National People Management and Development (Part 3)

Human ingenuity is infinite when translating power and discretion into personal gain… We allowed the courts to treat proof that an accused was living beyond his or her means or had property his or her income could not explain as corroborating evidence that the accused had accepted or obtained a bribe. – Lee Kuan Yew   How they kept the Govt Clean We conclude our three-part summary of the book From Third to First Worldby Lee Kuan Yew, hoping to glean insights for our use as a nation in transition. “When the PAP govt took office in 1959, we set … [Read more...]

National People Management and Development (Part 2)

After grappling with the problem of unemployment for years since we first took office in 1959, all of us in cabinet knew that the only way to survive was to industrialize – Lee Kuan Yew, From Third to First World   “Dr Tan Wee Kiat, former head of NParks, recalled how even though funds were short in those years, Lee Kuan Yew prioritised nationwide efforts to green the city’s roads and vacant spaces. Lee’s successor, Goh Chok Tong, once remarked that Singapore was the only sovereign nation he knew of that read a gardening report in the Cabinet”- … [Read more...]

National People Management and Development (Part 1)

“What is it I am trying to do? I am trying to create in a Third World situation, a First World oasis. I am not following any prescription given to me by any theoretician on democracy or whatever. I work from first principles, what will get me there: social peace and stability within the country; no fight between the races and the religions or whatever; fair share for everybody. I want investment. I’ve got nothing except skilled manpower and infrastructure. I build up infrastructure. I educate the people. We have the best educated work force anywhere in … [Read more...]

Need a Job Urgently? Hire Yourself (Part 2)

“You've got to be before you can do, and do before you can have” – Zig Ziglar Introduction A transitional economy as ours is bound to send a signal of hopelessness and despair to a job seeker and his family and network of friends. This is understandable. However, my hypothesis is this: even when you don’t know what to do, being confused or disoriented quadruples the challenge and makes a mole hill seem like a mountain. Based on my experience, observation and intellectual voyage, I feel strongly that there are things you can do to help yourself get a … [Read more...]

Need a Job Urgently? Hire Yourself! Part 1

  A Tale of Two Circles Stephen R. Covey was the one who said that there are two circles: Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence. The Circle of Concern covers everything for which you have a concern but which is beyond your control and influence. You can do almost nothing to change them. Eg the weather, terrorism, government debt, Abacha loot, your boss having a bad day, Shell’s hiring policy,the economy, UK’s visa application process etc. The Circle of Influence covers those things which you do have control or influence over. This … [Read more...]

iYOU: Spike Up Your Career . . . Manage it as a Brand

The date was the 29 June 2007. It was a Friday. I was there and they were there. I was at this humongous shopping mall and there was this really really long queue. It stretched all through the mall and further unto the street. “What in God’s name are these people queuing up for”. Those were my thoughts. And they remained my thoughts until it was reputationally-correct to ask someone. You couldn’t have imagined my shock when I got the answer. Those people were on that long queue waiting and waiting to be amongst the first people to pay and own a product. … [Read more...]

How to Run Down Your Own Company . . . Gradually, Part 2

“Every institution is vulnerable, no matter how great. No matter how much you’ve achieved, no matter how far you’ve gone, no matter how much power you’ve garnered, you are vulnerable to decline. There is no law of nature that the most powerful will inevitably remain at the top.” – Jim Collins, How the Mighty Fall In the preceding part of this article, published a month ago, I sought to establish that a company can be run down and gradually destroyed by its founder. That the same person who invested sweat, money, time, savings, relationships, career, … [Read more...]