Founder & Owner, UYKO Advisory
Treasurer of Halogen Foundation Singapore

The ability to get people to believe in what you are trying to do. Not only believe but also be passionate about it. Being able to at least change their thoughts and take action in whatever you are trying to influence them to do.

I learnt a lot of thing by reading and working with very astute and good leaders. One that really stands out was my boss at Black and Decker, not only was he a good leader, he had a lot of empathy.  He starts action and initiative by looking at its impact within the organization and then drive it from within rather than from outside. So the whole organisation will be motivated to move forward together as a team despite the challenging environment in Singapore. At that time, in the power tools market, we were always behind the Japanese brands. We also had issues with quality. Despite all those issues, he was able to rally the team to move forward and achieve success.

I am a carrot and stick person. From what I learnt, it always good to be a role model first. You have to believe in the cause that you are trying influence people with. People can see directly through you if you don’t believe it. If you are trying to just influence them to do something which you have no conviction on, there will be a mismatch between what you are trying to achieve in the outcome versus what you are trying to influence the people around you to do something you really  don’t believe in.

It gives me the ability to see the world through the eyes of the younger generation. You know people say that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick, but personally I feel that interacting with younger people have been very refreshing. There are different point of views and I am able to understand their aspirations, the challenges that they face, as well as their ability to bounce back and build resilience in their life.

Continued life long learning is essential, building resilience and being able to pick yourself up when you fall on the ground when you have any set back in your life. While you are chasing your dreams and so forth, have more empathy on people. Being able to relate and understand people around you is critical. Because you can’t do everything on your own, you would need good team surrounding you. Building the team and the flexibility and agility in your life is important.

With regards to advancement in IT and so forth, one person does not need to have direct contact with another person to influence another. The ability to influence a wider generation and more people is obviously there for taking. You can use technology to reach out to more people. As a leader, you need to utilise technology to benefit the masses.

Cost of living is definitely a challenge for young people in Singapore. While the government tries to provide job for everyone, it’s still dependant on the state of the world’s economy and investments into Singapore. My advise for young people is to be flexible in their career choices, life long learning is important, but be adaptable. If possible, be an entrepreneur so you can be in control of your own challenges.