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!


Leadership Lessons From The Social Network: Teamwork

The movie, The Social Network, is a powerful portrayal of how the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and his team, started out with a dream and a $1000 start-up, to become the youngest billionaire in the world. At the point of writing, Facebook is valued to be worth at least $50 billion, and this would mean that she is worth more than eBay, Yahoo, and Time Warner. This is a very impressive result given the fact that Facebook was launched in February 2004.

There are also plenty of lessons that this movie can teach us about leadership and team management, and this is the final series of the trilogy. There may be certain information in the movie that had been exaggerated to increase the excitement level, as even Zuckerberg himself, calls The Social Network "inaccurate". Hence I would take all these information with a pinch of salt and relate most of the lessons learned, from the movie itself, and not from real life.

In this article, I will share about teamwork and how it can help you unlock the true potential as a leader.

Proper Delegation of Work. The whole team can only do well when you know what their job scopes are. In one of the scenes in the Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg wanted to expand The Face Book, and he directed his team on their roles, and what they were supposed to do. And when the two ladies who were present in the living room, asked if they could help in any way, he declined them without much thought because at that moment, he knew that he didn't require their help in any way. On the other hand, he specifically told the others what their tasks were.

Even the Winklevoss brothers had specific roles for their team. And they knew that they were deficient in a particular talent when their programmer left the team to concentrate on his studies. Hence when news broke out that Zuckerberg was able to shut down the Harvard traffic with his "prank", they immediately reached out to him and shared with him their ideas so that he could work for them.

Once you know what your team is supposed to be made up of, you would be able to find the right person for the job. You need to set stretched and measurable goals for them and you also need to be informed of the progress. Effective delegation is not merely pushing away the jobs that were meant for you. Effective delegation is to ensure that the person with the right skill does what he or she knows best.

For example, let's presume that you intend to increase your customer base with a promotional blitz. Firstly, you need to know who your team members are in this project. Secondly, you then need to identify who does what, and their deliverables by a certain time. Thereafter, Jane must come up with the product packages and links with other partners, and John must reach out to X advertising companies with the marketing materials. Hence once the planning stage is over, the real action must start so that the project starts to roll with momentum from all parties.

Build Quality Relationships First, then Your Business. Now, not every partner will work together initially. It's your job to iron out the differences. And fast. In The Social Network, Eduardo Saverin had his own ideas in ensuring success of the company. However, Mark Zuckerberg had his own ideas too. And while, Saverin was Chief Financial Officer in the business, Zuckerberg proceeded to pull Sean Parker, founder of Napster into the team. Parker and Saverin were portrayed to have mutual dislike for each other and when your teammates distrust each other, unless you find time to sort things out, many issues will simply be swept under the carpet and it will fester.

As a leader, you need to take the time to understand your partners in the business because people want you to understand their aspirations and dreams. They want you to understand what they are good in, and where they can fit in with regard to projects. Why would you want to place a person with zero knowledge in sales without first training him? And have you spent the time to understand if he even likes sales? So by investing time to understand your core team members in the business, you would be building quality relationships.

Hence understand your team, and they will learn to understand you. It will definitely take time and that's the fun and rewarding part in building a team.


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

GIants of Asia Series

The Giants of Asia series is the latest leadership book that I am reading so that I can understand more about the great minds of our Asian Leaders.

The author, Tom Plate, tries to reach into the psyche of these two great leaders who managed to transform their third world countries that was handed to them by the British in 1965, into the developed economic powers that you see today.

Describing both ‘Giants of Asia’ as two peas in the proverbial pod, Mr Plate pointed out that they actually have much in common despite their sometimes cold relationship.

They worked out daily for health benefits, and often have to make painful decisions for the better of their country men.

While they have both made hard decisions that many of us, Singaporeans or Malaysians would complain or whine about, but then again, would you be able to make a better decision than them in that particular scenario?

What is undeniable would be their vision for their respective countries, and their determined attitude to ensure that their countries were not left behind in the economic upheavals of the post war period.

As a Singaporean, I am often faced with many pressures and stress such as a high standard of living and highly-strung education system. But I tell myself, "Why whine? Did I whine when I was out searching for MSK (mas selamat kastari)back in the army? If I had to go out and lead my company and whine, would that solve any problem? No! I did it because it was my duty to ensure that he wasn't in our training area!

Therefore instead of focusing on the "troubles" that we face in current live, I am very focused in making a change in first myself, and thereafter for people to see and learn.

So, what we can learn from these two giants is really great leadership management, and I am determined to come up with a book that can capture their leadership essence so as to relate it to the younger audience. In the meantime, do enjoy these books!

The books ‘Doctor M: Operation Malaysia’ and ‘Citizen Singapore: How to build a nation’ both written by Tom Plate is available in major local bookstores.

Meet-The-Author Session at Kinokuniya Singapore Main Store

Join me for an enlightening afternoon as I visit Kinokuniya Singapore Main Store on 26th March 2011, Saturday, 2.00 p.m. to share about my book Discover Your Leadership Style!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Leadership Lessons From The Social Network: Effective Work Habits

The movie, The Social Network, is a powerful portrayal of how the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and his team, started out with a dream and a $1000 start-up, to become the youngest billionaire in the world. At the point of writing, Facebook is valued to be worth at least $50 billion after the injection of capital from Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies. What is symbolic about these injection of funds from investment companies and banks shows the increasing might of Facebook, and her abilities to transform the social media scene as we know it.

There are also plenty of lessons that this movie can teach us about leadership and team management, and this article is the second part of three. Now, because there may be certain information in the movie that had been exaggerated to increase the excitement level, hence I would take all these information with a pinch of salt and relate most of the lessons learned, from the movie itself, and not from real life.

So in this article, I will share about some work habits that can help leaders reach their potential.

Know your resources around you. In the movie, Zuckerberg was able to assemble a group of people to help him achieve his goals. He first approached Eduardo Saverin, to invest in this company because Saverin had the financial capability at that point to do so. He then went about to task the people around him on their roles and responsibilities. He knew that he needed more people so that he can leverage on their capabilities, and he sought more employees. This is the hallmark of a business leader as he fully understood the power of leveraging. If he was just one person, he could only do X amount of work, and now that he has more team members, he could do more than just X amount of work. Essentially he knew the resources he had around him and set out to find a network of people who could help him reach his goals.

Once you know your available resources, the next priority would be to plan the composition of your team and leverage on them. Building of cross-functional teams in this aspect would help as you have a diversity of talents for your team to capitalize on.

Settle for a mediation when push comes to shove. In The Social Network, Zuckerberg was advised to settle both law suits through a settlement. The lawyer opined that the settlements, in the scheme of things may just be a speeding ticket. Indeed, when you are faced with an impending lawsuit, you confidently think that you have all the answers and solutions to the challenges posed by the other party. But the truth of the matter is that lawsuits, lawyers and the court are merciless. Even when you are under oath, the questions that the prosecutor fire at you will be fiery and intimidating. Everything that you stand for will be stripped as you are torn apart in the courts.

Don't fight every fire that comes along your way. When you learn to prioritize your challenges, you are building more time and chances for yourself so that you can last in the long run. And always remember to document your administration because one day it will save you.

Work Smart. In The Social Network, Saverin, Facebook's co-founder, was an intelligent financial analyst who profited from oil trading and stocks in school, and he was portrayed as not working smart enough on his assigned task. Instead of being open-minded to the possibilities of venture capitalists funding the company, he was fixated on using advertising as the only way to fund the company. He travelled daily on public transport such as trains so that he could reach his prospects. In the movie, you would be able to see how his ideas often get brushed aside by Zuckerberg, and these differences were some reasons that cause them both of them to drift apart. Zuckerberg on the other hand, was open-minded on VCs funding the company and he saw the possibilities of such leveraging. By working smart, and not hard, you are leveraging on this important element called time. And because time equals money, shouldn't you be ensuring that you make money by leveraging on time?

While sometimes the opportune time is important, the question would be, are you open-minded enough to accept such ideas?


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Monday, March 14, 2011

Learning to Talk to Anyone

Have you ever been to a seminar, and you start to groan when the speaker asks the crowd to turn and greet each other? Or do you find that your lunch time is often spent only between your lunch and you. You are not alone. There are many people who simply fear to interact with people.

Do you envy those who seem to have a gift of the gab and seem almost to have friends everywhere? Well, know your enemy and the battle is won. Your enemy in this article is about your fear of interacting with people, and it seeks you to understand fear better, so that you can start to lead an even more purposeful life.

Now, there are external and internal fears that some people would face. External fear is something that happens outside of you, that you are strongly motivated t o avoid, such as fear of spiders or heights. Internal fear is something that developed within you, such that you link a negative emotion to, such as fear of talking because of embarrassment. The fear of talking to strangers, public speaking and making more friends probably came from an event that you previously experienced directly or indirectly, and it caused you much embarrassment.

Understand Your Fear
Essentially there is a sense of loss of control, when that particular event happened, and you start to form an opinion of yourself there and then. Once that limiting belief of "I can't talk to anyone" is formed, you clam up when similar events happen in the future. However, what is important to note is that you accepted that limiting belief, because you believed in it yourself. Do you think a monkey ever thinks that it is scared of heights and refuse to swing from tree to tree to search for food? No! It's only humans like you and I who think that way. It is this mechanism in human beings that seem to prevent us from being the best that we can be.

Confronting and Breaking this Fear
You can start by first thinking about that incident that happened to you. Most of the time, these incidents happened when you were younger than seven years of age. Your mind was like a sponge then, absorbing everything it remembered, and tagging the events, as positive or negative. So, ask yourself what the positive learning points were, when you thought of that incident. This is called re-framing. A friend of mine is so positive that when you ask him, "Is this cup of water, half full or half empty?" He would shout, "I have water to drink!" Your new ability to reframe everything will be the most important skill in your life.

The second way is to take action and that is by smiling and looking at people when you talk to them. Every time you order something from the take away, smile at the cashier directly and thank her when she keys in your order. Every time you sit down to eat, look directly into the waiter's eye, smile and thank him when he places your order on the table. This action of smiling at people can start a whole new chain of reaction that makes you more confident.

The Way Ahead
These two steps are the start in living a more purposeful and becoming a more sociable you. You will realise that your life becomes more meaningful when your social network expands. Life becomes more positive. The air seems fresher, and even the stray dog in the neighbourhood seems to wag its tail every time it sees you. You have everything to gain.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Product Review: Adam Khoo's Paving the Way to theTop

Adam Khoo had a goal. He wanted to be a millionaire. And he achieved it by the time he was 26 years old. Not only that – he was a best-selling author to boot.

How would you like to follow in his footsteps? You can! 

In Paving the Way to Success, Adam will tell you exactly how he did it. In 6 CD-length audios, Adam gets grilled by his business partner Stuart Tan, and he really spills the beans.

Stuart is an excellent interviewer, and with his friendly and personal style, he gets Adam to open up and tell the whole story, in detail, with plenty of step-by-step advice that you won’t find anywhere else.

Still intimidated? Don’t be. 
Click here to find out more about the product!
Adam was no wunderkind. In fact, at one point, he was a pitiful student and failed to be accepted at all but the very lowest-level schools, where he promptly sunk to the very bottom of the class. He was a loser by any definition.

But he didn’t stay a loser for very long. His life changed when he discovered Neuro-Linguistic Programming, also known as NLP, which he studied voraciously and diligently applied to every aspect of his life. And with that, the loser turned into an over-achiever.

He became a top student within a very short time, started several successful businesses, including one where he taught thousands of students how to be successful in school (notice the irony here?), became a sought-after speaker, and wrote his first of many best-selling books by the time other young people haven’t even finished college.

And in this audio program, he shares with you exactly how he did it, and gives you the steps that can help you do the same thing.

Here are the six sections of the course:

1. Success Psychology: Selling and Influence
2. Becoming a Best-Selling Author
3. Building and Running a Business
4. Driving Yourself to Success
5. Becoming a Millionaire Pt. 1
6. Becoming a Millionaire Pt. 2

Sound intriguing? It’s great stuff! 

Click here to find out more about the product!

In the first part, Adam talks about how he got started, and it
quickly becomes clear just how much the mind affects our ability to achieve our dreams. Adam found that most people hold themselves back, and discount their own talents. They also feel that things that come easy couldn’t possibly be worth much, and, well, the things that are hard for them are generally not the ones they get good enough at to really achieve success. I bet this sounds familiar. Well, Adam made it his mission to turn that attitude around.

In the Success Psychology section, he covers all that and more, including how to sell, the difference between selling to different customers and how to convert them. He also covers another key issue that often holds us back: How to deal with rejection. How many times have you given up after having been rejected. Adam helps you get over it.

I find that the most inspirational aspect of all of Adam’s courses is that he has done it himself. And Paving the Way to Success is no exception. The step that got me especially excited was step two: Becoming a bestselling author.

Adam wrote and published his very first book, “I Am Gifted, So Are You,” when he was only 24 years old. Not only that, but it also became a national bestseller. And before you start feeling intimidated, he immediately puts you at ease as he breaks down the seemingly overwhelming process of writing a book into the basic components: One article or chapter at a time.

And lest you may still feel daunted by the time and effort involved in writing a book, he goes on to really motivate anyone who might still want to hang back: he talks about the unbelievable benefits of publishing books:

There are the financial benefits, of course, and those are really impressive, especially since they have the potential of turning into long-term automated streams of passive income. As he and Stuart walk through a number of examples, the potential becomes really mind-boggling.

Another key benefit is the kind of credibility you can get almost automatically when you’ve published a book. It becomes clear very quickly that any work invested in writing a book is very much worth it. And you don’t have to be a big expert to do it either. Adam is wonderfully encouraging, saying that everyone really has at least one book inside them, and he also provides a step-by-step blueprint.

But a book is only worth so much unless you have a business to go with it, and so Adam and Stuart proceed to cover how to build and run a successful business. Adam himself owns three businesses that together pull in more than twenty million dollars. There’s no job in the world that pays you anywhere near the kind of money you can make from owning a successful business. So if you have any kind of financial ambitions, owning your own business is a must.

However, owning a business does not mean doing it all by yourself. Adam gives some great advice on how to find the right partners to help you run it. He even has great advice on which industries are the best ones to pick for your new business.

By now, you’re probably very excited about the potential, but you may still wonder how to get yourself to actually do what it takes. Well, Adam shares his own strategies here as well. He shows you how to stay focused and motivated, how to do what it takes, and especially how to overcome the big bugaboo, procrastination.

Finally, in the two part grand finale, Adam provides step-by-step instructions on how to become a millionaire. He quickly dispels the myth that it takes an insane amount of work. To the contrary. His principle is much more on the side of working smarter and not harder. Unfortunately, a lot of people have no idea how to play that game, but if they
listen to this tape, they’ll find out quickly, at least most of the key principles.

You’ll even learn about the stock market. One of the many millionaire secrets that Adam shares is this one: All really rich people have multiple streams of income. And so he provides you with an in-depth survey on how to set up those additional income streams, especially those you can build online. And last but not least, he shares how to hang on to the money you’ll earn.

In terms of what specifically you’ll get: six CD-length downloadable mp3 files as well as the transcriptions of the conversations, a special summary report on how to focus your energy, plus a motivational bonus book called “If I Can, Anybody Can” that will keep you going when you encounter a rough spot.


All in all, this program is a great combination of solid information and secrets shared in a comfortable fire-side chat. The friendly format makes it fun to listen to and gives you a glimpse of a more personal side of millionaire Adam Khoo than you may get in some of his other programs and books.

And that may well the most motivating thing of all since it reminds us that if he can do it, we may be able to pull it off as well, and even if we don’t make it all the way to the millionaire level, we’re bound to make significant progress, especially with all the info in this course.

Buy now!

Chew Mark

Pictures with Mr Adam Khoo, 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 presented the book Discover Your Leadership Style to Mr Adam Khoo, author of several books, including, Secrets of Self Made Millionare and Master Your Mind Design Your Destiny.

Mr Adam Khoo is truly amazing. Even though he is a multi-millionaire, he was willing to set aside time to write a testimonial for my book... from scratch! It also helped that my senior in school, Mr Gary Lee, is Head Training and Development in AKLTG. Incidentally, Mr Gary Lee also wrote raving reviews for my book.

Now I must state that I only knew Mr Adam through Gary. I have only read his books and by virtue of that fact, I took massive action to change my life. Can you imagine what happens if you truly went through the entire programme of Paving The Way to the Top?

Great things will happen not to those who only dream. But to those who took massive actions.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Leadership Lessons From The Social Network: Desire and Faith

The movie, The Social Network, is a powerful portrayal of how the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and his team, started out with a dream and a $1000 start-up, to become the youngest billionaire in the world. At the point of writing, Facebook is valued to be worth at least $50 billion. They have so far resisted the call to go public, and the move to be funded by venture capitalists, or to be funded by wealthy individuals, corporations, and banks, has ensured that founder Zuckerberg remained in total control of the company.

There are also plenty of lessons that this movie can teach us about leadership and team management, and I would start off with this first part of three. Now, because there may be certain information in the movie that had been exaggerated to increase the excitement level, hence I would take all these information with a pinch of salt and relate most of the lessons learned, from the movie itself, and not from real life.

So in this article, I will share about having desire and faith.

Desire and Faith

Don't let emotional revenge be the thing that fuels your passion. Zuckerberg's initial mischief was to create a viral website to poke fun at ladies, because in The Social Network, he was portrayed as having broken up with his girl friend. However, he was placed under academic probation as a punishment because he hacked into the servers of so many houses and towards the end of the movie, it seemed that the lady still had not forgiven him. In the movie, Sean Parker, founder of Napster, shared with Zuckerberg the reason he founded Napster, which was to boast to the girl he liked that while he couldn't play lacrosse, he was cool in his own way too. He never got the girl in the end too.

There is also a quote from the movie that mentions that the internet is not written in pencil, but in ink, whatever we write, do or say in the internet is published and shown. Remember that there are always consequences to what you do, and how you react to any events, would determine the right outcome.

If your desire is for a worthwhile reason, you would be able to sustain this desire through faith. However if the desire is fuelled by negative reasons, chances are that the effort would be futile.

Laser aim focus on your dreams because it will become a reality.When Zuckerberg was bitten by the creative bug, he worked on the Facebook project with total commitment. He was determined to get it started and would not let anything get into his way. When the other programmers were writing the various codes while developing Facebook, they were "wired-in" and would not even be distracted by door bells and people questioning them. Simply put, they shut out all other distractions to reach their goal.

Are you able to aim on your dreams with a laser focus, by shutting out all other distractions? Once your team has aligned themselves to your goal, can your team do the same and be focused too?

Don't be afraid to roll out your project first and then improve on it continuously. Zuckerberg never saw his Facebook project as being completed. He didn't even know what it would be. He just knew that it would be cool. He likened the concept of Facebook to style and fashion, and just like fashion, there is no "finished product". You see, nothing is ever finished in the business world. Whether is it building of a brick and mortar shop or an online webpage, innovations and improvements must continue.

That is why some people use the term, "Ready, Fire, Aim". In shooting, when you aim for too long without firing or taking action, your eye muscles actually tire, and you lose concentration.

Ideas are just ideas, until there is massive action. The Social Network also described how the Winklevoss twin brothers kept harping on Zuckerberg stealing their idea of a exclusive club. But they never realized that they kept talking and talking about it. While it was true that some of their previous programmers left the team, if they were really focused and believed in their own idea, they would have gone ahead to do it by hook or by crook. They had a distraction, and that was rowing. Because money was at their disposal, they thought that they could use money to buy talent while they concentrated on their own goals, which was to take part in the Olympics. While there is nothing wrong with aiming to participate in the Olympics, it is their blatant disregard of creativity and talent that caused them to lose out in this race.

Do you have that crazy idea that you keep thinking about? So what are you going to do about it? The best time to start action is now. As Sir Richard Branson would say, "Screw it. Just do it."

Then defend your dreams with your life. As though everything hinges upon it. Zuckerberg fought all the lawsuits and defended himself strongly because he believed in his actions and goals. He knew that there was no one in the mediation room who could even come close to his intellect and capability to design and come up with the Facebook. And he was right. The x-factor was that he placed his heart, mind and soul into creating this baby, and he was not intending to go down without a fight.

Once you are thoroughly committed to your dreams and goals, defend your ideals with your life. Your team can see how much you value your dreams and goals, and model after you too.


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Greatest General of All Time

I read a story about a man who died and met Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

Knowing that the apostle was wise and knowledgeable, he asked, “Saint Peter, I
have been interested in military history for many years. Tell me... who was the
greatest general of all time?”

Saint Peter quickly responded, “Oh, that’s a simple question.” He pointed, “It’s that
man over there.”
The man said, “You must be mistaken. I knew that man on earth. He was just a road

“That’s right, my friend,” replied Saint Peter. “But he would have been the greatest
general of all time – if he had been a general.”

Hmm... Does this story make you wonder if you have really found what your talents are?

Are you being the best in what you are meant to be? Or do you live your life according to what others tasked you to do?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Speech: Saint Andrew’s Secondary School Prefect Commendation 2011 – 25th Feb 2011

Good morning Bishop John Tan, the Saint Andrew’s Board of Governors, Principal
Mrs Lucy Toh, Vice Principal Mr Goh Boon Pin, invited guests, parents, teachers and
fellow Saints.

Thank you for this opportunity to be your guest speaker for this sacred event and it is
indeed my greatest pleasure to share the following news...

Yes, I’ve both good news and bad news today... And being the square peg in the
round hole that I’ve always been, please let me first share with you the bad news.
And that is, “There is no such thing as a perfect leader.”

There is no such thing as a perfect prefect either.

Only God is perfect. So don't kill yourself trying to do so.

However, the good news is that “we can all learn to be authentic leaders.” To be
an authentic leader is to be whom we really are... To be an authentic leader is to be
firm, fair, friendly and flexible... To be an authentic leader is to be someone who
learns from feedback and apologizes when the need arises.

Now, it was nearly 14 years ago that I stood at that pedestal... declaring the prefect's
charter out loud.

And it had been a great journey from that eventful day until today. I faced many ups
and downs in my career and personal life. And ultimately it was the "downs" in my
life that moulded me to what and whom I am today. As I continue to grow as an
authentic leader, I learned that I must find my strengths to overcome my weaknesses;
I learned that walls were placed in my path to test how badly I wanted to reach my
goals because I would climb over or go around these walls to reach my goals; I
learned that by making the right move, I would be able to achieve anything I set my
heart, mind and soul to. Because whatever my mind conceives, my body achieves.

So even as you are seated in the pews today, I want you all to raise your index finger
and place it on your right temple. Tap gently and ask yourself out loud, "What is my
next MOVE?" One more time, "What is my next MOVE?"

Let me now share with you what your MOVE may be in order to start growing as an
authentic leader.
How do you spell MOVE? That's right. M... O... V ... E

1) M: Motivation.
Being motivated is to find that desire to continue to do what you want to do. Is it
peer pressure or parents? Is it your own drive to always achieve excellence? Is it
passion for something? And so how do you stay motivated in what you do?
By finding the reason or the “why”, in doing things.

Once you find the WHY, you’ve effectively found the fuel to push yourself when the
chips are down. Once something becomes worthwhile to you, you would be able to
climb all obstacles to reach your goals. Is it the smile on your parents’ face? Is it the
thought of being the first to reach the finishing line? Is it because you want your
grandparents to be proud of you?

I knew a clerk who created a superb computing programme that enabled us to input
and analyse loads of data and it won an award for great productivity. I asked him,
“What led you to come up with this efficient programme?” He shrugged his shoulders
and replied, “I was lazy, and didn’t want to go through so much paper work.”
What motivates me to enrich people’s lives? Freedom. Because I want people to
see that they too can achieve something that they never thought they could do, and
in doing so achieve freedom.

Some critics say, “But motivation doesn’t last!” Well... neither does bathing. That’s
why motivation is recommended daily. Be obsessed with your WHY. Paste your
whole room with your objectives and what motivates you! Set reminders in your hand
phone! Write it down on your books!

Authentic leaders are able to constantly motivate themselves daily because
they know the WHY in what they do. Since different people have different
reasons for their “why”, your challenge would be to find that out fast.

2) O: Objective.
Every successful person reached where they are because they started with a vision,
and then they took concrete steps to reach it. How many of you use Face book?
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Face book didn’t become the youngest billionaire in
the world by accident. He had an objective, and that was to give people the power to
share and make the world more open and connected.

My SAJC civics tutor told my class we would never find a job when we graduated
because we were in the arts faculty and Singapore was facing its worst recession in
1999. He was right. We could never find a job because as creative people, we
created businesses for ourselves.

Do you know who JJ Lin is? Well he was my
SAJC classmate for the first 3 months, and he didn’t want a job. He created his own
life because he knew his objective, and that was to be a famous singer.
What is your objective or goals in your life now? And it better be more worthwhile
than watering your crops in Farmville.

If you already have an objective set for the year, good for you. If you don’t have any
objective, one way to start is to look at what you are good in currently. Everyone has
a talent. If you think if you have more talents, you are right. If you think you don’t
have one, you don’t. Either way, you will live into your story. Now, you may be
wondering why people do such a thing to themselves. And that’s because all of us
have a built in mechanism which always gives us “excuses” such as “you
are not good enough, you are worthless, don’t think you are so smart...”

Do you think a monkey ever thinks that it doesn’t have enough talents and decide
not to swing from tree to tree to search for food? NOPE! Because it’s only humans
like you and I who always find excuses for ourselves! It could be our parents telling
us, “don’t waste your time doing this... just study...” and it could even be us seeing
someone who failed before and we get scared.

Whatever it is, if you believe in these “excuses” that you created, you will not be able to dream up of any worthwhile objectives for yourself, and you will lead your life
trying to fulfil the dreams of others. Replace these negative thoughts with positive

And so as authentic leaders, know that you are worthy and talented. Create
objectives to fulfil by using your gifts, so that your life becomes purposeful.

3) V: Value Adding.
My mentor told me that at birth, he was worth 2 tins of Milo, 4 trays of eggs and 6
cans of luncheon meat. His mother didn't want him because he was the 3rd boy of 3
children. She wanted a daughter. So she wanted to sell him. When his mother
shared this story to him many years later, he vowed to increase his own value by
becoming a business man.

What about you? What is your value? Is it the 65 marks that you got for your
geography paper last year? Is it the 80 marks that you got for Design & Technology?
Partly. All these results are merely your output in what you studied so hard for. Or in
some of you… so little for.

Don’t fret, because these short term results are not who you truly are. These results
are a snapshot of what you can produce within 2 hours. It’s just one dimension of a
human being. The academic dimension. You still have your physical, mental,
spiritual and sociological dimension to explore.

Some of you may really love gaming. Some of you may really love sports. So how?
By being the best that you can ever be! How many of you all really understand what
“up and on”, our school motto really means? It means that we must “Rise Up to any
Occasion” and to be “On the ball” all the time! This is the mentality of authentic
leaders and champions!

But by doing well in our academic dimension, we are practising and learning
discipline in everything we are doing, and will do in the future. Because how we do
anything is how we do everything. If you find that you want to be the fastest winger in the rugby team, you train harder than anyone else. If you find that you want
to do well in your papers, you study smarter by focusing on what you don’t
understand, and asking the teachers.

So be the thermostat instead of being the thermometer. A thermometer merely
measures the temperature of the surroundings. In other words, you follow the crowd.
If you are a thermostat, you set the temperature in the room or region. In other words,
you innovate, and people follow you.

I have the opportunity to spend large segments of time in airports because I travel
frequently. I always see people rushing from point A to point B. I find it incredible that
so many people devote their whole lives to other fields of endeavours that others
tasked them to do, and yet not to their own natural talent and gifts within them.
Be the unique person that you are meant to be.

Therefore as authentic leaders, add your own value by constantly expanding
your knowledge so that you become consistently good in what you do.

4) E: Execution.
Just do it.
Since everything that we see is a result and results are an output. It is brought about
by first having vision and then massive action. So what this means is that even if you
have the vision but no action, you will never achieve it. But if you have the vision,
and start action, you will be on your way. Even if you meet with setbacks, these are
all just feedback, because there are no such things as failure, only feedback. For
example, a trashy mid-year examination result doesn’t mean the end of the world. It
shouldn’t devalue you as a human.

I should know that. I had to drink tea with my principal Mrs Belinda Charles, while as the SAJC Arts Faculty Leader.

The important thing here is that you must learn from the feedback and not repeat.
Because if you do the same things over and over again and expect different results,
you must be insane.

You know what Saints... Heck it. Just do it. Authentic leaders just do it, and
don’t wait around waiting for things to happen. You make it happen.

So this is it, M.O.V.E, Motivation, Objectives, Value Adding and Execution. This
move has brought me to where I am and will continue to assist me as I advance in
my life goals. I sincerely hope that change will come to you all as well as you
remember this MOVE.

So please raise your index finger and place it on your right temple once again. Tap
gently and tell yourself out loud, “I know my next MOVE!”

Up and On!
Thank You

Mark Chew,
Business Developer, Leadership Coach,
Author of “Discover Your Leadership Style”
25th Feb 2011
Saint Andrew's Cathedral

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Review by BizDaily on 31 Jan 2011

Was alerted to this book review by a friend. Pleasantly surprised!

Then I went down to Kinokuniya to see if my books had been placed there... woohoo! It's in the store together with Robin Sharma, John C Maxwell...


Talk at Crest Christian Book Corner at 1915hrs on 22nd Feb 2011.


A Talk by Mark Chew

22 Feb Tue 7:15-9:15pm CREST Christian Book Corner


Please reply to with your 1. Name 3. contact no.

· Do you know the difference between leaders, and those who lead?

· Ever wanted to create a successful dream team?

· Want to discover your leadership style?

As you read this, you may be wondering if you have any leadership streak in you and why possessing leadership abilities are even useful for you. Well, if you have desire and faith to enhance your relationship with your loved ones, employees and team, you will then understand the importance of exercising leadership in your everyday lives. Join me in this talk to discover your leadership style.

Topics covered include:

1. The Leadership Myth
2. The follies of CEOs in 2010, and what you can learn from it.
3. Discover the 4 Principles of Leadership.
4. Setting SMARTER Goals for yourself and your team in 2011.

Mark Chew

Friday, February 4, 2011

How does Success come about?

It has been a great 2 weeks since I left my previous consulting company.

The good news is that I have been invited to a few schools and bookshops to share my experience on leadership, and my book.

The even better news is that I have to start preparing slides and information to share with my audience.

During the 2 weeks, I had been involved in preparing a business plan as well as a few business proposals. It has been really amazing, because you put your heart and mind and soul into doing something you truly love.

Of course, passion alone can't bring you money. However it can incept and connect ideas that can and you need massive action thereafter to bring about success.

So have you heard of this formula: success = talent + preparation?

Well, we all know that some people are born with that gift. The gift of charisma, the gift of the gab, the gift of creativity, the gift of musical ability...

while others have to work hard all the time, because they seem to be average, or with no special talents.

No matter what you feel, your talent will not bring you anywhere if you don't put your talents to work. So in the month of februrary, i will be talking about why hardwork is 100% while talent is only 1% in the entire success formula. keep yourself updated!


Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Screw it. Just do It!

It wasn't a tough decision. I knew I had to do it sooner or later.

The writing was already on the wall, from the project calender not being told to me earlier, to the short notification of travelling time.

Plus the fact that when I was in the airplane travelling to my workplace, I was so bored stiff in the aircraft that I watched The Social Network, two and a half times.

I had never felt that way before.

Perhaps it was the fact that I had made really solid resolutions for 2011, for my family and I...

Perhaps it was the fact that I wanted to touch the lives of others and to reach out to my community...

Perhaps it was the fact that I wanted to focus on my business streams, and to do well in them...

Whatever the case, I decided to take another leap of faith, just like what I did when I left my comfort zone as an military officer.

In the words of Sir Richard Branson, "Screw it! Just do it!"

I did it.

And I resigned from my job as a consultant.