Monthly Archives: August 2018


Photo: my little echeveria pot garden bearing pups.

Today we celebrate Teachers Day.

Maybe its been a long time since you were in school. In today’s everchanging environment, are you continuously learning?

Are there people in your lives who have taught you something?  Or mentored you?

The wise Chinese sage Confuscius once said, “Three persons walking down the street, surely my teacher is one of them”. 三人行必有我师也。

Every man I meet is my master in some area, and in that, I learn from him.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are you a good learner? Learning starts with humility.

To everyone whom I have learned from, given me feedback.

Thank you!

Research from Centre for Creative Leadership

Sometimes we focus a lot on working behind the scenes and achieving, doing. Interestingly, the Centre for Creative Leadership lists relationships as major make or break.

Photo credit: Himself taken on streets of Bangkok

By comparing successful managers to those who derail, CCL identified 5 specific factors that increase a leader’s odds for derailment:

⚓problems with interpersonal relationships; cold, aloof and arrogant

⚓difficulty building and leading a team; cant manage subordinates

⚓difficulty changing or adapting during a transition (conflict with upper management or unable to adapt to boss with a different style)

⚓inability to think strategically, too narrow of a functional orientation.

⚓failure to meet business objectives (eg too ambitious, betrayal of trust, and poor performance)

8 enduring success themes
1. Ambitious with a Desire to succeed
2. Establish strong collaborative relationships
3. Good track record in performance
4. Can motivate and direct subordinates
5. Intelligent
6. Willing to take risks
7. Able to adapt to the environment
8. Problem solver and entrepreneurial

知彼知己, 胜乃不殆,知天知地, 胜乃不穷。
Zhibizhiji, shengnaibidai, zhitianzhidi, shengnaibuqiong

Know the other side, know yourself and your victory will not be threatened.
Know the weather, know the terrain and your victories will be limitless.

A general who is reckless, can be killed.
Cowardly and desperate to live, can be captured.
Easily angered, can be provoked
Sensitive to honour, can be insulted
Overly compassionate to his citizens, can be disturbed and harassed.

Sun Zi Bing Fa: Strategic Applications to Business and Marketing Practices by Wee Chow-Hou

The best and only book on Sun Tzu you need to read. Prof Wee even included the original Chinese text and its hanyu pinyin pronunciation. It also is contextualised to modern business strategies. Not surprisingly it is published by Pearson, as a possible textbook for students of international business.

Photo taken at The Prince, Sapporo, Hokkaido

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

From a scientific viewpoint, a tree exists.
From a philosophical viewpoint, if no one is around to see, hear, touch or smell the tree, how could it be said to exist? What is it to say that it exists when such an existence is unknown? (Wikipedia)

When one achieves something significant but no one else seems to think so, is it truly significant? Humans follow humans.

Geoff Colvin in “Humans are underrated”, writes:

“We want to follow human leaders, even if a computer could say all the right words, which is not an implausible prospect. We want to hear our diagnosis from a doctor, even if a computer supplied it, because we want to talk to the doctor about it—perhaps just to talk and know we’re being heard by a human being. We want to negotiate important agreements with a person, hearing every quaver in his voice, noting when he crosses his arms, looking into his eyes.

To look into someone’s eyes—that turns out to be, metaphorically and quite often literally, the key to high-value work in the coming economy.”

Source: Humans are underrated

I would like to take some time away from job search to pen some thoughts on preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney.

The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

The LPA is a legal document which allows a person who is at least 21 years of age (‘donor’), to voluntarily appoint one or more persons (‘donee(s)’) to make decisions and act on his behalf should he lose mental capacity one day. A donee can be appointed to act in the two broad areas of personal welfare and property & affairs matters.

Office of Public Guardians

Step 1: Decide who is your donee. Who do you trust to help you with your estate. Who is willing to help you. Get their consent and photocopy their NRIC (front and back).

Step 2: Print forms. Get Form 1 as a first step. Basic. Get your red notary sticker (small) from any stationery shop. Your donee must sign form, preferably in front of a witness. (My certificate issuer was my witness.)


Step 3. Getting a Certificate Issuer. The list is on the Office of Public Guardians website. This is a very informative website with a chatbot to answer all your questions. I did mine with Raffles Medical Group because they are reputable and convenient and there is a promotion, $53.50.

Step 4. Either donor or donee can be an applicant. I was applicant for my parents’ LPA and mine.

Step 5. Drop copy in this box at the Office of Public Guardian. 4th floor Enabling Village. ( Don”t need envelopes, just plastic sheets. Ask the very helpful staff at the counter. They even checked my forms and found out my mom’s form had no dates.)


Nearest MRT: Redhill. Have lunch at The Sapling or Soul Food while there.

Processing time is around 3-4 months. You will be informed by mail to pick up the form when ready. Keep in an accessible place in case you need it. You can reapply as many times as you see fit or need to change your donee.

Note: The process was very easy and straightforward. Bottleneck are the certificate issuers. Going to a chain like Raffles Medical Group, I went to Haborfront where the doctor Dr Lim was very helpful, patient and familiar.

Despite a very efficient process by the Office of Public Guardians, network played a part.

1) Who do you trust when your mental capacity is gone but you are still physically alive? To take care of you? To do the unrewarding work? If there is no one, you can appoint a trustee for a fee.

2) Finding a certificate issuer. Despite the online adverts, my google search did not come up with any meaningful find until a colleague at my Toastmasters Club pointed out the Raffles Medical Gp promotion. Only after I typed in keywords “Raffles Medical” and “LPA”, did the promotion come up. Limitations of algorithm. Real contacts still work better.

Go fast, go alone
Go far, go together – African Proverb


Best research brief on startups in ASEAN:


Best research brief on startups in Asia Pacific:


Networking events esp for startups:


Big Data: Developers

Accelerator: Joyful Frog



NUS Entrepreneurship Society

NUS Enterprise

SMU Innovation and Entrepreneurship



Co Working Spaces in Singapore for Startups and Entrepreneurs


Discover events: Eventbrite, Peatix, Meetup,


Foreigners interested to work in Singapore:

Work Holiday Pass 



Funding at the EU:


Funding in SG:

Grants by Enterprise SG

Temasek Foundation Innovates

SMART Innovation Centre