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Monday, 9 August 2010

Attributes of a leader


BESIDES diligence and thrift, there are other attributes that can propel certain personalities to the top.

According to Oriental Holdings Berhad chief executive officer and managing director (property/plantation) Datuk Lim Su Tong, such attributes are not exclusive to only a certain of group of people.

His company is part of the Boon Siew Group and Lim is the son-in-law of the late Penang tycoon Tan Sri Loh Boon Siew, the man acclaimed for being the first to import Honda motorcycles into Malaysia in the 1950s.

Lim was delivering a keynote address titled ‘The Attributes of An Illiterate’ during the YMCA Toastmasters Club of Penang’s 25th anniversary at the Bayview Hotel Georgetown recently.

Portrait of a tycoon: An old picture of Loh testing a Honda motorbike. 
“Even an illiterate (referring to Loh) can humbly seek and use such skills.

“I worked for 25 years with him. I had the privilege and opportunity to observe his attributes,” he said.

Lim said his father-in-law was knowledgeable, trustworthy, sincere and caring. He also had a passion to lead.

“Loh migrated to Penang from China at a young age. While other children had the opportunity to enjoy their childhood, he had to go through the university of hard knocks.

“The young boy had to make a living and he chose to work as an apprentice mechanic although the salary was lower than that of other manual jobs.

“With his acquired knowledge, he was able to start related businesses.
“Later in life, the knowledge enabled him to procure a franchise for motor vehicles,” Lim told an attentive audience.

He said although his father-in-law was an illiterate, he would listen attentively to the professionals and emulate the management skills of the franchiser.

“He engaged professionals to run his business and thus, his businesses expanded.

“His trustworthiness was also a key to his success. He was humble in explaining business plans to his partners although he was the major shareholder.

“His partners trusted him and would leave it to him to make the business decisions.

“Hence directors’ meetings were only a formality and more like a form of fellowship for them,” he said.

He added that Loh also implemented incentive policies based on the performances of his workers.

“He was a careful and decisive man. Before committing to a new project, he would study all the details with care and passionately explain its prospects to us,” he said.

“Those attributes of his inspired us to ensure that his projects were successful. His leadership footprints are still visible in our corporate endeavours today.”

As for Lady Luck, Lim said sometimes she was around to help Loh and his partners but not always.

1 comment:

  1. The multi-billionaire, the late Datuk Loh Boon Siew was a Penang tycoon,owned half of Langkawi, many people now live on houses built by him, cars sold by him, loan/finance provided by him. He created many jobs in companies and organizations for many people to earn a living , etc.

    Peoples saw sand while he saw gold! See the different?