Monday, December 1, 2008

Giving Back What I Received

At the recent GMAT Malaysia Open Day, I shared with those present why Soon Chern, Jin Keat and I organised the Open Day. I always believe in the philosophy of sharing, particularly when it comes to knowledge.

Exactly one year ago, 5 people gathered at the other Starbucks Uptown and Soon Chern, who completed his GMAT, shared with us his experiences. One year later, 2 more guys completed their GMAT - Jin Keat and myself. The wealth of knowledge and experiences from 3 people can be harnessed and shared with others who want to embark on the same journey. While others have paved the road for us, we too should pave the road for others who will follow us. I hope that this coming group will, in a year's time, pave the same road for those who seek their help.

In my earlier blog, A Learning Experience, I shared how teaching others what you learnt can improve your understanding greatly. Stephen R. Covey, in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talked about Habit 6 - Synergize; the whole is greater than the sum of parts. Putting 3 or more heads together in our case, we can learnt from each others' successes as well as failures. Combined with Habit 4 - Think Win Win and Habit 5 - Seek First to Understand Then Be Understood, we create a whole new experience and culture that will attract others.

At my company's leadership symposium last year, I asked our Chairman what was his "biggest" failure as a leader. It took him a while to answer but what he said after that had a huge impact on me. He said, "Jimmy, if I could turn back the clock and be at your age again, I would make the next leader a better leader than myself. We always think about developing ourselves and not the person who is going to take over from us." He went on sharing how he wish he has invested more time in training his managers throughout his career. What he said on that fateful September day continues to linger in my head. I will always cherish his wisdom.

During high school days, I pasted a poster on my room wall that read:

Practice Without Theory is Meaningless,
Theory Without Practice is Blind,
Application Comes from Theory AND Practice.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavour.

Jimmy Low

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