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Archive for February, 2009

When Making a Contribution Is Better Than Doing Well


We all love to be noticed, affirmed, adored – name it. Its human nature. But sometimes, what prevents us from really performing at our peak is the fact that we want to do a really great job. You want to be the best secretary, the best office administrator, the best computer programmer and we want people to see it. Now there is really nothing wrong with that. But what if we, even for a minute, shifted our focus from doing really great at work to making a difference. Wouldn’t that change our perspective? Imagine this, instead of being the best office clerk, what about focusing to make a difference in your organization because what you’re doing will help someone else make their jobs a lot easier. Or maybe this, instead of being the best database engineer for a healthcare company, think about how your job helps decision makes recommend the best alternative for keeping healthcare costs down for a lot of people. It’s not just being the best at what you can do that makes you become exceptional but finding meaning and purpose in what you do every single day.
Categories: Uncategorized

Injecting humor in your presentations

February 20, 2009 2 comments

I like funny people because they keep the atmosphere light. This is very important when dealing with highly controversial issues, particularly those of the government. I was watching White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs deliver his briefing on CNN and was amazed at how he tried to inject humor into the atmosphere. He started with informal comments about the TV series Chuck and went on to proceed with the briefing. What’s fascinating was when one of the audience asked him about the comments of a Wall Street analyst about Obama’s financial stimulus plan, he went on recommending to read the plan carefully and analyze, commenting that he would even invite the analyst for a cup of coffee at the White House adding “decaf” at the end of the comment. The entire room burst in laughter after hearing him say this. Humor just brightens up the atmosphere even when there’s tension in the air. It is something that we need to remember, not just for people who do presentations but for all of us in general. There’s just more than enough reason to laugh.
Categories: humor

Include staff development in your business model


I’m a bit biased when it comes to staff development and training. I’ll admit – I’m a trainer. But somehow, your staff development has a direct impact to your organization’s success. I was on a conference call assisting a staff on installing and configuring a new technology that they need to deliver to their customers. The first thing I usually recommend is to go for a formal training. What’s “not” surprising is that the most common response is “we don’t have a budget for training.” The irony behind it is that one generates a revenue when delivering any type of service. Organizations expect to get something without giving something as an investment. What’s worse is that I’ve seen organizations where their business model doesn’t include staff development at all. Most consulting and services delivery companies where they bill their clients by man-hours want to make sure that the majority of the time they bill should be charged to the clients. Where does staff development and training come into the picture?

We spend money on our stock portfolios and financial investments, thinking that they will have a good return in the future, depending on the market movements. We invest in making a good impression and creating a brand image. What could be more important than the very people who help the organization generate the revenue and profits that all balance sheets reflect?

As Zane Zafrit, CEO of Conference Calls Unlimited, said, “It’s clear that people really do make a difference in the success of (an organization)

You choose how you make a mark


I was at a supermarket counter last night when the counter attendant asked us if we were from South America. I replied by saying we were from Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. The counter attendant suddenly replied, “Imelda Marcos! And her famous shoes!” While there was simply nothing wrong with what she said nor how she said it, I was surprised by what she said next. “Well, she definitely placed the Philippines on the map.” That just confirmed what I always say when it comes to being popular. There are two ways to become famous: either you do good or just do the opposite. Either way, you’ll leave a mark. Not only will that affect how we leave a legacy in this world, but it will definitely influence how people will look at who and what you are. It’s your call

Categories: influence

Include corporate social responsibility in your business model


It took me a few weeks to get back to blogging due to a lot of changes happening. But then, again, great ideas are always worth spreading.

A few weeks ago, I was privileged to assist Microsoft Singapore in providing software assistance to non-profit organizations. Normally, it only required reading thru some documentation and providing some analysis based on that but I’ve decided to go even further. Visiting the facility of the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) was definitely an unforgettable experience. The SIA-MINDS is actually a joint-project with – guess who – Singapore Airlines. The head phones that you see and use on the Singapore Airlines flights are being prepared for by the trainees at MINDS. What’s really encouraging is the fact that not only do we see people who are intellectually disabled doing the work that nobody else would probably see but we see them doing a really good job. And what’s good about Singapore Airlines is that they have included corporate responsibility and welfare in their business model, recognizing the importance of contributing to the communities it serves. Corporate social responsibility has become a buzz word in today’s modern organizations. But every now and then, it gets challenged by stakeholders especially in times of recession (I still believe that recession is a state of mind). But whether we like it or not, the community is part of any organizations’ stakeholders. If the community flourishes, so does our businesses. It’s a win-win situation.

I think the best thing to do is to include corporate social responsibility in our business model. That way, we even have budgets allocated for any related projects. What’s more, apart from the fact that we feel good when we extend our hand to someone else, it’s nice to know that a warm smile is waiting for a hand somewhere where we could have extended ours.

So the next time you fly Singapore Airlines, ask for a head phone – those cute colorful ones. You’ll know that somebody went thru a lot of effort making sure that they are in good shape for your entire flight.