A BOOK DEDICATED TO EVERYONE

An excerpt of my book launch speech at the 13th Coach Convocation, Awards & Networking (CAN) event held recently….

I stand here today feeling very fulfilled and proud that I have gone full circle to become a full-fledged coach-author with the launch of my fourth and latest coaching book Dialogue with the Sales Coach.

Technically, I have completed my writing life mission in contributing to all the 4 coaching niches of: organizational coaching, life coaching, leadership coaching and business/sales coaching, written in 4 distinctly different coaching books in my name – Dialogue with the Coach, Dialogue with the Life Coach, Dialogue with the Executive Coach; and today, Dialogue with the Sales Coach.

What makes it even more fulfilling for me  is being able to launch this book in front of my own coaching community (that I have built in my 18 years in coaching) and on this grand occasion of the 13th Coach Convocation, Awards & Networking event, which I always regard as the highest point in Coaching and in my own coaching career.

Dialogue with the Sales Coach is a coaching book written and dedicated to everyone: sales and non- sales people as everyone is in sales and we need to be good at it as well – be it selling a product, service, idea, proposal, or even selling ourselves to others.

However, there is a special group of people that I have also written this book for – they are the Coaches who are exceptionally dear to me, and whom I have always want every one of them to be successful in their lives, and in their coaching careers.  I want them to be ‘Coach Movers’ always – a term that I coined 3 years ago.

Typically, Dialogue with the Sales Coach is a coaching cookbook – everything about how to be successful in selling together with all the recipes for sales success. They are all well-captured here; from how to set a strong sales foundation, to how to get customers, how to close the sales and how to take your business successfully to the next level.

Written in the same style like my other 3 books, this one also has 100 sales cases, 100 successful methods and 400 powerful questions to stretch your imagination for even better ideas and ways.

It is very simple, short and very easy to read. This book can be used in many ways: as a reading book, a story book, a reference book and even as a coaching workbook.

I started this journey of writing in 2009 and now it is 2018, averagely, writing a book every 2 years and I am glad that I have been able to keep to this pace with focus, discipline and also with the support of 3 very important people to me: my 2 ‘Angelines’: my wife Angeline (who is in Melbourne and unfortunately is unable to be here, and my 2 children),  and the other Angelin Loo, and  Josephine Ong, my 2 sidekicks who have been with me all these years, as well as in my writing journey.

Before I end, with honor and appreciation, I like to give this latest book of mine to my very dear friend, Tan Sri Datuk Dr M Jegathesan. He too has been with me through most of my coaching career and journey.

Thank you again for being here at this 13th Coach Convocation, Awards & Networking event and at this launch of my latest book, Dialogue with the Sales Coach.

OF GRIT. PURPOSE. LOVE. FAITH.

Seldom  we see these 4 words being stringed together as one.

But they are in this story that holds a very special meaning for us, parents and even much more so to the hero and heroine – our son, Kian Joo and his wife, Danielle. 

Here’s their heroic story……

Most newly-weds would usually prefer a romantic and stylish holiday as their kind of honeymoon.  But for these 2 newly-weds, theirs is not. Their idea of a honeymoon is one few would not want, even think of.  It’s one that is built around grit, purpose, love and faith. It has all the trappings of toughness, discomfort, adventure, with no place for beaches, fine dining and moonlight romance.

Their long-term planning was a pledge that they made together to do the rarest form of honeymoon which was to walk the 800 km route taken by Saint James from northern France to Western Spain to a sacred place called Santiago de Camilo where his tomb lays.

It was a torturous honeymoon journey that took them 44 days to walk.  Unless we are made of the tough materials that they have, there’s a high possibility that we would break under the heavy strains of a long journey that seemed to have no end, the scourges of burning  heat, excruciating pains oozing out from feet blisters over blisters, without proper nourishment and living conditions to comfort them.

The power of the mind over matter can’t be better illustrated here than in their epic story which will be forever etched in their minds.  Even as parents, theirs have a thing or two to teach us about life that when we have high purpose and faith in God, we will find the grit to make the impossible, possible.

When they wept openly with joy upon stepping on the soil of this sacred place, we  too wept inside us for we could feel the euphoria that was inside them.

Somehow, their story reminds us of a saying: ‘Challenges are what make life challenging and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful’.

We are truly proud of them and thank them for this invaluable lesson they taught us and everyone about living life to the fullest. 

 

 

THE POWER OF QUESTIONING

There is a saying that questioning and listening are like the fragrant coconut rice and the sambal in a nasi lemak dish. You cannot have one without the other!

When you listen well, you automatically ask questions. Not just ordinary questions but powerful ones.

  • What are powerful questions?
  • How can people ask powerful questions?
  • Why are questions so important? 
  • What are the types of questions and when is one better than the other?
  • Read on……

WE CAN ALL INSPIRE SOMEONE, EVERY TIME

Let me ask you 3 questions:

  • When was a time when someone said to you that they were so blessed to have met you?
  • When was a time when someone told you how appreciated they were for something you did for them?
  • And when was time someone came to you for an advice that changed their life?

Please take a few seconds to think of these…………….

  • Can you recall any of these moments?
  • Why do you think they respond in this way to you?
  • How did all these make you feel?

I’m sure you have had these moments. You see, many of us have been and are still an inspiration to some people in our lives.

So to be an inspiration to people is really not just a tall order, not impossible, not meant only for the giants of mankind like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa or even Tun Dr Mahathir.  Indeed, we don’t need to make national headlines to be an inspiration to others. Many times, the most inspiring people in the world go unnoticed.

You see, they don’t do it for others to see, but really it’s for God to see.

I’m sure that you too have done many good things for people but they are unnoticed. So really who cares, for it’s for God to see.

There are 4 common qualities that I find in most people who inspire others:

  • Selflessness (not selfishness),
  • Generosity (not stinginess),
  • Courage (not cowardice),
  • Guided by a purposeful sense of service (not disservice).

So anyone with these 4 qualities are an inspiration to people.  A teacher who teaches well is an inspiration to his students.  A waiter who serves well is an inspiration to his customers.  A manager who grows his people well is an inspiration to his people.  And the list goes on.

There are very precious benefits that come to people who inspire others.

They fondly remembered us at the end of our lives. They get blessings, even luck when they give. Finally, there is happiness & fulfilment that comes with it too.

In my work with leaders, we often explore ways how they can make a difference and be more inspirational to their people. These 5 ways keep coming back as the ones that will make them more inspirational:

  • Stand for something
  • Act with passion
  • Show care and kindness
  • Demonstrate integrity
  • Listen more, talk less, and be a coach

Life is indeed too short for us to waste our time doing ordinary things. The Dalai Lama once said, we have no control of the past and the future; the only one we have control of is the Present.

So there’s no point sulking over our mistakes too much. There’s no point getting angry with someone because nothing is going to change.  And no point too getting stressed about something that hasn’t happen. Nothing is going to change.

So let’s use our time in the present moment to make the ordinary things we do, extraordinary. Let us lead a Life with a Purpose. It will make us special. It gives us the passion to do things with excellence.

At the end of life, we want to leave behind fond sweet memories of ourselves to others.  We want to leave our legacy. Our foot prints too.

Adios but Not Goodbye, Jee Kor Ma!

My 6 brothers and sisters called our late aunt, Jee Kor, or Second Aunty but we have always regarded her as ‘Jee Kor Ma’ or in English – ‘Motherly Aunt’. 

She was Jee Kor Ma or ‘Motherly Aunt’ to us because she was truly a mum to us who always treated us like her own children, very similar to her own very loving 5 children: Ah Kwang, Ah Ghim, Niramon, Jenny and Bunny.

For all the years in her long life, she consistently showered us this motherly love, although we were far separated by distance (we in Malaysia, and she in Thailand) and time as we could only get to meet once a while and that time was brief and short as we had duties back home to attend to.

All of us were always so very touched each time we get to meet her again. Her happiness in seeing us again was so extraordinary, very much like the biblical story of Mother Mary’s joy after finding her missing son, Jesus, in the temple.

During this brief time with her, she would drown us with her generous love – her gentle touch, her kind words and her curious questions about us, not forgetting the plentiful delicious Thai goodies she would stuffed into our bags for us to take home, as she was so afraid that we would go hungry without enough to eat.

Jee Kor Ma’s story of love for us is very much seen in her own family as well – very, very admirable for the selfless ways and sacrifices she made to bring up her 4 children at all costs, overcoming the suffering poverty that was inflicted on her when she came to Thailand from China some 80 years ago.

Today her children are very happy and successful people because of her.  It is because they get to follow her footsteps. They take on her values and qualities. Even her loving grandchildren and great grand children are showing much of her great traits. What a blessing!

While we are so sad to lose her, we are also very much at peace for we know she is now in heaven, a better place, a happier place with Jesus, and all her brothers and sisters as well those who had all gone before her.

She was the last Heah clan of her generation on earth, but now reunited with all of them again in Heaven.

So we will only say adios to you, Jee Kor Ma, but not good bye, for we will be united with you one day when God says it’s time too.

Till then, May the Lord Jesus always protect you and Rest in Eternal Peace, Jee Kor Ma, until we meet again!

Learning To Walk Again

Certain moments in our lives are very defining. They have the potential of making us take a hard look at our lives. My ‘certain moment’ was the time during my hip problem, the surgery that followed and the painful recovery time that I am still undergoing.   

I call this article ‘learning to walk again’ because it’s about this particular chapter of my life that has taught me never to take things for granted any more.   

You see, walking, running, jumping were activities  I took for granted. I never consciously attribute them as God’s gift for me. Never was I grateful that I was so mobile where in ‘happier times’ I could do so much – jogging for stretches, climbing up the hills around my area, playing football and basketball in the mud and rain, and so on.

Then unexpectedly, this very thing I took for granted became the very thing that was taken away from me. My mobility was severely hampered during the late stages of my hip pains. I couldn’t move a fraction of what I could do previously. It took another beating during the surgery and the recovery period that reduced me to a child who couldn’t walk to learning to walk again – in baby steps with a walker and now a walking stick. 


At this time now, every step I make is precious, an achievement.  I am now so very thankful to the One up there for giving me a second chance. I feel so thankful too to Angeline’s loving tender care during this whole episode.  I’m also thankful to well wishes from my friends, their gifts, their visits and their prayers. 

Adding them up together, they all are helping me to walk well again. 

Thank You!

Wedding Speech: Speaking From Our Hearts

 A very good evening to all.

In my profession, I make a lot of speeches to all kinds of audiences, but never yet to an audience of this demographics.  In our social lives together, we have heard many, many wedding speeches, but have never made one ourselves.  And in our very small family unit, I have not done one yet, till today.

So under such circumstances, this is my maiden wedding speech today.  (Honestly, I had to be coached by my dear wife on what to say, how to say and how long it should be).

So let me begin by saying to our loving son, Hil, and our first daughter in law, Dan, that we are overjoyed with their new marital status as lifetime husband and wife.

Your wedding ceremony today was most touching and romantic, like the love story of Romeo and Juliet, tho’ not in Verona, Italy but in this beautiful Yarra Valley in Melbourne.

It shows your good taste, creativity and resourcefulness in making this a most memorable occasion for us.  It was exceptionally well organized and artfully choreographed, fitting of a bestselling love movie.  How I wish I can watch this once again on Netflix.

Now, to this very close group of guests, I won’t want to bore you with stuff that you already know about both of them; simply because you wouldn’t be here today if you hadn’t known them, not just well, but very well.

Everyone here, family members included, were subjected to a very strict selection criterion: “How really close are you to both of them”?   It really showed how much they want to have the closest people in their lives on their wedding day.

So based on this: few were chosen, many were axed.   Among the axed ones are all uncles and aunties, cousins, nephews and parents’ good friends from both the divide.

You will know what I mean if you care to look around you.  You will see only a small handful of grey hair people here.  But if you can’t notice this, it’s because most of us had our hair dyed or set for this occasion.   But you can still see them by their winkles which can’t be taken away.

Notwithstanding this, It is certainly a very refreshing, vibrant and rejuvenating time for us, to be in the company of the young generation here who are 1/2,  or more than 1/2 our age.

This is indeed is a New Age Wedding. The rules are different. Parents are required to play by their rules.  In return, we need not give nor do anything  (except giving this speech).  A good trade off indeed!

In hierarchical terms, there are only 2 bosses here today, namely, Hil and Dan. They are the only C suite guys.  No others.  Everyone else is equal, a kind of autocratic Communist system like in the words of George Orwell in his book ‘Animal Farm’ where he says that in this farm ‘all are equal, except some are more equal than others’.

This New Age wedding is fundamentally different from traditional ones as they are usually more populated by guests from their parents’ side.  (Frankly speaking in many of such weddings, we aren’t sure whether the parents are remarrying, or their children are marrying!).  This is the state of affairs because parents are the ones who foot the bulk of the bills.  So, they (instead of their marrying children) are the bosses mostly.

But for this one, it’s the reverse.  The wedded couple’s guests totally nudge out their parents’ guests!  Why, because they foot all the bills. So they are the bosses, we are the guests, (or subordinates) who obediently follow their instructions.  We just have to say, ‘Aye boss, anything you say!

(Now with jokes aside), we truly admire them for being completely 100% hands on in managing this very important and major project.  This 2-person team make up the frontline and back office people.

They handle everything: from wedding concept, the planning, the financing, the fine execution from guests’ selection, logistics, accommodation, ceremony, getting the kind service of Fr Michael, the priest, the mass service, meals, entertainment, including the walking down the aisle, writing their marriage vows, exchanging of rings to finally becoming husband and wife.   Truly, this says a lot about their attributes and capabilities.

Hats off to them!

There’s a saying that when choosing your lifetime partner, it’s advisable to look at the other partner’s mother for an answer.  (I don’t know why not the father!).

Dan, your love for Hil for what he is, is because of one very important person in his life, Angeline – his mum or your mum-in-law now.  She has given you a complete package.  A complete replica of her in him. 

You have to always be grateful for this, forever.

Her outlook, her values, her discipline, her generous love, overflowing kindness, tender care, great humility, no nonsense ways, high sense of responsibility, a pile of secret food recipes, impeccable tidiness and cleanliness, strong faith in God, are some of the precious pieces of gold in the treasure trove she’s passing over to you.

And it’s for you both thereon, to pass them to your children and the future generation to come.

As you know, Angeline’s words are few. She’s good only in the doing.  So I’m saying all this for her on this occasion as there’s no better place, no better moment than this moment.  Angeline, my dearest wife, mum and mum-in-law deserves this tribute on this very, very special occasion.

Frankly, Hil is not the only beneficiary of her love.  Jeremy too.  And me is perhaps the biggest beneficiary of them all for we have been together, officially for 31 years, (and unofficially for 41 years).

My oversized figure says a lot about the feeding and babysitting I have been getting from her all these years.  Thank you, my dear sweetheart!

It’s time for me to end here, wishing Hil and Dan the very best in their lives together.

While this marriage is going to be a very beautiful journey, be mindful of the long and winding road ahead as well.  But certainly nothing can shake your marriage an inch as long as both of you are strengthened by true love for each other, grounded on good life values, display of gratitude for your parents (and the good people in your life), and most of all, having strong faith in God.

Thank you for listening to my maiden wedding speech.   And to all here (and not here), May God bless all of you.

Let’s enjoy the lovely time together!