Friday 24 January 2020
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A Leopard Never Changes It’s Spots: What Is Your Consistency

A Leopard Never Changes It’s Spots: What Is Your Consistency


Many years ago, when I was in fifth grade I saw a male teacher in a compromising position with a school girl. In high school, there were students who paid protection fees to bullies.

In my work life, I`ve seen executives involved in less than acceptable dealings that have seen them get a lot of money. These experiences and several others have impacted me negatively in more ways than one.

The reason why these things and more happen in all sections of our community boils down to the lack of good character and morals.

Most people would agree that they want to leave a positive legacy and a good inheritance for their progeny. Whether or not one will succeed at these will depend mostly on your character and what you invest to improve it.

The dictionary I use defines character as, “the combination of traits and qualities distinguishing the individual nature of a person or thing”.

This is followed up by several synonyms which include integrity, honesty, goodness, moral courage, principles, purity, honour and fairness. All these are admirable qualities.

No one person can claim to always possess them. However, it is those who make a conscious decision and effort to have and then live by them who will ultimately have all rounded success.

It is said a leopard never changes it’s spots, what is your consistency as an entrepreneur?

Numerous temptations, offering a seemingly easier life will present shortcuts and promises of happiness through corrupt and immoral ways.

In the next few weeks we will discover the folly of those who decide to follow this depraved lifestyle and the contribution character has in the success or down fall of an entrepreneur.

For now, I would like to dwell on a few areas that will help you build a strong foundation for a positive character.

  •  Mindset. This is perhaps the most important part of building character. How you think and what you ponder upon are key. If you spend time meditating and reflecting on positive things it will reflect on your character. You will also need to regularly remind your mind to remain focused on good and positive things even when all around you is telling you otherwise.
  • In building your character what you read and listen to becomes essential. I have made it a point to read personal development books and biographies of people I admire and have been successful. Reading these books and listening to inspirational speakers who don’t simply leave me temporarily motivated but give me tools to improve has gone a long way in building the character I desire.
  • A wise man said, ‘’do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good character’’. The late Jim Rohn adds, “you are the sum total of the five people you spend most of your time with”. Your friends, workmates and associates therefore play a significant role in forming your character. It makes sense to choose your friends wisely because consciously or subconsciously they are determining who you are becoming.
  • With all sorts of temptations distracting me in my pursuit of positive character, I have found my faith to be key in overcoming the different voices coming my way. Often, I feel helpless and want to cave into what many would consider ‘small’ temptations. My faith has been extremely pivotal in helping me overcome and staying focused.

Attaining these qualities is no stroll in the park. However, the journey of pursuing good character, although difficult is very possible. It is probably one of the most important anyone can ever take. It is one that will transform the person, our communities, businesses and indeed the nation

Stirling Gapara was born and raised in Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, he worked for Universal Leaf Tobacco, a leading international tobacco company where he rose to the position of Sales Leader. In 2007 Stirling moved to Uganda to work for another international tobacco firm, Leaf Tobacco and Commodities. There he held the position of GLT Operations Manager until 2014. After leaving Leaf Tobacco, Stirling founded Stirling Leadership Consults where he is the Managing Director. Stirling has always had a passion for leadership. He has held several leadership positions in both the corporate and non- corporate sectors. Currently, he sits on the board of Acacia International School in Kampala and is also President of the Parents Council. He is the vice president of Kampala Toastmasters. He also sits on the alumni board for the Institute for National Transformation. Stirling is a member of the John Maxwell Team. He is an avid reader, a keen sports fan and a keep fit enthusiast. He is married to Vimbai and together they have 3 children.