Review of Great Advice

by Hans-Jürgen John

For solving everyday challenges at work and in life.

A book by David Wee and Handi Kurniawan.


Thomas Edinson founded Edison General Electric Company in 1889, which later became General Electric (GE). In August 2000, the company had a market capitalization of $601 billion, and was then the most valuable company in the world. CEO was Jack Welch and David Wee responsible for developing and delivering leadership curriculum (Head of Asia Pacific Leadership development).

So this book is the summary of the ingredients of a success story. From the perspective of an author who was in the middle of the action. Of course, Jack Welch represented GE as CEO. His book “The Real-Life MBA | Jack & Suzy Welch” revives his way of leading and guaranteeing success. But that is another book review.

Handi Kurniavan is Group Head of Leadership & Academies Learning at Jardine Matheson – one of the top 200 traded companies in Asia.

His books – “Go-Global – Guide to a Successful International Career”, “Global Career – Boost Your Career to The World Stage” and “The Brain Master” as well as his deep understanding of HR related topics made him the ideal co-author of this book.

Handi has lived and worked in five continents with various cultures. His professional working experience in highly respected companies such as General Electric, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank and Sinarmas has allowed him in meeting and working with many best talent world-wide.


112 small chapters show you what is allowed and forbidden in the business world. What stops your professional and personal development and what accelerates it.

Success at work and happiness in private life – one might think that this is mutually exclusive. Career or family. Either or. Elon Musk is said to have advised employees to spend the night at the office. And to prioritize their job when it comes to family events. David Wee and Handi Kurniavan show that both is possible. Yes, that private life and job can complement each other positively.

Do you love entertainment series? Love this. Distinguish between what entertains you on screen (Game of Thrones) and the real world. Intrigue is a no-go in the workplace. Wonder what buzzwords like “kindness in the workplace” and “help others” have to do with cutthroat competition and “survival of the fittest”? Read it.

If you read “The 7 habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey you will want to know how to get rid of bad habits – unlearn them – David Wee shows it with the example “smoking habit” – after 40 years smoke-free.

Are you irreplaceable at work or are you working towards it? Are you a blocker – keep job at all cost (KJC)? This may be a mistake. Train your employees and be happy when they become better than you – then you are a real leader.

Are you a boss or a leader? Boss has a negative connotation. Leaders motivate. A boss controls. A boss gets loud and threatens. Leaders reward. Leaders see the potential in employees and overlook mistakes. They praise what has been achieved, knowing full well that they are empowering the employee to take responsibility for his or her own actions. Praise is the water to grow. Criticism is the brake that slows down processes. The right balance between praise and criticism moves us forward.

Be aware of the power of truth:

They ask me if I am kind. I am, because I tell the truth. But when the truth hurts, they say I am cruel. Yet many seek my advice. It’s because I say what needs to be heard and not what people wish to hear.
Speaking the truth is not an excuse to be brutal. It is less about telling people that they are wrong and more about helping them change for the better.
So when it makes sense, I replace Here are your mistakes… with Here are your opportunities… . Exchange Do these with What do you want to do?

–David Wee

Appreciation is a powerful tool at work and elsewhere.

If you manage others the way you want to be treated, you forget that they are not you.”

–David Wee

Bullies are loosers. They make other people feel small. A big man never belittles people, and he even makes them feel special as if they are the most important people.”

–Handi Kurniavan

On trust relationsships, products and companies are built.

One teacher defined me by grades, the other (Mr. Steven Lee) believed in what I could be. So which teacher to believe? The one who fought harder!
I do not remember much of what Mr Lee taught me. But I remember that he made me feel like a winner. So I started thinking like one. I was the first in my family to complete university.”

–David Wee

Part of being a supervisor is terminating employees. Employees who do not achieve their goals. That’s the sad part that supervisors don’t get used to – and, according to the book’s authors, shouldn’t either. We feel for you.

Keywords the book covers:






Both authors include a list of their favourite books. Great!

Here a link to an article by David Wee on LinkedIn:

Handi Kurniavan on purpose in a speech by Mark Zuckerberg:

Follow David Wee and Handi Kurniawan on LinkedIn. By following them you might get first impressions of the books they are going to publish.
More and more, it turns out that LinkedIn is a testing ground for many authors. They publish parts of their next books as a post to test the effect.