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     Here's the August 2011 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter, and leadership is getting increasingly a much more important issue at all levels, and in all walks of life.


     While some may claim that the world needs a better leader who will help us navigate through another possible global recession in 2012, it is just as important and perhaps more urgent to develop leaders at each level who are able to engage their respective teams and deliver exceptional results.


     Through the inspiration I get from recent global and local events, it daunt on me that "conscience" is perhaps the most important attribute if the leader would like to have sustainable success, AND leave a legacy for future generations.


     Hence, this month's topics:

  1. The Conscience of a Leader: How to Stay True to Yourself and STILL Achieve Exceptional Results; and

  2. Remote Employees Want Your Attention, Too


     This issue's main article is on  "The Conscience of a Leader: How to Stay True to Yourself and STILL Achieve Exceptional Results", and we look into how a leader who acts according to her conscience can bring sustainable results for her team, her boss and of course, herself.


    In brief:

  • To lead effectively, leaders will have to win the commitment, trust and respect of their followers to achieve exceptional results;

  • At the same time, leaders will also have to address the needs and meet the demands of their senior management and bosses;

  • Rather than choosing one over the other, conscientious leaders are able to find the balance where the (some time conflicting) needs of the team, the management and the leader herself are met, and then achieve results that are exceptional AND sustainable.  Read on... ...  


    To read the rest of this newsletter, pls. click here (


    In the meantime, Asia's final session of Thinking with de Bono will be held in Beijing and Shanghai in October 2011.  Join us before Dr. Edward de Bono retires from travelling to this part of the world forever.


    Also be sure to catch our complimentary webinar on "Why Should Anyone be Led by You" on 21 September 2011, where you can learn more about being an Authentic Leader.  e-mail to get your limited seats now!

The Conscience of a Leader: How to Stay True to Yourself and STILL Achieve Exceptional Results

by c.j. Ng


     Nuraini has been appointed as the Manager of a Customer Care Centre of a large multi-national company for the past 3 months.  One of Nuraini's first tasks is to improve the efficiency of the Customer Care Centre.


     The main reason that the company is now focusing on improving efficiency is that many customers are making requests and demands that are in direct violation of the company's policies and procedures.  There is also requirement from the company's management for the Customer Care Centre to share part of the sales team's workload in servicing existing customers, so that the sales team can spend more time selling.


     Hence, Nuraini's key performance objectives will be to ensure that her team handle requests wiyhin the first phone calls as much as possible.  Even when customers are upset during the call, her team will have to "educate" customers about the company's policies, and make customers be compliant.  As the same time, the Customer Care Centre will have to be self-reliant when giving answers and advice to customers, as any calls to reach out to other departments (such as Sales) will be deem as inefficient handling of customers' issues.


     After some weeks of following the company's directives, Nuraini started to realise that her initial gut feel, while contradicting with what the company wants, might be right after all.  In her years of experience working as a customer service professional, Nuraini instinctively knows that no one can reason with upset customers.  When her team tried to "educate" upset customers on the company's policies and procedures, the customers got even more upset and sometimes went off to escalate their complains with senior managers in Nuraini's company.  As her team has been told not to "bother" sales people when handling customers' requests, a lot of such requests were actually rejected downright, causing even more customers to complain to the sales people who serviced them.  Ironically, instead of relieving the sales team off their workload, sales people will now have to handle their customers' complains with Customer Care Centre.


     Not surprisingly, Nuraini is facing serious stress and pressures from all corners.  Being the leader of her team, Nuraini gets complaints from the sales team that her Customer Care Centre is creating more customer complains than actually being trying to help.  Her Customer Care team members are also now demoralised with the increasingly number of upset customers they face, and are frustrated by the inability of their leader to help them deal with such issues.  Most importantly, Nuraini's senior management is not happy with the Customer Care Centre at all, since the efficiency of her department has not improved at all.


     At this moment, Nuraini is faced with a few choices.  She could quit her job, and then bring some of her best people over to the competition.  She could also force her management's decisions down to her team, and fire anyone who does not comply.  She could request for a transfer.  Or she can act on her conscience and seek ways to achieve better results and satisfaction for all.


The Different Leaders We See


     When it comes to leadership development, many people view it as developing senior leaders at the top levels.  However, as shown in the above story, leadership development is needed at all levels to really boost performance and achieve better results at all levels in an organisation.
    Based on some observations of how leaders behave, here are some ways that we can categorise leaders by their personal values:
  1. The top-down Elitist Leader:  the one who drive down instructions from the top, and makes sure his team executes those orders quickly and perfectly.;
  2. The power-grabbing Opportunistic Leader: the one who looks into how they can optimise their personal gains, be that better career prospects, greater power or other personal gains;
  3. The populist Antagonistic Leader: the one who is almost always at loggerheads with senior management, choosing to affiliate with team members regardless at all times;
  4. The authentic Conscientious Leader: the one who is able to unify common goals of different groups of people by balancing the diverse needs of different groups, while staying true to her principles and values.
     In most cases, most companies tend to make top-down decisions, and hence prefer to hire top-down Elitist Leaders so that such decisions, instructions and orders are being implemented effectively.  The teams under these Elitist Leaders usually receive a lot of support from top management, often getting a lot of resources and having their status in the organisation raised.  However, Elitist Leaders usually don't listen to the ground, and when things don't go as planned, Elitist Leaders tend to blame their team members for "incompetent execution of instructions" more so than reviewing if there are flaws in the planning.  After some time, Elitist Leaders will find their staff disengaged and getting poorer results in spite of their best efforts in getting things done.  In a fast-changing and highly-demanding world, Elitist Leaders are finding their teams a lot more difficult to manage.
     The power-grabbing Opportunistic Leader is sometimes mistaken as the Elitist Leader as the former usually would want to impress top management so that he could gain better career advancement in the organisation.  However, the Opportunistic Leader has other traits that Elitist Leaders don't.  The Opportunistic Leader can sometimes seek eliminate threats to his position, whether by stifling promising high-potential team members or by making decisions that favour the organisation retaining his employment.  The Opportunistic Leader likes to play politics to maximise his power and influence in the organisation, and upon leaving the organisation, likes to take along his team to his new employer. 
     The populist Antagonistic Leader is one who is very much into building morale of the team, so much so that he neglects the needs of top management, as well as business realities.  Decisions are usually made based on whether team members will like them, and management initiatives that are not popular with team members are either blocked or put on hold.  Although being able to engage his team to exceptional performances, the Antagonistic Leader is sometimes being fired for not complying to company's policies or cultures, despite delivering great results.
     The authentic Conscientious Leader seeks to identify common goals of different groups and balance the diverse needs of those groups as well.  She works on the basis that exceptional performances can only be sustained if everyone in the organisation buys-in and supports her plans.  She seeks not just to lead her team, but also influence others to her cause.  Unlike the Opportunistic Leader, the Conscientious Leader's purpose is to achieve better results for the greater good.  The Conscientious Leader has her principles, and if the organisation's goals are irreconcilably contradicting to her principles, she will choose to leave quietly.  After all, there will be other organisations who will appreciate the Conscientious Leader's personal values, and even if it's not intentional, the Conscientious Leader leaves a lasting legacy.

The Way of the Conscientious Leader


     In the earlier story, Nuraini is stuck in a position where she faces pressure from her management, her colleagues from other departments and her team.  In most cases, other leaders in her position would have chosen to leave, or simply implement management's decisions with greater rigour.


     Nuraini decides to do things a little differently.  She has a deep conviction that her role is to make her Customer Care Centre the bridge between the customer with the other departments of her company.  She would like her team members to be actively listen to customers' needs and provide alternative solutions to their problems.  In return, her team members will be much appreciated by customers for being willing to help, and her company will be able to use less time and resources to improve customer satisfaction.  In addition, she intends to share her team's customers' insights with her sales colleagues, so that they could better suggest new products and services to get their customers buy more from them.


     Rather than blindly obeying orders and following her performance measurement guidelines, Nuraini asks her team to:

  • Make the soothing the frustrations and anxieties of customers as the top priority, even when that will mean making follow-up calls that will reduce efficiency;

  • Provide alternatives and options to customers, rather than to give a down-right rejection, when customers make requests that are contradictory to the company's policies and procedures; and

  • Engage the sales team to make important decisions about customers, since upset customers may channel their frustrations on sales people, while satisfied ones may want to increase their purchases


     Nuraini fully understands that her management will frown at her new ways of doing things.  However, she has the courage to implement those changes, because based on her experience, she knows that in a matter of weeks, her team will help her company achieve:

  • Better efficiency by having shorter calls, since customers are being pacified quickly and be able to listen to reason.

  • Drastically better customer relations since customers now can get different alternatives and options to explore, while being fully supportive of the company's policies and procedures

  • Improved sales effectiveness since the sales team deem the Customer Care Centre as being actively involved to retain existing customers, and then making them buy more.

     Nuraini knows that there is a possible risk that her management may not give her the chance to prove her ideas are right.  However, she has faith that her management, just like the customers she handles, can be pacified and be influenced to seek alternatives that will help them achieve their goals in more effective ways.


How You Too can be True to Yourself, and Still Deliver Results


     A friend used to tell me that while she definitely does not agree with some of her company policies, she has chosen to remain silent, rather than to raise issues to her management.  Even when she had found a new job elsewhere, she feared repercussions even when her views might indeed help her company achieve better performances.


     If you work for a management with a history of psychotic behaviour (that fired anyone with any hint of differing opinions), then it's best to keep your job for the time being.  However, while senior management may not take direct criticisms positively, they usually will appreciate if you can take gentle steps to make things better.

     Unfortunately, since most people are too afraid to act for all the wrong reasons, they don't become leaders.  They are mere order takers.

     To rise to increasingly tough challenges, organisations (be they companies, government bodies or even entire nations) need leaders who are willing to take actions.  To
create long term exceptional results, we need leaders who act with conscience.

     Need help in developing the next generation of authentic Conscientious Leaders?  Simply e-mail or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha.  All information shall be kept in confidence.


(The character Nuraini is dedicated in living memory of Aini, JJC Class of 91)

Power Breakfast Hour: 29 Sep 2011
The Conscience of a Leader: How to Stay True to Yourself and STILL Achieve Exceptional Results


     Join International sales, leadership and strategic thinking consultant c.j. Ng in this Power Breakfast Hour in Shanghai where you will find out:

  • Why organisations need leaders at all levels so as to achieve exceptional results at all levels and across all departments;

  • Why only the authentic Conscientious Leader can deliver long term exceptional results, while leaders with other personal values may only create short term results; and

  • How to be a Conscientious without losing your job, while at the same time leaving your legacy for future generations.


VENUE:  Crowne Plaza Shanghai • 400 Panyu Road (near Fahuazhen Road) • 上海银星皇冠酒店 •  番禺路 400 号 (靠法华镇路)

DATE: Thursday, 29 Sep 2011

TIME: 08:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 



     To make this a more conducive discussion, we are expecting a small group of about 15 people only. The room can only take in 18, so please register early to avoid disappointments. Please e-mail your registrations to 


     You can also download our Power Breakfast Hour video on Selling to Muggles: How to Make the Sale when Buyers Have No Idea What You're Talkin' About.


    Pls. check out our web sites and for more inspiration.

Need a Keynote Speaker for your Annual Conference?


     Whether you are holding a conference for your regional staff, resellers or even customers, we have the right speaker who can help you deliver the spirit of your conference, and effect positive changes to meet your goals.


     The topics our speakers can speak on include:


    • Price is NOT the Reason Why You Lost the Deal

    • Achieving Exceptional Customer Satisfaction, Productivity and Talent Retention by Boosting Your Employee Engagement

    • Using the Six Thinking Hats® to Win More Sales and Get More Customers

    • Why Some Sales People Succeed While Others Fail?;

    • How to Lure Away Your Competitors' Key Accounts, and Make Them Buy from You Instead?;

    • Improving Sales Productivity by Motivating the Sales Force;


     Simply e-mail your requests to or call +86-21-6219 0021 for enquiries.  Sample video and audio recordings available upon requests.


Practical Tips for Managers:

Remote Employees Want Your Attention, Too


By By Mark Murphy,

CEO of Leadership IQ


Note to managers: Employees – especially those who work remotely – want a lot more attention and feedback from you, even if it’s sometimes negative.


According to our research, 66% of employees – both in-house and remote – say that they have too little interaction with their bosses. But employees don’t just want warm-and-fuzzy interactions. While 67% of employees say they get too little positive feedback, 51% also say they get too little constructive criticism from their bosses. Perhaps most troubling is that employees who said they didn’t get enough feedback were 43% less likely to recommend their company to others as a great organization to work for.

As bad as that is, in most cases when we study communication problems in the workplace, we find that issues are magnified between leaders and employees who work in different locations. And here’s why…

One of the biggest concerns shared by remote employees is being “out of sight, out of mind.” Remote employees simply don’t feel that they have the same exposure to their bosses as do face-to-face employees (the technical term for those folks is “co-located”). Exposure or visibility is still seen in many organizations as a critical component of career success. After all, they think, who’s more likely to get that next promotion; the employee with lots of exposure to the boss (like perhaps the day before they choose who gets the big promotion), or the employee who only sees the boss every six months?

Now, this may or may not be true in your organization, but it’s a major concern of remote employees nevertheless. Yes, there are some employees (like Dilbert) who feel like they’re better off without seeing the boss. But still, the numbers don’t lie, and the majority want more exposure and contact.


Many of the leadership techniques you use in the office simply don’t work in remote settings. In our new live webinar, “The Science of Managing Remote Employees,” you'll learn the latest research and best practices about how to be an effective leader in the virtual workplace. If you manage remote employees, you need to attend this webinar, so hurry to reserve your seat now.


Parenthetically, in an ironic twist, while remote employees tend to be jealous of their co-located colleagues’ visibility and exposure to the boss, the co-located employees are often jealous of their remote counterparts’ autonomy. Yes, it’s a catch-22, and it has frustrated more than a few managers over the years.

Now, it’s not just climbing the career ladder that drives remote employees’ desire for more contact; it’s also their desire to do the best possible work. If you’re trying to meet your boss’ expectations on a particular project, it’s a pretty common assumption that the person who gets the most exposure to that boss is going to get the most feedback. And whoever gets the most feedback is most likely to stay on track and most likely to meet the boss’ exact needs.

All employees are desperate for your feedback. But your remote employees feel this need even more intensely. And they feel vulnerable in their careers and on-the-job performance by not feeling like they’re getting the same feedback as their colleagues in the face-to-face world.

I need to share one more important point: Don’t try to get more communication time with your remote employees by making your group meetings filled with chit-chat. You still need to make your communications purposeful and meaningful, and that’s especially true of remote meetings. After all, as short as attention spans are in face-to-face meetings, they’re about half that in a remote meeting. And in virtual meetings, when employees’ attention does fade, you usually don’t have the visual signals that they’re spacing out and thus you don’t know when you need to bring things back on track.

So what can you do? Simple; schedule some purposeful and meaningful time to connect individually with your remote employees. You can catch up with them, find out what’s hampering them, what’s motivating them, where they’re growing and developing, where they need some course correction, and more. Trust me, in remote situations, there’s a ton for managers and employees to talk about.

Ultimately, your goal is to make sure your remote employees succeed. And to do that, they need lots of feedback from – and connection with – you, their boss.

Many of the leadership techniques you use in the office simply don’t work in remote settings. In our new live webinar, “The Science of Managing Remote Employees,” you'll learn the latest research and best practices about how to be an effective leader in the virtual workplace. If you manage remote employees, you need to attend this webinar, so hurry to reserve your seat now.


If you would like to get more and better ideas how to manage remote employees, you can e-mail or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha.  All information shall be kept in confidence.



Sales... ....the lifeblood of a company, a matter of "life and death", survival or extinction.  Indeed, something that needs to be studied, applied and re-modified consistently.


Yet today,

  • many companies still don't have a coherent approach as to how they can generate more sales and achieve better margins;

  • many sales people are still lying to their customers so that they can meet their targets at the end of the month;

  • many customers are still waiting ethical and professional sales people to help them find out their real needs, and provide solutions that work


Psyche-Selling TM is set up so that companies and sales people can make healthy profits and STILL provide genuine solutions to customers.


Psyche-Selling TM would like to create an environment where customers can trust sales people to give them what they want, and NOT be pushed with all kinds of products and services.  In return, customers will become loyal fans of these ethical and professional sales people, and repay them many fold for the long-term.


Psyche-Selling TM will not rest, until the above is achieved.  Not just in China. Not just in Asia.  But everywhere where buying and selling takes place.


Psyche-Selling TM is a wholly-owned brand of Directions Management Consulting Pte Ltd that specialises in the field of improving sales performance by enhancing the performance of the entire sales team.  Apart from the regular "selling skills training", Psyche-Selling ng TM conducts pre- and post-training analysis, interviews, monitoring and reviews, working closely with managers and even senior management, to deliver real improvements in sales leadership and performance.


Hence, Psyche-Selling TM would like to be known as the preferred choice of outstanding and remarkable clients, and pride ourselves as such.  We will also be continuing to assist our clients achieve greater heights in 2009 and beyond.


Enquiries and suggestions, pls. e-mail or visit



Mailing Address: Shui Cheng Nan Road 51 Lane No. 9 Suite 202 Shanghai 201103 China