Posts Tagged ‘motivation’


Jaehyo Lee, South Korean artist gone global with a play on textures & shapesDoes having a critical mind require you to be a critic? Does being a critic long enough make you a cynic?

These are thoughts that have crossed my mind in recent times. As I’ve grown older, I realise that I’ve been overly idealistic in the past.

These days, I’m motivated to see the positive in things. Punditry overall is boring as it doesn’t create.

I’m motivated by Scooter Braun’s motto:


I think I’ll spend some free time going back and only looking at the positive side of things.


NYT: The Thirst for Learning

YEOLSIMHI haeyo, Koreans say. Work hard. The phrase is spoken endlessly and serves both as a rallying call and a reminder that no one likes whiners. And no matter how hard a student is working, he or she can always work harder – or so goes the theory.

While I’m not a huge fan of the idea that a prep school starts at 7.40am and goes on right until 10.20pm, it is amazing to see the progress that South Korea has had in the past few decades. They’ve grown their GDP per capita almost three times over Malaysia’s, and it was only in the 80’s that they were still looking up towards Malaysia as a success story.

Remember to always take yourself and whomever is teaching you/speaking to you seriously. 

Just this week, I received feedback at a meeting and changed some slides for the next day’s presentation. The audience was impressed that I didn’t just say I’d take the feedback, but I acted on it by doing the necessary research in a limited timeframe. 

Remember to care. And be great.

Motivation: pay new employees to quit

This is an interesting way to motivate your employees: pay new employees to quit.

Zappos sells shoes online. Their new employee hiring process? Spend a month getting trained, and immersed on the company’s culture, strategy and its obsession with customers, and at the end of it all, ask if people want to quit, plus give them a $1,000 bonus to do so. Why?

  • Shows one’s commitment level to the company
  • This way you’ll keep the most motivated employees around
  • Some people may have signed up for the job, and after a month’s training realise, that its not for them… Its an easy exit path
  • Keep employees engaged

Zappos only loses about 10% of their new employees this way. And they’re all the better. The leaving bonus started at $100, moved up to $500, and now its $1,000 (they will increase this as the company expands). They are large – 1,600 employees and growing.

From what I gather, they have a very connected culture… Their CEO has a blog, most of their employees are on Twitter, and they really are obsessed with customers – read I Heart Zappos. This is Customer Relationship Management 2.0!

Definitely a thing or two to learn from the way Zappos operates. From a business perspective, it just goes to show that while it might have made sense to sell books online (Amazon), it also definitely makes sense to sell personal items like shoes (Zappos) and designer clothing (Net-a-porter) online too. Items that one might think are too personal to buy at the click of a button…