Archive for November 2007

Its your strength, not your weakness – Drew’s Boston Box I


What we know we know 

What we know we don't know 


Seek a mentor

Leverage knowledge

Strife to make it through

Put in your best 

Seek and Create

Be open to accept knowledge

Read wide

Listen more

Be informed 

What we don't know we know 

What we don't know we don't know

Go the extra-mile

Seek knowledge

Value people with the knowledge

Seek Help 

Be exposed

Seek Opportunities to learn

Be Open to receive

Humble to ask

Ignorance is not an excuse

Source: Adapted from Drew's Boston Box


When you are sure of what you know and you know that you know that you know what you know; then all you have to do is create value from it. Many have lived life as though they were dead in it because they refused to create value from what they know. They know they know it but there fear of articulating what they knew; the fear of facing challenges; the anticipated pressures from the surrounding and the uncertainties they have to battle with, made what they knew die within them.

The world in which we are, where uncertainty is the only certainty, it is only necessary to take risks putting - forth what you know to get what you want. Don't mind the winds, it will soon stop, don't mind the raging of the sea, it will soon come to an utmost calm, never mind the storm, there would soon be peace but first of all, you have to step out of your shell. "A snail that remains in its shell will forever remain stagnant until the day of its death". Kiasu is a raging force against this part of a man's life – the fear of losing in the game they know how to play best makes them see themselves as unfit to play the game even when they are sure they are very good at it. That's why someone said "the wealthiest place on earth is the grave yard" - as many have died without unlocking what they possess on their inside.

To fully create value from what you know and you are sure you know; you have to engage in the following; Benchmark against others that know how to do the same thing. Seek a mentor. Seek the wisdom of people who have done it in the past that have either failed or succeeded. Move with the right people: people that will encourage you to go for your dream; people ready to help you realize your utmost potential. "The companion of the wise, shall be wiser but the companions of the fools shall be destroyed" - The Holy Bible.
Put in your best; do not relent; don't get tired; pursue until you reach it. You will surely make it!


This quarter of the box is where some people see themselves as nonentities in life whereas they are bunch of goldmine on the inside. These kinds of people tend to be lazy at exploring who they really are because they believe they are nothing. They are fond of comparing themselves with others instead of seeking ways and avenues to develop themselves.

"What is power I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it" - Alexander Graham Bell.

The interesting thing is, not knowing what you know kills. This is because, if you are not careful that precious deposit you have been wired with, will die on your inside without being explored, utilized or maximized. People that go all the way to discover the things they know do not regret in the end. Some people possess this "Alright, that's me" kind of attitude when they know they are not even harnessing 50% of what they possess. The fear of going the extra mile to dig for the gold that lies within them would not let them. Sickening!

I encourage you therefore, read wild and wide, explore your world, seek opportunities and put aside excuses; if you must get to where you ought to be – that's the sacrifice you have to make. You have the energy present on your inside to get to wherever in life, you want to get to; all you have to do is determine to get there.

Remember this; "The secret of success is the consistency to pursue" – Harry F. Banks and "The best things to do in life are always the hardest things to do" – Robin Sharma. The good news is; they can be done; they are only difficult but not impossible – so go for it!


Its your strength, not your weaknesses - 'KIASU' mentality


"Kiasu" is a mentality that has a literary meaning "the fear of not losing". The blog will be a little different from past literatures on this topic as I would be relating it to this topic in series. "Kiasu-ism" has made lots of people focus on the fear of not losing rather than the passion to succeed. Its an insistence on being competitive rather than making it without pulling other down. Its obvious that this is the reason why lots of people commit suicide even when they havent failed and they are only seeing signs of failing. In Africa, where I come from, people still rejoice, when things look bad. Suicide is the last thing on people's mind. But I have come to discover, kiasu-ism always bring the option "do not face your challenges, rather run away from them". This is a bad mentality. (Chaudhry, 2005) stated that Kiasu mentality is also associated with ‘knowledge is power’ meaning when you share knowledge, you have just lost your 'exclusiveness' (power).

Its being stated in many of the literatures I have gone through that this mentality is exhibited the most by Singaporeans and Malaysians and I guess that is why we hear of suicide incidences so much well in this part of the world. The fear of losing will not get anybody anywhere rather, in the name of not losing, they put aside success pursuits and aggressively race against competition. Zsolt said this about the mentality " be kiasu is not only to be competitive. Kiasu people are driven out of fear of losing probably more than the desire to succeed." Wikipedia has this to say "Examples of kiasu behaviour includes accumulating too much food on one's plate during a buffet lunch in case there is no more later, or joining a queue many days in advance just to ensure that one successfully gets hold of the limited free tickets to events, promotions". It sounds good; doesnt it? but its bad in that it keeps your very focus on what you can lose than what you can thrive at.

Consider an organisation where you have bunch of kiasu people, the possibility of a forward movement is absolutely not certain because people will not share knowledge that will help the organisation grow with each other rather they will hoard their knowledge in the name of doing better than others; (Chaudhry & Ang, 2001) found a considerable duplication of efforts (reiventing the wheel) in knowledge capturing because of lack of knowledge sharing practices in a large multinational company operating in Singapore - meaning there are lots of duplication because people refuse to share what they know and what they have learnt with others. (Ang, 2002) conducted a study to assess the level of knowledge sharing in a Ministry in Singapore. The study indicated that possession of specialized knowledge and technical skills were perceived as source of personal power in the organization.

Imagine a church where you have bunch of kiasu people, unity there, will never have its course because there will be no brotherly love amongst its brethren; think of a family/home filled with kiasu-ism, independence will reign in place of family bond because competition will persist; If it then exist too much in a man's life, his weaknesses will kill him before he discovers his strengths - perhaps thats why there are too many treasures unexploited before they were buried in graves.
How then can we deal with this mentality, take out competition from your dictionary and focus on your own race. How can you make it without pulling others down. Stop thinking about the consequences of failing before embarking on anything you want to do. Think positively; focus on your strengths and let you weaknesses die of negligence (hunger of the fact that you dont care about it). "Dont let the fear of losing kill your passion for winning" - Le dynamique professeur. Remember; Its your strengths that matters and not your weaknesses.

- Le dynamique professeur

Its about your strength not your weaknesses - Part 1

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What I am about to talk about is a topic that will ensue lots of arguments though but the fact remains that; no man grows and leaves where he is if he continues to lament on his weaknesses and forgets about his strengths. If an organisation decides to start spending lots of money on what they cannot do, then will then run bankrupt at the end of the day, simply because they are not focussing on their strength.

Two wonderful authors coined a term called "Core competency" in 1990; they are: C.K Prahad and Gary Hamel and they defined it as; "an area of specialized expertise that is the result of harmonizing complex streams of technology and work activity." the so-called core competency of an organisation has to satisfy three conditions namely;

1. It provides benefits to the company

2. Hard to imitate by competitors

3. Can be leveraged to produce many other products.

Dear Reader, what is/are that area of your specialized expertise? what is/are that thing you do so much well that its like when you are doing it, every other thing just don't count at that minute? what is/are it that when you are doing it, the sweat that comes out of it is more of a river of joy than an expense of hard labour? what is/are that thing you do so much that people give you credit for it even when you dont think you have done it well enough? what is/are that thing that connects you easily to people and they just cant let go of you because they see that asset and value in you?

I am glad to announce to you thats where your core competency lie. But the problem with our world is too many of us focus on our weaknesses until we are depressed by them. We strengthen our fears so much that our strength disappears into thin air. We believe so much in the things we can not do/can never do than the things we can do - and even do better than anyone else. The question then is; what is the reason behind this? Were we all wired like this or we just need to do something about it?

"Men of great heights focus on their strenght not their threats" - Le dynamique professeur. If you focus too much on the things that threatens your going forward, its unarguable that you will never leave where you are for where you ought to be. Many have massacred their dreams and visions for life, while trying to overcome the weaknesses in their lives and neglecting the strengths they have. Do much more than you will ever do for anything else on your strength than your weaknesses in life and you will never regret it.

- Le dynamique professeur

NB: In the second part of this post, I shall bring out another interesting framework in knowledge Management that would explain this better.

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