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At the workplace, disagreement and friction is common. This often manifests itself in office politics, which can affect productivity. Taken from my Facebook posting on 28 May 2018:

POLITICIANS IN THE OFFICE: An ex senior staff who had left my organisation a few years back met me and complained the office politics in the subsequent two companies he worked for were “unbelievably far worse.” If you say nothing can be certain except death and taxes, I’ll add a 3rd element to the list: organisational politics. While it’s a fact of company life, it shouldn’t get out of hand, because it could demoralise employees, hamper productivity and increase staff turnover. Workplace can become a political hotbed when too many people bring their personal emotions, ambitions and insecurities into their professional lives. I find managing dominant characters with different personalities and mindsets can take a lot of my patience. What’s important is that strong & genuine participants in a company shouldn’t be sidelined in favour of those who’ll use not their job skills but their carefully honed political strengths to succeed. How political is your workplace?

 

Selected followers’ comments:

Krizian Lim: My ex-MD used to say, “It’s easier to deal with a thousand machines than one human being.” Such complicated a human can be, especially the troublesome one.

My working environment before merger of the two public listed companies was rather harmonious. We might have different opinions, but we were all result-oriented. It’s easy for us to just ring and meet up to have discussion, just go upstairs or downstairs. We didn’t need sending emails to a team of troops in advance and a big conference room to accommodate tens of “relevant persons from various departments”.

The merger of two giant companies has also merged people from two different working systems and cultures. Other than seeing all the unbelievable problems surfacing from the “old regime” , my biggest challenge was to deal with the people – the office politicians. I had to deal with their skills in playing politics countless times. For example, the ex-colleague twisted the fact and was trying to put all the blame to me in front of my ex-MD, behind my back. Never did he know that my wise MD would pick up the phone , call me to come to his room to clarify. I saw my ex-colleague’s embarassed face of telling a lie. And there were many occasions I had to think of how to deal with all these backstabbing, traps and fighting for power on top of the many ridiculous real problems surfaced from tens of old projects. I told my superior I could deal with all the work related problems, but no energy left to deal with these politicians and Mr and Ms “I don’t know. It wasn’t handled by me.” That was when I decided it wasn’t a place for me. I gave my superior three months verbal notice in addition to the three months written notice to resign, while doing my best to settle all the mess and training up new people to take over.

Lawrence Lee: I had my share of politics (front stabbing and back stabbing) by colleagues. Colleague who stole my idea right in front of me and presented to our boss just a few feet away. What an audacity. But it was not my nature to pick fights and I kept quiet. Anyway, a lousy boss who does not possess the necessary industry knowledge and skills. I also saved the company at least $300,000 for a project i did. There are 2 colleagues who sweet talked got into the very good books of my boss. At another company, the politics is far worse. A colleague challenged me in front of the boss. She knows nothing much of the topic. The worst was this guy who backstabbed me by telling my client about my frustration with one client’s unreasonable delay in their order on the eve of a major public holiday. The operation staff could not process the order due to the lack of details and these are time sensitive. My experience is that many who are real workers and don’t talk much, are sidelined by the bosses because they don’t get heard by the bosses. My wife tells me of the same thing in other organisations. Why do staff resort to politics. One of the reason is that they don’t possess the real skills. The other is the Peter’s Principle. Of course, those who are very egoistic and ambitious will push their own agendas at all cost. The question is how does the top management put a cap on these sort of behaviour. How does the company communicate its ethos. if they have one at all? How does an organisation pick up such political personality before their employment. My wife had seen how one such individual got into a senior position and created big big havoc. Funny thing is her boss did not do proper check in the industry to get a feel of how good that person was in the previous organisation. While she and others have heard about this guy’s bad reputation, her boss has no idea. Her boss has a friendly disposition and just relied on his judgement. There are actually ways to sieve out such individuals beyond the usual interviews.

Emil Lee: Good morning and an incredible day to you Tan Sri Clement and also to all my online friends herein. In my opinion our survival instinct is so strong in that if we do not rein it in, it will cause a lot of pain and misery amongst our circle of aquaintances be it at work or play. I believe that we should all have a religion of our choice to guide us on the correct path as it will assume the role of a monitoring agent. Back stabbing is a vicious cycle of the animal instinct within us. No wonder the analogy of “by hook or by crook” rings a bell here.

 

29 May 2018

DIFFERENT CULTURES, SAME ETHICS: My business partnership with Stuart Johnston, principal of Peninsula Grammar School in Melbourne, is off to a good start. Already, we’re working on jointly launching a second K-12 institution in the months ahead. When partners from different regions work together, it’s obvious cultural norms would differ. The values, beliefs and customs that influence business decisions and strategies have to be understood from each other’s perspective. I had my 1st working relationship with a global university back in 1998, which I’d managed to convince to work with my smallish Kuching college. Since then, I’ve collaborated with many regional players, employed hundreds of expatriates, and tapped into the diverse knowledge base and insightful approaches of global minds like Stuart’s. I think a person’s culture will affect mostly his style in communication and etiquette. We can only be credible with our business partners, local or foreign, if we’re honest, transparent and we apply the win-win approach in all situations.

 

Selected followers’ comments:

Teh Lawrence: The mission and vision are clear. The take off must be smooth as should like a plane. TRUST is key to doors of transparency, accountability and humility to a win win approach.
With so many expatriates on board failure is not an option. You Tan Sri, the man with the magic wand of Malaysian education who if you claimed to be second best, no one else can claimed to be no one! You do this country proud and with New Malaysia much more can certainly be achieved.

Ron Juliet: Happy Morning Tan Sri Clement Hii and All the Buddies here.

Sometimes working with different nationality can bear greater harvest.
But there are also at time getting the wrong partnership can be a nightmare.
When both people having the same interest and enthusiasm, there is no turning back,but always look forward to make the business grows and expands.
Moreover,either way where about the business location may be at whose countries,
either one of the partner is familiar with the country regulations of setting up the business, and that will somehow makes the planning and execution easier according to the law of the country.

Tan Sri, to you and your partner Stuart Johnson, wishing you both every success in your beautiful and awesome partnership in the business.

Susan Quat: Not only in business but it applies to personal relationship too, honesty, transparency, sincerity , same goal / vision and sometimes we can agree to disagree but at the end of the day it is the win-win situation that’s gonna glued things together.

 

30 May 2018

ONE PERSON WE MUST REALLY LISTEN TO: We used to follow the wisdom of our elders and apply their teachings on how to live life and attain some level of glory. There wasn’t a need to reinvent the wheel. But now, everything changes at lighting speed, and uncertainty is the norm. We can’t rely on “proven” paths and methods anymore, as those predefined ways won’t work in a world of chaos. What our parents, teachers and other eminent persons tell us may not match the thriving and ever-changing world we now live in. Interestingly, many FB friends have written to ask me for “advice” on a great variety of issues. I really think no single shoe fits all. Clearly, I’ve not lived through the same predicaments or have the same wants as those who seek to pick my brain. In fact, I think we should take what all those “consultants” and “preachers” have to say with a grain of salt. Ultimately, the advice that’s worth the most is the one that we give to ourselves, as we’ve the best access to our own reality. So, my advice? Hear others out, and then listen to yourself more.

 

Selected followers’ comments:

Wong Choon Lan: Good afternoon Tan Sri Clement n dear all. The world has changed drastically, many things are not matching with the young generation anymore. Of course we can’t rely fully on the “ proven” paths n methods by our elders but there are some advices which we can still apply accordingly , mixed together with the new ideas which can match with the thriving n ever changing world. Totally agree with Tan Sri Clement “no single shoe fits all”, for everyone has gone through different predicaments n has the different wants. We may use the different roads but we will reach the same destination finally , it’s a matter of time indeed..So listen more to your inner heart, make sure you are very clear with what you want most n try to fulfill your dreams if not all. Cheers to a happy n blessed Wednesday!

Agatha Tan: As parents, I always ask my children what they want for themselves and go and pursue them. The changes today is like speed of lightning, what we went through may not be practical any more in today’s world . However, filial-piety and moral values such as honesty, respectful and compassionate mustn’t be ignored.

Rodjeanall Tinjan: “So, my advice? Hear others out, and then listen to yourself more”
-Clement Hii
Definitely, our wisdom of yesteryear, would be different in this, Internet era. But ONE thing for SURE Spiritual Wisdom is still Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. The Laws of Gravity and KARMIC never changed. Cheers, another sweet gorgeous Wednesday

 

31 May 2018

STRONG ONLY IF STRENGTHS COMBINED: In a business that’s on an expansion mode, I think it’s the core team that’s crucial in realising or torpedoing the growth roadmap of a company. When we’re in a leadership position, it’s more than just delegating work. We need to recognise the unique strengths of each team member and optimise those natural gifts. For my properties division, I rely heavily on different skill sets of key members like Ong Chou Wen, Clifford Hii, Dr Dennis Ling and Foong Peng Yew (not in pic). I think building on staff strengths is more effective in improving performance than trying to rectify their weaknesses. Business leaders have to hire people who know the industry, the trends, the competition and the marketplace, and they don’t find all that in one place and in one individual. It’s obvious a core team that combines the total sum of its strength gets better productivity and results.

 

Selected followers’ comments:

Alice YokYuen Wong: Today’s topic is most applicable to all of us in GE14, Hahaha….. I still haven’t gotten over the euphoria of a diverse alliance of all former foes uniting to form an alliance of hope, Pakatan Harapan! Nobody could ever have thought this possible that DS Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng as well as Mat Sabu could join hands with Tun Dr Mahathir, the very guy who had put all into prison previously. A common goal to rid our country of corruption united them. Everyone of them have their different strengths in drawing the voters from various backgrounds and it’s obvious their combined strengths achieved what was truly Impossible! A common goal that, we, the citizens, shared, so the rest is history!
Good morning everyone, nobody is strong in everything, we all are very good in certain areas so if the head of any organisation can make use of each individual’s strengths and expertise, success will follow. A wise employer should spot out the right candidate for the right position to get the optimum results! The most important thing is that there is Unity and the focus is on a common goal.

Daniel Chan: United we stand. Divided we fall !
Moving forward , with a clear conscience we are united, to face all odds with determinations, come what may , we never surrender to accept defeat. The spartacus being betrayed and surrounded by their enemies till their last breath did not give up easily. Their courage never failed them and all known of who they were.
What matter, we live and die for our people and to the nation we uphold. A true leader and united team match on to the road to glory. In God we trust !

Rohaty Majzub: Its certainly positive for a leader to capitalize on the strengths and capabilities of his team rather than recognizing the team’s weaknesses and mulling over them
Pyschologically people prefer to receive the reward from positive statements rather than elaborating from their weaknesses: there are those who harbour grudges even if they know that the leader meant well: the sucess of the organization depends a lot on the team and not on any individual: its hardly the truth if one is sucessful doing it alone
Many heads are better than one to ensure use of the thinking cap :

 

1 June 2018

A YOUNG MAN & HIS BILLIONS: Jho Low isn’t your average 30-something young entrepreneur. He’s chubby and baby-faced, but he’s probably not feeling very loved right now. The guy is one reason a 60-year regime recently collapsed. Malaysians have never seen a scandal the magnitude and complexity of 1MDB. Jho is alleged to have taken this country on a wild financial ride that spans the entire globe and involves jaw-dropping billions of taxpayers’ money. How he managed to pull off the stunt, in cohort with the powers-that-be, is beyond comprehension. I first got curious about the young man when the top editors at the STAR told me they’d got an exclusive interview with the elusive globetrotter. It was in 2010 and I was then heading the media group as its executive deputy chairman. Apparently, the “First Lady” at the time felt Jho needed to defend himself against allegations of an excessive lifestyle (don’t ask me why she was involved). Jho said he felt “there’s a lot I can do for Malaysia.” In the end, we only see raw greed, gross frauds and colossal violations. Will the truth, nothing but the truth, eventually be told and the wrongdoers get their just dues?

 

Selected followers’ comments:

Tay Cheow Hwang:
A YOUNG MAN & HIS BILLIONS

The truth and nothing but the truth,
Will eventually be told,
The wrongdoers and the wrongness,
Will definitely be caught;

The young man and his billions,
Will eventually be caught,
Our country good name and fame,
Will definitely be cleared and restored;

Justice will be done,
And also seen to be done,
We’re to get it done,
Only we’re well done;

We are told,
And also retold indifferently,
We’re now to tell,
And retell the world differently.

Md Adros Bin Sharif: my ‘like’ is not to read the (content) entry, rather it is my ‘salute’ to TSCH for an epic subject you are covering including this ‘hot pisang goreng’

Wong Kimchoon: They say behind the success (for that matter failure) of a man, there is a woman. Also behind the success/fall of a person, there is ANOTHER “friend”. No wonder they say its important to know who our friends are, especially when we are successful. But the ones around us when we are down, hey, they are gems Take good care of them.

 

2 June 2018

MORE THAN JUST APPEARANCES: It’s difficult for me to define my relationship with my two eldest brothers, Chii Tung, 77, and Chik Yiung, 74, with almost two decades of age difference between us. We’ve lost our 3rd and 4th brothers to illness (God bless their souls). It’s said that siblings could be the best of friends or the worst of enemies. I think with my two surviving brothers, I stand somewhere in between. We know we care a lot about each other, but we’re not about to be in touch constantly, or tell each other our personal challenges. It didn’t help that they were already grown-ups when I was still a small kid, and we didn’t get to share similar childhood experiences. As adults, we have little in common and live too far apart. But we know our bond is durable and a lifelong affair, and we’re there for one another if and when there’s a real need. That I think matters more than appearances.

 

Selected followers’ comments:

Ong Phaik Kim: We were all almost 1 year apart. Play n fight together! Get caning also line up according to age!

Unfortunately my Mother favour boys more so the eldest spoil rotten!

Me, grow up in KL while the rest in Penang as a result we are not close. I tend to be Lone Ranger.

My form teacher notice it hence weekend will take me to her home so that I have someone my age to mix with.

Only my Tam Chiak niece will asked for me because to her, when I am around they get to eat different food!

With so many recipes collections means the next time they get to eat the same dish they have to wait another 5 to 10 years, unless got especial request. Or her favourite chocolate melting moment cheesecake! Ice cream like cheesecake. Already a 6 years wait! A week old request. Let See when I am free…

Food link us in my family! Laksa n achar awak n perut ikan next in the list. Mention the date they will know how to come home! No need royal invitation!

Doris Wong: My eldest brother is 15 years my senior. Mine is a dysfunctional family complicated by an early death of my pa and a younger sibling after me given away. Except for a sis who is 6 years my senior, what remains of my family is all scattered in every sense of the word. Blessed is a family that stays united.

Regina Bridget: Parents play the role of glueing their children together, whilst the oldest should take over once parents are gone and treat all siblings harmoniously, with love and care.

 

3 June 2018

THE FEAR THAT ACTUALLY PROTECTS US: I realise that an associate who’s still single at age 45 actually has a fear of intimacy and starting a relationship. I’ve senior employees who appear to be afraid of making decisions, which frustrates me no end. The recent electoral upset gave a tycoon friend sleepless nights because he’s fearful that policy changes might affect his business empire. Whether we admit it or not, most of us are afraid of something. As a kid, I was terrified of darkness, snakes and exams. I think we can outgrow most of our fears, but some of them can be so intense and long-lasting that they become lifelong phobias. Admittedly, I still have a phobia of heights. The world places a high value on bravery and not being afraid. But I feel since fear’s a natural human emotion we’re born with, it can be also an instinct that protects us from things and people that can harm us. So, what are you afraid of?

 

Selected followers’ comments:

Ong Shuh Chien: I have phobia for large jostling crowds. So I will not go to places that hold a count down event like a New Year Eve or push my way through to get whatever at a, say, clearance event, selling goods at dirt cheap prices.
I find large crowds suffocating with a premonition something unpleasant is going to happen.
So count me out in any street demo no matter how peaceful.
I feel phobia is a deep seated fear inside a person not easy to conquer. It could be the result of a terrible personal experience encountered in the past, like being accidentally left alone in total darkness in a room when little.
Until and unless a phobia affects our way of lives, most of us will just let it be.
Have a beautiful Sunday, my friends. 😁

Wong Choon Lan: Good morning Tan Sri Clement n dear all. Different people have different kinds of fears depends on their past experiences. My eldest daughter is fear of dogs because the dogs used to bark at her. My eldest son liked to open the fridge when he was a kid, so my inlaws hung the cockroaches on the fridge door to frighten him away from the fridge. This became his phobia till today. My late youngest son had a phobia of heights. He was very scared to go up high towers n cross over the hanging bridge. My only fear is losing someone dear in my entire life…😜

Ab Salim: I grew up with my parents getting divorced after a nasty fight. Later my mom placed me and my elder sister with my eldest Uncle. Amidst all the chaos and uncertainties, I developed a bad stammer. So my fear is public speaking. Yet, having closed friends who were very active in speech tournament and debates lighted up a fire inside me. If they could do it, why couldn’t I? Slowly, despite having stammer, I learned to love the microphone and took opportunities to ask questions during talks or lectures (in college). I even asked stupid questions which others didn’t have the guts to voice out. When working, I joined Taekwondo classes and learned to give commands in loud and clear ways. Slowly, I helped my instructors to teach classes. During recession of the 90s, I managed to get a lecturing job at Kuantan, and despite my stammer, I managed to pull it off. Later I learned that Winston Churchill who was an excellent speaker in UK Parliament, also had a stammer. It is by working hard and practising frequently and preparing a lot that he became a great speaker ; remember his speech ” we shall fight on the beach, we shall fight on the hills,.. we shall never surrender ” to unite all UK and rile them up for WW2 against the Facists? If he can, I can do it too…

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