**Want to get promoted? Work on your people skills** (Part 2)

Businesses and technologies change, but human nature and human psychology has not changed much in thousands of years. Many managers have read or listened to the audio version of this “How to Win Friends & Influence People” book and said, “I wish I’d known these things and how to deal with people 20 years ago!” Yes, knowing and applying principles in this book will make your life a lot easier if you know how to manage and work with people.

People skills take time to develop, but it’s so worth the time and rewards are huge

Many people tell me I have good people skills. Five years ago, after I received my CA designation I realized my people/soft skills were seriously lacking. Since then, I have worked hard to develop my people skills. I attended numerous seminars, classes, and workshops on leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, etc., and read countless books. I have been able to apply my new skills on an ongoing basis in leadership roles I’ve taken. I’ve been a board member, chair and president of several professional forums and committees, and served on student council at my MBA school. A large part of my success is due to the fact I’ve mastered most of the skills in “How to Win Friends & Influence People”, and I’m still learning and applying these skills working with people!

People skills take time to develop and master, but it’s so worth the time and the rewards are huge.

**Want to get promoted? Work on your people skills** (Part 1)

Most people want to do well at work and get promoted.

Survey says: CEO’s consider ‘soft’ skills of leadership very important

How important are people skills in the workplace? People skills are very important according to a recent CEO survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) of over 1,300 CEO’s from 77 countries published in Jan 2015. Page 34 of the survey says:

“More than anything, the CEOs we talked to this year stressed the ‘soft’ skills of leadership… Above all though, perhaps the quality CEOs most need to master is humility. By being humble while leading, a CEO will be able to listen and learn from the team they have built around them.”

People in management level needs to learn people/soft skills

Many highly competent people overlook the importance of people/soft skills, and their lack of people skills unfortunately is the reason they don’t get promoted into management level. Some people are technically brilliant in front of a computer or doing their part on a project, but when they get promoted to be a manager and are expected to lead people, they need to learn how to communicate, motivate, and lead a team effectively.

How do you learn soft skills?

Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first? The bad news is formal education will not teach you soft skills much, but participating in school clubs and joining the executive teams can teach you lots of people skills. The good news is, you can learn it on your own. The best resource I’ve found is the all-time classic “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, with millions of copies sold. It should be available in audio format. This is a timeless resource that applies yesterday, today, tomorrow, and as long as human beings continue to exist, it will be applicable. After you learn the skills, apply it as often as you can to perfect the skills.

3 Kinds of Books I Read To be an author,

3 Kinds of Books I Read

To be an author, you must first be an avid reader.

I read all kinds of books, and I absorb the information like a sponge. I like reading from a wide variety of sources to expand my thinking capacity. The ability to think is our greatest asset. Reading about how other people think gives me more options and decision-making ability.

1. Books that makes me think about life

I like being taken out of my comfort zone. The best way to learn is to read about people who have walked further along the path of life than I have. I’ve only lived on this earth for 30 years or so, I really don’t know that much. I want to learn from people in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and so on. People in their 20’s and 30’s who think they know better than people older than them are just living in an illusion.

2. Books that help me understand how the human mind works

I like reading books like “Emotional Intelligence”, “Focus” by Daniel Goleman. I’ve always been fascinated by how the human mind works. I think if I can master how the mind works, I can do greater things.

I also read books like “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale. Learning to think positively has helped me in life greatly.

3. Books that inspire me

There are many great authors who can inspire others with their books. I really like Joyce Meyer books for their inspiration and positivity. Joyce Meyer had to overcome many problems before fulfilling her dreams as a woman evangelist preacher. Her work is similar to Billy Graham.

The Power of Networking I define network

The Power of Networking

I define networking as meeting people you don’t know with the purpose of making more friends, business contacts, and building professional networks.

Networking does not mean hanging out with the people you know all the time.

Networking isn’t one of those things you can learn completely out of a book. It’s like learning to ride a bicycle. Sure you’ll be wobbly at first, but it’s interesting that to maintain balance you can’t stand still. You have to move and create momentum in order to stay balanced on a bicycle. It’s the same with networking. You can’t stand still and not go talk to someone. You have to get out of your comfort zone and just say, “Hi.” You have to throw yourself out there and trust you will survive.

If I can do it, you can do it too.

I’ve met resistance from people when I tell them about the benefits of networking. They would argue that close friends and connections are enough. While having close friends are important, people who are not used to networking cannot understand the tremendous value of networking because they have never done it and have never seen the amazing results that come from networking.

People who like to stay in their own comfort zone with their close group of friends do not understand the power of “Weak ties”. Weak ties are the people you see just occasionally in a year, maybe once or twice a year, and you don’t see them on a regular basis. When it comes to finding a job, it is well documented by other authors and articles on LinkedIn that “Weak ties” have tremendous potential to helping you with your career. This is because your close group of friends likely has the same circle of people as you. This really limits the amount of people you and your close friends know. However, “Weak ties” are generally outside your close circle of friends and so the number of people they know can be quite significant.

Source: http://www.amazon.com/Increase-Confidence-Succeed-Meeting-People-ebook/dp/B017H85ZGG

Time Saving Tip: Avoid rush hour

Time Saving Tip: Avoid rush hour

Rush hour in my city starts in the morning around 8:30am. If I go to work an hour and a half earlier (7am) or an hour and a half later (10am), there is practically no traffic. My 30 minute drive usually becomes 45 minutes or more during traffic jam times.

Rush hour in the evening starts at about 5pm. If I leave two hours before (3pm) or two hours after (7pm), there is practically no traffic. During rush hour, my 30 minute drive becomes 45 minutes or more.

If I save 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening just by avoiding rush hour, I save 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week means 150 minutes, or 2.5 hours a week. Multiply that by 50 weeks a year means over 100 hours saved per year just by making this small adjustment.

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Using this method, you can save 2.5 hours a week.

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Tip source: http://www.amazon.com/TIME-MANAGEMENT-saving-HOURS-Success-ebook/dp/B019EN8G4U

2015 was an awesome year

Reflections on 2015
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Looking back at 2015, God’s grace was sufficient for me, and He made life good – more than I could ever dream or imagine. 2015 was a year of ups and downs, and was quite an exciting adventure.

January 2015: I studied at at China’s top university – Peking University in Beijing, China
For the first 6 months of 2015 I was living and studying my MBA in Beijing, the capital of China. For those of you that aren’t aware, I was studying my Double MBA degree program on full scholarship at Peking University in Beijing, China for a year from September 2014 to June 2015 after completing my MBA degree at York University in Toronto from 2013-2014. Peking University is ranked the #1 university in China, sometimes called “The Harvard of China”. The current Premier of China, Li Keqiang, is a graduate of Peking University.

Every Chinese student dreams of getting into Peking University, and I was very grateful to be able to experience studying there among China’s most elite students.

January-February 2015: I worked at a Big 4 accounting firm in Beijing, China

I was very fortunate to be able to work at Ernst & Young, a Big 4 international accounting firm when I was in China. The experience was valuable and I got a taste of what it’s like to work in China. Chinese people are extremely smart. I was amazed at the quality of work my team produced for our clients.

March 2015: Peking University MBA Ambassadors make history

I served as the President of the Peking University MBA Ambassadors from 2014-2015. On March 28, 2015, we organized a history-making Welcome Party that included 3 generations of International MBA classes (’13 MBA, ’14 MBA, ’15 MBA). Over 45 MBA students registered for the party. Thanks to all the MBA Ambassadors for your hard work: Marvin Gunawan, Eason Xu, Jing Shen, Yang Yu-Chun Andrew, Jiyea Park, Nick Cheng, Sophie Mannai, Sae Jun Kim, Tae Hong Kim, Jean Ong, Vivian Wu, Ammar Masood, Amy Huang, Andrew Weekes, Nana Su, Jaehun Lee.

April 2015-June 2015: I travelled to nearly 20 cities all over China

On April 2, I took the high speed rail from Beijing to 天津Tianjin.

On April 8, I took the train from Beijing to 青岛Qingdao (山东省Shandong Province) in eastern China.

On April 21, I went to 南京Nanjing (江苏省Jiangsu Province), 苏州SuZhou, 杭州Hangzhou (浙江省Zhejiang Province) in eastern China

On May 9, I flew to 成都Chengdu (四川省Sichuan Province) and 重庆Chongqing in western China

On May 20, I went to 昆明Kunming, 大理Dali, 丽江Lijiang in 云南省Yunnan Province in south-western China.

On May 26, I went to 广州Guangzhou and 深圳Shenzhen in 广东省Guangdong Province in south-eastern China.

On June 23, I went to 桂林Guilin in 广西省Guangxi Province in southern China.

On June 26, I went to 大连Dalian in 辽宁省Liaoning Province in north-eastern China.

On June 30, I went to 武汉Wuhan (河北省Hebei Province), and 长沙Changsha (河南省Henan Province) in central China.

May 2015: I ran the Great Wall Marathon!

This was one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. I’ve ran the 10-kilometre Vancouver Sun Run 3 times, but I never imagined I’d be running on the Great Wall of China as part of a marathon. This was one of the coolest things I did in China. Thanks Sophie Mannaï for organizing.

July 2015: Travelling to Singapore, Brunei, and Hong Kong

Lots of fun travelling!

August 2015: Returned to Vancouver for good

Home sweet home!

August-December 2015: Meeting and catching up with friends

Having been away from Vancouver for 2 years, it was great to catch up with my friends in Vancouver.

November-December 2015: Wrote and published 10 books

Writing books is fun. A couple of them made it to the #1 Best Seller position on Amazon.com. I hope to continue writing books in 2016!

www.amazon.com/author/hellocalvinlee

Thank you God for your provisions throughout 2015. I look forward to continue walking with You in greater things in 2016!

 

**How to Fulfill Your Dreams in 2016!**

Happy New Year! I wish 2016 will bring you prosperity and success in fulfilling your dreams!

Many people write ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, start out with hope and passion, only to give up after a month or two. To see this in real life just go to the gym. Every year you see lots of people sign up at the beginning of a year or a new term. Then after a month or two the numbers dwindle and only the committed people stay. Sound familiar? Are you one of the committed people or one of the quitters?

Many people know I am an accomplished pianist. My brother and I were Canadian national piano champions at the Canadian Music Competitions, twice. We were champions in Montreal (2001), and in Toronto (2004). Many people have told me: “I’d do anything to have your level of success!” No they won’t. Many people are dreamers. They talk the talk but won’t walk the talk. Would they practice 4 hours of piano a day every single day like me? Many don’t have the self-discipline. They envy the accomplishments of others but can’t seem to muster enough self-discipline to accomplish things themselves. Don’t let this be you. I know a friend who practiced much more than 4 hours a day and is now a professional concert pianist touring the world.

Here are some tips how to accomplish your goals in 2015:

1. Set ‘SMART’ Goals

In order to fulfill your dreams you need a plan. I recommend the ‘SMART’ goal setting method: ‘S’pecific, ‘M’easurable, ‘A’chievable, ‘R’ealistic, ‘T’imebased. Also, get rid of wishy-washy language such as “I hope”, “I may”, “I might”, and replace them with “I will”, “I can”, and “I am able to”. Then you have to hold yourself accountable and do the necessary hard work to achieve your goals. You must set a time-limit and deadline on when to achieve your goals.

In 2010, I decided to do a 10-kilometer charity run, and set a goal to lose 25 pounds within 4 months before the race so that I can run faster. My goal was SMART: Specific: I want to lose weight. It was Measurable: 25 pounds. Achievable: yes, with the right diet and exercise. Realistic: yes. Timebased: 4 months. I achieved my goal of losing 25 pounds in 4 months, and also set a personal best record of running 10-kilometers in 55 minutes. I ran the entire 10-K non-stop.

2. Start Small, Achieve It, and Repeat with Bigger, More Ambitious Goals

If you’ve always been a failure when it comes to sticking to plans and achieving goals, I suggest you start with something small, achieve it, and repeat. As your confidence builds, try more challenging and ambitious goals.

Training for a 10-K run is very difficult, one of the most difficult tasks I’ve ever faced. I started with 15 minutes running non-stop, then trained 5 times a week adding 2 minutes each day until I can run 1 hour and 15 minutes non-stop. The extra 2 minutes each day was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, as I had to move out of my comfort zone. It would be easier to give up, but I’m so glad I stuck with my plan and accomplished my goals.

3. Surround Yourself with Friends and Supporters

For MBA students, doing a MBA is a challenging 2-year goal. Most are able to succeed because they have classmates and friends to cheer them on and give them support.

4. Believe in Yourself

The human body has amazing ability to adapt. Most of us never use our bodies to their full capacity. It takes a strong mind and will to accomplish goals.

In 2015, let us run valiantly towards our goals! Set New Year’s Resolutions, and stick with them. Plan them. Carry them out. Never never never never quit. If you fall down, get back up and keep going. This is how winners are forged: through tears and sweat. But in the end those will be tears of victory, sweet victory.