S P Setia COO: Leaders must be moral compasses

Date: 26-Sep-2020
Publication: The Star Online
SHAH ALAM: In the corporate world, leaders must stand up as moral compasses for their people, says a corporate leader.

“It is very important. It is very essential. Be a moral compass and direct them the right way,’’ said SP Setia Bhd chief operating officer and deputy president Datuk Wong Tuck Wai.

Wong, who was one of the speakers at a forum during the launch of the Setia Leadership Re-Imagined Network yesterday, also said leaders must be empathetic rather than autocratic.

The platform was launched with the goal to inspire the company’s leaders to grow and achieve greater heights, both personally and professionally.

Wong said one of the prerequisites of a leader in an organisation like SP Setia was to be empathetic.

“Empathy is actually the way. Being an autocratic leader is more difficult than an empathetic leader,’’ said Wong.

He added that people would do things willingly for empathetic leaders while it would be done out of fear for autocratic leaders.

“Leaders must be good communicators who are able to relay clear messages to their subordinates.

“At all times, leaders must stay engaged with their staff,’’ he said.

The event was part of the conglomerate’s empathetic leadership exercise for its management staff, who were graduates of the Setia Leadership Series programme.

More than 200 people attended the event, moderated by SP Setia’s chief human resources officer Nadiah Tan Abdullah, both on the ground and virtually.

Other guest speakers were founder and chief executive officer of Naluri Hidup Sdn Bhd Azran Osman Rani and Star Media Group’s youth news and lifestyle platform R.AGE editor Ian Yee.

Earlier, before the speakers were invited to share their opinions, SP Setia president and CEO Datuk Khor Chap Jen said leaders must apply what they learned.

“Otherwise, it will become rusty. Everyone must learn from one another as they are all experts in their own way.

“You must always acknowledge that you are not better than the other person, including subordinates, and must always be humble and learn from them,’’ Khor said.

He also said leaders must not follow the “old sifu” style of teaching where only 90% of knowledge was imparted.

“Do not fear that our positions could be usurped if we parted with our knowledge.

“Leaders must also nip office politics in the bud as it would prevent equitable sharing of knowledge,” he said.

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