In Conversation with
SPOC Solutions Pte Ltd
How do you balance the demands of work with family/ personal life?
I try to set key performance indicators for myself towards my family just as I do at work. For instance, I set targets for the number of meals per week I should be home for dinner and the number of family outings we plan to have per month. I believe that if we are able to set targets for work, we should also be able to set targets for family and personal life. Consequently, I try not to let work intrude into my family space. When I am spending time with my family, I would only answer text messages instead of phone calls. Of course, sometimes I involve my family members in my work by seeking their advice, and from their perspectives I am able to get a better insight on how to solve an issue. Recently, my team and I have been planning a Family Day Out Carnival. I asked my son what type of games he would like to play at the carnival and he presented me with an idea through ‘show-and-tell’, which I think was very innovative. Through this process, I also get to have lots of fun with my son.
What is the biggest business challenge you see in your industry now?
I think one of the biggest business challenges is how to say “no” to a client. Often, there are gaps between a client’s brief and reality. Some agencies may promise the sky just to win the pitch, without any clear idea on how to achieve the objectives. It is not easy to say “no” to the client but if the brief is unrealistic, we will explain why it’s not feasible and work closely with our client to fine-tune the plan towards success.
Describe your leadership style.
I believe in adapting my leadership style to my team. I try to understand how the people in my team interact with each other, as well as their individual reactions to incentives, threats and disincentives. For instance, for people who desire recognition for their hard work, I would praise them for a job well done. Without alignment, issues of miscommunications and conflicts will surface and affect our progress. It is necessary to bring the entire team along on the same journey and to speak the same language.
What drives your motivation at work?
There are two things that motivate me at work. Firstly, it is the creation process. I get a sense of satisfaction when I am able to deliver a solution that can address the client’s challenges and achieve their objectives. Secondly, I feel motivated when I see my team progress in terms of skill sets and career advancements.
Best career advice you’ve ever received?
The best career advice I have ever received would be from my mentor in my first job in Asia Pacific Breweries:
(1) Hard work – Nothing is for free. If you want success, work for it.
(2) Honesty – No one is perfect. We will make mistakes. Be honest and acknowledge the mistakes and learn from it.
(3) Humility – Do not let success, especially short-term wins, inflate your ego. Be humble and you will earn more respect from your peers.
(4) Holistic – Look at the bigger picture. Like a pebble hitting the water creating a ripple effect, every action you make will affect the whole company. Learn how to leverage the synergies created.