Susan Popoola

Leveraging The Value of People

Archive for the ‘Just For Fun’ Category

February 10th, 2015 by SusanPopoola

Do You Give Due Credit?

I’m looking forward to watching the film, Selma. Everything that I’ve heard about it indicates that it is a film that is well worth watching.

With it being award season, the frustration has been expressed about the limited diversity and representation of black artistes amongst the various categories for different awards ceremonies, especially when you have a film, which is as highly proclaimed as Selma released within the season.

Against this backdrop, it was nice to learn that a few songs from the film SELMA would be featured in this years Grammy. This has, however, led to some controversy of it’s own. The song, “Take My Hand Precious Lord” was sung by Beyonce at the Grammys. However, in the film itself the role of Mahalia Jackson is performed by a lovely Jazzy, earthy soul singer named Ledisi who I’m sure very ably sings the song in the film.

When John Legend was asked was asked why Beyonce was chosen to sing the song (instead of Ledisi) he is said to have responded, “Beyonce requested to sing the song and the offer was to good to pass up”. He is said to have said, “You don’t really say no to Beyonce if she asks to perform with you” he is said to have told a magazine.

When asked about the situation, Ledisi who would have been sitting in the audience provided a very gracious response, saying that she had, had the privilege to sing the song following on from legends such as Mahilia Jackson and Aretha Franklin and that now Beyonce was singing it and taking it to a different generation/audience.

I must say that I question John Legend’s defence that he could not turn Beyonce down. Maybe that’s the type of argument that comes to play when it comes to nominations for the various awards ceremonies, which do not represent the diversity of society.

Critically, I found myself reflecting on this in relation in relation to the workplace. You’ll probably say you don’t do things like this or if you do, it’s totally justified.

However, if you have capable staff with a fair amount of experience who work around the clock for your organisation, providing input to key projects, who are never thanked or publically acknowledged them maybe you are.

If you see the role of such staff to be to sit quietly in meetings without expressing an input; if you expect them to adhere to changes without ever having any say in what the changes may be, then you probably are.   I could go on, but I won’t. Hopefully you can see my point.

There are obviously limits, but if you want them to continually give their best; to be fully engaged and stay with you for the long term. Do ensure that you f recognise what they have to offer, fully acknowledge them; involve them and make the most of them. If the people that we don’t fully appreciate have half of the talent of Ledisi, then we are doing not only them, but also ourselves a major disservice.

#Selah

Susan Popoola runs Conning Towers Ltd, an HR organisation focused on Talent Management and HR Transformation and Engaged For Success a Social Enterprise. She is also the published author of Touching The Heart of Milton Keynes: A Social Perspective and Consequences: Diverse to Mosaic Britain. She is also Winner Women4Africa Author of the Year 2013

Copyright 2015. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

 

January 17th, 2015 by SusanPopoola

The Spirit of an Explorer

If you have the spirit of an explorer, sometimes you set out on a path without actually knowing where it will lead.

But it will lead somewhere and if it’s not where you want to be you can turn back and start over or start from where the path seized to feel right.

But mind you don’t turn back to soon as by pressing on you may find you’re actually on a desirable path.

Selah

Susan Popoola runs Conning Towers Ltd, an HR organisation focused on Talent Management and HR Transformation and Engaged For Success a Social Enterprise. She is also the published author of Touching The Heart of Milton Keynes: A Social Perspective and Consequences: Diverse to Mosaic Britain. She is also Winner Women4Africa Author of the Year 2013

Copyright 2015. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

November 14th, 2013 by SusanPopoola

Where’s Your Poppy?

I have a poppy, which I choose to wear and I wear it with great pride. It actually looks just like this one worn by young Nicholas on XFactor.

nicholas-mcdonald

At the same time, I’ve found it fascinating that there are people who believe that people should wear a poppy. I’ve heard it said that if you go to the BBC studios in early November you are automatically given a poppy to wear before you go on air.

More recently there has been the case of the reporter, Charlene White who has been said to have received a lot of abuse for deciding not to wear a poppy. Ref: ITV news reporter receives racial and sexual abuse.

 

charlene-wilson

As I’ve already said, I wear a poppy. However isn’t Remembrance Day aimed at honouring those that fought for our liberty and freedom. Regardless of opinion and reasoning, what does the condemnation, intimidation and bullying of  people who choose not to wear a poppy say about our view on their entitlement to express their liberty and freedom of choice?

#Selah

Copyright 2013. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

 

July 15th, 2013 by SusanPopoola

Trying to Eat Healthily

 

Sainsbury Carrot Juice

For the first time ever, courtesy of Sainsbury’s I drank vegetable juice (combined with fruit juice) this past weekend.  I’m pretty surprised to say that though I was somewhat hesitant, drinks of carrot juice and beetroot juice each mixed with different fruits was not only palatable, but actually quiet refreshing a nice.

You may wonder why I’m mentioning this?  Well you see over recent times I’ve become increasingly aware of my health and what I eat. When I go out I therefore look for health options for the most part. I however find it’s a struggle to find anything both healthy and appealing.

A couple of weeks back I was in Birmingham for an athletics event in Birmingham  and all the food menus seemed to be very much aligned to the one below.

 

Burger Menu

 

In frustration, I tweeted about this – questioning whether the athletes ate it. The food seemed to be a bit of a contradiction to a sports environment.

Going back this last weekend, I both made sure that I ate before I left home and additionally took some food of my own choice.  Regardless, walking into the venue, I decided to visit the Sainsbury’s stand which I hadn’t had the time to get to on my last visit.  They weren’t actually there to sell food, rather as the sponsor to the event, they were out to create an awareness of some of their healthy products.

That aside it was very much burger land with drinks of soda, larger, coffee and tea to wash it down. I haven’t suddenly become a health fanatic, however, I do believe it w\s nice to have some healthy options. I’m therefore please to have noticed a stall with some slices of watermelons and on my way out I got some delicious freshly picked farm strawberries.

Maybe when I go back next year there will be more variety/balance in the options.  After all if you can’t get that at a sports event how can we expect it anywhere else.

 

 

June 8th, 2013 by SusanPopoola

Girls and Golf

When I went along to support a Charity Golf event, I decided that the next time I went for such an event, I wanted to have the option of actually playing.  I have therefore recently started Golf lessons.

They say a lot of networking and business is done on the Golf course.  Though it’s not my motivational, it’s nice to know that I have already made a couple of friends.  As they are both learners as well we’ve started arranging to meet for extra practice time in between the formal lessons.

When I went to the Golf Club for this purpose on a late Thursday evening I noticed that there were a fair number of children – girls and boys alike – taken lessons.  Now that weren’t as many girls as there were boys, but I did begin to wonder whether this may be one of the avenues through which barriers to women in business are ultimately broken down.

So may I ask – does your daughter play Golf? 🙂

Selah

Copyright 2013. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

 

November 22nd, 2012 by SusanPopoola

The Eyes of a Child

I know it’s probably not the end, but I’m glad that there has been a ceasefire called in Gaza..

Even though I have studied it from the perspectives of history, academia and the Bible, I’ve I never fully understood the issue of  The West Bank. I hear people

speak of Israel’s right to defend itself; the folly of Palestinians imprisoned in their own homes and all the other common arguments and I must say –  I don’t believe it’s a simple case of right or wrong.  Sadly it’s inevitable that if things are viewed in simplistic terms there can be no lasting progress.

I find this completely disheartening because one of the worse things as far as I’m concerned is the image of destroyed homes with young children looking wide eyed at what used to be their homes.  I observe them and wonder what long term impact these images will have on their minds.  Will they lead them by miracle to say ‘no more’ or will it lead to a hate and a desire for revenge in their latter years.

I hope that the ceasefire can somehow last, but for that to really occur people need to take the time to understand other people’s point of view, look beyond themselves and compromise.  After all these years of false starts it seems almost impossible but once in a while miracles do occur and there are things that the yes of a child should truly never see.

#Selah

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

November 3rd, 2012 by SusanPopoola

The Good and Bad in Us ALL

When the Jimmy Savile scandal first broke, I had no idea how bad things were, but I knew there were bad – the abuse of anyone is bad, the abuse of a child is heinous. So for someone to abuse numerous young people over an extended period of time with impunity ….. words cannot express.

It’s also astounding that normally when someone is accused of a crime – even if they are caught red handed the crimes are referred to as allegations until proven in a court of law. I know Savile is dead and cannot be tried, but even though people may question the extent of his crimes, people are quite categoric about his guilt.

Even his nephew, Roger Foster who originally started of by stating that “The guy hasn’t been dead for a year yet and they’re bringing these stories out. It could affect his legacy, his charity work, everything. I’m very sad and disgusted,” has now come to a different conclusion.

He is now quoted as having stated that, “I cannot understand for the life of me how a guy that did so much good in his life – with the work that he did, his charity work, his trusts, the people that he helped – could have such a dark side to him that nobody knew about.”

Going on to state that “I have this memory of what the man was like, what he meant to me as a person. I still have part of me proud of him, not proud of the way things have turned out, but proud of the things that he did in trying to help other people.  I am so absolutely devastated and disappointed that this dark side is the side that he will be remembered for.”

The only thing is whilst his nephew has now reached the point of accepting the wrong that he’s uncle did, he still talk about a part of him that is still proud of Savile.  I guess this is because of the good that he did.  The only thing is the more that is revealed the more the question arises as to whether there was actually much good in Jimmy Savile as he’s motives are now questionable. Was he really out to Fix It and make the wishes of children come true or was he just using the programme as a means to evil ends?

This question is heightened by a statement of Paul Gambaccini a Radio DJ  who stated that “On another occasion, and this cuts to the chase of the whole matter, he was called and he said ‘well you could run that story, but if you do there goes the funds that come in to Stoke Mandeville – do you want to be responsible for the drying up of the charity donations’. And they backed down.”

It’s not just the threat, it’s what we choose to believe – can someone that does so much good, do wrong, such that Esther Rantzen stated “You see, one child’s word against the word of a television icon, one who was renowned for raising money for charity, who knew everyone from the Prime Minister to Princess Diana, who was knighted by the Queen and the Pope, I think no single complainant dared speak out before.”

It actually goes further, a couple of weeks back, I met an older lady at a supermarket. We ended up talking about the case.  She mentioned that she had met Savile several times as she had a son at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. She went on to say, there was also something about him that she didn’t like that led her to avoid him, she went on to comment on the evil that he did – concluding on the note – but he did so much good – he was just a great philantrophist.

It reminds me of the comment that someone interviewed made about Lance Armstrong following on from the revelations about him – “I’m disappointed in him but I still think he’s one heck of an athlete”

The truth is yes, there is good and bad in all of us and it should be acknowledged, but when I see the media continuing to show photographs of Savile with a grin and/or swaggering around with a cigar drooping from his mouth i.e. the celebrity image.  I wonder whether they have truly come to terms with the gravity of his crimes.  After all, when someone is accused of a crime, the media normally look for the ugliest possible photo of the person that they can find so that people know how evil the person is – even though the person has not been proven guilty.

With Savile there seems to be no doubt, so whilst we recognise that there is good and bad in us all, I’d like to request that the media reconsider the photos of him that they show and the image that it portrays. i.e. that he is possibly still someone to be celebrated.

#Selah

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

 

 

 

October 12th, 2012 by SusanPopoola

Beyond the Man in The Mirror

 

 

 

There’s a lot to be said about looking in the mirror and seeing yourself for who you are – warts and all and working to improve upon yourself or even just accepting yourself as you are.

This week I was, however, reminded that there is also a time to look beyond the mirror. To listen and accept the positive things that other people have to say of you, to accept the good that they see in you and what you do– even if in your mind it represents a magnified view of you.

It reminds me of the words of a young man who was mentored by Usher who said of Usher, “ he believed in me until I was forced to believe in myself”

I believe that as you begin to believe and take steps towards becoming that “magnified” image, even if it’s sometimes scary, there is a strong possibility that you just might become that great person that others see.

And everyone wants to be the best that they can be – don’t they?

#Selah

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.


August 10th, 2012 by SusanPopoola

We are Punished for Our Virtues

 

I have a fascination for tattoos and what they mean to the bearers. I mean what leads people to get images or words engraved on their bodies when everyone says that the process is rather painful.

I did once think that if I was to get married, instead of a wedding ring, I would be nice to get a tattoo of a wedding ring. The only thing is I would have to find someone crazy enough to want to do the same thing.  Besides it’s a painful process and I don’t like pain.

However, I remain fascinated by tattoos and the more I observe the imagery, read the wording or ask people about the meaning of their tattoos and the reason for getting them the more intrigued I become.  Maybe one day I’ll right a book.

This thinking was reinforced early today when in a casual conversation I noticed the tattoo on a man’s arm – “We are punished for our virtues.” (Fully quote, : We are punished for our virtues: we are only ever truly forgiven for our errors ?#Nietzsche” – I looked it up) Asked why he got the tattoo he explained that he went through a very difficult period of live which included going through a divorce and therefore got the tattoo.

On a more positive note he explained that he was planning on getting a tattoo on his other arm that symbolized rebirth and new beginning with the hope and belief that his life had/would soon turn around.

#Selah

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.

 

March 29th, 2012 by SusanPopoola

Communication Breakdown

It’s now over 10 years since I virtually work up one morning and decided to book myself on a holiday to Japan.  My original plan was to go by myself , however, a friend intrigued by the idea asked if she could come along and we went along together.

I must say, I was really and truly pleased that she came because aside from the fact that she is generally good company, it was the first place that I ever visited where most of the people I encountered spoke very little English. Whilst her task for the trip was to make all the arrangements and decide on the must go places to visit, for some reason I was given the task of learning Japanese.  I task that I failed miserably at achieving.  As a result we spent a lot of time bowing to people, smiling and pointing to things.

The exception was when we were introduced to people who were referred to as English experts. Then we had the opportunity to speak English, the only thing is sometimes the expertise of the experts was quite limited.

Under such circumstances I found myself adopting a very bad and to be honest rude habit – I would speak louder or speak slower as if that would really make any difference.

I was reminded of this recently during a conversation that I had with an associate when I got frustrated at my inability to get my point across and ended up having a rather frustrating conversation.

There were three key points that I learnt from this conversation:
•    People have different communication styles. Adapt your communication style to your audience. You have more of a responsibility of communicating in a manner that is clear to them than they have of interpreting and understanding your message
•    If the person that you are speaking to does not agree with or understand the point that you are trying to make, no matter how frustrated you may be, repeating the point several times will not make any difference. Neither will speaking slowly or shouting.
•    No matter how important your message is, if the person you are speaking to is not receiving, don’t try and force it down the person’s throat.

Selah ?

Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.