Wednesday, December 4, 2013

3 Qualities of a Great Leader

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
Tun Dr. Mahathir once said,
"To be a great leader, one needs to have good strategies, be knowledgeable and able to predict the future."
As suggested by Tun, great leaders must have these qualities:
1. Have good strategies
2. Knowledgeable
3. Able to predict the future

Predicting the Future
I have heard of this quote years ago. But at that time I was not sure on the meaning of the ability to predict the future. It came into my mind that there were a crystal ball that a leader might have, or something like the movie Nujum Pak Belalang.

However, keeping this quote in mind and as I move on, I have learn a lot from this quote. Now I understand that by seeing things around on what is happening now, you may be able to predict the outcome. If people are building highways today, so many things will happen. The land price might be increase. There will be more commercial areas to be developed, and so on. This is an example of predicting the future.

Looking into business perspective, if you know what is happening in a company, you might be able to predict the performance of the company. If you are into share trading, you might be able to predict the value of the shares. If you are an employee, you might know whether the company is sustainable, expanding or shrinking. You can make the decision on where you are standing then.

Tun Mahathir has the ability to predict the future. In a talk during Prestige Leadership Programme, Tun mentioned that he decided to build a bridge between  the mainland and Penand Island. At that time, people are criticizing him heavily on the project and label it as a waste for the country. He proved them wrong.  It happened again when he planned to build the KLCC and Putrajaya. The only reason why he stick with his decision is because he see things in the future, and how people will appreciate it. I personally think that the current government motto of "Zaman kerajaan mengetahui segalanya sudah berakhir" is not really a good motto. As a good leader, one must decide on what he think the best for the future. Not now! Yes, we can listen, but we need to decide what is good for the future.

Don't ask average people what they want, because they don't know what they wanted.

Steve Jobs once said,
 "It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them."

and Henry Ford also said,
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Inspirasi dari pengasas EMKAY Group - Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal

Tan Sri Datuk (Dr) Mustapha Kamal merupakan salah seorang yang tidak asing lagi dalam dunia hartanah di Malaysia. Beliau merupakan pengerusi EMKAY Group, MK Land Holdings Berhad, Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd dan beberapa buah syarikat yang lain. Pada 26 Oktober 2013, Yayasan Universiti Multimedia telah dijemput untuk ke sebuah sesi bersama Tan Sri MK dan saya bersyukur kerana berpeluang untuk turut serta dalam lawatan tersebut. Seramai 37 pelajar menghadiri sesi yang penuh dengan inspirasi ini.

Tan Sri merupakan seorang yang sangat rendah diri. Beliau membahasakan dirinya sebagai Pak Cik kepada pelajar-pelajar. Beliau memberikan beberapa nasihat yang beliau rasakan perlu untuk beliau sampaikan kepada anak-anak muda. Disini suka untuk saya berkongsi dengan rakan-rakan pembaca untuk manfaat bersama.

Sebagai Manusia kita mempunyai nikmat berupa pilihan
Antara nikmat yang dinikmati oleh semua manusia ialah kita boleh buat pilihan. Dalam kehidupan, bermacam-macam pilihan yang boleh kita buat. Dan setiap pilihan yang kita buat akan menentukan siapa kita.
"The choice you make, makes you."
Dunia diluar sana adalah dunia yang kejam. Mereka tidak memandang sekiranya anda tidak mempunyai nama, jawatan dan pangkat. Itulah realitinya.

Cara Mencari Rezeki Yang Halal
Terdapat dua cara untuk mencari rezeki yang halal:
1. We have to do - kita perlu buat.
2. We want to do - kita mahu buat.

Sekiranya kita memilih what we  want to do, ianya less stressful. Kurang tekanan dan kita boleh hadapi segala cabaran kerana kita ingin membuatnya. Bukan terpaksa membuatnya.

Sekiranya kita membuat sesuatu berdasarkan what we want to do kita akan bermotivasi secara sendirinya. What we want to do sangat berkait rapat dengan bakat semulajadi. Setiap orang ada bakat semulajadi. Cuba kita suruh Dato' Nicole David bermain badminton. Walaupun sama seperti skuasy memegang reket, beliau mungkin tidak boleh bermain dengan baik, sebaik beliau bermain skuasy. Sama juga kesnya sekiranya kita menyuruh Dato' Lee Chong Wei bermain skuasy.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Gratitude Can Increase Your Happiness?

"Gratitude for the abundance you have received is the best insurance that the abundance will continue."  
-- Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
Can money buy happiness? For some, they might say yes. But that might not be the root-cause why they are happy. Money just a mean of someone's happiness. But what makes people happy? One of it is Gratitude.

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to you for reading this post. 
In this post, I am going to share with you 3 things:
  1. 4 Tips on practising your gratitude. Simple way to remind you to be grateful.
  2. An Experiment of Gratitude by Pancake. How you can increase your happiness with Gratitude.
  3. When things get tough, how to express gratitude?

4 Tips on Practising your Gratitude

Fauzia Burke in her post shared her 4 tips on how to be grateful:
  1. Keep a journal and write what you are grateful for every day. This to me will force you to find out what are the good things that you have and what are good things that has happened. It automatically shift your focus from looking into your life and create positivity within you.
  2. Create a Gratitude Bulletin Board. Post on whatever you are grateful for and showcase it to people. While some people keep a manifestation board (things that have not yet happen), she puts on things that already happen. Because as quote above, that is the best insurance that the abundance will continue.
  3. Practice Gratitude with Your Family. Sharing is caring. Fauzia recommend during meal time to share with family members on ups-and-downs of the day. Facing challenges also something that we can be grateful of because when we successfully faced the challenges, we are learning new things, we are actually growing. (Watch the video of Oprah at the end of the post).
  4. Have Some Gratitude Reminder. Put some anchor on something happens to remind you to express gratitude; most of the time, the first thing we wake up in the morning. But you also can include normal activity such as when you close your door everyday to work to express your gratitude.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Best Practices are Stupid?

Well, the title sounds controversial. Yes, this is the title of the book written by Stephen Shapiro. He is the type that would challenge the status quo and promote the culture of innovation. Well true enough, if we follow what everybody is doing, we will become a mediocre. And he got his argument to back-up his statement. Steve Jobs said Leadership is about innovation. And leaders should not be a follower to follow what others did well. Furthermore, the best practice might not suit to our environment.

Innovation distinguished between a leader and a follower - Steve Jobs

Face it, the world is changing. As my previous post the world no longer looking for productivity or quality. If we are looking into that, following the best practice might help. However, we are now looking at Innovation. Innovation is creating something new, something different. But if we follow the traditional wisdom that worked in the past, how do you expect us to be different? How can we be innovative?

Latest Book by Stephen Shapiro

5 topics that has been discussed by Stephen Shapiro. (Watch the video at the end of this post) These 5 topics are:

1) Stop Asking for Ideas
2) Don't Think Outside the Box - Build a Better Box
3) Hire People You Don't Like
4) Stop Praising People
5) Expertise is the Enemy of Innovation

As we asked for ideas, people will contribute the ideas as many as they can. In the BP oil spill case, 123,000 submission of ideas. But guess how many ideas that really count? About a dozen. This means that 99.99% of the ideas goes to the drain. Think of how much cumulative time were wasted for people to think, input and the staff to screen and debate those ideas?

In engineering we studied signal-to-noise ration (SNR). In real life, the signal is things that really matters and noise is things that does not matter. Output is no good if the noise is too high. And most organizations are spending time for things that does not matter.

How to do?
Frame something that is solvable and let people contribute their ideas within that parameters. This will help people to focus. We don't need everybody to contribute in order to make the best ideas. But if that small group can focus, they can find great solutions without wasting to much of time.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Steve Jobs Thoughts on Life

People might see different things in life. But the way Steve Jobs see the world is different.

"Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is, everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you ... the minute that you understand that you can poke life ... that you can change it, you can mould it ... that's maybe the most important thing."

We can stick to the old perception of life is by default or we can change the way we look at things.

"And once you learn that, your life will never be the same again."

Watch the following video.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pitching: The Elevator Pitch and 6 Successor for E-Pitch

Elevator Pitch - was originally introduced in this world in 1853 by Elisha Otis. The designed of elevator back then is not much different from the theory of Archimedes which using pulley. The problem with this design is when the rope got cut-off which might cause in fatal or the damage of whatever inside the elevator. Otis invented a patent to safeguard the elevator when the rope fails, a brake activate to prevent it from falling down.

Have you ever seen deals secured
in an elevator these days?
But the problem during that time, people are still skeptical about it. So Otis decided to conduct a demo in one conference. He demonstrated the elevator going down from top. While explaining (or pitching) in the elevator, he cut-down the rope. Everyone is panic - but the magic happened. The elevator did not fall down. There it goes the first elevator pitch in the world.

Elevator Pitch

In many sales courses, the instructor will introduce to you the elevator pitch. The idea of elevator pitch is when you came across someone, how are you going to promote your product and services within a very short period of time. Maybe 1 minute or 2.

In one of the course that I attended, Sales and Leadership Mastery (back in 2010), Blair Singer who is also Kiyosaki's Rich Dad's advisor shared with us the e-pitch technique. What do we need to do in our e-pitch?
We need to establish our credibility.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tony Fernandes Dreaming Big doing the impossible at Global Malaysia Series

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is the man who need no introduction. Everyone knows him for the success of the budget airline Airasia. Not just Airasia, he also has so many businesses from telecommunication, insurance, budget hotels, Formula 1, football and recently the reality TV show the Apprentice. Last week I was inspired when I saw him live at Global Malaysia Series (GMS). Being a great entrepreneur, he is the perfect person to talk about how to bring you business to global. He is indeed a Blue Brain that has made it big. His speech is clearly blue and so much people oriented.

Here I would like to share some of the points that I jotted down:

- You must be good at your own country first.
You should be good at your product and business model - at merit. Not because of you know somebody in the government or have cable. Or have sugar daddy to support your business. If you are good at your country, you are good everywhere (with some finetune of course).

- There is no recipe. But if you don't try, you don't know.
Most people have good idea. But most people don't even try their ideas.

- Malaysian parents try to push their kids at one direction.
Tony explains that when he was a baby, his grand parent already set him to be a doctor. It was the culture in Malaysia that parents want their kids to follow the traditional "go to school, get a good grade, get a good job." Become a doctor, engineer, lawyer or accountant.

- Don't listen to people's advice
Previously, Tony was running a music business. Before he started Airasia, people advice him not to jump into this business. Stick to his forte which is music industry. He don't have any experience in aviation industry. But if he listen to people's advice, now he might be in Petaling Street fighting on the piracy issue.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Enemy of the Great is the Good!

Three key take away from Steve Jobs commencement speech was:
1. Connecting the dots - you got to trust that the dots will somehow connected in the future.
2. You got to follow your heart. They somehow already know what you want to become.
3. Your time is limited. Don't waste it living someone else's life.


You might be wondering what your heart is craving for. But for some of you already know what you want to become because your heart already whispered to you. At one time you might be wanting to pursue your dream, however, the circumstances does not allow.

There will be another opportunity comes. Opportunity that looks good. It pays good. And it add certainty into it. And you said you are going to settle. Looking to that good opportunity and you live with that good opportunity. 

But sometime not long after that, you become unsettle again. It's your dream calling you again. It appear right in front of you and you do whatever you can to pretend that it is not there. But that dream is big enough. And no matter how much you tell it to shut-up, it will never-ever-ever shut-up.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Copycat: Shortcut to Success - Why should we re-invent the wheel?

We Live in a World of Copycats.

As part of human being, we are naturally the creature of copycat. We copy from the Cradle to the Grave! Copycatting starts the day we were born. We copy the language we speak, the food we eat, the way we walk and the way we dress. When we were in primary school, we were taught to copy alphabets. When we grew older, we copy how others drive a car.

James Baldwin once said:

 "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders. But they have never failed to imitate them."

If copycat is part of our nature, then,

Why we are not good at Copying? 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Steve Vai's advice on How to Become Successful

Steve Vai is one of my master idol in playing guitar. For those who know me during my Uni time, I am so much crazy about Vai. Why I like Steve compared to others such as Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen or John Petrucci? Owh... maybe about his Green Brained is more compatible with my Green Processor and the melody match. To me, his music has a story-line behind it and he is a great story teller. Not the technical part of playing the music or how structured the music should be.

Steve talks about Success
It's like the Law of Attraction - like-attract-like - Steve is now talking about success. He really sounds like a success guru motivating people to become successful - in his area. This video shows his advice on how you can become successful. Not only you can apply in playing guitar, but also in your life.

"Because the only thing that holding you back is the way you're thinking"

- Steve Vai

The summary of the video:

With the background song 'Whispering a Prayer', there are 5 things that I identified lessons that we can share together:

1. Identify What You Really Want - Like any successful people, Steve started with "We need to identify what it is that we really want! Because what ever it is we really want, that's gonna come out!" "Because that what you gonna do the best!" Do what you enjoy to do and you'll be doing the best!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

You Don't Need Money, You Need A Better Strategy

One of the key take-away during the recent National Achievers' Congress 2013 is from Peter Sage. The concept that he introduced was 'Capital vs Initiatives'
How you can get what you want without paying for it!

I  don't need money. I NEED A BETTER STRATEGY!

What does he mean by that?

First of all, the question that we need to ask is:
"How can I add value?"
And we need to ensure the value is really what others wanted.

To illustrate this, he gave a few example:

1. The Flower Shop
One day there was a flower shop to be sold. They are selling at $50,000 and the buyer who wanted to buy doesn't have the money. He went and asked for loan but no one wanted to lend the money. (familiar with this situation?)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tony Robbins on Solving the Problems Using the Resources We Already Have

Tony Robbins has always been my idols because his unique ability to apply the psychology in solving problems that human are facing.

In this short video - it's about 7 minutes on what Tony did to change the limitation belief that Shane had and the rest 7 minutes is about explaining what was happened.

What can we learn?

Most of the problem happens because we are the one who created the problem. And the truth is, we have all the resources to solve our problems. We just need to ask the right question to ourselves. And we need some skills and knowledge on how to ask the right questions.
In this case, the de-brief tells us the 3 steps of doing this:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Power of Imagination: Why Companies Should Reward on Imagination.

The World is Changing

In the 90's people always talk about Productivity and Quality. These were the drivers at that time and there were a lot of activities to encourage people to be productive at the same time produce the best quality. Hence, quality and productivity is the famous mantra then. To ensure this, the government took an initiative and establish the National Productivity Corporation (NPC now known as MPC or Malaysian Productivity Corporation) and they produce activities such as QCC (Quality Control Circle).

Now, people no longer stress into productivity and quality. That is already becoming commodity and it is consider something which you must do. But people started to look into new thing which is Innovation. To fuel this the Government setup an Agency called AIM (Agensi Inovasi Malaysia or Malaysian Innovation Agency). The QCC activity has been rebrand to ICC (Innovative and Creative Circle). Everyone now is talking about innovation. Those who want to compete in the market now need this ever than before.

But Innovation is the end result. If you produce something innovative, then only you can consider yourself innovative. But how can we become innovative? How do we cultivate innovative environment?

Watch this video below

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Beating Your Procrastination

People do procrastinate. And for me, this is one thing that keeps people from moving. If we know this is the root-cause, we should fix it and start to create different result.

In his video, Robin Sharma told us on the 5 strategies to really beat your procrastination. This 16 minutes video tells us on some of his strategy to get things moving. If you don't have that 16 minutes, I write the summary below:

1. Write down your magnificient obsession statement - create a dream collage. Read it the first thing in the morning and last at night. This is the things that Napoleon Hill been teaching in his multi-million best seller 'Thing and Grow Rich'. Our sub-conscious mind consume 95% of our brain and the secret that our sub-conscious operates through pictures. Your performance always aligned with your sub-conscious mind.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The myth on Management vs Leadership

I believe that the success of a country, an organization, a family, a community or any group of people is highly depending on leadership. I have a simple philosophy - Good leaders can turn a mediocre person to a superstar, bad leaders can turn a superstar to a nobody. Leadership is very important, that it can affects the whole group or members, even the whole world.

Often people said that we don't want to create more managers, but we want to create more leaders. (in fact, one of my 'manager' said this). This statement is totally misleading. Why? Because leadership and management is two different things.

In his article John Kotter mentioned that there are 3 mistakes on how people view leadership and management:

Mistake #1: People use the terms "management" and "leadership" interchangeably. This shows that they don't see the crucial difference between the two and the vital functions that each role plays.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How to enhance your creativity to solve problems

Each and every one of us is creative in one way or another. There are so many courses out there that shows you how to think creatively. There are simpler ways comparing to use other sophisticated tools to solve problems - and it is proven by academic research.

We are more creative when we think of others
Have you ever has a problem and you ask others around. Suddenly that others (might be your friends or family members) provide you a solutions to that problem that you might not think of before. And it makes sense... Vice versa have you ever have someone approaching you on their problem, and as a third party you are able to come out with solutions to that problem. It's a simple solution, but why can't he/she think of it? 

Why are these things happening and how we can use the principle to get the best out of our ability to become creative in solving problems?

Professors Evan Polman and Kyle Emich has conducted a research to asked 137 undergraduates the following problem: