successful. We give glory to God. The plan to strategically rope in the public sector was a good idea and well-executed. We are grateful to all our corporate partners whose generous sponsorship made this possible, and the participation of several emerging leaders from our schools and universities. The dozen or so organizations and companies who ensured 10 or more of their leaders were present are true patrons of a Ghana that can be lead in integrity for the common good. One bank sponsored nearly 60 of their leaders, while another invested in 40 of theirs. Poco a poco, intentionality about leadership development will become a culture that rewires our nation for growth, success and significance.
God bless our homeland Ghana with gravitas for civilitas, and make our nation great and strong.
There’s no one I enjoy hearing about teams, meetings and workplace dynamics like Patrick Lencioni. Patrick is an American author of books on business management, particularly in relation to team management. He is best known as the author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, a popular business fable that explores work team dynamics and offers solutions to help teams perform better. On a recent trip to southern and eastern Africa, his cautionary tale to CEOs published in a book by the title The Motive, was my jolting companion. It brought me back to my senses as CEO of a few enterprises.
Lencioni is Founder and President of The Table Group, a management consulting firm specializing in executive team development and organizational health. As a consultant and keynote speaker, he has worked with senior executives and executive teams in organizations ranging from Fortune 500s and high tech start-ups to universities and non-profits. He also gives talks on leadership, organizational change, teamwork and corporate culture. He is frequently interviewed for national media including features in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
SIX TYPES OF WORKING GENIUS
At the annual John Maxwell Live2Lead conference last week–the Ghana site hosted nearly 600 leaders LIVE! with thousands more to benefit through rebroadcasts–we heard from Patrick Lencioni about his groundbreaking new model that provides a deeper understanding into our workplace and team dynamics.
The six types of working geniuses together form the word WIDGET, symbolized by six gears working perfectly synergistically well together. W is the genius of Wonder, I the genius of Invention, D the genius of Discernment, G the genius of Galvanizing, E the genius of Enablement and T the genius of Tenacity. In the near future we shall provide a fuller blog delving into further details about these six geniuses. In the mean time hear Pat the sage, “If you want to be successful and fulfilled in your work, you must tap into your gifts. That can’t happen if you don’t know what those gifts are.”
THINGS DON’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY
Pat explained how people don’t understand their personal areas of working genius, which impacts their ability to identify work opportunities that would be most meaningful to them, as well as disallowing organizations, teams, and families to help individuals tap into their true working genius, resulting in a failure to reach one’s true potential. But things don’t have to be this way. This tragedy is avoidable, as Pat shared how you can identify your working genius and understanding which one of the six geniuses both you and your teammates are. Contact us, the Live2Lead team, if you and your team would want to test your genius to become all you really could be. There are no dumb or lazy people on the planet or on your team; only geniuses who are yet to find and fire up what makes them tick!
Everyone calls him “Uncle” without even thinking twice about it. Whether young enough to be their son or old enough to be their grandpa, “Uncle” is everyone’s uncle. A voice of reason, counsel in season, James Ebo Whyte, affectionately known nationwide as “Uncle Ebo” is the people’s uncle, hands down.
Mr. James Ebo Whyte is the CEO, heart and brain behind Roverman Productions. He is nationally acknowledged as an accomplished, award-winning playwright and highly sought-after motivational speaker. James Ebo Whyte constantly challenges Ghanaians to think more about the world they live in and the contribution they make to it. Just the day before the October 7, 2022 Live2Lead conference at which he was speaking, he unveiled to his drama troupe his 51st play in fourteen years! A hearty congratulations to the prolific playwright.
INTEGRITY IN THE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
At Live2Lead 2022, Uncle Ebo was the only gentleman among three distinguished leading ladies from the corporate and entrepreneurship spaces as well as the public sector. Their first job was to respond to the submissions on “Leading with Integrity for the Common Good” made in the earlier hour by Patrick Awuah, founder and president of Ashesi University. Uncle Ebo held our attention as he raised issues of integrity in the arts & entertainment segment of Ghanaian society that he had with intentionality decided to counter, like giving kickbacks from corporate sponsorship. He uttered with conviction, “there are sponsorships we know we’ll never get for our plays because of this.” And he’s fine with it, as he knows that integrity comes at a cost.
One of the most amazing feats of Roverman Productions has been putting up a new play every quarter for the last decade-and-a-half and resolving to always start on time, also a matter of integrity. In fact, one of the participants at Live2Lead, a corporate governance expert, interjected that one reason she chooses to go and see Ebo Whyte’s plays is that she can guarantee they would commence on time. Again, Roverman has gone against the tide by ensuring pristine toilet facilities at their play venues and three levels of security at events to ensure patrons have a heavenly experience and leave with no bitter taste in their mouths. To the people’s uncle, excellence in these areas is a matter of integrity.
OF TEENAGE FOLLY AND GAMBLING
We intentionally wanted to leave the Live2Lead conferees on a note of hope, especially hope in Ghana, and Uncle Ebo did not disappoint. While admitting we have mega challenges in the nation he reminds us that we’ve not only been in worse times but also that in the annals of nation building globally, at 60 years Ghana is only a teenager. The national happenings that leave us in consternation are akin to teenage tantrums and this too shall pass. We do have quite a degree of national folly though, which we need to be cured of, he confesses.
Uncle Ebo’s belief in Ghana is so solid that his parting words were the following: “Whoever bets against Ghana will lose.” For a full buffet of this scintillating conversation look out for a recording of the hitherto livestreamed video (currently only available to paid participants) or invite Live2Lead to rebroadcast in your context (company, community, church etc). You don’t want to miss Live2Lead 2023 on October 6, next year, Deo volonte. Pinned on the first Friday of each October, National Leader Day after National Leader Day, building a leader at a time and one centre of excellence at a time, we shall surely get to the Ghana we want. And who knows? Perhaps sooner than other nations have.
Eric Thomas, Ph.D., is a critically acclaimed author, world-renowned speaker, educator, pastor, and audible.com Audie Awards finalist. ET, as he is better known and affectionately called, has taken the world by storm, with his creative, common-sense approach to living a successful, satisfying professional and personal life. Through a significant social media presence and regular domestic and international tours, “ET, The Hip Hop Preacher” has become a global phenomenon!
As CEO of his Consulting Firm, ETA LLC., Dr. Eric Thomas has led his team through the doors of dozens of hugely successful organizations and Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric, Quicken Loans, AT&T, Nike, Under Armour, New Balance, and UPS and continues to consult for major league sports franchises within the MLB, NBA, NFL, MLS (various United States sports leagues).
YOU OWE YOU
That’s Eric’s philosophy of life, and his topic at Live2Lead on October 7: You Owe You: Ignite Your Power, Your Purpose, and Your Why. Come learn the key principles of how to turn a mentality of struggle into strength, resulting in enduring success. Eric Thomas shares his urgent message to stop waiting for inspiration to strike and take control of your life, using stories of his past and lessons learned as examples.
He will help identify how you can rewrite your life’s script and capture the attention of all kinds of people in a multitude of different environments. Sharing these critical first steps will help you with understanding yourself and the world around you, finding your why, accepting that you may have to give up something good for something great, and constantly stretching toward your potential.
Pump up your personal, professional and leadership game at this year’s Live2Lead conference. Register now through this link. Nag your organization until they join this rising movement of learning leaders that will transform society by becoming a Patron of Live2Lead. A Patron company is one that sends at least 10 leaders to Live2Lead, and this year they range from mining companies like Goldfields to banking greats like Stanchart. There’s no way we can have at least 100 such Patron organizations and companies in Ghana and not transform the nation, one leader at a time, one centre of excellence at a time. Together we can change our country and continent for the better! Let’s do this! Register here, and NOW.
Patricia Obo-Nai is one of the most influential CEOs in Africa, a leading figure in the telecom sector. Don’t let her cool fool you. It is not for nothing that she is not only the first ever female CEO of Vodafone Ghana but the first Ghanaian to do so. Period. Her outstanding leadership has been recognized by many, including Mobile Magazine Africa, which named her the “First Lady of Mobile in Africa.”
Patricia started her career as a Network Planning Engineer with Millicom Ghana Ltd. (Tigo) in 2000. She holds a BSc in Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and an Executive MBA in Project Management from the University of Ghana Business School. Regarding international education, she holds executive education qualifications from both sides of the Atlantic, Kellogg School of Management in the USA and INSEAD in France. Patricia is passionate about the future of young people and women in the digital age and is a vigorous advocate for STEM. She has been on several platforms, including the UN General Assembly panel sessions, advocating for youth and women.
Among Mrs. Obo-Nai’s dozen plus prestigious awards are the recent Women Leadership Excellence Award at the Ghana CEO’s Network Summit and the Africa’s Most Respected CEO Awards in the continent’s Telecommunications Industry, both of 2021. She is a CEO of CEOs.
WHAT IS GOOD TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT GREAT VALUES!
Even before getting into the so-called ‘soft’ issues of leadership, like integrity, as an electrical engineer Pat knows the hard consequences of conductors, currents, circuits, capacitors and such that have no integrity. Nothing of enduring value happens without integrity. At the October 7 Live2Lead conference this year, Patricia will exhibit through her life and leadership how “the glue that holds all relationships together–including the relationship between the leader and the led–is trust, and trust is based on integrity” (Brian Tracy).
Mrs. Obo-Nai will share how she manages to lead with integrity for the common good despite the high corruption in Ghanaian society, everywhere one turns. During an April visit to Ashesi earlier this year, the celebrated CEO of Vodafone Ghana highlighted lessons from her 20-year career. Embedded in those gems was a reminder to students about the importance of having integrity.
Tune up your personal, professional and leadership game at this year’s Live2Lead conference. Register now through this link. Nag your organization until they join this rising movement of learning leaders that will transform society by becoming a Patron of Live2Lead. A Patron company, like Patricia’s own Vodafone, is one that sends at least 10 leaders to Live2Lead. There’s no way we can have at least 100 such Patron organizations and companies in Ghana and not transform the nation, one centre of excellence at a time. Together we can change our country and continent for the better! Let’s do this! Register here, and NOW.
Dr. Tim Elmore’s passion for leader development began in 1983 when he worked alongside and was mentored by best-selling author, Dr. John C. Maxwell. Since then, he’s emerged as an author, leadership expert, and keynote speaker who’s trained more than 500,000 leaders in hundreds of organizations worldwide. Speaking of intergenerational leadership, he’s also the Founder and CEO of Growing Leaders, a non-profit team that equips students and young professionals around the world to become life-giving leaders. Tim has developed young leaders on every continent and has spoken in 50 countries including India, Russia, China, Brazil and throughout the Middle East.
Dr. Elmore has advised corporations such as Chick-fil-A, Cox Communications, the Home Depot, Cici’s Pizza, Delta Global, Coca-Cola Consolidated, and more. He’s spoken at top-tier universities such as Stanford, Texas, Duke, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, U.C. Berkeley and more. And he’s presented to executives and world-class athletes with the Kansas City Royals, New York Giants, Houston Rockets, and San Francisco Giants. His blog is read by over 100,000 people weekly.
THE INTERGENERATIONAL WORKPLACE OF THE 21ST CENTURY
At Live2Lead on October 7, come hear how Tim brings his decades of research and leadership experience to bear on what might be the biggest, most dramatic, and most disruptive shift the workforce has ever seen: the vast diversity of several generations living—and working—together. Tim Elmore explores the fact that for the first time in history, up to five generations find themselves working alongside each other in a typical company. The result? There can be division. Interactions between people from different generations can resemble a cross-cultural relationship. Both usually possess different values and customs. At times, each generation is literally speaking a different language!
How can we hope to work together when we can’t even understand each other? Tim will provide the tools to:
- Get the most out of the strengths of each age group on your team.
- Foster effective communication instead of isolation among people.
- Build bridges rather than walls so that loneliness becomes connectedness.
- Connect people to learn how both veterans and rookies can mentor each other.
ADD VALUE TO YOU AND YOURS
At YAW PERBI Executive Leadership Education all our offerings are to the end that leaders grow personally, succeed professionally and become significant societally. Join Dr. Tim Elmore and the other stellar faculty Dr. John Maxwell has put together for this year’s Live2Lead conference and tune up your leadership game. Register now through this link. Impress upon your organization to join the movement that will transform society by becoming a Patron of Live2Lead. A Patron company or individual is one that sends at least 10 leaders to Live2Lead. Together we can change our world for the better!
Register HERE, NOW.