Issue Number: Volume VIII No. III Publisher: Kituku & Associates
Date of Issue: April 2009.  © 2009—Overcoming Buffaloes in Our Lives. All Rights Reserved.

We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.  - Helen Keller

However, only the living fish can swim upstream. Are you swimming upstream, against the current turbulent economic times? What about the obstacles in your professional and/or personal endeavors—are you wallowing in self-pity or tackling them head on?

Some realities of life need to be put in perspective. Probably nothing that inspires creativity and the desire to make our future better than our dislike of the past or current predicament. When we don’t like what we are experiencing we work to create a better experience. Pain causes us to seek a cure.

To survive and thrive beyond these chaotic times, we have to change our outlook on life, and the way we have done whatever we do. Increased growth comes when something different is done. This can mean arriving at work earlier than usual or staying a little longer. It can mean making more sales calls than in the past or opening new markets.

We are reluctant to accept the fact that if we don’t change, we are changed—by realities. Jobs are sometimes made obsolete by technological advances. Positions are eliminated by the creation of unmanned systems. Our foresight and willingness to learn new ways of doing things keep us marketable and in gainful employment.
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This brings us to basic questions. Can you document your productivity for the last six months? If not, then change how you do what you do. Have you added value (brought new customers, saved resources and added new products/services) in your organization’s bottom line in the last six months? If not, why? Any time we add value in something bigger than self, we grow and increase our own value.

The presence of necessity propels accountability to new heights. To thrive during challenging times, you must be the CEO of your decisions and actions.
Here are top proven ways to help you swim upstream.

Be in charge of your attitude. The most basic responsibility you have, as the CEO of your life, is being in charge your attitude. Your attitude is the showcase that reveals who you are to the rest of the world. Your altitude is the gate through which thousands of lives enter your life and enrich you in ways you can hardly imagine. The good news is that a positive attitude can be developed. It starts from the moment you start seeing what is positive in any experience you go through.

You are where you are today as a result of the thoughts you have chosen. Your future depends on your willingness to change your thoughts - change your thoughts and you will change your actions. You will then be on the road to a fulfilling life.

Know and work with your colleagues. Not a single CEO in this world has no other executives or board of directors working with him or her. You can never be the CEO of all you do without working with others. Give your best to others and they will give you their best.

Never entertain the thought that you work for anybody else. Own whatever you do. Find something good to think and talk about daily, something besides the paycheck. If you can’t find anything good about what you do, you are stealing from yourself. You will probably stress about it and try to sabotage efforts for progress, even sometimes your own progress. You have to find something about what you do that gets you excited.

Take risks to grow. When you take a risk, you may suffer pain or failure. However, it is a tragedy to never live up to your potential because you didn’t risk. By not risking, you may avoid pain or the experience of failure. However, you won’t learn, change or experience self-appreciation. The worst part of never risking is the pain of being stuck in a situation you dislike and the regret that you did nothing about it when you could.

It’s not wise to blame others (parents, your spouse, boss or God) for your circumstances. The moment you accept responsibility for your thoughts, choices and actions, is the moment you become the man or woman in charge of all you do.

Doing nothing is not and should never be an option in bad times.
Nothing happens when nothing is done (actually something does happen—people fail). In most cases, doing nothing leads to a worse situation than what we started with. Did you know, if you don’t have a paying job you would far better off volunteering in any of the non-profit organizations in your community? You will experience fulfillment money can’t give you, develop relationships that last longer than a career and acquire skills that are unavailable elsewhere. Volunteerism does not mean non-rewarding involvement.

Date Audience Program
April 2 College of Southern Idaho—Twin Falls, ID Thriving in Service
April 9  Microsoft—Boise, ID Moving Forward in Chaotic Times
Leaders and Employee Development Program
April 13  Payette Middle School—McCall, ID Becoming More than a Dreamer
April 15  Lifeways Inc.—Pendleton, OR Overcoming Buffaloes at Work & in Life
April 21 Touchmark—Portland, OR Overcoming Buffaloes at Work & in Life
April 24  Fresno University—Fresno, CA Buffaloes in the Workplace: Thriving in Chaotic Times
April 30  Idaho Hospital Association—Boise, Idaho Overcoming Buffaloes at Work & in Life

Please Note: The Touchmark program has limited open invitations.
Call (503) 646-5186 for more details.

Dr. Kituku’s workplace keynotes and training approaches are feature in the April 2009 issue of the Alaska Airline Magazine

May 8th, 2009   8:30 am - 3:00pm
Nampa Civic Center
You must register — space is limited
What to Do to Move Forward in Chaotic Times
Power Tools for Winning Resumes: Gain competitive advantage—stand out in a crowd
Where are Jobs in Idaho?
Career Choice; Moving Your Skills on the Job Chessboard
Alternative Sources of Income
Tough times Don’t Last
7 Actions that Make Failing a Non-Option
Expert Speakers:
Dr. Vincent Muli Wa Kituku, author and international motivational speaker
Roger Madsen, Idaho State Director of labor
Julie Levitt, author of Your Career—How to Make It Happen-10 year best-seller
Ed Boyce, former BSU basketball coach and founder of Hoop Dreams
Lynn Wade, expert in career planning and development

· Kituku & Associates   · Nampa Civic Center
· Prime Equity Mortgage   · Arbonne International


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Whether in a board meeting, team discussions or presenting to thousands, your motive is to bring improvement in people’s quality of life. That can be either persuading people to see the world from your perspective or encouraging/challenging them to do more with what they have to change their world.

If you are addressing salespeople you want your words to create clear mental pictures of the better lives customers experience by using your products/services. When addressing the entire organization, you want your presentation to be the platform from which each employee becomes responsible for the entire organization’s success. If you are a public leader, your words can transform your constituents’ fears and concerns into positive expectations.

For over 15 years, I have coached and mentored public and private leaders, football coaches, spiritual leaders and educators in how to address different situations with the spoken word. While content has not been a major issue, how to deliver it and make a difference is what keeps most leaders up at night only to put their audience to sleep. They fail because of poor delivery style, not because of their content.

On the other hand, limited content, well written and well delivered, has consistently turned inspired masses in action. Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg address in two minutes, yet millions of people have never heard of Edward Everett, the featured speaker who spoke for two hours.

Here are some proven strategies that will not only captivate your audience, but inspire them to act.

  Declare your presence.

Dress for the occasion, at least one notch above the audience. Always remember your appearance is the first aspect of your speech to be evaluated. Greet as many people as possible before your presentation. It creates the connection and anticipation that makes them want to hear you. Remain silent (pause) as you take a full view of the audience after you have been introduced. Today’s audiences are inundated with noise. Pausing for a few seconds is an effective way to invite them to listen to your words.

  Disturb them immediately.

 A provocative quote (when you quote others, you will be quoted), statistical reference, question or a brief analogy that creates a mental picture of the magnitude of the issue you are addressing will capture your audience’s initial attention.

  Use words they understand.

Your audience must feel as if it’s the first time they’ve heard such words. Not fancy, complicated language—words that speak to the real concerns of your audience. I was recently stunned by a woman, probably in her fifties, who told me I changed her life with one sentence at an event where I was a featured speaker. I said, “Always know that you are the CEO of all you do.” After more than five years, she still remembered them—those words moved her to make a decision to go back to college.

  Be vulnerable.

The story of your life’s experiences is the element that creates the emotional connections needed for your audience to internalize your story, rekindle their determination to triumph over adversities and ignite their vision and commitment for a better tomorrow regardless of the prevailing or perceived challenges. Your story must be told in a way that it becomes the launching board for your audience’s new beginning.

  Please don’t use PowerPoint

—if you don’t know how to use it effectively. It is a disgrace to waste your audience’s time by mishandling a powerful tool. If it is a must, make sure everyone in the audience can read each word in your PowerPoint slide. And remember Richard Nixon’s wisdom that, “Too many slides make audiences sleepy.”

  Take advantage of the power of props.

Can you imagine football coaches and players wanting to see and/or touch the football I use as a prop in my presentations? That football, though a familiar item to them, became a symbol of sacred reference for a life lesson that has touched their hearts. Never ignore the power of what can be seen.

  Make it a once in a lifetime event.

No one should ever need convincing that first impressions matter after a little known Illinois senator introduced himself to the world with a speech at the 2004 Democratic Party Convention. Four years later, Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States of America. Prepare your presentation as if it’s the only one you will ever give. If it changes someone’s world, your world will change.

  Sing and/or read that poem.

There is a part of the human heart that is touched by songs and poems in ways words can’t describe. If you want to melt people’s hearts, moving them to reconsider anew their hope of greater expectations in life—sing an inspirational song or read an inspiring poem.

  Be authentic.

Don’t take other people’s materials or style and pretend it’s yours. The audience will know it and distrust whatever else you say.

  Make your closing a defining moment.

You disturbed them with the first sentence. Your content made them know why they listened to you. Your final words should leave them wanting to act immediately on what they heard. © By Dr. Vincent Muli Wa Kituku, motivational speaker and author of Overcoming Buffaloes at Work & in Life is an expert who works with organizations to increase productivity through leadership and employee development programs. Contact him at or (208) 376-8724

Editor’s note: If you are interested in our seminar on
How to Speak and Get Paid, visit


Native of Kenya, Africa, and resident of Idaho since 1992, Vincent has been a featured speaker and trainer at numerous Real Estate conferences and training programs. An award winning speaker and writer, he is one of the less than 7% of all professional speakers to earn a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), the highest award for professional speakers. Dr. Kituku has worked with championship sports teams and trained leaders on how to inspire productivity all the time. What sets Vincent apart is his ability to weave life experiences in Africa with corporate America and culture in providing solutions for personal and professional growth.

Dr. Vincent Muli Wa Kituku is known as a research-based motivational speaker. He presents motivational keynotes and training programs on leadership, employee motivation, overcoming buffaloes at work (change), customer service and living and working with cultural differences. Vincent is the founder and president of Kituku & Associates, LLC, a business that is dedicated to developing leaders and employees in business and in life.

What has set Dr. Kituku apart is the ability to use his experience in research to evaluate/assess client needs and then tailor his keynotes/training presentation to meet their objectives. Harold G. Delamarter, President/CEO, Prestige Care Inc. said, "Before the Retreat, Dr. Kituku gained as much information as possible about our company and the industry we are involved in. He made telephone calls to management team members to tailor his seminar very closely to the needs of our employees and the circumstances they face each day in the present economy. Dr. Kituku was so widely received in July, the decision was made to ask him to return to again present to our company in October."

Vincent's clients list includes Cisco Systems, Micron, Hewlett Packard, Genworth Financial, US Fish and Wildlife, US Air Force, Women Council of Realtors and National Association of Mental Health. He has been the motivational speaker for the successful Boise State Football Team since 1998. Dr. Kituku works have been featured by numerous publications including the Presentations Magazine, SkyWest Magazine, National Speakers Association Magazine and many newspapers which publish his weekly columns. Vincent holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation that is earned by fewer than 7% of all speakers worldwide.

If results are important to you, then
Dr Vincent Muli Kituku is the speaker/trainer for your group.
Call (208) 376-8724, or email Vincent directly at

Read Dr. Kituku’s newest articles online at:,, Casper Star Tribune, Argus Observer, Business IQ, Post Register, Idaho Catholic Register, Idaho Press Tribune, Idaho Senior Citizen News, and Presentations Magazine.

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