Showing posts from February, 2016

Test your skill..


Samsung A5 short review

While the specs can't quite compare with the Edge, the new Galaxy A phones will pretty much knock your socks off in the looks department, and really only vary depending on the screen sizes of the phone. For the Galaxy A5, this 5.2-inch handset goes for the balanced approach. It's neither as small as the 4.7-inch A3, or as large as the A7 with its 5.5-inch display. Specs-wise, it's as powerful as the larger A7 -- and a lot more capable than the smaller A3.

2016 will be another record year for solar in terms of new installations

The big question is whether we will see growth in global solar installations this year against the backdrop of low oil, natural gas and coal prices?  The answer is a resounding yes! Not only will we have double digit installations growth but we will also see over 64GW of new installations, which will not only make 2016 a record year for solar but will also make it the biggest generation technology in the world. Why are we seeing this growth? There are five reasons for this:
First and foremost, solar is becoming increasingly cost competitive with other forms of generation. In countries like Chile there is no subsidy needed for solar to compete with wholesale power prices. And in large part of the world (India for instance) solar is now becoming so cheap that it makes sense for power users and utilities to sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) with solar power generators. This in turn is pushing down the cost of capital making solar even more economical.
Secondly, solar is much more fl…

Hacking Your To Do List With Your Calendar

Each new year, I try to implement a new productivity hack. Getting Things Done. Bullet Notebook. This year, I’m trying to manage my to do list with my calendar.

I realized a few years ago no arsenal of productivity hacks will prolong the working week, this February’s 29th day notwithstanding. That’s the challenge with to do lists - they lack commitment devices. A commitment device is a “way to change one’s own incentives to make an otherwise empty promise credible.” And what is a task on a list but an empty promise?
Have you used a to-do list app that’s asked you, Do you really have time to achieve all this today? Or decided on your behalf that the task you’re adding isn’t important? I haven’t. To do lists fail because the user’s good intention and optimistic aspirations go unchecked. For the software, the marginal cost to add a new task is zero. For me, it’s a quarter of an hour or more. Managing tasks by calendar is the only productivity hack that recognizes this reality.
Cue the c…

Auditor to review all clients' books following penalty

The auditing firm penalized for overlooking electronics maker Toshiba's years of fraud will re-check data from its roughly 4,000 clients by the end of March in a bid to recover customers' trust.
Ernst & Young ShinNihon will review submitted documents for any deficiencies or red flags. The firm looks to ensure that there are no problems with its own procedures before work heats up on full-year earnings for companies closing their books in March. Any issues that come to light will be rectified immediately, and the fixes applied in coming audits.
EY ShinNihon audits books at 968 listed Japanese companies -- nearly one-third of the country's total -- including Hitachi, Nissan Motor and Toray Industries. It will concentrate its review efforts on listed corporations during February. Books will get a look both from accountants assigned to each company and from a second EY ShinNihon team to ensure objectivity. The firm will have accountants at international partner Ernst &…



The “Cons” of Personal Performance

This post is updated from work originally posted on the Gartner blog network. You can find the original post here.  
A bit of a different style post from me, driven by a couple of things.  First, my daughter complained that I have not used her in an analogy in any of my posts lately (here you go, Alix).  Second, since it is performance review season, I was reflecting on just how much I love my job.  So, here goes.
My daughter is in medical school at UNC Chapel Hill (father brag).  It is a great school and Alix obviously has to be talented to go there.  She talks a lot about how much she loves it and you can see it in her eyes and whole demeanor.  At the same time, she has to make a lot of decisions for the future.  What she wants to focus on…where she wants to target for residency…and where to target for “rotations.”  Because of her relative lack of experience, I find her questioning her thought process on these (and to some extent creating what I think is needless stress) repeatedly…

Is THIS the No.1 Tool for Successful Leaders?

"Effective leaders ask questions instead of giving orders." 

Dale Carnegie wrote that in his classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People nearly 80 years ago, but the advice is as good today as it was then.

The higher people rise to power, the less likely it is that others around them challenge them or tell them bad news. Bad news often get filtered and edited as messages cascade upwards and sometimes is it hard for top leaders to get a real feel for what is actually happening.

One of the most powerful tools leaders can have is to ask questions and then listen to the answers. This goes especially for questions that can’t be answered with a simple one-word-answer.

Questions help us to look at things in a new light, challenge the status quo, search for innovative ideas and figure out how to do things differently. The art of asking the right questions with the willingness to listen to the answers is one of the most important tool in the toolbox of top executives.

How to ask …

The One Question I ask Myself Every Day

Every day of our lives presents each of us with a new opportunity to be bold and try new things, yet often we find ourselves defaulting to our to-do list or hanging by our Outlook calendars. Or worse yet, we jump immediately into the email “black hole” and spend hours crafting and sending responses to messages—ultimately responding to other people’s priorities.

To help break free from the day-to-day grind, I start each day by asking myself a provocative question. One of my favorites, which was inspired by working with Keith Ferrazzi, is:

“What one action today would provide the highest return for me and my business?”
I find that asking this question typically leads to a focus on business development, but almost just as often allows me to zero in on a strategic project for one of my clients that really moves the needle for their business. I have further found that asking this question yields the following:

The highest return actions on my to-do list almost always become crystal clear


We got 10 CEOs to tell us their one killer interview question for new hires

Where do you see yourself in five years? Tell me about a time when you showed leadership. What is your biggest weakness?
These are the standard questions that job candidates face during interviews. And by now, everyone also has standard answers. (“My biggest weakness? I work too hard.”)
As you scale to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, you are unlikely to field such hackneyed queries. For leadership positions, it’s the softer skills that matter. Quartz spoke with 10 CEOs and other senior execs about their interview techniques, and the one killer question they like to ask job candidates. Their approaches vary, but all are designed to test a person’s mindset and mentality. A first-rate résumé won’t help you now. Consider yourself warned.
“Would you rather be respected or feared?” Michael Gregoire, CEO of CA Technologies, an IT management software company, admits that his favorite interview question is a bit Machiavellian. It never fails to catch people off-guard, and “really reve…

The Four Big Reasons Why 99% Of People Quit Their Jobs

There’s a million ways to lose your job  — layoffs, company closes, smacking an employee on the butt.

You name it and someone has lost their job over it!

The reality is, though, that most people leave their jobs on their own terms and it has nothing to do with more money or a higher level job.

In fact, there are four (4) main ways people leave their jobs:

Reason No. 1 – Crappy Boss

Almost anyone who has left my company has left because they didn’t like me, or I didn’t like them. Well, to be honest, I probably didn’t like the way they were performing.

If they were performing well, I don’t really care if I like them personally. I’ll take the performance over me liking them!

So, for some I’m a crappy boss, for others I’m not. The key to great leadership is having only a few believe you’re crappy!

Reason No. 2 — Bad Job Fit

We hired you and thought you would be awesome. Yay! But, we messed up by thinking you would fit.

You’re not the right fit. You know it. It doesn’t “feel” right, so you …

What Malaysian Youths Should Know: 7 Life Learnings from Dato’ Seri Nazir Razak

Ever wanted to know what the Chairman of one of the largest financial institutions in Malaysia and a celebrated business leader had to say to youths of Malaysia?

We were lucky enough to be invited by the Malaysia Trailblazer’s Association last week for their 3rd Global Leadership Series, featuring Dato’ Seri Nazir Razak, Chairman of CIMB Group, as the key guest speaker.

The series is an avenue for youths to connect and learn firsthand from highly revered leaders from Malaysia, where youths are encouraged to share their opinions and ask questions.

Here are some life learnings from Dato’ Seri Nazir’s talk, along with some personal takeaways.

1) Understand the person in the mirror

It is really important to understand the person that you are” says Dato’ Seri Nazir.

Throughout his career, he has had to constantly change and adapt in order to run a fast-growing organisation that was expanding rapidly in the region. And at every step of the way, he regularly reflected on himself to make su…

How Do You Deal With Top Performers Who Resign?

It’s understandable that a leader feels unhappy when a top performer resigns. The employee is intentionally ending the relationship, so there is an element of personal rejection involved. In addition the leader now needs to replace that person, which could be a daunting challenge given that the person is a top performer. As a result, the employee who resigns is often treated poorly by the leader. And sometimes, after the employee has left, the leader speaks negatively about that person. What are the consequences of these types of behavior?

Remember, other employees pay close attention in these situations. Before the resignation it is likely that the leader spoke highly of this top performer. If that same leader speaks poorly about that person after he leaves, the LEADER’s reputation is diminished. Employees can readily see that such behavior is both unprofessional and unnecessary. Respect for the leader is diminished. Trust is diminished.

Consequently, employees worry that if they gi…

2016 Employment Trends in Malaysia

Despite some of the negative press reviews regarding the state of the economy both at home and abroad, we are seeing very healthy growth across a number of private sector markets in Malaysia. Continued private sector investment continues to result in augmentation of professional hubs across our key markets, Banking, Technology and Finance & Accounting. The story is also very much evolving in terms of which skills are in demand and at what level, though overall, the professional job market is flourishing. In the light of these developments, here’s our latest take on the hottest skills currently across our key markets:

Technology is perhaps the fastest evolving market in terms of emerging skillsets and Kuala Lumpur (KL) is establishing itself as a regional centre of excellence, giving rise to a huge increase in demand in the following areas:

Software engineering skills – OO, Java, ‘Full-stack engineering’, Open source/Linux, Web UI – social media, SAAS and mobile, Web 3…

3 Difficult Steps To Start Saving

“You don’t become wealthy because of what you earn, you become wealthy from what you save” ~ can’t remember who said it but it’s definitely the truth.

 If you are an individual earning 1 million but at the same time a spender of 1.1 million, you must remember that the person who earns 10,000 but spends 8,000 will become wealthier than you with time.

 So here are few simple steps to jump start your savings habit.


Always go with the bank account with the highest interest rate for regular savings, there are accounts which pays higher interest rates. However they come with a higher number for the minimum deposit amount when opening an account. (if you can afford it, go for it)Make sure you have a branch of the bank you consider in your city or in close vicinity to your work location, university or school which will help you to make monthly visits to the bank if you do not have the luxury of owning online banking facilitiesMake sure the bank you consider is backed up by the central ba…