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Mentoring: An Empowering Virtuous Circle

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As the world has developed, the chorus of the need for leaders to give back to today’s youth has shifted from an indiscernible background hum to a tuneful melody played on every online streaming service in various ways. Interestingly, this outcry is irrespective of gender, race or wealth across the world. The anthropologists out there have helped us put a name to this generation – I think we call them Gen Z, or maybe it is Gen Y? I am still working that out! I genuinely believe that what is missing is mentoring.

Where do I start with such an important idea? Perhaps it will be best if I reflect on my own growth journey to make my case.

I recall sitting in front of this man, soaking in everything he said, with only one question on my mind: why didn’t I do this sooner? I was a wide-eyed young banker and had just been given my first project. It is important to mention that I was straight from Business School in the 1990s, keen and confident in my abilities. However, I was humble enough to discuss my thoughts with a senior colleague. My colleague was a master professional; just listening to him was like diving into a well of wisdom. Through his experiences, from leadership to team dynamics, the advice he gave was a true eye-opener for me. They say, “once you have seen, you cannot unsee”, and I had just gone from viewing in fuzzy black and white to Ultra HD. It was like hitting the jackpot!

I am sure you are wondering if this was the “inception moment” of a long, fruitful mentor-mentee dynamic. No, that did not happen. Instead, I just began to view in Ultra HD and recognised the value of diversity, perspective and constructive criticism. Although I did not know it at the time, this experience showed me how valuable it is to receive as a mentee and give back as a mentor.

Building Butterflies – No Substitute for Hardwork or Experience

A story is told of a well-meaning boy who observed the struggles of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. Curious and kind, he chose to free it by gently cutting open the tightly wound casing. What he expected to be a resounding triumph of cooperation between humans and nature, to his horror, turned out to be precisely the opposite. The creature that came out resembled nothing like the beautiful work of art that flutters by in nature. This one was wiggly, stunted and had tiny wings. It hobbled on the ground, unable to fly and fulfil its true potential.

Nature, as we are increasingly becoming aware, has value embedded in every experience. In this case, the butterfly builds the strength it needs to fly by struggling, sometimes desperately, out of its cocoon. I am sure there is a catchphrase amongst the butterfly community: no struggle, no flight. Unfortunately, the empathetic boy, who identified with the struggle of another living thing and wanted to help, had inadvertently deprived it of the very thing it needed.

Mentorship can be, and usually is, a great help, but it is no substitute for hard work or experience. For clarity view in Ultra HD, it is not about getting quick answers to the test or challenge faced but to see and understand for oneself how perseverance can lead to success. Great mentors acknowledge that challenges are vital to the development of leaders, and whilst offering support, they do not interfere with the process of growth.

Much has been written over the years about mentorship, from definitions to famous examples of successful mentorships. So, allow me a slightly different path; let me share how in my experience, the virtuous circle of mentorship is a two-way street, full of lessons for both mentor and mentee.

I have learnt, both as a mentee and mentor, that the relationship thrives on shared vulnerability. Being open with a person, especially those more junior to you, exposes some of your less desirable traits, which can be incredibly challenging. However, remember, you are helping someone to see more clearly and to look at the clearer picture with greater depth and understanding. With this style of mentorship, your mentee will undoubtedly see your rough edges and patches. However, vulnerability is not a weakness. I firmly contend that professional vulnerability is an increasingly important strength in leaders today. I believe that honesty in any thriving mentorship relationship makes both the mentor and mentee better. So, in order to help the Gen X’s, or Gen Z’s get to grips with the grounded picture of reality, here are a few of my stories that I hope will resonate and inspire.

The growth paradox

I have learnt from mentors, open enough to share their experience with me, the errors they made in their journey to the top. At the risk of looking less impressive, they shared their missteps, their regrets and most importantly, what they would have done differently. Nobody gets to the top without making mistakes. It takes being secure in your abilities and your own journey to bring a trusted junior into your professional inner circle and give them a peek behind the curtain. Let us pause for a moment and imagine the value of that conversation to the mentee, to see a revered leader talk about how they had failed. Practically, they have just gained years of wisdom in a fraction of the time. Emotionally, formatively, the mentee becomes less critical of themselves and more accepting of their mistakes. Their challenges are part of their journey (remember the butterfly) and thus a learning experience. Success is built on the foundation of lessons learned from decisions that did not work out. Mentees learn to fail fast, succeed faster, and thus, move forward and upward. That is the paradox of growth.

A mirror that is a window to the future

Similarly, mentorship allows the mentor to see how far they have come. I recall times, often very vividly, in places that I had closed off, when I had to deal with many challenging situations. I led teams comprising of colleagues older than me. I managed egos of young and ambitious professionals who had attended the best schools, gotten the best grades and were constantly consuming articles on billion-dollar startups and million-dollar bonuses and therefore did not see the need to listen to me. There were moments where I felt so overwhelmed, but I drew on my inner strength and just like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon, I pulled through. The new skills I learnt, the competencies I built, the hard work it took, have made me a better, more empathetic leader.

In all of this, the mentee is given hope to keep keeping on. They recognise that their leaders did not just magically appear; like them, their journey was fraught with many a banana skin. Through a mentor-mentee relationship, the mentee is helped to navigate the sometimes-choppy waters of the corporate world, and in so doing, they become more empowered to pass their own lessons on to others. The virtuous circle builds mentor and mentee, and the next generation all stand to benefit together.

 

 

 

Time is Priceless

Throughout our journey, we constantly need to go back to the basics. Our return to the fundamentals keeps us grounded. It is these same principles that guide the next generation of leaders. What changes, however, are the “ology’s” (technology, methodology and psychology). The mentor is investing in the future by passing these principles onto their mentee. The mentee takes the base principle, applies the current “ology”, and repackages it appropriate for a generation. The more leaders embrace professional vulnerability and pour themselves into their juniors in a relationship built on trust, the more things improve over time.

By virtue of age, mentees are often more adept at the technology that makes life and work easier. Learning solid and time-tested principles enables the mentee to stand firm on what works while finding more empowered ways to achieve the same thing. Time is a priceless constant, and by learning the ideologies (another “ology”) of today’s leaders, tomorrow’s decision-makers do not reinvent the wheel but use it as a basis for things appropriate to their time that we are yet to imagine.

 

Here today, further tomorrow

If mentoring is giving back to enrich others and the world around us, will you reach out to bring along a junior colleague? Will you find a mentor yourself today? As we pour ourselves into the lives of others, we will see ourselves grow, the next generation mature, and the whole world blossom just a little bit more. “He that watereth shall be watered also himself.”

 

The writer is Abena Osei-Poku, Managing Director of Absa Bank Ghana.

 

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Johnnie Walker headlines Exclusive Men of the Year (EMY) Africa Awards

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Johnnie Walker, Ghana’s number one iconic whisky brand has headlined the much-anticipated Exclusive Men of the Year Africa Awards (EMY Africa Awards), held at Kempinski Hotel in Accra on 16th October, 2021.

The EMY Africa Awards is a prestigious award ceremony that was established in 2015 to honor and celebrate individuals who have demonstrated good values, distinguished themselves in their diverse fields of endeavor and are committed to societal progress.

As the title sponsor of the awards, Guinness Ghana, a Diageo Company, custodians of the Johnnie Walker brand, had the sole honor of presenting the coveted Man of the Year Award to Mr Daniel McKorley, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of McDan Group of Companies, with a personalized bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, the scotch of all scotch.

Speaking at the event, Lesego Lebogang Mohale, Category Marketing Manager (International Premium Spirits, Reserve, Mainstream Spirits &RTDs), Guinness Ghana said, “What Johnnie Walker stands for is pushing boundaries in the pursuit of collective progress. We are inspired by individuals who have emotional drive and optimism to keep walking. People who are stepping beyond the usual to create and pursue something better to make life richer for All. This partnership with the EMY Awards gives us an opportunity to celebrate these individuals who are reaching for greatness, pushing boundaries and taking bold steps forward”.

Johnnie Walker is Ghana’s number one Whisky brand, and the most widely distributed brand of blended Scotch whisky in the world. It is perfect for moments of celebration and a luxurious gift for occasions big and small. Drink responsibly. Johnnie Walker is not recommended to persons under 18 and pregnant women.

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Enjoy Exciting Deals and Offers this October from HUAWEI

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Huawei is offering you amazing deals when you buy any of these Huawei products. Buy a Y5p, Band 6, Freebuds 4i or a Watch Fit and enjoy instant gifts ranging from Mini Portable fans, Huawei Pens, Stainless Steel Bottles and Gift Boxes.

Buy Y5p and Get a beautiful customized Huawei Pen

 

With a 5.45-inch HD bezel-less FullView Display, HUAWEI Y5p offers an immersive viewing experience. Its compact body is ideal for single-hand operation, allowing you to grab the splendid enjoyment in your hand and discover more wonders, all wrapped in one wide screen. Get the Huawei Y5p now for GHS 599

Buy Band 6 and Get a mini portable fan

 

Keeping track of your heart rate is one of the best things you can do for your fitness and health as you go by your daily activities. The TruSeen™ 4.0 heart rate monitoring technology on the Huawei Band 6 uses an optical lens and AI-based data processing to accurately monitor your heart rate 24 hours a day. Be alerted instantly when your heart rate drops below or rises above safe levels. With just GHS 359 you can still maintain a healthy lifestyle on a budget with Huawei Band 6.

Buy  Freebuds 4i and Get a stainless steel bottle

 

You don’t have to take off your earbuds to let in the ambient sound and communicate with others easily. With Huawei Freebuds 4i, just press the earbud and hold down to switch to Awareness Mode. The sensors in HUAWEI FreeBuds 4i actively detect and reduce ambient noise.

HUAWEI FreeBuds 4i also has remarkable endurance. It can play music for 10 hours continuously on a full charge and also gives you 4 hours’ audio enjoyment from a 10-minute charge – perfect when you’re in a hurry. For only GHS 429 you can grab yourself a Freebuds 4i.

Buy Huawei Watch Fit and get a gift box

 

Going about our daily activities at our various workplaces can be stressful. HUAWEI TruRelax™ technology and all-day stress tracking algorithm can effectively monitor your stress levels to see if you are feeling tense. Try to follow the suggested guided breathing exercises to release your stress when you are stressed out.

HUAWEI WATCH FIT is also the perfect smartwatch that blends technology with fashion.  With just GHS 569 you can match your fashion style whilst keeping fit with this smart watch.

 

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How a young, underprivileged boy from Asamankese is changing the narrative with Electric Cars in Ghana

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From the humble streets of Asamankese in the Eastern region of Ghana, not many would have predicted that George (Jorge) Appiah will one day grow to become a colossus in engineering in Africa to the extent of creating significant change not only in the lives of family members, but also several others through job creation.

The story of the technopreneur, as he chooses to call himself, is one of determination, perseverance and hope.

“I didn’t get the best of privileges in terms of access to necessities like electricity. I had to grow up without electricity. Had to learn with candles and lanterns to study …My first encounter with a computer was at Pope Johns and it was quite an experience. At the end though I ended up being one of the top IT guys even though I had never seen a computer before,” he said to Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng on the business edition of 21 minutes with KKB.

After enduring several years of hardship, including a lack of access to electricity for a significant part of his childhood, Jorge decided to pursue a career in engineering, all in a bid to provide electricity for his grandmother.

“I was committed to being an electrical engineer because of my experience – I was committed in finding a sustainable solution that one day I will be providing electricity to my grandmum, because of that I felt like the field of engineering would give me that better opportunity to do so,” he said.

In following that passion and commitment, Jorge and some colleagues of his at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology ended up piloting a number of ideas including the building of space balloons, drones, etc. at a time when many were grappling with the transition from black and white televisions to colour televisions in the West African country, Ghana.

“We built some space balloons to fly satellites into space taking data, we built our first drone in 2013 when people in Ghana didn’t even know what a drone was. We were just innovating for fun. It got to a point we realized that we had to take the innovations to the market because anytime we went for exhibitions, we were only taking fans [and no money]. It had gotten to the point where people from the community were graduating and needed jobs and other things so we started Kumasi Hive.”

With a background in wind energy, biofuel and biogas, it wouldn’t be long for Jorge to get the needed funding from the mastercard foundation to start an assembly plant in Ghana. The focus was to assemble bicycles, motorbikes and even cars powered by electricity – and he’s doing this with a workforce of which 90% are women.

Watch the full story of Jorge Appiah in this interview with Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng on 21 minutes with KKB.

The Business edition of 21 minutes with KKB is produced in partnership with MTN Business and First National Bank Ghana and aims to tell the inspiring stories of agents of change in Ghana today.

Source: Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng | 21 minutes with KKB

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How Long Is A Football Pitch – 7 Interesting Facts About Pitches

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You play the beautiful game, you watch the beautiful game, you bet on the beautiful game, but do you know the ins and outs of the pitch of the beautiful game? Listen, there’s no shame in not knowing. We spent many years, none the wiser to the specifics and quirky facts surrounding the playing surface of football. We are here to give you 7 interesting facts about pitches and find out burning questions like just how long is a football pitch?

 

Fact 1 – How long is a football pitch?

Let’s start off with something more people should know but something a lot of people do not. The dimensions of the pitch. FIFA allows different sizes with touchlines to be within 90-120m long and goal lines to be within 45-90m wide. The different size can be used by teams to play varying styles of the game and is an interesting tactical advantage for some teams, something to consider when you are sticking a wager on Betfair’s latest offer.

 

Fact 2 – You don’t have to play on grass

Whilst traditionally football is played on grass, a lot of lower level teams are now adopting the use of highly technological artificial grass to save the groundskeeper bill. Artificial grass is also used in climates where it can be really hard to maintain grass. The things that are necessary are for the grass, real or artificial, to be green and to comply with the FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf.

 

Fact 3 – Penalty box ‘D’

Whilst many know that the penalty box in football is for the designated area of where a goalkeeper can handle the ball and where if a foul occurs, the team gets a penalty, but what is the ‘D’ attached to the box for? This addition to the box is actually an extension to the exclusion zone of opposition players when one team is taking a penalty kick.

 

4- Goal dimensions – ideal for next time you are utilising some BTTS betting tips

Whilst the pitch sizes can differ from arena to arena, the goal dimensions must be the same wherever you go. This means the goal posts must be 8 yards apart and the crossbar must be 8ft from the ground. This standardised size is necessary but a net at the back of the goal is not.

 

Fact 5 – There hasn’t always been crossbars

Since the start of the game and from its humble roots, there has always been goalposts to signify where the goals were. But it wasn’t until 1875 that crossbars were added to the game. Before this a string was tied between the goalposts!

 

6- Field or pitch?

We are talking about football pitches. Sometimes, they can get referred to as fields (Americans, raise your hands). This is plainly wrong and when it comes to football the playing arenas are almost always known as pitches.

 

7- Sandygate

The oldest known actual football pitch and ground is found in Northern England in Sheffield. Built and opened in 1806, the Sandygate hosted the world’s first inter-club match inj 1860 between Hallam Fc and Sheffield FC. An unsuspecting home of football, admittedly.

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Glitz Africa’s Beauty Forum ’21 discusses beauty aesthetics, influencers & production

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Glitz Africa organized the second edition of the Beauty Forum, a side event of the annual Glitz Africa Fashion Week; a platform to engage beauty experts, entrepreneurs, influencers and enthusiasts to discuss all things beauty. It took place on Wednesday, October 20 at The Underbridge, East Legon.

It took off with a message from the keynote speaker, Ms Dzigbordi Dosoo, the certified high-performance coach.

The first panel was moderated by the forum host, Miss Gina Nipah, a plus size model and owner of Hapin Hair Lounge. The speakers on the panel discussing ‘The crave for beauty aesthetics, does it really work?’ included Trudy Arnold (CEO, Studio 7 Beauty Lounge), Jahara M Osman (Founder, Premier Aesthetic Clinic), Siran Mahama (CEO, Reviv Ghana), Emily Bodom (CEO, Enhance by EB) and Tish Tagoe (CEO, Luxury Beauty Spa).

They discussed both surgical and non-surgical beauty procedures, the likely complications and safety measures they take.

The second panel discussed the topic, ‘Building brand relationships with influencer marketing’ with Founder of LXHR Solutions, Lexy O. Boahene as moderator. The speakers included; Chris Kata (TV host/Entrepreneur), Larley Lartey (Digital Creator/Creative Director) and Maame Gyamfua Yeboah (Co-founder, Oh My Hair).

The ladies discussed the era of influencer marketing, what they consider before coming on board as influencers and brands look out for in choosing influencers among other issues.

The last panel was moderated by the Co-founder of Polish’d Nails and Beauty Bar, Nana Amobi Chambers on the topic, ‘From sourcing to distribution – Exploring the process of beauty production’ with Akosua Opoku (Owner, Beautymarked – a skincare and makeup retail) and Ernest Ekuma (Managing Director, Tree of Life).

Adeline Asante Antwi, a manager at Garnier did a short presentation on some of their products and offered some freebies to the guests. Zeepay also did a presentation on their products.

Some of the guests included Sacha Okoh (CEO, SO Aesthetics), Vanessa Gyan (media personality and entrepreneur), Ramona McDermott (fashion influencer) among others.

Partners of the Forum included MAC Cosmetics, Zeepay and Garnier.

Food partners which included The Salad Bar, Omama Chocolate, Sunny Snacks and Lizgyei Drinks provided refreshment to the guests.

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Full Winners Ghana Events Awards2021: Outstanding stakeholders awarded to boost morale in creative industry

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Full Winners Ghana Events Awards2021

Ghana Events Awards(GEA), a creative industry player has awarded over 20 of its members in the creative art sector to boost their morale and encourage them work assiduously to make the industry a lucrative job for the upcoming artists.

 

The host and co-host, Jay foley and Roselyn Felli both of Joy Prime television at multimedia were very magnificent and hilarious as they are on top of the game throughout the ceremony giving the audience and invited guests the pleasure needed to enjoy the awards night at Movenpic Hotel in Accra.

Also at the 4th GEA night, citations and plaques were presented to winners in various categories like Best MC of the year, Best Disc Jockey (DJ) player of the year, Best Event Planner of the year, Best Event of the year among others.

 

Speaking to journalists, the Chief Executive of GEA, Kelvin Kenneth was delighted and expressed his appreciation to the Board of Directors and all stakeholders who were involved in making the event possible and successful.

 

He explained that the nomination and selection of winners in the various categories is based on lots of considerations from the public, Board members and the economy which includes good lightening system, sound system, stage and the environment in which the event was held or occasioned.

” the public, Board members and other economic issues were considered and other issues factored in during the nomination and selection of Best possible winners in the various categories”, he said.

 

Mr. Kenneth added that his next option is to focus on how to improve and extend the awards ceremony to other African countries, adding that, this will even place Ghana on the limelight and also enhance the creative industry across the African continent.

 

He therefore called for unity among the industry players in the creative arts in order to fight a common course or agenda for the benefit of the upcoming artists.

The founder of Jandel Limited who own the overall Best award in the creative industry, Afia Moro advised her colleagues to have a passionate feeling for the creative art rather than seeking for money, stating that, your passion for the job will let you earn good money at the end.

 

She tasked all stakeholders in the creative art industry to be innovative and creative through learning in order to enable them reinvent new things and bring new ideas to the table which can be a tool to remain in business even in this era of the pandemic.

 

“try to be driven by passion whiles you try to earn good money and also educate yourselve and be in track by using the advance technologies like the internet and social media that will make us in the creative industry be at par with our competitors in the outside world”, she added.

 

She further outlined some challenges like failure to recognize the industry by government, division among members, failure to be paid the right amount among others that are facing the industry and wished they can be addressed as soon as possible to drive them forward.

 

” we lack so many things and when it comes to certain things, government fail to recognize us like the sharing of the stimulus packages during the COVID-19 era, most of our members who also placed in their request were sidelined and never get anything”, she said.

But she was grateful and optimistic that the challenges will be addressed due to government’s establishment of the creative art alongside the tourism sector, adding, we can voice out our grievances at that department to be addressed by the appropriate authorities.

 

Also, the Best Master of Ceremony (MC) winner from multimedia, Andy Dosty appealed to government to include the industry in the distribution of the stimulus package or offer some of the members some loans that will cushion them since the pandemic have already caused a huge damage to the industry and things are difficult for most of the members in the industry in Ghana.

 

He also praised the award planners and stakeholders for making the event successful because according to him, there has been an improvement in this year’s ceremony and very optimistic the previous award ceremonies will be greater.

 

” am considering and wished stakeholders will come together and put their resources together to ensure a massive awards ceremony in the next occasion “, he noted.

 

The winners of the various categories are as follows:

 

REGIONAL EVENT OF THE YEAR- UPPER WEST CREATIVE ART AWARDS

EVENT ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR – DIANA HAMILTON

EVENT OF THE YEAR – EXCLUSIVE MEN OF THE YEAR AFRICA AWARDS

BEST EVENT COMPANY OF THE YEAR – GENET SERVICES

BEST EVENT VENUE OF THE YEAR – ( ACCRA CITY HOTEL)

EVENT INFLUENCER OF THE YEAR (BLOGGER) – RONNIE IS EVERYWHERE

BEST EVENT SECURITY OF THE YEAR – ASUAVO SECURITY

GHANA’S FAVORITE EVENT – 3MUSIC AWARDS

EVENT MC OF THE YEAR (FEMALE)- MZGEE

EVENT PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – MANUEL PHOTOGRAPHY

CSR EVENT OF THE YEAR- MASK4ALL CHARITY CONCERT

EVENT MC OF THE YEAR (MALE) – NATHANIEL ATTOH

EVENT DJ OF THE YEAR – DJ VYRUSKY

YOUTH EVENT OF THE YEAR – GHANA TERTIARY AWARDS

MOST PRESTIGIOUS EVENT OF THE YEAR- RHYTHMS ON DA RUNWAY

MOST INFLUENTIAL EVENT OF THE YEAR- GHANA OUTSTANDING WOMEN AWARDS

BEST VIRTUAL EVENT OF THE YEAR – EXCLUSIVE MEN OF THE AFRICA AWARDS

BEST EVENT SETUP OF THE YEAR – VODAFONE GHANA MUSIC AWARDS.

BEST EVENT VENUE OF THE YEAR (DOME, GARDEN, CONFERENCE HALL) – UNDERBRIDGE EVENT CENTRE

BEST EVENT VENUE (BAR/LOUNGE) – FRONT/BACK ACCRA

EVENT HYPEMAN OF THE YEAR – KOJO MANUEL

EXPERIENTIAL COMPANY OF THE YEAR – BTL AFRICA

EMERGING EVENT OF THE YEAR- UPPER WEST CREATIVE ARTS AWARDS

CORPORATE EVENT OF THE YEAR – CHARTED INSTITUTE OF MARKETING GHANA AWARDS

EVENT SPONSOR OF THE YEAR-

Adonko next level energy drink.

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