Aug 30, 2008

Parenting: A joke I shouldn't have said.


This is my only son, Miguel. I still felt somewhat guilty for what I said to my son last night. I shouldn't have made such a joke and swear it wouldn't happen again. We were just having the usual evening fun in my bedroom when I said a real bad joke. The conversation went something like this:

Me - "Miguel, don't call me dad. Just call me 'kuya' (big brother) instead"

Miguel - "You're not my 'kuya'. You're my dad! Why would I call you one?"

Me - "Because I am not your dad (I jokingly said), so just call me 'kuya'."

Miguel - He suddenly was mesmerized to what i just said and reasoned out. "That's not true!"

Me - "It is (still waiting how he would react) look at yourself. Do we look alike? Do I have a beautiful almond eyes like yours? Do I have a fairer complexion like yours? We definitely do not look look alike"

After that he paused a while, kept really quiet, turned his back on me and drooped his head. He remained like that for a good ten minutes - feeling sorry and quiet.

Knowing what I said was wrong, I slowly approached him and said:

Me - "Miguel, you don't think I'm serious right? I was just teasing you. It was just a joke."

Miguel - Still unmoved and remained quiet.

When it was time for my wife to get in and prepare to sleep, he found Miguel quietly weeping. She came over and said what went wrong. Almost immediately, he cried aloud and poured his heart out. I was shocked and felt really bad for what I did.

Miguel - "Mom, dad said a really bad joke!"

My wife shot a stern gaze at me and returned to him.

Wife - "It was just meant to be a joke."

Miguel - "Yes, but seems like it was real!" And cried some more.

Somehow, we were able to convince him that night that it doesn't mean anything and that I was sorry for the things I've said. I gave him a reassuring hug and kissed him goodnight.

Lesson Learned: Never make adult jokes on kids, most specially jokes about paternity.

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Aug 29, 2008

Warren Buffett’s 7 Secrets for Living a Happy and Simple Life.


Warren Edward Buffett (born August 30, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska) is an American investor, businessman and philanthropist. He is regarded as one of the world's greatest investors and is the largest shareholder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. With an estimated net worth of around US$62 billion, he was ranked by Forbes as the richest person in the world as of February 11, 2008. --Wikipedia


Secret #1: Happiness comes from within.

“In my adult business life I have never had to make a choice of trading between professional and personal. I tap-dance to work, and when I get there it’s tremendous fun.” -- Warren Buffett


My thoughts: Computers and writing software has always been my passion since the first Apple desktop was released. I left this passion for several years but can't seem to forget about and something keeps drawing me back to it. I then decided to drop from med school and started re-learning and write software. I followed my heart's desires despite all odds and now, I work as Chief Technology Officer and enjoying every single day of it. 

Secret #2: Find happiness in simple pleasures.

“I have simple pleasures. I play bridge online for 12 hours a week.” -- Warren Buffett


My thoughts: Yes. Life's greatest happiness come from the simplest of things. It's easy to be distracted from false pleasures in the age of commercialism all the while, true pleasures are eagerly waiting for me back home.

Secret #3: Live a simple life.

“I just naturally want to do things that make sense. In my personal life too, I don’t care what other rich people are doing. I don’t want a 405 foot boat just because someone else has a 400 foot boat.” -- Warren Buffett


My thoughts: Many people I know mistook 'simplicity' to being an underachiever. Simplicity is focusing on things that are essential, staying pure and being humble. For me, the essentials are keeping my kids to school until they finish college while aspiring to get a modest home that we can call our own and save-up for retirement. I guess, anything more that that is just for show-off.

Secret #4: Think Simply.

“I want to be able to explain my mistakes. This means I do only the things I completely understand.” -- Warren Buffett


My thoughts: Clarity comes from genuine understanding of ones self. If that's done, only then one can tread a life of meaning and purpose. With this, I will worry about things that concerns me now while still directed towards the future. This also means that I shall have only pure thoughts and not be tainted by complexities and negative ideas.

Secret #5: Invest Simply.

“The best way to own common stocks is through an index fund.” -- Warren Buffett


My thoughts: Okay, I am not an investor and I don't even know what index fund means until I googled it. I think the idea here is to save wisely and not putting all one's entire savings in a single basket. Stay away from 'get rich quick' schemes or any forms of investments that is too good to be true.

Secret #6: Have a mentor in life.

“I was lucky to have the right heroes. Tell me who your heroes are and I’ll tell you how you’ll turn out to be. The qualities of the one you admire are the traits that you, with a little practice, can make your own, and that, if practiced, will become habit-forming.” -- Warren Buffett


My thoughts: "As the twig is bent, so the tree is inclined" or "The child is the father of a man". Our life's direction is molded early on by our parents, teachers, and heroes. Let's learn the good qualities, leave behind the bad ones and be the best we can be.

Secret #7: Making money isn’t the backbone of your guiding purpose; making money is the by-product of your guiding purpose.

“If you’re doing something you love, you’re more likely to put your all into it, and that generally equates to making money.” -- Warren Buffett


My thoughts: Remember the movie "The Field of Dreams" and the very popular phrase - "Build it and they will come"? Yes, just follow your heart's desire and wealth will come as a side-effect.

** This article was inspired from a post made on and added my own personal thoughts and opinions on them. Please take time also to visit that very wonderful site as well.

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Aug 28, 2008

JCAHO: The "Big Brother" of Medical Practice


I remembered a few months back when my brother told me that one of the major hospital in the city here in Cebu was threatened by an immediate drop in hospital admissions. Something very unusual for them since they are always flooded with patients at any given time. All of a sudden, as what my brother described the phenomenon, the emergency receiving area became a "ghost town". Orderlies are lining up outside waiting for patients!

What brought about this phenomenon? As it turns out, many of their hospital doctors has somewhat "unionized" and started referring their patients to other hospitals of their affiliation. What sparked the sudden outrage of these doctors was due to the hospital's initiative to adopt JCAHO practices. As a consequence, other hospitals within the city suddenly had an unexpected surge of patients while the said hospital had very few. So what is JCAHO? Why are doctors in that hospital intimidated and even caused outrage to move their patients out?


What is JCAHO?

JClogo JCAHO is an independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States alone. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

What is JCAHO's Mission?

To continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations.

What is the scope of JCAHO?

The accreditation programs of JCAHO includes: Ambulatory Care, Assisted Living, Behavioral Healthcare, Critical Access Hospitals, Home Care, Hospitals, Laboratory Services, Long Term Care, Networks, and Office-Based Surgery.


Isn't this good for all of us?

The answer is a resounding yes! However, (in my opinion) doctors are threatened because of the following reasons:

1. Standards: When doctors work in a JCAHO accredited hospitals, part of the policies that they are expected to adhere is the set standards by JCAHO. This means that doctors cannot just confine patients, request lab workups or procedures unnecessarily. Thereby, controlling healthcare cost incurred by he patients. This significantly controls the doctor from having malicious agenda of giving so many procedures and confining them unnecessarily just to earn more. This is true and this is rampant.

2. Peer Review: This time around, doctors practices are meticulously reviewed for proper patient management. They are under a watchful eye of hospital appointed committee (like the "Big Brother") and reprimand if any violations are made, be it procedurally or behaviorally.

3. Performance Evaluation: With our current healthcare practice, who determines if the doctor is effective in patient management? Does the doctor himself even know he/she is efficient and effective in delivering healthcare? I bet he doesn't. We consider doctors as modern day Shamans and would want to remain that way! JCAHO has toolkit for medical practitioners in the form of performance indicators. It is performance metrics program where all their patient management activities are measured, quantified and analyzed. The output of the report provides a grade. Just like how hospitals under JCAHO are graded from 0 to 100.

4. Full disclosure: Doctors are also expected to fully inform and disclose all activities that will be done to the patient, its outcome, and medical errors (if any) - blag! Doctors are human and they commit mistakes but they are not honest enough to tell you they made a mistake for fear of litigation.

My thoughts:

We don't anymore live in the middle ages where the Shamans are the only people in the know and not even question their authority. Doctors have enjoyed that position for a long time and at most at the expense of patient safety. JCAHO's basic tenet is patient's safety. Nothing more and there are no hidden agenda to this. Bottom line here is, doctors don't want to be controlled or a "big brother" watching over their shoulders. It just annoys them to think that they can be kicked-out of the JCAHO accredited hospitals or worse, sued for medical errors by their patients.

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Aug 26, 2008

The "Kung-Fu Panda" Wisdom

kungfupanda poster 2

One Sunday morning, I turned to watch a DVD movie with my kids and they were all very ecstatic when I flipped open the case entitled Kung-Fu Panda. We all gathered around as we watched.

I never expected that I will be having so much fun watching. My two kids were so glad to see me had a wonderful time time as I laughed and laughed until the movie ended. Yes, it was somewhat a rare sight for my kids to see me like that - laughing aloud. What came so surprising to me was that the movie wasn't just an action-flick "eye candy" animation, it has some real lessons that made me stop for a while and think. Let me quote some nuggets of wisdom I took from that movie:

"One cannot see beneath an agitated water, let it calm for a while to see through it clearly..."

My interpretation: Man cannot make sound judgement when his mind is clouded with emotions. It is always wise to step back, take a breather and and confront when all is calm and cleared out. It is always easy to get agitated most specially when you are most responsible, but it is even more easier to make mistakes when decisions are made on such state.

"There is no such thing as a sacred scroll. There is only you."

My interpretation: When our minds are made to believe on something that isn't true, and we work and focus our energies towards something we believe is true. We eventually become the truth.

In summary: Our mind is truly a wonderful thing. It is a jewel and the seat of all emotions, ideas, reasoning, and spiritualism. We hold the power to make all things possible if we will it to be. Find inner peace, if we search for it. And believe that there is nothing "out there" but just us and our infinite mind. (not sure about that)

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Aug 25, 2008

The psychology of rumors and how it starts.


Let me quote a scholarly definition of what rumor is based on on a research entitled: Rumor and Gossip Research by American Psychological Association.
Rumors have been described as public communications that are infused with private hypotheses about how the world works (Rosnow, 1991), or more specifically, ways of making sense to help us cope with our anxieties and uncertainties (Rosnow, 1988, 2001).
Rumors are unsupported claim for certain occurrences and it is brought about by our mind's ability and eagerness to understand incomplete information. To make sense of things, we tend to "fill-in" the missing pieces and draw a picture from those.
To give this theory a test, say for example I ask you to fill-in the missing letters below to form a word. I will not say how many letters you need to "fill-in", or even if the words are related. Just fill-in and make sense of the following words based on your own understanding. Go ahead and give it a try and see if you can guess what I intend the word to be.

red, exciting, hot, f___k

I know what you're thinking but it's not what you think it is. Ninety percent (90%) of all people I asked answered UC between the letters given above and this has just proven my point. So what's is the answer? Read on.

So how does rumors start in the office?

Rumors can come only in two ways. One, from speculation (as with the exercise above) and two; intentionally manufactured stories often with ill intent. In most cases, it start with the former.
Rumors starts from an office employee seeing or over-hearing information that is incomplete and "fills in the blanks" according to what he or she thinks.
An office employee seeing someone on the records room (like the one pictured above) may understand the scenario differently, puts malice to it and spreads the wrong information around. So, before the day ends, the two staff who came from the records room suddenly gets the full attention of the entire company. Halaka!

My Advice: Rumors is as old and part of the human psyche. There is no way you can stop people from making wrongful speculations however, you can always stop and think first before believing. Remember, ninety percent (90%) of rumors are all wrong and are downright malicious.

ANSWER: f iretruc k (Gotcha didn't I?)

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Aug 24, 2008

'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says

This articles was taken from a post from Stanford University News Service website. I took the liberty to reproduce as a reference to of this wonderful keynote which has inspired me and somewhat felt the same connection with his experiences.


This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

reed_college Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

jobs-woz-garage I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

Pixar_animation_studios_logoDuring the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It  was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

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Aug 23, 2008

A Drive-In Church? What would they think of next?

drive-in church

This is something we don't see everyday - people going to church in their cars. But this isn't something very surprising nowadays since a lot of Catholics now attend churches in the malls and even in movies houses.

drive-in church2

"take this cup as the blood of Christ..." in your Ferrari? These two couples doesn't look like lazy people to me, but they sure look very comfortable.

drive-in church3

If you can spend for gas going to the church - surely you can tithe a little more than a dime. Clearly, America is still blessed even with high gas prices.

drive-in church4

Until next Sunday pastor, how about Sunday school for my kids?

In closing, I just don't know what to say. Either people are getting lazier each day or becoming more anti-social. But it's definitely cool to have one like this here in Cebu! Hoorah!

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10 Essential Tools for Bloggers


There are multitudes of user tools and utilities you can add to your site as a blogger but I made a short list of essentials that you, as a blogger wouldn't go without. This is particularly helpful for beginning / professional writers who are just getting into social media and quickly get started.

  1. Blogger Platform : This serves as a writer's canvass or repository of all things you write. There are several blog platforms you can use such as: Blogger and WordPress are two popular platforms you can start. I suggest using Google Blogger because its easy and flexible to use. I use Blogger for this blog with custom template.

  2. Offline Blog Writers: You can't be too dependent on Internet just to make your blog entry. You can create your blog offline and publish them as soon as your online. This way, you can blog anywhere you want. If you have a Google account, you can make use of Google Docs offline document management to write and publish your blog or, you can download Microsoft's Windows Live Writer. This free product from Microsoft is fantastic!

  3. Image Editors: A good blog should always have images and images attract and says a lot about your post. Now, we will be doing with away with softwares you can install and buy. I would recommend using the online image editors so you can edit images anywhere without having to install them in every PC just to use them. A good and simple online image editors are Photoflexer, Picnik and for a little more advanced users- SplashUp will do the job.

  4. Content Distribution: It's not enough that your blog just sits in your webhost and waits for someone to hopefully read them. To reach a broader audience and eventually followers, one must use a content distribution services to to deliver your content to different aggregators or through emails. I can only recommend one of such service and that is FeedBurner.

  5. Analytics: To know just how many people visit your blog, the posts visitors are reading, and other measures to determine its effectivity, Google's Web Analytics provides a complete and detailed analytics report about your blog site. This aids you as a publisher to identify which areas on your site that need working on.

  6. Advertising: Not many would go in this direction of monetizing their blogs. Some find it too commercial and just provides too many distractions to readers. Just in case you would want to try your hand on making a decent earnings then you can try your hand on Google's AdSense. Other advertisers includes Microsoft, Yahoo and Widget Bucks.

  7. Blog Promotion Tools: Besides just writing a good blog, you must also promote it to increase your sites readership. You can sign in with the likes of: bookmarking, StumbleUpon, Digg and other social markers to gain awareness.

  8. Image Sources: To make things simple on looking for images, I usually use Google's Image Search Engine to find the image I want. There are quality photos you can find on Flikr and other commercially sold stock photos.

  9. Research Tools: Nothing is more important than finding a good and timely information for your blog. As a somewhat beginning blogger myself, I subscribe to other news and aggregate them using an RSS aggregators like Google Reader or BlogRovr. If your following on a certain product of a specific company, the bast way to do this is use Google Alerts. For statistical data, check the Google Trends. Other useful tools also include dictionaries, encyclopedias and a thesauri.

  10. Copyright License: Lastly, you have to protect your work from malicious individuals from copying your original work or getting sued by someone just by quoting their words. Check Creative Commons and learn more about it.

These are just the right tools to get you started. Please note that these only aids you in the process of making your blog and initial promotion. This will surely not guarantee you success in monetizing or increasing your traffic.

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Aug 22, 2008

What leaders ought not to be.

Bad Boss
Having served the company for four years now, I had the chance to work with a colleague who has become an epitome of failed leadership. This experience has taught me a valuable lesson on what not to be when I take a shot as the 'main' man - the CEO.

This colleague has been like my shadow and knew him like the creases on the palm of my hand. I guess success has got in to him that much, and has become what he abhors the most - an elusive and misguided dictator.

I have outlined the qualities of this chronically doomed leader so it will be my heuristics on what leaders ought not to be.

Leaders ought not to be:

  • a 'flip-flopper'. This is a quality of a person who cannot seem to make up his own mind much less, stick to the company's objectives. He seems to go in endless circles and people are tired on following his path. I don't know if he can see clearly that his men are very much frustrated on keeping up with standards, policies, and objectives of the company when he himself does not even recognize its value and keeps on bypassing them. For him there is only one and only one rule - his rule of thumb.


  • self-centered and arrogant. He seems to enjoy a lot sitting on his laurels and continually strokes his ego by saying that the company and its people will be nowhere without him. While it may be true somewhat, but its just a small fraction of the effort. It's the people who support at the 'back door' that made the four corners of the business stable - not by an arrogant salesman with a tricky sales pitch up his sleeve.


  • an all talk, but walking the talk. This guys talks a lot, and I really mean a lot! This self-righteous individual preaches like the Pope, and poaches like pimp at sunset. He always makes it clear and very adamant with all executives like me not to 'screw' around with any employees and yet he was the first to break the rule. Talk about true leadership.


  • a coward. False leaders come in different forms and sizes. Many come in shining armors with the fiercest look and the sharpest swords. But when  the charging comes to confront the enemy he will sit at the back and let others cover for his sorry ass. At peacetime, his inspiring words are the only voice you'll here, but dead silent and non-existent on war time - probably hiding in the bunker you say?


  • disrespectful. An arrogant man never learns to respect others, even of the same cloth. This is very evident on many of our corporate meetings when he tramples on the decisions of the CEO and discredits his capability as a leader in front of his subjects! Who now is more apathetic ?


  • false sense of direction. His true 'north' is different from what is commonly accepted and wants everybody to follow his broken compass. I remember quite vividly saying that his 'barometer' for identifying  if the company is doing fine is if his one of his long time employee isn't making complains. If SHE complains, then that means there is deep trouble. This is like believing to a superstition - unbelievable!


  • emotionally unstable. A mark of a true leader never gets 'budged' by emotions when making decisions. Leaders decides very objectively and squarely even at the highest tides of emotional situations. Yes, many and costly mistakes are made because of emotional instability.

This ominous character is what brought him down in the beginning and the same shall be his fate on the very last if he continually disregard the signs.

As for me, I have had it up to here - my brow line, and don't know how long I can take this. Honestly, I don't share his vision anymore because it's clouded. I don't share his vision because it's misguided. I don't share his vision because it's self-centered. What is keeping me afloat all these years is the people at stake. Much will be lost if I jump ship. I say, to whom I serve is not the driver that stirs the wheel, but the man who paves the road.

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Aug 14, 2008

10 CIO Leadership Success

1. Hire the best people.
Any CIO or manager will definitely look good if he’s surrounded with the best people for the job. People that simply gets the job done. If you think you have these types on your team, then you could probably say you’re half-way to be a successful manager/CIO.

2. Proper Delegation
Delegation is the act of empowering someone to act on your behalf. An all too common pitfall among new managers is over delegation of tasks. Some others tend to micromanage and finds comfort in handling most of the tasks instead of delegating. Either way, too much or the lack of it can render a manager inefficient in the work place.

3. Balance Technology Feature with Business Value
It’s always nice to have the latest and greatest hardware or software to play with but does the cost really justify such purchase? A CIO or CTO must think more like a businessman and determine if such purchase will translate to a better service without sacrificing the cost of providing service to consumers.

4. Metrics, metrics, metrics
Performance of any entity, big or small, cannot be determined without any form of measure. It is similar to driving a car without any gauges like speedometer or worse – a gas gauge. Without it, there is no real proof of knowing if a department’s objective has been achieved and at what cost? Applicable metrics for an IT department may include: help desk metrics and change management metrics to name a few.

5. Outsource
Our world is fast becoming smaller each passing year while the internet pipeline is getting bigger. Because of this and some other factors that play, many of the in-house tasks can be outsourced to third-party service providers that can better do the job and at a very reasonable cost. Companies nowadays should start refocusing itself on its core business and outsource other tasks that aren’t. An example of these tasks may be: network management, emails, programming, and system administration.

The way I see things in the next five to eight years, IT department will be non-existent and everything will be outsourced.

6. Learn to communicate well
No one leader has been successful without being able to learn to communicate well – period. If one aims to be a good leader, learn to communicate well be it spoken or in writing. There is no exception to this rule.

7. Reposition IT as a business entity not a cost center
IT has always been the cost center with its expensive equipments and highly paid employees. Companies can start tapping the potentials of its IT department by repositioning it as an income generating department.

There are many ways to identify where a company can make money from their IT infrastructure and their talent pool. The best way to start is identify an inventory of its available resources and its strengths.

8. Effective networking
The only sure fire way to learn and be recognized is through networking. Start by joining civic or social groups and be active with it. Consider also attending symposiums, IT expos and seminars to gain good exposure on making new friends and opportunities.

9. Adopt best practices
The fastest way to IT success is to learn from other companies’ best practices. The best starting point is to adopt an ITSM initiative (IT Service Management) or IT Governance.

10. Put on a healthy dose of paranoia
Never be satisfied or be comfortable with how your most trusted staff manage their assigned tasks. Always check what they do and ow they do thinks, this way nothing is left to chance.

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