Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Afterthoughts: Never feel undermined or usurped when, and if, your staff become more skillful. The reality is that we have our competencies, and being in a managerial position does not, necessarily, make us better than them. Perish the thought that a competent staff will manipulate you; be thankful when they do, because it suggests that they are influential. Diversity is about accommodating and appreciating differences as uniqueness.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Photo by Winston Koh, AniMiles.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Well, the humidity was switched on 100 percent (like a significant blanket of thick water-vapour). Last night was indeed a humid night, which led to most the team of a dozen, carefree runners making mild, but measured compromises. As Dr Ben Tan wrote in The Straits Times yesterday, running under such conditions is like running at midday. Three of the team completed the 60km distance (actually 63km as we took a wrong turn), a few 53km and the rest 30km or so. We left two insulated boxes with generous supplies of water, electrolyte drinks and bananas at two strategic points. Thankfully, no pedestrian or cyclist nicked the contents. I suspect that the makeshift signboard we stuck adjacent to the white boxes helped as a deterrent.
Admittedly, I decided to stop at 53km as I my energy was as flat as pancake. I had a splendid first 30km, running close-winged to Lieu, an amazing runner and Ironman triathlete. I paid for it on my second loop when I emptied my energy reserves. As some of the runners did long runs of about 50km two weeks ago, it seemed that the were still recovering. Note to self: Get a complete compendium of energy gels and drinks for the next run, and the race. My new K-Swiss running shoes are pretty much broken in; they felt comfortable, with no visible or physical signs of trauma on either feet.
Matthew swam solo yesterday at Sentosa island; he was unfortunate and unwillingly victim of jellyfish stings about three weeks ago. He reports that the waters are now clear and we can, assuredly, return to our fortnightly open-water sessions. He is another case of exploring his leadership values in different situations.
Here is a tough spin class led by Wilson Low at Elite Bicycles Asia; together with his race partner, Grace Chan he won the mixed pair adventure race in East Malaysia a fortnight ago. Grace, Wilson and I raced at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2008, and we had loads of fun and earned personal bests.
Photo-credits: Elite Bicycles Asia
Saturday, April 24, 2010
A dozen aficionados of the endurance legwork will attempt a rehearsal run of 60km from 6.00pm till midnight. We will precede the arduous plodding and forefoot flogging with a dinner, and I suspect a few trips to Changi Village's sugar-cane juice stalls.
I will report our observations tomorrow, like it is a research piece for my deferred PhD dissertation. We will provide collective, nutritional, attire, and sports physiology tips on how to approach nocturnal running on a mindless, endless road to the U-turns.
20,000 runners have signed up for the adidas Sundown Marathon, with 600 attempting the double-dosage. It should be an interesting evening for an almost permanent fixture on the runner's annual menu.
Next week, we will feature an interview with David Greenfield, founder and owner of Elite Bicycles. He recently opened his first Asian branch in Singapore, and if verbal testimonials are a strong indicator, David and his team may find new success in the area of personalised bike fitting and manufacturing. Stay tuned!
Friday, April 23, 2010
A cursory glance, momentarily away from your mobile phone, reveals insights to the dominant and vocal few who are generous with their myopic views and comments. Do quiet people have less to share? Do the talkative ones make the best leaders?
How do we explain such behaviours? What are the mindsets and myths behind such predictable behaviours? How do we manage them?
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Afterthoughts/During-thinks: Indiscriminate use of apps such as Facebook can cause your reputation to bleed. And so it has come to past that even on such private forums, unedited, hurls of random emotional outbursts can lead to tribes, denizens, communities, and even friends creating a whiplash effect. Think before you thumb-thump on your keyboard and hit post/send. I was at the scene of the accident which this FB poster made these disparaging remarks; the remarks were certainly uncalled for. I hope that he learns his lesson.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
It is common to hear staff pronounce Monday as the beginning of a long week. It is interesting how our sense of time becomes warped due to the punctuation led by this most fateful day. If you are back home already, logged into the Internet, please be thankful that you lived through today with its many experiences and human interactions.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
With my colleagues, I led a short team-enhancing session yesterday on Langkawi Island, Malaysia. It is the home of Ironman Malaysia held at end-February each year. I finished the race twice there in 2007 and 2008, and respect the participants, heat and hills; so, the gates of my memories were replenished.
My colleagues and I watched a new managing director of a company deliver his message of optimism, cooperativeness, and purpose through his use of mixed media: his spoken word and cache of video clips. He has large aspirations, and these include being an outstanding company, aiming for number one status, valuing his people and helping them build a shared potential. I observed that his approach coincided with his personal values and leadership values; so, he delivered it with a sense of lucid clarity, humble confidence, and competence. I was glad I was part of an integrated process of engaging and energizing his team of 180 staff.
In marketing, the four principles of Product Marketing are: Promotion, Place, Price and Product. To this I add Providence (divine), or Pray. You never know even if all four bases are covered, that your marketing efforts will yield dividends for you. Brand management is an extended subject that covers product marketing.
For marketing oneself, you can adapt the principles of marketing as: Positioning, Personality, Purpose and Population.
Your personal brand is an important; it is more than just your name and your profession. How do you position yourself amongst your peers? What is personal style? What is your signature? Which audiences relate most to you? Which causes do you stand for? What are your stances and standing in your community/profession?
1) How do you seek under-standing, and create understanding?
2) How do you become out-standing?
3) What do you do to stand out from others?
4) How do you personalize your brand?
So, as a leader how are you engaging your team with your brand? How do you brand yourself? Which ways are you primed to purposefully lead your people, business and brands? As you facilitate a strategic meeting, how do you make time to attentively listen and pay attention to the various nuances and idiosyncracies of each leader on your team?
Credits: Standing model of leadership by Gary Yardley & Jan Kelly of PIPS Pty Ltd.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Have you considered your leadership style/s?
Do you prefer to take charge, direct, instruct and tell others what to do? Do you prefer to follow your leaders, rules, guidelines and procedures? Do you prefer to think through quietly and only ask questions when you need to?
Extraverts express themselves openly, whereas introverts prefer to stay quiet while they think. Both styles make conversations interesting and determine the flow. Either style can be highly influential, and it is not a fact that extraverts make better presenters. Sometimes you ask, sometimes you tell.
Results are important, and they exceed the effort put in. When you measure performance as a yardstick for potential and capability, then the amount of effort put in must translate into expected outcomes. Thus, as disappointing as it may sound, we place a premium over results than effort. Thus, volunteer leaders at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games will be evaluated for their effectiveness and competencies to lead fellow volunteers, delegates, spectators and fans. Delivering a prepared talk, and making immediate changes to your script requires expressing yourself in another way. Tonight, I delivered a talk on delivering scripted comedy to amateur and professional magicians and I had to do just that, as we had two guests present. You have to be flexible to integrate changes, and redeliver your material differently.
When you participate in group sports, have you ever taken the lead? Have you pulled the pack when riding? Have you allowed fellow swimmers to draft you in your wake? Have you paced runners and moderated the pace so that they ran at race pace? You can take the lead, follow or support – these are positions of influence. When you think of leadership as positions, you can use prepositions to guide you in your chosen direction of influence: at, from, above, below, around, behind, front, and side. It is analogous to an aircraft approaching the runway; you fly into the wind, and not with it.
The next time you lead, consider your results and your approach.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I adore books. I can comfortably while away minutes at a bookstore. It is like a library of sorts, where I can check out the latest books indefinitely.
I especially enjoy biographies; these are found both in hardcover books, soft-cover as well as in magazines. I enjoy biographies as these are focused on the person, his experiences and unique angles on things. I also enjoy the way a journalist interviews, and then puts it all together in a feature story.
Biographies are work of non-fiction. These are more real, as there are verbatim quotes, spoken with a certain truth and honesty. The biography expresses the character, personality, beliefs, values, mindset, attitude, behaviors, perceptions and thinking of the interviewee. In a way, it is another mirror to how a person ticks.
Just yesterday, I borrowed Michael Gerber’s 1986 edition of The E-Myth. It is, essentially, about small businesses and the entrepreneurial approach. I was delighted to find it my client’s office. Gerber’s E-Myth Revisited is the current available version. I hope to track the predictions that Gerber made almost 25 years ago. I really wonder why this became an underground classic among marketers. I am more interested about the author’s approach to demystifying entrepreneurial assumptions and beliefs. By the way, Amazon.com's prices for new copies of these are about US$140-270!
I hope to track a few more out-of-print books due to their exclusiveness and rarity – one of the six principles of influence, as expounded by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Thank you for reading this blog. Everyday, a few dozen readers pay this blog a visit. It is almost one year old, and we attempt to provide, almost-daily, content-rich matter for you. Hopefully, our time spent on maintaining this passive platform has met your intense intellectual needs and yielded some internal sights.
Endurance athletes are avid watchers of time. We measure our personal best timings. We race against the clock. We clock our performances. We work with cadence and intervals. Time is a valuable abstract measure. We utilize it by managing time, although it can appear to be a false sense of hope. Time is a concept. We treat it like a commodity, banking it into our lives. We talk about saving time, buying time, making time, doing time, and finding time. Yet, it is fairly elusive marked by the ticking of the clock. Every second that passes is irretrievable. Every minute is an opportunity cost.
Many self-help authors and coaches encourage us to make time for important people and things. We do not wish to live a life filled with lies and regret. We want to look back at our lives, one day, and say, ‘I hope I spent enough time with everyone!’ instead of ‘I wished I had spent more time with…’
Timing is everything. Perhaps it is not. However, time when it pertains to timeliness, punctuality, appropriateness of action, are expressions of the right time. Achieving a balance of life and work requires shifting our priorities and investing time for both critical variables in our lives. It may not be useful to dwell on the past, yet we can enjoy the moment, and look forward to our future.
Stretch time. Compress it. Enjoy your experiences. Live day by day. Live it. Make it livid and vivid. Avoid losing huge chunks of time over the unimportant and unnecessary. Stop and smell the roses. Invest time in the short-term so as to gain more in the long-term.
Can you make time stop? Is there an end of time? What will do with your time this week?