Wednesday, December 31, 2014

10 Ways to Achieve Bigger Success in 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

When we talk about success, I believe we should not do exactly what successful people do. Because all successful people do things differently. No one successful people whom I know do exactly what another successful people did yet they became as successful as the former. But what I do believe is we should learn what are the principles behind the successful people.

Andrew Carnegie was one of the richest man in history. According to one article by Business Insider, Andrew Carnegie ranked no. 2 of the wealthiest people in history after J. D. Rockefeller. Even richer than Bill Gates, if the amount was adjusted to the inflation. So it makes sense to learn some principles from one of the most wealthiest people in history. And most people know, Napoleon Hill was been assigned by Carnegie to study successful people (in terms of wealth). He did document it in one of his book - The Science of Success. Here are the 10 principles of success.

1. Define Your Purpose
One should define their purpose of living in this world. How they can look at things which can be better and start to add values based on your purpose. Put them into action! Defining a purpose is what I call defining a "Passion Statement". Passion creates desire and desire according to Hill, is the starting point of all achievement.

2. Create a "Master-Mind-Alliance"
Master Mind is a group of people who share with each other their thoughts. A group of people who have what you haven't. Master Mind works like multiplying your brain power. It works like a battery to provide that extra voltage to the electricity. Create your own "Master-Mind-Alliance" with people who have the same vision.

3. Go the extra mile
Hill said, "The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does." Go the extra mile and continue to add value. Soon you will be paid more that what you earn. Scorpions sum up in a better words - What You Give, You Get Back.

4. Practice "Applied Faith"
Believe in yourself. Believe things will happen. Mohamad Ali said, "To become a great champion, you must believe that you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are!" Have faith in yourself, have faith the world is acting good towards you and believe it with confidence.

5. Have Personal Initiatives
Start to do something today. Do not wait for others to push you. Create some activities that will help to achieve your defined purpose. Stop blaming your boss when things goes wrong. Do something instead.

Monday, December 1, 2014

3 Lessons in Branding

Branding... It is important in business because branding create perception. Our brain work with association. Whatever our brain associate, it will tend to make generalization.

Branding is important for organization, product and personal as well. But why we need branding?

1. Visibility is more important than ability
Last week I attended an exhibition, MAHA 2014. Large exhibition with international participation. They have this band playing at the food court to entertain those who are enjoying the meal. I was there with my family listening to the band playing with some wrong chords, not so in tune vocalist and drummer who once in a while out of tempo. I was asking myself, I could play better with my ex-band. But I think again, why didn't they called me? Because I was not visible to the organizer.

How many times have you join a seminar and turns out the speaker was not as good as you expect and with information that you think unvaluable to you. At the same time the person sit next to you have the same opinion with you. And you think I could do better than that. But why didn't the organizer invite you instead? Because you are not visible. I have seen the same person from a seminar to a seminar and I think that he is not that competent enough, but still he was everywhere. Because he is more visible than any other options.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Man in the mirror

Change...? Yes, most people wanted to change the world.

Most people saw the world is some sort of screwed up, and there are always something to fix.

And most people blame others for having that flaw...

Most people blame the governments, the authorities, the investors, the law makers, the teachers, the community, the societies, the corporate leaders, the trouble makers, their spouse, their uncle, their parents..... but most people forgot to blame one person...

It is the man in the mirror... Go straight in front of the mirror, and you can clearly see that person.

My dear friends, we could not directly change other people, but we can change ourselves. Start with one person.... it is the man in the mirror...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Knowledge is power - Is it true or just a myth?

Knowledge is power
Albert Einstein is a powerful figure
because of his knowledge
When I was a kid, people said that knowledge is power. So we must have knowledge in order for us to be successful. Is it true or just a myth? Well, I think that it might be true for the past generation because those who have knowledge at that time are those who are successful. Think about it, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Al-Farabi. These are those who make it big and his name was made known to the rest of the world. They don’t create any product or services, but they founded some knowledge that most of us still learn in this new world.

Things already changed
However, somewhere in 2009, I heard in a seminar, the speaker said “‘Knowledge is power’ is the biggest lie that I ever heard. Knowledge is potential power, but knowledge with application is power.” Well at that time I think that it make sense. If you have the knowledge but you did nothing with it you are absolutely added no value to people. I have studied engineering for 5 years but I am no good engineer because I only practice it for only 3 years and that knowledge that I have now, doesn’t make me any powerful. However, I don’t believe that the mantra ‘knowledge is power’ is the biggest lie. I just think that it was outdated. It was true before our generation, but because of the environment have changed, knowledge is power is no more relevant. What are more powerful is to take action from our knowledge. Because there are information overload due to the internet, we don’t have to be knowledgeable, but we just need to know how to get that knowledge. And most importantly is what we do with that knowledge. The key word is to take action.

What are the impact?
Looking towards the trend now, I do think that everybody can obtain knowledge easily. Universities in the past concentrating on providing knowledge to people. In the past, the bigger the library the more reputable the university was. But nowadays, people are looking at what the university can produce. Some university changed their theme to ‘Where knowledge is applied.’ The more a university can produce marketable graduate, the more powerful the reputation of the university. Not only grade, but what the graduate can contribute by the action that one might take. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mindset - It is not what you do, but how you do

Once upon a time, there was a father who was very ill. Before he passed away, he got some final words for his children "My children, I have two important reminder for both of you for the success of your life. The first one, do not collect debt from anyone. And the second one, do not expose your body direct to the hot sun." After those words, the father rest in peace.

• • •

Five years later, the mother pay some visit to the elder son. He saw his son is not doing very well and started to ask, "Dear son, what happened to your business?"

The elder son replied, "Mom, I just follow dad's advice. He advice us not to collect debt from anyone. So most of my customer did not paid their debt and after a while my cashflow is in trouble. His second advice was not to expose ourself to direct to the sun. I have a motorcycle, but because of his advice I have to ride a taxi everyday to commute from home to my workplace."

Her mother pity him, but could not offer any assistance.

• • •

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Di Sini Lahirnya Sebuah Cinta

Syukur kehadirat Allh swt kerana memberi keizinan kepada aku untuk dilahirkan di Malaysia, bumi bertuah. Bumi yang tidak ada di mana-mana tempat didunia. Warisan yang unik, berbilang bangsa dan bangsa yang saling hormat menghormati. Lahirnya aku dibumi ini dalam keadaan yang aman dan tiada lagi pertumpahan darah. Aku anak merdeka!

Lebih 30 tahun aku menyambut kemerdekaan, tetapi tahun ini merupakan tahun yang aku rasakan agak terkesan sambutannya. Semangat patriotik yang sudah lama tidur dalam diri kini bangkit semula. Tidak seperti tahun-tahun sudah, setiap kali sambutan kemerdekaan pasti disambut dengan laungan merdeka pada jam 12 disusuli konsert dan sekali-sekala letupan bunga api. Manakala dipagi hari pula, acara perbarisan akan dijalankan. Maka lintas langsung di kaca televisyen pasti menunjukkan pancaragam serta badan beruniform berkawad serta memberikan tabik hormat kepada DYMM Agong serta barisan kepimpinan negara.

Tahun ini sambutannya agak berbeza pada diriku kerana ianya sedikit mengusik emosi. Terasa kesannya lebih mendalam berbanding sambutan luaran. Aku juga hairan, tidak pula aku libatkan dalam aktiviti-aktiviti sambutan seperti acara perbarisan yang pernah aku sertai pada tahun 2008. Namun setelah aku fikir-fikirkan mungkin terdapat beberapa faktor yang memberikan makna baru disebalik kemerdekaan yang ke-57:

1. Tema - Di Sini Lahirnya Sebuah Cinta
Tidak seperti tema tahun sebelumnya - 'Janji Ditepati' yang langsung tidak dapat aku hayati sebagai seorang warga negara. Apa signifikannya janji ditepati dan kemerdekaan. Namun sebelum-sebelumnya juga lebih banyak berkisar tentang perpaduan serta wawasan. (Untuk list penuh sehingga 2011, klik di sini). Walaupun ianya tema yang baik, namun tema kali ini membuatkan seseorang itu merenung kembali sejarah silam dan memberi kesedaran tentang erti sebuah cinta pada tanah air.

Tema kali ini juga tidak lari daripada lirik lagu Allahyarham Sudirman - Warisan yang dinyanyikan penuh dengan emosi yang digali. Sekiranya diberi mikrofon, sudah tentu aku dapat nyanyikan dengan penuh penghayatan dengan melodi yang kuat dan lirik yang mendalam. Lagu ini juga terngiang-ngiang dalam minda semasa memandu atau berehat di rumah. Liriknya sangat menginsafkan. Cuba dengar dan hayati klip video di bawah.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Innovation in Organizations

Typically in a start-up company, the level of innovation is very high. The founder have the vision of doing something different and they did things differently. However, when the company grew bigger, when the company became stable, most of the time they started to innovate less.

It is the entrepreneurship spirit in a start-up is what contributing to innovation. But how we can inculcate this in a corporate environment?

The concept of intrapreneur is not a new term. Intrapreneurship can simply defined as behaving like an entrepreneur in a large organization. This include of assertive risk-taking, innovation and taking initiatives in doing new things differently.

The History
In 1976, in the article from The Economist, Norman Macrae predicted a few of business trends. One of them is “that dynamic corporations of the future be trying alternative ways of doing things in competition within themselves." He further suggest that "firms should not be paying people for attendance, but should be paying competing groups for modules of work done." In 1982, also in The Economist, Macrae suggested the "confederation of intrapreneurs."

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Power of Networking

Tele-copier machine
In 1970’s, salesmen have a problem to sell the new invention for corporate communication devices. They just invented a machine called tele-copier. Tele-copier is a machine that combine two devices into one, which are telephone and a photocopier machine. When salesman approached potential clients, client will ask who else do have this thing? If nobody else are using this, it will be useless.
The machine that known as tele-copier, today is known as facsimile. By 1990’s almost every organization will have their fax machine because it is one of the most useful devices at that time. Can you imagine if you are the only one that using facsimile? That device is pretty much useless. But the more people are using it, it create a different value to the users.

Metcalf’s Law
Robert Metcalf was the founder of ethernet. He define the Metcalf’s Law as:

Economic Value of a Network = (no. of users)2

Illustration of Metcalf's Law
In other words, if you are connected in a network of computer, the economic value is square. In other word, a computer connected into a system relatively have 1 economic value. If you have two computer in a network, the value is 4 and if you have three computers connected in a network the value has increased to 9. If we have more number of users, the economic value will increase exponentially, not arithmetically.

How does this apply in business world?
In business, the impact of the law remains the same. Imagine company like facebook or google, they know the important of Metcalf’s Law. That is why they are giving certain things for free, just to increase the number of users. They would then offer something meaningful later which in turns making them the big bucks. Company who don’t understand this law are focusing on making money everytime they do anything to the customer.

If we think about restaurant that operate franchise, which name that came first to our mind? Of course McDonald’s will come out first. Why? They do have the numbers, or in other words the network of the premise. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Will People Remember You?

I was fortunate when the founder of Reach Your Goal from UK, Phil Berg shared some of his insight in an event organized by BNI Malaysia. Tonnes of lessons that I learned, and I am going to share with you some part of it.
Phil Berg
Get remembered by each and every person that meets you
If you got a chance to choose between these two things, which one will you choose?
i. To be remembered and be spoken about, or
ii. Become even better at what you do

Which one will you choose?
Well nothing wrong in choosing both, but which one you should put priority at?

Ok, let me ask you a question. Let say I was given an access to watch all the movies in the world and I don't know which one to watch. Can you name me a movie that you would recommend me to watch. Ok, let's think for a second.... [think... think.. don't cheat...]

Once you got that movie, what is the title of the movie?
Let's think for a while, is it the best ever movie that was made that you have ever seen.... or is it something that really stick into your mind because you remembered something about it?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Leading the Pyramid

In a study done at Stanford University among top achievers, they concluded that skills is not the main factor of their success. It is about 14% - 22% of success factor is based on skills. The main contributing factor is attitude, because if someone with good attitude, skills is no longer an issue because they will overcome it by themselves if it is necessary in getting the job done. 

Leading the Pyramid
What makes successful people have the drive in their life? What makes them persevere? What makes them doing things beyond what money can pay?

                                                           Diagram taken from: The Hero's Way Manual by Directive Communication

We can divide the pyramid into three categories. Skills, Attitude and Self-Actualization.

1. Skills
At the bottom of the pyramid is actually skills. At this level, people have skills but they trade their skills with money. Most of the time, either they provide single service such as plumber, barber or operator, or people who are working in a company as an operator, clerk or salesman, they trade their skills with money. Either they are paid by the job done, or they are paid per hour. What happened was if they were to do more than what has been agreed, they will claim more money. Such as over-time or some extra out-of-scope job. The key thing is, they trade skills for money and normally they are operating at an individual level.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Programming Minda

Semasa saya pulang daripada surau semalam selepas selesai mengerjakan solat Maghrib, terdapat sekumpulan anak-anak muda dihadapan pintu gate surau bermain-main. Saya terdengar dengan jelas, salah seorang daripada mereka berteriak "Akulah penyelamat bumi!" Mendengar kata-kata tersebut, saya terfikir mungkin anak-anak muda ini terpengaruh dengan rancangan televisyen, mungkin Boboiboy atau rancangan alih bahasa.

Beberapa detik selepas itu, saya mula mencermin diri saya. Semasa saya kecil, tidak kurangnya tingkahlaku saya. Saya teringat semasa di sekolah rendah di Muar, saya bermain Ultraman dan raksasa. Saya mengepalai sekumpulan rakan-rakan dan membahagi-bahagikan siapa jadi Ultraman dan siapa jadi raksasa. Memang agak lucu apabila mengenangkan semula kejadian silam, tetapi apa yang lebih penting, apa yang boleh saya pelajari daripada peristiwa tersebut? Kita manusia dipengaruhi oleh rancangan televisyen. Bukan sekadar kanak-kanak, tetapi juga yang dewasa. Cumanya yang dewasa dipengaruhi dengan cara yang lebih matang. Mungkin daripada kisah percintaan daripada siri Winter Sonata (maaf, saya tidak mengikuti trend terkini) atau Ariana Rose, tidak kurang kisah korporat yang sering ada adegan tikam-menikam.

Eksperimen Bobo Doll
Eksperimen Bobo Doll
Albert Bandura seorang ahli psikologi pada tahun 1961 telah melakukan kajian untuk memerhatikan kesan tingkahlaku manusia daripada pemerhatian. Kajian terkenal beliau adalah Bandura and Bobo Doll (Anak patung Bobo). Beliau membawa beberapa orang budak dalam linkungan umur 3 hingga 5 tahun kedalam sebuah bilik yang mana didalam bilik tersebut terdapat sebuah anak patung. Dalam masa 10 minit, terdapat orang dewasa yang melakukan perbuatan ganas terhadap anak patung tersebut termasuk menjerit, memukul, menendang dan menghentak dengan tukul. Kesannya? Kesemua anak-anak tersebut melakukan perkara yang sama terhadap anak patung tersebut.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

KISS: Keep it Simple

Prinsip KISS pada mulanya diperkenalkan oleh Tentera Laut Amerika (American Navy) pada tahun 1960. KISS merupakan singkatan, "Keep it Simple, Stupid!" Konsep ini menyatakan sesebuah sistem itu akan lebih berkesan sekiranya ia dibuat secara mudah, berbanding dengan sesuatu yang kompleks.

Ada juga yang menggelarkannya, "Keep it Simple and Straightforward," dan ""Keep it Stupidly Simple" dan beberapa akronim yang lain. Hakikatnya, ia menggalakkan kita menjadikan sesuatu itu mudah.

NLP - Yang susah dimudahkan
Frog Into Princes
Sebelum saya mendapatkan pentauliahan sebagai pengamal Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP Practitioner), saya banyak membuat kajian mengenai subjek tersebut. Saya cuba untuk mendapatkan sebanyak mungkin risalah, laman web, video di Youtube dan Torrent, dan beberapa e-book. Dan salah satu e-book yang saya jumpai berjudul "Frogs Into Princes" antara buku terawal ditulis oleh Richard Bandler dan John Grinder, pengasas kepada NLP. Sekiranya anda pernah melihat buku ini, ianya ditulis dalam keadaan penuh dengan tulisan dan tidak nampak sebarang hujung pangkal dalam setiap bab yang ditulis. Saya mula terfikir, mereka mengasaskan NLP, tetapi tidak menggunakan NLP dalam penulisan mereka. 

Anthony Robbins
Pelajaran yang saya dapat daripada perbualan dengan salah seorang rakan yang berasal dari Chicago pada minggu lepas adalah dengan menjadikan sesuatu itu sangat mudah. Bandler dan Grinder walaupun pengasas kepada NLP, mereka hanya berjaya menjana jutaan dollar daripada mengajar ilmu tersebut, tetapi Anthony Robbins pula menjana ratusan juta dollar mengajar ilmu yang mana beliau mengambil konsep NLP dan memudahkannya supaya mudah diikuti dan dipelajari oleh orang ramai. Maksud saya, bukanlah wang ringgit perlu jadi ukuran, tetapi berapa ramai yang sanggup bayar dan mendapatkan manfaat sekiranya seseorang itu dapat menyampaikannya dengan mudah. Anthony Robbins merupakan salah seorang yang memahami konsep tersebut, dan mengaplikasikannya.

Dunia Teknologi Maklumat
Dalam dunia IT, Google merupakan enjin carian yang paling popular kerana ianya mudah berbanding pesaing yang lain seperti Yahoo! Laman web juga lebih banyak dikunjungi daripada eBay ataupun di Malaysia bukan kerana ciri-ciri atau fungsi yang ada pada, tetapi interface yang mudah digunakan.

Keynote iPhone pada 2007

Kejayaan iPhone menjadi peneraju telefon pintar juga sepertimana pembentangan Keynote Steve Jobs pada tahun 2007 adalah dengan menjadikan telefon itu sangat berkuasa dan sangat mudah digunakan, berbanding telefon pintar yang lain pada masa itu, walaupun berkuasa tetapi sangat sukar digunakan. Konsep ini akhirnya ditiru oleh jenama-jenama lain kerana ianya sangat mudah untuk digunakan oleh pengguna.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Law of the Lid - Everything Rises and Falls on Leadership

In his book, '21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,' John C. Maxwell suggested that your leadership is like a lid or a ceiling. It simply means that an organization (or a body even a country) performance will not rise beyond the leader's leadership capability. In other words, the effectiveness is highly dependent on one's leadership ability.

"Everything rises and falls on Leadership" - John C. Maxwell
Not something, not most of the thing... it's everything...

That is why, for most non-performing organization, the only way to increase the performance is only by raising up the leadership capability, or replace the leadership role with more capable leaders. For a performing organization, when we replace the leader with less capable leader, the organization performance will fall to align with the leader's capability.

For example, the McDonald's Fast Food Chain. Everybody knows McDonald's, don't we? Even my kids know it very well. But did you know how it started? It was initially run by McDonald brothers who have a small restaurant selling hamburgers. There is one day, one franchisee wanted to name the restaurant McDonald's, they asked "Why?" They started in the first three years by selling fifteen McDonald's franchise, however, only ten that really operated. Until one guy, name Ray Kroc, who is the owner of a milk-shake machine company, who supplied to McDonald, saw the vision of making McDonald's a successful franchise business. He turn it into an organization, a successful one. In four years, he successfully opened 100 restaurant; the other four years there were 500. Now the organization have 34,000+ restaurant worldwide, and still growing. What Ray Kroc brought into the company was his leadership. He got the vision and he sacrifice a lot (by not withdrawing any money in the first eight years).

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Start Where You Are

There are time that we wanted to do something but the we are waiting for the right timing.

“Do not wait: the time will never be 'just right'. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”

― Napoleon Hill
If you wait for that 'someday', it might not come.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

― Arthur Ashe

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Leadership Lessons from the founder of Facebook - Mark Zuckerberg

You might be using facebook. Whether you are an active user or passive, you know people around you are spending so much of their time in facebook. It doesn't just become accidentally something big phenomenon and Mark was lucky that he's the founder of Facebook. There are leadership qualities behind him that makes facebook is still there and everyone still spending their most web browser activities on it.

Great leaders do things differently and some of the great leaders have something in common. It is not difficult to be a great leader. We just need to find a person who have made it, understand what are the principles that they use and copy.

Copying is not a straight forward process. As a human being, there is no chance for us to copy another person 100% because each and everyone of us is unique. But certain principle we can learn and we can apply what make sense to us. While some that does not make sense, we can just leave it away for other people who think it make sense to them to actually use it.

10 lessons from Mark Zuckerberg:

1. Get revenge on your exes.
2. Don't be intimidated by the boardroom.
3. Do what you are passionate about.
4. Leadership is the quality that will bring the best out of people around you.
5. Be the CEO and make sure everyone around you knows it.
6. You are only as strong as the team around you.
7. Don't be fazed by the opinion of those around you.
8. There is no excuse for non-commitment.
9. Don't let anyone tell the story of you.
10. You need to have the 'go big or go home' attitude.

Details as in the slides:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Small Mind Think of Small Things

Yesterday, I was fortunate to have a lunch with UTeM Assistance Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ghazie Ismail. Among topics that we discuss is about some people's behaviour.

Sekadar gambar hiasan
He shared with us some stories of the past (he was a senior management at MDeC since the establishment of MDeC). At that time some people complaint on some claims that they did not received because of approval has not been obtained. The amount is not too big, but the person making it a big issue. Then he asked, "If you receive this, will it make you rich? and if you don't receive it, will it make you poor?" Then you don't have to make it a big issue.

The lesson is, small mind people discuss of small things. People who think big will not spending so much effort of settling small little things, because there are more big things that worth to focus on.

When was the last time we arguing for just small little thing? Let us ask ourself, whether is it worth to worry about the small thing? Or should we shift our focus to bigger things that worth our attention?