How Does Size Matter?

This is an edited transcript.

Hi, Elijah Lim here. Title of this very random blog – HDSM, How Does Size Matter? I was reading a post on Facebook, I think, about people discussing the fact that Singaporeans do not rise to very high positions in MNCs. Multi-National Companies, international companies and the like, because those companies are big, and one of the reasons given is that we are in a small country. Five million of us, nobody really cares what Singaporeans think. If you come from a big country, the US, Russia, China, India, UK, Europe, European countries, Australia, that sort of thing. People tend to take note of what you do and say, one of the reasons, I guess, is because geography matters, and it is because when you come from a larger country, you have a bigger mindset. I was wondering, “Is that really true?” 

I mean, take a bridge, for example. I’m standing on a bridge in Admiralty Park. It’s the bridge that spans the mangrove swamp, or what WE call a swamp, it’s actually a small pond, by global standards. How big is big? What do you mean by big? Is it the length of the bridge, the span, the gap it crosses, the load it takes? Is a bridge big if it’s able to take the weight of a 747, fully loaded, landing on it and not collapse? Is it big if it takes a small atomic weapon to wipe it out?

What do you mean “Big”? And may I suggest to you that it’s actually mindset. If you don’t have experience dealing with large numbers of people, go get it. Go read up on it. Get a simulation. Do something. But get the experience.

Just because people live in large countries doesn’t mean they have large mindsets. I talk to several people from overseas. One was an American who works here, and as we were talking, he said to me, “You know, there are many poor people in America.” And I said, “Why is that so?” He didn’t quite answer apart from saying the usual things like waste, inequality, you need to distribute the wealth and so on. And, frankly, I thought to myself, “Is that being large-minded?” I didn’t think it to myself then, but I think it to myself now. Is that what being large-minded means? I don’t think so!

So, as usual, we’ve been barking up the wrong tree. Like, for example, you hear the thunder in the background, or at least I hope you hear it – is that a big storm? Or is that normal for Singapore? I have several overseas friends. When they come to Singapore and they see one of our normal rain showers, what they say is “Wow, huge rain, I can’t even see!” and I say “You haven’t seen anything yet!”

So, what is big? How does size matter? And size matters, by the way. How? Think about how it matters. Do you mean size physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? How Does Size Matter? And I’ll leave you to think about it and get back to me with your comments, with your questions, and if you’d like to do a course on How Does Size Matter, I am quite willing to do it.

Thanks for watching and have a great day ahead!


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