“It is not how good we are but how good we want to be.”
This quote is always etched in my mind, and I have constantly drawn on its underlying message to direct my actions in the pursuit of excellence in all my undertakings. Be it in my professional or personal life, I see my quest for excellence as a guide post on my journey to success. Eventually, it also served as the key to unlocking my personal achievements in my professional career as an educator.
“Satisfying my curiosity was my biggest motivation. My willingness to accept failure and disappointment was my biggest asset.”
Without a mentor or teacher, I have very much worked alone. My hunger for answers and my voracious appetite for knowledge have both led me to many moments of self-discovery. A substantial part of being able to fulfill my dream of creating a “First Class” design agency in my early years was a result of adapting the management concepts I read from various self development books.
My attempts at turning these newly learnt concepts into actionable business plans also required me to have a big appetite for risk to be able to follow it through. Satisfying my curiosity was my biggest motivation, and my willingness to accept failure and disappointment was my biggest asset. Change for improvement became my personal motto.
Through the years, I have also formulated my own principles of leadership and various management styles from the scores of books I have read. Whatever I have learnt, I have put to practice. And if it works, I will share it with my fellow colleagues.
“Adopt an attitude of ‘Servant Leadership’ when it comes to managing my employees.”
To be a good leader, we must first learn to serve others before expecting others to serve us. This was a humbling starting point for a new leader like me. This idea of servant leadership basically removes the hierarchy of traditional leadership structures, which are commonly found in many organisations. With this in mind, I was prepared to roll up my sleeves and go down to the ground to lead my charges.
“Learning, teaching and sharing” became part of my organization’s working culture.
“Change is the only constant” was another motto practiced in my studios, which I knew irked many of my employees who disliked the notion of disruption, as it gave them a sense of insecurity.
“Shared responsibilities, shared rewards” was another one of my ways of securing the commitment of my staff, through converging their personal interests with the goals of the organization.
“For what I cannot control or change, I will not bother to fight. For what I can change or control, I will be committed to.”
Over the years, I was able to shape the environment within my organization with my dreams and thoughts. Personally, it has been rewarding to witness the vast amount of improvements in my employees when they are able to change their mindset from a personal perspective lens to an organizational perspective lens instead. This has helped to reduce their work-related frustrations and increase their morale.
Over the years, my attitude and obsession towards excellence have become a cultivated habit for me. In whatever I do, nothing short of excellence is expected; just like what Winston Churchill once said, “I am a man of simple tastes, easily satisfied with the best.”
My pursuit of excellence has also unexpectedly led to more business opportunities opening up in my life.
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”