Thursday, April 14, 2011

I have moved to a New Site!

Dear Friends,

I have moved to a new site, and this would be my last post in this blog.

It has been a fun way to write using blogspot since 2009, and I appreciate everything that this platform has helped me.

Please continue to get all your leadership insights and lessons from and do remember to contact me at the new website!

Mark Chew

Friday, April 8, 2011

Managing Great Expectations - Are You Qualified to Do Your New Job?

Have you ever been tasked something to perform by your boss, and you feel that you may not have any experience to carry it out? Will you succeed or fail?

It all depends on how you play your hand, or even respond to the event.

On 7th April 2011, New York City Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, resigned after only 3 months on the job. It was a turbulent 3 months as parents heckled at her during board meetings; various deputy chancellors leaving because they didn't have faith in her, as well as facing plummeting poll figures.

You see, Ms Black's background was in publishing. She was chairman of Hearst Magazines – a “superstar manager,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg had called her – but she had no experience in either education or government.

Nonetheless, she was backed by Bloomberg, himself from a publishing background too, to be the One to reform public education.

This move could mean either massive success or massive failure, and her resignation probably meant that his political gamble had failed.

Here are 3 lessons learned from this.

1) Voice out Your Discomforts
One thing for sure is that, you can't hide your inexperience for too long. So be honest, and tell your boss upfront on your discomforts. He may have his reasons for getting you to do the job, even as an interim.

What is important is that you have at least told him your challenges. This would help set the tone and manage the expectations. This would be better than not telling him, and than hide your weaknesses by smoking others out. Your inexperience will show up fast.

Then be really prepared to learn fast on the job.

2) Be 100% Committed
This is very important because if the decision is still for you to take up the position, be 100% committed. You may need to live, eat, breathe, that particular task. And it may be be best for you to under-promise, and over deliver. Without a 100% commitment or focus to the new job, you may not be able to learn a new skill fast.

That being said, don't be too hard on yourself. It would be ridiculous for you to be perfect when you never had any qualifications in say . . . branding and yet be tasked to take up the branding strategy in the business.

So any feedback that you get should spur you to improve yourself! In other words, you must be teachable. You need to learn from those around you fast enough so that you can make the right decisions.

Ms Black would be better off learning from her Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, and seeking more ideas from him.

3) Always Set Someone Up For Success
Could the Mayor have done more to "coach" Ms Black? Absolutely.

Being in a political system where approval ratings could make or break a person, I personally find it all worthwhile for Ms Black to think thoroughly before speaking or even acting. So comments like "class room overcrowding can be solved by birth control" shows how flippant her ideas may be. She may be trying to be witty, but she angered parents with this comment.

Ms Black's own children studied in exclusive private schools and this wouldn't go down well with the public because she wouldn't be able to understand the challenges faced at the grassroots level.

It was a political gamble that could be avoided from the start because Bloomberg had at his disposal, other capable people who could carry it off. If he knew how to set others up for success, perhaps the gamble may have paid off.

That being said, the biggest lesson learned is that at least the public now knows that this would be Mayor's Bloomberg's final term, and they can now vote for better candidates. Hopefully.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

If you like it, Tag my books!

Hi all!

This is a humble request for my friends, to help me tag and vote for my book Discover Your Leadership Style, and Sean Seah's book, Winning the Money Game, on

1) Why Tag and vote? For Greater Brand Visibility on

2) This is to boost the popularity of our books when international customers search for similar books in the genre or category or tags. These books would then be seen.

Aim: To reach the number of 2000 and more for the Tags (labels) for “Discover Your Leadership Style” and “Winning the Money Game” in by 1st July 2011.

10 Steps to help Mark & Sean achieve this aim!

1)Create a customer account for, if you don't have one.

2)Please log in.

3)Click on the links provided below (please do for one book at a time.)

a)For Discover Your Leadership Style, by Mark Chew

b)For Winning The Money Game, by Sean Seah

4)Scroll down to “Tags Customers Associate with This Product”

5)Please check (tick) the boxes beside ALL the tags.

6)When you are done, with the above, please also go to my recommended link, Listmania, and when you look at the right box, there is a List Stats box.

- Please click "helpful". Then let your webpage remain open, because Amazon would prefer voters to hang around.

7)That's it! Every Vote Counts!

8)Spread this message to your friends through face book and emails, to help out!

9)Please help us in advertising our books in through this effective manner!

10)This will help us gain brand awareness, because on 15th July 2011, we will launch a 24hr marketing campaign which will see all new customers who buy both our books on that day via, receive fabulous gifts and products! More details will be shared to you all by July 2011 for this particular event!


Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Take on the On-going No-Fly Zone Campaign in Libya

I normally don't touch on International Relations and Politics, because it is a whole new ball game. Besides there is a lot at stake in this war, and it would be highly one-sided for me to comment from all the way in Singapore. So if I have any comments about this commentary, I would be more than willing to learn from it.

It seems to me that US President Barack Obama may be the only Nobel Prize Peace recipient to have started a war against another country. Of course the reason that is given to the community is that they want to prevent a massive genocide from taking place.

And what about neighbouring Bahrain and Yemen? Is it because there are US military assets in these countries? Is it because somehow, they will sort out the trouble themselves. Or is there something more sinister like material assets in Libya that is attractive enough for intervention. And what about North Korea's incessant bullying of South Korea? Why is it settled by sending an ex president there for talks? Why can't the same be done for Libya? With negotiations?

NO-FLY Zone = No Go Policy
Now, Aerial Supremacy alone, will not win the war. Lessons from Kosovo & Bosnia should have taught the UN troops that Ground Forces are still needed to ensure that peace reigns. However in terms of monetary-wise, it may not be feasible for a US led UN Ground Force to enter Libya. Fighting the war in Afghanistan and Iraq has already strained the US economy. Her allies like Britan are still trying to convince her people back home about the Iraqi war.

Arming the Rebels = No Go Policy
Sending covert teams into Libya to contact the Libyan ground rebels may not be a good idea. Similarly, equipping Libyan ground rebels with weapons is also not a good idea.

Remember Osama bin laden? Remember how the US equipped his rag-tag force back then against the Russians? In fact, some opponents of equipping the rebels, worry about the political leanings of some fighters, especially since NATO's top commander Admiral James Stavridis said on Tuesday that while most rebels were "responsible," some showed "flickers" of Al-Qaeda or Hezbollah sympathies. These countries have a different sense of the term "democracy". What the west sees as democratic, the countries in middle east see it as something deviant or euphemistically, different. So while the ground rebels cry for help, equipping them with weapons from the UN, will send a wrong message.

And that message is that peace is obtained by more force. And what happens when the UN forces are in? They get stuck there in a messy quagmire, because they are needed to build the country like in the case of Iraq.

The current Libyan leader, Gaddaffi, is a mad ruler. To fight him head on is like fighting your shadow -- Pointless. And fighting a shadow war now in Libya will only force the mad ruler to bite back, and with more casualties.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kinokuniya Book Talk on 26th March 2011

Some of the pictures taken during my book talk for Discover Your Leadership Style, held at Kinokuniya, Takashimaya @ Orchard Road, Singapore.

The crowd was amazing as they sat through my 50mins talk. I spoke about why we all need to discover our leadership style.

Because everyone has a purpose in life. And once we know our purpose... we would be able to reach our goals.

In that short talk, I also shared about the need to be 100% prepared so as to reach our best!

My longtime church buddy, Adrian and his wife, Ina.

Moon Loh, a great Internet marketeer and successful entreprenuer was also there with her amazing team to support me. I first knew her when I followed her twitter entries and discovered that she made a lot of interesting remarks on making a succcessful home based business. We became friends and even though we are in different companies, I have great respect for her sales and rapport skills!

Author of MAD Culture, Ms Dywen Lauren, was there to support me. Her talk on how to be MAD, or how to Make A Difference, was held after me. She is an amazing lady who broke through all glass ceilings to reach her current position, with her strategic gung-ho ness!

Overall I had a good time and it was also a great opportunity to reach out to a lot of people.

I personally would like to thank Richelle from Kinokuniya, as well as Alena and Marveric from Armour Publishing for making all these possible!

To more book talks in the future!

Maid Carries Bag. With Soldier Walking Ahead.

If a picture could speak a thousand words, what would your comments be when you see this?

For me, I nearly fell off my chair when I saw this picture. And it was definitely not superimposed.

Even if the lady walking behind the swaggering soldier playing Angry Birds on his iPhone, was his girlfriend, this over-reliance nature has definitely gone too far.

Sometimes I ask myself, there must be a reason for every event that takes place, and even if there isn't, there's more to it than meets the eye. After all, a picture is just a snapshot of what may have happened.

So I will try to keep a level head and comment on this incident, only after a day . . .

Provided I haven't keeled over with anger.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pictures with Ms Ruth Barringham, my reviewer of Discover Your Leadership Style

Just a few pictures that I want to show, with regards to some mentors who have helped make me a much better author and leader. Their zest in life towards sharing their passion and knowledge is indeed humbling.

I flew down to Brisbane, Australia with my family, in

December 2010 to meet Ms Ruth Barringham. She is the co-author of The Wealthy Writer, together with Mr Nick Daws and author of Self Publish Worldwide.

What truly humbled me when I met up with her was that she also invited her daughter and husband to meet me and family. With absolutely no airs, she has also been my mentor from down under, advising and guiding me from the internet.

All thanks to her that I have found new skills in marketing my book!