24 January 2015

U SAID it - Your New Year Wish

Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year has not any assurance that you will get them. It is only good manners that may perhaps bring some little happiness and optimism to you. However, giving you the know how to be happy and successful may indeed make your New Year Wish come true. The actions you need to take is captured in U-SAID. Here are the details:
 USAID stands for Unload, Stop, Add, Increase and Decrease.

Unload - Bring Closure to Your hurtful Past.
The better life for the New Year begins with Unloading. You can't move forward easily until you unload your heavy loads, accmulated in the past, all the way from the day you were born til now. Some of the loads are:
  • hurtful experience, rejection, abuses, bullied, cursed, violence in family, abortion, etc.
    Need healing for the hurt, guilt and also forgiveness, even of self.
  • lies - May be due to the hurtful and bad experience, certain incorrect mindsets are formed such as 'I am a useless nobody or a loser or a failure',  'Men are big bullies', 'Money will solve all problems", "I need to be loved to feel worthy" etc.
    Find the lies (the assumptions, the limitations, the prejudices) and replace the lies with truth. May be need to find the truth first and then the lies will be exposed and self-destruct.
STOP doing the harmful and evil things.
Dr Henry Cloud wrote Never Go Back: 10 Things You'll Never Do Again" and here is the NEVER DO list from his introduction:
  1. Return to what hasn’t worked
  2. Do anything that requires you to be someone else
  3. Try to change another person
  4. Believe that you can please everyone
  5. Choose short-term comfort over long-term benefit
  6. Trust someone or something flawless
  7. Take your eyes off the big picture
  8. Neglect to do due diligence
  9. Fail to ask why you are where you are
  10. Forget that your inner life produces your outer success
ADD new fruitful and strategic things to do.
Fruits are the produce of your inner virtues like love, righteousness, wisdom, etc. You must first find out your own purpose in life and the values that you believe in. Write out your personal mission statement; your motto in life. With a mission, you can tell what are strategic and important things to do  .... those that accomplish your mission are strategic. Those that contribute nothing or even lead you away from your mission are unimportant or distractions that you should stop.

INCREASE those strategic activities.
With your mission defined, you can quickly find out the many good things that you have be doing. Do more of such strategic things. But you may complain that where can you find such more time and resources to do more? Extra time and resources can be found in the stopping of harmful and unfruitful activities and also in the following:

DECREASE those essential but not contributing to mission activities.
Many things are needful, such as eating and being healthy. But they are not sufficient in achieving your mission.  Any champions, be they in sports or in academia, need more than just being healthy. Excessive eating and exercises do not make anyone healthier. DECREASE such activities to the minimum levels to free up resources for the strategic things. This process is known as PRUNING.

Here is a mind-map that summarized the above and apply SAID into relationship building. STOP harmful relationships, ADD new helpful relationships, INCREASE uplifting relationships and DECREASE or maintain necessary relationships.
Before the Chinese New Year, 19 Feb 2015, can you Unload and bring closure to your past hurts and lies, and list down a set of activities to Stop, Add, Increase and Decrease. You don't need a big list, but just one or two in each categories. When you have done them, review again to come out with the next 1 or 2 activites for SAID.

Don't wish but rather be sure to take the USAID actions and have a better year ahead.

Lim Liat (c) 23-1-2015

21 January 2015

Leadership is as Simple as 123 according to CEO Handbook

Sima Guang, a famous Chinese Historian and a former Primer of the Zong Dynasty, gave as two sets of three key principles, one on personal development and the other on running successful organization. This wisdom is distilled from the study of the rise and fall of nations and leaders in China from 403 BC to 959AD. It was written as a guide for the King to rule the country well.
The famous history book written by Sima Guang is The Zizhi Tongjian 资治通鉴, literally in English is, "Comprehensive Mirror in Aid of Governance", or in my translation, "The CEO Handbook", since it was writtent as lessons for the rulers. It is published in 1084, in the form of a chronicle. In 1065 CE, Emperor Yingzong of Song ordered Sima Guang (1019–1086) to lead with other scholars for the compilation of a universal history of China. The task took 19 years to be completed. It records Chinese history from 403 BCE to 959 CE, covering 16 dynasties and spanning across almost 1,400 years, and contains 294 volumes and about 3 million Chinese characters. Sima Guang gave his evaluation for the reasons for success or failures throughout the chronicles. Most kings through the Chinese dynasties had recommend the study of the book. Even Chairman Mao of China has recommended it as well.

Sima Guang listed 3 key qualities for being a leader and another 3 principles for ruling the country. Here is the mind-map that explains what these mean:

Character Development:

Character Development has 3 key qualities:

  1. Benevolence,
  2. Discernment &
  3. Decisiveness/Forcefulness.
  • Benevolence is not raising children with indulgence. It is improving the politics, promoting education, raising all things, caring for people. This is the meaning of benevolence of a People's King.
  • Discernment is not critical and extensive fault finding. It is about knowing righteousness, understanding of security and danger, discernment of wise and fool, differentiating right and wrong.
  • Decisiveness is not ruthlessness and brutality. It is deciding and sticking, without any doubt, to the principle(Dao) such that it cannot be tempted by evil, changed by flattery.
  • Benevolence without discernment is like having fertile field and yet not ploughing them.
  • Discernment without decisiveness is like seeing the weeds among the wheats and yet not removing them.
  • Dicisiveness without love is like only wanting to harvest(cutting out)  without planting.
  • Having all three leads to a strong nation. Less one leads to decline. Less two leads to danger. Less three leads to death.
  • Since the beginning of man, there is nothing before nor has changed.
  • Quotes
    • 得财失行,吾所不取。——《资治通鉴•陈纪》
       Gain wealth to loose one conduct is not want I choose.
    • 能择善者而从之,美自归己。——《资治通鉴•宋纪》。
       Choose to follow and do the good and kind things will bring beauty back to self.
    • 仁者不以盛衰改节,义者不以存亡易心。——《资治通鉴•魏志》。
       The kind does not change with riches or poverty,
      The righteous does not change for life or death.     
Managing the Country - The Three Principles

Governing has 3 Principles:
1. Assignment
2. Rewards
3. Punishment
  1. Assignment: Matching People to Job ie 知人善任 Know People & Assign Them Rightly
    1. The abilities of people differs. Different jobs have their specialization. 
    2. During the ancient times of Yao and Xun, the capable people stayed in their specialty and changed not.
    3. If assign them here and there, change their jobs, then cannot reach excellence.  
    4. Hence, leader with integrity can gain the best of the world and deploy them according to their strengths.
    5. Assess capabilities then Assign
  2. Rewards for Performance 
    1. Heavily rewards those with accomplishments。
    2. Those that did well, rapidly reward them and don't change their job. 
  3. Punish in time. Severely punish those with wrong doings. 
    1. This is like controlling the horses of a wagon, direction & speed. 
    2. Demote or replace the under performers by able ones. 
    3. Those with faults then punish or kill without mercy. 
    4. If goodness is not rewarded and evil is not punished, the good ones will be lazy and the evil ones diligent. 
Putting Things in Context:
Running a business or governing a country takes more than just leadership qualities and management skills. One must watch and make sense of the external environments, the non-controllable, the influence-able and controllable factors in the them. Sun Zi's Art of War gives a more comprehensive framework for understanding, adapting and exploiting the external environment. But basically, life is about changes and good life is about knowing how to adapt and make good use of the changes. The best on this is the Book of Change, the root of all Chinese Philosophies, including Art of War. Here is a mind-map that put the study of Sinology in proper context:

In the above mind-map, we can see that "The CEO Handbook" is just part of a larger framework, covering only the ‘People' factor. There are other factors listed by the Art of War. On the left side, we see the origin of Chinese Philosophies, the Book of Change, also known as I-Ching. 

Please see:
Lim Liat (c) 21 Jan 2015