Archive for November, 2007

Getting real…in action

I’ve been a fan of Tim Sanders for quite some time now, thanks to Injoy’s Newsletter – Catalyst Monthly. Tim serves as a Leadership Coach for Internet giant Yahoo! and has written numerous books including the Likeability Factor and Love is The Killer App. What attracted me to this guy is that he is an advocate for good values in the business world. I was listening to an podcast interview of Tim Sanders where he highlights the importance of being real and authentic to be successful in today’s business. I was readng one of his blog entry from which talks slightly about this. What the world needs today is genuineness, realness and authenticity. He talks about these factors as it affects leadership. In reality, we like people who satisfy our psychological need and if those needs are met, we reward them with our affection. Leaders in today’s business world or in just about anything need to be authentic and real in order to succeed. What I have learned from Tim Sanders for the past days I’ve taken into action. I had a presentation yesterday for the joint Singapore SQL Server and .NET User Groups on SQL Server 2008. In a typical technical presentation, people would expect anything about the product to be highlighted. I want to break out of that expectation and be genuine. I have already thought about getting the audience engaged and giving away something which is out of the ordinary (Microsoft usually give away stuff like USB thumb drives and books). In my case, I plan to give away a pass to see the Bee Movie. Why not? People do deserve a break every now and then. I planned to have it a bit scripted. I asked a friend of mine to volunteer so I can give him the prize but that didn’t work out too well as it wasn’t “real” enough. This time, within the crowd, I ask for a “real” volunteer who would be up to the challenge I posed. After the task, I handed out the movie pass. Everyone was like astounded. We had a few laughs about whether it was a Blue movie or Bee Movie. But the important thing is, the crowd loved it, knowing that what they have just experienced is reality in action. This reminds me to always customize my presentation experience and always be real. In order to get the crowd’s attention, be authentic. You’ll be glad you did (they will be, too). After my session, the crowd went out for a brief coffee break and while I was packing my things up, I was playing around with the microphone with some gag-up voice-over sound mimicking a DJ introducing his guest. There were a few people inside the auditorium looking silly at me as if they were saying, “We can trust this guy because he’s not fake.” I’ll take that as a compliment and will keep this experience in mind, knowing that being real can, indeed, make a difference in today’s fast-paced business world – even in the technology sector

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Living the meaning – Career and Employee

I was reading the latest newsletter of Injoy newsletter Life @ Work when I was shocked by this newfound fact. The article by Mike Metzger highlighted the fact that the term employee came from the French term “employé” which meant “to buy and hire” people to occupy “specific tasks.” Looking at the way organizations treat their staff nowadays simply lives out this fact (and I wonder why). Mike’s article highlights the fact that organizations need to emphasize the value of mentoring within the organization. The opposite of which is very true. Employees are being treated as such. Gone are the days when organizations treat their staff with highest respect, realizing that success without the employees is not possible. Emphasis is more on working hard and fast. This gives us the next thing in the list. The word career comes from the French “carriere” meaning “race course” or “to move head-long at high speed.” So much so that everyone who works and has a good idea of what he or she wants often neglects the fact that life is more important than career. In my presentation at the Professional Association for SQL Server Summit last September, I talked about The Irony of Opposites for Success. One pointer I raised was the value of slowing down and how it relates to success. Too often we are bogged down with getting where we want to go the fastest way possible. I guess that’s how most people define their career. But what we don’t realize is that we are loosing too much by not slowing down. In this particular sense, slowing down may mean mentoring on somebody within the organization, thereby, treating the employee you are mentoring with utmost respect for their potential while at the same time cultivating a leadership environment. This is a win-win situation for both the individual and the organization – camaraderie is established between the employees and the mentor while building staff morale, increased staff productivity by learning first-hand from the mentor and a whole lot more. For the mentor, this process of slowing down to extend a portion of himself or herself to the mentee is an investment to multiplication. What this means is that further down the road, tasks can be delegated to the mentee in due time, thus, giving the mentor more time to focus on more challenging tasks.

It is with these facts that organizations should reconsider how they should treat their staff and how working professionals should consider mentoring as part of their career goals. We all should.

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The Power of Small Beginnings

I was reading an article on the Waltons of America –one of the wealthiest people in the world. They are the family members of the late Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart chain of stores that made it big in the retail industry. In one of my graduate programs, we were asked to read more on the company and make some analysis on their operations. But more than that, I was intrigued by what made such a company big and who was the one who made it that way. Sam Walton,happened to be born on a farm, worked extra hard just to make his way to the university and set out to do his own business after being employed for another retail company. So much for somebody who ended up being one of the world’s wealthiest men. But what’s notable is the fact that he was nobody before he became somebody.Everyday we are faced with challenges, sometimes bigger than us. We succumb to the pressures of life’s challenges, often times giving up and losing hope. What we don’t realize is that the challenges we face today – and how we deal with them – will be the foundation of who we will become tomorrow. Consider King David, the youngest among Jesse’s sons who was even neglected by his father. He could have told himself, “I didn’t plan to take care of the sheep after finishing high school” or probably “I don’t have a future being a shepherd.” But no, he considered his situation as a preparation for something really big.He was expectant, ambitious maybe. But I know one thing for sure. He used his situation to prepare. He may have no idea about it but we do. He’s gonna be Israel’s next king. But a king must be a warrior, not a shepherd. I cannot imagine what was going through David’s mind as he watched over his father’s sheep.Facing a lion or maybe a bear just to protect the herd, he struggled. And he prepared.I couldn’t help but reminisce the humbling times I went through myself. I started out as a technician fixing computers. That was more than a decade ago. My parents didn’t like the idea of me doing a blue-collar job, the fact that I was still studying back then.But for me, it’s a learning experience. I made money out of being one. And I never regretted it. Who would ever imagine that somebody like me who had humble beginnings would end up speaking in front of an international audience? Now, everybody thinks I made it big. I see it differently. Because whatever and wherever I am right now were the results of my small beginnings.Are you on a tight situation? You might not be watching sheep but you may be sweeping floors. Or probably you don’t see yourself in your current situation. Think again. Could it be that God wants you to be there for you to prepare yourself for something big? Or probably just to make you realize that where you are in right now is a launch pad to where God wants you to be. Take time to pause and ask yourself. An oak tree started from a small acorn.There’s power in small beginnings.

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Acronyms for Life

November 5, 2007 2 comments

My work has been full of acronyms – TCP/IP, VPN, AD, SQL, WCF – name it. This blog is an attempt to living life to it’s fullest, knowing and understanding that life is more than just making a living. I have been a student of life ever since and this blog will be all about lessons in life and practical Christianity. I’ll look into leadership, management, relationships, attitude and Christianity in a practical sense. You’ll read about the people I read about and what drives me to do so. This is the side of me that says “there is more to my life than my passion…and that is LIFE itself.”

Join me in my journey.

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