Mosze Slaying

Last Saturday, I had the privilege and honor of speaking at the LEAD Conference at Gaba Community Church. This was at the invitation of my good friend Apollo Kaggwa and the team that put the event together. Before I go too far, I’d like to celebrate Pastor Peter Kasirivu of Gaba Church and Africa Renewal Ministries. These guys have taken the Church Begins On Monday (CBOM) concept to another level! They have planted more than 400 churches, run several schools plus a university, operate medical facilities and take care of close to 10,000 vulnerable children! Whoa!

Back to my speaking at Gaba, my topic was, Exceptional – why average won’t change your world. Average has become a disease that’s sweeping across our nation, and if you’re not careful, you might catch it! Average people accept their world as it is and that’s why they are average. Exceptional people refuse to accept their circumstances and work hard and smart to turn them around to their advantage and the common good.


When we hear Ronaldo, we think football. When we hear Usian Bolt, we think athletics. When we hear Bill Gates, we think computers (and money, and fighting disease, and…). When we hear John Maxwell, we think leadership. When we hear TD Jakes, we think preaching. When we hear Adele, we think music. When we hear Oprah, we think media. And the list goes on and on. The question is, what should we think when we hear your name? What is the value and values behind your name? Does your life have a Five Star rating?

Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.”  (1 Sam 16:18)

Just look at the credentials David had:

  • Skillful in playing – SKILLED
  • Mighty man of valor – CHARACTER
  • Man of war – PROFESSIONAL
  • Prudent in speech – LEARNED
  • Handsome – WELL GROOMED
  • The Lord is with Him – GODLY

Hopefully by now, you are reflecting on your own life and thinking, “what is Jesus saying to me, and what am I going to do about it?” You may not be where you want to be, but thankfully, you can do something about it. I warn you though; a name is not built overnight. Becoming an exceptional person requires a long obedience in the same direction. When you hear, “overnight success”, just know it was a loooong night!

bishop-t-d-jakesHere are seven things you can do over time to become exceptional:

  • Excel at something – Practice, practice, practice and practice, until you become a maestro at something; anything good. one of the challenges of our generation is that we want instant stuff, and do not invest the time it takes to become great. Become one of the greats; whether that’s music, accounting, communication, cooking, whatever – just pick a passion and excel at it. Doors will open for you!
  • Become a lifelong learner – Study, study, study. Most people stop learning when they graduate! Unfortunately, that’s when most of the learning must actually begin! Learn from books, courses, people, experiences. I read about 25 books last year (including some audio books). Leaders are learners. You stop growing when you stop learning.
  • Get into a growth environment – In the Law of Environment, John Maxwell states that growth thrives in conducive environments. Very good seed won’t bear fruit in harsh environments. Average players excel in great environments, while great players struggle in non conducive environments. Have you heard of Harvest Institute?
  • Travel and seek exposure – Get that passport and get on the move. Any direction you take away from home is going to result into growth. There’s a Luganda saying that those who’ve never traveled/visited think their mum is the best cook! It’s a small world now. Go conquer it. The description of an experience will never be as good as the experience!
  • Take up the toughest tasks – The road to greatness is full of roadblocks manned by opposing giants. It’s those fearless fellows who are willing to take up the tough tasks that get promoted. Everyone will usually be looking for the easy task. Be exceptional. When David showed up on the battlefield, there were commanders there who had served in Saul’s army for years, but they all feared Goliath. He took him on and in 24 hours, he went from taking care of his father’s sheep to being the commander of Israel! That’s called rapid promotion! Don’t just pray for promotion, earn it.
  • Invest yourself in others – “One is too small a number to achieve greatness”- John Maxwell. What distinguished David later on is that he took all the losers in life – those who were discontented, distressed and in debt and turned them into Giant Killers. He invested himself in them. The most important thing a leader will ever do is invest himself or herself in others.
  • Spend time with God – “Without me you can do nothing”, said JESUS! Need I say more?

Peter Kasirivu

Go and be exceptional, for average won’t change your world!


72 thoughts on “EXCEPTIONAL!

  1. Very pertinent
    ” get a Skill not Qualifications ”

    Last month I was part of the interview panel for certain firm that was looking for sales people, I must confidently say that our generation of graduates is not only prepared for the job market but lack the basic survival skill to make it this tough Uganda!

    I met an old friend of mine during festive December holidays and so I had a chance to share a coffee with him. This is one guy who has made it big in the corporate world and makes a salary of over paid about $4,000 dollars per month. Since I don’t have permission, I will not mention the company he works for.

    While having a drink with him, a lady I know passed by and greeted us, when I greeted back “how are you?” She quickly replied, “I am fine but I need a job… Harunah I have seen you post inspiring posts of Facebook , you seem connected, can you please help me get a job..”

    Before I could answer, the guy I was with asked her to come and sit with us, and here started the interesting part of the conversation.
    My friend asked her, “You are looking for a job?” She replied in the affirmative, “Yes sir” am sure hoping to get good news from this guy… He looked expensive, with the demeanor of a CEO , such that if he asked me, I would have also said a resounding “Yes, I need a job”… …..

    He then asked the next question; “what can you do?”… I could see the lady fidgeting in her chair looking for the perfect response… After a few breathes, she said “I have a Bachelor of Business Administration…” I could tell from the expressions on his face that he was not satisfied with her answer.. So he asked again, “I did not ask what you have, I asked, what can you do?, what are you able to do?, what is your skill?” As she was blushing and pushing her hair back, he turned to me and gave a lecturer that left me thinking… And I quote….

    “You know what Harunah , a number of young people are struggling to find employment because they THINK , just because they have a qualification, then they deserve to be employed. What they don’t realise is that, a lot of people have papers, but very few can do the work…

    I remember after my graduation most of my course mates enrolled for masters degree because to them getting job was about having papers and I share this post recently landed to one 6 years later at Shoprite with her masters but asking me if there are other opportunities at my work place…..

    Just having or rather holding a paper is not enough.. And academic qualification, without real practical skills won’t get you anywhere. Look here Harunah , do you know that multi-million dollar companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Tesla, eben in Uganda etc.. Have stopped employing people based on qualification? They don’t mind if you have a degree or not, the question they ask is; ” what can you do for us?”

    I could tell the lady was following but confused, so she asked; “Sir, I have a BBA, give me an example of a practical skill that I can say I do”… He smiled and replied: ” ….I expected you to say something like, I am an expert in strategy and I specialise in strategising for companies in a very competitive market, or, I specialise in Business Innovation and I help organisations launch new products and services… The lady was smiling… but the guy continued. You see Harunah , look at Companies even here in Uganda like Airtel, MTN,Top Banks,Total among others and analyse their managers, yes they are qualified, but you will find, they are not promoted based on their qualifications, but based on their skill.

    You will find a guy is an Engineering Graduate, but working in the Marketing Department, because he is a good marketer and he is used where his skills, not paper, are needed most. With all these colleges and universities, the time for just “I hold a bachelor in Degree/Masters” is over.. Above the paper, what practical skill do you have.”

    “Harunah ,” he continued, and coming from a man when makes $4000 dollars per month, I was ready to shut up and listen. “Here is the advise I want you to be posting positive messages that encourages Ugandans to get skills……Currently most Luganda FM radio stations Presenters are comedians why because our society has been reduced to laughter as the only way to forget about their problems so graduates with Mass Communication Degrees are deployed in news rooms working for 10k per story yet comedians/celebrities are paid in millions .

    Listen-Not everyone can start a business, but everyone can get a skill… Not general skill, but one or two skills they can be good at…..Go Kisekka Market you find a young man who has been to any Formal institution but is repairing a computerised BMW to the amazement of the owner yet Makerere University Ivory epitome of Knowledge and skills built perimeter wall that didn’t last for amonth😂😂😂 You can’t just be a mechanic, anyone can do that, but you must be maybe a Germany Vehicle Mechanic, or Diesel Mechanic, or an Electronics Mechanic… If its phone repair become aspecialist last i had network problems with my previous Samsung Note 4,i went to Transtel who are Samsung Authorised Agents and they told the only solution was to flash the phone,imagine alosing all my documents but i agreed …..guess what nothing changed the guy who repaired phone is based in the dark room at the basement of Karungi Plaza ……upto now i have recommended several friends to him because the dude is skilled.

    Learn something specific and tangible that will make people look for you. You can’t have the same music producer producing Kadongo Kamu,AfroBeat and Hip Hop and expect him to make a mark.
    When someone gets out of school, they should spend the time before getting a job, learning one practical skill.. This can be learned through online specialised courses, mentorship, internship, etc, but by the time you are looking for a job, you must have a skill… With a skill, you can never go wrong. A seriously hands on skill that you can be employed today and you immediately start producing results… Papers are good, but with a whole lot of papers around,Next week Makerere alone is releasing 1000s on the job market to add on the competition of already unemployed youth first the previous years…. it is time for skills.. What can you do?” He concluded…

    I didnt even want to add to this however I saw my lady friend leave the table both glad with the new information she had gathered, but sad that she couldn’t answer the question: “what can you do?”.

    Tag and share with friends this insightful thought.

  2. Hehehe indeed even very good seed won’t bear fruit in harsh environments. We sometimes waste time hoping the environment will change.

  3. This leaves a big question for me to wake up to every morning, what do people think when they hear my name?
    And then the comment from Harunah of what can u do? stirred me up altogether

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