Posts tagged Churchill

Leadership Quotes and Core Values at our Institution of Higher Learning

The following are the Core Values that should be our trademark as a Western institution of higher learning in Kazakhstan, approved by the Board of Trustees at a Nov. 20, 2009 meeting.

  1. We value the well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.
  2. We encourage personal and professional development in an environment of collegiality and trust.
  3. We value quality in our education programs and research activities.
  4. We value the holistic development of our students, instilling in them a questioning spirit and the ability and desire to learn throughout life.
  5. We value our responsibility to develop the future leaders of society who will embrace the highest ethical standards.
  6. We value the creation, application, and dissemination of knowledge in a culture which fully supports the freedom of inquiry and speech.
  7. We value fairness and integrity and will not tolerate favoritism, nepotism or corruption.
  8. We value open, honest communications and transparent and accountable decision-making.
  9. We value partnerships with our community, including the parents of our students, business, government, and non-government organizations, within The Republic of Kazakhstan and throughout the world.
  10. We value the high reputation of our Institute in the Republic of Kazakhstan and beyond, and also its important contribution to the growth of society
  11. We value all people both within and outside our organization, regardless
    of their nationality, religion, gender or other factors not related to the purposes of the Institution.

Here are some good leadership quotes I found off the Internet, applies to here or anywhere, I suppose.

James MacGregor Burns – “Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.”

“Leadership is the ability to establish standards and manage a creative climate where people are self-motivated toward the mastery of long term constructive goals, in a participatory environment of mutual  respect, compatible with personal values.”                                         Mike Vance

“No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.” Peter Drucker

“Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not “making friends and influencing people”, that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”  Peter F. Drucker

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that’s assault, not leadership.”  Dwight D. Eisenhower

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, ‘We did this ourselves.'”                                                     Lao-Tse

Dwight D. Eisenhower:  “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

Thomas Fulera: “If your actions inspire other people to dream more, to study more, to do more and to become better, then you are a leader.”

“High sentiments always win in the end, The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.                                                                      George Orwell

Winston Churchill: “Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself.  Before you can move their tears, your own must flow.  To convince them, you must yourself believe.”

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Are Good Writers Born…?

That’s why I came to do the job I do, to train and develop potential writers in a “westernized university” in Almaty, Kazakhstan.  Are any of my Kazakh or Kazakhstani students born to write?  I need to discover who they are and encourage them.  I think I have some very good candidates already. I asked my writing students yesterday to grapple with the nature vs. nurture question: “Are good writers born or can he/she develop her skills to become a good writer?”

In one of my groups, they took this question seriously and Abzal was the eloquent note-taker.  Of the five in his group, only one person believed that writing is inborn, the rest believed this is a skill that can be developed through a lifetime.  Sasha believed that writing talent is given by God, his examples were Pushkin, Shakespeare.  He claimed that these kinds of authors and writers are not born every day, and there is not any substitutes for them.

 Then Karlygash argued saying that it always depends on the social environment.  For example, Pushkin’s nanny raised him and developed his writing skills and there are a lot more examples. 

This group continued to discuss about modern authors such as Dan Brown, J.K. Rowling, Stepnegae Myer [?] and others.  They probably developed their skills and writing talent came to them through their lifetime and their environment…Then Zhandos and Azamat added that it could be talent can come from you when born, like the famous philosophers Socrates, Aristotle and Al-Farabi, there were no educating environment, but still they are the best and most knowledgeable authors.

 So, finally we agreed that, it’s so true, there is no answer to this question.


In another group, they had this to write:

Nariman:  I believe that a good writer of words has to have some kind of talent and it has to be developed further.

Aigerim:  I think writers develop his work into a writer with his talent which was given him by God.  He uses his own experience and inspiration.

Nargiz: I think its important to be interested in this writing activity because then he or she can develop his talent and become the best writer.

Igor:  In my opinion, I think that every person who is interested in writing can develop his/her writing skills and become a good writer without any talent.

 Another group was split 50/50, this is what their notes read:  We think that everyone has good skills to write, some develop them, others not.  Golden rule:  The more you read, the better you write!”

 One group wrote unanimously: “Good writers are born.”  E.G. M. Sholohov who wrote “Silent Don” he graduated only from two classes in school but he became a good writer without any development.

 Viktoriya wrote for her group the following:  “Aina thinks that the good writers are born because usually there is a talent and passion to writing.  Ilyas doesn’t agree and states that good writers are not born but are developed.  You can always improve and gain new skills.  Madi agrees with Ilyas.  He says that talent needs to be developed, cause it can fade away easily if it existed before.  Pavel is also for writer development.  There are two types of writers:  the one who is born with talent, the other who develops it.  I, Viktoriya, can agree with the guys. I’ve met a lot of journalists who did not have any skills in writing at school but after gaining some interest and skills became excellent authors.  But I also have some friends who are born talented writers.

 Rustam believes a good writer is born (Pushkin)

Daniyar says they can be developed (Churchill)

Youngsu: good writer is born (Shakespeare)

Ainura: can be developed by reading

Aigerim:  can be developed but writer should have some talent

Conclusion:  good writing can be achieved by working hard, but excellent work is usually done by very talented people.


Our opinions are different.  We have two opposite sides:  One thinks that a person is born a good writer while the others think that a person can become a good writer.  Those who think that a person is born a good writer considers that one person cannot be good at two fields.  Meaning that if he is good a mathematics, he cannot be good at writing.  However, the other group thinks that a person can become a writer developing his skills.

We came to the conclusion that everything depends on the person, we cannot judge everybody in one way.  There are some exceptions as one person could be a good mathematician and a good writer.  Some are born good writers and some become a writer through hard work and time.


Finally, this group had the MOST to write from their discussion group about writing:

Jeon:  I think a good writer is born.  If someone wants to be good at something, t least they have an interest.  

Niyaz: I believe that a good writer is born to be a good writer…actually good writers just do not know about their skills, so in order to be a good writer, they just must develop it.

Galina: I think that a good writer is neither born nor develops his/her skills.  I believe that in order to be a good writer, one has to first be born with a certain talent and then has to work really hard to develop this talent.  There are a lot of “writers” out there but their writing is nothing but some words combined together.  In order to create something really outstanding, one has to involve his/her soul in the process. [YES!!!]

Azamat: I think that everyone can develop into a writer.  Moreover, it should be improved from earlier age, using some games which can improve verbal ability and skills.

Zhuldyz: I absolutely disagree that writers have to be born, because, in our life everything is possible.  If you really want to reach something or to become a better writer, you can do this. You have to think about this, and try to reach this every day.  As Napolean Hill said: “If you will do what you do, you will get what you get.”  You don’t stay in one position.  You are not a tree, if you dislike your position in this life or society, just change and everything will be perfect!!!

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“Wisdom of Nations” Proverbs- (Part III)

Sir Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister, recommended: “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations” I think Churchill’s quote applies to reading through puzzling proverbs and sayings. Some of these proverbs I don’t know the meaning to, maybe because they are of British origin as well as from other nations.

These proverbs and sayings were written up in “Dictionary of English Proverbs, Sayings and Idioms in Russian, Kazakh and German” by Sakina Akmetova, published by Mektel in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2009

“A bad reaper never gets a good sickle”

“And what are proverbs but the public voice?” (Coined first and made by common choice, they must have impact and common truth.)

“As the people, so the proverb.” By Robert Christy

“Better be envied than pitied.” Herodotus, Father of History

“Borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.”

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” Shakespeare

“Children are poor men’s wealth.” Danish

“Covetousness breaks the bag.” (take to much and you tear the container)

“Cunning is the fool’s substitute for wisdom.”

“Don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs.” OR “To teach one’s grandmother to suck eggs.” Spanish, (silly to offer needless assistance or advice to an expert)

“Don’t wait for dead men’s shoes.” OR “He goes long barefoot that waits for dead man’s shoes.”

“On a long journey even a straw is heavy.” Italian

“Envy has no holiday.” Francis Bacon

“Envy shoots at others and wounds herself.”

“He who has a tongue goes to Rome.” OR “The tongue leads you to Kyiv.” (able to ask directions to get to your destination)

“Homer sometimes nods.” Or “Even Homer nods” (Even someone who is the best at what they can do, can turn in a subpar performance.)

“Proverbs are the wisdom of the street.” Prov. 1:20 or Prov. 8:1

“Put not your hand between the bark and the tree.” (similar to put hand between hammer and anvil)

“Slow at meat, slow at work.”

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Ainash’s Grandparents Difficult Lives


In my life I have seen my grandparents very few times. Moreover, I have not met my first grandmother in this life. We are used to living in the city, but my grandparents lived outside of city. So I have been there only on summer holidays. In spite of this, it was the best holidays of my life because it allowed me to play a lot with nothing else to do. The history of my grandparent’s life is not very well known by me because they did not like to talk about their lives and considered that children don’t need to know about the difficulties of their experiences. I know it only from my mother’s history.

My grandfather’s name was Turmuhambet. He was born in 1919 in Dzhambul city. He was tall, thin, quiet and a very kind person. My grandparent’s family worked on the railway. In the family were two sons and my grandfather was younger. He graduated only seven years at school. After that he went to serve in the armed forces. However, the war came and he began to serve in the regular Army. He served in the regiment, which Iran won in 1941. After 2 years in Tehran held a meeting of the anti-Hitler coalition leaders – there are General Secretary of the Central Committee of CPSU Joseph Stalin, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Consequently, the city had been completely blocked by troops and special service for three conference days. My grandfather was at that time in those troops. Unfortunately, my grandparent lost his brother in war.

My grandparents became acquainted on Victory Day’s celebration. Thus, my grandfather married my first grandmother. My first grandmother’s name was Kanymkul. She was not tall, but thin and a modest woman. She was born in 1927. My grandparents lived together 31 years. They had 8 children; there are 5 boys and 3 girls. After the war my grandparents moved to the village. My grandfather worked as an accountant and then foreman. He learned the Arabic language and wrote poetry. They have not been published, though. Grandmother was a housewife. She brought up children, supported a house and cared for the livestock. She died at 49 years old. Grandfather married a second time, 8 years later. Her name was Aigan and she was much younger than him. In their life together there were no children. My grandfather died at 85 years old, 2 months after the death of grandmother Aigan. He became ill after the grandmother’s funeral and was never able to recover from this loss. These were difficult times for our family.

In conclusion, I would like to note that grandparents of our generation lived in difficult times. They had many experiences of grief and suffering in protecting the homeland. Currently, there are a few retirees who remain and who served and fought in the Soviet army. Our country cares about them. They are providing incentives and working on social programs for them. But, in my opinion, this is not enough for the elderly, as well as our concern and love brings them more happiness and comfort. We must not stop talking with them and listen to their stories. The main purpose of their life was a peace for their grandchildren. Our main task does not forget history and persons who created this story.

Now I am very sad that I have spoken little with my grandparents about their lives. That gave them little time. But I know that every summer, which I spent with them, brought no less joy.



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Teacher-Leaders = “Initiative People”

Napolean is quoted as saying: “There are two levers for moving men: Interest or Fear.”  I believe some people in our university are regrettably using the latter rather than the former.  Napolean was also known to have said:  “He who possesses information rules the world.” That is what our university business should be all about, to possess and access information in order to help move the country of Kazakhstan ahead to be one of the top 50 countries in the world in the next decade. 


One Central Asian student recently wrote, “I have seen many leaders throughout my life till today – most of them still use the old fashioned style of leading – threatening – they probably understand the word “leadership” only as a position or a power over a group of dependent people.  They should never use threat or other bossy actions even though they have inherited their position from their fathers.”  Another student from the same country pointed out “Good leaders should obey their own rules.”


Many examples of bad leaders abound and consequently countries or universities suffer because of this sad fact.  I respect what President John Quincy Adams wrote about leaders:  “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  Another positive example is from H.J. Seymour:  “Leaders are the ones who keep faith with the past, keep step with the present, and keep the promise to posterity.”


In my case as a teacher in this Central Asian university, I want to be known as a candle – a teacher who burnt her life in order to give light to other people.  I’m glad there are fellow teachers who also share my view of being a teacher-leader in their classrooms.  However, there are teachers and administrators who lurk about using fear and intimidation to coerce people into action.


May we have more “Initiative People” or good leaders at our university in Kazakhstan.  I wish it GREAT success for the sake of the future of the country.  Two more quotes from famous men:  “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”  Sir Winston Churchill  “If you think you can or you think you cannot, you are right.”  Henry Ford 

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