Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Discover Your Leadership Style Interview on 938 Live

In the following 938LIVE radio feature and interview, Pamela Ho, Joel Chua and I discussed about the leadership styles of people and how understanding your leadership style can help you succeed in the strategical aspects of business.

You will learn:

1) That these leadership principles are applicable for anyway who desire to learn and improve themselves. From student leaders, to business owners, to athletes.

2) That Leadership is an Art in which one must find a balance.

3) Honest sharing of past feedback which will change you for the better!

4) The secret between a Great Leader vis a vis that of an average Joe

Part 1

Mark Chew, Pamela Ho and Joel Chua on 938Live, The Living Room.

Part 2

Mark Chew, Pamela Ho and Joel Chua on 938Live, The Living Room.

Live Interview with 938 LIVE, The Living Room

It was a great interview with 938Live, The Living Room, on the 13th Dec 2010.

As it was my first live interview, I felt my mind racing in the first half of the interview. And I could actually "hear" myself talking!

I felt that I was answering the questions posed by Pamela Ho and Joel Chua, too quickly, and I may not have answered them directly.

Nonetheless, hindsight is always perfect, and along the next few weeks, I would dissect that interview, and share with all of you.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Discover Your Leadership Style

1st Dec 2010. A date that I would always remember.

It was the day that my publisher, passed me by book cover, and told me it would be distributed to major bookstores by Christmas day!

Wow... finally!

Currently, I am also preparing for more activities so that more people would know about the book.

Have already secured a live interview with Singapore's premier news station,938fm Live, The Living Room, so please listen out for it!


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Hi everyone, I'm back again.

Here's the next post from N to Z. Enjoy!

N – Never lie, cheat or steal. Always play a fair game.

O – Open your eyes. People should learn the horse attitude and horse sense. They see things in 2 ways – how they want things to be, and how they should be.

P – Practice makes perfect. Practice is about motivation. It lets us learn repertoire and ways on how can we recover from our mistakes.

Q – Quitters never win. And winners never quit. So, choose your fate – are you going to be a quitter? Or a winner?

R – Ready yourself. Motivation is also about preparation. We must hear the little voice within us telling us to get started before others will get on their feet and try to push us around. Remember, it wasn’t raining when Noah build the ark.

S – Stop procrastinating.

T – Take control of your life. Discipline or self control jives synonymously with motivation. Both are key factors in self improvement.

U – Understand others. If you know very well how to talk, you should also learn how to listen. Yearn to understand first, and to be understood the second.

V – Visualize it. Motivation without vision is like a boat on a dry land.

W – Want it more than anything. Dreaming means believing. And to believe is something that is rooted out from the roots of motivation and self improvement.

X – X Factor is what will make you different from the others. When you are motivated, you tend to put on “extras” on your life like extra time for family, extra help at work, extra care for friends, and so on.

Y – You are unique. No one in this world looks, acts, or talks like you. Value your life and existence, because you’re just going to spend it once.

Z – Zero in on your dreams and go for it!!!

Ok that's it!


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Monday, September 13, 2010


Pain may sometimes be the reason why people change. Getting flunked grades make us realize that we need to study. Debts remind us of our inability to look for a source of income. Being humiliated gives us the ‘push’ to speak up and fight for ourselves to save our face from the next embarrassments. It may be a bitter experience, a friend’s tragic story, a great movie, or an inspiring book that will help us get up and get just the right amount of motivation we need in order to improve ourselves.

With the countless negativities the world brings about, how do we keep motivated? Try on the tips I prepared from A to Z… but too long right? haha.. so In this post I'll share from A to M, watch out for the next post from N to Z!

A - Achieve your dreams. Avoid negative people, things and places. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

B - Believe in your self, and in what you can do.

C – Consider things on every angle and aspect. Motivation comes from determination. To be able to understand life, you should feel the sun from both sides.

D – Don’t give up and don’t give in. Thomas Edison failed once, twice, more than thrice before he came up with his invention and perfected the incandescent light bulb. Make motivation as your steering wheel.

E – Enjoy. Work as if you don’t need money. Dance as if nobody’s watching. Love as if you never cried. Learn as if you’ll live forever. Motivation takes place when people are happy.

F – Family and Friends – are life’s greatest ‘F’ treasures. Don’t loose sight of them.

G – Give more than what is enough. Where does motivation and self improvement take place at work? At home? At school? When you exert extra effort in doing things.

H – Hang on to your dreams. They may dangle in there for a moment, but these little stars will be your driving force.

I – Ignore those who try to destroy you. Don’t let other people to get the best of you. Stay out of toxic people – the kind of friends who hates to hear about your success.

J – Just be yourself. The key to success is to be yourself. And the key to failure is to try to please everyone.

K – keep trying no matter how hard life may seem. When a person is motivated, eventually he sees a harsh life finally clearing out, paving the way to self improvement.
L – Learn to love your self. Now isn’t that easy?

M – Make things happen. Motivation is when your dreams are put into work clothes.

ok, that's all for today, be sure to catch the rest of the alphabets in the next post!


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Monday, September 6, 2010

Enjoy Your Life: Change Your Point of View

"Two men look out through the same bars: One sees the mud, and one sees the stars."- Frederick Langbridge, A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts

If you’ve placed second in a writing contest, will you jump for joy and push for better results the next time or will you be discouraged and find an excuse not to join again?

In life, you are always filled with choices. You may opt to have a pessimist’s view and live a self-defeated life or you may decide to take the optimist’s route and take a challenging and fulfilling life.

So why nurture an optimist’s point of view? And why now?

Well, optimism has been linked to positive mood and good morale; to academic, athletic, military, occupational and political success; to popularity; to good health and even to long life and freedom from trauma.

On the other hand, the rates of depression and pessimism have never been higher. It affects middle-aged adults the same way it hits younger people. The mean age of onset has gone from 30 to 15. It is no longer a middle-aged housewife’s disorder but also a teen-ager’s disorder’ as well.

Here’s how optimists are in action and researches that back up why it really pays to be an optimist:

Optimists expect the best

The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events, which will last a long time and undermine everything they do, are their own fault.

The truth is optimists are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world. What differs is the way they explain their misfortune---it’s the opposite way. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case.

Optimists tend to focus on and plan for the 'problem' at hand. They use 'positive reinterpretation.' In other words, they most likely reinterpret a negative experience in a way that helps them learn and grow. Such people are unfazed by bad situation, they perceive it is a challenge and try harder.

They won’t say “things will never get better,” “If I failed once, it will happen again” and “If I experience misfortune in one part of my life, then it will happen in my whole life.”

Positive expectancies of optimists also predict better reactions during transitions to new environments, sudden tragedies and unlikely turn of events. If they fall, they will stand up. They see opportunities instead of obstacles.

People respond positively to optimists

Optimists are proactive and less dependent on others for their happiness.
They find no need to control or manipulate people. They usually draw people towards them. Their optimistic view of the world can be contagious and influence those they are with.

Optimism seems a socially desirable trait in all communities. Those who share optimism are generally accepted while those who spread gloom, panic and hysteria are treated unfavorably.

In life, these people often win elections; get voted most congenial and sought for advice.

When the going gets tough, optimists get tougher

Optimists typically maintain higher levels of subjective well-being during times of stress than do people who are less optimistic. In contrast, pessimists are likely to react to stressful events by denying that they exist or by avoiding dealing with problems. Pessimists are more likely to quit trying when difficulties arise.

They persevere. They just don’t give up easily, they are also known for their patience. Inching their way a step closer to that goal or elusive dream.

Optimists are healthier and live longer

Medical research has justified that simple pleasures and a positive outlook can cause a measurable increase in the body's ability to fight disease.

Optimists’ health is unusually good. They age well, much freer than most people from the usual physical ills of middle age. And they get to outlive those prone to negative thoughts.

So why not be an optimist today? And think positively towards a more fulfilled life.

Why not look forward to success in all your endeavors? Why not be resilient? Like everybody else you are bound to hit lows sometimes but don’t just stay there. Carry yourself out of the mud and improve your chances of getting back on the right track. And why not inspire others to remove their dark-colored glasses and see life in the bright side?


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Monday, August 30, 2010

Impossible is Nothing

Everyone, at some point of his or her life, has dreamed of being somebody special, somebody big. Who hasn't fantasized about being the one who hits the game-winning homer? Who hasn't dreamed of being the homecoming queen? And how many times have we dreamed of being rich, or successful, or happy with our relationships?

Often, we dream big dreams and have great aspirations. Unfortunately, our dreams remain just that – dreams. And our aspirations easily collect dust in our attic.

This is a sad turn of events in our life. Instead of experiencing exciting adventures in self actualization, we get caught up in the humdrum of living from day-to-day just barely existing.

But you know what? Life could be so much better, if only we learned to aim higher.

The most common problem to setting goals is the word impossible. Most people get hung up thinking I can't do this. It's too hard. It's too impossible. No one can do this.

However, if everyone thought that, there would be no inventions, no innovations, and no breakthroughs in human accomplishment.

Remember that scientists were baffled when they took a look at the humble bumblebee. Theoretically, they said, it was impossible for the bumblebee to fly. Unfortunately for the bumble, bee no one has told it so. So fly it does.

On the other hand, some people suffer from dreaming totally outrageous dreams and not acting on them. The result? Broken dreams, and tattered aspirations.

If you limit yourself with self-doubt, and self-limiting assumptions, you will never be able to break past what you deem impossible. If you reach too far out into the sky without working towards your goal, you will find yourself clinging on to the impossible dream.

Try this exercise. Take a piece of paper and write down some goals in your life. Under one header, list down things ‘you know you can do’. Under another header, write the things ‘you might be able to do.’ And under one more, list the things that that are ‘impossible for you to do.’

Now look at all the headers strive every day to accomplish the goals that are under things ‘you know you can do’. Check them when you are able to accomplish them. As you slowly are able to check all of your goals under that heading, try accomplishing the goals under the other header-the one that reads ‘you might be able to do.’

As of the items you wrote under things I could do are accomplished, you can move the goals that are under things that are ‘impossible for you to do’ to the list of things ‘you might be able to do.’

As you iterate through this process, you will find out that the goals you thought were impossible become easier to accomplish. And the impossible begin to seem possible after all.

You see, the technique here is not to limit your imagination. It is to aim high, and start working towards that goal little by little. However, it also is unwise to set a goal that is truly unrealistic.

Those who just dream towards a goal without working hard end up disappointed and disillusioned.

On the other hand, if you told someone a hundred years ago that it was possible for man to be on the moon, they would laugh at you. If you had told them that you could send mail from here to the other side of the world in a few seconds, they would say you were out of your mind. But, through sheer desire and perseverance, these impossible dreams are now realities.

Thomas Edison once said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Nothing could be truer. For one to accomplish his or her dreams, there has to be had work and discipline. But take note that that 1% has to be a think-big dream, and not some easily accomplished one.

Ask any gym rat and he or she will tell you that there can be no gains unless you are put out of your comfort zone. Remember the saying, “No pain, no gain”? That is as true as it can be.

So dream on, friend! Don’t get caught up with your perceived limitations. Think big and work hard to attain those dreams. As you step up the ladder of progress, you will just about find out that the impossible has just become a little bit more possible.


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is Winning or Losing Important?

Is Winning or Losing Important? Yes, I think winning is important because it gives people that motivation to strive towards more progress.

You see, I was walking towards my office this morning when I heard an educator from a neighbouring child care centre teaching her students.

From what I infer, they were probably playing games and one of them felt angry that she had lost. So the educator said, "Children, in life, it's not important about winning and losing, what's more important is that we have?"

She probably wanted them to say, "fun" but it was definitely not "fun" for them. The disappointed look on their faces probably shocked her and she added, "erm... I guess you're not having fun, so let's stop the game."I wanted to stop her because in my opinion, she was teaching them the wrong values.

Was she a loser in life? Or was she a loser having fun in life? That can't be the case right? Because everyone wants to be a winner. And one should never kill that winning passion from any one!

The right values should be, "Learn From Your Mistakes, and Improve Your Game"


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Monday, August 23, 2010

Setting Your Goals - Easier Said, Easily Done

The basics of setting a goal is an open secret known by top-caliber athletes, successful businessmen and businesswomen and all types of achievers in all the different fields. The basics of setting goals give you short-term and long-term motivation and focus. They help you set focus on the acquisition of required knowledge and help you to plan and organize your resources and your time so that you can get the best out of your life.

Setting clearly defined short term and long term goals will enable you to measure your progress and achieve personal satisfaction once you have successfully met your goals. Charting your progress will also enable you to actually see the stages of completion leading to the actual realization of your goals. This eliminates the feeling of a long and pointless grind towards achieving your goal. Your self-confidence and level of competence will also improve as you will be more aware of your capabilities as you complete or achieve your goals.

The basics of goal settings will involve deciding what you really want to do with your personal life and what short term and long term goals you need to achieve it. Then you have to break down goals into the smaller and manageable targets that you must complete in your way to achieving your lifetime targets. Once you have your list waste no time in tackling your goals.

A good way to have a manageable list is to have a daily and weekly set of goals. By doing this you will be always in the position of going towards you life plan goals. Everyday will give you the opportunity to fulfill a certain goal giving you the feeling of accomplishment.

Here are some pointers that should be taken into consideration in setting goals and achieving them.

Attitude plays a very big role in setting and achieving your goals. You must ask yourself; if any part of you or your mind holding you back towards completing your simplest goals? If there are any part of your behavior that is being a hindrance or puts your plans into disarray? If you do have problems in these areas then the immediate thing to do is to address this problem. Solutions may include a visit to a doctor or psychiatrist to control your emotions.

Careers are made by good time management practice. Failing in a career is often attributed to bad time management. Careers require a lot from an individual which often makes the career the life of the individual. Plan how far do you want to go into your career.

Education is key in achieving your goals. If your goals require you to have a certain kind of degree or require a certain specialization or demand a certain skill to be developed, make plans in getting the appropriate education.

Your family should never be left out of your plans. If you are just starting out then you have to decide if you want to be a parent or when you want to be a parent. You also have to know if you really would be a good parent and how well would you relate to extended family members

Personal financial situations also play a major role in achieving your goals. Have a realistic goal on how much you really want to earn. You also must be able to create plans or stages by which you will be able to reach your earning potential.

Physically gifted individuals may be able to achieve sports related goals like being in the National Basketball association or National Football League. Determining your physical capabilities should be one of your priorities. Physical limitations could however be conquered with proper planning.

As the saying goes -'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy', or something to that effect, is by all means true down to the last the letter. Giving yourself a little pleasure: should be included into your plans.

To start achieving your lifetime goals, set a quarter of a century plan, then break it down to 5 year plans then break it down again to 1 year plans, then 6 month plans then monthly plans, then weekly, then daily.

Then create a things-to-do list for the day.

Always review your plans and prepare for contingencies.

The basics of goal settings should not be so difficult once you get to be familiar with them.


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Life With Woody" 10 inspirational quotes than can improve yourself

It might take a little coffee or probably a few rounds of beer or any other booze you could get your hands on when it comes to relaxing after a hard day's work.

But what's really interesting is that how do people go through the usual part of life when faced with vein-popping stress? I mean, the new age thing like Zen or yoga is one of the good things and it actually works. Is there room for the intellectual side of people who can actually smell the roses-in-a-can while on the move? It kind of had me thinking that there really must be something in this 'mind-over-matter' thing.

Humor is indeed the best medicine there is whenever you are. I mean anyone can pay good money to listen to a comedian just to make you wet your pants after laughing so hard. Despite of what's been happening, and to those who has gone though the ordeal, it's better to just laugh while facing the troubles with a clear mind than anger with a clouded vision. One of my favorite celebrities of all time may have to be Woody Allen. Now this is one guy who gives you the in-your-face bluntness that he pulls out with gusto, even without even trying. You can talk just about anything with a man, and he's bound to mock the subject and you'll end up laughing rather than being upset about it.

Woody Allen has this to say:

1. "Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." It sounds good to me, I mean the practicality of all things does involve money but it doesn't have to take an arm and a leg to get it.

2. "I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government." 'Nuff said.

3. "There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?" This happens to be one of the classic ones. I mean the issue about life's little problems isn't all that bad, until 'he' shows up.

Sure, relationships can get complicated, or does have its complications that probably any author about relationships is bound to discover it soon. We follow what our heart desires, unless you're talking about the heart as in the heart that pump blood throughout your body.

4. "Love is the answer, but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions." And if you want more, just keep on asking!

5. "A fast word about oral contraception. I asked a girl to go to bed with me, she said 'no'." It sounds, 'practical', I think.

And when it comes to everyday life, he really knows how to make the best out of every possible scenario, and it doesn't involve a lawsuit if he strikes a nerve.

6. "Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats." I never had a boat in my bathtub before. Just staring at it while soaking in hot water makes me seasick already.

7. "I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens." If it rains, it pours.

8. "I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." It could get worse when you're guzzling on beer… or mouthwash, and it happened to me once!

9. "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans." At least he doesn't smite us with lightning, and I'm thankful for that.

And despite of what may happen to all of us in the next ten, twenty, or even thirty years, I guess we all have to see things in a different kind of light and not just perspective. I can't seem to imagine life without any piece of wisdom that could guide us. Whether we're religious or not, it takes more courage to accept your fears and learn how to deal with them is all that matters when it comes to even just getting along.

And to sum things up, here is the last nugget of wisdom to go by… however, whenever, and wherever we may be.

10. "The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have."


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's not Them, It's Me.

A husband thought that his wife was becoming deaf each day. So he decided to test her listening skills as she was preparing dinner that day.

As he came in from the front door, he shouted towards his wife, whose back was against him in the kitchen, “Honey, what’s for dinner?”
No answer.

He moved towards the sofa and shouted, “Honey, what’s for dinner?”
Still no answer.

He then moved towards the kitchen and shouted with all his might, “Honey! What’s for dinner?”

This time, his wife turned around, glared at him and shouted back, “For the third time, I said chicken!”

Moral of the Story:
As leaders, we might feel that we are being misunderstood and that others don’t listen to us and we are always in the right. However, if we take time to listen and appreciate others, we’ll find that we are the ones who need to change. By removing the plank of self righteousness in our eyes, and ear wax in our ears, we will be able to understand the world better.

Here are 4 tips.

  1. Hear the ground more.
  2. Be more sensitive to feedback
  3. Listen with your ears.
  4. Check yourself. If you try to convey something and nothing goes through, you could be decoding the message wrongly.


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Books on Leadership

I was searching on the internet for inspirational leadership quotes for my upcoming book when I stumbled upon this site on Leadership.

The author Patty Inglish has revealed the top 5 books on leadership which she felt would could influence the mass effectively.

Top 5 Books on Leadership

So I felt that these books could be shared to you all as well.

Indeed, many people like to find out how they manage themselves better as leaders before they can go about to lead others. For it is said, change yourself first, and the world will change.

It should be a never-ending search to make yourself a better leader, and you can start by reading up on successful leaders!


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Product Review: Secure Drive Erase

Are you SURE that your deleted files have REALLY been DELETED?

Do you want to protect yourself from corporate data thieves, blackmail and identity theft?

Hence if you're selling your computer, throwing away a hard drive, or ditching that company server, here are a few urban myths you really MUST know:

* Deleting a file DOES NOT get rid of it!
* Emptying the Recycle Bin DOES NOT erase files!
* Formatting a drive DOES NOT erase your data!
* Repartitioning a drive DOES NOT erase your data!

Now, over the past year, I've been using one tool to help ensure that ALL of my deleted files are gone - FOR GOOD. It's not about being naughty and trying to cover any tracks, but it's just that sometimes I've too many files in my computer, and it seems to slow the whole system down. So I went to search for soft wares that can erase these files permanently.

I've only tried one other similar software before and that is East-Tech Eraser, and I felt that it was quite expensive so I stopped using it.

I then found Secure Drive Erase, and it's a nifty little software tool that helped me DELETE files from my hard disk, as well as removing all of the "undelete" information in my PC.

It's methods are approved by the US Department of Defense (DOD) *and* the National Security Agency,as well, so you can be sure you're in safe hands.

So here's my review about the product!

What's so good about Secure Drive Erase?
1) Secure Drive Erase is a powerful deletion tool, which can erase your files, folders and “undelete” data on your hard disk – in just minutes.

2) It can wipe your hard disk using routines five times stronger than those recommended by the National Security Agency.

3) Whether you’re selling your computer, getting rid of an old hard drive, or ditching your server, you need to be sure that your personal and confidential records are kept secure – or you could face fines, identity theft, blackmail and total corporate failure.

With Secure Drive Erase, this never even becomes a problem. Just a couple of clicks and ALL of your deleted files are erased – for GOOD.

4) The best part is that you can download this software for a free trial
Download your copy - at ZERO COST - today, from:

5) It's usually priced at around $27. Still cheaper than other data deletion softwares though...

For my readers on this post, you can however click here to purchase it at the fantastic price of $20!

What's not good about Secure Drive Erase?
1)You may need to work around the interface to understand the full usage. Perhaps this is also because I was used to East Tech Eraser, so when I saw that the interface was quite basic, I felt lost.

2) I thought that the programme might be quite slow to start up, so do manage your expectations.

3)It's quite a dangerous tool to be in the hands of beginners. SO read the instructions properly before attempting to delete your data. I nearly deleted my C drive!

4) This is not designed to wipe browser history, hence there are no direct clearing functions.

What's can be improved about Secure Drive Erase?
1)If only it's S$20 instead of US$! but then again, the price is fairly low for such a robust product.

2)Perhaps it could be upgraded and integrated with browser cleaning software so as to support direct browser history cleaning functions. There are definitely other softwares that can help, but to have a all-in-one software would be good.

This software is good in deleting files permanently and wiping slack. If you want to get a software that can wipe internet browsing tracks, you may have to source for others.
Nonetheless, it is still a good buy at this price, and I'm not sure how long the discount would last for, so i recommend that you head over to this link now...
Buy at $20 from this link below

OK, that's all for now, and I'll be reviewing more products over the next few months, so watch out for more great products!


Chew Mark

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Leading Effective Teams - Communicate with Them

Leaders have very clear visions and they constantly communicate and cascade these visions to their people. In his book Leadership, the first principle Rudolph Giuliani shared was his insistence on his routine morning meeting. "I consider it the cornerstone to efficient functioning within any system...We accomplish a great deal during that first hour, in large part because the lines of communication were so clear."

These are three ways for communication, so that you would be able to lead effective teams.

1. Rapport. Rapport is a unique chance in building relationships. There might be cases whereby you instantly disliked someone at first glance. However if the dislike was due to some bias which could be ironed out, you would have created rapport between the two of you. Rapport can be built. It can be build by taking time out to be attuned with your team members. Rapport can be built by the occasional treats, the constant personal conversations, and even your regular presence during team trainings and workshops. All these little actions create an environment where people speak up.

The day that your team members stop coming to talk about their problems to you, is the day that you have stopped leading them. They have either lost their confidence in you, or realised that you don't care enough for them. Colin Powell emphasized this scenario as a case of "Leadership Failure"

Hence can you find time to join your team members during their training sessions? Are you able to just have time-out with your team members?

2. Listen Carefully. You have two ears and one mouth. That should be a clear indication that we should all listen twice as much before talking. You see, all great leaders are exceptional listeners. Former US President Bush listens to his top advisors. President Barack Obama gets unfiltered information. So, if presidents have time to listen to all these information, shouldn't you too? Pay attention more to the words from the grapevine as well, because it is another source of vital information. You could do so from the smoking room, the reception area, or even over toilet breaks. These are all vital information straight from the horses' mouth.

So, do you spend time listening to your team members before speaking up?

3. Establish Effective Feedback. Mutual accountability is very important in this area to establish effective feedback. Once team members promise to hold themselves accountable for their actions and strategies, feedback will flow progressively. No one would be too shy to cover up for his own mistakes and instead seek to constantly find feedback from you. Therefore you would need to establish a good feedback platform for this to be successful.

Readiness reports in certain projects give a robust feedback platform as any delays or successful milestones can be seen by all. Routine team meetings whether conducted weekly or fortnightly, keep everyone informed about the latest happenings and information. An effective After Action Review (AAR) would also help everyone in their teachings and learning. Incidentally, I would talk about conducting effective AAR in a separate article. So stay tuned.

Are you open-minded enough for two-way communication? Can your team members see any action after you have been given their feedback?

In summary, these three ways are some ways for you to learn in the never-ending quest of leadership management. Use them appropriately and you would first see changes in yourself, and then in others.

As Featured On EzineArticles

Friday, July 30, 2010

Discover. Passion. Freedom

I had a really great talk with Hong Koon, my publisher, yesterday on passion.

We also touched on many things, from writing with great responsibility, to having a great marriage, and to even living a life that touches people through our words and written text.

The biggest take away was when he encouraged me to write works that have the greatest quality. Works of art that can touch generations after generations. Works like Shakespearean magic; Works that are God-Breathed like the Bible; Works like what many authors are passionate about.

Yes, there may be Best-Selling Authors and there may be Best-Writing Authors, but at the heart of it all, there must be the Author who wants to reach out to people because he yearns to share his knowledge and passion.

In short, passion is what keeps us sane in the mist of madness.

Passion is what keep us, authors, alive.


As Featured On EzineArticles

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Leading Effective Teams-Maintain Your Character

If your team doesn't trust you, you can be rest assured that you would not have a team for long. One of the most important reasons for why teams stick together with their leaders would be because they feel that their leaders exhibit a high moral behaviour.
These are four ways to maintain your character so that you would be able to lead effective teams.
1. Know Your Ground. Knowing your ground is to know your principles. Knowing your principles means that you know where you stand morally. If you have some form of principles in which you set your lifestyle by, your character would be reflected.
For example, if I had to choose a project leader from two persons, and one was a tri-athlete, and the other was just a normal man in the street, I would immediately pick the sportsman because in order to reach his level of fitness, he would have exhibited discipline. And discipline is a principle.
Do you have some ground rules for yourself so that you know where to draw the line? If you know where the out-of-bound markers are for yourself, you are clearer in setting rules for your team members.
2. Be Trustworthy. Being trustworthy means that people can trust how you behave in the open is how you would behave in the dark.
Jack Neo, a famous Singaporean actor, television host and director was the first filmmaker in Singapore to be honoured with the Public Service Award in 2004. He was also a Cultural Medallion recipient. He managed to assemble a great team of comedians, actors and actresses to touch the lives of many Singaporeans and perhaps even many Asians. However in 2010, his illicit affair with a young girl opened a can of worms and it sent his world crashing down.
His artiste management company of around ten years is now is danger of collapsing because his senior partners want nothing to do with him.
As a leader, if you aren't trustworthy, you really have nothing worthwhile for your team members to follow. If your own family members can't trust you, why should they?
3. Be Reliable. If reliable means that if you agree to do a task, you would do so and not give any reasons not to do it. To lead an effective team, you need to be reliable to delegate the jobs to your team members, and to expect yourself to do more in a shorter time.
I used to have a superior who would always report sick just before a major presentation. We would work together all the way until the day itself, and lo and behold, he would not be present. And there I was, one of the most junior officers trying to get a grip of myself explaining concepts to the general. I must thank that superior though because if not for his absence, I would not have gained the experience in writing this article!
Are you reliable enough for your team members? If they ask you for help, would you agree immediately? What would be the consequence if you were not there for them?
4. Be Transparent. Being transparent really means that you have nothing to hide. Of course there would be certain information that is not privy to your team members. For such circumstances, just tell them that it's a need to know basis. Once your team members know that there is certain information that you are not in a right position to divulge, they will learn appropriately. People are smart. They learn and adapt fast, so don't worry too much.
If you are a transparent leader, you would not hesitate to share your success and failures as you would understand them to be lessons. Similarly, you would enforce the same for your team so that all would learn from each other.
Are you able to treat all failures as feedback and share these with your team members?
In summary, these four ways are just the tip of the ice berg in the never-ending quest of leadership learning. Use them appropriately and you would first see changes in yourself, and then in others.

As Featured On EzineArticles

Monday, July 26, 2010

Leading Effective Teams - Caring for Them

As you sign on that dotted line of the latest business contract with your Mont Blanc pen, on yet another successful deal, you smile to yourself and try to enjoy the sweet taste of success. Tastes good, doesn't it?
And you would have accomplished it with the great team that you have assembled. Now, leading effective teams take time and the reward is really sweet, especially when you had spent time to nurture your team. Watching them grow from strength to strength and achieving extraordinary results is one of the most satisfying feelings that you can ever have.

These are three ways to show care to your team members, so that you would be able to lead effective teams.
1. Respect Them. Respect is earned. It cannot be commanded and demanded. If anyone salutes you because you demand it, you are not a true leader. You must first learn to respect your team members, and then they would in turn respect you. In addition, respect builds commitment and trust towards each other.
I know of a CEO who would often engage his staff on a personal level. He would get the Human Resource department to organise birthday celebrations for his staff on a monthly basis. He would even text them personally on the short-messaging service (SMS) once in a while to enquire their well being!
So do you talk to your team members openly and frequently? Do you genuinely care for their well being? How do you show your care?

2. Fight for Their Rights and They Would Fight For You. If you fight for their benefits and rights, chances are many of your team members would remember this. There are many times that you as a leader could defend the interests of your members. Do note that this is not defending them blindly, but rather to defend them because they are your team members. If they had done something wrong, then admonish or chide them separately, and not in front of a senior leader. They would learn to appreciate your flexibility and be loyal to you.
A friend who was offered a higher pay job and regional head appointment turned it down as he felt that he was indebted to his current superior who had fought tooth and nail for him to be promoted to where he was right now. While I wouldn't comment on the difference in salary scale, I felt that it was very admirable of him. His superior had obviously influenced him positively.
And how much are you willing to sacrifice your time for your team? Are you able to fight for the interests of your team?

3. Shared and Meaningful Purpose. Many team members would always ask, "What's in it for me?" They want to know why it's so worthwhile for them to work for you. Hence the very reason for the existence of the team becomes the bedrock of the team and organisation. It also becomes the cementing agent that binds everyone together, as they would have common shared values.
Japanese workers in the past used to believe that their employer is for life. However, the younger generation now believe in working for their benefit. They do not want to be tied down to anyone. Hence they take on multiple jobs to learn more and to interact with more people. Their beliefs are therefore very different from their parents. If you are a leader belonging to a previous generation, you would thus need to gain insights into their thinking. And if you are a leader belonging to the current generation of yuppies, you would need to gain their trust by having shared values common to them. These actions would then reflect a deeper commitment by your team members because you show that you care about them.
Do you have common shared values for your team? Is it aligned to their beliefs? Can you reach out to those younger than you?

In summary, these three ways are some ways for you to learn in the never-ending quest of leadership management. Use them appropriately and you would first see changes in yourself, and then in others.

As Featured On EzineArticles

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Effective Business Teams-How Diamonds Can Help

Everyone likes to be successful and to be in a winning team. However success takes time and as a leader, you must be prepared to put in a lot of work to build the right foundation for your winning team.
If you have just assembled a team, it is like graphite or pencil lead, soft and breakable because this is the start stage. Theoretically speaking, graphite could metamorphose into diamonds with extreme pressure and heat.
Therefore your team has the potential to also produce sparkling results like diamonds with appropriate pressure. You would then be able to unravel a shiny attractive and desirable diamond with perfect colour, cutting, clarity and carat.
To find out how diamonds can help you build an effective business team, you would just have to read on.

1. Colour. Diamonds within the colourless range are the most rare and valuable of all the colours.
Just like the colourless diamond, your team should be colourless. If your team members are able to offer honest and constructive feedback to one another without fear, you would have built the basic foundation of transparency.
2. Cut. The cut of a diamond does not refer to only its shape, but how effectively the stone can reflect light back to your eye. A well-cut diamond will appear brilliant and fiery; while poorly cut stones can appear dark and lifeless, regardless of colour or clarity.
Just like the reflective diamond that went through the vigorous process of polishing and cutting by its maker, its end result would be that of sheer reflective brilliance.
Your team must thus be able to go through all these external pressures as well as internal pressure. Legal Laws, uncooperative clients, demanding work schedules, and all these would exact a toll on the team. But if you can treat all these problems as gifts, then everyday would be Christmas.
So do not wish for the problems to go away, but rather wish that your team and you were better in terms of skills and knowledge to overcome it.
3. Clarity. Clarity is a term used to describe the absence or presence of flaws inside or on the surface of a diamond or other gemstone. A perfect stone with perfect clarity--clearness--is rare, and most flaws that do exist in jewellery grade diamonds cannot be seen without looking at stones through a jeweller's magnifying loupe.
And just like that rare perfect stone, you should not crack your head to develop a fully perfect team. Once you accept that there would always be flaws in a team, you are able to build on these, as a good team is one which leverages on each other strengths and improve each other weaknesses.
4. Carat. Carat is a measure of weight. You could say that the bigger the diamond, the heavier and bigger the carat.
Just like the diamond that is of optimum size and weight, the products that you create together with your team must be optimum for the market. Too small or unnoticeable, and the products would be mistaken for yet another one in the market. Too big or expensive, and you would not appeal to the masses, but only to the most ostentatious crowd.
Always remember that service for the mass leads to greatness. That would enable your goods and services to gain enough ground support and finally enough momentum to sustain itself for the future.

In summary, your team is a reflection of yourself. When you take them under your wings to nurture them, it is always good to understand each team member, and have clear and specific goals set aside for them. This is the sparkling diamond-like quality of a true leader.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Learning Through My Baby's Eyes

It had rained heavily the whole day, and by the time the rainfall tricked to a slow drizzle, it was last light. I really wanted to take my baby girl out for a stroll, so I carried her and brought her down to the barbeque pit area of my house to show her around.

She stared at the leaves of the bamboo plant, and was absolutely fascinated with the water dripping off the thin bamboo leaves. As I touched each leaf, the drop of water that had formed in each leaf fell magically to the ground. She squealed in delight. Such simple things in life thrilled her!

I then thought if it was possible to always be there to watch her grow during every stage of her life? 

I want that freedom of time to do so.
I want that freedom to enjoy time with my loved ones.

I want that freedom of mind to enjoy time without having to worry about finance and health.

Then I smiled at her. Cause I realised that I've started to build my pipelines that will enable me to do all these.

And I can see it in the near future.

Have you? :)


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Learn to Share and You would Gain More in Return.

After church service last night, I listened to the teachings and it inspired me to share with all on this. Enjoy.

Nick opened his eyes and was surprised to see a figure with bright lights surrounding it, standing in front of him. Was he in heaven?

"Don't be afraid, Nick. I'm your Angel and I'm here to show you a vision"

Angel brought Nick to a big wooden door and gently pushed it open.

It was a big banquet hall with delectable and sumptuous food laid before the guests. However there was only ONE available long wooden spoon that the guests could use to feed themselves. However, every guest in the hall looked scrawny and ravenous. They were also fighting aggressively for that one spoon so that the winner can use it to feed himself. It seemed strange that they couldn't just reach out to grab the food to feed themselves.

Nick was puzzled, and asked Angel, why this was so. Angel shook his head and merely nudged Nick to proceed. He then closed the door and led Nick to the next.

As the next door was opened, Nick could see that this was exactly the same banquet hall with delectable and great food laid before the guests. There was also only ONE available long wooden spoon for the guests. However the only difference was that the guests in the hall looked very healthy and well fed. There were happy faces all around and they were all aglow with laughter and joy.

Nick was puzzled and asked his Angel for the reason.

Angel looked at Nick with love in his eyes and replied, "Because they fed each other with that one spoon."

Nick stood there silently and Angel smiled and added,"Learn to share, and you gain more in return. Because it's in giving first that you'd receive."

Moral of the Story
This is the same with many things in life. Many of us think that we should get the first bite of the pie and all knowledge should be retained for ourselves.

It takes a more discerning mindset to understand that it's by sharing that you gain more.

Essentially, it's the sharing of knowledge that I'm focusing in this posting. Once you learn how to share with knowledge of your expertise with others, they would benefit and you would too.

After all, success is like a library. Everything you ever wanted to know and learn about success is out there. Once someone tells you where it is, all you have to do is to follow and learn.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

My First Posting to Ezine Articles

Today, I submitted my first article on Effective Business Teams to Ezine Articles. Hope they would publish it. I aim to write more than 25 articles over the year so that I can establish more credibility in my writing pipeline.

I was quite intrigued by this article, ,when I read it about a year ago, and it inspired me to write a similar one addressing it to my brother and his girlfriend. They were enroute to starting a business together, and I wanted to guide them on what it took to build a good team.

A year has passed, and I finally decided to post an edited version of what I wrote to them, to Ezine Articles.

So once it's up and published, I would show it to all in this blog again.

Incidentally, the article was written and sent, also to align with my latest news that my first manuscript for "The 4Fs of Leadership" had been positively reviewed and that the publisher is now thinking to publish it.

It has taken me about 4 months to write that book and I have more plans to come up with more books. So stay tuned world!

Friday, June 25, 2010



In this sharing, please note that the Rich and Poor people in this context refers to their mindset, not wealth.

Today, I will share with you all, the mentality of RICH People, and how nature has taught them to be even richer!

Let’s first take a look at an apple tree.
There might be five hundred apples on the tree, but each apple has just ten seeds.
That's a lot of seeds!
We might ask, "Why would you need so many seeds to grow just a few more apple trees?"
Well, Nature has something to teach us here.
It's telling us in a subtle way that, "Not all seeds grow. In life, most seeds never grow.
So if you really want to make something happen, you had better do more than once."

This means:
• You'll attend twenty interviews to get one job.
• You'll interview forty people to find one good employee.
• You'll talk to fifty people to sell one house, one car, one vacuum cleaner, one insurance policy, or a business idea.
• And you might meet a hundred acquaintances just to find one special friend.

So when we understand the "Law of the Seeds", (some people call it the Law of Averages) we don't get so disappointed.
We stop feeling like victims.
We learn how to deal with things that happen to us.
You see, the laws of nature are not things to be taken personally.
We just need to understand them better and to and work with them.

You must understand that Rich people fail more often. And they continue to plant more seeds.

So when things are beyond your control, here's something that Poor People would react almost immediately:

• You decide how you think the world SHOULD be.
• You make rules for how everyone SHOULD behave.
• Friends SHOULD return favours.
• People SHOULD appreciate you.
• Planes SHOULD arrive on time.
• Everyone SHOULD be honest.
• Your best friend SHOULD remember your birthday.

These expectations may sound reasonable. But often, these things won't happen! So you end up frustrated and disappointed.

When something unexpected occurs, you exclaimed, “That’s good!”
You proceed to shift your mindset and attitude.

When it rains just before your golf game, you exclaimed, “That’s good! I can stay home and play with my kids!”
When your boss throws back the project at your face, you exclaimed, “That’s good! Now I can come up with an even better one!”
When you get stuck in the traffic, you exclaimed, “That’s good! I can now listen to good music on the radio.”
When your wife takes too long to put on her make up just before you both go out on a date, you exclaimed, “That’s good! She wants to look pretty so match the handsome me!”
When the 49th person rejects your sale, you exclaimed, “That’s good! Let me find the next one who will buy my product!”

Shifting of your mindset and attitude can bring wonders. If you think that you are bigger than the problem, then the problem becomes smaller and you can overcome all problems.

So shout out to the world, “THAT’S GOOD!!!”

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Hunting Dog and The Rabbit

Though I've heard this story once, I must add that it impacted me only after a 2nd person shared it. I then shared it with a friend today...

Here it goes...

One day a hunter was out hunting with his hunting dog, and they spotted a rabbit. Immediately, the hunting dog was dispatched to hunt the rabbit down and bring it back.

The hunting dog chased the rabbit across the grass patch, over the hills and the valleys, and still could not catch up with the rabbit. Eventually the rabbit disappeared into a burrow.
The hunting dog went back with its tail between its legs and was lambasted by its owner. “You’re supposed to be a hunting dog and you failed?!!!”

The hunting dog replied, “I was running after my next meal. But the rabbit was running for its life”

Think about it... Are you doing something that requires you to run for your life, or are you doing something that you only running for your next meal?