Good tutorial http://fragments.turtlemeat.com/htaccess.php

Table of contents

· What is .htaccess for?

· .htaccess syntax

Forbidding access:

· Forbidding all files

· Allow access from a certain IP address

· Forbid access from a certain IP address

· Forbidding a group of files by mask

· Forbidding a particular file

Setting a password:

· Password for a directory

· Password for one file only

· Password for a group of files

· Checking access rights to three directories two of which are subdirectories


Redirections:

· Redirecting a visitor to another URL

· Displaying different pages depending on the visitor’s IP address

· Redirecting a user when he requests certain pages

· How to change the default page

· How to make Apache process SSI directives

· How to process Apache errors yourself?

· How to forbid the contents of a directory to be displayed if it has no index file?

· Is it possible to specify the default encoding of files the browser receives them in?

· Is it possible to specify the encoding of uploaded files?

Frequent errors:

· I created the .htaccess file, but the server returns 500 – Internal Erorr

Programs list for managing of the Apache servers

· What programs do exist for managing of the Apache servers? (Apache GUI)

What is .htaccess for?

When you type an address in the address bar of your browser, your computer receives files that your browser displays. The web server controls which files and how should be displayed (sent) to you. The two most popular servers are IIS and Apache.

Like any other software, a web server has certain settings. However, as an Apache user, you may have no (and if we talk about virtual hosting, most probably you will have no) rights to change the Apache configuration using its main configuration files that affect all server users. But you can modify some configuration files that affect only your website. One of such files is .htaccess.

It is a flexible Apache web server configuration file. “Flexible” means that as soon as you modify anything in this file, the changes are applied immediately. You can use it to redefine a lot of directives from the file httpd.conf (this file is the main configuration file in Apache and it affects absolutely all users of this Apache copy). In those cases when you have no access to the Apache configuration file (exactly in case of virtual hosting), it is this file that will help you.

A web user cannot access this file using the browser. If the .htaccess file is located in the root directory of the server, it affects the entire server except those directories where other .htaccess files are stored (and except all their subdirectories).

Example:

using .htaccess fileYour directories have the following structure on the server:

The directories ‘user1’ and ‘user2’ will be subdirectories for the user directory. If we put the .htaccess file in the ‘user’ directory, it will automatically affect directories ‘user1’ and ‘user2’.

We save another .htaccess file to the ‘data’ directory, this file is different from the one stored in the ‘user’ directory. The .htaccess file located in ‘data’ will affect the directories ‘data1’ and ‘data2’.

Now we save another .htaccess file that is different from the one stored in the directory 2 levels higher (the ‘user’ directory) to the ‘user2’ directory. As a result, the settings of the ‘user2’ directory will be defined only by the .htaccess file located in this directory.

Since most often Apache is configured in such a way that it always searches each directory for this file, .htaccess will help you quickly reconfigure the server without stopping it.

.htaccess syntax

Here is the required syntax. If you do not observe it, it will result in server errors.

— paths to files (directories) are specified from the server root. Example: /opt/home/www.site.com/htdocs/config/.htpasswd
— domains with protocols specified. Example: Redirect / http://www.site.com

The file name is exactly “dot” htaccess. It must be in the UNIX format (ASCII mode).

How to forbid visitors to read files from a directory?

Forbidding all files:

deny from all

Allow access from a certain IP address:

order allow deny
deny from all
allow from

In this case, stands for a specific address. For example:

order allow deny
deny from all
allow from 192.126.12.199

Forbid access from a certain IP address:

order allow deny
deny from all
deny from

Using is similar to the example above.

Forbidding a group of files by mask:


order allow,deny
deny from all

Defines access to a file by its extension. For example, forbidding web visitors to access files with the “inc” extension:


order allow,deny
deny from all

In this example the Apache server can access files with this extension.

Forbidding a particular file:

You can forbid a particular file using its name and extension.


order allow,deny
deny from all

This example forbids the file config.inc.php to be accessed.

Setting a password

Password for a directory:

AuthName "Private zone"
AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile /pub/home/your_login/.htpasswd
require valid-user

AuthName will be displayed for the user and can be used to explain authentication request. The value of AuthUserFile defines the location where the file with passwords for accessing this directory is stored. This file is created by a special tool named htpasswd.exe contained in Apache

For example, we create the following .htaccess file in the protected directory:

AuthName "For Registered Users Only"
AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile /pub/site.com/.htpasswd
require valid-user

In this example, the user requesting this directory will read the message “For Registered Users Only”, the file with passwords for access must be stored in the directory /pub/site.com/ and it must be named .htpasswd . The directory is specified from the server root. If you specify the directory incorrectly, Apache will not be able to read the .htpasswd file and nobody will get access to this directory.

Password for one file only:

Similar to protecting a whole directory with a password, you can set a password for one file only. An example of setting a password to the file private.zip:


AuthName "Users zone"
AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile /pub/home/your_login/.htpasswd

Password for a group of files:

Similarly, you can use to set password for files by mask. An example of setting a password for accessing all files with the “sql” extension:


AuthName "Users zone"
AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile /pub/home/your_login/.htpasswd

Checking access rights

Task: there is a directory named a1 containing two subdirectories (a2, a3), there are two access levels for users. The first group can access only a1 and a2, the second group can access all three directories. You should perform authentication only once – when accessing a1, but observe access rights for а2 and а3.
The username and password are requested only once while accessing а1 – if the user has access to а2, the password it not requested again. If the user has no access to а3, he will see the message “Enter the password”.

www.site.com/a1
www.site.com/a1/а2
www.site.com/a1/a3

a1 – common and protected at the same time
а2 and а3 only for certain users.

The .htaccess file for the directory а1:

AuthName "Input password"
AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile "/pub/home/your_login/htdocs/closearea/.htpasswd"

require valid-user

The .htaccess file for the directory а2:

AuthName "Input password"
AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile "/pub/home/your_login/htdocs/closearea/.htpasswd"

require user user1 user2 user3

The .htaccess file for the directory а3:

AuthName "Input password"
AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile "/pub/home/your_login/htdocs/closearea/.htpasswd"

require user user1 user4 user5

How to redirect a visitor?

Redirecting to another URL:

To redirect a visitor to http://site.com, add the following to .htaccess

Redirect / http://www.site.com

Displaying different pages depending on the visitor’s IP address:

SetEnvIf REMOTE_ADDR REDIR="redir"
RewriteCond %{REDIR} redir
RewriteRule ^/$ /another_page.html

For example, redirecting visitors with IP 192.12.131.1 to the page about_my_site.html:

SetEnvIf REMOTE_ADDR 192.12.131.1 REDIR="redir"
RewriteCond %{REDIR} redir
RewriteRule ^/$ /about_my_site.html

Redirecting a visitor when he request certain pages:

It is already for all network viruses and scanners. Now any request with the address /_vti_bin will be automatically redirected to Microsoft:

redirect /_vti_bin http://www.microsoft.com
redirect /scripts http://www.microsoft.com
redirect /MSADC http://www.microsoft.com
redirect /c http://www.microsoft.com
redirect /d http://www.microsoft.com
redirect /_mem_bin http://www.microsoft.com
redirect /msadc http://www.microsoft.com
RedirectMatch (.*)cmd.exe$ http://www.microsoft.com$1

How to change the default page?

To change the page that will be displayed when a visitor access a directory, write:

DirectoryIndex

It is possible to specify several pages:

DirectoryIndex index.shtml index.php index.php3 index.html index.htm

How to make Apache process SSI directives?

SSI allows you to “assemble” a page using its parts. You have the code of the menu in one part, the code of the header in another part and the footer in a third part. And the visitor sees a usual page consisting of the code stored in your parts.

Some settings in httpd.conf are required.

Add Includes to the Options directive in the block starting with and ending with .

After that add the following to the .htaccess file:

AddHandler server-parsed .shtml .shtm .html .htm

How to process Apache errors yourself?

The most interesting and useful Apache errors are 403-404, 500.

403 – the user has not been authenticated, access denied (Forbidden).
404 – the requested document (file, directory) is not found.
500 – internal server error (for example, an error in the syntax of the .htaccess file).

For the user to see your own error messages for these error, add the following to .htaccess:

ErrorDocument 403 /errors/403.html
ErrorDocument 404 /errors/404.html
ErrorDocument 500 /errors/500.html

If error 404 occurs, the user receives the file errors/403.html.

It is convenient to create your own handler for some errors. Add the following to .htaccess:

ErrorDocument 403 /errors/error.php?403
ErrorDocument 404 /errors/error.php?404
ErrorDocument 500 /errors/error.php?500

Determine the document that caused error in error.php using $HTTP_SERVER_VARS[‘REQUEST_URI’] and process it then. If .htaccess contains the file with the full path for ErrorDocument (http://site.com/error.php), $HTTP_SERVER_VARS[‘REQUEST_URI’] will contain this file instead of the one that caused the error.

Internet Explorer 5.0 incorrectly processes the error file if it is smaller than 1 kilobyte. It opens the standard IE 404 page.

How to forbid the contents of a directory to be displayed if it has no index file?

Suppose all graphics used on your site is stored in the ‘img’ directory. A visitor can type the address of this directory in his browser and see the list of all your image files. Of course, it will not cause any damage, but you might forbid the visitor to view this directory as well. Add the following to .htaccess:

Options -Indexes

Is it possible to specify the encoding of all file the browser receives documents in by default?

When the Internet only came to existence and first browsers appeared, it often happened that the browser could not automatically determine which of the Russian encodings a document was written in and the browser displayed a complete mess. To avoid it, specify that all pages will be encoded in Windows-1251:

AddDefaultCharset windows-1251

Is it possible to specify the encoding of uploaded files?

When a visitor uploads a file to the server, it is possible to recode it. To do it, specify that all uploaded files will be encoded in Windows-1251:

CharsetSourceEnc windows-1251

Frequent errors

I created the .htaccess file, but the server returns 500 – Internal Error

There is an error in its syntax or the file is saved in the wrong format.


Sometimes when working with an image you want to make a certain color transparent. When working with a gif file this would make a round circle look round on any color background. This is actually very simple once you do it once. Finding the information for this took me a while so I thought I would pass it on to anyone that was interested.

1. Open your image in the gimp.

2. Right click the image and go to LAYERS then TRANSPARENCY then ADD ALPHA CHANNEL. You won’t notice anything happening, but don’t be concerned. It basically adds a transparent layer at the bottom of your image so when we erase the colors…..it’s shows the transparent layer. Which of course would show whatever was under it on the screen.

3. Right click on the image again and go to SELECT and then down to BY COLOR. A window that is all black opens up. Don’t change any of the settings….just use the defaults for now.

4. Now click on the color in the image you want to be transparent. These colors will now show up outlined.

5. Right click on the image again and go to EDIT and then down to CLEAR. This should now erase the outlined color you just picked from the image and the “transparent gimp checkerbox” should show through. This is the Gimps way of showing you that section is now transparent.

6. Right click on the image and choose SAVE AS and make sure to save as a GIF file if you want the transparency to work on the web.

Another fun feature that can be used while using the SELECT and BY COLOR ….. instead of hitting CLEAR you can FILL W BG COLOR or the other one FILL W FG COLOR ……….. this allows you to change the colors over the entire image instantly for the particular pixel color you choose to start with. Very fast and fun once you figure this out.


Change the Location of the Outlook Express Mail and News Files (All Windows)

This setting allows you to change the location of the mail and news files stored by Outlook Express to another directory or partition.

Open your registry and find the key below.

Edit the value called ‘Store Root‘ and set it to equal the required path name.

Then move the ‘mail’ and ‘news’ folders from the old location to the new and restart Outlook Express.

For versions of Outlook Express prior to version 5.0 the registry key is [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOutlook Express].

Note: The “mail” and “news” folder must be manually created or moved to the new location.


Windows

To see how to create a new profile for Firefox see Creating a new Firefox profile on Windows. Instructions for other Mozilla programs follow.

Close the application and make sure that it is not running in the background.

Thunderbird, Mozilla Suite or SeaMonkey: Use the “Profile Manager” shortcut located in the Start -> Programs Menu (if available) or use the below instructions, substituting thunderbird.exe mozilla.exe or seamonkey.exe in place of firefox.exe.

Firefox: Open the Windows “Start” menu, select “Run” (on Windows Vista, use “Start Search” or enable the Run box, as described here) then type and enter one of the following:

  • firefox.exe -profilemanager
  • firefox.exe -P

For a zip install or if the above instructions do not work, include the full path to the executable surrounded by quotation marks in the “Run” (or Vista “Start Search”) box, as in this Firefox example:

  • "C:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxfirefox.exe" -profilemanager

Linux

Close the application completely and make sure that it is not running in the background. Open the terminal and execute cd (program directory) then execute:

  • (Firefox) ./firefox -profilemanager
  • (Mozilla Suite) ./mozilla -profilemanager
  • (SeaMonkey) ./seamonkey -profilemanager
  • (Thunderbird) ./thunderbird -profilemanager

Alternately, in a terminal type path/to/application -profilemanager

Sources:

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager

http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/profile


Question
I have come across a word problem I have never seen before. The user is able to print most documents, but the one she is printing now has a letter header with our company’s logo not showing in print layout or preview. Once the print prieview is closed, the header shows up in layout, but it wil not print. Other users can print the file fine. Secondly, I uninstalled office and reinstalled it (office xp), but it deosen’t work

Answer
Select the menu View, and then the option Headers and FootersOn the toolbar that appears, click on Page Setup (browse the icons it to locate it reading the tooltips)On the dialog Page Setup, you will find 3 tabs। Select the Layout tab, and then the option Different first page


Gloom and sorrow greeted the rigging of elections and subsequent swearing in of the looser, one Emilio. Violence erupted in several parts of Kenya, with the death toll running to the hundreds, and destruction of property of un-audited proportions. All the same we should never forget “Power goes to those who deserve it most – the people”

One important question I would like answered would be “Do you want to feast on a fat calf in a house of turmoil and acrimony or do you want to settle to a humble meal of herbs in a house of peace?”

I have about 15 culprits to blame for the vote rigging.

  1. Me and you: We never voted conclusively like in 2002. Kenyans of both political divide are regretting not voting at all, or backing the wrong horse. We were not strong enough in mass action, and pressurizing the government for a FREE and FAIR election, and after the announcement of the winner, we did not turn up in our millions in a non violent Mahatma Style demo.You and Me for killing innocent Kenyans. We will never forget.
  2. Moi and Co: Initially, I thought that Moi was a fly in Kibaki’s soup. This was never the case, because his finances and political mentoring hardened Kibaki and ensured that the incumbent did not concede defeat whatsoever.
  3. Kivuitu: A conspiracy theory has it “NSIS mixed up and threatened Kivuitu, going as far as kidnapping members of his family so as coax him to read pre-typed results, then escort him with armed guard to state house to hand over a pre-typed nomination certificate, with KBC and Citizen cameras in tow.” The truth is he lied to Kenyans that Presiding officers had vanished with Presidential results yet he had announced parliamentary and civic candidates, and his officers were in the background altering (Kivuitus words “and cooking”) the presidential result, finally having them not tally to parliamentary results. Kivuitu had the option to be bold and announce ODM as winners, and tell the media through live feed that the government had threatened him and his family. He also had the option of resigning, instead of being used to announce doctored results. Kivuitu has always been part of the establishment.
  4. ECK: The ECK Chairman’s cried that his Returning Officers had gone missing (or rather, he couldn’t find them on phone). This was monitored via live feed by Kenyan and international media. . He went further to announce his fears that the results were being ‘cooked’ wherever they were. He then stated the Commission had its ways of finding out and enforcing the right figures. Unconfirmed reports claimed that after night-long scrutiny of Votes the ECK had arrived at the following figures: Raila: 4.8 million. Kibaki: 3.6 million. However PNU strongly disagreed with the tally but Kivuitu challenged them to justify their claim. ECK thrashed the trust Kenya had put on it to serve a Fair election.
  5. Media (The forth estate): In the elections tally, figures seem to have been adjusted and the Kenyan Media seems to have been so ready to adjust their ‘from-the-ground-figures’ without any explanations. Journalists are no longer just messengers who accept anything and everything that they are given. In most of the results that were being disputed, there were sound-bytes of the Returning Officers making the announcements. Where were journalists to ask Mr Kivuitu why he was referring those with visible disputes to Courts? The media let the citizen down and they should not blame anybody for it
  6. Major Ali and Major General Kianga: For not threatening the establishment. During Kibaki’s supposed inauguration, THE NATIONAL ANTHEM WAS NOT PLAYED OR SUNG during the entire ceremony as required by law. Why did the military rehearse for a whole week at Nyayo stadium?
  7. Mwai Kibaki: For placing his relatives and tribe mates like Idi-Amin and Saddam to head the military and police wings, so that all revolt can be quashed. For colluding with his cronies to deny Kenya democracy and the rule of law. What else can a man stealing votes steal?
  8. Kalonzo Musyoka: For taking sides with an illegitimate government. What happened to Christian values? His political career is moribund and after having roped in the Akamba community into his ill-fated presidential bid, he is the least qualified to act as a mediator in a conflict which pits parties that garnered more than 10 times his own presidential votes. This is made even worse by the fact that Kalonzo’s ODM-K took sides at the most crucial point in endorsing a great injustice during the time ODM was making gallant and spirited efforts in stopping a kidnapped ECK Chairman reading illegitimate presidential results.
  9. Raila Odinga and the Pentagon: You never saw this coming!
  10. The clergy and Cardinal Njue: For not asserting their position in society.
  11. Michuki: Given a .45 with two rounds, and Moi, Biwot and Michuki were on line, guess who of the three would be spared?
  12. EU, USA and Britain: For sitting in the fence. Can they be more forceful than that?
  13. Kenya Police: God, those killed by you, and tribal haters are सो मानी।

For the Kenyans who do not speak and act now, remember the words of Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

“When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out”.

The time to speak and act to save our hard-earned democracy is NOW!

ठोस इन्नोसेंट पीपुल व्हो हवे दिएद बेकाउसे ऑफ़ थे सेलफिश्नेस ऑफ़ थे पॉलिटिकल एलिते “रेस्ट इन PEACE”


I read of a man who stood to speakAt the funeral of a friendHe referred to the dates on her tombstoneFrom the beginning…to the end.He noted that first came her date of birthAnd spoke the following date with tears,But he said what mattered most of allWas the dash between those years (1981 – 2005)For that dash represents all the timeThat she spent alive on earth…And now only those who loved herKnow what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own; The cars…the house…the cash, What matters is how we live and love And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard…Are there things you’d like to change?For you never know how much time is left, That can still be rearranged.If we could just slow down enoughTo consider what’s true and real, And always try to understand The way other people feel. And be less quick to anger, And show appreciation moreAnd love the people in our livesLike we’ve never loved before.If we treat each other with respect, And more often wear a smile.. Remembering that this special dash Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being readWith your life’s actions to rehash…Would you be proud of the things they say About how you spent your dash? If you have received this, it means that you aretruly special to the one that sent this to you. With no strings attached, is it possible for you to send it also to a buddy?I am glad that you’re in my life and part of my dash.


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Ever wondered how hard we work to fill our lives with luxuries that we
hardly have time to enjoy?.

LOOK AT IT THIS WAY…

The luxury Cars, Land Cruisers, Rav 4’s; Mercedes that are parked 8 hours
driven 30 min to the office and 30 minutes back home 5 days out of 7 (i.e.
5 out of 168 hours in a week).... And whilst we sit on a Not-so-comfortable chair in a small room called an office your 7 Bed-roomed mansion lies idle with only the maid enjoying herself to the 'bacon and egg breakfast' relaxing on that very expensive Leather sofa that we only seat on when we get home... and being so tired we just doze
off to sleep anyway. When tired of work she takes a break, turns on the TV

and spoils herself with the fully subscribed DSTV, of course if she feels
bored she can always turn on that brand name Hifi and swing a bit.....

And whilst all that is happening where are you?... you are eating a cheap
take away lunch everyday, and oh by the way there is no breakfast really,
because its just a cup of tea a few slices of bread probably with some
left-overs from yesterday's supper (for the fortunate few). Every moment
you really wish it could just get to 4pm so that you can drive home and
join.the Maid!! (Poor you!)

So this is your miserable lot for the rest of your working life... by the
time you retire you'll have no pleasure in them anymore. By now your
children would have joined in the Rat Race of finding a good job working
very hard and never enjoying the fruits of their labours... its all vanity
isn't it?

SO THE QUESTION IS... WHO IS ENJOYING BETTER THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR...YOU OR YOUR HOUSE HELP?

“Riches are not from an abundance of worldly goods, but from a contented mind.” – Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)


Written by Eric Kimani Image October 23, 2007: Myles Munroe describes potential as “unexposed ability… Reserved power… untapped strength… capped capabilities… unused success… dormant gifts… hidden talents… latent power… what you can do that you haven’t done… where you can go that you haven’t gone… who you can be that you haven’t yet been… what you can imagine you haven’t yet imagined… how far you can reach that you haven’t yet reached… what you can see that you haven’t yet seen… what you can accomplish that you haven’t yet accomplished.”

And he goes on to tell us that we are all capable of much more than we are presently thinking, imagining, doing or being.

In this regard, let me talk of self management capabilities. I have narrowed this down to what we need to do to stay visible and hence grow in our careers.

By visibility in career I mean the ability to be noticed for growth and promotion. I strongly believe that it is a person’s visibility or lack of it that will greatly determine one’s career growth.

So, what is it you must do to be visible?
Stay on the screen. Ensure that you are seen. That you are noticeable. In 2004, I had this junior woman walk into my office with a proposal on how to grow our market. She was truly junior in relation to my position as then, an MD.

It took great courage for her to walk through the hierarchy and bureaucracy, but she did and you know what? By the end of the year she was in Japan for a week promoting the company products. I had never seen her before the day she walked into my office.

I have followed her career growth and she is still growing. You must ensure your visibility by staying on the radar screen.

Offer to help sort out problems for others
One of the reasons I got promotions early in my career was because I often came up with suggestions of more efficient and effective ways of doing things to help others in what they did. I joined my first employer as a clerk.

The company had a huge backlog of statutory returns to be completed. No one was willing to do the work as it was mundane and added little to any key responsibility. I offered to do the work in my spare time. I recall days I worked till midnight. Luckily I was a bachelor then and youthful.

I have no doubt in my mind that this was the beginning of a stream of promotions within the company that saw me not only qualify for my CPA, but also reach the second highest position in finance within the company.

My ability to step out and help provide solutions kept me visible. I joined one of the companies as an internal auditor and by the end of my career with that company, I had been promoted to the highest level possible — the director of finance.

I remember my superiors then trusted me to initiate and oversee change in many areas. I owed my fast career growth to my ability to step in and offer solutions.

Remember, image is everything

How you act. How you dress is all important. You must act like a boss. You must dress appropriately for the position. About three years ago I joined the board of Help Age International in London as one of a truly global board of trustees drawn from all over the world. Since the other members of the board do not know me, I can attribute much to the image I portray for them to have unanimously agreed this year to elect me as the next chairman of the board.

You must support your superior’s success
Never bad mouth your immediate superior particularly to his own superior. This is a career trick many career builders overlook. It calls for diplomacy, particularly if you have a bad boss.

But the bottom line is the “boss is always right”! One of my key winning strategies in my career building has been my diplomatic support for my immediate bosses. And not all of them were nice, but I needed their support.

I recall in one company I worked and I had two accountants below me. One was supportive and hence learnt much from me, the other was not quite supportive and always felt sidelined, a fact that he often brought up to my superior.

After I left the company, the supportive junior was promoted to do my work, while the longer serving ever-complaining junior ended up leaving a few years down the line. Learn to make your superior look good in the eyes of his superior — you have everything to gain.

Image

Mr. Eric Kimani

Career visibility is all about leadership, delegation and interdependence
You must learn how to “use” other people as your stepping stone — in essence good leadership. People who insist on doing it themselves will never get promoted because there will be no one to do what they do as well as they do it! Many people try to make themselves indispensable without knowing that the indispensability leads to their career stunting.

Although I made it to the very top of my career in finance, I can confess I have had under me far better financial managers than me. I have used (and continue to use) the principles of good delegation and inter-dependence to lead teams. Blow your own horn.

It is critical that your good work and abilities get noticed. I was recently amazed at the abilities and qualifications of one woman in my office. Had I seen her earlier, I would have given her greater responsibility and a faster career path. She is too modest.

In one of my previous jobs my greatest career break came with my blowing my own horn in a big way. I once wrote a proposal to our overseas head office suggesting a major cost-reduction scheme that would mean relieving my boss and giving me his job among other changes. This proposal was accepted without amendment!

Do not perennially seek authority from your boss to do things that are within your power
Superiors love action oriented people. People who suck up to the boss may temporarily succeed, but on the whole will fail. It may feel like you are doing a good turn, but believe me it is boring and reduces the confidence of your superior. I once had an immediate direct support who would consult me to spend Sh5,000.

He almost brought the company to a standstill with his insistence that as managing director I must approve almost everything. In contrast, I had a departmental manager who walked into my office often having made a decision to spend Sh1 million without consulting me! This manager has huge potential to grow his career and I will not be surprised if one day he makes CEO.

Learn new things. Read widely. Have much general knowledge. The world in my view is led more by the generalists than the specialist. It amazes me how much general knowledge successful people have.

Embrace change. For this generation for example few of you here tonight will make it to the next level if you cannot adopt electronic technology. I tell people that if it were not for my mastery (basic as it is) of modern technology, I could not achieve half of what I do today!

The future belongs to those who embrace change

Many of us are uncomfortable with change. Many of us do not want to pay the price. Three months ago, I attended a two hour class everyday for weeks to improve my skills on Microsoft products. I insisted that 60 of our top managers attend the classes with me. The effects are phenomenal and will be felt even more in future.

Be bold and courageous
Many times we think small of ourselves. We let fear rule our lives, refusing to acknowledge that we are, as human beings powerful beyond measure. Our potential is beyond measure if unlocked.

I recall a recruitment firm advertising for job in a largest and influential company. I took a bold step to apply at a time when it was rumoured that only those who had influence would get the job. I had no influential contacts.

I was shortlisted as an under-dog.
To everybody’s amazement I was appointed to the position! Courage and boldness will take you where others do not dare. In one of my previous jobs I was bold enough to suggest a thinly veiled scheme to the then MD that I wanted his job. He made it clear to me that the possibility was not there.

This forced me to look elsewhere for the growth I was seeking, with great success. There is no substitute for courage and boldness in career growth.

Hard work pays
Hard work is necessary. You must, however, strive to work smarter not necessarily harder. Never let others, particularly your boss, know how hard you work to get the results. This may, among other things, put doubt in his/her mind about your ability to cope at a higher level. Learn and understand the politics of your work environment, but make sure you do not get caught in it.

Make friends with junior staff
It is amazing how much your juniors know that can help you with your visibility! Personal secretaries of your bosses are key allies to your success. For every company I have worked I can call on most of the juniors and staff and they will step out to help.

In one company I worked for, the telephone operator/receptionist almost managed my personal house utilities even long after I left the company. However, never discuss your boss or the work environment with them. Just be friendly with and value them — the results will amaze you.

Leadership belongs to those who do the extra mile
Ordinary people do not spend much time on the extra mile. But whoever said you were ordinary? Finally, promise yourself that in the next few months you will practice some of these things. I promise you that you will not regret it. You will be amazed at what it will bring your way.

Kimani is the CEO, Sameer Africa.