Sunday, March 28, 2010

My thoughts on Performance Reviews

I have gone through several performance reviews through out my time with the company, usually only requiring me to just listen and provide some feedback to my manager about my thoughts on the assessment.

This year's been abit different for me, I had to provide performance review to my staff. As a first time people manager, it was a learning experience for me.

This year was particularly difficult, as the economic environment, though improved globally, still has effects on business worldwide. So there were some tough news to be delivered to my staff across the region.

Everyone on the team worked really hard through out the year, and trying to deliver news that are not ideal can be really difficult. I tried to be as fair as possible, but it is always difficult. So one thing I learned through the process, is to not only manage expectation, but to have a constant development review with my staff moving forward.

Time needs to be invested, from both manager and staff. This gives a good compass to your staff on your expectations, and the requirements from yourself. This is to avoid any ambiguity on performance and expectations.

In a large corporation, I've seen at many times, that expectations are either incorrect from a staff, or direction unclear from the manager, that causes the loss of key talents. And retaining talents should be one of the key priorities of the organization, because for me, I believe, people are asset.

My advice to people who aspire to be successful:
1) Stay passionate, and keep on learning daily.
2) Be humble. Whatever you think you know, there will always be someone who knows something you don't. So keep an open mind.
3) Be detailed. As the saying goes, 'Devil is in the details'. There are too much fluff out there, to rise above it, you need to put in the work and get into the details.
4) Be patient. If you are doing all the right things, you will be recognized. Even if you don't, your personal growth will get you to a better place.
5) Be paranoid. Yes, they are all out to get you. No, I'm kidding. But always be on alert, remember, calm before the storm. So always be prepared, check and always check again.
6) Trust and earn trust. Be sincere, to people you work with or for. If you are insincere, people can see and sense it.

You are your biggest roadblock to success, always reflect and work towards improvement. Always keep on asking yourself, 'what can I do differently to improve?'. Having a victim mentality, will only get you no where.

I'm still working on how to improve daily, and I've been told I'm too anal. I call it perfectionism. :P

Sunday, March 14, 2010

MunY Movies: Green Zone

Did you watch Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum? Did you like them? If they answer is yes, then you should probably consider watching Green Zone.

Starring Jason Bourne, oh wait, Matt Damon..... Green Zone is a story set in 2003 during the invasion of US troops into Iraq to stop Saddam and retrieve WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction).

*Spoiler Alert*

There are many conspiracy theories on the attack of Baghdad, the movie written by Brian Helgeland and directed by Paul Greengrass tackles one of them.

Matt Damon plays Chief Roy Miller, who has been deployed with his troops in Iraq to recover all the WMD based on the 'reliable' source received from a top secret source from teh white house named Magellan. However, all these sites turned up empty of WMD and he starts questioning the intel.

So during one of his operations, he comes face to face (almost) with the Jack of Clubs, Saddam's top man General Al- Rawi. But instead of taking in the POW, Special forces show up and takes them away from Chief Miller and crew.

Smelling a rat, Miller starts investigating with the help of CIA Martin Brown and confirmed his suspicion with WSJ journalist Lawrie Dayne, that info from the white house was not realible and the reason US went to war with Iraq was based on a lie.

Clark Poundstone(Greg Kinnear) is the controversial figure in the middle of this conspiracy, and will stop at nothing to keep everything under wraps.

So did Chief Miller manage to get the truth out there? That Bush made the wrong decision, on making the wrong war? Well, partly yes and partly no. You'll have to watch the movie to know what I mean.

My verdict: good action movie with a good pace and suspenseful storyline.

Watch it if
You are a fan of Matt Damon
You are a conspiracy theorist
You just love to watch war movies, regardless if it's Vietnam or Iraq

Saturday, March 13, 2010

MunY Movies: Alice in Wonderland

If you feel like falling through the rabbit hole, and remembering childhood bedtime story telling... Alice in wonderland is the movie for you to watch this March.

This time, directed by Tim Burton, Alice in wonderland is brought to you in his vision. Tim Burton's movies have always fascinated me, ever since the first time I watched Beetlejuice back in 1988. (don't forget the 1st and 2nd Batman movie too... )
Special effects were used to make Johnny Depp's eye larger.

This time round, he's brought Alice in wonderland to life. With Mia Wasikowska(try saying that 5 times fast) as Alice, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Anne Hathaway as the white queen..... this is cast that is pretty solid.
really liked all their acting in this movie

Story brings Alice back to Underland(wonderland in her younger days) after 13 years, where she is required to slay the Jabberwocky. Upon her return, she is met by Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Mallymkun the Dormouse, McTwisp the white rabbit and Uileam the DoDo bird.

And along her journey, she meets up again with Absolem the Blue caterpillar, Chessur the Chesire Cat.... goes to the tea party where Mad Hatter and the March Hare was partying away.... in a rather torn down party environment.

So she retrieves the vorpal sword, slays the Jabberwocky, the white queen returns to power, the red queen is banished forever. Very fairy tale like I must say, and a very different version of alice to the one we all grew up with.

I loved the pace of the show, the animation and the world of underland is definitely a true trademark of Tim Burton. If you liked Edward Scissorhands or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this world will feel very familiar.

My verdict: Entertaining movie for anyone between 6 to 60.

Also, stay back to listen to the song at the end of the movie..... I loved it. But if you don't wanna, here's a sample from YouTube.

Watch it if
You are a fan of Tim Burton movies
You and your kids love fables, and want to see the characters like Chesire cat, blue caterpillars come to life
You want to see a true shining star in the form of Mia Waskowska (hope to see more of her)

Monday, March 8, 2010

And the Oscar goes to.....

So another year, another glitzy show at the oscars.

Unfortunately for me, I did not get to watch the Oscars. Not during the live show, not during the repeat telecast at night?

Why? Cause I don't subscribe to Astro's Starmovie channel on Ch412. :( Tried to look around for the torrent, but could not find it. Next stop will be online streaming sites...... right after this little article.

Friends who know me know that I watch quite a number of movies, but probably not to the extent that I only hide out at home and become a movie hermit. Last year served up quite a number of cool movies, and now it's award times!

And really, the only Oscars we really care about are best movie, right? no.... ok, ok. So i'm over simplifying again. :P

But because I'm too lazy to write about the whole ho-hum of the event (even though I heard Alec B and Steve M did a great job of hosting the show), I'm just going to write about the nominees for best movie of the year.

And they are:

Avatar (watched)

The Hurt Locker (have it, waiting to watch it)

The Blind Side (watched)

District 9 (watched)

Up in the Air (watched)

Inglorious Basterds (have it, don't know when i'll watch it)

Precious (have it, erm... abit too heavy for me)

A serious Man (don't have it, not sure if i'll watch it)

An Education (same as the above)

Up (watched, I don't usually miss pixar cartoons)

For the first time, there were 10 nominees. And some of them pretty heavy weights in the box office.

So here's the deal, just in case you have not heard.
The Hurt Locker won best movie, Sandy Bullock got her first golden statuette for her role in the Blind side, Jeff Bridges won for Crazy Heart, Mo'Nique for Precious and Christoph Waltz for Inglorious Basterds.

Some movies mentioned above did not even show in the cinemas here. So now that it's got 'oscar' recommendation, I'll bet it'll start showing up on DVD racks all over and the guy with the funky hair will try to sell it to you with his thumbs up saying, 'Oscar one ah, must watch!'

So at the end of the day, the real winner? DvD peddlers? nah, it's for the love of the movies. So if you really like them oscar movies, go watch it. Legally or illegally, it's up to you. :)