success insights

success insights

Take your career to the next level, get insights in the fields of family, relationships, finance and personal growth

Friday, 20 March 2020 14:08

living water

Forgive me, Father, For I Have Sinned”, I looked up at the Priest as I made my over 100th confession. Nothing good comes easy. You must act. Get up and search for it. You will be lucky to have someone pushing you to go for confession, yet penance is one such sacrament essential for your soul. In this Lent season, you have more reasons to examine your conscience and come clean with yourself.

Friday, 20 March 2020 13:48

lawyer

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved.” Matthew 5:17-37

Friday, 20 March 2020 13:45

be responsible 1140x760“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men. ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:13-16

Friday, 20 March 2020 13:37

Success story 1140x537“And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord. As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord…” Luke 2: 22-40

Friday, 20 March 2020 13:24

family

What is a happy family to you?

“After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘ Get up, take the child and his mother with you and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you because Herod intends to search for the Child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead.” Matthew 2:13-15. 19-23

Saturday, 29 February 2020 13:54

pray869x494

Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, after which he was very hungry, and the tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves.’ But he replied, ‘Scripture says: Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:1-11

Saturday, 22 February 2020 13:50

mmugisa focus

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learned how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for a tooth. But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away,” Matthew 5:38-48

What is your worthy cause?

If you lack clarity of a worthy cause, no matter how much success you register in terms of money, power and material wealth, it will still not be enough. The people we read about as noble prize winners, game changers and exceptional leaders dedicated their lives to something beyond making lots of money. You must have a worthy cause.

So, what is your worthy cause?

As a reader of history, I came across a book titled: Harriet Tubman. A detailed biography of a woman that looked the enemies with loaded guns and said enough is enough. She made up her mind never to die as a slave. No one can decide on their choice of parents and the conditions they are born in. Few are lucky. Their parents buy air tickets and travel thousands of miles to foreign lands so that they are born in developed countries! Others travel from villages to towns to give birth. While many others are not that fortunate. They are born in poverty – city or village poverty is the same. For Harriet and so many other black Americans of the 1800s to early 1970s, they were born into slavery. Yes, born a slave.

Born circa 1820 into slavery in Maryland (the American East), Araminta Harriet Ross, married a black man named John Tubman, becoming Harriet Tubman. It is not cozy to be born a slave. In 1849, Harriet escaped successfully to the North.

But why tell this story

After successfully escaping slavery from the East, to Pennsylvania in the North, Harriet did not settle and forget the so many slaves she had left in the East. She became a conductor and started a clandestine project to free so many other slaves from Maryland to the North. An online source notes, “Tubman risked her life to lead hundreds of family members and other slaves from the plantation system to freedom on this elaborate secret network of safe houses.”

Nicknamed “Moses” for her leadership, it is said that Harriet was very determined. Often during the escape –90 miles plus journey – some slaves would give up and decide to return back. As a leader, with a loaded gun, pointed to the head of anyone who showed weakness, Harriet would say “Dead people tell no tales.” Either you continue with us to your freedom or I get a bullet in your head and drop here: which one do you want? And the decision was always moving forward so much that for all the eight years Tubman led slaves to freedom, she never lost anyone to a bullet!

In 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson in the center of a new $20 bill. Those are the fruits of determination to a worthy cause. Although Harriet was always financially unstable, meaning she did not have enough for herself and family, her face today graces the center of a US $20 bill!

As we learn from the best teacher in the world, Jesus Christ, “offer the wicked man no resistance.” Tubman did not return to the East to fight slave masters. No, that was not her focus. She returned clandestinely, to mobilize fellow slaves to freedom. She avoided direct confrontation. She did not retaliate.

What is your worthy cause?

Once you find it, determine and put in your all to make it happen one step at a time. This happens when you burn the bridges of retreat. As a fighter, if you cross a bridge. And burn it behind you such that there is no way to retreat, your only option is to fight the enemy else you will be killed in the enemy territory since you burned the bridge of retreat.

Be it a job, new project or business, that is the kind of determination you need to succeed. #upwardandforward.

I wish you a successful Sunday and a great Lent period ahead. Have any questions for me? Follow me on twitter, @mustaphamugisa for weekly book titles which we review. To be inspired, visit www.mustaphamugisa.com.

Bernabas Mustapha Mugisa is Mr. Strategy, the architect of #Mindspark.

Saturday, 25 January 2020 13:33

Tool 74 of 104

“As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they left their nets at once and followed him”, Matthew 4:12-23

Saturday, 11 January 2020 13:30

businessman

Habits provide a fertile ground for your success. Good habits are your strategic foundation for living a happy life.

While in school, to win you had to conduct regular notes revision, go to the library, attend classes regularly, be in discussion groups of brilliant students and teach others so as to grasp the concepts better. Good habits make you successful. Bad habits make you poor.

Saturday, 28 December 2019 13:27

2020 1140x570The shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say.”  Luke 2:16-21

Wednesday, 02 January 2019 12:12

2019mbuya

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” Luke 14:28

It is 2019. This is your opportunity to make this the best year ever. I want to share with you a model to guide your 2019 family or personal planning. During 2018, I refined Mugisa’sWinningTheGame™ Strategy model that helps leaders develop an organic strategy ideal for the new era. MWTG has four steps – context, perspective, strategy and change.

Wednesday, 02 January 2019 12:06

xmas pic

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer”, Psalm 94:19 

Twice I came from behind trying to catch a position at the 3rd Annual Reach out Mbuya Charity Run. This was a tough run for me. One of the children requested to join us in the run at last minute. We lost a few minutes. We arrived at Church when the final call for the 10 kilometers was being made. I started my Apple Watch running assist as I run fast to the registration point, and as I was having the identification orange band tied on my arm, the 10 km race commenced. My #WinningMindset took over me.

Wednesday, 02 January 2019 11:34

explore804x507

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer”, Psalm 94:19 

On Friday 14th December 2018, a Mother entered my office with the Son in tow at 7:00am in search of an Internship opportunity for the son currently in Senior Six vacation. Our elaborate Internship training also serves as on-boarding or induction program for new hires which every new staff must undergo. Some staff refer to the program as the three months of mind tuning. Of course, there are a few staff that never went through the program and miss the experience. 

Friday, 28 December 2018 18:33

negativity869x494

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer”, Psalm 94:19 

Twice I came from behind trying to catch a position at the 3rd Annual Reach out Mbuya Charity Run. This was a tough run for me. One of the children requested to join us in the run at last minute. We lost a few minutes. We arrived at Church when the final call for the 10 kilometers was being made. I started my Apple Watch running assist as I run fast to the registration point, and as I was having the identification orange band tied on my arm, the 10 km race commenced. My #WinningMindset took over me

Friday, 28 December 2018 18:30

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” Philippians 4:6.

Boom! It was a very loud noise from the rear of my car. The shaking was real and intense, and I felt in my hands on the steering wheel. Oblivious of the Monday morning traffic. I just stopped the car and went behind to check.

Monday, 26 November 2018 10:18

pray804x507

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Mathew 5:6

The dream looked real. It was one of those rare dreams that I woke up and could remember everything. Experts and psychologists say that our dreams reflect our thoughts and some of the things pre-occupying our mind the previous day. I don’t know how true that is. If indeed dreams reflect our thoughts, I would be something different by now. It would be a matter of thinking hard about something and diving into the bed immediately after.

Monday, 12 November 2018 10:02

friends804x507

Who is that friend who knows you very well?

The message came in at 1:30am. Most messages from family, friends and colleagues at that time on wards to 5am are usually difficult ones. In the past (when I was still young and selfish of course) I would put off my phone to avoid interruptions. One day I heard nearby curfew at a neighbour. Being on a village watch WhatsApp group, I called our neighbour and informed them of the noise outside their gate. All their known phone numbers were off. I could not get out of my house. I tried all means possible to get in touch in vain. That was about 2:30am.

Monday, 05 November 2018 16:32

candlembuya

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Time has a way of healing deep wounds. Some wounds are deeper than others. The journey of life is full of potholes, corners, hills and steep slopes. As we move along the road of life, each one of us tries to avoid the bad spots. We pray for a straight and clear route free of disappointments and bad luck.

Thursday, 01 November 2018 14:27

Run804x507

Proverbs 19:17 “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.”
What causes are you involved in? Regardless of how much money you have, it is critical to be part of a social cause. Most of the time, you don’t need money to help someone. Some people have the money and all they need is a genuine friend. Others have friends all they need is money. Others have friends and money, all they need is counselling. Man (and woman) is a social animal. When you join a social cause, you expand your networks and attain satisfaction that not any amount of money can offer.

Monday, 22 October 2018 18:04

Tool 15

“Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Life has a way of its own timing for different people in ways no one can imagine. Some people attain most of their life’s desires at an early age. Few are fortunate to make it on their own early in their careers. Others are born into a world of fortune created by their parents or close relatives.

Monday, 22 October 2018 18:02

Tool 14

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”, Matthew 11:28-30

He kept me waiting at the reception for about 45 minutes. This is a man who was once my student in my Master of Business Administration (MBA) class at University. As I grow old, I have ‘learnt’ to take it easy. Not to try to pull ranks, because as they say, “there is always a more senior fellow.” Let me digress. Once I was queuing at a restaurant in downtown Hong Kong. I noticed the person two people ahead of me was one of our top local politicians cum executives.

Monday, 22 October 2018 17:58

Tool 13

Fred Kyaligonza (1974 – 2010) was one of the sons of an Indian migrant who settled in Munteme Village, Hoima District, present day Kikuube District. The Indian married a Munyoro woman and the couple had three Children (boys), until the Indians were expelled unceremoniously from Uganda. As the Indians packed, they wanted to go with some of the kin and kith. All the sons were of age. Their father wanted to run away with them. Their mother did not. The man being old (about 50 years), did not want to go back into the process of raising a new family. One of the boys decided to ‘annoy’ the mother. He left with the Dad.

Monday, 22 October 2018 17:55

Tool 12

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute, Proverbs 31:8.”

“When I was in prison, visiting, an inmate, a talk light skinned slender man, in a yellow prison Uniform, came right in front of me after my talk on In-Mate Reformation and Skilling During Incarceration and said while looking directly into my eyes “Mustapha thanks for your talk. It was great and eye opening. However, how would you advise someone like me serving a jail term of five years for a crime I did not commit?

Monday, 22 October 2018 17:51

Tool 11

What is the basis of your decision making? As Catholic Christians, mastering the 10 commandments helps us discern right from wrong easily. When confronted with several choices and tough situations, we take decisions based on Christian values. If someone is asking for your help to escort them to a shrine, for example, knowledge of the first commandment, I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any strange gods before Me, is key.

Monday, 22 October 2018 17:48

Tool 10

“A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t, and even brags about it!” Proverbs 13:16

When a Nurse who had worked in Hospice as a caregiver for over 20 years was asked what key message she had learnt caring for the terminally ill, she replied “plan for your retirement.” She revealed that many patients in the face of death use their last breath worried about how their children and close dependents would survive past their demise.

Monday, 22 October 2018 17:45

Tool 9

I grew up with a single mother. She is one of the most hardworking and focused people I know of. In early 1990s, life in Munteme village was tough. It is around this time Uganda experienced one of the worst famines. The country was still undergoing political changes. In 1983, we had been told, was a year of scarcity. People died of famine. People had seen first hand the pain of living on an empty stomach. So how did famine hit again just seven years later? That is a question for our national planners at the time to answer.

Monday, 22 October 2018 17:34

Tool 8

“So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?” He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human.”

Monday, 22 October 2018 17:31

Tool 7

So many people, but few to trust. So many followers, few loyal cadres. That is the challenge of every leader. Which persons to empower who won’t take advantage of it to threaten my career. My seat. My shoes!

Every leader needs a close circle of people they trust.  A team of people are loyal to one another and very straight forward.  To be loyal is to be trustworthy and act with sensibilities. To act consistently in the interests of the leader who empowers your career to thrive.

Monday, 22 October 2018 17:28

Tool 6

It is easy to try to be all things to all people. Saying yes is the easiest decision. That way, you accept all ideas and end up rotating in circles. Yet great leaders are defined by their ability and frequency of saying no. You probably know of organisations that do a lot than the available resources and capabilities allows. They want to be in everything that comes along. They appear to be succeeding because of their size, staffing, resources and access to cheap capital. Such strategy of ‘playing in all games’ inadvertently slows down business growth.  They talk about a digital agenda, but open brick and motor branches country-wide!

Monday, 22 October 2018 17:25

Tool 5

“Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness. Tie them around your neck; write them on your heart. If you do this, both God and people will be pleased with you.” Proverbs 3:3-4.

Loyalty not exceptional skills will determine your altitude. It does not matter how skilled and experienced you are, if you are not reliable and trustable, you are unlikely to be ‘seen.’ In any organization, you need to establish close working relationships with the key decision makers – usually people who sign on cheques, and those who influence them. The early signs of trust start with being assigned roles like being sent to one’s office to fix tea or bring a note book.

Monday, 22 October 2018 17:21

Tool 4

“Obusaija babwetera”, goes a popular saying. Loosely translated to mean, “Before others call you a Man, you have to act like one.” Over the years, I have got to understand that self-esteem is the key. The feeling of self-worth is critical.

Monday, 22 October 2018 17:12

Tool 3

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.

Monday, 23 July 2018 14:33

worth804x507

“Pay me according to your company salary structure”, she replied to a question by one of the panel members at the end of an oral interview. Few employers want to give jobs to candidates that are not sure about your market value. It is difficult to add value to the business if you don’t understand your value. The ability to sell yourself is the number one priority for any individual. How do you study and attain a master’s degree, learn about pricing and marketing and fail to estimate your personal worth?

Monday, 18 June 2018 08:49

lonelyroad804x507

A human body is in built with a safety radar of sorts. Whenever exposed to any life-threatening event, the body’s safety mechanisms are initiated. You suddenly feel very alert and strong with each of the blood in your veins pumping faster, until you are out of the danger zone. That is what I felt when something that transformed my thinking happened.

Sunday, 03 June 2018 12:05

Uganda Martyrs1

2 Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”


A martyr / witness, is defined as “someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or cause as demanded by an external party. This refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the execution of the person by the oppressor.”

If you lack values, it is not easy to have a cause. If you are not a Christian, you cannot become a Christian Martyr.  Today, we celebrate the brave 55 people who gave up their lives for what they believed in. Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saturday, 26 May 2018 09:09

Hot iron804x507

Are you a leader? It is advisable that you hit the iron while it is still hot. When you wait for it to cool, however hard you try to hit it, getting it to a shape you want takes a lot of time and energy, if at all you can manage. You must be agile and act fast.

The same applies to tapping into business opportunities. If you delay, someone else will take them.

Saturday, 12 May 2018 14:23

“She turned to me, looked directly in my eyes and said, ‘I am sick of hearing your heavy breathing at night.” What words are you saying to your loved ones?

During one of the married couples’ meetings at Church which I am privileged to have facilitated, I separated the women from the men, and asked each member to pick a partner of the same sex and be open about their best and worst experiences in their marriages and the specific behaviors that led to them. The revelations were life changing.

Saturday, 12 May 2018 14:20

Luck is useless if it lands on the unprepared.

As they say, if you want to win a lottery ticket, first go and buy the ticket! However, lucky you might be, without having bought the lottery ticket. There is no way you are going to win.

Saturday, 12 May 2018 14:18

You cannot be everywhere and succeed. You must select your top three to four must-win-battles and focus all your energy and resources there. It is not easy to win so many battles.

In 2010, I had a heated debate with my wife over the family priorities. We decided to review our responsibility centers to minimize interruptions but also optimize skills. As an equal partner in our family affairs, we agreed that she is responsible for all the operational and tactical decisions in the home – family menu (what to eat and when), look and feel (the furniture in our home, which clothes to wear, which car to drive) and managing home affairs (hiring and managing family help and the like).

Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:11

knockdoormbuya

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened,” Mathew 7: 7 - 8

“Our systems are very strong. We cannot have been hacked. You are just alarmists. On your bullet number five: that you were able to capture all our passwords, including of the super administrator? That is not possible.” Such is the typical conversation in Uganda during the end of cyber security testing exit meeting with the client. It does not matter that we usually demonstrate the weaknesses found to the IT team. During the exit meeting presentation, IT staff will always deny even the smoking gun or plain view evidence. Many times, we pull out the laptop and re-demonstrate the exploits again. The fact is, with technology, there is no system that is 100% safe. That is why even Microsoft keeps providing system updates to respond to vulnerabilities that keep coming up now and again.

Friday, 03 November 2017 17:45

Who are you? The first step in achieving your potential is to know who you are. Where do you come from? what are your family values? Do not try to be something you are not and expect to win. Appreciate your background and first make peace with it. Acknowledge your identity.

Saturday, 30 September 2017 10:07

Now that you know who you are, the next step is to ask what does success mean to you, and your key stakeholders.

Your family, relatives, friends and community are critical. At each stage of your life, who are those people with a lot of influence (in your career choice) and interest (in your success?)

Saturday, 30 September 2017 09:16

This is the time of the year most people make resolutions for the New Year. Resolutions fail because they are not translated into actions to become real. It is not enough to make resolutions for a new year. Have clear actions or activities to achieve them, and a yardstick to measure progress.

To make a better 2017, make few (two to four) resolutions. Review each and prioritise them, in order of importance. Remember, priorities change often. Great people change their priorities “what must be accomplished today?”

Saturday, 30 September 2017 09:16

Who are you? The first step in achieving your potential is to know who you are. Where do you come from? what are your family values? Do not try to be something you are not and expect to win. Appreciate your background and first make peace with it. Acknowledge your identity.

Stories of successful executives in Kampala who have forgotten about their parents and close relatives in the village abound. These people come to Kampala, adopt different culture, network with new friends and forget completely about their family back home. It is not until they experience a misfortune like a loss of a relative that they visit the village and get exposed. Rich in the city, but no place to even place a casket back home! What a shame! First know who you are (see figure 1).

Tuesday, 01 August 2017 16:19

“I thought I was happily married, until she told me she was leaving.” To where? I asked thinking that she was going for shopping at Nakumatti, where she usually goes every Saturday afternoon. I was wrong.

This time she was going for good.

Tuesday, 01 August 2017 16:17

If you are a regular reader of this column, I hope by now you have a clear personal strategy. My experience is planning for five-10 years ahead is better than annual planning and New Year resolutions. The year of these days is so short. As an individual, you will experience key milestones over a five-10 year horizon. Ask: what do I intend to have achieved within the next five years.

Tuesday, 01 August 2017 16:04

Success through employment is one of the options you have. I recommend that your objective is to have clear career focus of the corporate/ organization level you eventually plan to reach.

As a government employee or civil servant, however brilliant you may be, being well networked with political leaders and other high-level civil servants is critical for your fast career progression.

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