Good people, I finally accepted that maybe a mentor or coach is a good idea at this stage of my life. This was not planned, well, not by me at least but as I look keenly its like the universe (I prefer God) has thrown me a lifeline. Having a mentor or coach (let’s go with coach as it sounds more posh) at this halftime stage feels like those money or the box programs where one of your options is to call a friend to help you answer the question ahead of you.

I met my friend Mike Eldon about two months ago as we prepared to speak at Engage 14. Engage is a Kenyan version of TED talks. It was an idea by my two, new, brilliant pals, Agatha and Don, who started it about 2 years ago. These guys are part of my new, second half friends that I’m meeting and I’m enjoying it. Google is your friend so check out more on Or better still, buy early bird tickets for Engage 15 coming up on Novemeber 4th. You will love it. I’ve also put up my YouTube clip on my blog. Have a look.

Mike is Kenyan mzungu man in his third age, according to him. Third age? I know, I wondered too. He is a certified senior citizen, though not on the government list of seniors getting pocket money for sustenance. For guys in corporate Kenya and gava, it is likely you have heard of Mike Eldon. He is a guru in Strategy and Change Management among other things through his consultancy DEPOT (Dan Eldon place of tomorrow).

During the peer review meetings as we prepared for Engage, my confusion was clear as I struggled to clean up my halftime message to make it palatable for the audience. Mike would look at me through his glasses (that hang precariously on his face) with concern, like ”this child needs help and I cannot leave him as I found him.” Just like good fathers do. So yes, I can call Mike my halftime dad. Hehe.

I know I have dwelt here for some time but as I had lunch this week with Mike, we discussed a few things as I gave him an update of where I am at since Engage. I was a bit disappointed because the handover plans for my business hit a snag when the candidate we had landed on moved elsewhere. So now its back to the drawing board. You see, I want to vacate the CEO role of my business by Jan 1, 2018 and I was well on track. Now I am not sure when that will happen. That’s one of the updates I gave Mike. He looked at me with those keen eyes as he sipped his coke (I was surprised a guy in his 70s can order for a coke over those lemon green and purple health teas.)

Mike told me this is the season to have conversations with various people in various sectors. I should be testing as many waters as possible. He also told me I should aim at a future that has a cocktail of things to do that all align with the second half I want to have. So in addition to looking for speaking engagements, I should seek out collaboration opportunities with organizations that seek to improve the SME sector like KAM (Kenya Association of Manufacturers) and seek a few board positions in growing SMEs that would benefit from my biashara experience. I found this to be great advice. I’m now finding Mike to be like a very experienced navigator (I’m the driver) in a rally where he is now a retired driver and champion, if I might add. He knows all the shortcuts and potholes to avoid so we stand a good chance for a podium finish. My forties people, if you have a Mike in your life, consider yourself truly blessed. However, remember as the good book says, ”To him whom much is given, much will be required”. Aim to be a Mike in your third age or earlier to guide someone behind you.

The lesson that stood out the most after our lunch is to drop my need for having deadlines to achieve. I should get comfortable in this space of not knowing what will unfold when. Maybe my CEO mpango did not come through so that I avoid an additional expense during this lean business times. Maybe that is why halftime is such a grey area. Because like driving in the fog, you cannot see where the road ends so you just keep driving.

I hope this coaching from Mike will continue for a while, since it seems to be just what I need. I’m grateful and humbled for the favour I find with him and with his navigation in my journey, I am hopeful that I will be out of half time sooner rather than later.

Asante sana Mzee Mike.

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9 thoughts on “Deadlines.”

  1. Mike Eldon says:

    Best wishes from your Coke-drinking friend, but just to confirm to your readers I usually take mango juice!

  2. Eva says:

    Awesome Lucas, way to go!

  3. Levi Marang'a says:

    Great stuff bro!!! True friendships

  4. Angie Ireri says:

    Sounds like you’re in good hands Lucas

  5. Wanjiru Gitahi says:

    Great Read. Wish you luck in your new “Space”

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