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The Effectiveness-Lab

2017 – Business Un-usual? Series 4 of 4

Well, in this final series of the ‘2017 – business unusual?’ Blog, we bring together all the discussion from the last four weeks and actually usher you all into 2017.  A year, that like many others past, is likely to be long, challenging, but also rewarding and hopefully, life changing.

A productive, effective, and efficient 2017
A productive, effective, and efficient 2017

In this four blog series, we have delved into the structured management of resolutions – for both individuals and organizations.  However, we also know that keeping at it, in regards to new year resolutions is tough.  Apparently, 31st January is the point at which resolutions are abandoned – so if you haven’t yet abandoned yours by next Tuesday, that may be an early indicator that you may just hang in there to achieve your 2017 resolutions.

At the individual level, many of you may have already abandoned the weekly visits to the gym, started eating food with all kinds of carcinogens, reverted to habits of old and have every reason not to do what you personally resolved to do in 2017. Organizations may be back to their value-busting vices and to the business as usual mindset

On the other hand, some individuals and companies are throwing the kitchen sink at their 2017 resolutions – it is all lock, stock, and barrel for them. Failure is not an option

The difference between individuals and companies that are still in the 2017 resolution game and those that are out is:

  • adopting a methodical approach to resolution making
  • having the tenacity and grit to keep at it, even in extremely testing situations
  • overall, a knack for effective execution; we know that having a right strategy and executing it well, are not the same


2017 – Business unusual? Series 2 of 4

2017 – Business unusual? Series 3 of 4

Tips for individuals and organizations to remain in the 2017 – new year resolution game:

Even with the methodical approach that we elaborated in series two and three of this blog, two key variables will determine how well individuals and companies realize their new year resolutions.

1. Grit

What is this grit? If we take a sample of 100 Ugandan’s with the same level of intelligence, and pretty high intelligence at that, why will others amongst the sample ace their new year resolutions while others won’t?

Well, it comes down to differences in tenacity, perseverance, keeping at it, courage, and pushing boundaries.

It also comes down to a particular pattern of thinking – thinking that is critical:

  • Asking the right question
  • Getting the facts to help you answer the question
  • Putting the facts in context and connecting facts to the question on the table
  • Reflecting on the findings
  • and exploring your environment further, specifically, ensuring best-solution fit

All the above is grit – to ultimately succeed, you need both a methodical approach + grit.


Tenacity vs. High IQ – what begets success?

Grit is a universal concept that you will encounter everywhere you go – more in some locations than others.  The latter point takes us to the second variable and one that is very Ugandan

2. The religious dilemma and its limitation on achievement

Growing up in Nakabugu Uganda, we witnessed daily how much African’s like me, but especially those that are economically vulnerable, need God to remain hopeful. Faced with biting and enduring poverty and desperation, Nakabugunians remain optimistic and always afford a smile – all this, courtesy of one thing, the belief in God the Almighty.

Yet our mother Piripa Isota (Mrs) always reminded us of the Lusoga saying: ‘katonda nnamba nga nembiilo kwentaile’ – roughly translated as: ‘while waiting for God’s help, I will keep running my part of the journey…’.  So, while faith is key and fundamental to our lives, it may not be the cure-all for success

Do not get us wrong – after all, we were born in a Christian family, and we still are practicing Christians. Indeed when our late father Patrick Isota (RIP) retired from his teaching job, and to the surprise of many, he spent most of his gratuity building St. Stephen’s church Nakabugu. And it wasn’t that he didn’t need the money for himself, but that was how devoted he was to the Bible and God. What else do you need to prove that we were born and raised as committed Christians? But once again, even in this very Christian home, we were cautioned never to depend on God alone for all our good fortunes

So to those of you reading this blog that believe prayer alone shall beget success – that is a fallacy. Yes, believe and obey the Lord but also, get some grit

Hoping that you apply logic, grit, and balanced-religiosity to your resolution design and implementation, we at the Effectiveness lab wish you all a very effective 2017!


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About Me

Apollo B. Gabazira is an Ugandan OD. junkie fascinated by matters that render organisations/individuals effective or not. He blogs on effective leadership and management. He is a devoted green-farmer and breeds the Ayrshire cow at Nakabugu, Luuka district, Uganda. Apollo is quite effective at what he chooses to do.


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