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Dear Learn & Perform Subscriber

Three themes kind of swamped me this month: Passion or Happiness, Level 5 Leadership and Organisational Structures. While there may be no quick fix answers and these may well have been discussed many times, they made me keen and that keenness led me to research more and talk with people about these three areas. And, now to September E news:

• Passion or Happiness
• Level 5 Leadership
• Organisational Structures
• SMR News

Passion or Happiness
I am a great believer in passion and that is the underlying theme of the book - Creating Your Own Rainbow. At the last Trainers Meet Trainers, I spoke for the need for passion and Prof. Thiagi while accepting parts of it kind of disagreed and said ‘passion gets you nowhere.’

I stumbled upon the term – the new generation of purpose driven leaders. And, I was intrigued to read Oliver Segovia’s comments – he talks about a friend who loved the liberal arts. As she was never keen on a 9 to 5 job, she pursued her passion, got her PhD and she was the happiest person anyone could know. Then came the economic meltdown and she suffered the anguish of an uncertain future. He goes on to say that while most of us work towards finding our dreams, that approach does not work in the competitive world today. He proposes - Forget about finding your passion. Instead, focus on finding big problems. Put problems at the center of our decision making process, it ia is about moving beyond you and becoming a valuable contributor. He adds that people working on the biggest problems are compensated in the biggest ways, not in a strict financial sense, but in a deeply human sense. For one, it shifts your attention from you to others and the wider world. You stop dwelling. You become less self-absorbed. Ironically, you become happier if you worry less about what makes us happy. He says it is critical to develop situational awareness, look into the problems in a personal way, connect with people working on big problems and taking time for you. I was stunned to hear his comments:

“Happiness comes from the intersection of what you love, what you're good at, and what the world needs. We've been told time and again to keep finding the first. Our schools helped developed the second. It's time we put more thought on the third.” For more information visit Oliver Segovia at

Level 5 Leadership
Three books by Jim Collins impacted the organisational world in a substantial way. While he studied over 500 companies, only 11 achieved and sustained greatness, garnering returns three times that of the market for 15 years after a major transition period. All these 11 companies had one thing in common: a Level 5 leader. In describing the idea in practice, he says Humility + Will = Level 5. He explains that they routinely ascribe their success to crediting others, external factors and good luck. They blame themselves when results are poor. Level 5 leaders act quietly, calmly, are determined and rely on inspired standards not charisma to motivate. He urges to attend to people first and then to strategy. Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off, then figure where to drive the bus. Powerful ideas accompanying the Level 5 leadership catapults the company from good to great. Visit

Organisational Structures
Organisational structures are often a much discussed subject. Obviously, whatever it is, we cannot forget the primary purpose – the pattern of organisational roles, relationships, process and procedures, and decision making rights that enable coordinated action by the members. In short, it is about the division of labour, coordination and the interface with the external environment. Activities need to be structured within an individual’s responsibility to meet his or her accountability. While we may talk about these, we cannot ignore the informal and political structure as well. Formal positions define the legitimate basis of authority. There has been tremendous focus on the forms – functional form, divisional form , hybrids and the matrix, this has to be linked with the talent available within the organisation and needs to have relevance to the organisation’s business and strategy. While there have been emerging organisation structures like the network organiszation recently, success comes to those who are realistic and are willing to make the structure work. For more information refer to the article by Dean Nitin Nohria at

SMR News
Grace and team are working on the Trainers Meet Trainers, Malaysia and Asia HRDCongress and Awards in Indonesia. For more details please email

Do visit to review and have access to my books on line at
Have a good month ahead, will be in touch in mid-October.


With best wishes,


29 - 31 October 2012
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