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Name one powerful tool for managing stress that the book describes.


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Include your answer, with your name and email address and you could win a copy of the book!


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Twitter handle: michellemartin_       (Don’t forget the underscore after her name.)

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Productivity seems to be the new buzzword.

For most people, this is worrying ; many think ” how can I possibly do more when I am already juggling about 16 balls in the air at one time?”

For companies, the present challenge seems to centre around the following dilemma.

How do you get more out of people without losing talent who may feel overstretched by this focus on productivity?

Ong Teong Wan’s latest book Results Management suggests designing systems that aim for results. Are your people management systems people-oriented or task-oriented? If the focus is on people, you set the tone for a place of work where excellence can happen.

I liked this book because it was a very honest and practical look at a field by an man who has had a really illustrious career in it for over 50 years.

I spoke to author of Results Management Ong Teong Wan and here’s a sprinking of his insight.

– When people are happy, results are achieved

– Larger than expected turnovers are a belated sign that your company’s people management systems needs an overhaul. Lack of punctuality is one early sign. People start dragging their feet to work when they are not happy on the job.

– Rewarding the workers in the office who are good at looking busy but little else is destructive.

It sets up a culture which condones and rewards non-performers. The good performers will feel this and start to leave and soon, all you will have is an office of non-performers who are good at shouting “look the emperor has got new clothes!”.

Talking to Mr Ong Teong Wan was also inspiring to me personally because he is in his 70’s but mor sprightly and and  interested in life than many other people I have met. He is consulting partner at SIM, runs his own management consultancy and sits as an independent director of several listed companies in Singapore. He also fits in a couple of rounds of golf each week.

“I don’t have a special gene or anything” he jokes,” my dad passed away in his 60’s.”

One senses he is always on the ball with life, because he has aligned his work with his values.

“I was a scout, all the way up to Commisioner Level, I like helping people and results management is all about helping people”, he says.

This is a passionate and powerful look at designing people management systems that work.

Read about this book here_

Listen to my interview with Mr Ong Teong Wan which airs wed 3rd March 2.20 and 9.40 pm on 938LIVE.

Meet Mitch Albom

Meet the man behind Tuesday’s with Morrie, Mitch Albom who is back in the news with his non-fiction debut Have a little faith. 

Mitch Albom will meet fans and sign books at Prologue@ Level 4 ION Orchard on Friday 26 Feb 2010, from 1-3 pm.

Catch my interview with Mitch Albom on Friday 26 feb at 6.40 pm in Talking Books on 938LIVE

BE Bigger, better, bolder, faster. Keep up, move on. These are words we say to ourselves everyday. Then comes a book a like  this,  that reminds us about the truly important things in life.

I was so moved by this book which is written by the parents of six year old child Elena Desserich. Elena lost the battle with cancer but was a winner every step of the way.

The dying six-year- old left messages of love tucked  in secret places all around her home for her parents.

The notes are simple.  Elena scrawled purple hearts on post it notes, inside the hearts she wrote, DAD or MOM  or the name of her sister in unsteady handwriting.  Through the notes, Elena found a way to show her love well after her passing. Her parents found the notes in unexpected places – tucked in books or hidden behind shelves- long after Elena had left. Notes that were a tender hug from beyond.

Elena Desserich wanted to be a teacher, but a rare form of cancer lead to an abbreviated life. Her legacy though is a reminder of some  of life’s most important lessons. Appreciate what you have everyday and treasure the time you have with your loved ones.

This is a book that will shake you out of any rut you could have possibly dug for yourself.

Read more about the book here

Michelle Martin – DJs – 938LIVE – GETS YOU TALKING – A MediaCorp Station.

If you are going to buy property in Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan or Macau, this is the book to read. Which markets should you be eyeballing? How should you get started?  Congratulations to author Tim Murphy on a great read and on the recent birth of his twins!

I’m very excited about interviewing Andrea Levy in-store at Kinokuniya at Ngee Ann City.

Her book the Long Song explores slavery through the eyes of  young slave growing up on sugar plantation in Jamaica. I love her writing style.

We will be taping the radio interview at 3.30 pm on Sat 27th March. Come on by!

I was very excited to interview Alexander McCall Smith. He is a literary icon!

McCall Smith is a professor Emeritus, a respected voice in the field of bioethics, is a prolific author with more than 60 titles to his name and has sold over 20 million copies of his books.

He is perhaps best known as being the man behind the smash hit of a mystery series set in Botswana, the “No 1 Ladies Detective Agency.”

The Zimbabwe-born Scotsman was really very kind in his interview. When he picked up the phone for our interview, my heart sank because the phone connection was muffled which is just awful for radio. It inevitably leads to postponing an interview because we can’t have compromised audio on the airwaves.

McCall Smith immediately volunteered to try out another phone in the suite and he very kindly ran back and forth putting one down and picking another up in his hotel room until we were able to find a suitable line. He was very gracious throughout the interview.

Would he ever set a book here in Singapore? WELL.. he says stretching the word out very politely… The answer was no, “you really have to know a country to set a book in it.”

What about a science fiction series based on his knowledge of bioethics? Well sadly it’s a no. Science fiction is not his genre.

His advise to would-be writers? “You should write what you want to write, not what you think everyone wants to read. ”

He perked up at the mention of the “Really Terrible Orchestra”, a group of amateur musicians that are said to be the cream of Edinburg’s musically challenged. Yes, he still does play with them.

“You are not really terrible are you?” I ask

(This was before I heard a clip on YouTube . It really did rain after my 20 secs preview of the Really Terrible Orchestra! They are so exquisitely bad, they tip over into being good being bad that is.)

“Oh we are, oh yes we are, do not underestimate how bad we are, we are very bad.”

You can hear the same gentle humour in the man that you hear in his books.

The 11th instalment of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, “The Double Comfort Safari Club” is now available.

(Being tea mad myself I was happy to learn about Alexander McCall Smith’s fascination with the ritual of tea drinking. Read more here

How To Be Single


The most annoying questions for singles is “Why are you single” writes Liz Tucillo in her debut novel.

Julie Jenson is a single 38-year-old book publicist who opts once and for all to change her life for an adventure built around answering that question.

She quits her job, leaves Manhattan and jets to Paris, Rio, Bali and of course – the land of Sophia Loren, Rome – to see how women around the world deal with being single.

Author Liz Tucillo was co-author of the massive bestseller “He’s just not that into you”, and she attempts an “Elizabeth Gilbert” type of adventure. (Remember “eat, pray, love?”)

The difference is this book is a piece of fiction. Still it gives great insight into the lives of single women around the world, is a fun read and ultimately is less a gigantic moan about singlehood than it is a tribute to the humorous modern condition of single life.

Yes there are the bad dates, the fears and the fast waning hopes associated with being, and the sadness and the desperation, but that is what I liked about the book.

It managed to depict the reality of single life – the fascinating and the tired cranky side of a particular stage in life – with an unflinching honesty and a sense of humour, which is perhaps the best response to the question ” Why are you single?’