Be willing to try anything
For the long term, BKP wants to impact the real estate industry in terms of innovative lifestyles and improving quality standards for the benefit of the Malaysian public.
Best piece of advice you ever got on your career? From Mike Useem, my professor of strategic management, while doing my MBA at the Wharton School of Business. He encouraged us to continue our pursuit of strategic management versus specific disciplines, for example, finance, etc. Although, initially, specialisation was better for salaries, in the long run, 10-15 years later, strategic and general management won the day.
It has given me the courage to explore many different disciplines and remain a generalist, and not a specialist, in my own personal leadership development journey.
Most admired business leader? Why? I think every business leader has admirable traits that have brought them to where they are today. But perhaps the most admired leaders that I respect are not business leaders.
I truly admire leaders who stand for causes beyond themselves and who were willing to suffer as a result of it, people like Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Jane Goddall, etc. They led a purpose-driven life that went beyond who they were and represented those of us who aspire to do our best for others.
How do you stay abreast of issues affecting your industry? My involvement in Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia (Rehda) over the years has kept me up to date with the latest issues locally. But perhaps my travels abroad have given me the most significant impact in terms of learning, understanding and keeping up to date with the changing world of real estate and people’s lifestyle aspirations.
What man-made innovation confounds you? Why? The industrial revolution. While we have progressed a lot as a result, we have also destroyed a lot of natural resources as a result. We have also lost touch with what it is to make things with our own bare hands, to appreciate the simple things in life.
A must-read for every business owner/ manager is ...? Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek. A great follow-up to his other book, Start With Why. Leaders Eat Last starts with a very interesting historical perspective about leaders from the ancient past, how they behaved and how their followers were willing to be subjected to them, in return for protection, security and safety.