Issue Number: Volume VIII No. 8 Publisher: Kituku & Associates
Date of Issue: August 2009.  © 2009óOvercoming Buffaloes in Our Lives. All Rights Reserved.

When people donít know their strengths, they devote time, energy and resources trying to improve their weaknesses. Yet, itís proven that to succeed in any endeavor, people must use their natural strengths.

The problem is, less than 15% of people ever take the time to discover what their personal strengths are. And only a mere 2-3% learn to use their strengths consistently. What makes other people want to work with you? What do you enjoy most in your work, or business? What comes to you naturally? What keeps you focused on a specific task or enables you to multitask? What helps you bounce back after setbacks?

You significantly increase your chances to succeed at work, in sales and in leadership when you discover your personal strengths and use them repeatedly until using them becomes a habit.

As a leader, did you know that to inspire people to believe in your vision and for them to act on it, as if it were their own vision, you need to use your personal strengths 50% of the time? If you use your positional power more than 15% of the time, you become manipulative and those you lead work out of fear instead of inspiration.

If you use your knowledge power more than 35% of the time, you become overwhelming and intimidate those around, thus making them afraid of contributing or analyzing whatís wrong.
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One of the exercises participants in my on-site leadership training seminars (where participants work in the same organization and know each other relatively well) helps them discover what makes them successful in creating a positive team environment and keep all team players at all times.

In groups of threes, I have each participant write down his/her top five strengths ranging from well organized, to goal oriented to punctual to caring to humorous. Then I have the other two members of the group write down what they know or consider as their colleaguesí top five personal strengths.

When that is done, each individual shares what he/she wrote as main strengths and then listens as the others tell what they know or consider as the individualís strengths. Some of what individuals write as their strengths is affirmed by their colleagues. Other strengths, not listed by an individual, are highlighted by their co-workers. It is fascinating to watch people discover their strengths.

Here is a partial list of personal strengths that have been attributed to the effective leaders, successful entrepreneurs and college football coaches that I have had the privilege to work with:
Self appreciation
Positive identity
Knowledgeable Encourager
Go the extra Mile
Team player
Positive attitude
Wisdom/common sense

What are your top five?

Ask your colleagues or family members (but not teenagers) to tell you what they consider as your personal strengths.

Once you become consciously aware of your key personal strengths and make it a lifetime goal to use them all the time, you will increase your productivity, be more pleasant to work with and save yourself the pain of trying to improve non strengths. We donít succeed by using our weaknesses. We thrive by using the full potential of our strengths.

Changing the World, One Person at a Time

Vincent Kituku in 1972, Kangundo, Kenya

Dr. Kituku grew up watching his mother in Kangundo, Kenya, provide food and clothes to people suffering from mental illness and those with delayed mental and physical development. His father also let some of those people stay at his store overnight, especially during rainy seasons. While at Tala High School, Vincent was involved with adult literacy where he taught senior citizens counting, basic ABCs and how to write their names. Click here to read more. Those early training led to Vincentís involvement in creating awareness on breast cancer to sponsoring your boys football teamóKituku Warriors

Learning resources, by Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku, that you need to thrive in chaotic times, become the CEO of your life/work, bounce back after setbacks of life, learn about other cultures folklore, equip your children to be competent and stay motivated.

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September 23rd 2009   8:30am- 4:00pm
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for balancing work and life.
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Leaders are concerned about the turbulent economic times we are all experiencing. Employee loyalty, motivation and ability to stay focused on their work when their future is uncertain are aspects that are keeping leaders awake at night.

Allow me to bring a new perspective of not only survival but how to thrive in chaotic times.
A communityís survival in traditional African village life depended largely on two aspects. One was how well the community could survive natural disasters such as famine or disease epidemics. The second aspect was how tribal leaders could prepare the community in dealing with rivals and wild beasts.

Natural events were considered the act of Ngai (God). The events caused people to search their souls, offer animal sacrifices and change elements of their lifestyles that they deemed unpleasing to Ngai. Natural catastrophes also led to migrations of both people and their livestock.

On the other hand, threat from rival tribes or wild animals were expected. Most communities had tribal structures and strategies for dealing with these threats. Leaders, the people who helped their communities not only survive but also thrive in the chaotic circumstances, were hallowed. As a youth growing up in Kangundo, Kenya, I heard stories of Mwatu Wa Ngoma, the legendary Kamba tribe warrior who helped our people defeat rival tribes.

Mwatu Wa Ngoma led men to wars to protect lives and property or retrieve stolen livestock. What set him apart, however, were three basic practices. First, he was known for serving his warriors. He even worked with them as they made their bows and arrows. Such experience gave him the opportunity to listen, observe and relate with his fighters. It was in such an atmosphere that he taught them the ways of the tribe and what constituted manhood. He developed his warriors for lives of fulfillment as opposed to training them for only war.

The second aspect about Mwatu was his constant effort to grow himself. In those days, physical fitness and ability to understand signs of the times were necessities. To grow one must be a learner. In todayís workplaces, if you donít grow, you are let go. If you donít learn new ways of doing things better, you will languish with skills that were applicable in the past, but obsolete today.

This Kamba leader was not just a transmitter of information to his men. He was a receptive leader. Before responding to a threat, he inquired the wisdom of Syokimau, the Kamba people prophetess who foresaw the coming of Europeans (people coming in the water (ship), traveling inside snakes (trains) and with fire in their pockets (matchbox). She provided him the spiritual discernment he needed.

There was another group Mwatu relied on, Athiani, the equivalent of todayís sports scouts. He would send them to study the landscape, movement patterns, and preparedness of the threatening tribe. Equipped with the knowledge from his Athiani group and wisdom from the woman with connection to Ngai, Mwatu was ready to protect his tribe and their property.

As a Kamba leader, Mwatu Wa Ngoma was a great orator. His words inspired his men to sacrifice their lives for the common good of the tribe. Inspired action, not manipulated action, is what leads to trust, commitment and long-term benefits.

In Mwatuís time a tribal battle required different units of warriors. Some were left behind protecting the community. Another unit retrieved raided livestock while another unit was engaged in battle. As their leader, Mwatu knew each warriorís talents. He assigned the warriors into units that required their skills. It was also his responsibility to coordinate the efforts of the various units.

How are you developing your people?

Are you earning their trust and are you open to their input?

Are you encouraging or manipulating them?

When last did you do something for them that adds value to their lives and is not necessarily related directly to the monetary bottom line?

Are you modeling what you would like them to be?

When was the last time you learned something new that you applied in your life or work?

When was the last time you tried something different in your professional and/or personal life?


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. Kitukuís 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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