Archive for August, 2015

The Global Economy in August

Market volatility reached new heights in August, intensified by continued fears of a US rate hike and the Chinese authorities’ shock depreciation of the Yuan. In fact, analysts expect that it is only China’s ‘shaky’ economy that would delay a Fed rate hike. The devaluation sent stock and bond markets around the world reeling – US stock markets fell into correction territory, the Indian stock market fell the most since 2009 and investors pulled as much as $2.5 billion from emerging bond funds. Currencies also felt the heat, especially in emerging markets, where Central Banks are allowing currencies to slide in order to remain competitive. In particular, the Ruble weakened, the Turkish Lira fell below 3 per dollar for the first time and Vietnam and Kazakhstan both devalued their currencies. The uncertainty and the severe volatility has causes some market participants to compare the current rout with 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, however, opinions on the matter vary.

The devaluation was not the only factor hurting currencies. Fear and uncertainty over a US rate hike also added pressure, dragging the Rupiah to its lowest since the Asian Financial Crisis and the Rand to its lowest since 2001. The Thai Baht fell to a 6-year low, following a bombing at a popular tourist location, which, as analysts say, could hurt its tourism sector as well. The Malaysian Ringgit took its place as the worst performing emerging market currency this year, dragging reserves below $100 billion for the first time since 2010, due to a slump in oil, a domestic political scandal and a potential US rate hike. Malaysian stocks soon followed, recording the lowest close since 2013. All this volatility has made Asian policy makers cautious, pledging to act to offset market volatility.

The commodities rout continues this month, where the S&P GSCI Total Return Index, which tracks a basket of commodities, fell to its lowest since 2002. In particular, crude oils plunge to a 6-year low gripped the Middle Eastern economies, with stocks falling across the board. Gold was the only commodity to find support in all the volatility, with prices rising to a 3-month high.

Europe was the bright spot in markets this month, as Greece secured its third bailout agreement with its Eurozone Creditors, after Greek lawmakers accepted their stiff demands, despite a revolt in the ruling party. Europe’s shine did not last, however, as disagreement in Greece’s parliament led to Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras’s, resignation, paving the way for snap elections in Greece.

How CEOs Waste 70% of Their Time Each Day

We waste a lot of our time in a day with medial tasks. On this week’s Friday Focus we explore how we can use that time more effectively:


More than half of your workday could be spent more effectively. While that’s a hard pill to swallow, you’re not the only one who can stand to gain from a little schedule revamping.

  1. Create “no” email templates

One of the most effective ways to protect your time is to say “no.” It’s not easy turning someone down, no matter what the situation. Additionally, declining an invitation tactfully takes time. For these reasons you should create email templates so that saying “no” is just a little bit easier

  1. Adopt one of three email strategies

You need a plan of attack in order to effectively manage your emails. The best strategy simply depends on your personal work style and preference. There’s the “all day” strategy, meaning that you’re quick to respond to emails right as they come in. This can be efficient, but it can also be incredibly distracting.

“Batching” emails involves looking at your inbox two to four times a day and responding to everything then. The third approach is to enlist help. If you can afford to hire an assistant, it can turbo-charge your whole life, Trenchard said.


To know even more ways you can make better use of your time, read the full article here:

The Worst Way To End A Meeting

Is there a right way to end a meeting? The short answer is yes. The long answer is the subject of this week’s Friday Focus.


I’d just finished leading a workshop. The assembled group stared up at me. “So,” I said, “does anyone have any questions?”

Silence ensued.

Fortunately, there are better options, just like the workshop organizer told me. One is to start the discussion with a specific question—ideally one you truly need feedback on. People will jump in with other topics if they want, but this way you’ve set the direction.

Second, don’t be afraid to cold-call on people.  Not only are you more likely to get input from people who don’t speak up in meetings, cold-calling has a spillover benefit. People will start to pay more attention.


To know more about how (and how not to) end a meeting, read the full article here:

The Road to Success Is Boring — and That’s OK

This week we look at how even the most boring tasks, no matter how inconsequential they may seem, are some of the keys to “massive success”.


Here’s something counter-intuitive: the road to success can be BORING.

Yes, it’s fun to enjoy the spoils of hard work. But the actual work — the daily grind — is going to be BORING sometimes. It’s going to be filled with repetitive tasks that don’t seem to be making a difference but that add up when you do them day after day. Week after week. Month after month.

In fact, I’d even say that the most overlooked key to massive success is to stay consistent with your work — even when it’s boring.

Even when you don’t feel like it.


To know more about maintaining consistency with even the most boring tasks (and maybe even how to do so), read the full article here:

How To Create A Culture Of Productivity

Implementing productivity hacks and increasing productivity isn’t easy when there is a lack of a culture of productivity at the workplace. This week we explore how we can cultivate just such a culture.


As the CEO of a startup, I’ve realized how important it is to increase productivity while at the same time limiting expenses as much as possible. But this can be difficult to do and at times seems impossible. While waving a magic productivity wand would be much easier and ideal, the magic is not really possible if the right culture or productive work habits are not in place. […] so here are five ways I have been able to create a culture of productivity:

  1. Hire For Attitude

Once you have a group of candidates who are technically qualified for the position, then you need to make sure you hire people who are excited about the position and even more importantly about the company. […] then you will want to select someone you would not only like to be around every day, but also someone you believe will learn from failure, rally quickly under pressure, and never whine or try to pass off blame.

  1. Choose Actions Over Words

Meetings are beneficial, but oftentimes meetings involving large corporations turn into time-sucks where nothing really gets decided. To stay on course, meetings should start with a clear, concise agenda that include the goals for decisions to be made. This agenda should be e-mailed before the meeting so all the stakeholders can come prepared with one clear “owner” for each item.

  1. Show Them How It’s Done

It is always better to show not tell. Show that you are a thought leader leading the way toward a big future for the company. Be transparent about what you’re working on and hold yourself accountable to what your goals are for the week as well. This will help your employees feel like you’re not just delegating but instead contributing to the overall productivity and true success of the company.


There’s 2 more ways to create a culture of productivity. To find out what they are, read the full article here: