Seamus Phan

Speaker, Author, Strategist, Technologist, Artist

Tag: strategy


2 Leadership Secrets from the Flight Deck

Have you noticed how frequently “accidents” occur on local highways? There are at least two reasons why – or the lack of these two reasons. Likewise, many leadership crashes happen because of the same two missing reasons.

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Watch and time

Artisan and factory – both are valid business models

The mass market business model is a compelling model to many. Whether you are selling physical products, or software and services, many seem to gravitate towards the mass market model with the singular hope of becoming the next billionaire. However, not everyone will reach that goal, and there is another equally viable business model. What are some things to remember in a sustainable business?

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Japanese temple grounds

Karate and leadership – when kata becomes perfect

A Karate sensei told the class, that one of his students, was not up to it.

The young man, although a black belt, was too impatient, too bent on winning, lacks the right motivation to learn, and that he lacked “uke” – the ability to “receive”.

In life, it is the same.

Those hell bent on winning, will end up miserable and ultimately defeated. Just as the true spirit of Karate is not to attack or to kill, but to defend.

The Karate-ka must be willing to receive gratefully and graciously. He must have discipline, before his discipline transforms into perfection. It is the same as Orthodoxy, seeking to defeat one’s own inner enemies, rather than to perceive everyone out there as an enemy. It is to defeat one’s own limitations, to rise above them. It is to defeat one’s own ego. This disciplined journey bears no enemies in others, and seeks only to defeat one’s own inner demons.

If you examine the word 型 (kata), which is the choreographed movements of Karate, it is made of two distinct Chinese characters, 刑 (punishment, or regulation), and 土 (soil/earth, or peasant).

kata in Karate (Chinese character)

Therefore, to perfect one’s kata in Karate, the Karate-ka must be humble and respectful, like the soil or a peasant, and have repeatable and centered discipline.

For a leader of an organization, if he is the black belt Karate-ka leading his people forward, he must find within him, no hatred, no malice, and he must perfect his strategy just as he would his “kata”, with discipline and humility. Therein lies perfection.

Fried rice and great marketing campaigns

The common Yangzhou fried rice is a staple in many Chinese restaurants and small eateries, and yet, within the seemingly simple dish embodies some of the greatest strengths of Chinese wok cooking. What has Yangzhou fried rice got to do with marketing?

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Marketing is about strategy, not mere tactics

When you think about marketing, what comes to mind? Is it merely the dictionary definition of providing goods or services to meet customer needs? Or something much more?

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Blogging as part of your social media strategy

According to an insightful article in Inc. Magazine (April 2012 issue), business blogging is in decline (from 2010 to 2011), compared to the slow but steady growth of businesses on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

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