Book Review: Creating Your Path through Leadership

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In the words of English philosopher, and statesman, Sir Francis Bacon ‘some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly’. This excellent book-testimonial from the Board Members and Graduates of International Institute for Global Leadership, USA ( IIGL, USA) falls within the categories of  the: ‘ …books that should be chewed and digested thoroughly’ according to Francis Bacon’s intellectual analysis.

 The primary mission of IIGL is to provide a tuition-free education to individuals who wish to become high-integrity, heart-centered and conscious leaders in their communities and the world.
Our curriculum is uniquely designed to provide our students with the consciousness and skills to wisely and peacefully lead others in creating positive change wherever it is needed. The study program is available to participants of any age anywhere in the world.”

Creating Your Path through Leadership is a veritable goldmine of
resource materials for change makers, policymakers, diplomats, social entrepreneurs, management consultants, leadership coaches, personal development coaches, leadership experts, speakers, management consultants, nonprofit consultants,  Business owners, students and young people around the world.
It is composed of 23 exciting chapters with foreword and introduction, 25 contributors in 8 countries, sharing one global message. The book is spiced with interesting success stories, quotes, and personal experiences and impact of IIGL world class curriculum of leadership studies.

In the foreword, Michael Lightweaver from USA discussed the idea of ‘power of mind’. He spiced it with sharing personal experiences of losing his job in 1979, his foray into network marketing, meeting a friend from Morocco in the summer of 2001, revolutionizing his mind, and his utmost desire and honest attempt to make impact in the lives of people around the world.

All these inspired the founding of IIGL. Going through the pages of this book, you will learn bright ideas on how to make a transformative impact in the world, and found a heart-centered organization of global impact.
The Introduction was written by Debora Rosen from USA, IIGL’s Executive Director. She shared her personal experiences working in IIGL since its inception in 2002 till date. She has meritoriously worked as a mentor, Board President, Director of Resource Development, and currently working as Executive Director.

 She described IIGL as one big Global family with over 100 active students and 26 graduates (as at the time of the publication) from all the continents of the world except Antarctica. She also talked about the uniqueness of IIGL self-paced learning, vision of IIGL, and what all the IIGL family members have in common. By reading through this chapter, you will be filled with amazing ideas on how to run the day-to-day activities of an international organization.

Chapter One entitled IIGL: a Perfect Timing by IIGL’s first ever graduate and immediate past Board President, Felix Iziomoh from Nigeria. He shared very touching experiences of joining IIGL as a student in 2005, how he got the inspiration to author a book while writing, editing and submitting of his IIGL’s assessments.  Today, among other things, he learnt how to sharpen his creative writing prowess through IIGL rare curriculum.

He also shared his challenges and motivation as first graduate, becoming Nigeria coordinator, and book distributor, nomination to the board, serving in the Board since 2009 till date.
Through IIGL and in collaboration with other Nigerian IIGL members, he got the motivation to start his NGO International Centre for Leadership Development Nigeria (ICLDNG), now an affiliate of IIGL and a recognized NGO to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). He shared the Impact of ICLDNG in organizing two international conferences with IIGL, and success stories of impacting school children, and young people with leadership skills both in Nigeria and beyond.
 This chapter is greatly recommended for people leading nonprofits, teen coaches, goal mapping facilitators, inspirational speakers, mentors of young people and those aspiring to leave indelible footprints in the minds and hearts of human historicity.
Chapter two ‘Discovering your Leadership Potential’ by Noeline Kirabo from Uganda, an IIGL graduate and Past Board President. She shared her journey with IIGL, which began with a desperate search for leadership training opportunities. She devoted a great deal of time discussing: ‘Be intentional, immerse yourself in the optimum environment, seek a mentor, lifelong learning, embrace your uniqueness, and clarify your values’.

In the concluding analysis, Noeline opined ‘… The clearer you are about your identity as a leader, the easier it becomes to learn from others. Leadership development is a journey, so your ability grows as you maintain focus on the vision you cherish in your heart’. Social visionaries, nonprofits, policymakers, leadership coaches, mentors, teen coaches, youth aspiring for change will be exceedingly grateful going through this chapter.

Chapter Three ‘Winning with Words: the Power of Effective Communication’ by Ethelbert Obinna Umeh, IIGL Graduate and Current Board President from Nigeria. He shared how his encounter with IIGL has added immense value to his life and the lives of others, and his organization ‘Blueprint Consulting’.

How he surmount all odds to become the fastest graduate since the history of IIGL. He shared his experience working with over 100 clients from over 40 countries as a freelance writer, sharing top 10 leadership lessons he gained from IIGL, and then spicing it with analyzing ‘The Power of Effective Communication’.
Emerging effective communicators, diplomats, social visionaries, business executives, leaders with innovative ideas, leaders in crises-ridden areas, and those aspiring for social change will see this chapter as an answered prayer.

In Chapter four entitled ‘Leadership Concepts’, by Ziyad Abdule, IIGL Graduate from Ethiopia discussed various leadership concepts. He shared his success stories discovering IIGL. He spent a great deal of time reflecting on 10 leadership qualities such as being visionary, commitment, courage, character, integrity, communication, emotional intelligence, positive mentality, learning from failure, and magnanimity. Leadership coaches, positional leaders, management consultants and experts will learn a lot from this chapter.

Chapter five, Self Awareness: the Key to Leadership by IIGL graduate and Board Member, Charles Kabera from Rwanda. He shared how IIGL shaped his life, how he overcame procrastination, self-imposed limitations, and how he has been an asset to the human condition. Through personal success stories, he has shown how self-awareness can actually be a key to leadership development and excellence. Researchers, public servants, diplomats, and counselors will find this chapter highly resourceful.

Chapter Six Never Allow Schooling to Interfere with Education’ by Lawrence Afere, IIGL graduate and organic farmer from Nigeria. He shared his experience from becoming a student in 2005 to serving as Board Vice President. He creatively engages the reader to a provocative journey of global impact.

The crux of this chapter was ‘...To become an exceptional person in this ever changing world, one must always embrace personal development. Read good books on history, motivation, inspiration, leadership and literature. Your mind should be constantly exposed to materials that grow the mind and not depreciate it…’ this chapter is highly resourceful for emerging organic farmers, social visionaries, entrepreneurs and business owners.

Chapter Seven, ‘The Journey of a Lifepreneur - Moving from Ordinary to Extraordinary’ by Bikundo Onyari, an IIGL graduate from Kenya. He relished his memory with great feeling of inspiration, motivation and super excitement his encounter with IIGL in 2002, and his amazing lifepreneurship journey till this very moment.
This chapter is highly resourceful for those seeking a better path; it will revolutionize their mindset on entrepreneurship, as well as working with colleagues, learning institutions, communities and families.
Chapter Eight, ‘True Happiness: A Journey of Inwardness and the Transformation of the Mind’ by an IIGL Graduate, Mark Maxwell Elisha-Mazadu from Nigeria. He took time to advance the thesis that the highest level of happiness comes from our level of inwardness. This chapter is highly resourceful for change makers, policy makers, social entrepreneurs, counselors and public speakers.

 Chapter Nine, Something Good from the Dumpsite, by an IIGL graduate and Kenyan National Coordinator, Erick Omari from Kenya.  He shared how his encounter with IIGL inspired the founding of his organization, Alfa Network, a community-based organization, in the Kibera slum of Kenya, the second largest slum in the world, and his utmost dedication serving the poorest of the poor in the world. This chapter is extremely resourceful for social visionaries and change makers. 

Chapter Ten, Welcome to Tomorrow – Welcome to the Future - “Living Ahead of Your Peers” by an IIGL graduate from Nigeria, and founder Christian Research Forum. He analyzed the power of imaginative mind in creating a revolution and making huge impact in the world: ‘…If you must live ahead of your peers, you should learn to put to full use your imaginative mind; it is a tool that will give you the ticket to welcome your peers to tomorrow and to the future…’ this chapter is highly resourceful for inspirational speakers, researchers, authors, executive trainers, and management consultants.

Chapter Eleven, Leadership and its Discontent: Hooray for Change, by Emmanuel Iziomoh, IIGL graduate and Current Board Vice President from Nigeria. He analysed various leadership challenges, problems, dependable solutions, as well as physical and psychological realities surrounding our existence, and how to live a fulfilled life. 
Without mincing words, he maintained that:  ‘...By and large, people get the kind of leaders they deserve, and it is worth mentioning that the quality of leadership is the product of the socio-political interactions that take place within the society...’ This chapter is exceedingly recommended for emerging corporate leaders, innovators, success-driven coaches, policymakers, business executives etc.

Chapter Twelve, Beyond Dreams and Wishes: Moving beyond Goals to Destiny, by an IIGL graduate, Hattie Opondo from Uganda. She shared how her encounter with IIGL studies has enhanced her personal growth and worth in seven key areas: education, health, family, career, relationship, material possessions, and travels. This chapter will be highly resourceful for those searching meaning in their lives.

Chapter Thirteen, Leadership and Creative Thinking, by Okpe Emmanuel, IIGL graduate from Nigeria. He took time to educate, inform and form the reader on seven pillars of creative leadership such as change, insight & imagination, conviction, intellectual challenge, self-awareness & humility, passion and empathy, and facilitating creativity in others. This is a great resource for innovators, facilitators, leadership coaches, teen coaches, corporate executives and policy makers.

Chapter Fourteen, ‘An Experience with the International Institute for Global Leadership’ by IIGL Graduate from Nepal, Kishor B. Bajracharya.   Kishor shared awesome lessons he gained from IIGL. Amazingly, he has gone ahead to instill those skills in his personal and professional life. This chapter is spiced with success stories, and appreciation. It is exclusively recommended for those running nonprofits and inspiring social change in their communities.

Chapter Fifteen, Volunteering: A Key to Leadership by IIGL graduate, Ayoade Anthony from Nigeria.  In few pages, he shared wonderful insights on volunteering plus his volunteering experiences. According to him: ‘… Volunteering is a way of giving back to the community while developing leadership skills and gaining valuable work experience, all at the same time…’ this is highly recommended to those volunteering their time, talent and treasures for noble causes.

Chapter Sixteen, My Transformation by IIGL graduate, Communications Secretary, and founder, Naisha Smart Technologies, Aisha Ibrahim from Nigeria. She shared great ideas on how IIGL has transformed her career as an ICT entrepreneur and corporate executive through its quality books, mentors and policies. This chapter is highly recommended for emerging corporate and social entrepreneurs anywhere in the world.

Chapter Seventeen, Conflict Resolution: the Role of Young Women and Men in Creating a Culture of Peace, by an IIGL graduate, Ratherford Mwaruta from Zimbabwe. He shared great ideas on strategies in conflict transformation, and seven steps for effective conflict resolution and relation building. Policymakers, conflict resolution facilitators, peace advocates, Human Rights activists, youth advocates for social change, peace makers etc will find the pages of this chapter highly resourceful.

Chapter Eighteen, Conscious Decision Making: a Key to Success, by IIGL Graduate and Board member from Nigeria, Osayi Ujunwa Lynda. She shared how conscious decision making affect our personal and professional lives. This is a chapter for decision makers, policymakers, corporate managers, teen coaches, inspirational speakers, and social entrepreneurs.

Chapter Nineteen, Amplified Significance by an IIGL board member, Juliette Alyce Engole from Uganda. She shared her personal transformative experience with IIGL, and how significance leads to purpose fulfillment. This chapter is highly recommended for those that want to give their lives a meaning or searching for the ultimate goal of life, happiness.

Chapter Twenty, Being who I am Called to Be, by IIGL graduate, current Corresponding Secretary,  Vivian Muciri from Kenya.  According to her: ‘... If I had not joined IIGL, I would have gone through life as an average person, always blaming my situation and other people who never gave me an opportunity. But throughout the course, one of the biggest lessons I learned was that I have more than enough resources to become who God called me to be…’

This chapter is recommended to those at the verge of giving up due to the unhealthy spoils of life and situations that beclouds or characterizes their daily existential sojourn.

Chapter Twenty One, See Your Life Otherwise: Things do not Necessarily have to be Like This, by IIGL student and board member from Rwanda, Aloys Hakizimana. He shared the roles IIGL leadership solution played in transforming his professional life, both working as a lawyer and lecturer in a local university in Rwanda. This chapter is an eye-opener for those that want to migrate from employees to starting their own businesses, managing teams and working in a corporate environment.

Chapter Twenty two, Heart-Centered Leadership in Action, by IIGL Treasurer and Finance Committee chair, Lynne Murguia from USA. She shared her experience working with IIGL from its inception in 2002, and she has over the years become acquainted with many of IIGL students and their envisioned projects.  

She shared that: ‘…several personal relationships have developed with students which have facilitated assistance to Nepali earthquake victims, potential asylum of refugee students, assistance to ill students, etc.  IIGL truly gives meaning to the realization of brother/sisterhood, and is a step toward recognition of the One Humanity’. This chapter is highly recommended to social visionaries, change makers, volunteers of noble causes, and those desiring to make impact in the hearts and minds of people around the world.

Chapter Twenty Three, To Dream the “Impossible” Dream, by IIGL Board member, and founder, Bridges of Peace,  Kathleen Oweegon from USA. She shared her experiences volunteering for IIGL activities for more than 15 years, including attending IIGL conferences in Nigeria in 2013 and 2017 respectively.
 This chapter is highly resourceful for those contributing to the evolution of their communities, inspiring others to learn, to grow and to manifest positive change. It is also a great insight for those working in think-tank committees, volunteers, and social visionaries. 

Final Thoughts
 ‘Creating Your Path through Leadership’. Written by graduates and Board members of our great institution which cut across contributors from USA, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Nepal, and Zimbabwe.
It is composed of 23 amazing chapters with Foreword and Introduction. I am particularly grateful to all the 25 contributors for being kind enough to share their interesting leadership lessons, skills, transformational stories and heart centered leadership which embodies IIGL’s mission.
This is a book to be read, digested and chewed. It will remain a veritable goldmine of resource materials for speakers, community leaders, volunteers, nonprofits, social visionaries, change makers, and everyone desiring for change.

The teamwork, collaboration and deep commitment IIGL community showed in this project is second to none.

IIGL is a world to discover, a world to experience, and a world that inspires greatness and sustainable global change. This inspirational book is filled with time-tested and proven lessons on how to break new grounds, rise above limitations and continuously raise the bar of excellence in our personal and professional lives.
It is live on Amazon and available both in paperback and Kindle formats.

Reviewer:  Ethelbert Obinna Umeh
Board President, IIGL USA
December 24, 2018