Key Areas Needed to Be Secure

It takes security to be a leader (or servant); to lead and to serve others.

As a servant leader, we need to be able to synthesize humility with confidence; to be humble and not afraid of what people might say or think in the risk of losing respect/face.

Four Key Areas to be Secure in:

1. Security in self-image
– we conform to the image we SEE ourselves

2. Security in self-worth
– knowing God’s love for us help us to realise our VALUE

3. Right self-esteem
– how we FEEL His love for us determines our confidence

4. Having self-respect
– it is how I honour my DIGNITY

Leading in the Face of Criticism

The debate between Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek on 15 July 2008

The debate between Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek on 15 July 2008

One of the true marks of maturity in a person is having the ability take criticism from others. And being able to take criticism is essentially required when in a position of leadership.

Personally, I think it is necessary, especially for leaders to be secure; being not only open to listen, but also to respect the opinions and views of others.

Criticism or feedback should not be seen as a form of personal attack, but objectively taken as an added perspective that could serve well towards a (common) goal.

The Anwar-Shabery debate

I was somewhat a surprise when I read that our neighbouring country, Malaysia held a debate between Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim and the Ruling Party’s Information Minister, Ahmad Shabery Cheek over the fuel price hike.

This was supposedly the first time such a ‘live’ debate was broadcast in the country. And it was watched carefully by almost the entire population of Malaysia.

Read the summary of the debate here>>>

Expecting criticism

I thought that the debate was a good example to illustrate how criticism should be welcomed to make room for socio-economic progression by sharing of information and involving the participation of citizens. Something that our democratic “first-world and first-class” nation can learn from.

If I recount correctly, the closes a broadcast ‘debate’ had ever sparked off was the recent confrontation between Dr Chee Soon Juan and the Lees in court over defamation charges against the former behind closed doors of the court.

As a leader, one will not be able to please everyone or meet every expectations. Hence, criticism is to be expected, even from those who might criticise for the sake of criticising.

But even if that happens, isn’t everyone entitled to his or her opinion and views as a stakeholder?

Political Leadership For a New Global Order

July 5, 2008 | The Straits Times


How might Singapore deal with a world in which people are richer than ever before and many players are jostling for supremacy? The editor of Newsweek International, Dr Fareed Zakaria, proffers his thoughts

By Cheong Suk-Wai, Senior Writer

What Singapore has done very adroitly is to have moved up the value chain – to have said that ‘okay, we can’t compete with other countries in cheap labour, and so we’re going to do value-added products, we’re going to try services, we can compete (in) these areas, we’re going to move to the next level’.’

He applauds the Republic’s ‘very clever’ forays into such areas as tourism, film-making and software design. And all this, on top of managing good relations with both the United States and China, he notes admiringly.

But he adds that Singapore is the only rich country in the world without a fully functioning multi-party democracy. That will hobble its advance in the long run, he believes, because people ‘want not only economic rights, but also freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom of thought’.

‘You may get lucky with a particular autocrat, but what happens after him?…If you could guarantee me in advance that you’ll get Lee Kuan Yew, that’s a whole different thing. But there’s no way beforehand to know that you’re going to get a leader like Lee Kuan Yew.’

He adds wryly, wondering whether this would get into print: ‘I think that the political system is rigged in favour of the People’s Action Party (PAP). Some of it is formal…Some of it is informal. But all of it is largely unnecessary.’

Singapore is already ‘a very open society in many ways’, he points out. ‘I often say this to people because they have an image of Singapore which is essentially incorrect…It is a place where you would certainly feel as if you had many, many freedoms and liberties…It has been lucky in having very wise leadership.’

But it has to widen its political outlook much more, he insists.

Read the full article here>>>

Not Disqualifying Oneself from Winning The Prize

“Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things.

They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.

Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary.

But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit]”

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (Amplified Bible)

Embracing More of My Life In Christ

The tattoo mark near my forehead has been with me for the past 15 years. It was done during my delinquency days and was supposed to identify one as a fighter.

In Hokkien there is a saying that’s used to describe people who have this tattoo, “Tou Ghan Zi Tiam… Pah Lang Bo Zeng Tiam.”

In literal translation it means, “Those head put one dot… beat people don’t know how to stop (without restraint).” Ha ha…

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

But in a couple of weeks more, this tattoo mark will be gone forever as I am undergoing laser treatment to permanently remove it.

Did You Know That…

The most destructive habit…………… WORRY
The greatest Joy…………………………. GIVING
The greatest loss……………………….. LOSS of SELF-RESPECT

The most satisfying work………………. HELPING OTHERS
The ugliest personality trait……………. SELFISHNESS
The most endangered species…………. DEDICATED LEADERS

Our greatest natural resource………………. Our YOUTH
The greatest “shot in the arm”……………… ENCOURAGEMENT
The greatest problem to overcome……….. FEAR

The most effective sleeping pill……………. PEACE of MIND
The most crippling failure diseas………….. EXCUSES
The most powerful force in life…………….. LOVE

The most dangerous pariah……………………….. a GOSSIPER
The world’s most incredible computer………… The BRAIN
The worst thing to be without…………………… HOPE

The deadliest weapon……………………. The TONGUE
The two most power-filled words……. “I CAN”
The greatest asset…………………………. FAITH

The most worthless emotion………………… SELF-PITY
The most beautiful attire……………………… SMILE
The most prized possession…………………. INTEGRITY

The most powerful channel of communication…….. PRAYER
The most contagious spirit……………………………….. ENTHUSIASM
and The Greatest and Best Friend……………………….. GOD!

Grabbing Hold of His Promises

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous.

Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:6-9 (NIV)

The Life of Joseph: Dreams Fulfilled

Recently, I read about the life story of Joseph through the pages of Genesis. His story is one that is truly inspiring.

This time reading it again brought fresh insights and revelation from God.

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Romans 15:4

Interestingly, my observation about Joseph’s life has enabled me have more clarity in what He might be doing in my life and how I too should respond in any given circumstances.

The man of dreams

Joseph was described as a man of dreams or the dreamer as it was recorded that he had two dreams which illustrated how his father and his brothers knelt before him.

This revelation about his future was given unto him when he was just a young lad. And I can imagine how Joseph must had been feeling so excited about it.

Cos if he wasn’t, he would not have gone around sharing it to his brothers who were incensed with jealousy.

Later on, we read that his brothers plotted against him and sold him to be a slave. Joseph was eventually brought to Egypt where he served Potiphar’s household.

The Author of dreams

When reading the plight of Joseph, it would be natural to pity with him in how he was betrayed by his own flesh and blood.

From being a young master with a comfortable, secure and good life, Joseph was now a slave leading a dirty, tough and poor life.

But as I read on, I’ve come to realise how the Hand of God was writing the chapters of Joseph’s life towards fulfilling his dreams when he was made the Prime Minister of Egypt.

If Joseph had not been not sold and remained with his family in the land of Canaan, then his dreams would have never been fulfilled. All the chain of events from the betrayal of his brothers to his imprisonment was orchestrated by God to bring Joseph closer to his dreams.

Likewise, things (whether good or bad) happen to us for His reason and purpose. we must not lose the plot and react negatively. Hence, we must fix our eyes on Him and trust in His love and promises.

Dreams fulfilled

In chapter 45 of Genesis, we read that Joseph cried uncontrollably when he saw his brothers kneeling before him. In the past, I used to think that it was because he felt guilty towards his brothers that he cried. Or that it was because he missed them so much that he cried.

Now, I realised that it was none of what I had thought before. Rather it was because he saw his dreams coming to pass before his eyes when his brothers knelt before him.

And upon seeing his dreams fulfilled, he finally understood why God had put him through all the years of suffering as a slave in Egypt. Joseph could now put the pieces of his life together and truly see how awesome God was.

I believe we can also experience this (our dreams fulfilled) if we remain steadfast in our faith in God by constantly growing in His grace and knowledge of His word. And that’s what I pray and look forward to in my own life.