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Do not compare our boss, especially in front of him / her. A lesson from different breast milk colors

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This is a sharing by a good friend of mine KW, with a permission (to share) from KW as long as I do not write her name.

She recently hired a confinement lady (called auntie in Singapore) recommended by her good friend RT, to help taking care of her baby.

In the first week of work,
Auntie seemed very nice,
especially to baby.
This made KW very satisfied.
Then,
in the second week,
Auntie started to compare KW (the current boss) with RT (the previous boss).

RT has a maid at home, whereas KW (the current boss) had no maid at home.
So Auntie has to help her with washing dish / baby bottles, washing baby clothes.
Auntie does not have to help with sweeping / mopping etc because KW hires a weekly cleaning lady.
Of course,
by default,
the working environment is more comfortable with RT than with KW (the current boss).

KW slightly complained to me that Auntie is relatively lazy.
KW does not mind cooking rice and soup for Auntie, because KW also eat the rice and the soup.
Initially before hiring, Auntie agreed to help cooking 1 soup / day,
soups are good for lactating mothers.
Auntie does not have to cook dishes, because KW orders tingkat for both KW and Auntie.

KW told me that she tried placing carrots & potatoes near the cooking pot.
But Auntie does not seem to take the signal (it is her duty to help peeling).
Then, next day KW tried more direct method:
writing a post-it note for e.g.
"Auntie, please help wash the vegetables, I will prepare the meat ball."
"Auntie, please do not stack up the bottles while sterilizing" (KW told me that her Avent bottle was damaged because Auntie stack an Avent cup on its inverted bottom, now both are sticking together, the plastic seems melted, and cannot be used).

Actually, Auntie is not very busy.
KW also takes care of her baby.
When Auntie is free and has enough rest,
Auntie will read books.
Few times, KW caught Auntie playing mobile phone and then pretended to play with baby when Auntie realizes that KW is around.
KW told me that she does not mind Auntie plays mobile phone when baby is not crying.
Auntie also locks the baby room.
Auntie does not open the door soon after knocking.
If I were KW, I will be worried.
My wise friend KW asked Auntie for the reason,
Auntie said she is afraid,
because KW rents a room to a (female) tenant.
Then, KW asked if Auntie locks the room,
can KW open with the key after knocking?

Personally, I think KW is a nice boss to work with.
She is polite and respectful.
She also treats Auntie well, give her welcome gifts.
She even told Auntie that it was her fault that the Avent bottle & cup were sterilized until sticking to each other, in fact it was Auntie fault.
Often, KW’s husband helps washing dishes, so Auntie does not need to do this.

Auntie also compares KW’s husband with RT’s husband.
No car vs has car (in the complain that KW does not go outing (kai-kai) as much as RT*).
No automatic light at KW’s home vs better condominium lighting system.
No maid vs has maid (to prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner for Auntie, to wash dishes, to wash baby clothes).

*KW told me that in her first outing to a shopping center, once they get down of taxi, Auntie immediately rushed to see clothes on sale, forgetting baby and KW.

Auntie compared KW’s baby with RT’s baby.
KW was telling Auntie to burp baby for longer period, because KW knows her baby needs burping to be comfortable, or else baby will cry.
Auntie insisted no need to do because RT’s baby no need burping.
Every baby is unique.

However, Auntie made a comparison about breast milk that upset KW.
KW’s breast milk is white in color & according to Auntie is not as yellow & creamy as RT’s breast milk.
Auntie told KW, "Your breast milk is not good in quality, unlike RT’s breast milk".

KW is particularly sensitive over breast milk.
Her first confinement lady threw away her breast milk so that she can feed baby with formula, until KW decided to confiscate the formula (previously KW has to supplement breast milk with formula).
I remember KW crying while telling me that she expressed her breast milk drops by drops every 2-3 hour,
enduring post-delivery pain and the lack of sleep.
She asked me to help her praying to God for giving her sufficient breast milk for her baby.
She said "every drop of breast milk counts",
reminds me on "谁知盘中餐,粒粒皆辛苦", and
inspires me to coin "谁知母亲奶,滴滴皆辛苦" for her .

Though unhappy and did not reveal it, KW was worried because of Auntie said about the color of breast milk.
So KW asked me to search about breast milk info over the internet.
KW also shared with me that she called Joyful Parenting and Breastfeeding 6488 0286,
and learned that
her white color breast milk (like the color of boxed cow milk for adults sold in supermarket fridge e.g. Farmhouse) is normal.
The staff also told her that if breast milk color is like barley is normal (though this contains mostly foremilk).

It is important to remember that breast milk colors may be different for different mothers.
Breast milk can be yellow (like RT’s breast milk) because of possible intake of multi vitamin (e.g. vitamin B, also present in whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, tempeh, beans).

Breast milk colors may also change with the growth of the baby
, to suit the baby’s need.

KW is a smart woman.
She tries to reason (with herself) that her baby is not crying due to hunger,
so her breast milk (though white in color) should be meeting the need of her baby.
She asked me for help.
She called a breastfeeding resource.
She did not directly confront and argue with Auntie.

I like KW,
she is not easily affected by others’ opinion,
though she takes input from others,
check them herself,
and make a decision for herself.

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Written by blueroselady

March 18, 2013 at 6:46 am

Focus on strengths more, fix weaknesses less

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We have been conditioned (trained / taught) to focus about our weaknesses.
For example,
1. parents scan the report cards of their children to focus on subjects their children need improvement, the failing grades are written in red, screaming for attention. Fortunately, my parents did not bother to look at my report cards.
2. teachers mark our homeworks, assignments, and exam papers with red inks. They do nothing on the correct answers, but our errors are marked with crosses.
3. bossses discuss on our weaknessess at annual performance review.
4. media loves to report stories of people who overcome their weaknesses to achieve great things.

Have we ever stopped to realize that focusing our strengths is more productive than improving our weaknesses?
Both Tim Ferriss and Chu Chin-Ning (whose books I read in autumn 2012) advocate us to focus on our strengths.

Yes, we can improve our weaknesses, but at slower pace.
The end results may be slight improvement, yet still mediocre.

Types of strength:
achiever / has stamina to work long hours
intellect / thinking
strategic / intuitive
futuristic / what can one does
relater / can relate with people
belief / has strong core values that one wil not compromise / stubborn

Note that a strength can also be a weakness, depending on the situations.

Remember that:
1. the key to success is to work with the way God designed us, focus on our strengths.
2. combine our strengths to create synergy and achieve greatness.
Many people may share the same individual strength as ours, but a combination of strengths shapes our uniqueness and identity, makes us outstanding if we can unleash the synergistic effects.
3. There are always abundance of opportunities for our particular combination of strengths. Jobs that do not make use of our strengths, require things that we are not strong in, are exhausting. If we have tried our best and still do not see desirable results, perhaps it is time to change jobs / career.
4. Every knife requires sharpening, similarly we must hone our strengths with knowledge, skills, and practice.

Written by blueroselady

October 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Thick face, black heart

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Normally, we do not want to be perceived as a person with thick face or black heart.
However, when Chu Chin-Ning cites Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln as the highest level practionists of thick face and black heart, I am curious to find out what thick face and black heart really mean according to the book entitled Thick face, black heart.

According to Mahatma Gandhi, nonviolence is an extremely active force.
It has no room for cowardice or even weakness.
Not to be coward means one needs thick face.
Not to be weak means one needs black heart.

The author argues that when you want to be kind, you must also have black heart (a protective shield) / be ruthless.
Have you ever felt that it is easier to be compassionate to the nameless and faceless needy people (think of donating to charity, disaster victims) than to those who are special to us?
Through experience, our kindness / compassion / generosity is often abused.
They act as if we owe them.
The more we give, the more we should give.
It is human nature to abuse those who support and love us most.
For example, children abuses their parents or vice versa, husband abuses wife.
A proposed solution is to be kind / compassionate with a protective shield.

See also my mind map.

Written by blueroselady

October 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Thiel Fellowship allows you to bypass top schools to pursue big dreams

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Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you can imag(in)e it. — George Lucas

If you are so smart, why are you not rich?
If you are so smart, why are you not changing / saving the world?

About Thiel Fellowship
$50,000 / year for 2 years ($4,167 / month)
gives you easy and quick access to the most successful business people in America
aim: to skip college and focus on work, research, and self-education (LEARN BY DOING)
mentors: network of visionary thinkers, investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs, who provide guidance and business connections that can’t be replicated in any classroom.
founded by a VC Peter Thiel (PayPal, Facebook)

Examples of descriptions of the Thiel Fellows:
On experience
"leave Harvard after a single semester and extend his horizons, first by traveling around the world and climbing Kilimanjaro, and now through his start-up"
"has lived and been educated in England, Singapore, France, and the USA."
"began taking college courses at Worcester State in Massachusetts in 3rd grade, and received a certificate in computer science by the time he was 12."
"taught himself programming at the age of 9"
"a home-schooled prodigy who learned calculus at 11, started working in a biogerontology lab when she was 12, matriculated at MIT when she was 14, and now at 17 plans on disrupting the current research paradigm by changing the incentives embedded in today’s traditional funding structures."
"started doing research in a pathology lab when he was 10. By the time he was 12, he had matriculated at the University of Washington. Soon after, he graduated with honors degrees in neurobiology, biochemistry, and chemistry. He was a 19-year-old 4th-year neuroscience Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University when he left early this year to pursue his start-up"
"has worked for Microsoft, Stanford, and Mozilla"
"Has previously worked at iRobot’s Research Group and as a Program Manager at Microsoft."
"In his teens, he built products for companies such as Coca-Cola and Universal Music"
"has designed web interfaces used by millions of people around the world"
"has previously worked for D.E. Shaw & Co., several social enterprises, and a few start-ups"
"founded a vacation rental portal as a high school freshman"
"starting his first business when nine years old"
"co-founded the Electric Vehicle Club at Purdue and was president of Purdue Innovations, the university’s entrepreneurship club."
"began developing her social enterprise when she was 15"
"first worked in a lab when he was 11, interned at Dupont as a teenager, and won the grand prize at the 2009 International Sustainable World Energy Olympiad in Houston."
"run non-profit dedicated to helping the vision-impaired around the world"

On goals / aims
"aims to radically improve our approach to the one thing we all do – shop." / "e-commerce start-up that will revolutionize price comparison on the web" Keyword: radical
"passionate about equipping people with the information to make better decisions." Keyword: information, decision
"interested in helping people protect the wealth they create from the harmful effects of inflation" Keyword: protect
"to help emancipate information around the world" Keyword: information
"to decentralize banking in the developing world with a mobile payment system"
"to create and share online lessons designed to be viewed at home by their own students, leaving class time free for more engaging activities"
"to revolutionize how we develop and demonstrate talent in the twenty-first century."
"to leverage web-based videos and mobile apps to bring the classroom into the twenty-first century"
"to build efficient motor for electric vehicles." Keyword: energy
"to commercialize an invention that enables low cost dual-axis photovoltaic module tracking" Keyword: energy
"to invent a walker-wheelchair hybrid that can provide power to assist its user according to how strong she feels at any moment" Keyword: aging, physically-disabled
"to extract valuable minerals from asteroids, comets, and other planetary bodies" Keyword: resource

Blueroselady thinks that they are very impressive and inspiring. How many people, before reaching 20 years old, have done so much and dreamed do big like them?
The people whom you have worked for also matter.

Reflections by Blueroselady:
Those on Thiel Fellowship seem to have a head start in their childhood (e.g. well educated parents, attendance of high schools that teach akin to college / attendance of college – so why would they still want to attend college again), but many children from less privileged backgrounds will find a college education still essential and enlightening.
Personally, I have met people of the possibly equal calibre to the Thiel Fellows, they started businesses / attended university / led beyond school organizations at early teen, while most teens are worried about growing up, peers, relationships, and juggling schools. The formers are ambitious, lucky, talented, hardworking ((they have built their CVs while other kids probably do not know what CVs are for), and most importantly have the right nurturing environment.
To illustrate this point, I shared my own example. When I was 12 years old, I found that the school was boring. My teacher suffered from diabetes and she was often absent. I could read the textbooks on my own. I told my mother that I did not want to go to school. I was happier reading newspapers and books.
When I was 13 years old, I found that some my school (male) teachers are irresponsible. They taught students bad words, touched female students’ hands / arms (and please do not ask me what else). If my parents had to pay for the school fee, I would probably quit schooling. To make matters worse, some of my school mates went astray. Girls were so cruel with words, I was helpless seeing them bullying a not-pretty girl sitting in front of me. My school mates were more interested in gossips (about seniors, juniors, peers, celebrities), hanging out wasting their lives, than in learning. Few years later after I left the school, I heard about a school mate who died from drug overdose, a school mate who got pregnant in early teen and turned into less beautiful (premature aging) than she was, a school mate who died in motorbike accident.
Then, a macro event happened that changed my life forever. I went overseas for the first time and attended much better schools (in term of quality). I learned about things that were forbidden / not taught before and revolutionized my thinking. I changed for the better, I unleashed my inner characters of hardworking, perseverance, and humility. Like entrepreneurs who focus on generating profits, I had clear focus: I was determined to earn the money required for college education through excellent results because my parents would not be able to support me after high school. My hard work and perseverance paid off, I received my college education (in 3 continents, East and West) with full scholarships. Every stage is like climbing to a higher ladder, I meet people who are more talented, creative, diverse than ever (many of them have better a head start childhood than me), and college education allowed me to learn from them. It is true that the higher you move to, the more you can see, understand, and do. As a result, I evolve into what I am today. At the end of my formal college education, I read analytically, write convincingly, think from multiple perspectives, converse fluently in multiple languages (I can mimic American, British, French, Indian, mainland Chinese accents), had traveled to more countries than the years of my lives, understand myself better, and most importantly have germinated the strongest urge (that I have ever had) to better our world.

From another point of view, colleges worldwide are getting very expensive. Students take loans, enjoy their college experience (sadly some focus on hanging out with friends, buying the latest gadgets), and postpone their sufferings of having to pay their loans while working and struggling to meet an end meet after the honeymoon period of college days. This sounds to me like an upcoming education bubble, which is akin to the housing bubble. To make it worse, colleges seem to mass produce workers (who are happy with the good enough), and to produce (in much less proportion) thinkers, innovators, agents of change. The latter are those that refuse to be entirely submissive and driven to the system. Colleagues and acquaintances are complaining to me about the drop in the standard of recent college graduates.

Nothing remains the same because lives are dynamics. My future generations will do things differently from what I did. If they are academically inclined, they can start learning the college materials (through online courses or immersion in labs) at early teen. If they are artistically inclined / entrepreneurial in nature, they can start interning at early teen. I still view traveling as essential, I learned a lot about independence, responsibilities, management, self-control, and survival while traveling and living in foreign countries far from my family. I made strangers my friends and family. I appreciate the values of every place and person. Get more exposure, discover more, and you will discover what your destiny is.

What’s next?
I will be reviewing my plan on progeny.
To research on things kids need (to learn) to be successful in their lives.
To research on homeschooling curriculum (what are not taught in school).

More about the Thiel Fellowship:
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/finding-the-next-mark-zuckerberg/
http://www.creators.com/opinion/john-stossel/the-college-scam-11-07-06.html
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jmaureenhenderson/2011/06/20/meet-the-teen-who-got-paid-100-000-to-drop-out-of-school/
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203960804577239253121093694.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
http://www.businessweek.com/interactive_reports/bs_collegeROI_0621.html

How to deal with con artists?

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A mentor of mine CNC admitted that she has met many con men and women in her life.

I am using the law of repulsion, which is the opposite of the law of attraction. I pray that I am having Divine Protection whenever and wherever I am. Though there are bad people in the world, please do not allow me to be in the same time and place as they are. If I have to be in the same time and place as they are, please let them do not have any malicious intention towards me.

Besides using the law of repulsion , here are useful tips on how to deal with con artists.

What are the characteristics of con artists?
1. CREATIVE in both designing their schemes and carrying the cons.
2. DISCIPLINED. They systematically work toward their objective.
3. PERSISTENT. They never think about giving up.
4. ENTHUSIASTIC. They do not lie in bed and feel sorry for themselves. They are trying to get absolutely everything out of life that they can.
5. POSITIVE. They do not doubt that their plan will work.
6. OPPORTUNISTIC. They seize the moment.
7. HARD WORKERS. They are always "ON".
8. COOL under pressure. If you ask a con artist, "Are you conning me?" he or she will look you in the eyes and say, "How could you think that after all we have been through together?"
9. SYMPATHETIC. It is comforting to know that someone in the world "really understand you"
10. EMPATHETIC. They seem to take on your problems as their own.

Many of the characteristics are also shared by good friends, acquaintances, colleagues, mentors, and admirable role models. It is not easy to really know what is inside the heart of a person.

Who are con artists prey on? People with the following …
1. eternal optimism. People with open eyes, but do not see anything negative — or potentially negative — in anyone. Do not be too trusting, this makes you vulnerable. A simple guide is to use the 70:30 trusting ratio that MR told me.
2. greed. People who want to get something for nothing. There is no free lunch! Do not expect something for nothing. No one can con us if we want nothing from him / her.
3. insecurity. Please release the need to have others’ approval. Con artists are happy to butter up and tell insecure people how wonderful they are. Beware of those who praise / compliment us too much.
4. neediness (in emotional comfort). Con artists are sympathetic and empathetic. Is the person sympathetic and empathetic by nature, or only when s/he has something to gain from you?
5. power. Be careful when you have accomplishment. The higher we climb, the stronger the wind that blows us.
6. hunger for advancement. Con artists may take advantage of your ambition.

How to protect yourself from con artists?
1. self-understanding: understand our characters and circumstances. Do we have eternal optimism, greed, insecurity, neediness, power, or hunger for advancement?
2. use both LOGIC + GUT FEELINGS.
3. exhaust the con artist. Let them sing, dance, and give their entire bag of tricks, but we must be more persistent than they are. Do not give in.
4. avoid / stay away.

It is always good to be careful and the good news is many people are honest and good.

More: The art of war for Women

Written by blueroselady

October 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Why must we close the deal fast?

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The most important important of conducting warfare is aiming for a swift victory and avoiding a prolonged campaign.

The faster Blueroselady can close deals, the more valuable she will appear to her employer.

How to close the deal?
1. know our products
2. know our customer
3. does our product fit the customer’s needs?
4. ask for the business by simply asking for it, ask potential buyers if they are ready to make an offer
5. solve the customer’s problems

Even if you are not a salesperson, your job requires you to close deals, whether it is getting someone to return your phone calls, following through on projects you are developing, closing the loop on an outstanding request.

Indeed, my most challenging part of my job is to get my boss to approve my submission of projects (which I contribute a large portion of efforts). He has the habit of delaying, and my colleagues have also complained about the same situation. I accept his working style and strive not to be like him. I tried to speed up him before but it seems to result in his anger. Moreover, I have plan B and C in minds.

Besides business and works, closing deal fast is also important in life.
For example, relationship.
Why the man does not want to marry (close the deal) with the woman, or vice versa?
He or she …
1. might have been hurt in the past
2. could feel that the relationship is perfect the way it is
3. might not believe in marriage — at least not in marriage with the current partner
4. might not be ready

Talk things through, and if you realize there is no hope in closing the deal, move on!
Do not waste your youth and your right to be loved.

When you are occupied with the deals that you have no hope of closing, you prevent yourself from seeing other opportunities.
e.g. better job, better partner, better life.
You deserve the best.
The best thing for you may not be the best thing for her, him, or me.
But, you deserve the best.

More: The art of war for Women

Written by blueroselady

September 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Tips: communication skills

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Important. Why? delegate a task.
1. make eye contact.
2. treat people with RESPECT.
3. listen as carefully as they speak.
4. ORGANIZE thoughts before speak.
5. avoid jargon / technical terms.
6. DON’T ASSUME.
7. encourage questions.
8. ask for feedback.
9. avoid speaking when being angry.

Miscommunication -> poor performance, resentment

Written by blueroselady

January 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm