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Heart of A Keys November 10, 2007

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Yoseph Ade Setiawan

Anyone ever heard about Alicia Keys? born in 1980, a multi talented Singer, song writer who have won numerous awards, including nine Grammy Awards, eleven Billboard Music Awards, and three American Music Awards.
Besides being a musician, Keys is also an active philanthropist. She is a spokeswoman for Keep a Child Alive, a non-profit organization that provides life-saving AIDS medicines directly to children and families with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

I knew that when the first time I see her in the MTV, I’m gonna be her fans. I like her music and she is pretty off course—bring delightment to my eyes. But more than that, I draw to her more because of her attitude and character when singing. The first time I saw her singing while playing piano, I know she is an extraordinary person.

Below is a part of her interview with reader’s digest:

RD(Reader’s Digest): You’ve won nine Grammys. When they started coming, did you feel that maybe you didn’t deserve to win?
Keys(Alicia Keys): It’s very surreal. But then I remembered this quote about how shrinking from the light doesn’t serve the world, that you serve by showing the world that we do deserve to be beautiful and proud and tall and all the great things that can come our way.

My comment: Well,… what an answer. It leaves me with a minute of pondering and thinking. Deep answer….

RD: You’re involved in a couple of charities. Tell us about why that work is important to you.
Keys: I went to South Africa in 2002 for MTV’s World AIDS Day broadcast. I went to medical clinics and there were all these kids, a little younger than me, like 14, living with AIDS. That blew my mind.
One woman came up to me and said, “Can you help us? We can’t get any medicine and our babies can’t live.” She was pregnant. I felt like the whole world was on my shoulders.
After that trip, I was scheduled to go to the Seychelles, which are beautiful, expensive islands off the coast of Africa. I got there and never felt so much guilt in my life. I would get these huge bills for breakfast and feel like hell. I realised at that moment I can’t just go back to New York and pretend I had never seen what I did in South Africa. So I got involved with Keep A Child Alive, which provides anti-retroviral medications for [HIV-positive] kids who would never be able to afford it in places like Africa.

RD: Do you have a message for young people?
Keys: My main thing is to be unstoppable. When you believe in yourself, there’s nothing that you can’t do. Having the vigour to say that I can dream the biggest dream and make it happen is what makes this world so great.
I look at buildings, I look at airplanes, and I’m like this was somebody’s crazy idea that a million people told them is never going to work. And it’s here now. So I believe in the power of us.

Now I became more than a fans. I admire her! She’s destined to be big. She have the talent which make her to the top, plus she have the character which will keep her there.

Faith in others October 30, 2007

Posted by reason4smile in Courage, Leadership, People, Spiritual.
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Today I’m reminded of so many people that I have met in my life that has so much faith in me, even when sometimes I don’t. Some is just a sentence, and some is in a long conversation, but something similar between them is that their statements of their faith in me really encourage me a lot, and it’s something that I will remember all of my life.

 

 

For ways to express your faith to others, check the full article in my new blog here.

 

Being interesting October 29, 2007

Posted by reason4smile in Book, Leadership, People.
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What makes a person interesting? Not necessarily the topic he/she is talking about. It’s more of ‘how’ than ‘what’, more of how he talk, how he communicate his/her ideas instead of the topic he is speaking about.

Today I want to share from a book I’m reading right now, in fact I’m studying it. It’s not an inspirational book, it is a technical, IT-related book. I’ve been thinking all along, whether anything that I can share about the book I’m reading right now in my blog. Of course I don’t want to share technical stuff in this blog, otherwise this blog will be reason2program or reason2code instead of reason2smile =)

The book is one of the Head First series (can be checked in Amazon here) and I study this book for a certification I plan to take next month. Something very interesting about this book was that how it’s been structured not in a conventional way, a way that the topic becomes very interesting and easier for readers to understand.

Some of the things I learned from the author of the books that I find it might be useful for us to become more interesting:

Available at my new blog, please check the article here.

Encouraging others… October 23, 2007

Posted by reason4smile in Courage, Leadership, People, Spiritual.
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Remember your thoughts do not bless anybody but you…

Joel Osteen

This post is inspired by article from SuccessBeginsToday.org, Building Up & Enlarging People.
How to encourage people?
Firstly: think more about others in your thought, all of us will think a looot about ourselves, what will we get? what is the impression of others about me? etc. Put into your thoughts about thinking of others, think about what will encourage others to do better.
Secondly: as the post from SuccessBeginsToday.org, speak it out, let the other person know, simple words is better than long paragraph not spoken, or spoken not at the right time.

I realize that time commitments and my perfectionist streak hinder me from making quick replies to e-mail or leaving a quick comment on a blog.
Joel’s statement got me thinking… isn’t it better to send a short note saying “great job,” than not sending a more elaborate note because I don’t have time to write it.

John (SuccessBeginsToday.org)

If you find it hard to write a long encouragement note, no idea of what to write and tell, start by a simple words, or even just a show of thumbs!

Read the full article here! Really recommended feeds for you to learn a lot things, small steps to be taken today if you want to be successful!

N.B.: I’d like to thank my friends as well: Koala, Yoseph, Oon, and Daniel, for their short note of encouragement that keeps me blogging. Thanks for Darryl and Andri for their feedbacks. That really means a lot to me guys!

Let’s talk about God October 21, 2007

Posted by reason4smile in Courage, Leadership, People, Purpose, Spiritual, Wisdom.
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Having difficulty to talk about God in your daily life? Most of us think that talking about God and even more about Christianity is unnatural, it seems unusual and even strange.

First question you need to ask yourself, does God take only a part of your life? or whole of your life? Adrian Ng, a brother in my church gave a very good message and illustration on God-soaked life. A life where God is on the throne, directing all the aspects of our life.

First step, will you have excitement to talk about God, finding out the relevance of anything under the sun to the God’s big story of human kind redemption? God-soaked life means that your life is inseparable from God, He commands all the aspects of our life, hence it’s very natural for us to talk about Him.

Second step, creatively talk about God, have empathy and listen to the needs of others, not only as a mere “soul to be saved”, but really out of our love for others.

This post is inspired by the message brought by Adrian Ng, “How to talk about God to your friends”

Networking for introvert October 16, 2007

Posted by reason4smile in Courage, Leadership, People, Spiritual.
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Continuing from my article on “Overcoming Shyness“, on that same day, I also read this article “How to Network: For Introverts” from Businesspundit.com. I was searching the net on articles about networking as I was expected to attend a networking session to represent my company, and I found this unique article, networking tips especially for introverts.

It’s true that for us, introverts, networking is not easy, we’re just uncomfortable with chit-chatting about trivial issue, getting to know new person, etc.

How I summed up the article is the importance of courage and persistence, to come and pick some networking events to attend to, and within the event itself, to approach new people and to get to know them.

Few quotes from the articles:

The hardest part for me was the first few events. I sometimes feel like I don’t know what to say when I meet new people. I would be soooo much more comfortable if someone started a conversation by asking me what I thought of utilitarianism as a way to make ethical decisions, or whether Sarbanes-Oxley has encouraged companies to list on other exchanges. Ideas usually seem so much more interesting than people. But, by sticking it out, month after month, I’ve slowly learned some good things to say, and grown more comfortable meeting strangers. So trust me when I say it gets easier.

Another important point the author said is that seeing networking as investment instead of nuisance, kind of networking with purpose.

Networking is an important key to unlocking your own potential. So play by the rules of the game the best that you can, or don’t sit and complain when you have a great idea and no one to help you launch it.

Who said that introverts doesn’t have advantage in networking? the author also has a point on introverts’ strength in networking.

Introverts are intuitive and analytical. Use that skill. What is working? What isn’t? Where do you get the most bang for your buck?

So, for the introverts out there, let’s try to have the courage to speak out, hang out, and networks! It’s hard in the beginning, but it’s worth it!

For more tips, check the full article here.

And the credit belongs to … October 15, 2007

Posted by reason4smile in Courage, Leadership, People, Spiritual.
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Me and myself? or others? Often we blame mistakes on others and take credit to ourselves. Here is a quote that Terry Paulson put in his article “Beating the Blame Game“.

I’m just a plowhand from Arkansas, but I have learned how to hold a team together. How to lift some men up, how to calm down the others, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat together, a team. There’s just three things I’d ever say: If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you.

Bear Bryant (Football Coach)

John Maxwell in his book Be A People Person also quoted the above statements on becoming a person that people trust. It takes more than skills to become a good leader, it also takes character and attitude.

So… will you take the credit and pass the blame? or take the blame and pass the credit?
The choice is yours!

Relationship: Loving people just because they exist October 8, 2007

Posted by reason4smile in Courage, Leadership, People, Spiritual.
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When do you love people? I’m sure we all love or at least like people when they are care about us, helping us, or maybe when we can get or learn something from them. But… how about loving people just because they exist?

Since when do you love people just because they exist? Since you found out that’s what God does! So when it comes to loving yourself, do what God does: Look at yourself and see something beautiful. Soon you’ll see everyone else that way, too.

John Fischer

If we want to simulate God’s love to the world, we have to love them just because they exist. And love doesn’t mean that we accept whatever they are doing, love sometimes have to correct them, when they make some mistakes or incorrect decision.

Another point is that, how difficult that person is toward you, find something beautiful in them and remind yourself, God sees you beautiful, so is that other person.

Art of Selling October 6, 2007

Posted by reason4smile in Courage, Leadership, People, Spiritual.
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We are all selling, either selling our products if we are businessmen, salesmen and women, selling our time to our bosses if we are employee or even selling “ourselves” to potential life partner.

Rule #1 to understand what makes people tick: People Mostly Care About Themselves
It’s an important note to be applied in our relationships if we want to be successful in selling.

I read about an interesting quote in John Maxwell’s book “Be A People Person” about motivating people for their benefit:

“You have to close through your eyes”.

Tom Hopkins (How to Master the Art of Selling)

 

Inside that book, Tom Hopkins gives an example of successful blind salesman who attributed his success in selling his properties on his blindness. The fact that he couldn’t see the properties he sold, requested him to sell through the eyes of his prospect.

You must see the benefits and features and limitations of your product or service from your potential buyer’s viewpoint. You must weigh them on his scale of values, not your own.

Tom Hopkins (How to Master the Art of Selling)

Be A People Person

To get the book, here is the link from amazon.com.

Be Strategic! (New Story of The Hare and Tortoise) October 3, 2007

Posted by reason4smile in Leadership, People.
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Brought to you by: W. Amer, Senior HR Consultant BlueTech Inc. A Global Human Resource and Technology Management Company.

New Story of the Hare and Tortoise

Once upon a time a tortoise and a hare had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. They agreed on a route and started off the race.

The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that he was far ahead of the tortoise, he thought he’d sit under a tree for some time and relax before continuing the race.

He sat under the tree and soon fell asleep. The tortoise plodding on overtook him and soon finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ.

The hare woke up and realized that he’d lost the race. The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race.

This is the version of the story that we’ve all grown up with.

But then recently, someone told me a more interesting version of this story. It continues.

The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some Defect Prevention (Root Cause Analysis). He realized that he’d lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax.

If he had not taken things for granted, there’s no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed.

This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles.

The moral of the story

Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady.

If you have two people in your organisation, one slow, methodical and reliable, and the other fast and still reliable at what he does, the fast and reliable chap will consistently climb the organisational ladder faster than the slow, methodical chap.

It’s good to be slow and steady; but it’s better to be fast and reliable.

But the story doesn’t end here. The tortoise did some thinking this time, and realised that there’s no way he can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted.

He thought for a while, and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly different route.

The hare agreed. They started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river.

The finishing line was a couple of kilometers on the other side of the river.

The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race.

The moral of the story?

First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency.

In an organisation, if you are a good speaker, make sure you create opportunities to give presentations that enable the senior management to notice you.

If your strength is analysis, make sure you do some sort of research, make a report and send it upstairs. Working to your strengths will not only get you noticed but will also create opportunities for growth and advancement.

The story still hasn’t ended.

The hare and the tortoise, by this time, had become pretty good friends and they did some thinking together. Both realised that the last race could have been run much better.

So they decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this time.

They started off, and this time the hare carried the tortoise till the riverbank. There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back.

On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together. They both felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they’d felt earlier.

The moral of the story?

It’s good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies; but unless you’re able to work in a team and harness each other’s core competencies, you’ll always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you’ll do poorly and someone else does well.

Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the person with the relevant core competency for a situation take leadership.

There are more lessons to be learnt from this story.

  • Note that neither the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failures. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure.
  • The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as he could. In life, when faced with failure, sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in more effort.
  • Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try something different. And sometimes it is appropriate to do both.
  • The hare and the tortoise also learnt another vital lesson. When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation, we perform far better.

BE STRATEGIC!