Feels like ages I did a Monday blog. Missed it last week cos I didn’t have energy for what I wanted to write. Still kind of don’t have energy for that but I even know this post is what I should write today, so let’s discus Leadership with E’
Ok first, by God’s grace (haha), I qualify to talk about this.
About 7 years ago, I decided, as an offshoot from this blog and the mails I was getting from my readers, to begin mentoring a few young girls. So we formed a WhatsApp group and called it ‘Mentoring on the FAB lane’(MOTFL)
I didn’t really know what I was doing but PASSION was enough to get me off the ground and start things rolling.
I provided a safe place for guidance, friendship, sistership and more for young ladies pre and in university. About half of them still actively in my life today and doing so well. One is even married (REAL TEARS).
Say 4 years afterwards, I decided to make it a little more official and launch a semi-formal mentoring academy called The FAB Sistership Academy (TFS).
Now, this wasn’t going to go on forever, rather for a defined period of time, I would ask a couple of ladies to apply to be mentored by me. I think we started by running a 6 week curriculum, but some sets had me for only 4 weeks, as my life got brutal. I and some of my mentees prayed on this for at least 2 months before we began
Frankly, I ADORE doing this- Mentoring chicks. When I see the fruit of my pouring into them, I am so encouraged. Not to say I don’t have some comedians but I quickly sieve them out. Some of them end up being a CORE part of my team from TFS and they bring SO MUCH to the table. Some of them literally become like my baby sisters, right hand men, confidants (I may have over shared at times but AMEN for them still not losing the respect and honor), and just generally being there for me. It has been mutual I must say. I get from them (almost) as good as I give to them.
Then bang, in December 2018, I had a 2 hour plus long meeting with DDK and that meeting was real, raw and vulnerable. I cried, she prayed, we talkeeeed, and basically went everywhere. I had just finished what was a VERY SUCCESSFUL Powwow in December and the team that planned it with me were SOLID!!! We even had this wonderful lunch at Seventh Continent Chinese restaurant to sort of close out the year, and project into next year, and then bam!!! That meeting with DDK, I came home and disbanded the entire team.
You need to understand how CRAZY that decision was…
Everyone was hailing me on how I managed to build such a successful team. Many people had asked to be a part of my team. This team was SOLID and they had served me with their hearts. More like served the vision. I felt blessed. Until DDK messed up the whole thing, without saying ONE WORD about it lol. She didn’t tell me to disband anything, she just showed me my future and what I needed to do to enter it.
I was disbanding them at a time when I KNEW I needed them as a New Year beckoned.
My husband thought I was crazy. My accountability partner wanted to be sure I was making the right decision. My mind basically failed me A LOT. What if NONE of them came back? I mean, I disbanded and then asked anyone who truly wanted to remain a part of my team to apply and write me a 3 page letter as to why I should accept them. I also gave a few pre-reqs that excluded a few people. I knew it was a crazy thing to do but right now, I was moving to the next level of mentoring called DISCIPLESHIP and raising disciples is NO JOKE. I wanted to be sure these ones were up for the ride.
Somehow, 80% of those I wanted back applied. Whoop!!! I had 3 people who didn’t come back and it SHOCKED me like CRAZY cos I was like ‘What??? They think I am NOT worth it…’
And I had an honest convo with one who didn’t apply recently and she was shocked I would think that way.Actually now I think of it, I have had a convo with all 3 and they explained to me their reasons. All flimsy reasons and now, well, let’s just say there are regrets.
Anyways, the year 2019 was upon me and I didn’t have time to mourn what wasn’t. God had sent me men who were truly ALL IN.
Can I name names? Please? Lol. Actually, if you read my blog, you would have met them. I would tag their posts as I name names
Bimbo literally would have broken my heart if she didn’t apply. I didn’t doubt that she will though. You know when God just sends you a right hand man. Bimbo it is in this season.
Tolu is my Exec Assistant and contrary to what most people think, I don’t pay her. She is a volunteer and I am sure she was the most shocked when I let everyone go, including her. I knew my work with her just started so I was sure she would be back. Tolu sent me 7 pages!!!!
Lolade was the shocker. If she didn’t come back, I would not have been shocked. I knew her day job was very demanding and I had adjusted to life without her mentally, but wham, she came back and even said she was more than ready.
Chidinma too I wasn’t sure. In fact, I didn’t see her application so I asked her only for her to say she had sent it but I didn’t get it. Anyone would be glad to have Chi on her team. Her heart is pure.
Omowunmi had asked if she could apply as she didn’t meet a certain criteria, and I said no. Then one day, the Lord laid her on my heart and then I told her she could apply. Gave her a very short window sef and she met it.
Faith was my second shocker. I moved on a ‘Maybe’ with her cos I didn’t really know her but I didn’t feel any restriction in my spirit so I let her in. Plus she was in diaspora and I didn’t mind someone outside.
Rosey is my jackpot. I personally went to her and asked her to apply. BEST DECISION I took in the first quarter of the year as we saw God just blow us all away as a result.
There were more but since they either didn’t make it, or have left the discipleship for one reason or the other, I would rather not mention them.
So they all sent in their application, I made a few of them re-do theirs cos I didn’t come to play, and then we had our first all night, which just further made me know this, THIS DISCIPLESHIP was ALL GOD!!!
2019 WAS my EPIC year and God had handpicked a few of His daughters to do EPIC with me this year.
‘I am busy, I am busy’ but God knows they have my attention ALMOST EVERY DAY!!!
Apparently, this post has gone longer than I thought and I haven’t even scratched the surface. Would run this as a series so I keep building on it. People ask me a lot on building a team, structuring, mentoring, and recently, discipleship. Hmmm!!! Let me just be answering these questions publicly so that more people can learn from it.
There is a LOT I have learned on the job and I am happy to share as much as I can
However, let me start with these 2 first
First, determine what it is you want to do. Do you want to mentor, or disciple, which is a lot DEEPER than mentoring? Typically, I would only let you in to my Discipleship if I have mentored you, or I know someone who has closely mentored you. Otherwise, let’s just do mentoring especially if maybe you have a social media relationship with me and think there are a few things I can teach you. Discipleship is HUGE, at least the way I see it.
To further explain leading people and pouring into them using the Biblical tabernacle, I would say those that read my content online via my blog and other platforms I share on are in the outer court. Everyone is most welcome there. My mentoring academy called TFS is my Holy Place. Then those in my discipleship program are in my Most Holy Place, aka Holy of Holies.
To break it down again, for example, I did a social media post and email newsletter to my stay at home moms on having a prayer structure, strategy and generally warfare. I shared a bit of info and screen shots with those ones. In TFS, this session, those there are stay at home moms and there I shared my own prayer structure and strategy in full with them. Something I can NEVER share in an email. There too I would share a couple things about my marriage and life you won’t find on my blog. Then with the ladies in my discipleship, in addition to sharing what I share in TFS, I shared my confession with them. My confession is my MOST SACRED document in my life lol. I can even share my bank statement with you, but that confession??? I won’t. I read snatches to the ladies in TFS though.
Phew. I struggled before I even shared it with the Discipleship, but one thing God told me about Discipleship was that if I expose them to the kind of things I do in details, which are working for me, they will get the kind of results I get in my life, even more. So I am at my most vulnerable with them. I actually low-key think I confuse some of them with my vulnerability lol.
So determine what it is you want to do and at what level you want to connect with the ones you are leading.
Next, make them understand this is serious business. Your recruitment process and the first few weeks ARE NO JOKE. Do not be casual. Come in guns blazing. Leave NO room for excuses. Intentionally step on toes and see how it is handled. Be VERY EXTRA. On all levels, I do these things for free. The best payment you can give me is to be serious about it. Most people in life are not serious, especially in this entitled generation of ours. They waste your time, spurn counsel and just generally think we are here to play,
Not Eziaha. Never Eziaha
In fact, I typically would NEVER beg anyone to apply or just conscript you. You MUST want it enough to apply and your application must be rich. You can’t do me a one-liner, God forbid. If you applied casually, I will not pick you. You need to be serious and stick to my rules of application. Then when I have chosen and we have started, I typically would send people out in the first week just so the rest can sit up. I state the rules of engagement VERY CLEARLY and except FULL COMPLIANCE.
For example, in the discipleship, our first all night, if you were in Lagos, you could NOT miss it.
Missing it was no option, so everyone turned up. I didn’t make excuses an option cos how you start is super important.
In the last TFS I did before this one that has just stay at home moms, I took someone out at the beginning. It made the rest sit up.
In this current TFS, I desperately wanted to take at least 4 people out at the beginning but somehow, all of them turned up for this and gave everything. And I don’t stop keeping records.
I give assignments, send voice notes to which everyone must respond, and ask for feedback per time, and so on. Well, this really comes from the content, as I am not casual with content. I know what I want to discuss weekly and then share.
I also don’t make the mistake of being available daily. Ah!!! Mistake. If you want to do this, then determine what your schedule can allow, but don’t forget that anything too common reduces in value.
I certainly cannot afford that either. So I run a time based program. Tuesdays and Thursday are for TFS. Monday and Wednesday for Discipleship. Discipleship is for a year (though I am working to review that cos I think a year is too much) and most TFS run for 4 to 6 weeks. When people KNOW this is not forever, it helps them sit up and it helps me for closure too cos you get emotionally attached and then knowing this has an end date means I am not so broken when it ends. Sort of like begin with the end in mind.
Biko let me stop here. Point 2 will need me to expatiatefurther and I will do that in a later blog, since I would run this as a series here.
If you have any questions, or would like me to address anything in particular on this series, drop a comment and I will reflect it in subsequent posts.
Hugs (and I could do with like 7 hugs right now)