Sunday, December 08, 2013

Random Thoughts on Legacy, Mandela, and Daystar Christian Center

I tweaked the caption on this original photo to read "1918 - Infinity"... Mandela lives!

It’s a pretty long week staring me in the face, and there’s lots of stuff running through my mind, so I might as well do this post now. I’ll lead in with a brief thought on legacy, inspired by a chance encounter with Olav Silden (GM of Duracell, P&G) and the passing of Mandela. At the end, I’ll share a fleeting moment I held briefly during the Carol Service at Daystar Christian Center today.


On Thursday, Olav Silden, a great manager with 20+ years of experience managing various P&G brands and present GM of Duracell, shared with us various thoughts on leadership. Interestingly, he had a lot to say about legacy.

Last year, I had a fantastic manager – Carole Frachon – who said to me “You’ve gotta find a project where you can deliver immense value to the organization, and you’ve gotta deliver on it. That is going to be your legacy. When you leave for your one year of paramilitary service, people are going to remember you for it – and they’re going to miss you”. I found such a project, worked my ass off to deliver on it, and the feedback was amazing.

In retrospect, and with the benefit of hindsight made clearer by Olav’s talk on Thursday, Carole was more than right. Beginning with the end in mind, and a legacy in sight, is a powerful tool that can only deliver astonishing results.

Basically, Olav was saying to us: “Whatever it is you do today, find one or two areas where you can deliver lasting impact. Make sure those areas are aligned with the priorities of your organization. Work your ass off to deliver on those areas. Sit back and enjoy the immense satisfaction that comes with knowing you have done fantastic work.”

And, may I add that fantastic execution most often leads to recognition, and bigger opportunities?


Mandela was a great man. A number of words come to mind when I think about him: courage, leadership, integrity, forgiveness. The clip of Mandela with his ex-captors and champions of apartheid is a djam karet moment – one that stretches forever. I hope many more films are made of his life so he can continue to inspire generations to come.

This leads into a second thought.

We won’t all be Mandelas’. Or Jacksons. Or Dianas’. Or Hitlers’. We won’t all have our deaths celebrated by the entire globe. But in the end, whether it is ten people – or millions – what is important is to have touched lives, and to have made the world a better place through our actions.

Mandela is dead. Long live Mandela.


A few months ago, I blogged about the lizard brain and how it keeps us from doing things for fear of embarrassment or hurt. Well, on Thursday – I had a lizard brain moment :)

At the end of Olav’s fantastic talk, I had an incredible urge to walk over to him at the front of the room, introduce myself, and tell him that was such a nice talk and it had really helped me. For the life of me, I couldn’t. My feet felt like logs of wood. I made a few false starts, shook my head, and then headed towards the door – away from him.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not shy, or timid. I’ve spoken to crowds of six-seven thousand people, not once, and not twice or thrice either. But on Thursday – my lizard brain was in full control! As I headed out of the room and back to my daily grind, I was confronted with the reality that for all my skill and wit – the lizard in me is still very much alive.

Thankfully – this story has a happy ending. I went into the restrooms to give myself a pep talk in front of the mirror – and bam! – Olav was right there! Opportunity seldom calls twice, and this time I grasped it firmly.

In your face, lizard brain!!!


May God bless Pastors Sam and Nike Adeyemi. They are such awesome people!!! And they’re doing such a wonderful work with Daystar Christian Center!

The atmosphere at Daystar today was electric. Sitting in the Carol Service with Busola, there were times when I could swear I wanted to stay there forever :)

I mean, I’m ‘blessed’ with an ability to obsess about anything and everything! At almost every hour of the day, I’m guaranteed to be worrying about something… Today at Daystar, I felt for a fleeting moment what it is to cast all my cares upon God. There were no cares, no worries, no thoughts of the long week ahead of me; it was just me and my God – perfect bliss!

You should try that too sometimes *wink wink*

Cheers to the coming week!



  1. I just posted another one on Mandela when I checked blogsville and saw this. Hmmn! I don't really have words to explain, but I have somethings to learn from you. Your mind is awesome Koye. God bless. BTW you owe me something, I know this time of the year can get really busy...but it's not okay if you back out o.