Singapore PM Lee: Strengthen system that let you succeed

PM Lee: Strengthen system that let you succeed


MESSAGE TO STUDENTS: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the principal of CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School, Mrs Tan Wai Lan, at the 80th anniversary of the school on Monday. The Chinese characters “yin shui si yuan” on the easel is a Chinese saying meaning “know where you come from”.

Friday, November 22, 2013 – 07:30

The New Paper

Schools, especially those with students who have done well, should imbue them with the spirit of service, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday. Mr Lee was speaking at an event marking the 80th anniversary of the CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School. He said that while the students may have succeeded through talent and hard work, they also had to realise that this is possible because they live in a society with a meritocratic system that rewards them for their abilities and develops them to their potential, one that cheers those who succeed instead of cutting them down. Read more of this post

How Mohnish Pabrai Uses Checklists

Hierarchy Is Overrated

Hierarchy Is Overrated

by Tim Kastelle  |   2:00 PM November 20, 2013

Maybe you’ve heard the old cliché – if you’ve got “too many chiefs,” your initiative will fail. Every time I hear it, I wonder, “Why can’t everyone be a chief?” For instance, the Second Chance Programme is a group that raises money to help reduce homelessness among women here in Southeast Queensland.  It’s achieved impressive results since being founded in 2001, and is run by a committee of about ten people. In the early days, a management consultant used the familiar chiefs/Indians line to predict they’d fail. This kind of thinking assumes: You need a hierarchy to succeed. The people that do the work are of lower status than those that decide what work to do. Organizations that don’t follow the norms are likely to fail. I think that all of these ideas are wrong.  Second Chance has certainly been very successful with their flat, non-hierarchical structure.  They have achieved a great deal, while keeping their overhead close to $0.  If the structure of the management committee was a problem, they would have failed by now. But maybe this kind of structure only works for not-for-profits? Nope.  About 20% of the world’s websites are now on the WordPress platform – making it one of the most important internet companies.  And yet, Automattic, the firm behind WordPress, only employs a couple hundred people, who all work remotely, with a highly autonomous flat management structure.  GitHub is another highly successful firm with a similar structure. Read more of this post

Old hands steered by the young: The CEO of Tesco is among the veterans using reverse mentors to bridge a generation gap

November 20, 2013 4:24 pm

Old hands steered by the young

By Emma Jacobs

Every month, Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke meets 28-year-old Paul Wilkinson for a mentoring session. In this time Mr Wilkinson, who works in the British supermarket’s technology research and development division, teaches his boss everything he knows. For this is not the traditional professional development practice in which a young, junior employee is given career advice by a senior manager. Instead, the roles are reversed. Read more of this post

Morpher’s Flat-Folding Bike Helmet

Morpher’s Flat-Folding Bike Helmet

By Karen Epper Hoffman November 21, 2013

Innovator: Jeff Woolf, OBE
Age: 54
Title: Managing director of London-based Morpher Helmet

Form and function: A half-pound helmet that can fold up into a block measuring 6.5 inches by 12.9 inches by 1.9 inches, compact enough to fit into a bag or briefcase.



Here’s The 5-Sentence Personal Essay That Helped JFK Get Into Harvard

Here’s The 5-Sentence Personal Essay That Helped JFK Get Into Harvard

PETER JACOBS NOV. 20, 2013, 1:19 PM 49,634 53

Without a doubt, John F. Kennedy is one of Harvard University’s most accomplished and impressive graduates. However, the former POTUS was not the best applicant when he decided he wanted to take up residence in Cambridge, Mass. He had poor grades from high school, and while he had spent two months at Princeton University before leaving due to an illness, even his own father called him “careless.” In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, The Washington Post has highlighted many of his school records, including a handwritten Harvard application. You can check out the digitized originals at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. As part of the Harvard application — which at the time was a mere three pages — students were asked to give a “careful answer” to the question “Why do you wish to come to Harvard?” Here’s what a young JFK had to say:

The reasons that I have for wishing to go to Harvard are several. I feel that Harvard can give me a better background and a better liberal education than any other university. I have always wanted to go there, as I have felt that it is not just another college, but is a university with something definite to offer. Then too, I would like to go to the same college as my father. To be a “Harvard man” is an enviable distinction, and one that I sincerely hope I shall attain.

April 23, 1935
John F. Kennedy

From the JFK library, here’s the original:

john kennedy jfk harvard university application essay


German “luxury bishop” settles with court over 1st class flight-to-poverty case

German “luxury bishop” settles with court over 1st class flight-to-poverty case

Mon, Nov 18 2013

BERLIN (Reuters) – A German court has dropped for the time being an investigation into a Roman Catholic prelate known as the “luxury bishop” over accusations he lied under oath about taking a first-class flight to visit poverty projects in India. State prosecutors had sought to have Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg fined for making false affidavits about the flight, but the court accepted a 20,000-euro settlement. Read more of this post

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