Vision, Mission … Mantra

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

In a previous post about the power of vision & mission … After writing the post, I realize some people has a bad feelings toward such things as vision & mission. For anyone that could careless about mission/vision, here a simple alternative from Guy Kawasaki:

Create a Mantra

Guy recommends instead of writing vision & mission where no one remember it; a much better alternative would be 3-5 word mantra. A few keywords that describe your purpose.

Here are some example from Guy’s post:
  Nike: “Authentic athletic performance”
  Target: “Democratize design”
  Wendy’s: “Healthy Fast Food”

In my opinion, the process of creating vision & mission is still really beneficial to the writers, because you get clear what you should be focusing on. After that creating a mantra would be a good idea. When strategizing in the future, I would:

1. Create a mission & vision: For the executives/self to reflect on
2. Create the mantra: To share & inspire others & self

After reviewing my mission & vision, I realized already got mine, which is: 
Teach, Lead, Careering.


This mantra suggestion came from this keynote from Guy Kawasaki about startup; it’s super funny & lots to learn from. For people who want to know more, you should check the podcast mentioned & Guy also details this in his book, Reality Check.

Categories: Leading, Learning

How to Recover from a Loss of Will?

November 27, 2009 Leave a comment

From my last post, we showed impact when someone lost the will to learn.

Problem: Once will is lost, you have unconscienceously given up … you are then just waiting for failure to hit.
Question: How to can you avoid such failures?

Here is a 3 simple step answer:
1st Step: Identify/Admit you have given up & imagine the outcome
     Once you identify the problem, then we will be able to foresee coming train wreck

2nd Step: Then you decide between these 3 choices

    Continue in Limbo: Decide to put No change
    Completely Give Up: Give up and do something else
              OR pass it on to others
    Climb Back Up: Determine what you need to do breath life back to your project/job

3rd Step: Take those action

If you stay in a losing situations, it will just eventually blow-up. So the 2nd step is the key point to make us take control of such losing situations. Once a decision is made, a momentum will grow towards motivation to take action.

I had experience this so many times, and this is the most effective way that I have found to recover motivation toward a project/job/business.

Categories: Careering, Teaching

The Importance of the Will to Learn at Work

November 18, 2009 1 comment

After reading Water Cooler Wisdom’s post on ability to learn a few days ago; My interpretation of what was the important skill wasn’t the ability to learn, but it is the willingness to learn.

We are all trained on the ability to learn for 12 years in grade school, plus the extra few year in university in learning a specialization; But what differentiate people in school & work is the willingness to learn.

At my full-time, I notice on days I’m willing to learn & improve, I would take the initiative solve issues & push to learn how things work. While on days like the day I had today, I was on semi-autopilot in front of the computer, such as doing spreadsheet work, doing some system/issue checking & e-mails … . The good thing, because if I’m able to recognize this is happening, I’m able to reverse this.

At my part-time teaching job a few weeks ago, I had a new student that did really bad at multiplying 6, 7 & 8. What I find was that she kind of given up on it when she gave no effort in answering question and just said “I hates math”.

Do you see yourself doing something similar? (I did)
This hit home today, I find myself doing something similar. I wasn’t putting as much more effort & I said to myself that I hated doing a particular task.

For kids or grown-up, the will to learn can really make a difference in work & self improvement.

Categories: Careering, Learning

Vision, Mission … Why Bother?

November 6, 2009 1 comment

ShadowPointingIn an in-class assignment, we were ask to make a vision & a mission statement for our life or career.

I was always confused about the difference between vision & mission statement … so we were taught the difference were:
   Vision = External purpose
   Mission = Internal purpose
Honestly, I could never under stand what’s the point of it. The company ones usually just seem long & generic most of the time.

On the contrary, It was an interesting exercise; We had to consider what’s important to us & what our life/career meant to us. It put a spotlight on what my direction in life.

This is mine (for now):

  • Vision: To show the power of teaching with leadership throughout my careers
  • Mission: To improve work-life & leadership through teaching

After the exercise, now I do appreciate mission statement & vision; Especially the process of creating it. It really get you think in a bigger strategic way.

For anyone who want to figure out their career path or bored about their life; I suggest you should try creating a vision & mission statement, you might just be surprise what you find out.

Categories: Careering, Leading, Teaching

To Succeed: Try, Try, Try Again!

October 22, 2009 1 comment

Bulb_oldDo you remember how many resume did you send before getting your first jobs after college?
To succeed in anything, you got to try, try, try again!

Perseverance is need before success arrives, just look at these examples:

  • Edison & his associates had around 10000 light bulb prototype before success
  • Henry Ford founded 2 car company before Ford Motors
  • The iPod had 4 revision before getting the click wheel right & gain mainstream attention for the device (This includes thousands of prototypes)

As for me, this is my third attempt at blogging, I learn something in every attempt:

1st Blog: Take-Talk
My first one was a podcast notes & recommendation blog. I loved listening to & learning from podcasts; it seems logical to follow my passion to share what I gain from them. I found passion sometimes is not enough to keep me going, because there are spikes & valley in passion.

2nd Blog: Soft Side of IT
With my experience in IT in 10+ roles, it would be a great career move to write about lesson learn in Information Technology jobs. Again it fell off since I had interest in IT, but passion was another story. This also lead to peaks & valley in writing for the topics, plus it was too broad.

3rd Blog: Teach … Lead … Careering
This time, learning from my last few attempts; I regroup & started this new blog (After a few months of break). By learning from failures … this time I made sure I had passion, interest, experience, career motivation & a future before I start. if one part falls off, I can rely on one the 5 things to keep pushing me forward. I don’t know if it will succeed or not, I just know this fits what I want to do.

To gain experience at any new knowledge, skills, industry or anything else; you need to try, try , try again to succeed.


Did you know:


Categories: Blog, Careering, Learning

To Lead: Trust Them

October 10, 2009 Leave a comment

ThumbsTrust is the a key motivator in Leading

This is what I found from years with my various managers, teaching experience, coordinating projects & leading teammates.

Even when I only have 1 -2 people to coordinate, I try to provide them trust & empower them with any needed knowledge. When that happens they perform better, which allows me to focus improve quality & spend more time in tracking pending issues in the project.

This is important even with grade school kids. I provide trust in their judgement & work with their homework, they gain confidence. Once that is in place, I will trust them to do their work on their own with minimal supervising.

When they know others trust their quality of work; They perform better with less stress, greater confidence, concentration & motivation to work.

Whenever there is trust, the lead/employer will trust the employee with resources (otherwise they are just saying it while not meaning it). This will empower the employees with freedom & decision making to do their work better due to less stress.

End-Note: The more trusts happens → The more you will be able to delegate → The more things you will be able to accomplish

Categories: Leading, Teaching

Best way to Learn: Embracing Failure

October 3, 2009 1 comment

Grill-FlameThis past Tuesday was FailCamp Toronto, it was pretty enjoyable & insightful. The point of the seminar was to “Embrace failure”.

Here is an interest comment that caught my ears:

We rarely learn from success,
all our best learning comes from failures & mistakes.

From working for years in parts of IT & a decade of teaching, I really like this comment.

When I teach, I often allow kids & co-worker to try the system/math problem, so they can learn to figure out how things work & learn to try. Sometimes I do this so much that the kids end up teach themselves. (I just give a few leading comment/questions)

Here is an exercise: Which way do think you learn more from this scenario?
Learning a new computer system at work, when the teacher:
1. Corrects you every moment you might do something wrong
2. Just let you try out the system, even though you are making mistakes.

In the first scenario, you might feel safer because the teacher is making sure you are clicking correctly; but do you think you can really can anything with the system?
While the second scenario might sound scary to play around with a system, you will definitely remember most of the errors or weird results from the mistake.

By letting mistakes happen, it gets the person to remember because it makes thing more exciting & no one way of doing thing.

Categories: Learning, Teaching