If you could grab a cuppa with 28 Asian leaders all at once, would you take this opportunity to have a heart-to-heart talk with them?
Dr John Ng, Chief Passionary Officer of Meta Consulting, had done all this for us by spending the last four years interviewing and compiling the heart-throbbing and gut-wrenching life stories and lessons of 28 distinguished and prominent Asian leaders.
In his 308-page book entitled ‘HEART to HEART with Asian Leaders,’ the book boasts a repertoire of insiders’ stories of esteemed leaders we grew up with, including Lim Guan Eng, Idris Jala, Francis Yeoh, Roland Wong and Sandra Lee amongst the list.
“All of the leaders showed great recovery efforts because all of them failed. Leaders get punished. Leaders are fallible creatures; they are human beings. But the true test of a leader is the ability to bounce back, recover, and become even greater leaders,“ said Dr John, adding how integrity and humility were common key characteristics he observed in all the leaders he interviewed.
More than 90 Christian leaders and businessmen attended the ‘Heart to Heart’ book launch on November 22nd, graced by guest speakers YB Hannah Yeoh, Dato’ Roland Wong, and first Malaysian Olympic badminton medallists – Cheah Soon Kit and Soo Beng Kiang.
YB Hannah Yeoh shared how the book contained invaluable insights of personal pitfalls and vulnerabilities revealed by our leaders, some which might be hidden even in a private setting.
“A book like this gives us insight into leaders’ personal thought process. Sometimes, leaders are often misunderstood. They can make a decision. But people do not understand why they make such a decision.’
“And so, to have a book like this and have them explain certain unpopular decisions they had to make, this would help us appreciate not just the action, but the thought process behind it,” said YB Hannah Yeoh.
Dato’ Roland Wong, a guest speaker and interviewee in the book, also graced the event to meet face-to-face with the attendees. Having served as the Deputy President of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) from 1993 to 2009, he shared about his firm belief of walking together as a family.
“If you punch one hole and another person punches another hole in the same boat, we will all sink together. I always tell people that we are in the same family, the same boat,” said Dato’ Roland who practiced collaborative leadership in making all decisions.
In fact, his leadership comes from a heart of genuine love for people, which was especially evident in his father-son relationship with national badminton legends, Cheah Soon Kit and Soo Beng Kiang.
“I am like a father to them. They are like my godsons. I mean I can tell them off and yet, today they would still come and support me. You know, I spent quite a lot of time with these guys. I took them out separately for lunch and dinner.
“They were the ones who won the Thomas cup. To me, they were the top players. After they won the last point, Beng Kiang took the shuttlecock, ran up to the stage and gave it to me. So, thank you both for supporting me,” he said, looking at his beloved godsons with love.
He also shared about his testimony of how he knew God during a financial crisis in year 1997. Overcame by God’s love, he shared how God gave him, His transcending peace, wisdom, and hope, to overcome his near-bankrupt state.
“Even though I would lose money in a project, I would complete the project with a ‘Well done!’ And because of that, I have won my clients’ trust. I have established a good relationship with them,” he added.
Lastly, he shared that an aspiring young person must have the four D’s to succeed, which include desire, determination, dedication, and discipline.
“So, for aspiring young people, if you’re starting a business, you must work together as a team, stay focused, start small, and do things step-by-step” said Dato’ Roland, in summarizing his personal nuggets for success.
Hence, such was the depth and wealth of information shared by Dato’ Roland’s lifelong lessons of leadership – which is only a fragment of what is covered in the book. Imagine the wealth of knowledge we would acquire from all the 28 Asian leaders!
“I am passionate about leadership because the world needs leaders who can lead in the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous climate today. Leaders can make a difference, either for good or evil. And I am so glad that we have leaders who can do this,” said Dr John.
Dr John Ng has also written other 5 books including Dim Sum for Great Parenting — Tips for Parents; Dim Sum for Great Marriages; Dim Sum Leadership; Dim Sum Leadership (version 2): Your Second Serving; and Smiling Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
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Note: All pictures are credited to Scott J Wong