Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Book Review : Focal Point ( Part One )

To encourage you to read this book, let me start this book review with the story that the author used in his introduction for this book. The story went like this;
"  Once upon a time, the was a major technical problem at a nuclear power plant. This malfunction was slowing energy generation and reducing the efficiency of the entire operation.
    As much as they tried, the plant's engineers could not identify and solve the problem. So they brought in one of the nations top consultants on nuclear power plant construction and engineering to see whether he could determine what was wrong. The consultant arrived, put on a white coat, tookhis clipboard, and went to work. For the next two days, he walked around studying the hundreds of dials and gauge in the control room, taking notes and making calculations
    At the end ofthe second day, he took a black felt marker out of his pocket, climbed up on the ladder, and put a large black "X" on one of the gauges.
    "This is the problem," he explained. "Repair and replace the apparatus connected to this meter, and the problem will be solved."
     He then took off his white smock, drove back to airport and flew home. The engineers disassembled the apparatus and discovered that, sure enough, thiswas the cause of the problem. It was soon repaired, and the plant was back up to full capacity.
     About a week later the plant manager recieved a bill from the consultant for $10,000 for "services rendered."
      The plant manager was suprised at the size of the bill, even though this was a multibillion-dollar facility and the problem had been costing an enormous amount of money in lost generating capacity. After all, he reasoned, the consultant had come in, stood around for a couple of days, written a black "X" on one of the gauges, and then returned home. Ten thousand dollars seemed like a high fee for such a simple job.
       The plant manager wrote back to the consultant, "We have recieved a bill. Could you please break down and itemize your charges? It seems that all you did was writeone "X" on a single gauge. Ten thousand dollars appears to be excessive for this amount of work."
       Some days later, the plant manager recieved a new invoice from the consultant. It said "for placing "X" on gauge: $1.00. For knowing which gauge to place "X" on $9,999."
       This simple story illustrates the most important single principle of success, achievement, and happiness in life. Knowing where to put the "X" in each part of your life is the critical determinant of everything you accomplish.
       This "X" is your focal point."

Well, I know, that is a long story but it is good example of indentifing a focal point in my life. In the next part of this review, I will share with you some critical questions in determining your life focal points.

Meanwhile, to learn more about this book, click here

Friday, December 27, 2013

Create Your Knowledge Bank

Some of you maybe confuse with the title of this article. Actually it is about accumulating knowledge. You know, bank normally means a place to keep something ; money / valueables etc. So knowledge bank therefore is a place to keep your knowledge :) . You may say then the place to store the knowledge should be your head or brain.
You may be right to some extent. But, I am talking about recording, keeping your knowledge in a journal or notebooks or file.

Many of successful people that I read about have systematic ways of accumulating or keeping their knowledge. Many of us read books, articles, listen to talks in radios, seminars etc. some of us, take notes while listenening to this events. If you are, your are one step ahead of majority of people. Some people just listen. When the events finish, so do the information shared. All the ideas or information do not really stick in their minds. But if you take notes, most probably the ideas will stick with you longer. But, the question is, where do you keep that notes? Do you keep it in a systematic place where you can refer it in the future? Or just let them loose?

To take a full advantage of great ideas and knowledge, we must keep this knowledge or ideas well organized. Have a system ; file accoding to subject...if digital...use many apps such evernote, etc....file accoding to catagery...kuliah, books, quotes, you can also post it in your blog.

So, it is time to create and increase your knowledge bank...and this will one day increase your savings in your bank acconts!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Book Review : The 80 / 20 Manager

The 80/20 rule is already relatively common. It is about 80 per cent of almost everything is contributed by 20 per cent of  contributors. Example, 80 per cent of your sales' team is contributed by 20 per cemt of your salepersons. If look at it, it almost true to almost to any situations. A majority of outputs is normally contributed to only a few number of of factors. Some people say, it is about determining the few vital factors. It is so true!.

This book is focusing on how this rule can help the manager. But if you are not a manager, this book is also very useful to you. The author, Richard Koch, has sold more than 1 million copies of book on the subject matter related to 80/20 rule. 

Main part of the book is explaining on 10 ways to be an 80/20 manager ; from The Investigating Manager to The Strategic Manager. Here, as usual,  I just share three of the ways;

1) The Superconnecting Manager
It is about developing super network in your career. Great networking is an example of a critical few factors in becoming a great manager.

2) The Mentoring Managing
Developing others through mentoring is a sure fire way to boost your career in becoming a great manager. Great leaders develop leaders.

3) The Leveraged Manager
It is about using levers such as subconscious, confidence, trust, people and money in getting great result. The idea of using subconscious really interest me; example on how the author was told to read all exam questions carefully before starting to writebhis first answer. That had gave his subconscious mind the opportunity to begin to marshall information for all of the answers. :)

Of course, my sharing here is very limited. There are many more ways being discussed by the author such as ; The Time Rich Manager, The Strategic Manager etc.

I bought this at Kinokuniya for RM57.90. You can also buy and read several pages at Here

Saturday, December 21, 2013

2014 Is Coming

Many of us are counting days for 2014. Maybe some just can't wait..so eager to pass the 2013. So, what are your plans for 2014? Just take a few days left to really think on what you want 2014 be for you. Here are the tips;

1. Find time to be alone ; invest two , three hours just to think and plan for your 2014. Take leaves or take 2-3 hours of your Sat or Sun just to be alone. Maybe " lock" yourself in the hotel room, surau, masjid, park , starbuck or wherever you find comfortable. Bring pen (s) and a stack of blank paper for you to write on.

2. During that alone time, maybe you want to think about "What are your BIG 5 ?" ( borrower idea from Robin Sharma :) ). This can be any area of your life. Example; religion, health, family, career and finance. Each of that area, may be decide 2-3 things you want to achieve or start doing next year.

Religion ; May be everyday you want to ensure perfect all Solah, Read Quran and  perform Suboh Pray at mosque / surau.
Health ; Exercise 15 mins daily, take supplements and drink 8 glass of plain water daily.
Family : Spend 45 mins everynite with kids on their schooling or just listening to their day's events, dinner together.
Career : Arrive office 30 mins early, break after 90 mins focus hour, planning the nite before.
Finance: Update / record daily expenses before go to sleep, read book on finance, find / develop ideas how to generate second income.

Of course, the main challenge is to work the plans. Listing what we want to do / achieve is easy. To make it happen and on consistent basis is the real issue. For me, make the things you want to achieve becme your habits. How? List the activities and track them daily. Does not matter if you fail, once, twice, etc..but do not give up..keep doing and tracking...it will become your habits sooner than you thought possible.

Let's make it BIG in 2014.