18 July 2013

Integrated Success Principles - Adding the 5 Secrets of Richard Branson

Does 5 Secrets for Starting a Business from great man like Richard Branson add any new knowledge to what I already known? I can tell when I have a existing knowledge base of wisdom on success. 
The Five Secrets to Starting a Business written by Richard Branson in his book "Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School" is integrated to my "Integrated Success Principles v8" mind-map for a comprehensive and concise secrets for success. This illustrates how we can grow our knowledge through building mind-maps. 
Friends in Facebook lead me to the book "Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School" by Richard Branson.  In the book, he mention 5 secrets for starting a business. It immediately strikes a nerve (brain or neuron) that it will be great if I can integrate them into my existing "Integrated Success Principles". I can then discover whether there be anything new.

The Five Secrets for Starting a Business
Here is the mind-map:

Some of the branch headings could be unclear, like point 5 Be Visible. On reading the text of the book, Visible means don't stand at the desk but to go out and interact with staff, customers and others. It includes listening to them, taking notes and taking action. So I change the heading to "5 Be Visible - interact, listen, act" to make the point clearer. Point 4 Lead by listening is more about not imposing one's ideas on others. It is about listening and having a debate of ideas to getting buy-in. It then goes even further into praising others. So, I changed it to read "4 Lead by Listen and praise too". Point 3 on pride is about the pride from associating with working for a good and reputable company. There is the motivation to do well and not to let the company reputation and image down. So I think it is about having or building up a good brand or image. 

Adding into the Grand Integrated Success Principles Mind-Map:
I can easily find similar statements by others in the v8 map. However, I think I like to emphasize "Branding" in the new map. In the v8 map, branding was included under communications. But I think it is important enough to bring it out of communication and stand out as a main topic.

The Version 9 Integrated Success Principles Mind-Map:
So, here is the latest mind-map that includes Branson's five secrets. There isn't anything new that I did not know before, but does cause me to bring up 'Branding' as an important point. Branson's points are highlighted in green in the map. You can read about other masters' quotes too to get a better overall and more detailed picture. 

I hope this is a good illustration for knowledge building over time using the mind-map concept.

Lim Liat (c) 18 July 2013

03 July 2013

Success with Ease and Free of Stress

Common wisdom tells us to work hard for success. Success for many people spells 'stress' and 'no balance life' etc. Success with Ease is oxymoron for many. But it is not so, says Lao Zi. In Dao De Jing Chapter 73, he told us the secret ... it is like net casting. Build the net with strings of principles or values, cast it wide, make it sparse enough and yet never miss the catch.
The secret of a productive and stress-free living with great ease is hidden in Lao Zi's Dao De Jing Chapter 73. The basic principle is to follow the way of the working of Heaven always. Following the laws of heaven is the natural and paths of least resistance. Hence, it is the ease. Trying to work against the tides of natural forces is where we get our stress and pains and the lack of productivity. Working with our natural passion and strengths energize us to produce quality and excellence without end.

Here is my version of the translation of Dao De Jing Chapter 73:
To do or Not to do?
It is a very difficult question says Lao Zi.
To boldly do it may cause one to die.
To not do it may save one's life.
But the final outcome, good or bad, in the longer term, it is unknown.
Who knows the intention of Heaven?
Even the wise sages find them difficult.
But wait, we can see the working of Heaven as in:
The Way (Dao) of Heaven is not to compete yet win well,
not speaking and yet responding well,
not bidding and yet they come on their won,
not worrying much and yet the plans are good.
Here is the secret:
The net of Heaven cover a wide area,
sparse yet never lost a thing.
The Original Chinese Text and Literal Translation in English:
(You may skip it if you like. You may also use it to cross check my translation.)
Too daring may end up in being killed.
Being cautious and careful and taking no action may preserve our lives.
These two things, sometimes one is good and sometimes one is bad.
Who knows the reasons of what Heaven hate? Even the sages find them difficult.
The Way (Dao) of Heaven is not to compete yet win well,
not speaking and yet response well,
not bidding and yet they come on their won,
planning with ease and yet the plans are good.
The net of Heaven cover a wide area,
sparse yet never lost a thing.

The Key Lessons:

Dao(Way of Heaven) is like a large net cast wide, sparse yet never lose its catch.
While the coverage is wide, and there are lots of flexibility and freedom given, but the principles are adhered to like the ropes, to ensure success is caught.

1 Mesh: Ropes of Principles, Missions, Objectives, Strategies

2. Wide: The Net covers a wide area and not a narrow focus.

Don't just see things from your own point of view. Don't just be concerned with your own self- interest. Extend the net of coverage and the scope. See from the viewpoints and the interests of all the possible stakeholders. Don't just see what you want to see. Ask around and get advice from the mentors and key people affected at least. Don't stop at the first solution or answer. Explore further for better solutions. Force yourself to come out with at least 3 possible solutions if not more. Compare them and have a final one that includes all the benefits and none of the harms of the solution derived earlier. Aren't these stressful work? Not at all if you have interest in them. Try asking Nadal or Federer not to play tennis or Tiger Woods not to play golf. Furthermore, a badly planned solution will create a lot of problems and complaints when implemented. Better to consider them now and find the right solutions at this time of ease.

3. Sparse:  But it is sparse with lots of holes, to let the non-important things to go.

How big should the holes be? It all depends on what you are trying to catch. Try to be as large as possible to give people flexibility and freedom in the execution of the work.

4. Caught: Yet, the strings will never miss but catch the items of importance.
Just be consistent and give enough time. Learn and adapt all the way till your big catch.

Leadership or Management is about letting go the non-importance, giving flexibility, and yet hold on(never let go despite the temptations or the pressures) the principles and key issues.

Lim Liat (c) 3 July 2013