I have something to confess.  This book is long overdue. What do I mean by that? I actually bought this book  in the beginning of the year but I only manage to finish reading this book now.  A very though-provoking read as it makes me think how different the world has become. I start wondering to myself: Am I doing enough for the students to prepare them for what is in store with them? I feel that I really need to move faster and get my students to embrace the exciting world. Definitely not by drilling them for PSLE of course. It is more than that. 

The world is changing and if you are not moving (and prefer to remain status quo), you are falling behind. We are living in the era of asymmetry , complexity and uncertainty. It is exciting world we are living in. Let’s embrace it and not be afraid of it.

Here are the major themes that may guide us how we can survive this exciting times:

(1) Emergence over Authority – No more control and command, pls. And definitely no executive order. 

(2) Pull over Push

(3) Compass over Maps – No more guided instructions. Just do it with a compass guiding our ways. 

(4) Risk over safety

(5) Disobedience over Compliance

(6) Practice over theroy . It is practice-theory, thinking-doing.  2 sides of the same coin. We should not be separating them

(7) Diversity over ability – The wisdom of the crowd! 

(8) Resilience over strength

(9) Systems over object



On Making Smart Decision

This book is the HBR’s 10 must read on making smart decisions.

One of the key takeaway is the hidden traps that we may fall into making decision [Article]. These include anchoring trap, status-quo trap, sunk-cost trap, confirming evidence trap , framing trap and estimating and forecasting trap.  As I look through these traps, I guess I am more prone to confirming evidence trap and sunk-cost trap. Guess I really need to be more “open” and look for dis-conforming trap. As for sunk-cost trap,  I need to learn when to let go. Just because I put in lots of efforts, that does not mean that I need to hang on to it. When it is time to let go, just let go!

Another thing that strikes me is the near misses [Link].  These misses make make us fall into the trap of thinking everything is all right. Even a small deviation might mean something terrible in the long run. There is always a need to uncover the root cause and get to the bottom of any deviation. One has to be alert and must learn to ‘smell’ such near miss

In another article on “How (Un)ethical are you”,  one has to be more aware of our unconscious biases such as implicit prejudice, in-group favoritism and overclaiming credit. I think I am more prone to over-claiming credit biases as I always think that I work the hardest. Maybe time for me to rethink this biases.

360-Degree Leader

Currently, I am also reading the 360° Leader by John Maxwell.  It is easy to read as most of the principles are ‘common-sense’. It is all about making the implicit explicit and making one more aware of the way we are doing certain things.

Okay, I admit , I am skeptical as I read the book and I go like “liddat can also write book’.  On reflection, I guess that is because I am actually demonstrating the principles almost all the time.  I am not being egoistic here but I am just being truthful. 🙂

For example, I lead up by becoming a go-to player and be prepared every time you take the leader’ time (I seldom go to my boss’s office without any possible resolution).  I lead across by being avoiding politics and put completing follow leaders ahead of them. I lead down by modelling the behaviour I desire.

Being a humble me, I still have my AFI. Here are things that I need to work on :

(1) Expand your circle of acquaintances

I am basically quite anti-social and do not really like to make small talk and make new friends. Perhaps, I should consider doing this more  . But this is not so ‘me’.  Another way I can look at this is to get to know friends who know more friends. If I need help, I just need to go to them.


(2) Walk slowly through the Halls

I really need to slow down! I am quick and do things fast. Hence, I can be impatient at times when things are not done and I will do it myself. This is something I *must*  stop myself. I cannot use my standard to judge other people. I really need to slow down!



Lean In By Sheryl Sandberg

Chpt 6 : Seek and Speak your Truth

  • I totally agree that there is no such thing as absolute truth. It is only my truth (point of view) and your truth (your point of view). So, with this framing, we can be more emphatic and be more mindful  when communicating with other.
  • We always say that we are open to feedback but do our actions really reflect that? That is the question that I need to constantly interrogate myself.

I always have a tendency to be defensive and try to respond to the critic when someone make a comment on my department.  I really need to step back and listen and stop myself from reacting. That is something I need to constantly remind myself. Some feedback might not be useful and just those typical complaints but I need to learn not to respond first and jump to conclusion. Hear the feedback , detach myself from the feedback (it is about the program and not me), and see if the feedback is valid.  If I do not show that I am willing to listen, how can I expect feedback?  Something for me to work on in 2018

2018 Challenge : Read a book every month

Since I have completed my thesis, I am now ‘more free’. No more writing over the weekend. So, now, I have given myself a new challenge. Read a book every month and blog about it.

For the last month of 2017, I am trying to read 4 books concurrently. So, I will try to blog about these books for Dec! Hope that I can sustain it!