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!