Saturday, April 24, 2010

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: THE POWER OF SELF-ESTEEM


"When I feel better about myself, I know that I project that to the world."

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Our greatest danger in life is in permitting the urgent things to crowd out the important."

~ Charles E. Hummel;

Friday, April 23, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"The moment has no yesterday or tomorrow. It is not the result of thought & therefore has no time."

~ from 'Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living' by John Little;

THE GOLDEN RULE: MULTIPLE VIEWPOINTS, SINGULAR MEANING


[Source: Scarboro Missions, a Canadian Roman Catholic Mission Society;]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Persistence & perseverance can help you get what you want. Cuteness & intelligence can let others get what you want."

~ Cat Wisdom 102, according to Satsugai Cat;

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES GALORE FROM BRAINDANCING INTERNATIONAL

video

The foregoing video presentation comes from Braindancing International, which is owned by my good friend Dilip Mukerjea.

For more information about the product & service portfolio of Dilip Mukerjea, please proceed to the Braindancing Smorgasbord weblog.

The video presentation showcases a menu of business possibilities with the unique intellectual thoughtware as conceived & developed by Dilip Mukerjea, while working in close collaboration with me over the last two years or so... specifically for visionary investors, or transformation architects or possibility coagulators.

I invite you to take a close look, especially if you fall in the professional category of visionary investors, transformation architects, or possibilitiy coagulators.

Hence, business enquiries are certainly welcome.

Please contact Dilip Mukerjea via email dilipmukerjea@gmail.com or Lee Say Keng via email saykeng@gmail.com.

[All the images in the slideshow are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea. They are originally hand-crafted & computer-enhanced productions, not the commonly available clip arts.

For any purchase requisition of the proprietary digital image libraries, please write to Dilip Mukerjea.]

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTION TO PONDER)

Some relevant questions to reflect upon, especially after a personal encounter with others, say in a team environment:

• What did I learn about myself as a result of this experience?

• How well did I interact with other members of the team?

• What challenges did I encounter and how did I handle them?

• In retrospect, what might I have done differently as a team member?

• What might I try to do differently in the future as a result of this experience?

• How did this experience contribute to my personal or career development?

• What future developmental needs were underscored from this team experience, and how can those developmental needs be met in the future?

• How could this have been a more constructive process for me?

[Source: Action Learning Guide; Federal Executive Institute, U. S. Office of Personnel Management;]

RAPID RECAP: HOW TO LISTEN POWERFULLY

1. Stop talking. To others and to yourself. Learn to still the voice within. You can’t listen if you are talking.

2. Imagine the other person’s point of view. Picture yourself in her position, doing her work, facing her problems, using her language, and having her values. If the other person is younger or more junior, remember your own early years.

3. Look, act, and be interested. Don’t read your mail, doodle, shuffle, or tap papers while others are talking.

4. Observe nonverbal behavior, like body language, to glean meanings beyond what is said to you.

5. Don’t interrupt. Sit still past your tolerance level, the point when you would normally speak.

6. Listen between the lines for implicit meanings as well as the explicit ones. Consider connotations as well as denotations. Note figures of speech. Instead of accepting a person’s remarks as the whole story, look for omissions -- things left unsaid or unexplained, which should logically be present. Ask about these.

7. Speak only affirmatively while listening. Resist the temptation to jump in with an
evaluative, critical, or disparaging comment at the moment a remark is uttered. Confine yourself to constructive replies until criticism can be offered without blame.

8. To ensure understanding, rephrase what the other person has just told you at key points in the conversation. Yes, I know this is the old ‘active listening’ technique, but it works.

9. Stop talking. This is first and last, because all other techniques of listening depend on it. Take a vow of silence once in a while.

"Listening is the most underdeveloped leadership skill."

~ Peter Drucker;

[Source: Action Learning Guide; Federal Executive Institute, U. S. Office of Personnel Management;]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Advance planning is like taking the deep breath before the plunge. It's the calm before the storm. And that's when it's time to prepare, while it's calm, to ensure success no matter what unexpected storms might come up. Advance planning is the first step to exceeding expectations."

~Robin Crow, writing in 'Rock Solid Leadership: How Great Leaders Exceed Expectations';

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTION TO PONDER)

What if today were the day that I realized that every person on this beautiful planet was my friend & ally? Including myself?

A FASCINATING ASPECT OF THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE @ WORK

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"... it's only on the brink that people find the will to change. Only at the precipice do we evolve..."

from the entertaining sci-fi fantasy movie, 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', starring Keenu Reeves as Klaatu, a very important visitor from Outer Space (together with his giant robot counterpart), Jennifer Connelly as a scientist, & British comedian John Cleese as Professor Barnhardt.

Here's the whole fascinating piece of conversation from the movie:

Professor Barnhardt: "There must be alternatives. You must have some technology that could solve our problem."

Klaatu: "Your problem is not technology. The problem is you. You lack the will to change."

Professor Barnhardt: "Then help us change."

Klaatu: "I cannot change your nature. You treat the world as you treat each other."

Professor Barnhardt: "But every civilization reaches a crisis point eventually."

Klaatu: "Most of them don't make it."

Professor Barnhardt: "Yours did. How?"

Klaatu: "Our sun was dying. We had to evolve in order to survive."

Professor Barnhardt: "So it was only when your world was threated with destruction that you became what you are now."

Klaatu: "Yes."

Professor Barnhardt: "Well that's where we are. You say we're on the brink of destruction and you're right. But it's only on the brink that people find the will to change. Only at the precipice do we evolve. This is our moment. Don't take it from us, we are close to an answer."

My first reaction to the final summary comments by Professor Barnhardt in the movie was my instant recall of the Intel guy Andrew Grove, who wrote the classic, 'Only the Paranoid Survive', from which the world came to learn about "strategic inflection points".

In simplistic terms, they are the nightmare moments when cataclysmic change occurs, & in order for us to survive, we need to adapt quickly or else, we fall by the wayside.

As I recall from one expert who once said, "radical change in people only comes when instinctual survival instincts trump comfort zone instincts".

On the whole, I have enjoyed watching the movie on StarHub cable television recently.

It was certainly a refreshing change for me to see British comedian John Cleese playing a serious & sober role. I last saw him as the gadget sidekick 'R', replacing the previous & older 'Q', to Pierce Brosnan's character, James Bond 007, in 'The World is Not Enough' & 'Die Another Day'.

By the way, John Cleese holds a law degree from Cambridge University.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"You don't have to be the Dalai Lama to tell people that life's about change."

~ John Cleese, well-known British comedian, who played 'R' (replacing 'Q'), gadjet sidekick to James Bond 007;

Monday, April 19, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"It's never a money problem, just an idea problem."

~ Rev. Robert Schuler;

"Our lives are defined by opportuntities, even the ones we miss."

from the entertaining & heart-warming movie, 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', starring Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett.

What had fascinated me most about the movie story was watching a man (played by Brad Pitt) who aged backwards to begin life as a tiny elderly man, then blossomed into middle age, and finally, wisely, became young.

Of course, the technical dazzle came from the brilliant work of makeup artists, special-effects wizards, and body doubles.

TRICKSTER OF FOLKLORE: THE MOUSEDEER


I have stumbled upon an interesting finding, while doing a simple assignment in conceiving some lesson plans for my good friend, Dilip Mukerjea, in conjunction with his about-to-be-released new book, 'BrainChildren'.

It is fascinating to know that folklore varies from region to region with regard to certain small animals which are often been depicted as cunning & yet intelligent characters in some ways.

In Chinese & Japanese folklore, the fox comes to mind; in folklore of the wild wild west, it's the coyote; but in African folklore, I read that the tortoise, the spider & the mantis, each has an important role in this respect.

To local folks in Malaysia, & also Indonesia as well as the Philipines, the mousedeer (Kancil in the local Malay & Indonesian language) is a popular character.

So, what follows is just a sampling about the mousedeer or Sang Kancil:

Sang Kancil, an intelligent mouse-deer was known for his cunning and wit. Several times he outwitted the big, bad crocodile, Sang Buaya.

Sang Kancil's home was full of trees and food and so Sang Kancil had no trouble finding food when he was hungry. Sang Kancil spent his days running and jumping, and his favourite pastime was to look at his own reflection in the river.

Sang Buaya, a crocodile, and a few other crocodiles lived in the river and were waiting for a chance to have Sang Kancil for dinner.

One day, as Sang Kancil was walking by the riverside, he saw red, ripe fruits hanging on the trees across the river. Sang Kancil wanted to taste the delicious looking fruits because he was getting tired of eating only leaves on his side of the river.

He walked to the riverbank and thought hard how to cross the river with Sang Buaya waiting for him at the bottom of the river.

Sang Kancil thought and thought and suddenly an idea came to him. He called out to Sang Buaya, "Sang Buaya! Sang Buaya!"

Slowly Sang Buaya emerged from the water. "What is it, Sang Kancil? Why are you shouting my name? Aren't you afraid that I would grab you and have you for dinner?" asked Sang Buaya, opening his big mouth.

"Of course I am afraid but I have a mission to do. The King has ordered me to count the crocodiles in the river. He is having a feast and all of you are invited to attend. There will be plenty of food, but first I need to count how many of you are here.

So would you please ask your fellow crocodiles to line up across the river so that I can count you up?" said Sang Kancil.

Sang Buaya was excited. He gathered all the crocodiles in the river and told them about the feast. Soon all the crocodiles made a line across the river.

"Don't try to eat me while I am counting. Otherwise I would not be able to report to the King," warned Sang Kancil. "We won't eat you," the crocodiles promised.

Sang Kancil stepped on top of Sang Buaya's head and counted one. When he came to the second crocodile, Sang Kancil counted two and so to the rest of the line until he reached to the other side of the river.

Sang Kancil turned to Sang Buaya and said, "Thank you, Sang Buaya for helping me to cross the river. This is my new home."

"What do you mean? You tricked us to help you cross the river?" shouted Sang Buaya. He was shocked. "There isn't any feast, is there?"

The other crocodiles looked at Sang Buaya angrily. They knew they had been tricked.

After that, Sang Kancil lived happily in his new home and had plenty of tasty fruits and green leaves to eat. Sang Buaya, however, was ignored by the other crocodiles because of his foolishness."

So, what can we learn from the story?

For me, it's very simple: when a good offer comes along, & especially it's too good to be true, conduct due diligence. Today, with the Internet search capability & social networking across the globe, much of this work can be done expeditiously.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"I don't care what colour the cat - black or white - as long as it catches the rat."

~ Deng Xiaoping, (1904-1997), former Chinese premier; generally credited with advancing China into becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the world;

THE TRUE ESSENCE OF EDUCATION




[Source: 'A Powerful Learning Process' presentation from slideshare.net]

RAPID RECAP: QUESTIONING TOOLKIT

One of my most favourite websites in terms of the pursuit of self-directed & life-long learning is 'From Now On: The Educational Technology Journal', the brainchild of educator innovator Jamie Mackenzie.
One of their beautiful products is the 'Questioning Toolkit' outlined as follows:

Essential Questions are at the heart of the search for truth.
"What kind of person do I want to be?"
Subsidiary Questions are families of smaller questions which lead to insight about essential questions.
"What's the best and worst that could happen?"
Hypothetical Questions explore possibilities and test relationships. They begin with "what if..."
Telling Questions are highly focused and targeted, to provide sorting and sifting during the gathering or discovery process.
"In similar situations, what has been the result?"
Planning Questions ask how you will structure your search.
"Where should I look to find..."
Organizing Questions structure your findings into categories.
"How should we structure this?"
Probing Questions are deep and exploratory, like archaeology tools. They are based on logic, intuition, and sometimes good old "trial and error."

Sorting & Sifting Questions filter out extraneous information to help you find what's meaningful and relevant.
"Is this reliable? What's worth keeping?"
Clarification Questions convert data fog into meaning.
"What is meant by..."
Strategic Questions make deeper meaning.
"Am I asking the right questions?"
Elaborating Questions follow the data trail.
"What is the next step?"
Unanswerable Questions may never be answered, but they can illuminate in themselves. "What is friendship?"
Inventive Questions turn things upside-down or inside-out.
"What if we looked at this from the opposit perspective?"
Provocative Questions challenge the status quo or conventional wisdom.
"What if our assumptions are wrong?"
Irrelevant Questions divert us from the task at hand -- and that is their beauty! Truth almost never appears where logic would expect.

Divergent Questions kick off from a home base which is known.
"If X is true, what implications can you draw? What about exploring Y?"
Irreverent Questions explore off-limits or taboo territory.
"Does the emperor have any clothes on at all?"
Readers can read more in the 'Questioning Toolkit'.