Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WELLNESS WITHIN WORKPLACE Wellness is defined as a way of life: a balanced lifestyle you design to achieve your highest potential for well being. Wellness could also mean the integration of body, mind, and soul; an awareness that the choices we make in one area affect all others. Several decades ago working conditions in England during the 19th century were abysmal. Men, women, and children laboured in dangerous factories during the day and went home to dirty tenement slums at night. Many of the factory owners cared little for the well-being of their employees. But during that time, the owners of the Cadbury chocolate company were different. Quakers by conviction and business entrepreneurs by giftedness, they focused on improving the working conditions of their 200 workers. With wellness defined as a way of life: a balanced lifestyle, experiencing it in full was important to “The Cadburys” so they built a state-of-the-art factory with heated dressing rooms, a kitchen, and recreational areas. And to care for the employees’ spiritual needs, the workday started with Bible study. According to Health Day news America; workplace wellness programs are an effective way to reduce major risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure amongst others. Each year, heart disease costs Am
erica about $304.6 billion, Companies spend 25 to 30% of their annual medical costs on employees with significant health risks, mainly because of their increased likelihood of experiencing heart disease and stroke, But the financial burden also falls on workers, in the form of higher premiums, co-pays and deductibles, reduction or elimination of coverage and trade-offs between insurance benefits and wage or salary increases. "Research shows that companies can save anywhere from $3 to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to 18 months of implementing a workplace wellness program,” asserts Mercedes Carnethon, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Though we may not own a company, we do have regular contact with a variety of people. It is important to be ethical in our dealings. George Cadbury will go down in history as an employer who realized that looking after employees and treating them with respect produces a well-motivated team

Friday, November 9, 2012


Well-being is a dynamic state, in which the individual is able to develop potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others, and contribute to their community. A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ asserts John Steinbeck. People who are happiest at work are 47% more productive than their least happy colleagues, and those who are happiest at work take only 1.5 days off sick a year. So can one develop the ability to change one’s mind-set and be happy at work and home?   Dr Martin Seligman, the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that one can. His ‘happiness formula’ assists individuals to learn how to obtain an optimistic outlook inside and outside the office. He defines a happy life as one filled with positive feelings and activities, and believes that the degree to which you experience these feelings matches your level of enduring happiness. Within the workplace there are numerous benefits to having an optimistic mind-set and choosing to be a happy individual. According to Dr. Seligman’s studies, optimistic individuals, unlike pessimists, tend to believe that defeat is just a temporary setback and that its causes are confined to that particular case. When optimistic individuals are confronted by a bad situation they perceive it as a challenge and try harder. It is this very attitude that places optimists a few steps ahead of pessimists. Seligman indicates that optimists recover faster and are able to act again sooner, due to the way they explain a failure to themselves. Anyone may experience failure or even rejection in the workplace; however Dr Seligman claims that you can still be happy regardless of this. He indicates that optimists have a beneficial outlook as it allows them to be proactive and productive in the face of failure, and to lead, inspire and encourage others, thereby preserving their happiness. According to Jessica Pryce-Jones, CEO of the iOpener Institute, there are five factors that make up the structure of happiness at work: • Contribution – is about the effort you make and your perception of it • Conviction – is about the motivation you have whatever your circumstances • Culture – is about how well you feel you fit at work • Commitment – is about the extent to which you are engaged with your work • Confidence – is about the sense of belief you have in yourself and your job  

Friday, October 19, 2012


Happiness is defined in the English dictionary as a state of well-being and contentment, or a pleasurable or satisfying experience, while work on the other hand is defined as activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something or the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood. There are huge benefits to be derived from happy employees which begins with contentment, or a pleasurable or satisfying experience around activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something. It is therefore vital for a leader to understand how to make sure employees enjoy their work so much that it almost seems effortless. Benefits include increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, increased collaboration and increased innovation and lead to increased sales, something vitally important in our tough economic climate. Professor David Ulrich believes that those leaders who understand how to achieve sustained engagement will have employees who are seven times more likely to report high satisfaction at work and twice as likely to be satisfied with their pay. He calls such leaders, ‘meaning makers’. In essence, meaning makers are concerned with ‘emotion’ and not just ‘motion’. Motion focuses on behaviors and actions; emotion focuses on passion and meaning. Motion is what we do; emotion is why we do it. Motion gets things done while the leader is present; emotion sustains behavior in the leader’s absence. Leaders in motion differ from leaders who connect with emotion. Ulrich’s research has proved that leaders who are meaning makers also increase employee productivity, organization capability, and investor confidence. Leaders who only master the leadership basics can set strategy, execute for results, manage people, develop future people, and have personal credibility. However if these basics are not woven around a sense of meaning or well-being, they are stale. Leaders can bring passion to strategy, execution, talent, human capital and personal proficiency when they bring meaning into these tasks. More importantly though, making meaning makes money. Over a 10 year period “best companies to work for” have a 6,8% stock appreciation versus 1% of the average firm. Additionally, only 13% of disengaged employees would recommend their company’s products or services, compared with 78% of engaged employees.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


The English dictionary defines Conquering as to gain victory over; master; win in war which was what Owens, born as the seventh child in a family of eleven in a small part of Alabama, most of his growing up was in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents Henry and Emma were often concerned for his welfare when he was young, as he was always taking ill. Athletes have taken great strides all throughout this century but few can compare to those of Jesse Owens. He rose above sickness and became one of the world’s greatest Olympians. This was a tough man who knew what he wanted to accomplish and set out to do just that. He was known to attribute all of his future Olympic successes to this trainer/ coach. The transformational coach Charles Riley and he changed Jesse's life and our history for all time. Jesse Owens first athletic splash was in 1935 when he set world records in the long jump, 220 yard dash and 220 yard low hurdles. No other athlete in history has made such an indelible mark. In 1936 Jesse Owens arrived at the summer Olympics in Berlin with hatred all around him in Hitler's Germany, fought hard and won a total of four gold medals. While Germany could only watch and grumble. One can almost see Hitler's face watching a black man - who he’d depicted as anything but human in German propaganda - beat his pure blooded Germans. Everyone was thrilled at Jesse's successes but the fourth race was not even supposed to be his. There were two Jewish men named Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller who were meant to run that race. Some speculated they were pulled out not because they couldn't do it or because Jesse was better per se but only because Hitler didn't want to be beaten by Jews. It may have worked out for the best; because Jesse Owens winning the relay event set another world record-his last event at the Olympics and went with pride and success. Even the Germans were impressed and asked for his autograph, which he signed gracefully and aplomb.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


The English Dictionary defines the word Finish as to bring something to an end or to completion, as we all know “strong” on the other hand means exerting great bodily force; vigorously. You “Finish Strong” when you bring something to an end or to completion vigorously. Finishing Strong is more than a statement it is an attitude we all need in life, an attitude of believing you can do something and having the courage coached with determination to see it through. In my book “Monday Morning Motivation, Your Work Week Starter” I shared the story of John Stephen Akwari who went to represent Tanzania in the 1968 Olympics games which held in Mexico City. He took part in the marathon but unfortunately, he got injured during the race and had his legs bandaged. However, he crippled on the bloodied and bandaged leg in his attempt to finish the race. About two hours after his colleagues crossed the line and almost all the spectators had left the stadium, he was spotted crippling his way towards the finishing line and indeed, he finished the race. This singular decision to not just start but finish the Olympic marathon race exemplifies finishing strong good enough to attract the media to the ‘Tanzanian Olympics Ambassador.’ When asked why he decided to finish the race despite his injury, he answered “my country did not send me here to start a race
; Tanzania sent me to Mexico to finish this race” which I just did. Irvin Berlin asserts; “Life is 10percent what you make it and 90percent how you take it.” The dedication, decision and determination delivered by John Stephen Akwari aided his staying power and finish-ability which was strength. Succeeding today, this season and beyond requires starting which in itself is a function of a decision sparked by a desire. In the words of Napoleon Hill; “Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” Go ahead and bring something started today to completion vigorously you undoubtedly will finish strong in time.

Friday, June 8, 2012


Every human being goes through some form of adversity. You can choose to see possibilities within your adversity and prosper through it. In the words of CS Lewis: “Every Disability conceals a vocation, if only we can find it, which will ‘turn the necessity to glorious gain.” Let me introduce to you Jessica Cox who was also born without arms. The doctors do not know why she was born “differently-abled.” But she does. She was born 1983 in Sierra Vista, Arizona She has learned to live life with her feet. There were many questions at the time about whether Jessica would be able to live a “normal” life. However, Jessica’s father has said he never shed a tear about her birth condition. He had full confidence in her potential. With the support of her parents and family, Jessica became confident in herself as an adult and continued to explore the world with her feet. As a child she studied dance in her home town. When the first performance arrived, she asked to be put in the back row. Her dance teacher told her there was no back row. Tentatively she took the stage with the other students and performed her routine. When she finished, the applause encouraged her and the confidence to continue dancing for over a decade. During college, Jessica’s parents met a Taekwondo instructor named Jim Cunningham. His response when told of her birth condition was she would be more physically able and that only her attitude could hold her back. She earned her first black belt in the International Taekwondo Federation at 14years old. Jessica’s most famous accomplishment was learning how to fly. It took three states, four airplanes, two flight instructors and a discouraging year to find the right aircraft; a 1946 415C Ercoupe Airplane. She received the Guinness World Record for being the first person certified to fly an airplane with only their feet. Today Jessica works as a motivational speaker, she travels the world sharing her story and encouraging people to be creative and innovative with the mantra “Think outside the Shoe.”

Sunday, May 20, 2012


The English dictionary defines adversity as an unfortunate event or circumstance with the synonym been catastrophe,disaster,trouble. Every word defines my recent situation .Upon arrival at an airport I have touched down about 100 times, South Africa's World Class airport Oliver Reginald Tambo Airport named after Former Anc President and anti-Apartheid activist an airport that taught me a lesson recently I recall wheeling my trolley to a store to buy airtime and had to leave trolley outside since they were not allowed instore,I stepped out in less than 3 minutes only to see a man behind my trolley.That's my trolley I said as he responded, sorry this happens here once in a while.Without making a fuss out the situation I laughed it off and drove my trolley to my favorite store to buy my traditional hot chocolate only to find out that my men's purse was missing-God have mercy on me,my purse contained 3 travel passports I have had all my life,bank cards,some cash & aviators piece I got myself as a memento after successful summit up Kilimanjaro .One hour later South African Police Services(SAPS) opened a case file, released a detective to view the CCTV cameras which walked me back to the possible places I was pick pocketed.What do I do I asked myself? First thing I did was speak with friend Naomi who we had flown into South Africa together to attend the International Federation For Professional Speakers (IFFPS) regional convention, cared enough to come to my rescue. Everything felt like a dream,movie experience that didn't come close to its end. Robin S.Sharma Author,The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari said; “I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason,” the yogi Krishnan told him. “Every event has a why and all adversity teaches us a lesson... Never regret your past. Accept it as the teacher that it is.” I made a phone call to the Administrator, Centre For Coaching At The University Of Cape Town Graduate School Of Business where I recently started school without paying a rand,dime after narrating my experience. Every challenge,adversity can prosper us, once you allow yourself to learn what the experience brought to you in conclusion as Jimmy Buffet asserts; "It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.”

Friday, March 23, 2012


Milestone is defined in the English dictionary as a significant event or stage in life, progress, development, or the like of a person, nation. Nigeria as a nation joined the league of countries whose national flag got hoisted atop Kilimanjaro, this week last year March 2011 ,I had successfully summit to the highest point in Africa. Alexandrou Marios said : a milestone is a scheduled event signifying the completion of a major deliverable or a set of related deliverables. Milestones were originally stone obelisks – made from granite, marble, or whatever local stone was available – and later concrete posts. They were widely used by Roman Empire road builders and were an important part of any Roman road network: the distance travelled per day was only a few miles in some cases.Many Roman milestones only record the name of the reigning emperor without giving any placenames or distances. The first Roman milestones appeared on the Appian way. At the centre of Rome, the "Golden Milestone" was erected to mark the presumed centre of the empire: this milestone has since been lost. The Golden Milestone inspired the Zero Milestone in Washington, D.C., intended as the point from which all road distances in the United States should be reckoned. Decades ago,about two decades precisely as a teenager, I travelled with my late father Solomon Babafemi Awe(who accompanied me to my secondary school "Christ School,Ado Ekiti-Nigeria) as his official driver drove several hours from our Apapa G.R.A lagos residence through lagos,Ibadan expressway.I recall locating,seeing series of numbered markers placed along the highway at intervals showing up on the side of the road. During our journeys,the excitement the mileposts brought as we advanced during our 4-5hour journey came because every new milestone reassured us that the proper path is been followed, and also indicated distance travelled or remaining distance to our destination. Someone said: "Direction is more important than speed". Severally as we set out for school one lessons I learned with benefit of hindsight includes need to have direction as we travel through life. Too many people are so busy looking at the speedometers thereby forgeting milestones.Making time to mark,celebrate milestones is important.If you can plan to join me as I celebrate my anniversary of my successful summit up uhuru peak-Kilimanjaro.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gbenga Sesan & Joshua Awesome after Speaking at a Seminar  
Joshua Awesome and Alvin Law After Speaking At Global Speakers Summit 
Joshua Awesome and Dr.Myles Munroe After Sharing The Platform
Joshua Awesome
Joe Sherren(President, Global Speakers Federation 2007-2008) and Joshua Awesome

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Power is defined as ability to act, regarded as latent or inherent; capacity for action or performance; whether physical or moral.
People on the other hand is defined as persons with regard to their residence, class, profession, or group. Putting them together we could combine
these words "Persons with regard to their residence,class, profession or group with ability to act, regarded as latent or inherent capacity for action or performance; whether physical or moral.

March last year eight expedition experts started out with me from mountain Kilimanjaro's base via Mweka route everyday for six days supporting one man, Nigeria's flag bearer up Uhuru peak.Prior to the expedition little did I know my mountain guide Mr.Ian Minja existed and didn't know he had got to the highest point in Africa 177 times before leading me up the first time and the 178th time for him.

Happy I was when descending the mountain afterward hosted a press conference in Nigeria which incidentally co-incided with Nigeria's Elections Where "power of people" played a major role in Nigeria's successfully termed "free & fair election" elected President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. I recall saying to the media, like Kilimanjaro some thought that holding such an election was insurmountable.

Every person that voted displayed action or performance as the definition for power above states,some moral or physical act that could never have happened without the will of fellow Nigerians. Sadly 1st January 2012 President Goodluck E. Jonathan acted against the will of fellow Nigerians who won him the elections less than a year ago.

Only a leader who forgets his success lies in the "power of people," electorate who one way or the other , retain the right to tell such a leader regardless of his stand ; do our will or we will work our willpower against you.

Unity unfolded days ago as several Nigerians showed government as I always say: Nigeria is not the geographical space in west Africa we occupy as Nigerians,Nigeria is the people who occupy the space guess that is why we call it Occupy Nigeria.Accepting the will of the people is the only way to start.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lacing Up Purposefully

Whilst mathematics tells us there are more than two trillion ways of feeding a lace  through the six pairs of eyelets on an average shoe, I recall lacing up purposefully my new pair of laces unto my leather sneakers,my last day in Nigeria as year 2011 ended.

Every time I laced up the shoes before one of the laces broke it was specifically to tie them, making my feet firm inside my leather sneakers so I could go where I needed to be. As I changed the pair replaced them with a new pair primarily because one of the old ones broke,It occurred to me that the only reason the old one broke was because it was weak.

When a new year dawns it's simply because the old year's stale,used,past or permit me to say weak (like my old laces) which had to be replaced so I could lace up properly and purposefully to enjoy it.

There's need you,me, we all prepare to succeed this leap year. You can only take a leap only when your shoes,sneakers are properly laced up. Remember there are more than two trillion ways of feeding a lace through the six pairs of eyelets on an average shoes, silly put "lacing up purposefully" is it. 

The lacing style that came with my shoes may be different from the one that came with your tekkies, there's also a need to tweak the laces for a different event type. Every athlete laces up properly for the race so one eventually gets to the finish line and also on time.

Every pair of laces stringed or fed through the six pair of eyelets of sports shoes on the tracks had been laced up from the locker room long before the set time for the race,easiest way one can tell each athlete is prepared for a successful race.Ready? You can win, when you are properly laced up. Properly laced up means making time to train,understanding the goal before one.
How prepared are you for 2012? Lacing up purposefully means simply getting ready,set to take on the goal(s)