Wednesday, January 16, 2013

5 Common Mistakes That New Leaders Make

By : Kim Freedman

1. Hoping That Performance Problems Will Magically Disappear
2. Punishing the Many for the Sins of the Few
3. Confusing Sameness with Fairness
4. Doing the Work of the Team
5. Making Promises Casually

You have just been promoted to a leadership position. Congratulations! But, as the excitement begins to wane a few months into the job, you realize you might have made an error in judgment by accepting the promotion. You are regularly facing new challenges and situations you did not previously imagine. It seems that the skills and knowledge that made you a great individual performer are not enough to make you a successful leader.

This scenario is all too common. In fact, I had these very same thoughts and concerns when I first became a manager many years ago. During the ensuing years, I have seen other new—and not so new—managers make some of the same blunders that I made, as well as a few that I somehow avoided. While every situation is unique, I have identified five of the more common mistakes that new leaders make. Maybe you will recognize some of these.

1. Hoping That Performance Problems Will Magically Disappear

New managers often take the position of ‘wait and see’ when faced with a personnel issue – probably in an attempt to avoid conflict. For example, a couple of customers have complained about the level of service they received from one of your team members. You decide to wait and see if anyone else complains before bringing the complaints to the team member’s attention. Your hope is that the problem will resolve itself in time. That is false hope because 99 times out of 100 the problem just gets bigger. Your staff expects you to effectively and rapidly deal with team members who are underperforming. Step up and do what needs to be done.

2. Punishing the Many for the Sins of the Few

This behavior is a first cousin of the previous mistake. Instead of dealing with an issue head on, the new manager often tries a less direct approach. Imagine that you have a team member who spends most of the day surfing the internet instead of working. You know that you need to address the issue, so you call a special team meeting and remind everyone on the team that they should limit personal phone calls and internet use to their breaks and lunch hour. After the meeting, the one team member with the problem goes back to surfing and the rest of your team will not make eye contact with you. What went wrong? Quite likely, all of the team members know the rules and all except one are complying. The one offender has decided the rule does not apply to him. The rest of the team members do not appreciate being chastised for offenses they did not commit. Next time, talk with the offending team member directly, one-on-one.

3. Confusing Sameness with Fairness

In an effort to not play favorites (a good thing), many new managers treat all their people in the exact same way. When it comes to people, one size does not fit all. Everyone is special and wants to be acknowledged as such. Get to know your people and treat them the way they want to be treated. If you treat each person on your team as a valued individual with unique needs, values, and goals, you will be treating everyone fairly.

4. Doing the Work of the Team

New leaders are often more comfortable completing the tasks that their team should be doing than they are in taking the lead role. Or, they think it is just faster and easier to complete some tasks themselves instead of taking the time to train someone else. Don’t fool yourself into not delegating by thinking you are helping the team by taking on some of the workload. By refusing to delegate effectively, you are robbing your team of the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop. Remember that a manager’s job is to accomplish results through the work of the team. So, point your team members in the right direction and support them through coaching and training.

5. Making Promises Casually

There is no faster way to lose someone’s trust than to fail to deliver on a commitment or promise. In making a promise to a team member, a client, or anyone else, managers may not be thinking about all the possible things that could get in the way of them keeping that promise. Imagine that you promise a team member a bonus upon the successful completion of a critical project. Do you have absolute authority to deliver on that promise? If not, make a different commitment; promise only what you are 100 percent certain that you alone can deliver.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

10 Sentences that Can Change Your Life


The power of a sentence is tremendous. A single destructive sentence can ruin somebody’s life, make your day, or change your mood. Fortunately, there are some sentences that can give us power to go on. We have sorted out 10 powerful sentences that can change your life for the better.

#1 “People aren’t against you; they are for themselves.”

#2 “Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.”

#3 “You learn more from failure than from success; don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character.”

#4 “The most dangerous risk of all – The risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later”

#5 “Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.”

#6 “The person that you will spend the most time with in your life is yourself, so you better try to make yourself as interesting as possible.”

#7 “If you accept your limitations you go beyond them.”

#8 “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.. that’s why we recommend it daily.”

#9 “Everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something”

#10 “Comfort is the enemy of achievement.”

What are some sentences that someone has told you that has changed your life? Give us your suggestions. We’ll make a 30s Tip/ Wallpaper for the best suggestions.

16 Simple Rules for Living a Successful Life

16 Simple Rules for Living a Successful Life


Is your day-to-day life full of stress and chaos?
Are you scrambling to find a peaceful moment in the day when you can put your feet up and relax? Are you rushed, stressed out and ready to call it quits.
Why is that so? Who is responsible for it? Why have we made it so difficult?
The solution is simple: simply your life. It’s the implementation part that is hard, but here are my top tips to help with that:

1 Believe in yourself , but be aware of your limitations
The first step to accomplishing all your goals and making your dreams come true starts with this simple realisation that you are human: you are not perfect and you can’t do everything alone.
Always keep things realistic. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself that you find it hard to move; trust yourself to deliver what you need to, but also be prepared to cut yourself some slack.
  • Own up when you make a mistake
  • Set goals, and enjoy the journey
2 De-clutter & simplify
You have a thousand different things screaming for attention: you have to tidy up the kids’ room again; you have to do the dishes and laundry; and the never-ending household chores are waiting. You have to organize your calendar and make room for more appointments; make time to socialise; help the kids with homework; and make a gazillion school runs. Don’t even get started on what needs to be done at the office.
Let’s get one thing straight—you cannot accomplish anything unless you get yourself some of the clarity that comes from creating space in your life, in your relationships and your environment. You need to reduce, cut back, simplify—Only then will you stop the feeling of being overwhelmed and rushed.
  • Give anything you haven’t used for the past 3 years to charity
  • Get organized
  • Enjoy the concept of enjoying without owing, and appreciating without acquiring
3 Use everything in moderation
This is something I live by, be it work, socializing, family commitments, overeating, shopping, or watching too much TV—it helps with every single thing. Embrace the philosophy of “having enough”: there’s no need to go to extremes, so exercise common sense and learn to curb any obsessive behaviour.
  • Spend less money than you make
  • Watch your diet
  • Watch less TV
4 Keep things in perspective
I admit there will be times when nothing will go your way, and you will find yourself fighting battles, fixing problems and minimizing damage all day long. We all have those days, and it is too easy to get caught up in the drama. Get a handle on things: this, too, shall pass.
Your child will get better soon, the noisy neighbourhood parties will end, your backstabbing colleague will get transferred (we can hope, can’t we?), and there will be actual days where you tick off all the items on your to-do list.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Have an open mind
5 Treat others how they want to be treated
You might end up getting in trouble if you try treating others how you want to be treated, instead of how they would like you to treat them. For instance, if you are not a phone person, you might not call your friend because you assume that they feel the same way you do, which may not be the case.
Try to be sensitive to the needs of others, and occasionally going out of your way to do something for them.
  • Try not to judge
  • Be generous; try to do something nice for somebody on a regular basis
6 Family first
My priority is my family, and I left work to start my own freelancing career for  the flexible hours it gives. That doesn’t mean that my work is not important—it just means that I have to operate in a way that works for me and my family.
How important is it to you that you spend time with your family? Are you making sure that your work doesn’t prevent you from doing just that? What sort of arrangements have you made to make it happen? You don’t have to stop living your life for your family members, but you’ll feel far less guilt if you prioritise and make time for them.

7 Pay attention to the moment
Stop thinking about what happened in the past, or worry about what might happen in the future. Live in the moment and learn to savour each one.

8 Have a positive mindset
You are what you think all day long. If you have nothing but negative thoughts racing through your ahead, then that’s what you are going to get, so try shifting to a more positive outlook on life. You will be surprised to see that whatever you wished for will start to manifest itself around you.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

9 Educate yourself
The most interesting people are the ones who take an interest in life and never let go of the “beginner’s mind”. They discover learning opportunities and continue to grow, both personally and professionally.
Be a life-long learner. You don’t have to get old to become wise.
  • Read good books
  • Try to learn something new every day
  • Take courses in subjects you enjoy
10 Be passionate about something
There are some people who are so bursting with energy and vitality that others feel compelled to listen to them, and feel drawn to them. Passionate home cooks, budding interior designers, gourmet chocolate lovers, antique collectors—just try asking them a question about their interest and they will talk your ears off.
You want to be that person: someone who’s full of love for something significant. Have one meaningful hobby that encourages you to follow your passion, and you’ll begin each day looking forward to something special.

11 Always be reflective
Do you ever think about yourself in moments of solitude? What makes you, you? What makes you tick? What bores you to death? What sort of things do you dream of? What can’t you get over? What regrets do you have of your past? Take some time to think about those things and you’ll understand yourself more clearly and deeply. You’d be surprised at the life-changing impact such reflection can bring.
  • Consider doing a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or another personality assessment to develop true understanding of your self
12 Surround yourself with supportive people
3 things can change your life: friends, books & your thoughts. Choose them wisely.
  • Avoid naysayers and party-poopers
13 Banish the word “perfection
Listen to what you tell your children: always do your best and forget about the rest.
  • You are expert enough
  • Strive for excellence, not for perfection
14 Fix it, or deal with it, but stop whining about it
Nobody likes a person who complains all the time. If you look around you, you’ll see many people who have been dealt a bad hand, but are making the best of things.
  • Don’t blame others for your problems
  • Don’t make excuses
  • Don’t be overly sensitive
  • Don’t be a drama queen
15 Remember things that you are grateful for
Try this exercise: whenever you are feeling low, make a list of all the things that make you happy, joyous, and grateful. A beautiful family, adoring kids, kind friends, health, happy home, a job that pays the bills, surprise dinner prepared by a loving spouse, a blog, favourite books and keepsakes, unexpected twenty dollar bill in your jeans pocket. Everything counts.
After you’ve done this, consider what has happened to the feelings of doom and gloom: it is impossible not to be cheered up after remembering all the fantastic things you have in your life. Be grateful, and always make room for more happiness.

16 You can have it all, just not at the same time
There is no greater truth than this: you cannot have everything at the same time. You have only 24 hours in a day and need to take care of your relationships, work and spirit. One any given day, the focus will shift: some days your children have to go to after-school care because you have an important meeting, while other times work has to take a back seat because of a sick child with a high fever. Sometimes you just need to chill with your girlfriends because it has been ages since you last took a break.
You don’t have to do everything all at once, and life doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple living is mindful living.

Kalender Peperiksaan STPM 2013

Kalendar Peperiksaan STPM Baharu 2013

10 Tips to Study Smart and Save Time

By Scott H Young

Book Tags
I recently got my marks back from University. My grade point average was a 4.2 out of a possible 4.5, resting between an A and a perfect A+. In itself, this isn’t an incredible achievement. But I managed to do this while spending only a fraction of the time studying than many of the people I knew.
Is it just natural talent? Perhaps. I’ve always had a knack for understanding concepts and learning new ideas. But I also believe the way I learned the information played a role. Instead of cramming last minute or memorizing details, I try to organize information in a way that makes it easier to recall.
This strategy of organization I label holistic learning. Holistic learning is simply the process of organizing information into webs, that interconnect ideas. Instead of forcing ideas into your skull, you focus on the relationships between information. Linking ideas together to see the whole, instead of just the parts.
Building an Understanding
Learning is a process similar to building a house. You aren’t fed the complete picture. Limitations on communication prevent the instantaneous transmission of knowledge. Instead you listen to lectures, read textbooks and take painstaking notes to try and comprehend a subject.
You are fed building supplies, bricks, mortar and glass. It is up to you to assemble the building. Unfortunately, most learning strategies fall into two basic types:
  1. Memorization – Instead of building anything you simply stare at each brick for several minutes trying to record its position.
  2. Formulas – This is the equivalent to being blind, fumbling around a new house. You can’t see the building itself but you learn to come up with simple rules to avoid walking into walls.
There is nothing particularly wrong with either of these strategies, assuming they aren’t your entire strategy. The human brain isn’t a computer so it can’t memorize infinite sums of knowledge without some form of structure. And formulas no longer work if the questions they are designed to solve change scope.
Learning Holistically
The alternative strategy is to focus on actually using the information you have to build something. This involves linking concepts together and compressing information so it fits in the bigger picture. Here are some ideas to get started:
  1. Metaphor – Metaphors can allow you to quickly organize information by comparing a complex idea to a simple one. When you find relationships between information, come up with analogies to increase your understanding. Compare neurons with waves on a string. Make metaphors comparing parts of a brain with sections of your computer.
  2. Use All Your Senses - Abstract ideas are difficult to memorize because they are far removed from our senses. Shift them closer by coming up with vivid pictures, feelings and images that relate information together. When I learned how to do a determinant of a matrix, I remembered the pattern by visualizing my hands moving through the numbers, one adding and one subtracting.
  3. Teach It - Find someone who doesn’t understand the topic and teach it to them. This exercise forces you to organize. Spending five minutes explaining a concept can save you an hour of combined studying for the same effect.
  4. Leave No Islands – When you read through a textbook, every piece of information should connect with something else you have learned. Fast learners do this automatically, but if you leave islands of information, you won’t be able to reach them during a test.
  5. Test Your Mobility - A good way to know you haven’t linked enough is that you can’t move between concepts. Open up a word document and start explaining the subject you are working with. If you can’t jump between sections, referencing one idea to help explain another, you won’t be able to think through the connections during a test.
  6. Find Patterns – Look for patterns in information. Information becomes easier to organize if you can identify broader patterns that are similar across different topics. The way a neuron fires has similarities to “if” statements in programming languages.
  7. Build a Large Foundation - Reading lots and having a general understanding of many topics gives you a lot more flexibility in finding patterns and metaphors in new topics. The more you already know, the easier it is to learn.
  8. Don’t Force - I don’t spend much time studying before exams. Forcing information during the last few days is incredibly inefficient. Instead try to slowly interlink ideas as they come to you so studying becomes a quick recap rather than a first attempt at learning.
  9. Build Models – Models are simple concepts that aren’t true by themselves, but are useful for describing abstract ideas. Crystallizing one particular mental image or experience can create a model you can reference when trying to understand. When I was trying to tackle the concept of subspaces, I visualized a blue background with a red plane going through it. This isn’t an entirely accurate representation of what a subspace is, but it created a workable image for future ideas.
  10. Learning is in Your Head – Having beautiful notes and a perfectly highlighted textbook doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the information in it. Your only goal is to understand the information so it will stick with you for assignments, tests and life. Don’t be afraid to get messy when scrawling out ideas on paper and connecting them in your head. Use notes and books as a medium for learning rather than an end result.