This is Why Folabi Clement Solanke Moved from Soccer into Education
This is Why Folabi Clement Solanke Moved from Soccer into Education
One of the lesser understood aspects of running a nonprofit is that salability and relatability are just as important as the charitable act itself. If you want to drive funds to a specific cause, you need to make it relatable.
If your parents pass away from cancer, you’re more likely to donate to cancer charities. If you had a difficult childhood or have children yourself, you’re more likely to donate to children’s charities.
For Folabi Clement Solanke, the goal was always to help children in the poorest areas of Nigeria. He began by staging soccer tournaments and worked with major US teams like Phoenix Rising to ship essential sports equipment and other supplies.
He wanted to raise awareness and funnel some much-needed funds to these regions, but he soon realized that Americans aren’t really that interested in soccer.
That’s when he switched his focus to education, an area that desperately needs assistance and is severely short on funds.
Primary school education is free in Nigeria, but millions of kids don’t attend and the ones that do are forced to subsist on the barebones. They don’t have desks or chairs; many have little more than a blackboard and a willing teacher. That’s the extent of their entire education and it’s why Nigeria has some of the lowest literacy rates in the world.
It’s not about what’s more or less important. The goal is to raise awareness, get more money, and direct this to the areas that need it most. Whether that money is generated through soccer tournaments, music events, or raffles, it doesn’t matter—it all goes to the same place, it all helps to fix the problem.
The key is to find the right angle and for Solanke, honesty has been the best approach.
“I think charities are overly cautious about these things and aren’t as open as they perhaps should be. I don’t mind coming out and admitting that I need social media engagement. I need celebrities, influencers, and sports stars. It’s not a popularity contest. I’m not trying to increase those numbers for my own vanity. It’s about getting more eyes on the things that matter. That’s how we get funding and that’s how we make a difference.
Everyone can help. It’s not just about donations. If you have 1,000 followers and you promote an event, maybe 1 or 2 of your followers will donate money, supplies, or time. Maybe they’ll share it to an even larger number of followers.”
The pandemic and the SARS protests have placed a massive obstacle in Solanke’s way, making his job even harder, but he hasn’t given up and has redoubled his efforts. To support him on his journey, visit his website or find him on Instagram.
The Ultimate Guide to the Essential Social Skills in Business
Effective communication and strong relationships are essential for success in the workplace. One factor that can greatly influence these qualities is emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EQ. EQ refers to the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Research has shown that individuals with high levels of EQ are better equipped to handle stress, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with others (Chamorro-Premuzic & Sanger, 2016).
Research has consistently shown that emotional intelligence (EQ) is an important predictor of job performance and success in the workplace. EQ is comprised of a set of skills that allow individuals to recognize, understand, and regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In addition, individuals with high EQ are better able to communicate effectively, build relationships, and navigate complex social situations. As a result, they are often viewed as effective leaders and collaborators, and are more likely to achieve their personal and professional goals.
In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated the significant impact that EQ has on job performance and success. For example, one study of 85 upper-level managers found that those with higher EQ scores were rated as more effective leaders by their subordinates (Law, Wong, & Song, 2004). Another study of 151 employees found that those with higher EQ were more likely to be promoted within their organization over a five-year period (Carmeli, Brueller, & Dutton, 2009). These findings highlight the importance of EQ in the workplace and suggest that developing these skills can lead to significant benefits for both individuals and organizations.
According to a study conducted by TalentSmart, a leading provider of EQ assessments, EQ is responsible for 58% of success in all job types (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). In contrast, IQ only accounts for about 4% of success in the workplace. This suggests that EQ is a crucial skill set for individuals in any professional field. Fortunately, EQ is a skill that can be developed and honed over time with practice and awareness.
There are several key components of EQ that are particularly important for success in the workplace. These include:
Self-Regulation: This refers to your capacity to recognize and control your emotions. Sometimes treating them when they arise may be necessary. Understanding how to manage your anger is essential. However, it can also cover how to control the feelings you’ll experience.
Self-Awareness: This implies recognizing and understanding your own feelings. Do noisy places make you nervous? Do other people talking over you make you angry? Knowing these truths about yourself shows that you are working on your self-awareness. Being conscious of yourself is necessary for this phase, which can be more complex than it sounds.
Socialization: This category focuses on your capacity to manage social interactions and direct relationships. It doesn’t entail dominating others but knowing how to work with others to achieve your goals. This could entail presenting your ideas to coworkers, leading a team, or resolving a personal disagreement.
Motivation: Strong motivators include external forces like money, status, or suffering. Internal motivation, however, plays a significant role in Goleman’s concept. By doing so, you demonstrate your ability to control your cause and initiate or continue initiatives of your own volition rather than in response to external demands.
Empathy: It’s equally critical to be sensitive to others’ feelings. This may entail learning to identify different emotional states in individuals — for example, can you tell the difference between someone at ease and someone anxious? — but it also requires comprehension of how other people may react to their current situation. Empathy is one of the essential traits in business and business leadership.
A thought leader in this space, Michael Ventura has built a career advising organizations on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. In his book, Applied Empathy, Ventura highlights the value of empathy in business and provides strategies for developing and applying this skill set. With two decades of experience as a leader, facilitator, and educator, Ventura’s work has made impact in with prestigious institutions such as Princeton University and the United Nations as well as corporate clients such as Google and Nike.
Through his work, Ventura advises leaders to focus on the development of EQ in order to help individuals improve their communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, ultimately leading to greater success in the workplace. Experts like Ventura continue to support the growing body of research on the value of EQ in business, and the evidence that organizations who invest in the EQ of their teams help to create a more empathetic and successful professional environment.
And it’s worth noting that EQ isn’t just important for individual success in the workplace, but also for overall organizational success. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership found that EQ was a better predictor of success than IQ or technical skills in the workplace, and that teams with higher levels of EQ tend to be more effective and productive (Boyatzis, Goleman, & Rhee, 1999). By cultivating a culture of empathy and emotional intelligence, organizations can improve their overall performance and create a more positive work environment for their employees.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of success in the workplace, and individuals and organizations alike should prioritize the development of these skills. The ones that do not only develop a leading edge in their category, but also become a meaningful place to work for their teams. And in today’s rapidly changing talent landscape, the retention of highly capable, emotionally intelligent leaders is one of the greatest keys to unlocking success.
Boyatzis, R. E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. S. (1999). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 343-362). Jossey-Bass.
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart.
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Sanger, M. N. (2016). Does employee happiness matter? Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 3(2), 168-191.
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