My Read of the Month:

Title: Winning Intl: The Ultimate Business How-To Book –2005 publication.
Author: Jack Welch with Suzy Welch
Published: 2005
Genre: Business/People Management
Ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Jack Welch needs no introduction. He is the former chairman and CEO of General Electric (GE), a global conglomerate corporation. He spent his entire 40-year career since graduating with GE before retiring in 2001.

In this book, Welch taps on his years of corporate wisdom and experiences in addressing some of the most common issues or questions that professionals face everyday. Organised and presented in a systematic fashion, this book is well-paced and addictive with a mix of easy-to-relate and interesting insights and stories.

I like that Welch was equally honest about some of his mistakes as he is with his successes. Much of his views provides us with useful tips on how to be a better employee in contributing to the organisational’s growth. And in the same token, it also empowers one to be a better corporate leader in managing people and resources effectively.

One important trait or way of doing business which Welch’s emphasises is candor. This refers to communicating with frankness or straightforwardness. According to him, the lack of candor is damaging and do not build an environment where ideas, comments or criticism can be expressed to stimulate real debate. I agree.

He explains that in an organisation with a lack of candor, its people are usually remain silent in order to feel better or to avoid conflict. They sugarcoat bad news in order to maintain appearances. They keep things to themselves, hoarding information. And when an organisation has a high degree of candor, everything operates faster and better.

However, Welch’s business management philosophy is not without controversies. One of them is differentiation where he distinctively categories employees by their performance: the top 20%, middle 70% and bottom 10%. But understanding the industrial era that he emerged from which formed most of his corporate beliefs, it should not be surprising that the bottom line or profits is always the main priority.

That said, in today’s era, there’s a new business approach emerging and that’s the 3’p bottom line- profits, people and planet. And I believe that’s understandably lacking in his book. Nonetheless, this remains an excellent book about winning and delivering results in the marketplace from one of corporate America’s savviest minds.

Who should read it: For working professionals- leaders and managers. Also applicable to church or ministry leaders.

Start Loving and Stop Hating

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother.

And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.

And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.”

1 John 3: 1, 11-19, 23-24 (New Living Translation)

Being A Culturally-Savvy Christian

Here’s an extract of an article I wrote during this year’s Asia Conference.  I think it does some good in revealing the DNA of City Harvest Church and what it stands for; getting the Church into the heart of our world to bring radical (not religious) transformation from the inside out.

“For too long, churches have adopted wrong mindsets that have led us in disengaging our culture,” said Kong. “No doubt popular culture has risen but church culture has decreased.”

Citing the story of John Wimber (1934–1997) who was a famous producer in the music industry in the early 1960s before he became a pastor as an example, Kong revealed how The Beatles had at one time approached Wimber to become their producer.

However, due to the advice of the church that Wimber was attending as a young believer, he turned down the offer.

According to Kong, that church was against the association of the secular or popular culture. And he believed that things might have panned out differently if Wimber had accepted that offer, noting the  high possibility that the members of The Beatles might have converted to Christianity given Wimber’s evangelistic fervor. It might have been that Christianity lost a potentially powerful and influential force in The Beatles.

Kong illustrated how it was possible for the Church to engage culture effectively without compromising the faith through the biblical example of Daniel, who was a highly favored servant of the king of Babylon during Babylonian reign over Israel.

The preacher explained that Daniel was successful and experienced upward mobility because of his maturity in learning the Babylonian culture, language and fashion. He even adopted a Babylonian name and took on a job in Babylon. In his time, Daniel was contemporary yet consecrated. He was serious about culture yet serious about his faith.

He said, “The only way to become a successful Christian in the marketplace is to build your life on spiritual disciplines. Reading the Bible, prayer, fasting, praise and worship and thanksgiving, solitude, confession, repentance, forgiveness and going to church—these are the spiritual undergirding support of one’s upward mobility.”

Read the full article here>>>