What leaders need to do

Today, I had the privilege to hear from a retired high-ranking officer from the US talk about leadership. Even though he was sharing about leadership in a particular context, I thought it could apply to leadership at our everyday workplace and even in church. These are my two takeaways:

As a leader (especially one who is at the top level in a medium to big organisation), one should –

1) Maintain the command hierarchy, but allow people on the ground to speak to you and instruct them to inform their direct supervisors (middle management) what you have shared with them as well. This way, not only does one get to hear perspectives and ideas from your middle management, but also people from the ground, who may be able to offer practical alternatives. At the same time, your ideas are also made known to the middle management, ensuring that everyone (from ground to middle management) is on the same page in an organisation.

2) Explain to your team the rationale for doing certain tasks. As a leader, one must use efforts to consider the reason for choosing a certain way of doing things.. and make the seemingly mundane task purposeful. When people are able to find out the reason behind these tasks, they learn and start to think independently. And as they think independently, they contribute to the organisation and it matures. Thinking of reasons for doing simple tasks is not easy… I have tried it (especially when writing papers to justify internal decisions) and I know it really takes brain power and time. However, it is definitely worth the effort as the team does not end up following instructions blindly.

Do you agree that these are one of the few things a good leader should do? Do share.



Imagining our space

The both of us are anticipating our new flat, our own couple space, and a spot for us to entertain our friends and family. Psst… DR can cook, just that right now, it is not very convenient to do so at my place 😦 Our flat keys… FASTER COME LEH!

While we wait, we are looking at the interior design styles we like, saving money (at least $30K for reno and furnishing) and then arming ourselves with technical details of what our house needs (e.g. ceiling or standing fans, window grilles, lighting, gas or electric heaters etc) by talking to our parents and people who have gone through these. It dawned on me I need to take charge for my own place, and am no longer a child relying on my parents! Never knew that doing up a flat requires so much knowledge and effort until now.

I found a website, Sproost that helped us both think about how our flat could look like. I did a quiz and found out that my style was a mixture of “Cottage Chic” and “Rustic Revival”.  So what’s “Cottage Chic” and “Rustic Revival”?

COTTAGE CHIC – http://www.sproost.com/blog/2010/05/design-your-style-cottage-chic/

“You love old and new alike, and love to highlight them all to expose the uniqueness of each. I like how the built-in storage is modern but uses and older wood look for the doors.”

“Your true inspiration (whether you know it or not) is the sea…the colors found at your favorite beach: white and light beige of the sand, a variety of blues for the ocean and sky, and greens and pale grays of the sea glass…but the key is white!”

Elle Decor - living rooms - glass front cabinet, zebra bench, sofa table, wood sofa table,  Skye Kirby - Crisp, clean white & orange family room!

Decorology Francesco Lagnese

decorology Frank Roop

RUSTIC REVIVAL – http://www.sproost.com/blog/2010/04/design-your-style-rustic-revival/

“For Rustic Revival, the clean lines of the modern softened by rustic and vintage elements are the perfect mix in your mind.”

White, pale gray or beige, khaki and sage; all of these colors make nice, subtle backdrops for Rustic Revival style.”

Think of the colors of natural linen, concrete, and if you’d like to go dark, use the dark brownish-black of iron or the deep burnt orange of rust.”

The key is to keep the spaces feeling open (go modern!) and yet warm (yay for rustic!), and by going light on the walls and major pieces and more color on the accents and accessories you can achieve this mix really well.”

decorology Morten Holtum


Thinking of the designs is just the start! Now, to find out about the specifications required to renovate a house, and also the type of sofa, dining table, lightings, washing machine, fridge etc we need. This is like playing Sims, except I don’t have a cheat code to have unlimited money to buy the furnishing I want for the house! Need wisdom to plan…


Wedding party of the year

Wow, in a twinkling of an eye, my sister is married! Her wedding was like a great party – good food (a coffee cart brewing a fresh cuppa and yummy lunch from Smiling Orchid), pretty decor, beautiful people dressed in preppy blue & classy green for the occasion, a fun photo booth and loads of wine for the night at Conrad. Blessings for my sister and ZH as they begin this new journey together!

Here are some snippets for that day.




Blessings for the couple


The glamorous couple



Photo booth – a good place to be silly

Am glad that the big day, which started at 5am (for us at home) and lasted till midnight, is over! We survived!! Actually, kinda survived cos the day after, DR vomited (water) due to exhaustion and I caught a cold the day after. Muahahaha… nonetheless, the wedding was still enjoyable and certainly a happy day for us all!