Category Archives: Inspiration

Re-engineer Yourself or Perish!

When Charles Darwin claimed that “survival goes not to the strongest or most intelligent of the species, but to the one most adaptable to change”, many did not really take him serious until recently. In this brief article, I want to make a helpful attempt at whispering to individuals the secret to thriving in a fast-paced labour market, and also let companies understand the key to sustainable market dominance.

Yesterday, I had a chat with a new, friendly and vibrant client – one of the trainees in our 16th intake of the Certificate in Public Speaking and Presentation Mastery short course. Her role in the company she works with is to keep ears on ground and eyes on the horizon, monitor changes that are happening or likely to happen soon, and then “re-engineer the processes” involved while managing the change at hand. A very intelligent and up-to-the-task lady, she indicated that without this, they would be humiliated by competition and overwhelmingly run into irrelevancy to customers.

In recent years, great companies (and individuals) have been rudely awakened by the ruthless waves of unstoppable changes in their industries – changes that left them down and out. During an acquisition brief, a CEO of one of those companies, tearfully said, “We did not do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”. The reality was that the world changed too fast and their opponents were too powerful.

A World on a Rollercoaster:
The world is on a terrible rush!

  • The rate of information “growth” is startling. For example in 1980, about 220,000 new books were published each year in the US. In 2013, it was estimated at more than 3 million new books, plus millions of articles on every imaginable subject. Today, one idea can build a huge industry and replace an old one in just less than a week!
  • The speed of technological advancement is unprecedented. While one is busy bragging about the “newest super-fast equipment” they have procured to shorten the duration of service delivery to “one hour only”, there is already a newer, ultra-fast alternative that makes delivery instant on a click of a button.
  • The hitherto respected approaches to doing almost everything have become obsolete. The once revered methods of handling operations no longer deliver the results they used to deliver.

I could go on and on about the dizzying rate of change but time and space won’t allow me to (unless it was a training I often give staff of companies on “Being Friendly to Change” or the training for CEOs and managers on “Business Leadership in the 21st Century”. There, we go deep.)

The Way Forward:
I suggest three starting points, among many others:

(1) Individual re-engineering.
As an individual, you have to keep reinventing yourself to remain relevant. One of the top banks in the city of Kampala invited me to take their staff through a whole week of empowerment, equipping them to productively transition from the old to the new realities of a certain department. Adding two small words just in the name of the department meant unimaginable implications to staff therein in terms of attitude, personal branding, self-packaging, and personal development in general. You either re-engineer yourself or, I lovingly warn you, you are about to become institutionally irrelevant and be systematically phased out.

Most of the training institutions where most people were trained from taught them what to learn and think instead of how to learn and think. As a result, these people have had to struggle with fixed mind-sets, rigid attitudes, and quite stiff necks in the way they approach life and work. If you are one of them and re-engineering has not come to your mind, the time to start is…? Yesterday! That is why, like I am going to be equipping 1,000 civil servants for 3 days this week, you have to learn dynamics of personal development and how to be the most valued employee / employer.

(2) Continuous Staff Development:
At institutional level, companies and/or organizations have to build highly effective teams, continuously equip those teams, not just in technical aspects of their work but mostly in the soft skills area. The CEO and General Manager of a group of companies that operates transport and agricultural businesses visited my office yesterday morning. In our discussion, I shared with them that quite often, what customers look for is not what we are offering them – until we go an extra mile to study their needs and offer relevant services. We concluded that most of the top needs of the clients in any industry are not goods and services themselves, but how clients are served, the quality of the relationship, the swiftness of the staff, the customer care, among others – most of which are intangible yet uncompromising determinants of success. I intend to write another article on this issue especially in line with who empowers the staff.

(3) Strategy and execution:
This is why strategy and swift strategy execution have never been as important as they are today. This is requires a leadership and/or management team that knows what to focus on a daily basis, not being distracted by the nitty-gritties of operation and forgetting the gigantic role of strategic direction. This is requires the kind of leadership that will leave the fire fighting to the right team and concentrate on holding the binoculars – like an MD of a huge institution called it in our planning meeting for an intensive 3-day team building retreat we are facilitating for all their top managers next week.

CEOs need to be clear about their roles. Top on the list in my view is: Strategist (future direction of the company); ambassador (meet with important customers, know them and they too know you); inventor (find the customer’s pain and develop products and services to relieve him of that pain); mentor (become a teacher, coach and mentor to your direct reports to help them get the big picture); investor (treat your company like an investment, know its market vaue and try to grow it); the student (actively pursue professional development even as a student of leadership, not just in your area of expertise). Stay focused on your CEO role.

Malcolm Gladwell rightly said, “What brought you here won’t take you there”. Do not be your worst enemy. Keep re-engineering yourself as an individual and collectively as a company so that you do not become irrelevant and be overwhelmed by the inevitably fast changes. It is up to you. Do yourself a favour. Do the most patriotic thing: offering your nation or continent the most holistically developed human resource for development.

I look forward to hearing from you, as regards how you would like me to come in and practically inspire real change, strategic realignment, team building, executive and personal development coaching, and continuous staff development processes. Let us re-engineer.


| Live . Love . Lead |

Samuel A. Bakutana


SAMUEL A. BAKUTANA is a Senior Leadership Consultant, Executive Coach, Inspirational Speaker and Author. He is the Chief Executive Officer, Inspired Leaders International (ILI), located on Plot 731, Mawanda Rd, Kamwokya. He can be reached at +256782163416 or Follow his inspiration on Twitter (@SamuelBakutana / @InspiredLead) and

ILI Vision: “Empowered Leaders, Transformed Nations”

Excellent Solutions Offered:
🔖 HR/Leadership & Management Consultancy
🔖 Organizational Staff Trainings and Team Building
🔖 Executive and Personal Development Coaching
🔖 Mentoring Programs / Schemes
🔖 Inspirational Speaking / Retreat Facilitation / Panel Moderation

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Enjoy Today By Choice

No one – and nothing – should/can take away your joy without your permission! Hey, today is not yesterday. It isn’t. So please:

● Don’t kill today with bad memories of yesterday.

● Don’t assasinate today’s opportunities with yesterday’s daggers.

● Don’t kill the joys this day brings with the pains that yesterday left.

“Whoever dwells on the past so much is surely bound to mess up his present — the very present in his hands today.” – Samuel A. Bakutana

So enjoy today. Yea! Drink every inspiration out of it. Yea! Squeeze every juice out of its fruits. Yea! Make your best of today. Yea!

Yesterday is a cancelled cheque. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is the only cash you have. Utilize it wisely.

Today is your present; choose to unwrap it and enjoy every bit of it.


| Live . Love . Lead |

Senior Leadership Consultant, International Inspirational Speaker and Prolific Author (13 books)

Chief Executive Officer,
Inspired Leaders International,
Plot 731, Mawanda Rd, Kamwokya
P.O. Box 12844, Kampala
📞 +256782163416
Twitter: @SamuelBakutana / @InspiredLead

Vision: “Empowered Leaders, Transformed Nations”

Solutions Offered:
🔖 Leadership Consultancy
🔖 Organizational Staff Trainings and Result-focused Team Building
🔖 Mentoring Programs and In-house Institutional Staff Mentoring Schemes
🔖 Inspirational Speaking and In-house Staff Public Speaking Empowerment
🔖 Life and/or Personal Development Coaching for leaders, professionals, speakers, etc.

The 5 words: Consultancy, Training, Mentoring, Speaking, and Coaching.

Welcome to:
💠 the arena of greatness,
💠 the incubation for awesome people,
💠 the chisel-centre for transformational, world changing leaders.

You’re loved. You’re believed in. It is known that you can make it.


I’ve been quoting a number of authors and books before. In this delicious piece, I will quote the Book of Daniel which is found in the Bible – the Holy Book for Christians.

As a man of faith, I’ve been praying that I receive a deeper ability to solve difficult problems. I couldn’t quickly find a better example of someone with this ability than Mr. Daniel Belteshazzar – one of those great governors in ancient Babylon. Below is the king’s address to Daniel in the Book of Daniel 5:13-16.

“So you are Daniel, one of the Judean exiles whom my grandfather the king brought from Judah! I’ve heard about you, that a spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, discernment, and extraordinary wisdom. Take note that the advisors and enchanters were brought before me to read the writing and explain its meaning, but they were unable to do so. However, I’ve heard that you can provide meaning and interpretation, and that you can solve difficult problems. If you are able to read the writing and report its meaning, you will be clothed in purple, have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will become the third highest ruler in the kingdom.” (Daniel 5:13-16)

Did you hear that, O inspired leader? Did you know, by the way, that:

  1. This was after a referral (word-of-mouth recommendation) from the queen herself in verses 10-12
  2. His name came up after all other potential problem solvers had even failed to do anything about the challenge at hand as in verses 5-9?
  3. This problem had been created by this national leader (the king) himself as seen in verses 1-4?

Someone here needs to join me in once again looking at the qualities that Daniel had and then make a plan of action to pull up our socks, try to measure up and put our act together:

  • Filled by the Spirit of Go
  • Having insight
  • Rich in discernment
  • Possessing extraordinary wisdom
  • Ability to provide meaning and interpretation
  • Capability to solve difficult problems.

Friend, realize that the promised remuneration was:

  • Being clothed in purple,
  • Receiving a gold chain placed around the neck,
  • Elevation to being “the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”

Ha! You can’t believe Daniel’s response:

Let your gifts and rewards be given to someone else. However, I’ll read the writing for the king and tell him the meaning.” (verse 17).

And the amazing story continues… But now let’s have a little flashback to know how Daniel came to be put in such a place when he was a foreigner in exile, far away from home: When an advert was put out there for people to work in State House, the minimum requirements were as follows (Daniel 1:4):

  • Young men without physical defect
  • Handsome in appearance
  • Skilled in all wisdom
  • Quick to learn
  • Prudent in how they used knowledge
  • Capable of serving in the king’s palace
  • Able to learn literature and language

Daniel met all these requirements – and was hired! Would YOU? Remember, dear leaders, that this was also accompanied by a highly revealing decision: “Daniel determined within himself not to defile himself…” (verse 8).

The result of this was that “God granted Daniel grace and compassion…” (verse 9). Not only that but also “…knowledge, aptitude for learning, and wisdom. Daniel also could understand all kinds of visions and dreams.” (Verse 17). We are told that after the probation period, “in every matter of wisdom or understanding that the king discussed with [him], he found [Daniel] ten times better than all… in his entire palace” (verse 20)! Who doesn’t want that? Give a handclap to Hon. Daniel! No wonder, later, the king could declare to Daniel,

“Truly, your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and the Revealer of secrets, because you were able to reveal this mystery” (2:47).

But wait a minute! Verse 48 says, “Then the king promoted Daniel to a high position and lavished many great gifts on him, including making him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and chief administrator over the advisors of Babylon.” Wow! That sounds like State House’s Chief of Staff! Promotion comes from diligent work, excellence and solving difficult problems.

Don’t rush to leave before you realize that he then “requested that the king appoint” his other 3 godly friends as “administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained in the royal court” (verse 49). He remembered to pull/lift up some like-minded comrades around him.

He didn’t just celebrate his personal rise but ensured he had the right team to work with! How are you doing in this area at your current level? No wonder those 3 boys proved solid even when they were thrown in fire in chapter 3 for their insistence on serving the right, One true God! This forced the President to write a national memo to all districts about the God of Daniel (chapter 4:1—). Now, that’s high level influence.

It was after all this that later he was labelled by the new king as a man who could SOLVE DIFFICULT PROBLEMS in chapter 5:16. The critical question is: What’s your resolution / action points after reading all this?

Please leave your comments below this article.

Live. Love. Lead.


Samuel A. Bakutana is the Chief Executive Officer at Inspired Leaders International. His telephone is: +256782163416 and you can interact with him via Twitter: @SamuelBakutana / @InspiredLead


Today morning, Christine my dear friend and fellow leader, posted on a platform we both fondly belong to, saying:

“Good morning friends. We give thanks to God for the gift of another day and brethren who freely give of what [He has] endowed them with.”

That last statement caught my attention: “…and brethren who freely give of what [He has] endowed them with.” This was in reference to a number of members on the platform who daily share a lot of positive messages, make informed discussions and offer great wisdom.

Today, choose to be that person who understands the following in general (plus the examples in practice after these points below):

  • Blessings multiply when shared, not hoarded or hidden.
  • You can’t give a smile while frowning. The more you choose to give someone a smile, the more you send away an angry face from your own.

  • You can’t hug someone from a distance. When you hug, you are hugged… and a hug brings you closer to someone in many ways.

  • You don’t spray some perfume on others without getting some drops on yourself.

  • The very way we have consequences for doing wrong, is the very way there are consequences for doing right. Do right, give, help – and leave your gain to be taken care of by consequences! (My dear friend Lady Precious rightly suggests I use the word “rewards” instead of “consequences”. Next time I will!)

In practice, therefore:
🍏 Whenever you join a group, club or association, focus on what you’re going to contribute there. Leave what you’re likely to receive to consequences of your contribution.
🍏 For a marriage to work, focus on how you can make every day a phenomenal experience for your spouse, and leave the rest to consequences!
🍏 In a business you’ve established, put emphasis on how to serve the customer to the best of your ability, exceeding their expectations, and let consequences bring repeat customers, earn you referrals and beautify your income statement!
🍏 When you choose to belong to that Worship Team at your local church, remember to focus on the value, service and exquisiteness you’re bringing to the ministry, and let the God you serve excellently manufacture the consequences!

🍏 As a citizen of your country, don’t stop at asking your leaders what they’re doing for you. While leaders have responsibilities, other citizens who follow do have obligations too. Focus on doing your part of the bargain and surely, there will be positive consequences for you.

In conclusion:
🔹 Elevate your passion for giving above your hunger for getting.
🔹 Blessings multiply when shared, not hidden.
🔹 You can’t give a smile while frowning.
🔹 When you give a hug, you are receiving one.
🔹 When you spray some perfume on others, you get some drops on yourself.
🔹 So do right, and leave your gain to be taken care of by consequences! (Oh, rewards!)
🔹Givers are getters by natural consequence.

Even for reading this message this far (or forwarding it to as many people in your contacts as possible), there are consequences! 😄

Live. Love. Lead.


Samuel A. Bakutana
Chief Executive Officer

Inspired Leaders International
Twitter: @SamuelBakutana / @InspiredLead

Empowered Leaders, Transformed Nations.

What do YOU #Believe? Here’s mine. – Samuel A. #Bakutana


I strongly believe I am more than capable of causing exponential, positive change wherever I find a fitting platform, helping many to breakthrough in life — the only reason why I believe in others, often reminding them thus: #YouWillManage!


I do believe I can unstoppably germinate in whichever soil I land on – be it rocky or loam. I truly believe, just like an eagle, that I can always successfully soar above the storms of my life regardless of the at times tough turbulence along the flight.


I undoubtedly believe I am being very useful to this earth, udeniably beneficial to my country, and progressively profitable to my family. I, without debate, believe I am an intelligent, handsome, sociable, inspiring, multi-gifted, loving, empathetic, principled, bold, multi-skilled, observant, and visionary results producer.


I believe I am intentionally touching many lives of young adults, deliberately making a focused difference among thousands of leaders, and affecting the affairs of millions of professionals on my continent… and beyond. I believe I can excel in my work, be exceptional in my faith, and produce outstanding results in my treasured relationships!


I believe I am the most effective leadership consultant, the best organizational trainer, and the most practical inspirational speaker from East Africa alive today. I believe I can make very many mistakes and learn many lessons from them; I can fail several times and succeed from it all; and I have the ability to fall many times but rise up more times each time!

Samuel-Do not give up.png

I do really believe I was born at the very right time, in exactly the right country, to do the right work of my life: this blood-warming work of empowering and inspiring leaders through training and resource development for personal, institutional and social transformation. I believe I have the hard but possible task of living an exemplary life, the responsibility of loving people authentically and the noble duty of leading myself and others relationally!

[Live. Love. Lead.]


I believe this year is going to be ridiculously amazing, next year is going to be exquisitely productive, and the year that follows is going to be exceptionally profitable. I believe I add a lot of unrivalled value in the lives of those in my life, a friend worth keeping for those I choose to be friends to, remaining humble as I grow stronger at all fronts.

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I believe I am a believer: a thinking believer in commonsense, a fruitful believer in relationships, a repentant believer in Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Yes. I believe I can be (and I going to be known by the end of my life as) a very loving husband, a responsible dad, and an influential citizen.


I believe. I believe. I believe.

Samuel A. Bakutana
Chief Executive Officer,
Inspired Leaders International
P.O. Box 12844, Kampala
Twitter: @SamuelBakutana / @InspiredLead

10 #Mentoring QuestionsEveryone Needs to Answer – #Bakutana

Today I read a piece in which a mentor and mentee had an encouraging conversation. I felt compelled to ask you some 10 simple but serious questions:


1. UNDERSTANDING: Do you know the difference between a mentor, coach, trainer, counsellor, teacher and consultant? Or do you just throw around any “title” / label of your choice to whoever you choose?

2. YIELDING: Do YOU as an individual have a MENTOR in YOUR life to whom you yield or you glide through life by trial-and-error?

3. PURSUIT: Do you truly seek out and hungrily pursue your mentor or he/she has to do this instead as if he/she is forcing himself/herself onto you?


4. TEACHABILITY: Do you have a teachable heart and an open mind that would humbly allow you to learn from your mentor or all you do is trying to either impress or prove to him/her that you are “equally smart”?

5. OPENNESS: Do you honestly and frequently open up to your mentor so that yours can be an authentic, real and friendly relationship or you’re a specialist in masking your life, pretending about many things in your life, and hiding life’s struggles from him/her?


6. LOYALTY: Do you obey your mentor in all right things and follow through the “steps” or assignments he/she may give you or when you leave his/her presence, life remains as usual until the next “cosmetic, directionless meeting”?

7. INTENTION: Do you have the right, godly and genuine intentions of being mentored to another level of personal growth or you only want to be associated with him/her name just for selfish, prestige issues? You hear someone proudly asking, “Oh you didn’t know that H.E. The President is my mentor? Well, he is!” Okay, so what? What’s your intention?


8. SYMBIOSIS: Do you also find as many creative ways as possible to be helpful to your mentor in simple ways, as a simple indication that you treasure the relationship? For example do you pray for him/her?

9. GRATITUDE: Do you ever directly appreciate your mentor so that he/she inwardly gets to know that you’re thankful for him/her sharing his/her wisdom, giving you access to his/her precious time, and being generous with his/her other tangible and intangible resources?


10. REPRODUCTION: Are you also investing in other people as a mentored mentor so that as you grow, you also keep helping others to grow? Or all you’re interested in is your own progress? Are there others who look up to you and can call you their mentor?

VUCA Manage Lead (2).jpg

I wouldn’t mind getting your answers to the above via whatsapp number +256782163416 or Twitter handle: @SamuelBakutana / @InspiredLead. Kindly forwarding this now to all your wished-well contacts and letting them equally think through this reflection is a mark of honour. My friend Barbara Katende says, “If you’re on earth and have no coach, you’ve already failed.” Well, I add: if you’re reading this and you can’t point to someone’s mentorship in your life at present, you’ve already hindered the maximization of your full potential. Over to you now!

Live. Love. Lead.


Samuel A. Bakutana
Chief Executive Officer
Inspired Leaders International

Telephone: +256782163416

Twitter: @SamuelBakutana / @InspiredLead

“Empowered Leaders, Transformed Nations.”

Leaders in Life Dream Big!

Will you bring out the best of you or die average? Will you dream big – just like leaders in every endeavour? There is something better than “three keys” – a key for the car, a key for the office, and a key for the personal house! There is more to life than a vacation, a debt-free retirement, or an army of grand children. There is more to life!

Big dreams-1b44003c0ebf766802ef8ca10f948c43.jpgTo Dream Or To Have A Dream? I meet dreamless people in my travels in different countries! But also, we often confuse mere dreamers and people with dreams! Dreamers talk much and do less; those with dreams may talk less but do much. Dreamers shout thunderously and hit an ant! They hatch up earth-shaking plans but act on none. In contrast, people with dreams may say nothing or say something without fanfare but if you observe, you see their dreams strongly in motion, affecting those around them.

Understanding Your Dream: A dream is a powerful force. I have often referred to a dream as three things:

  • A treasure you shouldn’t lose
  • A test you shouldn’t fail
  • A trust you shouldn’t betray

Great men are stirred up by their dreams. Martin Luther died because of his dream. Mother Teresa is known for her dream. I am daily stirred up by my Vision Plan 2050 – a simple yet inspiring embodiment of sweet dreams in my heart. I take the dream seriously and ignore discouragers. But every day, I wake up and go out to make it happen.

your dream - Les Brown.pngYour Dream is Your Life: A dream lost is destiny foregone. Losing the dream in your relationship is losing the relationship itself. Lose your business dream, and your business is lost. Lose faith in your country, and you have lost the country! Lose your marriage dream, and your marriage is gone! Your dream is your life. It is God’s deposit of greatness, service and a huge difference inside you!

So, be purpose-filled, dream-obsessed, and vision-consumed. Don’t ask people to wish you a good night. Instead, look back every evening and see a day well invested into your dream. George H. Lorimer said, “You have got to get up every morning with determination if you are going to go to bed with satisfaction.” Invest your days into your dreams.

follow-your-dreams.jpgBelieve Your Mind, Not Your Eyes! I too have a dream. I don’t consult my eyes. What I look at is what is but what I see in my mind is what could be. I go for what I see with my eyes closed. Today’s circumstances make me want to lose energy, dampen my spirit, and lose my courage for the pursuit. But I stubbornly insist on my dream. I ignore the voluntary discouragers who demand no payment for pouring ice on my dream!

So, carry on, like Robert Service says. If you are to live, live for something big. Give up who you are today and go for who you could be. To lead, get dreams big enough to shake mountains, pull Heaven and change Earth. Act on them now. Every day, look back to a day well invested into your dream. Remember, today is the remaining day of your life; tomorrow may never be yours. Invest it in your dream today. Don’t settle for second best today. This is my story. This is my song. This is my belief. Why don’t you join in the orchestra, and let us harmonize life beautifully?

I hope you have already secured your copies of my latest book “YOU WILL MANAGE: The 7 Keys to a Life of Perpetual Victory, Unstoppable Success and Doing Impossibilities.”


| Live | Love | Lead |

Samuel A. Bakutana is Africa’s foremost Leadership, Business and Education Consultant; Inspirational Key-note Speaker; and Personal Development Author of 10 books (the 11th comes out this month). As a regular Inspirational Keynote Public Speaker on national and international platforms, he delivered 98 electrifying talks in 2012, 164 in 2013, 191 in 2014, 171 in 2015, and he already given more than 182 inspirational, high-impact presentations in 2016 to a diversity of result-oriented audiences in public and private sectors – e.g. faith centres, education institutions, government, multi-national NGOs, etc!???????????????????????????????????? Follow Samuel A. Bakutana on:Facebook ( , Twitter (, LinkedIn (, Skillpages ( or blog ( To book him for your next event, send an email now to or call +256782163416 for immediate feedback. You are blessed beyond measure; so fly like an eagle!



What is your dream? How far are you ready to go so as to achieve it?

On earth, people who achieve are pushed forward by perseverance – hanging in there and refusing to give up until they see success. Many rarely emphasize or focus on it enough. Just like many others, I have personally had to persevere amidst many things in my leadership, business and relationships journey. Those who lead the pack do not bow down to situations. If it was for bowing down, some great names in history would not be known today. But they refused to give up and thus excelled in different fields we now know them for. Below are just a few examples for your encouragement and inspiration today:


NGS68272 Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), 1822 by Raeburn, Sir Henry (1756-1823); 76.2x63.5 cm; Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland; REPRODUCTION PERMISSION REQUIRED; Scottish, out of copyright PLEASE NOTE: The Bridgeman Art Library works with the owner of this image to clear permission. If you wish to reproduce this image, please inform us so we can clear permission for you.

Sir Walter Scott: He survived childhood polio which left him lame. During the banking crisis in London and Edinburgh in 1825 and 1826, the Ballantyne printing business, in which he was heavily invested, crashed, resulting in his public ruin. But he did not declare himself bankrupt. He did not even accept monetary help from admirers. Instead, in his persistence, he placed his house and income in a trust belonging to his creditors, and determined to write his way out of debt. To cut the long story short, if I was to write an epitaph for him, I would say: “Here lies the novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world during his time, the first English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many readers in Europe, Australia, and North America – a man who persevered through it all.” You too should persist if you are to achieve. After all, you can.


john-bunyanJohn Bunyan: At 30, he was arrested for preaching without a license; re-arrested on 12 November 1660, while preaching privately in Lower Samsell; briefly released for a few weeks in 1666 before being re-arrested for preaching and sent back to Bedford Gaol, for a further six years. But he persisted. Brought to court to plead his case, he said, “If you release me today, I will preach tomorrow” and he was imprisoned again – but he persisted. In fact, it was during his prison time that he wrote his very famous novel: The Pilgrim’s Progress. His perseverance put his name on around 30 literary works most of which have continued to enjoy worldwide readership, especially Pilgrim’s Progress. I enjoy the film that was made out of that book. He persevered. Amidst physical, financial, emotional, or social prisons, you need to persevere so as to achieve. You can.


abraham-lincolnAbraham Lincoln: Born in 1809 in a one-room log cabin in Kentucky, he was raised up in abject poverty. Lincoln was mostly self-educated. He braved his poor background and ambitiously advanced through life. Today, we know him as the 16th President of the US who led the country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis, while ending slavery and promoting economic modernization. His Gettysburg Address of 1863 became one of the most quoted speeches in American history. He persevered – and he achieved a lot. Even if you come from a poor background; even if you’re born in a one-room “self-contained” hut; even if you struggle to pay for your education; persevere and keep going. You could be the next Lincoln.


glenn-cunninghamGlenn Cunningham: At 8, his legs were burned in a schoolhouse fire. Doctors wanted to amputate them but his parents refused. Doctors predicted he might never walk normally again. He had lost all the flesh on his knees and shins. Toes on his left foot were gone. His transverse arch was destroyed. It was nasty – but he persevered! He had a positive attitude and a strong religious faith, his beloved Bible verse being Isaiah 40:31. Years later, Cunningham won the Sullivan medal in 1933 for his running achievements in middle distance; came 4th in the 1500m in the 1932 Olympics; took silver in the 1500 meters in the 1936 Berlin Olympics; set the world record for the mile run at 4:06.8 in 1934 which record stood for 3 years; set the world record in the 800m run in 1936; set another in the indoor mile run of 4:04.4 in 1938; and retired from competition in 1940. Today, he’s known as America’s greatest miler of all time, with a park named after him in his hometown of Elkhart, Kansas. He was not the most intelligent; he just persevered through his storms.  Even if you encounter a terrible situation that attempts to shutter your life, do not give up. You too can specialize in setting world records!


ludwig-van-beethovenLudwig Van Beethoven: While at High School, during my Music lessons, I studied about Ludwig Van Beethoven the German composer and pianist. Around 1796, he began to lose his hearing. He severely suffered from tinnitus, a “ringing” in his ears that made it hard for him to perceive and appreciate music. He even avoided conversation because his condition was severe. At the end of the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned around to see the turbulent applause of the audience. Hearing nothing, he wept – but persevered and kept a passion for music. He even continued to compose, conduct, and perform, even after becoming completely deaf! He really persevered and deserves our remembrance as an achiever. Even if you get a heavy attack in the area of your greatest passion, gifting or talent, simply persevere. What looks like the end of the road is just a bend that continues into the infinite distance!


11 Nov 1936, London, England, UK --- Original caption: 11/11/1936-London, England- Miss. Marian Anderson, American negro contralto, is pictured a she arrived at Victoria Station here to keep an engagement at famed Queen's Hall. Miss Anderson was once told by the Great Toscannini, "A voice like yours is heard once in a hundred years." --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Miss Anderson was once told by the Great Toscannini, “A voice like yours is heard once in a hundred years.” — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Marian Anderson: Her family was so poor that they did not afford to send her to high school. At 12, her father died of heart failure and her grandfather a born slave also died few months later. After some time, her church members sponsored her to join high school. When she came out and applied to an all-white music school in Philadelphia, she was turned away because she was black – but she persevered. She became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the US. With the help of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, she performed a highly praised open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. She worked for several years as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and became a “goodwill ambassadress” for the US Department of State, receiving many awards: Presidential Medal of Freedom (1963), the Kennedy Center Honors (1978), the National Medal of Arts (1986), and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1991). Whether you are despised by multitudes or lose your loved ones, do not sit back and give up. Rise up and pursue your dreams. Persevere.



A person of perseverance will proceed unhindered by any obstacles. The stumbling blocks of life will be surprised when you turn them into stepping stones into a better life! Ted Engstrom summarizes such persistence in a moving style:

Cripple him, and you have a Sir Walter Scott. Lock him in a prison cell, and you have a John Bunyan. Bury him in the snows of Valley Forge, and you have a George Washington. Raise him in abject poverty and you have an Abraham Lincoln. Strike him down with infantile paralysis, and he becomes Franklin Roosevelt. Burn him so severely that the doctors say he’ll never walk again, and you have a Glenn Cunningham — who set the world’s one mile record in 1934. Deafen him and you have a Ludwig van Beethoven. Have him or her born black in a society filled with racial discrimination, and you have a Booker T. Washington, a Marian Anderson, a George Washington Carver. Call him a slow learner, “retarded,” and write him off as uneducable, and you have an Albert Einstein.


| Live | Love | Lead |


Samuel A. Bakutana is Africa’s foremost Leadership, Business and Education Consultant; Inspirational Key-note Speaker; and Personal Development Author of 10 books (the 11th comes out this month). As a regular Inspirational Keynote Public Speaker on national and international platforms, he delivered 98 electrifying talks in 2012, 164 in 2013, 191 in 2014, 171 in 2015, and he already given more than 171 inspirational, high-impact presentations between January and the start of December 2016 to a diversity of result-oriented audiences in public and private sectors – e.g. faith centres, education institutions, government, multi-national NGOs, etc!???????????????????????????????????? Follow Samuel A. Bakutana on:Facebook ( , Twitter (, LinkedIn (, Skillpages ( or blog ( To book him for your next event, send an email now to or call +256782163416 for immediate feedback. You are blessed beyond measure; so fly like an eagle!



fat-head_cropped-300x275Recently, I moderated a business event where 10 CEOs shared serious nuggets of wisdom in Kampala, Uganda. Mrs. Geraldine Ssali Busulwa, the Deputy Managing Director of Uganda’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) who was one of the ten said: If it really works as you say it does, why hasn’t it worked in your own life? That-was-a-billion-shillings-question to the audience! Wasn’t it? You know where this leads us to? Why doesn’t our accumulated knowledge produce visible positive changes in our life?

Does this somehow sound like it’s about you? Now I ask: What will it profit a man/woman if the head is fat with knowledge but the hands are deficient of skilful action and the heart is bankrupt from a lack of honesty, tenacity and persistence to make the dream come true? Pracitce what you preach.jpgHere is a simple rule of life: As you learn, teach. As you teach, practice. As you practise, learn. And let the cycle continue: learn > teach > practise > learn > teach > practise > learn > teach > practise > learn > teach > practise. But most of all, ensure that in the equation of your life, there is that one word: PRACTISE. That is what makes the difference. My friend Joan Mugenzi of Imagine Me Africa rightly put it recently:

“Truth is, in the corporate world, we have many tools we master at head level. We teach others who apply the tools and thrive while all we do is wait for the paycheck. Friends, whatever dreams you have, you already have the tools. Sometimes what you need is an independent coach walking the journey with you. Dare to find a coach who will challenge you to the core. Find a coach who will ask you empowering questions. By the time you are through with the process you will have clear applicable strategies that will set you moving.”

So, let us again put it bluntly: IF IT WORKS AS YOU SAY, PRACTISE IT SO THAT THE WORLD WILL SEE IT IN YOUR LIFE. That is our leadership challenge of this hour.

Kindly let me know what you think this. Just remember, #YouWillManage. Let us keep “Inspiring transformational, exemplary and authentic leadership worldwide.”


| Live | Love | Lead |


Samuel A. Bakutana is Africa’s foremost Leadership, Business and Education Consultant; Inspirational Key-note Speaker; and Personal Development Author of 10 books (the 11th comes out this month). As a regular Inspirational Keynote Public Speaker on national and international platforms, he delivered 98 electrifying talks in 2012, 164 in 2013, 191 in 2014, 171 in 2015, and he already given more than 171 inspirational, high-impact presentations between January and the start of December 2016 to a diversity of result-oriented audiences in public and private sectors – e.g. faith centres, education institutions, government, multi-national NGOs, etc!???????????????????????????????????? Follow Samuel A. Bakutana on:Facebook ( , Twitter (, LinkedIn (, Skillpages ( or blog ( To book him for your next event, send an email now to or call +256782163416 for immediate feedback. You are blessed beyond measure; so fly like an eagle!


The Simplest KQP-Approach to Real Success

As I write this post, today, it is July 1st. In just 8 days, my daughter Petra makes 5 years. As I calmly had a chat with my best friend – Charity K. Bakutana​ – this morning, we agreed not to talk about it until that day comes because once we talk about it in her hearing, birthday celebrations will have to begin immediately – TODAY! A huge success lesson is hidden herein as I will expose down this piece.

074In fact, yesterday, our friend Estar Chozen​ came home and asked Petra about her birthday to which she responded, “9th July.” Good enough (to me the one to foot the celebration bill!), she doesn’t know WHEN that date will be. But just after saying that, she started a movie-like imaginative narrative of what she will do on that long-awaited day: “I will get a big cake, a big knife, and a big plate. Then I will count 3 and cut it. I will put the shining thing in my head and celebrate. I have grownnnnnnnnnnn! I am no longer a baby. I am a big girl. Not so daddy?”

Of course, I had to bow and agree that she was now a big 5-year-old girl, not a baby – at least for the sake of peace in the home! Well, at the end of it all, 3 powerful lessons for a life of success pop up – lessons I have personally learnt and are happy to be practising as often as possible:

1. KNOWLEDGE: The only way not to get what you want is to keep ignorant about it. 144Blessed are the ignorant for they don’t know what they are missing! I have taught her to be a reader already and she knows very well… Just ask her the next time you meet her: “Petra what do you get when you read books?” I bet she will answer: “Power in your head!” That is it indeed! Leaders are readers and readers end up becoming leaders.
2. QUESTIONING: The best way to tickle your imagination is to face questions. Questions – whet028her from people or yourself – create a knowledge gap which triggers all the creative buds in your mind to start the process of discovery and creative thinking. Petra is heavy laden with questions. Every now and again, she has a question about everything – questions about the bulb on the ceiling, the cat in the compound, and the motorcycle by the roadside; questions about the chair in the sitting room, the pillow on the bed, and the paper bin near daddy’s study table; questions about the purple tie, the blue flask, and the white plates; questions about the big book, the tall pen, and the huge stamp. She will ask and ask and ask until you are dried up of every type, colour and size of answer! (I am only worried that school may suffocate this curiosity… but I will keep arousing it as much as I can.)
3. PASSION: The most effective way to have words flow from your mouth is to talk 592about what you love. It is like when you do what your heart enjoys; you will no longer complain about additional time, fight for a salary increase or think of going for vacation. The very work you do becomes more of a hobby and a vacation all the time. When Petra starts to dance or sing or play her guitar (she saved 36,000 and I donated 3,000 to make it 40,000 with which she bought her small beloved guitar), she does so with a height of passion that even Mt. Everest cannot rival. When she starts to write, she can show you that she is able to write with both hands at once in the same book and produce writing worth giving attention to. That is passion!

So, ask me what the formula for success is… and, while I may not give you a full equation, I can kick-start you with the “KQP Approach”:
a) – Knowledge: Be as informed in your field of interest as a woman is informed about what goes on in the home of her co-wife… and jealously yearn to get more information, for “My people perish because of lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6);
b) – Questioning: Don’t evade questions; instead face them to make your mind salivate with imagination, for listening and asking questions are two greatest hallmarks of the wise.IMG_6653
c) – Passion: Do what you are already enthusiastic about or else throw enthusiasm in what you are already doing.

And of course, when you find Petra with her dolls and everything she uses to write, read, and play, that is when you know how serious she is about her own type of success!


To your success,

“Inspiring transformational, exemplary and authentic leadership worldwide.”

Samuel A. Bakutana is Africa’s foremost Leadership, Business and Education Consultant; Motivational Key-note Speaker; and Personal Development Author of 8 books. He gave 98 invigorating talks in 2012, 164 in 2013, 191 in 2014, and has already given 102 inspiring presentations ever since the year begun (January – July 1, 2015). Follow Samuel A. Bakutana on: Facebook (, Twitter (, LinkedIn (, Skillpages ( or blog ( To book him for your next event, send an email now to or call +256782163416 for immediate feedback. You are blessed beyond measure; so fly like an eagle!

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