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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Are You Fully Charged? by Tom Rath


  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Silicon Guild (May 5, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1939714036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939714039
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.2 inches

 Surprisingly short book which can be covered within a day but the essence is really trying to put to use daily the principle it preaches. Essentially, to be fully charged, we need to have 
  • Meaning: doing something that benefits someone else
  • Interactions: having more positive than negative moments (ratio 5:1)
  • Energy: making choices that improve your mental and physical health
Key points for MEANING:
  1. Create meaning (not happiness) in small ways and in the moment
  2. Develop intrinsic motivations 
  3. See work as a purpose, not a place 
  4. See beyond cash and avoid upward comparison 
  5. Find the intersection between Interests, Strengths and Needs of others 
  6. Aim to be the First, not the Best
  7. Initiate, not Respond (get rid of distractions of the routine busy-ness)
  8. Remind oneself of the mission daily and in small ways
  9. Work for 45 break for 15
Key points for INTERACTION:
  1. Make every interaction count by focusing on the good and increase their frequencies
  2. Be 80% positive or at least pay attention
  3. Start small and be clear, ask questions and connect
  4. Focus on relationships and be present 
  5. Put experiences first 
  6. Focus on team successes, Avoid flying solo
  7. Focus on Strengths
Key Points for ENERGY:
  1. Focus on own health first
  2. Contemplate on the immediate next thing that will impact health
  3. Make every bite count
  4. Set better defaults
  5. Eat and exercise for your mood
  6. Sit less, walk more
  7. Sleep enough and with optimal environment
  8. Get vaccinated 
  9. Get rid of stress and prevent buildup - take it slow and smile

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes by Tom Rath



  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Missionday; First Edition edition (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1939714001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939714008

Excellent book that doesn't give you "quick" but unsustainable ways to be healthy. Most of the advice are incremental and do-able. 

Instead of jotting everything down. The link below summarizes what we can do daily to improve our lives.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

First, Break All The Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently


  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Gallup Press; Har/Psc edition (May 3, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595621113
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595621115
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches

Actually, I read the this version instead ( but the main content is the same. It is a life changing book, in terms of viewing one's career through the lens of one's strengths. To me, this is the path of real happiness in doing what you do best. The following encapsulates my key learnings in reading this book:

1) Measuring is key to knowing the strength of the workplace 
- 12 questions to capture the most and important information. In brackets are outcome correlations
1. Expectation of self at work (retention, business success)
2. Availability of resources to do work right (retention, business success)
3. Opportunity to do what I am best at doing everyday (retention)
4. Receiving praise for good work in the past week (business success)
5. Care from colleagues at work (retention, business success)
6. Colleagues encouraging development (business success)
7. Does my opinions count at work (retention)
8. Does company mission make me feel my work is important
9. Colleagues committed to doing quality work
10. Best friend at work
11. Spoken to someone in last half year about progress
12. Opportunities to learn and grow 
- In various colours, there is an order hierarchy which we fall into, as we grow into new roles. Always address the bottom first then move up. 
1. Base Camp - What do I get
2. Camp 1 - What do I give
3. Camp 2 - Do I belong here
4. Camp 3 - How do we all grow

People don't change that much
Don't waste time trying to put in what was left out
Try to draw out what was left in
That is hard enough

2) Managers are Catalysts
- Managers (inward focus) are NOT but CAN be leaders (outward focus) 
- 4 Keys
1. Select candidate (for talents not behaviours/experience)
- Talents, skills and knowledge
2. Set expectations (for outcomes not steps). Note 4 rules of thumb 
.1 Don't break the bank
.2 Standards take precedence
.3 Follow steps only if they are in the right spirit
.4 Steps only prevents customer dissatisfaction (4 levels of customer expectation - accuracy, availability, partnership, advice)
- Review what is right for the customer, company and individual
3. Motivate individual (on strengths not weaknesses)
4. Develop person (for right fit, not position)
- Level the playing field, hold up the mirror, get to know the person, create safety nets, show tough love

3) Interviewing for Talent
.1 Discover recurring patterns of thought
.2 Ask open ended questions
.3 Listen for specifics 
.4 Clues to talent - rapid learning & satisfaction
.5 Know what to listen out for 

4) Performance Management 
- 4 characteristics of simplicity, frequent interactions, future focus and self tracking
- During reviews, ask actions taken, discoveries made, partnerships forged. Past then future. 
- Career discovery - describe success and why you are good at what you do, struggles, which aspects strengthen, what is the perfect role. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Up Close with Lee Kuan Yew: Insights from colleagues and friends


  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte Ltd; Reprint edition (August 7, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9814677795
  • ISBN-13: 978-9814677790
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 9 inches

This book was given to me by a close friend. 

More than a year after the passing of Mr Lee, this book can still pull heartstrings. 

The labeling of the founding father of Singapore is consistent amongst those who shared about their interaction with him. Namely
- His consistency and dedication
- His intellect and firm grasp of all connections 
- His deep curiosity for knowledge
- His firmness and no-nonsense attitude, yet still being open to feedback
- His ability to rally competent people to work as a team
- His connections with world leaders and his influence
- His wholeheartness for Singapore
- And ultimately, his deep love with his wife

Certainly an excellent read for anyone who wants a glimpse of his life though others' lenses 

Monday, May 4, 2015

This Time is Different - Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen M Reinhart

Currency Wars - The Making of the Next Global Crisis by James Rickards


The Revenge of Seven - Pittacus Lore

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