Yesterday, March 27, we were extremely honored to have 3 leaders sharing 3 hours of their precious time with the future architects of society. 100 participants joined us in this learning experience. White collars, mid-level managers, GMs, CEOs, Founders, Consuls and entrepreneurs from industries such as Banking, Education, Consulting, Trading, Manufacturing, Fashion, Real Estate and Hotel industry, among others. 55% come from China and the rest from Spain, U.K., U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and many others. Our backgrounds, education and nationalities are very different, but we all had one thing in common: thirst and hunger for learning, to improve society, to leave this planet a better place.
First, we had the honor to have a conversation with Mr. Chris Yap, CEO of LubriTech, a Joint Venture of 2multi-billion dollar conglomerates of Malaysia and HK, suppliers of Repsol. He built the business from zero. 27 years of experience in the military and corporate. Graduate and scholarship recipient of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis and National University of Singapore. He shared with us how the military training knowledge helped him navigate the corporate world.
The first question from the audience was by Mr. Juan, Former Spain National Basketball Team Coach, who asked:
-“If you have to choose between Individual talent and Collective talent, and only one, what do you choose?
-Both are important, we must take into consideration the individual and the mission itself.
–Busy managers get too involved in the details and there is over reliance on HR, they should be able to manage, identify talent and nurture them.
-What knowledge that you learn in the military can you apply in the corporate world?
–Leadership requires taking care of your people in a genuine way, this is common in both military and corporate worlds, it builds trust, from top down and bottom up.
The last question came from the Consul General of the Consulate General of Canada in Canton:
-How do you communicate effectively with the team as it grows bigger from 50 people to 500 people, since you do not have physical time to pay attention to everyone?
-That’s when company culture comes in, managers need to develop the talent and create trust, which is more than punishing and rewarding.
«Learn to find talent outside and inside your team and then delegate responsibilities»
Mr. Javier Torá was the second speaker, he is the Founder and President of ES Grupo, he started this company with 1 person and now employs 1300 people in 4 countries, supplying to the main fashion brands in the world. He founded the Spanish Entrepreneurs Club in Canton. Finished 25 half Iron Man and aiming at 4 full Iron Man. MBA at EOI in Spain, at the same time, he is a candidate to Harvard Business School. He is also a professional certified coach. Very active in organizations both in Spain and in China to promote relations and mutual collaboration.
«Learn to self-manage yourself in the first place, in order to face challenges, to keep calm, train your body, mind, emotions and spirit»
-How did you face the challenge during the pandemic?
-We used the situation to reflect, create new business lines and make the most of business opportunities, in fact we came out stronger.
-During my Iron Man experience, I failed many times, but this problem can be used as a project to see what is working out and what is not, learn about yourself to realize that many impossible things are possible to overcome.
-How do you know that the decision you are making is the best one at the time?
-Before, I used to decide with my brain, but the brain is sometimes all facts, we also make decision on emotions, our gut, and then you ask your brain. Follow your instincts, as a leader you can also rely on your intuition, otherwise you may make your brain tired.
“Focus on the positive side and not the negative one, the majority of our fears will never happen”
–Action or Emotion, which do you deal with first?
-Emotion, you need to manage this first. When you are too emotional, you may take a wrong decision, deal with this first. An action from a bad mood is never a good outcome. Even in a business sense, I will say the same, I will not take an action if my emotions are not correct.
-What kind of personality should a good leader have?
-Resilient, reflective, self-managed and with a clear mission.
Finally, we had the honor to follow a conversation with Dr. Harley Seyedin, President of Allelon Energy Systems. Together with Elon Musk, he won the 2017 Oslo Business for Peace Award. Awarded «Peace through Commerce medal» by the U.S. government. President of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China. International businessman, humanitarian, philanthropist and world renowned China expert. A self-made multi-millionaire in his thirties.
He started his speech by asking the audience to stand up, one second later he told everyone to sit down.
“That was management, you do what I say, when I sat it, where I say it”
«There is no straight line to success»
-How can I lead better and take better decisions?
–Be informed, people are too busy to look at the details and focus too much on misinformation.
«No one wants to fail, if someone does something wrong is because you as a leader have not given the tool to get it right»
“People in South China are happy when they see you make money through them because it means they are making even more money»
The moderator closed this panel by asking:
«Recognizing and realizing how every team member can have a better work-life balance» -Mr. Chris Yap
«Don’t chase time, don’t delay anything, time for family, a dinner. Live your life, don’t postpone” -Mr. Javier Torá
“Yes” -Dr. Harley Seyedin
After 1,5 hours in this panel discussion, we organized 3 small groups to have a deeper analysis of the topics. Our participants were free to choose which «MBA class» they wanted to attend for the next hour.
We hope that this brain work out session was helpful for the 100 participants. All we wish is that people can:
-Have a better work-life balance
-Have the opportunity to educate themselves
-Learn skills to improve their career and life
-Make an impact and change society
A big THANK YOU
-To our speakers, Mr. Chris, Mr. Javier and Dr. Harley.
-To all the participants, especially those who came from Guangzhou, Foshan, Dongguan and Shenzhen.
-To Daniel, owner of the venue Tipsy Bar.
-To our team of volunteers.
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