The Generation Gap: Leaders vs Managers

Image taken from google search


I know this topic has been covered by many others in the past, but I just had to get it off my chest. Through my short but fruitful working-life career so far, I have worked for, and worked with, many different types of humans.


And from my experience, I would broadly be able to categorise these humans into one of these 2 types of management styles: Leaders and Managers. [And no, he did not steal this from some google search. These are purely his own views and opinions]


Image taken from google search


A simple example of the difference between the 2 is a general and his army.

The Manager will be the one who sits on a high pedestal right at the back and commands his men to attack the enemy.

The Leader will be the one who is the first man in front of all his men, and leads the charge against the enemy.


Image taken from Google Search


To me, a Manager is usually someone who:

1. Is purely result-oriented. 
He does not care how you do it. He does not care what difficulties you face. He does not care if you have other pending tasks on hand. As long as you give him what he asks for by the deadline that he has set, you have performed your job well.


2. Tells you what to do, not knowing how to do it
He tells you what you have to achieve. E.g. A Sales target of XXXX amount. Or a completed report by a specific date. This is related to the fact that he is purely result-oriented. And don't even try to ask him how to go about doing it. If he's going to tell you how to do it, why is the organisation paying you salary for? Go find out yourself.


3. Draws the hierarchy line very clearly.
He is the manager. You are his subordinate. [Meaning he's your boss]
You should do whatever your boss [him] tells you to do, without question and without challenging him.
He has a boss to report to. And he will do whatever his boss asks him to do without question and without challenging his boss. So why shouldn't you?


4. Is usually someone from the 'older' generation of working class adults.
He is usually someone well into adulthood, typically in his late thirties or even forties. He has worked in a thousand and one different companies and and has much more working experience than you. [Which he regularly uses as a reason to overpower discussions] He usually also demands respect just because he is older than most of the team.


5. Does not share the credit with the team.
He often uses words like 'I', 'me' and 'my team'. He made it work. He inspired the team to hit the sales target. He should be complimented for a job well done. His bosses only know that he is the one leading the project, but have no clue who are the team members in the project team.


Well, to sum it all up, a manager is basically a typical asshole. But the sad truth of the corporate world is that being an asshole really helps to get things done.



Image taken from Google Search


A Leader, on the other hand, is someone who:

1. Is people-oriented.
He wants to know how you are going to do it. He asks you how long you think you will need to finish the task. He is interested in the details and wants to make sure you do it the right way.


2. Tells you how to do it.
He knows what exactly needs to be done in order to achieve the desired results. He tells you in a generic overview how to go about getting it done. And if you ask him for help, he is able to explain to you, step by step, on how to get there.


3. Treats everyone as equals.
He might be your supervisor, but he treats you more like a friend than a subordinate. He has casual talks with you, jokes with you, and basically makes you feel that everyone is on the same level. He addresses his team members as "colleagues" instead of his "staff". You don't feel much stress or anxiety when discussing work issues with him.


4. Is usually someone from Gen X or even Gen Y.
He usually comes from the younger group of working adults in their late twenties or early thirties. He might even be younger than some of the team members under him. But to him, age is just a number. He ranks his staff based on their ability to perform and not just the number of seconds they have been on this planet.


5. Emphasises on the Team and not on individuals
He often uses words like 'we', 'us' and 'the team'. He understands that the success is attributed to every single person of the team working together as a unit. He gives credit to the entire team and usually takes little [if any at all] credit for himself.


The Leader sounds like an all-round good guy, and usually is a Mr Nice Guy. However, Mr Nice Guys sometimes get bullied coaxed by other colleagues, or even worse, his subordinates, to do things that is not within his job scope. He sometimes also has a problem of delivering the goods on time due to being too understanding.


Image taken from Google Search


But at the end of it all, I believe that the most important resource that any company has is not the healthy bank statement or their wonderful product, but more importantly, it is the people in the company that make things work.


So what if you have the best product in the world? Without good salesmen, professional Customer Service Officers and a strong Research and Development team, the company would still lose out to its competition sooner or later. [Probably sooner more than later]


Image taken from Google Search


Companies with many managers always have a better track record, both operationally and financially, as compared to companies with many leaders. However, companies with many managers tend to stay stagnant at their current status quo, and will never be able to have a breakthrough that will turn them into great companies.


In contrast, companies with many leaders tend to be a little shaky, especially at the get go. But because the company grows together with its staff, these companies are like an eager bud, waiting for the right time to blossom into a beautiful flower. The problem is that sometimes, these companies do not have enough experience or resources to get through that wait.


So are you a manager or a leader? And is it possible to be able to switch between these 2 contrasting personalities depending on the situation that arises?

Bare Your Sole Charity Walk 2013




Everyone has a place they call home.


Source: Google search


To many, "Home" is a place where they go back to at the end of a hectic day, put down their worries, and breathe a sigh of relief, all while unwinding in front of the TV with a cup of coffee in their hands. However, for some, home is literally, as google defines it, "A place where one lives permanently", and nothing more.


Your home might look like this:

Source: Google search


But some people's home looks like this:

Source: Google search


Not everyone has the luxury of living in a clean, comfortable space they can call home. But yet, because of difficult circumstances, they have to bare with 'living' in such 'unlivable' environments. It's time for us to step forward and help.



Habitat for Humanity and Barclays is organising the the 5th Bare Your Sole charity walk to raise funds for 'Project Homeworks', a local home clean-up programme for the elderly, sick and physically-challenged citizens.



In Singapore, as many as 35,000 people are living alone in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Being elderly, sick or handicapped, these people are unable to clean their homes effectively. Through ‘Project Homeworks’, volunteers are mobilised to help clean-up these homes and in turn, improve the lives of many Singaporeans.



Like their facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/BareYourSoleSG


Bare Your Sole is Singapore’s first and only barefoot charity walk. This year is the fifth annual Bare Your Sole barefoot walk with Habitat for Humanity and Barclays hoping to build on the huge success of the previous years and attract even more participants, be they individuals, families, groups of friends, clubs, associations, or corporates. Last year’s event saw 5,000 participants take part, with over S$300,000 raised for Habitat for Humanity Singapore. The organisers hope to see more than 5,000 pairs of bare feet for Habitat-Barclays Bare Your Sole 2013.


This year's trail will be a 2.5km or 5km barefoot walk which will take place on Saturday, 1 June 2013 at Gardens by the Bay East, Tanjong Rhu. Participants for the 2.5km walk will be mostly walking along the entire stretch of the Gardens by the Bay, while the 5km participants will cross the Marina Reservior and make their way around Marina Barrage.





Apart from the actual charity walk, there will also be food, music games and entertainment for the whole family on the day. So basically, we will be visiting Gardens by the Bay for some fresh morning air, getting some well needed exercise and having a blast at the various booths and stations at the event site. And all these for a good cause. I really can't think of a more meaningful way to spend my Saturday morning.


So what are you waiting for? Head on down to their official website and register now!


I'll see you there on 1 June 2013 to be part of this wonderful and meaningful event.

Cuisine Master Hot Pot [Review]

Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Hot Pot and Fine Dining.


2 words that are seldom used in the same sentence. Humans [especially in Singapore] tend to relate the term Hot Pot with these words:

Steamboat. Roadside. Hot and sweaty. Budget. Buffet. Eat all you can. Seafood. [Read up on how happy Smith was with just eating 1 Prawn here]


Who would have thought that one would be able to find a piece of treasure in the middle of Boat Quay, where you would experience a fusion of these 2 extremes.


Conveniently located at 68 Boat Quay, Singapore 049856, Cuisine Master Hotpot is easily stands out from the rest of the riverside outlets at Boat Quay. Just look out for their trademark giant bronze hot pot [] right outside their shopfront. It's really quite impossible to miss.


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
It's big enough for me to take a bath in during rainy days


And if that isn't enough, after the sun goes down, Cuisine Master Hotpot is the only outlet along the riverside that has a rotating light image of their trademark Hot Pot blasted onto the pavement!


Whether you're looking up or down, you're sure to spot Cuisine Master's Hotpot symbol


Cuisine Master Hotpot originated from China, as the brainchild of Master Chef Mr Zhong Li Wen, one of China's Top 10 Chefs. Cuisine Master Hotpot is a combination of the ancient cooking methods of China, the freshest ingredients and well-trained service staff that makes the entire experience an enjoyable and unforgettable one.


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


The outlet itself has 3 levels. The first level is called CMbar, which comprises of an indoor seating area as well as an outdoor alfresco area for folks that prefer a relaxing river breeze.


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Step inside the bar and you will be amazed by their eye for detail in their interior design as well as their extensive collection of Chinese crockery. They even have a mini infinity-pool fish tank where the water actually overflows to the exterior of the tank!


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[Hey, wait, in that case, wouldn't the fish be able to jump out too?]


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[Overflowing water literally means overflowing wealth in Chinese Feng Shui]


The main dining areas were on level 2 and level 3. So let's head up the stairs for a peek...


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[Another rotating light show at the bottom of the stairs]


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[A little exercise before your meal is good for you]


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


The dining area on both levels 2 and 3 are mainly made up of individual enclaves that can seat a maximum of 4 or 5 humans comfortably. There are also private rooms on both level 2 and 3 for larger groups of diners.


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[Level 2's private room is an air-conditioned dining area...]


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[While level 3's private 'room' is an open air balcony with a view to die for]


The open air balcony of the private room on level 3 boasts one of the most spectacular views that Boat Quay has to offer. You can literally see almost everything Singapore has to offer from here.

Singapore Flyer. check. Marina Bay Sands, check. CBD skyline, check. Probably the only things missing from this picture was the Merlion and Gardens by the Bay.


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[The view just gets more amazing as the night sets in]


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


This funky little tea-pot is called a Jue [], and back in ancient China, you would only be able to drink wine from it if you are a general who is getting a promotion in rank! But head down to Cuisine Master Hotpot and every customer gets a chance to experience drinking from this sacred cup.




Did you notice the 2 little 'towers' at each side of the Jue? They are not there just for decoration purposes. In ancient China, many manly men kept long mustaches and beards. So, in order to keep their manly facial hair clean and dry while drinking their wine, they would part their beards down the middle and place each side over each of these towers! Ingeniously un-glamorous, I would say. Cheers to that.




When we arrived, our dining area was already set up neatly for us in the private room on level 2...


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[The hungry bloggers waiting for our dinner]


Now here comes the surprise. Cuisine Master Hotpot is currently the only hotpot restaurant in Asia to have transformer-like hotpots that are hidden within the tables!


There is no better way to describe how cool this is other than to watch this video made by HP.





[The Yin and Yang consisted of herbal soup on 1 side, and rich chicken soup on the other]


And the service staff gave us 2 sample bowls from each of the soup base taste. This is a healthier alternative than what most of us usually do: Cooking all the food in the soup to make it 'tastier'. In actual fact, the more food cooked in the soup, the more oils and fats collect in the soup, making it a tasty but unhealthy drink at the end of the meal.


Even before the food arrives, you get to mix your own sauce, much like any other hotpot place out there nowadays. Although personally i felt that an additional bowl of fried garlic would have made the perfect sauce combination.


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Our first dish was...


Cuisine Master Hot Pot

Fruits!!


Did you know that it is actually better to eat your fruits before your meal? This is because the sugars contained in fruits need time to be digested and absorbed by the body. Now you know.


Ok. On to the official first dish... Double Flavoured Soup


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot

Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[This is real, whole abalone mind you...]


Remember I said that this was a fine-dining restaurant? Where else can you enjoy the delicious flavours of hotpot without having to continuously dump the raw food into the soup and diligently "take care" of your food, making sure they don't become overcooked? [Or get fished out by your hungry friends]


Well, up here at Cuisine Master Hotpot, they have service staff to help you and your friends cook the food, and even dish them out into individual plates for each of you to enjoy. How wonderful is that?


Cuisine Master Hot Pot



Next up: Prawn with Turbot Combination [What the hell is a Turbot?]

Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[Yummy, fresh prawns]



3rd dish: Mixed Vegetables with Chinese Yam Platter

Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[Getting hungry yet?]



Fourth dish: Chef's special prepared Shrimps and Pork Balls

Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot
[I love the shrimp balls...]




Fifth serving: Freshly Sliced Chicken Meat

Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot



Oh, did you notice this cool porcine vase-like container on the table? Can anyone guess what it is?




Here's a hint...



Still don't know the answer?





It's another clever invention by our Chinese ancestors. A wine holder that helps to keep the wine warm. The wine is kept in the slimmer container, which is placed in the larger container that is filled with hot water. The hot water helps to keep the wine warm even till the end of the meal!


While we were playing with the wine holder, the next dish had already arrived at the table.
Tender Veal Tripe

Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot



And of course, no Chinese meal is complete without a bowl of noodles. In this case, we had the luxury of having 3 different samples of their trademark noodles...


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot



But wait! There's more! They even prepared surprise drinks for all of us!


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master Hot Pot


Cuisine Master HotPot
[Drinking like an educated sir]


Now, I know what you are thinking. This place will definitely burn a hole in your pocket. But think again. Of course, relative to the usual roadside hotpots that you can find all around Bugis, the $78 per person menu that we just had might seem a little steep, but I assure you that the satisfaction from the freshness and quality of the food is 10 times better than what you get from your typical hotpot outlets. Not to mention that although it is called fine-dining, I was actually quite full at the end of it.


For those of you who are working around the area and definitely do not have time to enjoy the full course, don't fret, they even have a no frills noodles menu for the lunch-hour workers or the not-so-hungry dinner patrons.




Cuisine Master Hotpot's opening hours are from 11am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm on Mondays to Saturdays, and currently are open only for reservations on Sundays.


CMbar is open daily from 11am to 12midnight.


So, if you still haven't decided where to take your mum to for Mother's Day, Cuisine Master Hotpot would definitely be a good choice.


I'm definitely going back there for another round soon, and maybe this time, pop  by the bar for a drink or two...

Cuisine Master HotPot