The Insight Story – Pay attention to people management skills

IN THIS week’s column, SunBiz chats with GIIB Holdings Bhd CEO and executive chairman Tai Boon Wee (pix).

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

Perseverance. I believe in working hard as there is no substitute to working hard and to continuously pursue excellence. There is no short cut to success, you need to put your time in. In addition, there will always be challenges and hurdles, let them be your learnings to make you stronger.

What traits do you look for in your talent or how do you decide who is right for a job?

Skills and knowledge in the specific field are important, but these can be acquired over time and when people join us they have plenty of opportunities to learn on the job. However, the most important thing is attitude. Without it, given any skills, they wlll not be able to succeed in the company.

How do you think the industry you are in will evolve?

There is plenty of room for our industry as rubber is used in everyday items and we cannot live without them. There are more requirements for reusable product and rubber is one of those materials that you can do that with. Over the last two years the sector that has seen great growth is rubber gloves.

What advice can you offer those looking to start their career/own business?

First, identify what you want in life and then set your goals and actions to be aligned to what you want to achieve. Then find your mentors whom you feel can help you and get their advice.

We all know about the industrial revolution, are we in for a technological revolution?

Jack Ma famously said that if you do not know technology, that is still manageable. However, if you ignore technology, then you will be left behind. Technological revolution is real, go out there to understand and see how it can add value to you and your career.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional life?

I have been lucky to have been mentored by successful entrepreneurs. They have given me great insights and have always instilled discipline as their key message.

What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?

Other than business, I hope to be able to impart more knowledge and share my business learnings to as many upcoming younger generations to guide them in their career and to shorten their learning curve.

Best piece of advice you ever received on your career.

Just do it.

Most-admired business leader? Why?

Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Panasonic. His philosophy of management is timeless. If you have a chance, read his book and be inspired.

How do you stay abreast of issues affecting your industry?

As part of our management, we have to regularly keep abreast through our customers, vendors as well as industry peers. Through regular conversations, we would be able to size up what is happening and to plan.

If you could have an hour with any thought leader in the world, whom would it be and why?

Jack Welch. He is one of the most successful CEOs in the world, transforming the company into such an admirable organisation.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? What did you learn from it?

Management of people is the most challenging. Everybody is different and, in every situation, people behave differently. I have learnt that people-handling skills are important to bring out the best in them.

A must-read for every business owner/manager is …

The Mind of the Strategist by Kenichi Ohmae.

How do you expect policies on climate change to impact businesses in the future?

The responsibilities on slowing down climate change lie with everyone and the same people who drive the organisation. No matter how small the effort, it is one step forward.

What are the top three factors you would attribute your success to?

The same values that I install into our company: Integrity, trust and respect.

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