Giscard Ayissi has studied Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. This reminds me that “a leader needs to know his strengths as a carpenter knows his tools, or as a physician knows the instruments at her disposal. What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths – and can call on the right strength at the right time. This explains why there is no definitive list of characteristics that describes all leaders.” (See Mentoring Conversation Resources.)
In our second mentoring conversation, you will learn more about Giscard and how he leads. You will discover his view of what African business owners need to learn. Mike Kabeya of Kabeya Media also adds his perspective.
Giscard’s passion for life and hard work are evident. He studies human behavior. What does he look for in each person he meets? He founded a nonprofit and for-profit venture, Humane Humanity and US African Biz, respectively.
Here are a few quotes from Edison and Ford. These quotes serve as good reminders of what is possible when you are pursuing new opportunities.
Inventor Thomas Edison created such great innovations as the practical incandescent electric light bulb and the phonograph. A savvy businessman, he held more than 1,000 patents for his inventions.
- “Genius is 1% Inspiration and 99% Perspiration.”
- “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
- “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Henry Ford was the founder of Ford Motors and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. He developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle-class Americans could afford.
Henry Ford had but little “schooling,” he is not a man of “education.” Those who make this mistake do not know Henry Ford, nor do they understand the real meaning of the word “educate.” That word is derived from the Latin word “educo,” meaning to educe, to draw out, to DEVELOP FROM WITHIN.
- “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
- “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”
- “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays wages.”
- “Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly. It comes as a by-productof providing a useful service.”
Mike Kabeya of Kabeya Media, and my sound engineer and photographer, also joins in on the conversation. He left the Republic of Congo in 2006. His life was threatened for being truthful as a journalist; and he needed to get out of the country. You can hear his journey in a prior podcast at http://wementor.com/?s=mike+kabeya. www.kabeyamedia.com.
Download this episode. (right click to download)
Giscard Ayissi. Giscard is the founder and Executive Director of Humane Humanity, a nonprofit organization, which assists immigrants in the United States by delivering immigrant integration services, such as immigrant documentation, English as a Second Language classes, job search and skill development, and assists African seniors. Giscard’s nonprofit works to also assist hospitals and clinics in rural areas of developing countries to tackle their lack of insufficient medical supplies. He has a background in communication and marketing with a flair for journalism. www.humanehumanity.org.
He is also the founder of US Africa Biz, a marketing firm promoting U.S. African businesses. U.S. Africa Biz is a multidimensional platform, which offers business resources, information, and events aimed at not only fostering African business growth in the U.S., but also supporting the visibility of U.S business in Africa. Its mission is to give these two diverse markets substantial room for expansion in a challenging world of business, where marketing is an important aggregate for success. http://usafricabiz.com
- Choose two or three quotes listed above. Post the inspiring quotes in your office.
- Sustaining high-performance levels toward long-term goal achievement means learning techniques of taking care of yourself. Sacrificing all relationships and your health and not meeting your basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, sleep can result in devastation and failure. Carve out time to take care of yourself and your relationships every day. You will be more satisfied in life and have deep, caring relationships while achieving big audacious goals if you enjoy the journey and take care of you and those you love along the way.
- Ideas will always come to you. Jot them down or voice them into a memo software for yourself to review later, if you are flooded with business ideas all of the time. This will allow your brain to release the ideas so the viable ideas can continue developing in your subconscious mind.
Mentoring Conversation Resources
- Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath, From Gallup (2008)
Next Monday’s Mentoring Conversation
James Eder’s latest venture, Causr.co builds on his passion of connecting people and business. Causr.co is an APP, now at Apple. It can be a game changer in social situations where you can connect with people around you and start a conversation. He started his first venture at age 22.
This is my first of three Skype mentoring conversations. James lives in the United Kingdom!