Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Willow and the Oak tree - Revisited

This is the 2nd story dear to my heart:

The Willow and the Oak tree

Of course it's not about banging your head against the wall, or throwing yourself in front of a oncoming freight train.

But there will be a time where we need to make a stand.

To be counted.

And not hide behind "we"; "others are doing it"; "this expert says so"; or put a brown paper bag over our head and shout with a megaphone.

This post was inspired by the Occupy Raffles Place fiasco of 2011 - it seems so distant now....

But it can easily have been about investing and trading.

For eg, 

How many "value investors" are aware it takes tremendous courage and will of conviction to be one?

You buy when others are dumping and running for the hills and you sell when others are fighting hand over fists to buy....

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Grasshopper and the Ant - Revisited

I've noticed that I have some new readers playing here recently.

Adopting the environment friendly mantra of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, I would like to take the opportunity to introduce to new readers 3 old stories that I wrote ions ago.

These 3 stories can best encapsulate my current philosophy and outlook on life. This way, you don't have to sieve through my 3 and half years of postings trying to pin down who I am and what I stand for.

I saw someone used this Johari-window term recently. Yes, by being more open about myself, new readers can get the context and perspective of my posts better, once my bias and vested interests are known.

The first story and the one closest to my heart is:

The Grasshopper and the Ant

OMG! 2011?

Sometimes when bantering with my old readers, I'll call myself the Grasshopper. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Embrace Meritocracy; Not Paper Chase

No prizes where the inspiration for this post came about.

Most will focus on CPF (money, money, money); I focus on people.
Let's get the bogeyman out of the way. Embracing meritocracy will not increase happiness. In fact, it may probably increase more stress, angst, and burst the illusions for those who collect paper qualifications like collecting stamps or boy scout badges.

Why no increase in happiness?

When we have 1 vacancy, by shifting from giving it to the person with the most "ABCs" behind that person's name to the person who is most competent for the job, the number of disappointed applicants who didn't get the job remained the same.

Why may create more angst?

Those who have reached their glass-ceiling, what do they do? No, not investing for financial freedom. That comes much later.

It feels much better to "blame" our lack of paper qualifications right?

Instead of focusing on within, we put the focus on without.

Do you have courage to press the "reset" button like one brave blogger recently that did so with his portfolio? The day we stop telling little lies to ourselves is the day we move forward.

But off we go, collecting more "ABCs" behind our names.... Maybe this time I'll finally be recognised!

Can you imagine the angst if they see more examples like PM Lee have shown on the National Day Rally speech?


Someone should tell that ITE woman to stop competing in a man's world!


A Malay poly guy can be CEO in Qatar? Full Colonel some more!? I got MBA why no one pick me?


That Cheena man with NTC can be shipyard manager? Don't bluff me lah! Like that I study so hard for my evening Degree course for what?

What is Meritocracy when working for others?

Those working in SMEs know this already.

With fewer levels of management, and less employees, hired-guns have easier access and visibility from the Business Owner.

Hence, promotion opportunities are based on merit, relationships, and intuition - less on what papers you have.

Land owners and shepherds working in SMEs, feel free to correct me if it's not so.

For the benefit of those working in MNCs or for big daddy, the answer is:

What the Big Boss Man really cares about.

Human relations is EQ and Politics

I briefly hinted on relationships above. 

Meritocracy is not just about the intellectual realm. It's also about how we relate to other people. 

What is EQ?

EQ is office politics. (Or home politics for those living in big households) 

And if you always end up on the losing side in office politics, that means your EQ not that high lah!

OK, I better stop now, before I put my foot deeper into my mouth...

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