August, 2016

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Going beyond using lame excuses…

No ExcusesBlaming our past for not taking action to change our destiny for good is taken from a weak man’s playbook. Even if we’ve inherited a flawed past with so many disadvantages, we’ve the unlimited power to use today and inherit a glorious tomorrow. There should not be any excuse about our heritages. If we don’t like them, we’ve the power to change them for good. Let’s go beyond using lame excuses.

Unfortunately, I never met a person who got stuck, failed, or left behind taking responsibilities and own his/her circumstance. They always point to something or someone including their parents, relatives, peers, teachers, and the system where they grew up for where they are in life NOW. Paradoxically, only those who are truly successful are the ones profusely admit and then take ownership of their failures. This attitude of ‘I’m not the product of my circumstance’ enabled them to overcome extraordinary challenges.

One of the common themes among excuses many people assign for their failures is ‘I was raised in a dysfunctional family’ or ‘I grew up in the wrong side of the fence’, and so on. These things happen all over the world. Nonetheless, we have countless successful people who overcame obstacles they faced during childhood or when they were young. Many of these individuals rather used the misfortunate circumstances into their own advantage.

Another huge excuse many people use is ‘I’m the way I’m because of WHO I’M.’ These individuals think that who they are was fixed long time ago and they don’t have any say NOW. They wrongly believe that the DNA they inherited from their pedigree predisposed them to fail. They’ve a distorted belief about the infinite power that resides within them. They don’t realize that they may not change the past but they are the authors of their future and they have the necessary power at their disposal if they just believe that they are the creator of their own destiny.

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I’m not here just giving you a pep talk. Go ahead, research, and study. Space doesn’t allow me here to provide you details but there are some biologists who believe that genes can change in your favor. Your inner voice- your true self, can change the pattern of your genes. Yes, you may not be able to change your height, the color of your eyes, and the feature of your face but you definitely have the power to chart a new path for your life, career, and business by changing your genes and in turn by having the right attitude, sharp and quick brain, and healthy body.

Latest scientific discoveries about the brain- more specifically neuroplasticity, also demonstrate that our IQ isn’t fixed; our brain didn’t stop growing when we were young. Unlike past beliefs, most of which are faulty, our brain is limitless and an ever expanding organ. It changes, adopts, and our neurons multiply on a daily basis. It isn’t that it doesn’t grow. What you’re feeding it to grow that matters. You could feed it defeats, excuses, and limitations and it grows and becomes powerful to fulfill your self-prophecies against your own destiny. Or feed it great things, as you’re born great with unlimited potential, it grows to shape your future and deliver for you a glorious destiny. It’s up to you. The question is: Are you willing to go beyond using lame excuses to define, shape, and attain your glorious destiny? You can do it by changing your attitude, accepting responsibilities, taking bold and positive actions one at a time. I can only see a bright future for you. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help…


Dr. Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is a motivational speaker at Success Pathways, LLC. His passion is to inspire people to make positive changes in their attitude, mindset, values, and in turn to take bold actions to transform their lives, professions, and organizations. To learn more about the themes of AZ’s motivational speeches, check out this page: The list isn’t complete. If the topics you’re looking for couldn’t make it to the list; let’s know, we can come up with the right topic and customize it for your audience.

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Communication Strategies for Technical Professionals


Last week, I posted on my face-book timeline a casual statement saying “Many people told me that my accent is OK & they understand me very well. It’s very hard to stop being OK when you’ve EXCELLENCE as a value.” Considering English is not my native language, and we were taught English poorly while we were in High School and College, I’ve come a long way. Nonetheless, I’m working on my accent on a consistent basis even if more than 90% of English language native speakers understand me 100% of the time. This status post attracted some interests from some of my face-book friends, and also from some acquaintances off line. I’m not here to further talk about what have been already discussed there. You may check it out yourself, and if you’re interested, add your say 🙂

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In this quick blog, nonetheless, I’d like to clarify one important thing for those who struggle to work on their accent. I met some great friends and colleagues who struggle to buy into the idea of modifying their accent to communicate better. Regardless of having thick accent, which is getting in the way and affecting their career advancement, they don’t want to do something about it. They may have so many reasons why they’re not taking action but it boils down to one thing, I figured 🙂 They don’t have passion to see it through. The root cause of lack of passion is one- you’re not desperate enough to change. You’re some how surviving regardless of that limitation so why should you invest your time and energy while you’ve so many other important and urgent things that need your attention 🙂 Understandable, right?

The other reason is a belief. Many of the people I had a chance to strike conversation about accent consider acquiring another accent as if they’re betraying their native culture. When you’ve that kind of invisible belief behind the scene, it sabotages your success by denying you to have motivation. While you are in this mode, it’s unlikely that you invest your scarce resources such as your time and energy in order to modify your accent since acquiring a new accent takes time, and a serious commitment to learn and, most importantly, practice what you’ve learned.

Personally, I don’t feel like acquiring the accent of a given culture I live in as betraying my native culture. I know who I’m, from where I came from, and also celebrate many of my culture’s heritages. On the other hand, if my desire is to succeed in a new culture, I need to be flexible, and adapt things that are important in that culture. What is your goal? When people understand you easily and clearly, they always look forward to have conversation with you, relate, and work with you. When that happens you keep your relationships and in turn succeed in what you do. One of my favorite motivational speakers- Les Brown, said, “Effective communication is the number one tool to succeed in any endeavor. Communication determines whether people vote for you; write you a check; invest in what you do; and buy your services and products.”

The bottom line is that the purpose of communication is to understand and be understood. If your native accent stands in the way and prevents you from being understood in the place where you work and live, modifying it isn’t betraying your native culture. It’s called being reasonable, flexible, and most importantly, being humble- going the extra mile to serve others who don’t speak like you. What you’re doing is making the lives of the people you work and hangout with easy and pleasant. Of course, many people may reciprocate and attempt to understand your accent that you may not need to make lots of efforts. But, you don’t have control over that. For that matter, let’s be honest, you’re a ‘minority’ and the one who benefits the most from being flexible. Don’t you think? Believe me, I understand what I’m talking here. Myself, I struggled a lot initially until I betrayed (not my culture) my ego, and began investing on acquiring a new accent. I’d have done the same if I move to Italy, India, or Ghana to live and work there. Therefore, do your part and see what you’ve been missing 🙂

Of course, improving one’s accent is just one part of becoming an extraordinary communicator. Let me give you a practical example how lack of communication has been getting in the way and preventing many technical professionals from advancing in their career. I’ve been a technical person: a veterinarian, and then an IT guy worked as a researcher, production operator, and software engineer for multinational organizations since the turn of the new century up until 2007. I’d worked with so many great colleagues who were superb in their technical skills. Because of that they were rewarded, promoted, and admired a lot. Some of these professionals, however, stopped there. They thought that the most important things for their career success were their hard skills, and therefore, they neglected their interpersonal skills.

These professionals, though experienced and qualified, they struggled to climb the corporate ladder because of lack of interpersonal skills such as the inability to communicate with diverse stakeholders from different upbringings, cultures, professional backgrounds, etc. Many technical professionals in accounting, medicine, engineering, maths, science, IT, and so on over depend on their technical abilities, and thus, give minimal attention toward improving their soft skills on a consistent basis. They assume that what have made them successful technically and thus far, would take them to the next height. Marshall Goldsmith disagrees. He said, “What got you here won’t get you there.”

By the way, because of the critical role communication plays, I provide Communication Strategies workshops for technical professionals. This one-day workshop enables participants to overcome communication barriers and become effective communicators. It empowers them to develop effective communication, improves their listening ability, increases their competency to cross cultures without committing deadly sins, and more.It’s a very dynamic and interactive workshop designed to engage participants in pairing, and small and large group discussions. The workshop is filled with latest insights, models, tools, and processes that equip participants to take their communication ability to the next level, and in turn succeed in their personal, professional, and business endeavors. Let me know if your people need this workshop. Your team and organization greatly benefit a lot and at many levels when your people are great communicators. When that happens, your organization achieve high productivity, synergy, harmony, and most importantly, you’ll experience less conflict and minimal turn over…


Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is a trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He provides trainings on technical, managerial, and business skills including Communications Strategies for technical professionals in science, accounting, medicine, IT, engineering, and so on. Here is the page that provides more info about Success Pathways’ Communication Strategies workshop: To learn more about the other available training themes, check this link: 

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From Chewing Khat (a little sister of Amphetamine drugs) to Grinding Knowledge…

KhatThis week, I promised to share my humbling story- from where I came from. That is important at many levels. First, when people learn some of my accomplishments such as becoming the president of the largest university students’ union in my home country (AAU), having multiple degrees including a doctoral degree, writing two books on the theme leadership, establishing a couple of organizations, working with world-class training organizations, and more, they may assume that I came from a well to do family. Second, when some people notice my confidence, upbeat, and positive personality as they read my articles and watch me present and/or facilitate workshops,they may think that I’ve been this way throughout my life. Third, a few may assume that I might have neglected to look inward and be realistic; otherwise, they may wonder, how on earth someone like me (an underdog full of visible disadvantages) remains optimistic all the time. I’m aware. Like everybody, I do have limitations, struggle here and there, face setbacks once in awhile, and failed a number of times but these never make me bow down my head and remain pessimistic.

There could be many other reasons for this undying commitment to remain positive and having the attitude of always moving forward regardless of facing things that I didn’t expect that surprised and sometimes frustrated me. One of the reasons is from where I came from- my humble beginning. Think about this. I’m from Ethiopia- considered as one of the poorest countries in the world. Of course, I’m proud of my root like millions of my fellow countrymen and women. I’ve many things that cause me to remain thankful for being an Ethiopian. As if this isn’t enough though,I came from a poor family (I’ll share more on this in the future). I’d like to point out one thing, however. Though my parents hadn’t a chance to get education for themselves, they committed themselves and tried their best for their kids to go to school. I’m grateful. That being said, let me give you a little background about the place where I grew up so that you may have a clear picture where this all began 🙂

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It’s in the Eastern part of Ethiopia, Harar. My village is a notorious place called Kelad Amba. I’m sure many from Harar would find it difficult to believe that I’m actually from that place 🙂 Don’t ask me, the story is long. But, they know why 🙂 Like many of my peers, I was from a military family. In that part of the world, we had our own subculture. As we grew up, we were like brothers and sisters. We loved each other and it was a wonderful place to grow up as kids. The trouble started when we become teenagers. Rather than focusing on education, and use our time effectively and protecting our future, and ourselves, we got distracted partly because of our roaring testosterone that made us prone to do crazy things.

Looking back retrospectively, I wonder how come some of us survived? As teen-agers, we chewed Khat (Qat)- a green leaf illegal in the US and many Western countries. The substance from this leaf is mild compared to Amphetamine drugs. When you chew Khat, you experience euphoria for a couple of hours. Unless you tried it- or other similar drugs, it’s very hard to explain what happens when you chew Khat here on this page. I hear you say, try me 🙂 Well, when you get elated, you begin fantasizing, talking nonstop and loudly without any care to listen what your companions have to say. You feel happy, forgiving, idealist, and romantic even if these aren’t your natural attributes.You promise yourself to study hard starting tomorrow, go and ask forgiveness from the persons you offended. You envision becoming the president of the country, break world record in long distance run, marry the most beautiful girl in your village, and many more. You may wonder what is wrong with these seemingly great things? Well, what you may not know is that, the next day, these all beautiful thoughts on the cloud are gone. You won’t make yourself accountable. What is interesting? When I look back retrospectively, since back then I didn’t have the luxury to think about this kind of things :-), is that the following day you start from scratch and continue to fantasize more and endlessly 🙂 lol By the way, as I write this part, I went back and reminisced the old good days 🙂 Recounting this part caused me to stop writing and laugh so many times…

Chewing Khat is unhealthy if it is done on a daily basis. The trouble, however, was what we used to do afterwards. To break the mild depression that follows the euphoria state that stays for a couple of hours, we go out to drink. We used to say, let’s go out for ‘Chebsi’. Most nights, we party and dance while some nights we do other crazy things. Many of my friends have already deceased because of HIV Aids. I don’t know now. Back then, more than two decades ago, the awareness wasn’t there. Many of us slept with multiple partners, and did sex without protection.

Some of my peers who escaped the wrath of this disease could be able to survive and even thrived while the majority of them couldn’t survive life and the challenges it presents since many of them didn’t get a chance to continue in their education. In our subculture, we lived one day at a time disregarding to spend a fraction of the time to think about our future. Partly, we didn’t have enough role model individuals that succeeded in business or education. There weren’t institutions and government supports to equip us become fruitful citizens. It looked like we were going to stay in that the same place and environment in the rest of our lives without vision and hope. Some of us became lucky not because we were better or special while some of our dear friends were not so lucky. It’s very painful when I think about those great individuals who were victims of the environment… Sad!!!

So you know, I don’t consider myself better than any of my peers. For that matter, I was well aware that many of them were more intelligent and smarter than I was. I say this not to appear humble. I know myself. The only thing that, looking back, helped me to advance in my education, and succeed in my other endeavors were very small things like passion– the determination not to quit regardless of setbacks. Most of my successes took time. I overcame those setbacks that confronted me since I stayed on them long enough. Passion empowered me to outlast them one at a time. That is why I don’t take my little achievements seriously and motivate others to succeed in life. Having passion doesn’t require education, intelligence, and smartness. If you just have passion, nothing else, my friends, you’re bound to become one of the great world changers. The sky is the limit. If the guy who used to chew Khat and fantasized ‘for a living’ has come this far, you don’t have any excuse. Remember, I didn’t have any clue I’d reach this far. I didn’t have any idea that those little things that I believed in and practiced would lead me to where I’m currently, and where I’m going…

Remain tuned. Part II coming soon… In the meantime, let me know if you relate to my story. Share with me your beginning? Have you thought you would come this far? What enabled you to survive, and even thrive? What do you advise others who may be where you were?

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is a motivational speaker at Success Pathways, LLC. His passion is to inspire people to make positive changes in their attitude, mindset, values, and in turn to take bold actions to transform their lives, relationships, and organizations. To learn more about the themes of AZ’s motivational speeches, check out this page: The list isn’t complete. If the topics you’re looking for couldn’t make it to the list; let’s know, we can come up with the right topic and customize it for your audience.

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The entry cost into this university is almost free…

TimeSome of my friends who were bugged by my obsession with time used to get frustrated and asked me, “How come you began to like the idea of managing time in the first place?” My short answer was “I didn’t like the idea at all in the first place.” I then explained to them what convinced me to value time, and work with it. It’s simple, the initial efforts and pain until developing the discipline is worth as an investment to harvest the long term benefits. The hope I had was, down the road, this personality attribute pays me off. I didn’t have any guarantee. I didn’t see my family members or peers who had done it so I was by my own. I took the risk years ago; and now, I’m glad I did.

Please trust me on this. Once you become a friend of time, you could be able to achieve so many great things that you’ve dreamed of within a short period of time. Try it; the entry cost into this university is almost free compared to the long term benefits once you master time management 🙂

However, please note that even if we become skillful in managing time, ,. Even today, regardless of using some techniques, tools, and processes to project into the future, prioritize, and plan my schedule, I change my plans frequently. As you know, things don’t go as you planned. When the rubber meets the road, unexpected things happen. That is why I like what Collin Powell said; “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” But if you have a plan, it is not that hard to make quick adjustments. The fact that you’ve attempted to strategize and plan to accomplish something opens your possibilities, see things, connect dots, and when what you first planned doesn’t work, you don’t say it is over and quit. You evolve your strategies and plan on the go, and very quickly because you spent time to plan. That is why what the General who led many successful combats for decades said gives sense, “Plan is useless but planning is indispensable”

What I’m saying is that time management isn’t easy, and you may not enjoy it at first but once you develop the habit (if you discipline yourself for 3 weeks), it feels normal. It doesn’t feel you’re controlled, but rather, you know that you have control over time and use it the way you want it. You start to see results, and once you begin managing your time, develop long, mid, short term plans, plan weekly, and monitor your progress daily, it becomes natural.

My question to you, if you’ve not tried it before, would you give it a try before you conclude that it is difficult or unnatural or impossible?Try it, and let me know if I can be helpful…


Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is a trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He provides trainings on technical, managerial, and business skills including time management. Here is the page that provides more info about Success Pathways’ Time Management course: To learn more about the other available training themes, check this link: 

From Having No Watch to Providing Training on Time Management in Corporate Settings

TimeSome years back, I don’t have time now, I used to coach community leaders about time management. The first thing I did when I mentored someone from my kind of culture about time was sharing my story: How I began the journey.

Initially, it wasn’t easy for me to manage time, let alone to use latest techniques, tools, processes, and most importantly, to teach someone else. It took persistence. By the way, managing time doesn’t take education, intellect, or luck 🙂 Anybody can do it with a little effort; and of course, with mentoring or training to make it a little quicker and effective.

You may ask, “Why have you struggled to develop this time management skill?” That is a legitimate question. Well, I was born and raised in Harar (in the Eastern part of Ethiopia). For starters, in that part of the world, we didn’t wear watches back then lol. Not just because we couldn’t afford the cheap ones. It wasn’t in our culture to watch our time frequently. We were raised to have fun and enjoy life without minding the nature of time, that is, if it’s gone, it’s gone forever. That was why the idea of managing time was foreign to me when I first began watching my time. I din’t want to be boxed, and restrained by this thing called time 🙂

You may not be familiar with my hometown, so, let me enlighten you 🙂 Hope, what I’m going to tell you make you break out laughing… First, we don’t set the exact time when we arrange appointments; of course, I don’t know whether this is true now. We simply say, “Let’s meet this afternoon in so and so place.” Second, we didn’t care if somebody doesn’t show up, let alone to care if somebody comes late ☺ What is more, when we meet next time, the issue doesn’t come at all. We hug each other and continue from there.

Now, if I could come from that ridiculous background and tried my best to manage this elusive thing- time, don’t you have a better chance? If I began from that disadvantageous position, and I’m now a trainer of time management and delegation in corporate settings, don’t you think you could be able to master time management more than I could ever be able? Let me know your thoughts…

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is a trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He provides trainings on technical, managerial, and business skills including time management. Here is the page that provides more info about Success Pathways’ Time Management course: To learn more about the other available training themes, check this link: 

Who am I to motivate others!?

MotivatingOthersThis week is dedicated to talk about motivation for lasting transformation. When I first decided to motivate others in 2007, one question kept ringing in my head: Who am I to motivate others? I was struggling to connivence myself. I thought I don’t have enough proofs, authenticities, and achievements. At first, I was tempted to count on my qualifications including the degrees I had, the leadership positions I held, and some of my impressive achievements as the reasons why I deserve to motivate others. Mind you, these things are nothing if I didn’t have a humble beginning. So, forgive my temptation to rely on my strengths as a source to motivate others.

But, it occurred to me that these are outcomes. At one point, I asked myself a very critical question: How on earth I could be able to come out of that dire situation, survived, and even thrived in my own ways? Then, I began asking follow up questions like: What were the insights that led me to make some changes in attitude and mindset in the first place? What emboldened me to take seemingly risky but bold actions that led me from one little success to another, and to where I’m today with so many humble stories to share? The answers to these questions led me to connivence myself that I owe people like me big time- regardless of where they are now geographically, socially, educationally, and economically- to share these nuggets so that they too may experience breakthroughs, and continual transformations at many levels.

Of course, one thing became clear to me: I cannot be the motivator of everyone. I quickly realized that people like me who find themselves underdogs, cornered, helpless, and people who are left with no choices are the ones that need my message and stories to experience breakthroughs, to go to the next level, and become extraordinary and exemplary leaders (servants) to multitudes of people in their community, organization, and nation. These are the people who may resonate with my stories that began with abject poverty, ignorance, lacks, struggles, missteps, and ups and downs. These are the ones who may relate with me when I share with them that regardless of the continual setbacks, rejections, and disappointments I’ve experienced, I’ve kept going.

These are the ones who would say: If this dude could make it this far, me too, I could do it, even perform better. Once they hear my stories, they may ask themselves: If a guy who began his journey from an unlikely place and circumstances has come this far, why not me? 

This week, I’ll keep sharing with you my humble beginning that started more than two decades ago when I first began my leadership journey. Stay tuned! Let me know what you think as I share some of my stories. Let me also know if you relate to my stories.

Keynotes to transform your team and organization

Are you wondering why your team/organization is stuck? Do you feel like you stagnated? You tried somethings to change your situation and take your team and organization to the next height but it looks like they are not working? Why don’t you invite me to understand your situation, talk to you and your key people, and come up with a 30 – 90 minutes keynote to inspire, challenge, engage, and direct your people to make the right changes that take your team and organization to the next level.

I’ve been a leader and served organizations from diverse industries for more than two decades. Since 2007, I closely worked with leaders to mentor, coach, train, and consult them make organizational changes. My doctoral degree is Strategic Leadership, and majoring in Global Consulting. While still a full time student between 2009 – 2013, and since graduation, I’ve lots of opportunities to promote change in organizational designs, configure or reconfigure corporate cultures, conduct values alignment assessments, and more.

I’d like to help you transform your team and organization. Of course, I don’t stop at the first stage, which is keynote. If your team is convinced that I know the root cause and the ability to support you fix it, I’ll work with you to further conduct interviews, send questionnaires to gather further info and inputs, and also come up with a consulting report that layout the next steps. Once we discuss on the proposal and reach a consensus on how to move forward, I closely work with you during implementation, and the follow up stages. If necessary, I’m available to provide individual and group coaching to make sure that we develop the capacity of your people to implement the change plus continue to sustain the change.

If you would like to know some of the motivational themes, you may check out this link:, and if you are interested to read some testimonials, here you go:

You may please contact me for more details or if you may have any question.


Motivation to transform your life and attain solid results

Are you sick and tired of staying at the same place for a very long period of time regardless of your detest against the state you’re in right now? Would you like to make a paradigm shift from where you’re to your dream place that excites you?  Do you want to challenge yourself and your team and see what you’re made of? Then, consider inviting Dr. Assegid to your upcoming event.

I’ve been an underdog throughout my life. Not only I was born in Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, but also I was born in poverty. When I tell people, I came from a poor family they compare that with their country’s poverty standard. For example, most poor families in the US have indoor latrines, bathrooms, and something to eat three time per day. They may not be able to send their kids to private schools but they could send them to public schools which has decent infrastructure and libraries. In my case, we didn’t have a shower, and indoor latrine. The schools didn’t have libraries, you have to walk more than two hours or more to visit the public library. What is more? My good and caring parents weren’t educated. Nonetheless, they did their best to make sure myself and my siblings get proper education and I’m thankful for their sacrifices. The environment were I grew up was also, though there were love, care, and brotherhood, there were no opportunities to learn, grow, and transform one’s life. It looked like, one’s life and destiny is predictable. Each person lives one day at a time without much hope in the future. In short, the options to become better were limited and dire.

Regardless of the aforementioned disadvantages and excuses, I dared to hope and do something to change my destiny. I began small scale. With little insight but with reckless boldness, I began taking bold action. Little I know doors began opening, my peers started to listen. Soon enough, I was considered a leader. It was in the early 90’s. The first leadership journey I took was establishing a youth association. Since then, I’ve achieved many leadership successes. When I look back retrospectively, I could be able to see that I made many paradigm shifts, one paradigm at a time. These seemingly little transformations added up and allowed me to succeed in my leadership initiatives.

My journey, however, was not smooth and easy. There were ups and downs in my journey, which I discussed in my first book that was published in 2011. I consider myself lucky for starting my journey from an unlikely place where leadership and success were not the day to day talks. With little insights I got, I made tough and risky decisions at the early stage of my life. One decision led to another. From being a leader of a youth association in my village in the eastern part of Ethiopia- Harar, I went on to become the president of the largest university students’ union in Ethiopia. During my presidency, I traveled to meet student leaders around the country, and also visited student unions in three African countries such as Ghana, Ivory coast, and Botswana.

When I recount my early successes as a youth and student leader, I only had vision, the right mindset, and passion. I wasn’t the smartest or intelligent guy among my friends and peers. I didn’t have any clue whether I would come this far. With the little knowledge I got from reading a couple books a teacher in my village gave me plus tones of hope, I took some seemingly insignificant steps not knowing that that was what it takes to go to the next level. Of course, I’m not yet done. I learn to improve my communication ability including working on my accent, believe, hope, and take actions on a daily basis to go to the next stage of my life, and ultimately fulfill my youth-hood dream.  One thing is different this time. When I began my journey toward pursuing my passion more than two decades ago, I wasn’t sure whether having the right mindset, passion, and a little bit of extra efforts to grow on a daily basis by reading books, associating with the right people, and taking actions what so ever small they may seem and what so ever big the attached risks seemed leads to continual progress. 

At this stage, I would like to share those seemingly simple but practical steps I took that transformed my life and brought me this far. In the last nine years, I have been providing trainings, coaching, and consulting services to major corporations and government agencies, and motivating leaders  of community organizations and college students. Nonetheless, my passionate is not just to motivate others. My goal is to lead the people who may lend me their attention make positive changes. But, I don’t stop there. I purposefully challenge my audience so that they may be able to question the status quo. I want them to believe that they are a change in mindset away to begin a new life- to start fresh toward a bright future. I constantly admit that I’m not a motivator, encourager, mentor, and coach to all people. I know who would be interested to walk with me. Those who are underdogs, cornered, lost hope, found themselves desperate, and those whose back is leaned against the wall are the ones that take chance on me. Of course, our background may not match. You passion and where you would like to go may be is different than mine. The most important thing is that you resonate with my story. You may be hopeless, feeling finished, no way out. That is okay. I relate to that. That was what I felt initially. But some how I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. That kept me moving. Right now, my hope is that my humble story may give you some hope to say that if this guy came out from that dire condition, remote part of the world, and make it this far, me too, I could do it.

I also know the challenges individuals like myself face. I wasn’t from a rich family. As a boy and then a teenager, I didn’t grow up reading books, and watching great motivational videos. I was in poverty, and a helpless kid when I encountered a seemingly simple insight: I was convinced that I could turn around my life for good if I just take responsibility. Somehow, I was persuaded that I could come out of the desperate and hopeless situation I was in if I just believe in God and myself. I did and regardless of my unlikely background and lack of so many provisions and personal qualities, I began to make progress, first, I founded a youth association, enrolled to start a college education and became the president of the largest students’ union, and the list continues. I have diverse degrees including a terminal degree- doctor of strategic leadership, and certifications including Project Management Professional from PMI. I founded three organizations, wrote two books on leadership, produced two educational programs in English between 2013 – 2015, and so on. These accomplishments may not be that much impressive for many but considering from where I began my journey, it is a little less than a miracle…

On top of my humble beginning, and modest achievements as a professional and business leader, I’m a lifelong learner. I constantly study highly successful people to learn what made them to succeed, and what didn’t work for them. And therefore, my motivational speeches don’t just target change in attitude and mindset. I provide my listeners life changing tips to take bold actions. The latter are the author of undeniable success. Therefore, if you’re looking for someone whose story proofs that he practiced what he preaches, and a motivator who provides you insights, tips, and approaches to make BOLD actions, consider inviting me to inspire your people to action. If you would like to know some of the motivational themes, you may check out this link:, and if you are interested to read some testimonials, here you go:

You may please contact me for more details or if you may have any question.

You’re Creator of circumstance

The same news may be taken differently. One may find it terrifying and bad, and emotionally breakdown and stop moving forward. On the other hand, someone else who heard that the same news may consider the news okay and doesn’t lose sleep because of it. Two people may grow up in the same ‘tough’ neighborhood and face similar circumstances.One may use the environment as excuse to play victim. Someone from that the same atmosphere may overcome whatever negative influences there may be in that environment- home, village, workplace, or marketplace- and may become successful.

There shouldn’t be any excuse for where we are right now if that isn’t the place where we want to remain in the rest of our lives. We should own where we are in life, professionally, and business wise. This is mainly because, whether we admit it or not, we’re their creators; if not directly, indirectly. We’re the author of where we are in life, whether we like it or not.

We’ve to take responsibility first if our desire is to turn around the situation in our favor. Change for good begins when we let go of blaming one’s ‘fate’, other people, and/or circumstances. The former Prime Minister of UK said, “We’re not creatures of circumstance; we’re creators of circumstance.” So true…

Bad and scary news continue to occur. We live on earth, not in heaven yet 🙂 Everybody faces bad news once in awhile and get confronted with odd and insurmountable challenges here and there. You and I are not the only one. This is called life. Life never meant to be walking on a red carpet all the time, right? Thus, regardless of the imperfection that characterizes the planet we live in or life- which is full of obstacles, we can make it to our dream place if we stop the blame game. We’re the author of our own destiny. If we don’t like where we’ve been, where we’re and heading, we can begin afresh by rewriting our story. Stop buying into the story others coined for you. That is why I like what Les Brown, who had refused to accept the ‘reality’ he was in decades ago has become the world’s number one motivational speaker, “Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality.” Refrain, religiously, from believing in the narrative your unfortunate circumstance force you to live.

Let’s not park in transits as if they’re our destinies. Let’s break out of excuse mode. Let’s breakthrough the attitude and mindset that kept us at bay. Let’s redream big. Let’s create our dream world, if we’ve not yet, wherever we are right now. Let’s claim our innate ability to author our destiny. You’re able!

Let me know your thoughts. What keeps you going…What is your recent breakthrough? Are you in your dream place? What is keeping you at bay? Is there anything I can do to help? Let me know…

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is a motivational speaker at Success Pathways, LLC. His passion is to inspire people to make positive changes in their attitude, mindset, values, and in turn to take bold actions to transform their lives, relationships, and organizations. To learn more about the themes of AZ’s motivational speeches, check out this page: The list isn’t complete. If the topics you’re looking for couldn’t make it to the list; let’s know, we can come up with the right topic and customize it for your audience.

‘Plans are useless but planning is indispensable’

TimeWhen I share with people how some organizations plan decades ago, they hesitate to believe. It’s true. I study organizations and facilitate strategic planning sessions.Toyota, for instance, has a 100-year strategic plan. Many hospitals, recreation centers, universities, non-profit organizations, political parties, and businesses have up to 50-year strategic plan. When the data stack against them, they believe that it may be possible that some may have long long  long term plans. But, they wonder whether it’s practical to have such a long term strategic plan considering how fast the world changes on a consistent basis. 

Yes, it’s true that things change fast and it’s unlikely to find what you project years and decades ahead to remain the same. However, that should not stop one from having a long term plan. You just need to keep updating your plan as you progress. It’s good to have a long term plan. Break it into phases. Have middle and short term plans. Further break down the short term plan. Carve out a yearly plan each year.

Refer the yearly plan as you come up with a quarterly plan. From the quarterly, monthly. Continue like that- from monthly, a weekly plan. Use the weekly plan to schedule your major tasks that lead may you to accomplish your major goals on a weekly basis.Don’t stop there. Monitor your progress, and make changes daily, if necessary. Besides, evaluate your short, mid, and long term plans once in awhile. Let’s say, evaluate your yearly plan, quarterly; your short term plan, yearly; your mid-term plan, once in a few years; and your long term plan, every five years.

That being said, let me share what General Colin Powell had to say about plans and planning. He fought many wars and he knows what he is talking about. He said, “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” But he also wrote, “Plans are useless but planning is indispensable.”