Every mug tells a story, especially after 25 years of use!

[caption id="attachment_4136" align="aligncenter" width="1017"] “The Boss” mug that served 25 years[/caption]

A simple mug that had seen usage for 25 years helps to tell a story about time management and prioritizing.

This mug has a long history! It was a gift from one of my colleagues (Johnson Mathew Joseph) when he was one of my team members when we were academic staff of the now defunct Sepang Institute of Technology (SIT).

It was around 1997. JMJ and I learned a lot from an incident on prioritizing and time management. A director of Lion’s Group (the then owner of SIT) summoned us to see him for a project at his office at the heart of Kuala Lumpur (near Bangkok Bank). We had to travel all the way from Klang town (back then with many construction works going on, Klang-KL would take at least 90 mins to drive). As parking would be expensive and difficult to find, I managed to book a college’s car for JMJ to drive and pick me up in USJ-Subang Jaya on the way (I would drive my old car home first and wait for the pick-up).

Then JMJ arranged to pick up another staff (who hitched a ride with us, she wasn’t connected with our project). That person was late, very late by all account! Unfortunately, JMJ had decided to wait for her and as a consequence we were late in arriving for our meeting by an hour. Naturally I bored the brunt of the wrath of this director as I was the Head of the School of Sciences and JMJ’s manager. That taught us both 3 great lessons:

1. Prioritizing is a core skill…. we should have ditched the hitchhiker!

2. Time management is crucial for survival in the corporate world…. I should have “ditched” JMJ and travelled to KL by taxi! However, IMHO that director could have asked us to meet him at a more mutually convenient location.

3. As a leader, I had to be accountable for my team members’ action, but after learning the lessons we should forgive but NOT forget (in case we commit the same errors again!)

The mug was used for about 25 years and it served its last day yesterday when a bit of the top rim chipped off. JMJ and I both appreciated the joke (“The Boss”) when he gave it to me as a “peace offering”. I am glad to see JMJ doing well in his entrepreneurial endeavours and wish him great successes!

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