No task is too small ...

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

dur­ing my pro­fes­sional life. They have never been too afraid to ex­pose me to im­por­tant meet­ings and have given me the op­por­tu­nity to work with C-level ex­ec­u­tives very early on in my ca­reer. And they have never been self­ish about knowl­edge and tricks-of-the-trade, and more im­por­tantly they are also never too “im­por­tant” or smart to learn/hear from me when I pro­vide sug­ges­tions.

So now, I try to ap­proach my men­tor­ship and lead­er­ship style in the same man­ner.

What ad­vice can you of­fer to en­trepreneurs/youths who want to start their ca­reer/own busi­ness? Again, I would credit this to the great men­tors/lead­ers that I have had dur­ing my ca­reer… at ev­ery stage of your ca­reer, there is never a task that is too small or too me­nial for your po­si­tion. If you can’t even han­dle a small task well, how would you ex­pect to be en­trusted with big­ger things by your lead­ers, peers or cus­tomers?

Best piece of ad­vice you ever got on your ca­reer? One of my ear­lier bosses told me that I shouldn’t fo­cus too much on my monthly pay cheque. Find joy and a sense of ac­com­plish­ment in ev­ery task that you do, and the money matters will take care of them­selves.

Most-ad­mired busi­ness leader? Why? War­ren Buf­fett. His busi­ness acu­men is leg­endary, but what re­ally amazes me is his hu­mil­ity and re­minder on how lit­tle lux­u­ries one needs in life even when he is one of the rich­est men in the world.

What was your big­gest fail­ure and how did you learn from it? I think I would say that my first big fail­ure/ set­back is the “big­gest” fail­ure that I have had … and, as in­nocu­ous as it sounds, it is ac­tu­ally my fail­ure to get into a uni­ver­sity of my choice.

Of course, there have been greater fail­ures since then, but look­ing back, what you quickly learn is that what might seem like an Ever­est of a fail­ure back then is no more than a mole­hill once you con­quer and sur­mount it.

So at dif­fer­ent stages of life, there will be dif­fer­ent curve­balls to deal with, but with per­sis­tence, dili­gence hu­mil­ity and a dose of prayer, there isn’t much that can­not be over­come.

Malaysia’s great­est brand? I would love to be able to one day say it is Ireka! But we will have to work harder for now. I ad­mire Royal Selangor for be­ing able to suc­cess­fully blend tra­di­tion, pres­tige and in­no­va­tion in such a com­pet­i­tive global mar­ket for gifts and or­na­ments.

Blue or red ocean strat­egy? Or nei­ther? Why? Nei­ther. With the ad­vent of tech­nol­ogy and the in­ter­net and fastchang­ing con­sumer be­hav­iour, it is al­most im­pos­si­ble to stay in a blue ocean for too long. Rather than spend wak­ing hours try­ing to fig­ure out what is the next blue ocean strat­egy, time is bet­ter spent work­ing hard on per­fect­ing our craft, tak­ing a block-by-block ap­proach in build­ing a strong foun­da­tion, and lis­ten­ing to our cus­tomers to meet their life­style needs.

A must-read for ev­ery busi­ness owner/man­ager is ...? Too Big to Fail by An­drew Ross Sorkin, in or­der to un­der­stand the crazy world of fi­nance and eco­nom­ics that is shap­ing our busi­ness world to­day.

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