A discussion on the five dysfunctions of a team (video clip)

Governments, organizations, and partnerships around the world have suffered a lot because of team dysfunction. In this two-part discussion, I had a wonderful discussion with Ermias based on the book ‘The five dysfunctions of a team’.

By the way, I also briefly shared my observation about my trip to Ethiopia after 13 long years in the beginning.

We talked about the reasons why teams experience dysfunction and how to reverse that, and more. The discussion was very practical and applicable to your team.

Whether you’re a leader or a team member, you want to know whether your team is dysfunctional or not, and if it is, you want to learn what to do to make it a team that functions like a well-oiled machine…

Gera show 3rd year anniversary program (video clip)

Last month Gera show celebrated its 3rd year anniversary. The program was eventful. There were distinguished guests such as Prince Ermias and other VIPs among the Ethiopian community in the Diaspora. You may watch the full program. Just for your info, I was one of the speakers and I talked about the crucial roles media plays for a given community (for good or bad), Gera show’s unique contributions in the past 3 years, how we Ethiopians are lagging behind in tapping into the power of media even by African standard, and more. Happy anniversary for Gera show once again! https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=510346422787940&id=1107144229302725

Final Ethiopia Trip Report: Speaking engagements at various institutions

Because of the unstable political atmosphere in Ethiopia, I have never gone back to Ethiopia since I came to the US in 2005. In April this year, however, the ruling party elected a new Prime Minister- Abiy Ahmed, who has been spearheading a reform that includes inviting political opponents, some of whom were sentenced to death in absentia.

Since then, thousands of Ethiopians in the Diaspora returned home after many years of exile. After 13 long years stay in the US, me too, I decided to visit my native country this past November.

During my four weeks stay, I had chances to:

  1. Visit my family,
  2. Give interviews to some government-owned and private media, and
  3. Conduct some keynotes and workshops for some universities and corporations.

Since I returned from Ethiopia, I’ve been reporting about my trip. If in case you missed my previous four reporting, you may check out the links below:

  1. Ethiopia Trip Report: Media Appearances

2. Ethiopia Trip Report: Workshops for media institutions

3. Ethiopia Trip Report: Events organized at the University of Gondar

4. Ethiopia Trip Report: Events organized at Addis Ababa University

In this final report, let me quickly share with you the institutions I served and the main discussion points. I will start my reporting with the first event I conducted and end it with my final event on Friday, November 30th, 2018.

  1. Center for African Leadership Development (CALD). I group coached the coordinators and facilitators of the iLead program designed and delivered by the Center for African Leadership Development (CALD). I also got a wonderful chance to give a motivational speech based on my latest book “Unchain Your Greatness” to a larger audience who are also alumni of this empowering program.

2. American College of Technology (ACT). I conducted a one-day seminar for business owners and corporate leaders from diverse industries. The theme of the workshop was ‘Taking Your Management and Leadership Competency to the Next Height’. Some of the participants were owners of private businesses while others executives and still others department head. At the end of the session, we had certification award ceremony.

3. Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC). I gave a keynote on the theme “Overcoming the 4 Leadership Challenges in the Field of Engineering.”  We have seen it again and again around the world where railways playing a backbone role for the transformations many nations experienced. The opportunity gave me a chance to show the leaders and engineers of ERC the four leadership challenges they should overcome and how to play their crucial and backbone role as the nation is attempting to come out of poverty and attain sustainable economic development.

4. Millennium Medical College @ St. Paul’s Hospital. The theme of my talk was ‘The Roles of Soft Skills in a Medical Profession’. Less attention has been given to soft skills, especially, in many technical professions including the medical profession. I was glad that the leaders of this institution saw the importance of developing the soft skills of their students. The insights, stories, and models were taken from my third book ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success’.

5. Bank of Abyssinia. As the nation opens its arms and invites FDI in some very crucial industries such as banks, airlines, energy, defense, telecom, and so on, for sure, there will be many global companies that will soon be flooding into the country to take advantage of the recent reforms and policy changes. One of the competitive advantages of these foreign companies, on top of finance, is world class customer service with a robust corporate culture and a team that functions like a well-oiled machine. That was why I facilitated a very interactive and dynamic session with the top leadership and district managers of Bank of Abyssinia including those who lead managers of up to 80 branches. The theme of our discussion was ‘Creating a Corporate Culture of Bank of Abyssinia that Motivates Continually.’

6. Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). I conducted a consultative discussion with the leadership of ECX, an innovative organization that continues to empower our farmers and traders. We talked about the need on how an institution like ECX, which has diverse stakeholders with varying interests, choices, and priorities should build its own team’s organizational and leadership capacity continually to serve its stakeholders with extraordinary excellence. The discussion was informal and very productive.

7. x-Hub Addis. The theme was ‘Leaders as Project Managers’. The Founder of x-Hub, Tewodros Tadesse, was asking me thoughtful questions about leadership, some of the most important project management competencies leaders should have, and more. In the end, the audience had also a chance to ask questions where we had vibrant conversations. Since one of the top challenges our country faces are failures in delivering projects within budget, on time, and by meeting the expectations of stakeholders, the theme of the discussion was timely and very relevant.

Notes:

  1. I’m very much thankful to all who reached out to me, created connections, and supported me in many ways for the successful accomplishment of these programs.
  2. Ermias Legesse asked me to share my observation during my four weeks stay in Ethiopia in ESAT’s DC studio. We had also a vibrant discussion based on the book ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’. Below are the video clips:

Here is also another interview released recently. This interview was based on my two leadership books: https://youtu.be/-emz_iSAqqU

Ethiopia Trip Report: Events organized at Addis Ababa University

Since I returned from Ethiopia, I’ve been reporting about my trip. If in case you missed my previous three reporting, you may check out the links below:

  1. Ethiopia Trip Report: Media Appearances

2. Ethiopia Trip Report: Workshops for media institutions

3. Ethiopia Trip Report: Events organized at the University of Gondar

In this report, I’d like to share with you the highlights of my visit to Addis Ababa University (AAU). For your info, AAU is my alma mater. When I decided to return to the motherland after 13 long years, I vowed to pay back my former university, which gave me so many growth opportunities. On top of doing my first degree, AAU (the then student leaders) gave me a chance to serve its community as the president of AAU Students’ Union in 1997/98. This was the institution where I had a chance to serve nationally, travel to some African countries, and become a better person and leader.

The majestic main gate of AAU

Fortunately, my request to serve my alma mater got positive responses from the President- Prof. Tasew and Drs. Demeke Achisew & Kassu Jilcha, Directors of External Relations and Career Development Center, respectively. At AAU, I had three wonderful opportunities to serve. Let me quickly give you the summary of these events:

  1. With AAU Leadership. The university’s top leaders including Vice-Presidents, Directors, Executives, Deans; Middle and Lower Level Managers were invited by the President to attend this keynote. The theme of my presentation was ‘AAU Reclaiming Its Historic Responsibilities in the Nation Building Process’. The focus of the speech was about how AAU could play its fair share on the ongoing change process by raising competent change agents (Technocrats). I underscored the fact that the country, more than ever, needs a generation that can shoulder the responsibilities of transforming Ethiopia in one generation. In the end, we had a Q&A session where we had hot discussions about the kind of deep change and cultural reforms Ethiopia needs, the roles of the university in these regards, and some other proactive roles this historic university could play as a national learning institution, which had played crucial roles in the past as the nation went through so many transformations. I also shared some of the soft skills students need to develop so as to succeed while they are on campus and after graduation, and as they play their fair share on the ongoing change process. I also suggested incorporating and making these soft skills as part of the curriculum like other mainstream courses.
With the university’s leaders at Nelson Mandela Hall in Sidit kilo, the main campus of AAU

2. With AAU Career Development Center Team. I found the Director of the Center- Dr. Kassu, as a very dedicated and passionate servant who is working tirelessly to serve the student body. He invited trainers from all the campuses to attend this workshop. By the way, I was impressed by the prime attention the university gave to career development. The Center directly reports to the President. I showed the team the crucial roles soft skills play by taking some insights, facts, stories, tools, and approaches from my third book ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success’. I suggested the incorporation of certain soft skills on top of teaching students on how to write killer resumes, develop interviewing skills, and conducting mock interviews. Though the latter three skills are important to get one’s foot in the door, they are not enough to impress experienced recruiters. Most importantly, unless these skills are coupled with certain soft skills, they’re not adequate for students to thrive and continue to climb the corporate ladder.

The Career Development Team

3. With the Student Leaders. I had a consultative meeting with Addis Ababa University Students’ union leaders. The experience took me 20 years back in memory lane. I shared with them what it looked like to be a student leader back in the days, the things that helped our team succeed, the challenges we faced, and some of the results we have achieved, and more. They asked questions on how to overcome the challenges they are facing now, how to serve their constituents with excellence, and so on. We talked about some of the soft skills and leadership competencies they need to develop in order to serve the students body in particular and the AAU community at large with leadership excellence. We also discussed how they may play crucial roles in the nation-building process by tapping into the opportunity that presents itself in current Ethiopia. They asked me to continue to support the union’s leadership to build its organizational and leadership capacity, and I said yes… I want to thank student leader Juhar Sultan Yusuf, who was communicating with me before I even set my foot in Ethiopia to bring the student leaders together.

AAU Student Leaders…

Will share with you the last report on my Ethiopia Trip very soon. Stay tuned!

Ethiopia Trip Report: Events organized at the University of Gondar

Since I returned from Ethiopia, I’ve been reporting about my trip. If in case you missed my previous two reporting, you may check out the links below:

  1. Ethiopia Trip Report: Media Appearances

2. Ethiopia Trip Report: Workshops for media institutions

In this report, I’d like to share with you the highlights of my visit to the University of Gondar (UoG). By the way, the President of the UoG and I shared the same dormitory for over four years when we were studying at AAU, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. I’m so happy to see Dr. Desalgn- President of the UoG, after so many years. Most importantly, I was proud of his outstanding achievements as he leads one of the fastest growing and impactful learning institutions in Ethiopia.

Presenting my books to the President of UoG in his office

By taking his precious time, Desu gave me a tour and explained to me the various undertakings that were going on at the UoG. I was impressed by the expansion of the university. When I was invited by the student leaders of the then Gondar College of Medical Sciences, 20 years ago and while I was the leader of AAU students, the campus was tiny. Look at it now (the pic below is just a partial view of one of its campuses)! The UoG is now a mega-university which has dozens of faculties and thousands of students plus many regional and global partnerships around the world.

The beautiful campus of UoG

By the way, more than the growth and expansion of the UoG, I was impressed by the corporate culture, which is priceless. If you’re wondering about the external manifestations and successes of the university, look no farther. It’s because of the direct and indirect results of the internal working environment and culture of the university. During my two days stay, I witnessed the culture of the UoG in action. For instance, while in the office of the President and having informal chat with the top leadership, I closely watched how they were interacting among themselves. They were interacting like peers. I felt like we were close friends having fun in a coffee shop. We had so much fun and the conversation was full of laughter.

The tower at the UoG Presidents of Ethiopia, Eritrea & Somalia used to view the whole city

I also paid close attention to the way students were interacting with the President and his team. Students were waving their hands and greeting him with happy faces while we were walking and driving around. Some students with issues stopped him and chatted with him like they were talking to one of their peers. I was standing there and comparing what was going on right there with our student years. Let alone to talk to the president like that, we weren’t having decent interactions with our lecturers. In short, if you would like to duplicate the extraordinary successes of the UoG, study its culture, customize it to your objective conditions on the ground, and then, you would replicate its successes.

At the UoG, I had three opportunities:

  1. With the UoG Leadership. I shared the critical roles certain soft skills play and the importance of incorporating these soft skills into the curriculum like the other mainstream courses to the university’s President, Vice-Presidents, Deans, and other leaders of the UoG. The insights, stories, models, and tools were taken from my book ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success‘. By the way, the university has a dedicated Deliverology and Career Development team working hard to empower students while they are on campus so that they may become ready to serve their communities with excellence when they leave the university after graduation. My presentation was received well. As a result, the university’s administration and the relevant team are eager to work with me to implement some of the suggestions put forward in my presentation.
With the UoG leadership

2. With Student Leaders. I shared my journey on why I decided to serve the AAU community as student leader 20 years ago, the preparation I did to position myself to get elected as president from a faculty that was neglected and isolated, and the resilience it took to succeed in that very demanding position. I encouraged these young leaders to elevate their vision from preoccupying themselves in just focusing on immediate concerns of student needs such as food and academic issues. I shared with them what we did 2 decades ago. I told them that we actively engaged at national and continental issues such as traveling to visit other university students in the country to form a national students’ union, requesting to be represented in the parliament, proactively involving in the then national issues using media outlets, and traveling in some African countries to contribute our fair share in using intercultural dialogue to bring peace in the continent and so on. I inspired these future leaders of our country to engage the student body and create synergy with the university administration not only to address campus-wide issues but also to play proactive roles in other socio-economic, civic, and nation-building affairs in the regional state and beyond.

UoG student leaders

I also reminded these young leaders the fact that we have now a young PM and the nation is in transformation. Accordingly, I encouraged them to work on their personal development, have the right mindset, envision high, and develop certain leadership and soft skills to lead the student body with excellence and also to fulfill their national civic responsibilities while they are still students. They engaged with me and asked million dollar questions. They also asked me to continue empowering the leadership and I said I will try my best!

3. Spoke at Global Entrepreneurship Week Event. On this important occasion, I talked about the mindset necessary, some of the key decisions to make, and soft skills necessary to succeed in any business.

Thank you very much Drs. Desalegn and Asrat (President and Vice-President, respectively), and the leadership team of the UoG for inviting me to share my stories and expertise to the university’s community and your hospitality. I’m proud of you and your accomplishments! Way to go!!!

Will continue to report the remaining aspects of my Ethiopia Trip. Stay tuned!

Ethiopia Trip Report: Workshops for media institutions

Because of the unstable political atmosphere in Ethiopia, I have never gone back to Ethiopia since I came to the US in 2005. In April this year, however, the ruling party elected a new Prime Minister- Abiy Ahmed, who has been spearheading a reform that includes inviting political opponents, some of whom were sentenced to death in absentia.

Since then, thousands of Ethiopians in the Diaspora returned home after many years of exile. After 13 long years stay in the US, me too, I decided to visit my native country this past November.

During my four weeks stay, I had chances to:

  1. Visit my family,
  2. Give interviews to some government-owned and private media, and
  3. Conduct some keynotes and workshops for some universities and corporations.

Last week, I shared the brief report on my media appearances. If in case you missed it, click here…

Some of the pics taken inside the studios of the media that invited me for interviews

In this brief report, I’m going to share with you the workshops I facilitated for diverse media leaders, producers, and editors in Ethiopia such as Amhara Media, LTV, MO’AA TV, and Evangelical TV.

By the way, media has been considered as one of the major pillars in any society around the world. In the US, for instance, it’s called the Fourth State. We all know the power and influence of media. Like the government, businesses, educational and religious institutions of a nation, media plays a determinantal role for good or bad. It can promote peace, development, equality, unity, harmony or conflict, destruction, discrimination, and division. Either way, it is a consequential industry. We have seen in history how certain media promoted and agitated genocide. Therefore, we should not treat this industry lightly.

With the Managing Director of LTV- Messay and his team

For your information, countries in Africa like Kenya, which only has 45 million people- less than half of Ethiopia’s population, has over 200 stations while we have a handful of major media outlets. We need more media in quantity and quality. We need to continue to support the very few media we have right now and make lots of efforts to have new media. We should make sure that these media outlets play their fair share in the nation-building process we are in right now. For them to play proactive and constructive roles, however, we all should contribute something financially, morally, professionally, and so on. As a media person and leadership expert, when I visited Ethiopia last month, I decided to play my fair share by empowering the leaders, producers, and editors of some of the media outlets. 

At Amhara Media in Baherdar

By the way, among the few media that we have, I’d been admiring the positive contributions of some of the media outlets from afar. When I went to Ethiopia this past November, I was so glad that I had golden chances to engage with the leaders, producers, and editors of Amhara Media, LTV, MO’AA TV, Evangelical TV.

Here you see one of the dynamic young producers from Evangelical TV- Obolessa Adola

Using my media experience and my expertise as a leadership expert who has been empowering leaders in the US, I shared with them some insights, tools, models, and approaches that could help them create a media environment that allows them to continue to have impacts in the ongoing change process in our country. For your information, I used to produce English programs at ESAT, one of the non-governmental media institutions that played crucial roles toward the change we’re now enjoying, for more than two years: 2013 – 2015. Currently, I’m producing and hosting a show called Pick Yourself Up, which airs on Channel 16. That means, I fully understand the industry and the common challenges the media industry faces. 

The theme of the workshops in Baherdar and Addis Ababa was ‘Three Key Soft Skills in the Media Industry‘. The workshops were based on my third book entitled ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success‘ and very dynamic and interactive. The main goals of these workshops were:

  1. To show the powerful place media has in any society,
  2. To recognize those critical soft skills and leadership competencies necessary to succeed in what they do as media professionals,
  3. To help them develop these skills, which in turn may empower them to advance the missions of their organizations, and
  4. To explain some of the vital roles they should play toward the ongoing transformation that is going on in Ethiopia. 

Will continue to report the remaining aspects of my Ethiopia Trip. Stay tuned!

Gera Show 3rd Year Anniversary

Gera Show celebrated its 3rd year anniversary in Washington DC colorfully. 

Congrats Dereje Gerawork and the team! Within a short period of time, you have made an impact in our community through your extraordinary works. You identified a gap, chose a unique lane, and have been bringing the best among our Diaspora community to share their stories and expertise.

It was an honor to appear on your show, make a remark at the anniversary, meet wonderful people, and get a certification of recognition from Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie (The grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie).

Ethiopia Trip Report: Media Appearances

Because of the unstable political atmosphere in Ethiopia, I have never gone back to Ethiopia since I came to the US in 2005. In April this year, however, the ruling party elected a new Prime Minister- Abiy Ahmed, who has been spearheading a reform that includes inviting political opponents, some of whom were sentenced to death in absentia.

Since then, thousands of Ethiopians in the Diaspora returned home after many years of exile. After 13 long years stay in the US, me too, I decided to visit my native country this past November.

During my four weeks stay, I had chances to:

  1. Visit my family,
  2. Give interviews to some government-owned and private media, and
  3. Conduct some keynotes and workshops for some universities and corporations.

In this blog, I’m going to report my media appearances during my stay in Ethiopia.

Most of my media interviews were based on my motivational books Unchain Your Greatness and ‘The Highest Level of Greatness.

Two of the interviews I had were in English.

  1. The host of Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) FM 104.7 (Assegid Mulugeta) asked me where it all started. I shared with him how it all began. Starting from how I was first convinced that I had unlimited potential within and ventured out to pursue my passion. The discussion was very lively.

Here is the link to listen to the chat I had with Assegid Mulugeta of The High Time: https://www.mixcloud.com/assegid-mulugeta/the-high-time-with-dr-assegid-habtewold-ceo-of-success-pathways/?fbclid=IwAR3lePsZdl3Hqsb2G5dQqLUxluakvvlwnlAUG-vpXAVTv435dGJr6MO6mv8 

2. AfroFM’sDawit invited me to come to his studio and share my story. The shos targets the youth and we used the opportunities to inspire the youth to believe that they have the seed of greatness within. We encouraged them to tap into the ongoing reform to play their fair share in transforming their country.

With Dawit of AfroFM
With Dawit inside the studio

I had also interviews with some government-owned and private media outlets in Amharic (the national language). These interviews were about:

3. The human potential with Obelessa Adola of Evangelical TV. If you’re especially a young man or woman, don’t want to miss this. You better know the potential you carry as early as possible. You’re destined to shine and attain greatness. Here is the recording of that interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRdYpr6h9nI&fbclid=IwAR1ulCIm9294vA4u_1Tz2eSDIM5J8CVxQ14hM7GDMwC-c-XKLwEfCHsdI0Q

With Obolessa

4. The core messages of my five books with Ayele Anawte of YeAmerar Tebebe that airs on Amahara Media. In this lengthy interview, Ayele asked very critical questions that allowed me to share lots of insights and stories. Don’t miss this! The video clips haven’t yet been released. 

With Ayele Anawte

5. Discussion on latest project management principles with Abeselome. This interview especially was very timely and relevant considering the fact that the nation has been plagued by project failures. Its mega projects have been failing miserably.

With Abeselome of EVA Show

Here is the recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56W-pSKjvEA&fbclid=IwAR3kL3dmoKybvOqFPqJtYvKlanMi79PEvrjW7dt9GVl4ZQKQnXoHDlXlwRg&app=desktop

Will continue to report the remaining aspects of my Ethiopia Trip. Stay tuned!

Note: If you are interested to watch some of my recent interviews, check out the following links:

  1. Interview at Gera show based on my latest book: https://youtu.be/e7GSt2RDJFk
  2. Interview with Reeyot Alemu of ESAT based on my latest book: https://youtu.be/c5prXNaFUVU
  3. Discussion with Ermias Legesse of ESAT about the change that is going on in Ethiopia: https://youtu.be/m8nLD9awxyo
  4. Discussion with Gabe Hamda and Ermias about the power and roles of cultural values in the ongoing nation transformation: https://youtu.be/m8nLD9awxyo

Interview with Your Ethiopian Professionals Leaders

Last week, I had the opportunity to interview the co-founders of Your Ethiopian Professionals Network. In this interview, we talked about:

  1. Why YEP exists? What was the very reason that led you to establish YEP
  2. What are the top three major achievements of YEP?
  3. What are the 3 biggest lessons you learned individually because you have been serving as leaders?
  4. What are the toughest challenges YEP faces?
  5. What lessons would you like to share with other similar professional groups?
  6. What the future holds for YEP? Where do you see YEP in the next five years?
  7. Are there some ongoing or upcoming projects you’re engaged with right now that you would like to share with our viewers?
  8. And more.

These young dynamic leaders have a lot to offer. I encourage you to watch their interview. Reach out to them if you may have any feedback or question. And of course, if you’re in the DC metro area, join YEP, be with like-minded people to grow personally and professionally. If you’re in Ethiopia, no worries, you can be part of the initiative they recently introduced in Addis.

To learn more about Pick Yourself Up and watch archive interviews, check out its website.

 

 

 

 

Steve Jobs and the comeback power he demonstrated (Excerpt)

“…One of the classic comeback powers in the world, next to Lazarus who came back from the dead after staying four days in the grave, was demonstrated by the co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. He was fired from his own company by the Board in 1985. Here is what he said about the incidence: “I was out — and very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating. I was a very public failure.”

This knock out punch was a huge setback. It staggered Jobs for a while. He recounted, “I even thought about running away from the valley… [But] I decided to start over… It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

Following his firing, in the next 12 years, Jobs persisted while experiencing one of the toughest setbacks of his life. While taking this long walk, he resolved to outlast the setback. He also continued to do what he loved to do. He kept going. Besides, he was developing a comeback power while he was in the ‘valley of life’.

Jobs finally rejoined Apple in 1997 as its CEO. Since he did his homework while he was away from ‘home’, when he returned he saved the company from downward spiral and decline. He transformed it and finally made it one of the most valuable companies in the world…”

The above excerpt is taken from the Introduction part of Unchain Your Greatness (p. 124).

To learn more about the book, click here…

If you would like to check out the Table of Content, click here…

You can order the Print version of the book from Amazon. Here is also the Kindle version

If you haven’t read the first part of the Preface, click here…

If you haven’t read the last part of the Preface, click here…

If you haven’t read the excerpt from the Introduction part, click here…

If you want to read about the Four Stages of Greatness, click here.

Contact the author if you’re interested him to speak at one of your future events, contact us. Tel: 703-895-4551 Emailassegid@successpws.com

In order to get updates, future excerpts, and related events, follow us on social media by going to the top right corner of this page. You may also subscribe to our YouTube channel to get alerts when we upload video clips. You may also subscribe to our newsletter for free:

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