Thursday, August 21, 2008

Coconut Water & Viral Fever

I was down with viral fever which originated from my throat infections. I had this long history problem of throat infections but always thought using western medicine to suppress it. Infact, it got me nowhere better than it supposed to be. The viral outbreak recent also could be due to chikungunya that similar like dengue which started from high fever or fever on/off symptom.

After spending 2 days at home with little results, I return to work in a still little under the weather feeling. At this point of time, I realized I could not stick on to anti-biotic and paracetamol to keep the fever in control. I remember about some articles about chikungunya outbreak and began to search some of the information. Finally, I found the solution that worth RM2.50 ( USD 0.75). Yes, compares to the medical bill I visited in private health care worth more than 30 times of RM2.50. It is to consume coconut water. I bought 3 and drank one of them. As a result, I awake the very next morning as a brand NEW of me. I could not believe it. I only thought it works when I was infected chicken pox but never came across in my mind about such as viral fever.

There are benefits about coconut water as the matter of fact which amazingly open-up my eyes. During 1941- 1945 in the Pacific War, both conflicting parties regularly siphoned coconut water directly from the nut to give emergency plasma transfusions to injured soldiers.

Coconut water now joins the pantry's medicine cabinet. Coconuts are anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. The lauric acid in coconuts is also used to heal digestive tract disorders such as Leaky Gut Syndrome. According to ayurvedic belief, coconut is carminative: meaning that it helps to prevent intestinal gas, aids in removing toxins and increases the digestive tract's ability to absorb nutrients. Coconut balances acid levels and flushes toxins out. Ayurvedic considers coconut a natural stress-buster.

The calming, cooling benefits of coconut water relieves burning sensations and hot flushes and "restores emotional stability in menopausal women". Keeping the body cool and its proper temperature (directly after consumption you might notice this). This property of coconut water also makes it an excellent choice for liver problems, hepatitis or inflammation. Since it regulates the functioning of the intestine, the coconut water propitiates to the user a smoother and pretty skin. Coconut water can also be used directly on the face, for skin hydration. Coconut water has been used for re-hydration and as a health and beauty aide in tropical regions around the world for centuries.

More Coconut Water Health Benefits at a Glance:
  • Low in Carbohydrates
  • 99% Fat Free - Contains No Cholesterol
  • Low in natural occurring sugar
  • Contains organic compounds possessing growth promoting properties
  • Cures Malnourishment
  • Effective in the treatment of kidney and urethral Stones
  • Natural drink for feeding infants suffering from intestinal disturbances
  • Excellent oral re-hydration medium, an all natural isotonic for all ages
  • Re-hydrate naturally, free of added sugars or chemicals
  • More hydrating to the body then water
  • Lower arterial pressure
  • Relieve spasms and stomach pain
  • Ease burns
  • Natural diuretic
  • Presence of saline and albumen makes it an excellent drink in cholera cases
  • Maintains the human body's natural fluid levels
  • Can be injected intravenously in emergency cases
  • Helps in carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells
  • Eliminate swelling in hands and feet
  • Normalize the intestinal function and raise metabolism
  • Heal damage induced by antibiotics and toxins in the digestive tract
  • Boost poor blood circulation

Coconut Water is said to be more Nutritious than whole milk because it does contain less fat and no cholesterol. Moreover, healthier than orange juice containing much lower calories. It contains lauric acid which is present in human mother's milk making it a better alternative to process baby milk. When coconut water is exposed to air, the liquid rapidly loses most of its organoleptic and nutritional characteristics, and begins to ferment. Therefore, it is best consumed as soon as you open the young coconut.

A young coconut has different properties than a mature coconut and has not fully reached its maturity. Young coconut meat is softer and more like gelatin and contains approximately 1-2 cups of coconut water (not to be confused with coconut milk) in each young coconut.
Coconut water contains more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg) and most energy drinks. Even more than a banana! It has less sodium (25mg) where sports drinks have around 41mg and energy drinks have about 200 mg.Coconut water has been 5mg of Natural Sugars where sports and energy drinks range from 10-25mg of Altered Sugars.Coconut water is very high in Chloride at 118mg, in comparison to sports drinks at about 39mg. (Note-Data is based on a 100ml drink)

It is a delicious refreshing and most importantly healthy alternative to popular electrolyte energy sports drinks found today in supermarkets. It's high in electrolytes and potassium with fewer calories and no artificial additives. 8 oz of Gatorade has 63 calories while the same serving of coconut water has just 46 calories.

Well, as much as I could share about coconut water benefits, I recommend to those for prevention purpose and down with viral fever.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Paradoxical about Experiences

I read an article from Linkage Inc. by Morgan W. McCall, Jr lately about experiences and individual development planning. It begins more or less by quoting School of Hard Knocks teaches lessons learned only 'in the trenches" which there was no substitute. It is being said that experience, the best teacher yet years of experience do no predict expert performance or executive effectiveness. Professor McCall highlighted this article is to take stock of where we are today in our knowledge of the role of experience in developing leadership talent and to suggest where we might go next in our quest for wisdom.

Tons of questions appear in our mind such as "What puts the fire in experience or makes an assignment challenging?" "What specific lessons are learned from playing with fire?" Who are the ones with the most potential? How do you spot them? How do you make sure the talent get the experiences they need? How do you prevent them from coming out half-baked, mildly singled or burned-out? Is variety more important than repeated trials? How much does the timing matter? From the questions that fire out, it is very much acknowledging effective leaders have been different in terms of personalities and behave in different ways, and they can be equally effective if they are able to meet the demands of their environments.
It is essential and critical that organizations do what they supposed to create a context supportive of developing leadership talent.

Five Leverage Points to Create context that supports learning from Experience.

Point 1: Identifying Developmental Experiences
Gather people who know the organization and have them identify developmental projects, start-ups, turnarounds, bosses, etc. It is much straightforward these activities as part of the development can be further enhanced with further changing one nature of job. The benefits a pool of potent experiences is demonstrably loaded with potential learning, not all of the lessons are equally valuable to the organization. It's tougher to have everyone to have all the of the available experiences. From there, we would be able to address problems on looking for experience staffs. In the long term, it takes into account of the potential to learn from the experiences and become hopefully the leader in one day.

Point 2: Identification of Potential
The model that we used today often distracted researchers and practitioners from developing practical, realistic and sophisticated approaches to understand leadership. It has become too destructive when it comes to identifying leadership potential. Apparently, all leaders, executives and managers denied on value of everyday experience. The useful approach would be assuming that different people have different sets of attributes that they bring to situations and there are different ways to manage the same situation effectively. Over time, one would expect that the potential of individuals could be assessed via in the progress of ability to meet the challenges as leadership jobs on learning from experiences. Organizations could seize the opportunity by managing the identification of leadership potential such that those with most potential at a given point in time have access to the experiences they wanted.

Point 3: The Right Experience at the Right Time
Assuming a reasonable pool of high potential talent and a rich selection of strategically relevant developmental opportunities, it would seem we've found pig heaven. However, most organizations need to view results and that given the opportunities without appropriate experiences does not yield short-term results. The simplest way is to send someone to a program than to offer up a talented person for an assignment in a different part of the organization or risking sacrificing results if a developmental candidate selected.

Point 4: Increasing the odds that learning will occur.
If we are intent on throwing people into fires-even the right people into the right fires at the right time-then it behooves us to do what we can to insure that they learn what we threw them in there to learn. We have plenty of tools to measure and help managers to learn. Just name it 360-degree feedback instruments, internal/external coaches, educational programs of shape and size, books with full of development advice, motivational speakers and many more others. No doubt each mechanism introduced can be extremely powerful. The issue is with all these resources available still so many managers manage to maintain mediocrity. Bottom lines, bosses are so important to development and so few are very good at it- it requires significant wisdom to assist to unleash their potential. Sometimes, we figured, perhaps boss who needs the coaching more than the person being developed! That translates at a minimum a person who wants to develop needs the information tools and opportunities to do so.

Point 5: A Career-long Perspective and a Focus on Transitions
Most organizations often position time and resources are always limited and development of talent as important as it is not the first priority. They often think business profits and revenue would be the main focus, but they forgot if there are no experience, capable and talented candidates the results will stays stagnant. Often most people suggested allocating all resources in one place with the greatest potential impact would be any business strategic choice. It is about our careers and being present at key transitions, connecting what we know about effectively using experience for development with the individuals. Size of an organization would differ in terms of workforce, making a focus on individuals challenging as the number of employees grows larger but more or less knowing what need to be recorded would be critical.

In conclusion, taking leadership development seriously means using experience wisely to help those with sufficient dedication and desire to learn the craft, obviously not a simple task.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Journey of Life Together

It is about a story that could be very inspiring for individuals like you and me. Whatmore as a Father of myself, tears will start running as I watch the clip. A Story about Dick & Rick....

Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they’re not in a marathon they are in a triathlon — that daunting, almost superhuman, combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of bicycling, and 2.4 miles of swimming. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America.

It’s a remarkable record of exertion — all the more so when you consider that Rick can't walk or talk.

Friday, August 8, 2008

080808 @ 8 p.m

I find the above date and time very auspicious. As the Chinese believed, it is going to be a day meant all for great things to come. I guess this date has been the moment of all people waiting for.....

The whole world is talking about subprime mortgage crisis, the debt that the entire U.S folks facingFed Chairman movement on the possibility slashing interest rate, Freddie & Fannie on facing uphill tasks bailing out the actual figure of non-performing loan, the presidential elections coming November, oil price movement affecting the NYSE/ Nasdaq will not be over and shall be continuing even after next year.

Locally, we are having political and economy turmoil. The ruling government currently is getting weaker each day by day. The Prime Minister in fact has no idea how to overcome the political issue and what more the economy condition that reflect high inflation and high oil price.Opposition is seizing the opportunity to reject the present government in hoping to take over the office by September 16th. In addition, the opposition well known figure which dubbed the prime-minister in waiting facing the second time of sodomy charges. Not too sure is political conspiracy but one thing for sure, too much drama about it and forgot to look at the whole picture about our country development which in stand-still.

For whatever reasons, even with the issue and conflict raised in Tibet which cause The Dalai Lama criticize the Chinese Government, there has to be something to overcome the actual needs for the Tibetan. All they want is some form of freedom or autonomy which I find realistic as one the place very rich in spiritual culture. Seeing The Dalai Lama posting in on his website about promoting the biggest event held in Beijing today proof things can be further negotiate and compromise. Furthermore, the Chinese government has just settled down their hefty effort in recent earthquake rescue and recovering at Szechuan Province, still indeed they have done a remarkable job.

Seeing from the perspective of all these issues, I rather change the title this post as "Our Iceberg is Melting". Well, the whole world has changed and indeed one of the changes would be best reflecting as "Our Iceberg is Melting". Nevertheless, I rather discuss separately on the topic in another posting with further information in "A sense of urgency" soon. Leaving all the differences and contradictions aside and at this point of time focus on peace, unity and harmony. Yes let's divert the attention to the land of "Great Wall of China" tonight.

In the meantime, as an Asian ethnic living in Asia regions, I still feel proud and am exciting to welcome the very first Olympic that will kick-start in Beijing tonight at 8 p.m. So sit tight, relax and enjoy the opening ceremony celebration with full of colorful events arranged. I felt 8th August 2008 is just right to have the Olympics after all.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Daughter, Yee-Shuen 1 Year Old

She finally decided to go for Pen, Pen means potential being a scholar, luckily her or unluckily me.

Still being too shy to choose....or can't figure out which one suits her....

So many commentators asking her to choose, still can't decide huh....

Let the game opportunity to determine your own your best sweetie...

Of course you're excited today, your birthday sweetie, lot's of Uncles and Aunts around, what a crowded day, don't you think so? Anyway you don't really care rite?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Our Iceberg is Melting

I was recommended by my wife on such a subject as mentioned above over an email invitation in a seminar sometime ago. I did not pay too much attention how impacted of such a topic to us in our life. Being a curiosity person, I succumbed to this book as one of the latest change capability materials that ever written.

This is one of hottest book written by John Kotter about change management by illustrating penguin as the object in facing change. I have customized some slide from slideshare courtesy forwarded by one of our fellow blog friend John Spence about such a link. I then decided to present this topic from the book via slide as below: Happy Reading!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Staying Competitive during economy downturn

I have came across many people asking me in surviving the turbulences of economy challenges particularly to some business owners feeling hopelessly about it. I asked questions to lift them up as a coach, giving them some ideas and making their brain run wild for a moment. I told them there is no silver bullet out there except for lots of hardwork and determination. Then I accidentally read through one of the articles by John Spence, a well known consultant to some of the Fortune 500 companies. He stated 6 key strategies for success even if the economy downturn is expected.

After reading through, I felt it is an excellent piece of article to tell some of my business owner friends about it. I believed the advice highlighted is refreshing but practical and something do-able. The best part of it, most of the key strategies relevant for an organization stay competitive no matter what circumstances it be. Here goes he mentioned:

1. Measure key drivers relentlessly: when times are uncertain and the pressure is on, you need to become a fanatic for watching your critical factors very carefully. Cash flow, accounts receivable/payable, margins, inventory, G&A, vendor relationships, strategic partnerships, employee performance… whatever the most important drivers of business health are in your organization, need to be watched by the entire management team - all the time - and managed to the penny. I am not saying slash budgets, only that you need to watch them closely and make prudent business decisions based on real numbers and facts not fear or guessing. Those who panic will perish, those who are prepared and disciplined will thrive.

2. Create a solid “Survival Plan”: I had the pleasure of attending a talk by a top economist this past weekend and his professional forecast… for the foreseeable future (10-14 months) things are going to be really tough. His prediction was a growing recovery start in about Q3 of 09. That means for the next year or so it is NOT going to be business as usual and your “normal” business plan will likely not be adequate to get you through these turbulent times successfully. You and your management team need to sit down and create a strong and realistic strategy, based on the hard truth and solid evidence, for how you will position your company to come out of this recession (or near miss) on your feet. You will probably need to make some very difficult decisions and might have to take some drastic actions, the sooner you realize, admit and act on this, the better chance you will have of being one of the survivors.

3 Own the Voice of the Customer (VOC): your customers are what drive your business success - period. I cannot stress strongly enough how incredibly important it is to build strong, trusting partnerships with your customers and listen, listen, listen to them. Your customers will tell you and your team everything you need to know about how to survive and thrive if you will simply ask good questions and listen. Robust, open and honest communications with your customers is absolutely essential. Talk to them, survey them, take a top customer to lunch every week and make sure they are very happy with your products and services - and if not, why (then fix it immediately!). Your customers are the key to your future - they pay ALL of your bills - they should be the center of your universe.

4. Be “Professionally Aggressive”: Also on the subject of customers - you simply cannot sit and wait for them to come to you. You and your team MUST have a high sense of urgency in meeting customers where they are. This means refining and refocusing your marketing efforts (not cutting them out!). This means looking for new ways to add value and increase your appeal. This means delivering the highest quality product possible, with consistently superior customer experiences, following up superbly and then asking for referrals. Customers today have higher expectations then every before. They demand quality + value (not lowest price) + excellent personalized service…and they want it right now! This is incredibly hard to deliver - but for those who can, you will be a winner in this down market and dominate when the market recovers.

5. Top Talent: a close second in importance to customers are your employees. Without loyal, motivated and highly skilled employees - you have no way to keep your customers delighted. It must be the goal of the entire management team to foster the best possible working environment in your organization so that you can attract, keep and grow top talent. I am not talking about paying people more, hosting pizza parties every day or installing rock climbing walls - I am talking about making your organization a truly great place to work. Here is a solid law of business: Happy Employees = Happy Customers and Happy Customers = Business Success. Now I know this sounds simplistic, but I can overwhelm you with hundreds of research studies and mountains of data that clearly show a direct link between employee satisfaction and increased profitability. If you devote a lot of time and attention to getting the best possible people you can on your team - then work very, very hard to keep them happy, motivated and excited - they will make it a successful enterprise. Hammer them constantly, pressure them, threaten them, stress them… and all of the good ones will eventually leave - and ONLY the ones who cannot get a job someplace else will stay!!!

6. Disciplined Execution: all of the great ideas in the world are useless… if you do not effectively implement them. The goal is to build a highly agile organization, with a performance-oriented culture, that is focused on only a handful of Key Result Areas. Kill all bureaucracy! Refuse to tolerate mediocrity in any form. Be ruthless in eliminating any waste of time, money or effort. Cancel any meeting that does not deliver significant value - so that your talented people instead spend that time on doing important work, motivating employees and building strong relationship with customers. The two most valuable things you have are how you use the “Time and Attention” of your top people, so everyone on your management team needs to develop a total disdain for wasting even a single minute of time on non value-added activities.

The key strategies then summarized at below:-

1.A sharply focused, clearly communicated and well-understood strategy for growth.
2.Flawless operational execution that consistently delivers the value proposition.
3.A performance-oriented culture that does not tolerate mediocrity.
4.A fast, flexible, flat organization that reduces bureaucracy and simplifies work.
5.Talent = find and keep the best people.
6.Key leaders show commitment and enthusiasm for the business.
7.Embrace strategic innovation.
8.Master the power of partnerships - with customers, vendors, strategic alliances and employees.

To all my business owner friends out there. It is time to kick some ass and work on it.