Constantly Improve Your Position

The Acumen East Africa Fellows Program is a one-year, fully-funded leadership development program that gives 20 individuals from across East Africa the training they need to accelerate their social impact and leadership potential.

It was a long written application process followed by an intense telephone interview. Before I could exhale, it was time to plunge into a fast-flowing river. There was a promise of breath-taking vistas, rapids and the possibility of my kayak capsizing.

But I still launched off. And what a rush it was! This was the Acumen Fellows Selection Program for 2015. Intense, nerve-wracking and phenomenal it was. All the participants had to prepare a one-minute elevator pitch. And to make sure that we completely understood the instructions, there was ’60 seconds’ added within brackets.

There I was ready to launch my pitch. Just to make sure that I wasn’t going to flounder, I had written it out and committed the main points to memory. Thirty seconds to my pitch, everything changed in my mind. It was not a conscious thought process. It is as if something took over my thinking. My pitch vaporized into a fine mist.

Before I could recover from my reverie, a microphone was thrust in my direction. I picked it and began to engage with an audience of about seventy people. Then ‘ding’! My sixty seconds were up… It felt like a second. I spoke from my heart with passion. It felt authentic.

It was such an eye-opening experience. I am still feeling the buzz from the pitches, group work and one-on-one interviews. The evaluators took us through challenging paces that I found invigorating. Interacting with my potential Fellows was monumental. I have to say that I made some great connections and friendships that I see growing into the future.

As I was evaluating the day’s events, I kept on asking myself, “What was different?” I think it all reflected my mind-set. When I arrived at the venue at 6:36 AM, my plan was to read my elevator pitch, make sure all the words were in place, and then head off to get the process going. However, everything changed as I meditated right there in the car. I told myself, “Go and have an experience. Have a blast!”

The following day, I was going through my usual personal growth program. It involves keeping my hunger to learn stoked and alive. This day, I watched ‘Constantly Improve Your Position’, a short video by Rorke Denver. It was awesome! I could now conceptualize what happened to me at the Acumen Fellows Selection Program! I did not allow a mind-set to bracket me in. I was hungry for continuous growth and become better.

Instead of worrying whether I was going to ‘wow’ the evaluators, my mind took on the tone of sharing my passion to serve and grow people. I focused on my purpose. I was ready to engage with others in a significant way. I can now look into the future of my entrepreneurial life with rock-solid hope. The fire in me was stoked to burn hotter than I had anticipated.

I was exhausted when the day came to an end. This experience had taught me a lot. But above all, I am now a soul on fire!

Take care of your gear, it will take care of you. Aim small, miss small.” ~Rorke Denver.

Have you gone through an experience that transformed you? Click here and share your story in the comments below.

photo credit: Diamond Glacier Adventures Ltd via photopin cc

Certified Professional Coach, Communication Specialist & Author

I help motivated but overwhelmed individuals and organizations regain their purpose to lead so they can focus on what matters most to build a transformational legacy.

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  • Rosie

    What a great piece of reflection Kimunya!!! Totally relate to it despite being on ‘the other side’ – so appreciate you capturing your thoughts on the day – a truly magical day with so many meaningful connections made!!! thank you!!! Rosie

    • Thanks Rosie! It was magical and taught me a lot in line with leadership.