An Occasion When Words Would Utterly Fail

He built a nation and a people in his image. In each of us, there is a space that Mr Lee Kuan Yew occupies–we are products of his beliefs, his convictions and his governance. Even as he departs, he lives on in all Singaporeans, who are the heirs of nation that he built. We, the heirs, have just lost our father. They say you can’t choose your parents. In this respect, Singaporeans are one of the luckiest of them all. Mr Sidek Saniff says such a person comes along once in a few decades. Consider the chances of such a person appearing right at the tumultuous time that we were going through, in the situation we were in, with the team that he had. I’d say maybe once a century or two.

So we mourn the loss of and say a final farewell to the philosopher-king, the father who made us, molded us, disciplined us, and dare I say, loved us. We love you back as children would to a father and hope and pray that we shall meet again.

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Second Bite: Can Apple clear its name in the ebooks drama?

Fortune

When Apple goes before a federal appeals court on Dec. 15, trying to overturn the ebooks price-fixing judgment the Justice Department won against it in July 2013, there will be an elephant in the room.

That would be Amazon, the much admired and greatly feared ­discounter, which is not a party in the case. Yet the unposed question hovering over the proceedings will be: Did the regulators target the right bully?

The case stems from events that occurred five years ago, when Apple was preparing to launch its first iPad. Apple’s negotiator extraordinaire, Eddy Cue, signed up five of the then six major publishing houses to start selling ebooks through what it would call the iBooks Store.

Apple [fortune-stock symbol=”AAPL”] was breaking into a market then dominated by Amazon, which had an 80% to 90% market share—monopoly power in almost anyone’s book. The iPad’s new color touchpad e-reader would compete…

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Forget Siri, Amazon now brings you Alexa

Fortune

Amazon launched “Amazon Echo” Thursday, a new voice-activated speaker that connects into its web services.

The speaker can be left on all day for on-demand commands. Much like Apple’s Siri, which debuted in 2011 on its iPhone 4s device, Amazon Echo responds to a user’s voice and can act on requests and answer basic questions. Over time, it will adapt to a user’s speech patterns and preferences.

Users start the speaker up saying the wake up word “Alexa.” You can then issue a command of your choice, from “play music by Taylor Swift” to “add ice cream to my shopping list.” The device can also answer basic questions, such as “what day is Christmas?” or “how many ounces are in a pound?”

[fortune-brightcove videoid=3836863015001]
The speaker, which runs on Amazon Web Services, costs $199, or $99 for Amazon Prime members. Amazon Echo is available by invitation only in the coming…

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Premier League TV schedule for NBC Sports Group released

Let’s see if re-engagement happens.

ProSoccerTalk

The day you’ve all been waiting for is here. Get excited.

On Monday afternoon NBC Sports released the TV schedule for coverage of the Premier League for the 2013-14 season.

Here are all the details for the opening three months of games, as England’s top league will be aired exclusively in the US by NBC Sports group.

Take a look through the detailed lists below to see when your team is playing and get the lowdown on all the big matchups coming to a TV screen near you.

Let the games begin.

Details

Unprecedented Coverage of All Premier League Matches

Debuts Saturday, August 17 at 7:00 AM ET

on NBC Sports Network

69 Live TV Game Windows through Dec. 1 Include

57 Matches on NBC Sports Network, 10 on NBC,

27 on Telemundo/mun2 & 61 on Premier League Extra Time

All 130 Matches in First 3 Months Available on

NBC…

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Deconstructing Heifetzian Leadership

I’ve done about half of Heifetz’s Leadership on the Line, and this is my attempt at breaking it down into a few bite-sized pieces. And hey, I know people are busy and may not have enough time for the book, so this is it (Disclaimer: Use this for your exams/assignments at your own risk!):

1. We talk about leadership as something that is desirable. This is because it is not just about power and authority, it is about values. It is about mobilizing people to tackle tough problems. The book addresses leadership in terms of adaptive work, defined as the learning required to address the conflicts in the values people hold, or to diminish the gap between values and reality.

2. Authority is the conferred power to perform a service. In societies with established and coherent institutions, authority is always there. In times of adaptive challenges, the role of authority is paramount.

3. Adaptive challenges are different from technical challenges-those for which the appropriate response has already been developed. Type I situations are purely technical; Type II situations are those in which the problem is definable, but with no clear-cut solution in sight. Type III situations are those in which the problem is not defined, and technical fixes are not available.

Leading With Authority

4. People in authority have powers at their disposal for mobilizing adaptive work. The following are the tools built into a framework: one, the power to provide and manage a holding environment (defined as a relationship in which one party has the power to hold the attention of another party and facilitate adaptive work); two, that to command and direct attention; three, access to information; four, to control and manage the flow of information; five, to frame the issues; and six, to orchestrate conflict and contain disorder.

5. Leadership is a razor’s edge because the leader in authority oversees a sustained period of social disequilibrium. The tools above can be arranged into the following strategic principles:

i) Identify the adaptive challenge.
ii) Keep level of distress within tolerable range for doing adaptive work.
iii) Focus attention on ripening issues, not on stress-reducing distractions.
iv) Give the work back to the people, but at a rate they can stand.
v) Protect voices of leadership without authority.

6. While his civil rights policy worked according to these principles, President Johnson’s Vietnam policy, however, showed how not to exercise leadership. Here, he played lone warrior, did not present the adaptive challenge to his people, let distress levels exceed productive levels, did not discipline attention and distribute responsibility to his people, and did not use dissent as a source of insight and options.

This is not the end, of course. It’s just where I’ve read to. Will continue as I read.

And welcome to the first post entirely done on a mobile device. 🙂