Issue Number: Volume VI. No. 11 Publisher: Kituku & Associates
Date of Issue: November 2007.  © 2007—Overcoming Buffaloes in Our Lives. All Rights Reserved.

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You can never overcome a challenge, in your organization or in your personal endeavor that you have not identified. Using the wrong resources and/or strategies will not help overcome challenges, it could even make them worse.

It’s been over 40 years but I can still hear the women in my community screaming because a buffalo had invaded us. Sometimes in the 60s myself and other youngsters, out of curiosity, decided to go to the local hospital and see a man we heard had been attacked by a buffalo. I still wish I had not gone—I couldn’t tell whether the red badge item we saw was a human head or something else.

It takes 4-5 lions about 6-8 hours to bring down a buffalo—and that is if there are no other buffaloes around. For those who missed our July 2007 newsletter, here is your homework, visit to get you updated in what makes a buffalo the undisputable king of the jungle.

Buffaloes, the most dangerous beasts I know, invaded our communities with an element of surprise—no one knew when they would come or from which direction. No one was save either. Schools were closed. People scurried for cover leaving gardens and marketplaces. Merchandise was left unattended.

These childhood memories of unpredictable the life in Kangundo, Kenya re-surface when I think about what’s going on in American workplaces. The challenge of dealing with unpredictable changes, and not knowing about it just a short time before their impact, always leaves lasting memories.

You know some jobs have been relegated to oblivion by technology. Others have been shipped elsewhere as a result of the dynamics of international trade regulations. Competition has had its share of dictating who remains employed. We can’t ignore that pure greed by some leaders has led to decisions and actions that have left masses feeling violated, vulnerable and ready for revenge—remember Enron?

Change can not be ignored. If addressed well, it leads to organizational prosperity, and professional and personal growth that would not have come any other way. That is what happened when intelligent natives dealt with their buffaloes and other unpredictable life threatening malice.

With a simple strategy, traditional warriors (equivalent of today’s professionals in charge of their family’s survival mean, security, and their community’s prosperity) brought a buffalo down within minutes after it was spotted. Traditional knowledge has it that young men took their spears and arranged how their would attack the beast. One speared the buffalo and ran for his life. As the buffalo ran towards its attacker, then another warrior speared it from a different direction, thus forcing it to pursue the new source of pain. This, we were told, went on until the buffalo was brought down.

The lessons from this analogy are many. However, there are key points to keep in mind as your organization moves forward with change. It takes team effort to overcome challenges. Each individual has to use the spear (skills, experiences or resources) they have. There is no need or time to complain why change is coming. Those who can’t change are unfortunately changed.

What are “buffaloes” facing your industry?
Does anyone who might be affected or could help, know what’s going on?
Who has what spear—the talents, experiences or resources that can be instrumental in chaotic times?
Is communication part of the strategy to overcome challenges?
What systems do you have in place for resolving conflicts that always arises in times of change?
Are your leaders, employees and customers prepared to move forward in uncertain times?
What motivation do your people have in overcoming challenges in your organization?

Here are some things to ponder in times of change:

Change is never an aspect that will just go away—but it has proven to be a crucial component of growth.
Each person is responsible for making change work. Being positive about change is contagious.
Change and other growth-oriented aspects life require hope, focus and contribution.
Flexibility in perspectives and actions is a needed tool for making change work.
You are the CEO of your attitude, decisions and actions that make change work
Never waste time and energy trying to control what you can’t—it’s frustrating and worthless.
The best security is to build your marketable skills.
Exceptional customer service should be a priority at all times.
Prepare for the next change.

If results are important to you, then
Dr Vincent Muli Kituku is the speaker/trainer for your group.
Call (208) 376-8724, or email Vincent directly at

As a leader you know your organization’s future depends on how competitive your products and/or services can weather the current storm of uncertainty. You know if people are not motivated and challenged on a continuous basis, they quit but stay. The problem is that you are paying people who have quit. They still report to work, act like they are working and collect full pay as if they worked.

There is a double loose in this scenario…you loss money and your people’s contribution—but the blow comes when your organization is forced undergo to expensive re-structuring efforts to restore employee trust, creativity, team spirit, exceptional customers and fun.

The good news is that you can avoid mediocre performance due to low morale with the oldest form of communication that restores hope and rekindles the self-motivating aspects people need to thrive in times of change. Use stories to inspire productivity, keep people focused on goals and stay motivated in chaotic times.

Why use stories and what kind of stories connect with people in times of change? Stories are the most effective tools that help people understand their environment and give meaning to everyday experiences, known and unknown. Stories separate what’s important from what’s not and make it easy for people to connect with others based on shared experiences. Stories evoke emotion and imagination and thus become the main call for action.

There are 5 key considerations when searching
for the story that connects with people:

What do you want to achieve with the story?


Do you have a personal experience that relates to your objective?


Do you have a story of a well known member of the organization or a customer?

How can you keep it simple and to the point?

Can you include a call for action?

But first, here are some realities you may want to keep in mind as you think and select the story (stories) to use. The story about moving forward in times of change, has to empower each individual to: be in-charge of their attitude, choices and efforts in leaving the past behind; mind their non-work related relationships; provide exceptional internal and external customer service; overcome challenges with his/her team; have 100% ownership of all they do—think and act as the owner; turn setbacks into opportunities for a new beginning; and be involved in non-work related activities that provide opportunities for fulfillment.

The strategy that I have seen succeed in using stories is: a) inspire managers and supervisors about their roles and equip them with what to communicate with their employees; (b) engage all teams members in your organization to listen, learn, contribute and ask questions—participate and (c) educate all employees about your organizations top priorities and each individual can contribute to the success of the established goals and thus the bottom line of the organization.

In your organization, remember you can increase creativity and productivity, sense of belonging, and loyalty with stories—because stories unify employees with a common mission/vision; shared organization’s core values; help create environment for new direction; reflect and honor traditions; promote and sell products; educate and keep employees motivated, productive and focused.  Suzi Boyle
formerly with American Home Mortgage, is recognized as
the first and so far the only Nationally Ranked lender in Idaho!
Dwayne Speegle, CIC, CRM
Vice President
6220 N. Discovery Way, Ste 100
Boise, ID 83713
Ph. 208.375.9199, Fax 208.658.1951

“At The Leavitt Group of Boise
you have a team of insurance
professionals available to answer any questions you may have.”


Cherno "CJ" Jagne

CNV Cleaning Services, Inc.

(208) 322 -9441
Cell Phone
(208) 941-3434
(208) 498-5998


 Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku with a featured luncheon guest speaker
 January 31st 8:00am- 3:30pm (Thursday)

 The Waterfront Catering
 3250 N Lake Harbor Lane, Boise, 83703

Note: Approved (E0356) by the State of Idaho Real Estate Commission and Education Council (6 Credit Hours). Idaho dentists and their assistants also receive 6 Credit Hours of continuing education.

Dear Vincent, …Unlike most management courses/seminars I participated in, you went a step further in designing our program and built a course that taught skills rather than imparting theory alone…I am confident to say that we are now better prepared to survive the appearance of water buffaloes in our workplace.

Betsy D. Sterk
Human Resource Manager, American Ecology


Before the Retreat, Dr. Kituku gained as much information as possible about our company and the industry we are involved in. He made telephone calls to management team members to tailor his seminar very closely to the needs of our employees and the circumstances they face each day in the present economy. Dr. Kituku was so widely received in July, the decision was made to ask him to return to again present to our company in October…

Harold G. Delamarter
President/CEO, Prestige Care Inc.


Dear Vincent…We always knew “they” (i.e., buffaloes) are amongst us! Yet your pictorial analogies for “recognizing the frogs” and dealing efficiently with water buffaloes of life have produced images I’m sure we will remember for a remember for a long time…Your motivational style is very unique, pointing each of us to look inwardly and in conjunction with each other as a “team”. Many were so enthused, they are considering your return to speak to other expanded teams within HP...

R. Scott Johnson
Program Manager, BLD Printer Lab, Hewlett-Packard


 Your investment:
  $179 Early Bird Registration BEFORE or ON January 15th 2008
  $249 AFTER January 15th 2008
  $159/Participant in groups of 5 or more

Your investment includes leadership enrichment resources
(free CDs and poster) a program workbook and refreshments and lunch.


Call Toll free 1-888-685-1621 or (208) 376-8724


Mail a check or money order to:

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You can also use your credit card to register when you call our office.

Each participant who has attended and participated in the entire course will receive
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“This was a turning point for my professional growth and balance in life.”
“I wish I had heard Dr. Kituku when I was in my 40s.”
“Vincent changed the attitude of our employees. No one is afraid of
change anymore.”
“I am glad I came with my teammates. We came back reading from the same page.”
“It’s amazing to discover that I have what I need to succeed.”
“Everything, Focus on 98% of good not 2% of bad.”
“Wonderful speaker - excellent thought processes to get started.”
“Ability to give analogies that help change our way of thinking.”
“All of it was helpful-there was nothing I couldn't use; will be useful in both private and professional life.”
“Thoroughly enjoyed the speaker – I listen to him on the radio - wonderfully inspirational; could have listened to him all day.”

The first scribbled piece resembles a star and the words next to it are “You are the star of my life.” The other demonstrative drawings have the followings texts next to them: “With your big smile you make my heart feel nice and warm. You are like a father to me and on bad days, when you touch my hand, you make it all good! Thank you Vincent !!!”

There is another letter, with a heartwarming message, on another piece of paper. Both the paper with the letter and the one with the drawings are held together by three ribbons. That is one of my most precious possessions at the moment.

When Alex handed her token of gratitude to me, she had no idea that she taken my life to another realm of spiritual experience. The humble experience, of being appreciated by a girl 11 years old, a stranger I had met through her grandmother, gave my life a new meaning—experiencing the third degree of thankfulness.

What we are familiar with is being thankful for our health, family or a job and other blessings that are bestowed on us. That is the first degree of thankfulness and majority of us can attest to sharing with others that these are some of the reasons we are thankful.

Another substantial number of people have experienced the second degree of thankfulness—being thankful in that one can give. You donate the clothes you haven’t worn in the last two years or give some money to humanitarian organization or volunteer your time to programs you believe in. There is that indescribable feeling that explains why people keep on giving of themselves and their resources.

When, however, you know someone (not a relative you may be obliged to help by cultural beliefs and/or practices), is thankful because of you, you are not only thankful because you can give but also in that someone else is thankful because you have touched his/her life and you know it at a personal level—that is a third degree of thankfulness and a few people experience it.

Like many of the readers of this piece, I have been blessed in sharing my blessings through programs like World Vision, Friends in the West, YMCA, WCA, Rescue Mission, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity among others. Doing so is a lifestyle that can not be learned in college and the “paycheck” is beyond anything corporate America can offer. Yet when your presence touches another human being, on one-on-one basis, to a point that he/she is thankful, your thankfulness reaches another level.

The unique part of the whole experience is that you do not need to travel far from where you are to touch someone’s life. Is there a senior citizen in your subdivision whom you can visit? Is there a child who does not live with one or both of his/her parents that can benefit from your presence and/or resources? Do you have a colleague who is going through family stress or illness and can use your shoulder to cry on?

There are no special skills needed for making another person have hope for a better tomorrow. There is no better time than doing it now when there is hope for improving their situation. The amazing angle of your contribution is that you derive benefits beyond what the benefactor of your giving can fathom.

Alex will never know what her thankfulness means to me.

Read Dr. Kituku’s newest articles online at:,, Casper Star Tribune, Argus Observer, Business IQ, Post Register, Idaho Catholic Register, Idaho Press Tribune, Idaho Senior Citizen News, and Presentations Magazine.

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