Episode 4 - Hakeem Subair

Uncategorized Jan 02, 2021


[00:00:00] Welcome to the real secrets of magic podcast. The show that celebrates possibilities and reveals the practices that people use to create them. I'm your host, Brandon Love and on today's show, I'm thrilled to have Hakim's who bear the CEO and founder of a social enterprise called 1 million teachers that is changing education around the world.

I hope you enjoy today's episode.  

Brandon: [00:00:33] Hakeem, thanks so much for being here today. I know you're a busy guy. Really appreciate the time.

Hakeem: [00:00:39] Thank you. Thanks a lot, Brandon. It's a real pleasure to be here and to be, to be part of this conversation.

Brandon: [00:00:49] It's as, as I was saying to you a little bit before Hakeem, this is a show about the real secrets of magic as evidenced by the title, but we're not talking about magic [00:01:00] tricks or illusions on the show.

What we're talking about is, is making magic and learning about the practices that magic makers like yourself have used to, to create possibilities and to do the work that you do. The hope, my hope with this show is that other people listening or watching will gain nuggets of wisdom that will help them create magic in their own lives for other people.

So-  so it's such an honor to know I've got you here because I know a lot about your story- not everybody here will yet- but the work you're doing is just so important and and so inspiring. Can you, can you share with us a little bit about 1 Million Teachers and the magic that you're making?

Hakeem: [00:01:47] I honestly don't know if I would call it magic, but I understand the perspective from which you're coming from. You know, I think the best way [00:02:00] to sum it up is like. We have no business being in the situation that we're in. And for me that is really started from a place of anger looking at the most under-resourced communities around the world.

And it's not for lack of the availability of resources is, but for lack of commitment for lack of having the right priorities about the things that really matter, and then understanding that there are certain fundamentals that we need to fix if we are going to take care of other problems which education is a big part of you know child soldiers, exploited labour, climate change, so many things, gender inequality.

And I like to really, really try to work on the problems rather than the symptoms. [00:03:00] And I think my. I'm thinking is that if we were going to fix education we need to start with teachers. Teachers are the most fundamental inputs when it comes to fixing education and everybody recognizes the primacy of teachers, how important they are.

Yes. We keep talking about the same thing over and over, and we're not seeing any much progress in that area. And I come from Nigeria. I live in Canada. I have seen the, the part of both worlds and less developed regions of the world. So I have perspective and I think that's this regions of the world that deserved the most help.

I'm in a position to leverage my education and the contacts that I have and my energy and [00:04:00] everything that I've got to make some change. I, I don't by any means, believe that whatever it is that I and my colleagues are doing at 1 million teachers will just help flip it around  immediately, no. I think if we can just move the needle just a little bit, you know, in the right direction to reduce the problem, I think we'll have been successful in doing our job. So I I'm guessing in line with the thing about around magic is really about we showing up we showing up, we making the connections you know, with different actors who are also doing something in this area, or we're passionate about the things that we are working together collaboratively with them to begin to effect the change that we need.

So if you asked me what gets me to leave the bed and in the every day and I think [00:05:00] it's, it's just the excitement around what is possible that we can achieve in this area. Using teachers to enhance the quality of education.

Brandon: [00:05:10] I'm a teacher, as you know, I'm an educator as well. And that's how we've come to know each other over the past few years.

And, but I also liked that you've said it's not, it's not. The students that need to be focused on so much as it's the step above them. It's the teachers who are working to deliver education to students. That, that they're sort of being overlooked and, and there's a big gap. So that I just, I think that's such an astute observation, and I think you're right. That's where the focus has to be. So your work at 1 Million Teachers I haven't really described a little bit what it is.

Can you share what exactly is the program? What's it about?

Hakeem: [00:05:49] I don't believe in the idea of a silver bullets by, I don't believe there's any silver bullet, but there are certain things that are close to having a silver bullet to solve problems. [00:06:00] If you look at when we say quality education, there are so many factors that are responsible for the lack of quality education. So teachers are just one of those factors. Even though they are, they're very significant. And the other factors include like having prepared learners: kids being in both the right physical and mental frame of mind to be able to absorb learning, knowledge, and to learn.

And, and that includes making the school a haven of safety for them where they feel like it's a place that they're excited to go there to learn. And then the creating the environment from which they, all of their physical and psychological needs are taken care of in terms of good nutrition that ensures that they get all of the, the ingredients that is required for learning and that's one. That's is beyond us -  what's [00:07:00] 1 Million Teachers or anybody can do. Usually that's why you have governments having like home grown school feeding programs, child benefits that they give to parents in some cases to ensure that the parents provide adequate nutrition for the kids.

Another one is inputs. You know, it's not also enough for you to put kids that they have to in these days have access to internet because I think internet nowadays is even a fundamental human right. Given the nature of where the world is right now 21st century and all of that. But when I say input in textbooks, writing materials, blackboard decent school environments, and all of that.

And then another one is school leadership in itself because if we look at it there is a saying I think I took it from John Maxwell, says everything rises and falls on leadership. If there's no adequate school leadership it doesn't matter what input you provide. It doesn't matter how you train the teachers.

[00:08:00] Because the school leaders who don't have capacity themselves would undermine the efforts of the teachers. And then finally we have governors and that's really at the government level, making sure that the curriculum is relevant to the needs of the society. So they need us to students for them to be able to drive in that environment and making sure that All the other things, social economic issues are functioning very well.

So these are things like it's, the educational system itself is a subset of a larger society, which you can. So if all of the ingredients that make a functional society possible is there, then you can expect that the quality of education will go up. But you know, earlier when we were chatting before we started with talking about circle of influence, circle of concern and for a lot of us - I'm a very good student, I think of Stephen Covey and I, I studied the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People a lot. And you know, and so most times it's about how we respond to [00:09:00] situations around us. The, the distance between the stimulus we receive from our environment and the response that we provide. So I've always wanted to focus on the things that I can control, which I call the circle of influence and then ignore the things that I can't control in the circle of concern. I don't know if you know about the serenity, prayer and all of that anyway, but in focusing on the things you can control and doing it well, you can now begin to expand your circle of influence, that it gets closer to your circle of concern, and you'll be able to have a bigger voice to shape how things happen.

And, and I think that's where we see that we can play a significant role with 1 Million Teachers. So we asked ourselves, how do we even do this? Because the question is not for most of the regions that that really need it it goes beyond being adequately trained. There is the issue of motivation.

Why do I want to go into a profession that is disrespected? [00:10:00] That, you know, people it's not, there's no- I can't have a decent existence, you know, and all of those issues. So we said we had to do it in a very comprehensive manner. First of all, there's a shortage. There is that issue of quality. And there's also the issue of quantity.

We don't have enough teachers. And then most of the ones we have don't have the capacity to do the job. So how do we fix this? And it became, let's find a way to attract people to make it cool to be a teacher in these regions. We know that's not the case in all parts of the world. There are some countries that being a teacher is like being a rocket scientist and all of that.

We know that, but for most parts of the world, that's not the issue. So how do we attract, how do we make sure that those we attract and even the existing ones get access to the best training possible. And then how do we ensure that they engage: " yeah I'm motivated to continue." So it's what we call the 1 Million Teachers triple challenge that we have set of ourselves. UNESCO itself predicted that by 2030 we'll have a shortage of 69 million [00:11:00] teachers.

69 million by the year 2030.The unfortunate situation is with COVID, a lot of teachers and all people are disillusioned you know, mental health issues. Lack of pay, you know, and the opposition and all of that on like, people are having everything to that. Why should I go into this kind of profession?

You know, so that shortage is going to worsen and we need to even redouble our effort to fix it. So, and then, well, it starts, and then that's our challenge. And then we want to start with attracting them, making sure that they get the training and then continually motivating them to improve performance.

Now ,the training itself, how do you train a million-plus people over the next few years? I mean, you can't open up classrooms all over the place. That's why we can leverage technology to say, "Hey, we can provide this training [00:12:00] asynchronously", that they can access and go through the hoop and get different levels of certification.

We actually took some ideas from karate, where they start from white belt, yellow belt, orange, black, and all of that. But when they get to black, we begin to intensify the touch points with them because we know these people are very excited about learning and they've taken the pains to get up to these points.

And we begin to look for various ways to make sure that they stay engaged and find incentives to keep them. To operate. So that's really the summary of the program. And there are so many other nuances that I don't know if time will permit us to go into here.

Brandon: [00:12:38] Yeah. That's a thanks for the context is especially important.

And like you say, there's no silver bullet, but, but focusing on what. Where, where will your efforts yield the best possible return?

Hakeem: [00:12:51] Exactly.

Brandon: [00:12:53] And, and that's, you know, thinking for everybody, that's great leadership advice in general, but but it's hard to do. I like the [00:13:00] three-prong approach, there's the attracting the talent training and then motivation or sustaining motivation, which is the million dollar problem all on its own.

And so what you've done as I understand it and, and I've had a chance to actually feature some of my own content with, with your program, but you have online courses basically in a bunch of different teacher-education, relevant fields that, that your teacher candidates or the teaching recruits can go through at their own time and pace and implement in their own ways.

And then fulfill sort of assessments and evaluations. To, to move through the ranks of the karate belts. And and it's such a cool program. Now. I know your goals are to get to a million and, and beyond, can you speak a little bit to where, like, where are you [00:14:00] finding yourself in the organization now, how many teachers are presently or have been trained with your, your resources?

Hakeem: [00:14:09] So I think, you know, like any organization that is starting up, you start with passion and then you just think that, Oh, wow. Just, you know, just drop the gauntlet and you know, everything just happens. That's not the reality. It's a very slow grind. There are days you ask yourself, what did you get yourself into?

You know? And I will say that we were very naive when we started and that is given the benefit of hindsight. Now, you know, hindsight is 2020, you know? So the fact that you want to do this doesn't mean that the world is going to roll out the red carpet for you.

Brandon: [00:14:54] If only, right?

Hakeem: [00:14:55] Exactly. We, we didn't envisage that [00:15:00] it will be this challenging we suspected. We just kind of discover that creating this content is not as easy as said. It is expensive, you know, to really like, we want it to cover all aspects. We first we have like models that are centered around life skills, soft skills and all of that, which is fun- fundamental, regardless of whatever technical area you belong to, you need to have certain skill sets that are transferable, wherever. We wanted to make sure that teachers have access to that. And then we wanted to make sure that they also know how to teach: pedagogy, which is the other science of teaching, wanting to make sure that day all of those things are incorporated among other things.

And then so creating this content was really hard. At some point we had to kind of slow down our customer acquisition process.  And focus on, Hey, we need to create content more. Because we were [00:16:00] not creating content fast enough for the most enthusiastic teachers, and that became a problem and we didn't have the money to hire as many people as we could to, to get that going.

So as of now, we are just over 6,000 in total. But good news now that we are beginning to get to the point where we say, okay, our version 1.0 content we are largely done with that. We're focusing on, okay, let's go on user acquisition. We actually just signed a partnership with a bank in Nigeria to onboard 1 million teachers just like our name over the next five years.

And there are so many other transactions going on last year, we signed a partnership with the government of Rwanda to onboard 10,000 teachers onto the platform. But for us 10,000, 6,000, it's nothing compared to our ambition. But what it does is to show progress. You know, and, [00:17:00] and we're beginning to see all of those initial efforts gathering momentum.

We have various partnerships with some very solid institution now.  And we just launched an initiative where teachers whether they are on our platform or not come up with ideas or solutions that enhance learning in their communities.

Brandon: [00:17:23] Yeah, sure. That's a, I appreciate your vulnerability there. I know as you say in the beginning, you were naive a little bit. I mean, that's - is there anything that could be truer of anybody starting anything, you know? I know you, you say, you're not sure you're making magic, but I, let me, I want to make the comparison because when, when I do magic, sleight of hand, you know, like conjuring illusions for people and and then people say like, I want to learn how to do that.

I want to, I want to do magic. And I have a few tricks that I'll teach people [00:18:00] and the overwhelming reaction from people, when I share the secret of the trick is one of like disappointment or what's the word? Yeah. Or yeah, like they believe they can't like things that pop in their mind like, Oh, that's I can't do that.

And I think there's a naivete,  about, you know, well, I want to do magic because you hope that there's a way you can just snap your fingers as it looked and magic will happen. Yeah. But that's actually kind of the point is that it, you can't just have the vision and hope it'll it'll come through. You have to put in all the work and all of the those errors I might argue are necessary in order to get to, to even 6,000 or 10,000, as you say. So. And I like to think my gosh, like 6,000 teachers are now being trained with this program. How many students is that translate to [00:19:00] and all of the seeds that are being sprinkled and sown.

Hakeem: [00:19:03] Multiply  that by over maybe average of 3000 teacher per student over the course of their career. And we begin to, so I like the word leverage a lot. And I mean anybody who does physics you know, leverage allows you to do way more than your own capacity personal capacity to do. So I I like being lazy. If there's a short way, to do something I like, I like to, to find ways to, to make that happen, to do more with less. And I think, and I think teacher development is one of the, the big leverages when it comes to education. Like, you know you, you, you have no idea how much a teacher influences the child. You don't even know how, how far the child can go as a result of a good teacher.

And we all have stories of specific people - teachers in our lives who [00:20:00] helped us to be where we are today, who, you know, just didn't give up on us, just pushed us or nudged us in a particular direction. If we can help unlock as many of those people, of their magic as possible. I think, I think, I think our job will have been done and it doesn't matter the number. One teacher that we help it's significant in terms of what they do for. So I like to look at sometimes look at things from the perspective of the trees and then sometimes from the perspective of the forest. And I'm just talking about when you talk about magic you know that's, it's very it's boring work. It's very painful work. It's a grind. The things that happen behind the scene, forget all the glamour and all the announcements and all of that.

And maybe announcement takes what, a minute?  Or a paragraph?  You know, but you probably having working on it for like a year or two, like just so many people behind the [00:21:00] scenes that -  I'm not even -  that you have no clue that are even involved in, in whatever it is that you're announcing. And I, and I, and I think the world generally likes the glamour of everything.

But I mean, just recognizing that there's a very slow process. The facade is very nice, but behind the scenes.

Brandon: [00:21:20] Totally. Yeah.

Hakeem: [00:21:21] They like to see the magic

Brandon: [00:21:22] That's, that's it, right? That's it a hundred percent. And well, my hope is that people want to do stuff. I think, you know, people have visions for what their lives could be like at the very least, and, and also what their, what life could be like for other people.

And as you say, like, there is not really any excuse for the state of the world we live in. And we can all be better. And I think all of us are required to do that.  Your organization is really great at thinking about building capacity and, [00:22:00] and, you know, building relationships, as you say, one of the keys to working smarter, not harder is to leverage the relationships with other people and build people into the, onto your bus or into the mission. And you've done an excellent job of, of that sort of network building. But then also this your, your millennium, the challenge, I can't remember the SDG?

Hakeem: [00:22:22] Yeah, the SDG Challenge. 

Brandon: [00:22:23] Which are the sustainability development goals.

Hakeem: [00:22:26] Yeah. Yeah.

Brandon: [00:22:28] Provided by the United nations for those unfamiliar. But Hakeem you've got this.. Grants, basically. You're giving money away to teachers to develop their own innovations to improve education and what there's no fitting way. I mean, once you have those teachers, Building their own projects.

Now your hands can come right off and the communities are building their own educational statues. Yeah. That's so that's [00:23:00] really so cool.

Hakeem: [00:23:00] I, I, let me talk a little about it because this gets me really excited, more than anything we've done, or we're doing at 1 Million Teachers beyond the training. And you know, initially we started this for.

We're thinking about this for our black belts as part of the motivation piece. And then we have this amazing, amazing man who is just so passionate about education and girls inequality, you know, like he is like, you can have 50% of your resources. Like I do, if you don't empower girls, it's, it's, it's like that, you know?

So what are you doing about it? And as UN advocates, there are 17 goals and it's really about staying focused. Like you can go after every one of them are not achieve, make any much progress. 17 that's a lot. So he chose four and five and it just aligns with what we're doing. And when we reached out to him about two years ago to come on the advisory [00:24:00] board of 1 Million Teachers he accepted right away.

And then, so we started working together on this initiative. You know a lot of times we think we know, but really we don't. And enabling or empowering teachers to be able to -  like they are part of their community. They see way beyond anybody can see at flying at 50,000 feet above the ground, you know, and, and then just imagine having this homegrown solution, you know, popping up everywhere around education from people who should know or who do know. Who are on the ground, you know, dealing with the issues on a day-to-day basis, encourage them, give them the tools.

So it's not just the $500 grant which is actually the initial grant. There is follow on funding. And what his Highness has said is "I will do whatever it takes to find money personally or otherwise to make sure that those [00:25:00] innovative projects, we can replicate them everywhere and we support them to scale."

Yeah. And you know, so it's not just the 500 and we want to do this challenge for 10 awards every eight months. We're going to be having like showcase every eight months. To celebrate these projects that these teachers are doing in the hope that it inspires other people to say, wow, this is, we want to put them on the map.

We want them to walk tall, just like any other profession. And it's really, really just exciting. And it's just one of those moments when you see a magic, stepping away from the issue that you're dealing with, taking a walk of going for, you know, playing a game, just doing something that helps you step away and you come up with a better perspective about the problem.

And this is really, if I must say myself, like I think we have something going here.

Brandon: [00:25:55] Sounds like it, for sure. And you say like giving that additional [00:26:00] training, you know,

Hakeem: [00:26:02] That is not even available exactly for teachers because we were helping them incubate and we're providing additional scholarship for all members of their team.

So not just helping them incubate, walking them through you know, things like by the way, I haven't told you, but you already listed to facilitate one of the master classes on creativity.

Brandon: [00:26:21] Oh, great.

Hakeem: [00:26:22] An innovation. So we're going to have a series of masterclasses like that, we're going to take them to project management, even though they are teachers. These are things that everybody should know problem solving. You know, it, it has nothing to do with what professional you're doing. We all need to be able to do it. So we want to take them to all of those fundamentals during the duration of the program.

And then after the program, they become fellows that we hope to bring back to, you know, inspire and support and contribute to helping other people, to build their confidence and then to help them implement that solution. So we're working, we're working with them.It's not just about giving them money.

We're working with them to [00:27:00] help them even clarify the ideas, you know, how to present it, how to work with stakeholders in their community. Because if you look at even the SDG, the SDG goal number 17 is about partnerships recognizing that no one person, no one group of people, no one government, no one corporate entity can solve any of these problems alone.

But when we work in synergistically with everybody else that our stakeholders, then we achieve more and that's really what we are. So it's a key component of the program for those teachers, new recognizing stakeholders in their community and finding ways to work, to lift everybody altogether.

Brandon: [00:27:40] That's great. That's what those goals, like you say, they're designed -  by the way the SDGs there are 17. Goal number four, and goal number five can you just - do you know them off the top of your head?

Hakeem: [00:27:51] Yeah. Goal number four is you know is quality education. And when we say quality education, we're talking about [00:28:00] barrier free education, inclusive education.

And when we say inclusive, we're talking about making sure that it is gender inclusive. It's it doesn't prevent like people were disabled without physically or mentally inclusion, essentially. So that's what we mean. Very inclusive quality education that's SDG four. SDG five recognizes the fact that historically women have been shortchanged. And how do we get this very smart part of, you know, your, your it's like a bird, you have two wings and then you have to try to fly with one wing, you know, you're under utilizing your resources. How do we assure that you enhance the capacity. So, especially with SDG five in this project, we're actually looking at solutions that help empower girls  through education, essentially inspire them, empower them and all of that. So it's about girls. So the projects that we're looking at the projects that [00:29:00] enhance those SDGs, those two SDGs, and what -  if you look at SDG four it is the anchor that holds all the other SDGs  together, whether you're talking about climate change, whether you're talking about poverty, reducing poverty, which is the thing SDG one and all of that life under water, like, you know the big issue of our time. That's going to define this era is going to be climate change and it's already happening. There's going to be fight huge fight for diminishing resources. One as a result of population growth, two as a result of the fact that we are being very irresponsible and consuming what has been available. It's diminishing so there's going to be a huge fight for water, you know, and then now exacerbated by you know, pollution and all the things. So climate change is going to upend a whole lot of things.

The sooner we begin to roll it back the better, and how can you do that if people are not educated, you know? So that's part of it. Yeah. That's why we say that these [00:30:00] two are very, very fundamental. In the case of -  there's something his Highness talks about when it comes to SDG five you know, just looking at basic nutrition, a girl that has education or young woman that has education compared to the one that doesn't have. And one of the example he gave was Coca Cola. What nutritional value does it have? Bread, you know, apart from the carbohydrate, but in most on the development of the world people take pride in, Oh, I can afford Coca-Cola.

I can afford bread. Whereas in their own backyard, if only they knew they could plant beans, Vegetables like basic thing that costs next to nothing, you know, because of their lack of understanding, they think it's because it is cool because of the way Coca-Cola has been planted. And then they don't recognize that even in their own backyard, there are all of these available that you don't, it's not going to cost you an arm and a leg and you can have adequate nutrition for your children so that they can grow and develop normally.

[00:31:00] Brandon: [00:30:59] Wow man. I've my brain is just swimming. I like, you've just framed education as the, as the essential thing in creating possibilities. And, and. And the difference, you know, really what all it is is like awakening people to what's what's available and showing them that they have tools. They have the abilities already, they just need to hone and develop and and learn and be open to that.

That's so great. And those goals, I was going to say earlier, those SDGs by the United Nations, they're designed to unite people.

Hakeem: [00:31:37] Galvanize action, to solve this, these huge global challenges. How do we-  Actually this the year 2022, the year 2030, that's the target that by 2030, we will reduce this. We will do this. We'll do that. This, this is what we called the decade of action. And it's just coincidental that we're launching this challenge to coincide with the decade of action. So it's action [00:32:00] from now on just pushing forward, you know, and then finding people like-minded people to, you know, to come along in the journey.

Brandon: [00:32:08] That's it, that's it so great, Hakeem. As, as you know, I mean, I appreciate sharing all this stuff and we could talk for hours about the work and the resources and the challenges. Before we go, the show is called the Real Secrets of Magic. And like we said, they were really talking about the practices that help you do the work you do.

Is there a, is there a practice that you would share, something that you do on a regular basis that maybe doesn't seem obviously connected to your success, but has certainly contributed. And that, that somebody else might be able to do in order to push their needle, so to speak.

Hakeem: [00:32:45] So I think, I don't know if I can put it in any box or in any order, but I feel like fundamentally is even asking ourselves, is this necessary?

[00:33:00] Like, you know I mean the, the big, the big question is, is necessary. How, what I'm doing, how does he lead me along to achieving the things that I set out to achieve? And I think that's one. I probably have so many, that's not coming out as we're speaking. Something that I do regularly as a habit, I, I take long walks.

I've done three hours work like two hours work regularly. And what it does is to put me in a different setting that stimulates you know, the senses in a way that - I might have a problem that I'm trying to crack. And I get perspective just from stepping away from it. I do that regularly.

I walk and some odd things that I do, I wash dishes and because my brain is always, always moving. I find it very [00:34:00] difficult to even when I'm sleeping, like, so I have to find a way to do something that makes me still - that's physical, so that my brain - I'm not racing off with ideas. So driving is one of them like long distance driving, no music in the car or anything like that.

Washing dishes is one of them taking those long walks. And I used to read a lot. I think now it's more around the doing. I still read, but not like books, like I used to read before maybe articles and all of that, just to keep abreast of what is happening around my ecosystem and things like that.

I think, I think some, I don't know if this, this, this might be something you consider one of those kinds of habits, but just being at that ability to switch between the, looking at the trees. But than looking at the forests and being able to switch back and forth you know [00:35:00] sometimes you just need to learn to not look at the forest, just focus on the trees, what is right in front of you.

And it's my own way of dealing with work, where it becomes overwhelming and all of that. So yeah.

Brandon: [00:35:18] That's great that I, I appreciate that there are many and what I heard a bunch as well. And I hear a lot of thinking practices, like just little checkpoints in your mind is this necessary? What a great tool that you can, you know, once you practice saying it to yourself, it becomes a thing you do all the time. I'm sure now you're faced with another decision. Does this help move the needle? Is this necessary for what we're trying to accomplish? Gosh, I heard so many things about your, I mean, you, you cover a lot of the things that I think are really important to create whatever. And this is [00:36:00] something I find in all sorts of leaders, but I think you, especially embody creativity and perspective taking and, you know, trust and building relationships to help move and build the community.

And I think that's really what 1 Million Teachers is doing.

Hakeem: [00:36:15] I'm glad you mentioned relationship because you know, my background was in banking. I studied finance by the way. So if you asked me what got you into education, it was from a personal experience. It's a long story in itself. But early on I learned that the power of relationship building and I actually trained for it.

I was sent on courses on relationship management and A lot of the things that you need now, or the people you work with now, you didn't just meet them. It started somewhere and you have to nurture that. Early on, we're talking about the concept of emotional bank account. It is a practice that I have a lot.

I have two of them. That's the concept of emotional bank accounts [00:37:00] ensuring that whenever I'm relating with anybody or I come across somebody or we're doing anything together. I want to be, the one giving.  I want to deposit as much as possible in that bank account. Not because I want to benefit from it later, but it just makes you feel good. But it has sometimes unintended benefit in these times when you really need help support, people are willingly going to come to your aid.

I've been in situations where even with 1 Million Teachers, when I thought we're down, we're out. This is it. And then we'll come back from like the Phoenix from the brink of death and it is those relationships. And another one that I, I, I, I believe a lot in I don't know if you know Zig Ziglar, he's late now, both of my, two of my favorite people are both dead, but I know their legacy lives on. Zig Ziglar talks about if only, and he's one of the best salespeople in the world and what that's one of the secrets to his [00:38:00] success if you can do as much as possible for other people without focusing on yourself, then you will get what you want without even even asking for it. So I practice, those are two things that I hold very dear, like help people solve their personal problem. If If you say somebody's we have so many people who have worked at 1 Million Teachers that will continue to give.

And how do you unlock their commitment? Sometimes it's finding the things as a result of working with 1 Million Teachers or volunteering with 1 Million Teachers. They also achieve their objective, their own personal objective. So how do you help as many people as possible to achieve, to get what they want?

You know, and that's a mantra andit works like magic all the time. How? Just don't focus on you. Even when I am thinking about something that benefits us, I don't start with, from my own [00:39:00] perspective, I try to like put what in the shoes of the other person that's, what's, what's in it for them. Why should they care about this in the first place?

And if I can help them address that, I don't need to worry. Most times they will be the one to suggest. So what can I do for you in return? Like, you know, so I think it's very, very valuable. And a lot of people don't even, they're not even aware of it. If somebody give, don't take, as much as possible.

Brandon: [00:39:28] Such gold. That's gold. It's not new. But it's always validated. And, you know, serving first. The problems we have to face are complex enough that we need to unite. Nobody can do it alone. So we need to lift each other up. Serving starts a train. It moves things. It starts energy. When we take, we shut down the we shut down the energy lines.

[00:40:00] Hakeem, this is been super inspiring and enlightening. I really appreciate the  deposit in the emotional bank today? No, I want to go and do some more work now in, and I'm thinking about who can I serve next?

It's been such a pleasure having you here on the show and  really quickly, where can people follow the journey of 1 million teachers?

Hakeem: [00:40:26] I think we pretty active on social media. But I think our website is is the best place to start which is www.1MillionTeachers.com.

We're unique like that. Yeah.

Brandon: [00:40:47] It's great. It's memorable. Again, that's www.1MillionTeachers.com yeah.

Hakeem: [00:40:54] And then we can go from there to anywhere.

Brandon: [00:40:57] Fantastic. Well, again, thank you so much for being here [00:41:00] and good luck with everything. I can't wait to hear what's next.

Hakeem: [00:41:04] Oh, thank you. Thanks Brandon.



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