MALAYSIA - Bosses are human, too.
When I first entered the corporate world, I had no idea what to expect of a boss. The image of a boss who is unapproachable, patronising and distant was painted by almost everyone I knew. It took me quite a while to accept the total opposite.
I remember when I first saw my CEO, he initiated the conversation by extending his hand and said "Hi! I am Ken and I am boss!"
His handshake was firm and strong. He spoke with confidence and charisma. He reminded me so much of the "king of all kings" in the Hong Kong movies I've seen, walking into a room and making heads turned.
As time went by, I began to know him better and what he values most: people. To him, his employees are like his family. He clearly makes known that everyone plays an important role.
"Don't work for me. Work with me." Those words still ring in my ears today. He does his best to pull everyone together to build the company as a team and make everyone feel a sense of the ownership of the company. It's not an easy task. The saying "Work is like a marriage" has some truth to it. There has to be elements of respect, trust, commitment and reasonable expectations. When it doesn't work out, people quit.
No matter how disappointed he is sometimes, he is always optimistic. "It's OK to leave and see the world. But you are always welcomed to come back." That's what he says.
He has taught me the importance of family, too. His fatherly demeanour immediately springs out whenever he talks about his daughters. The sweet memories of him bathing his little babies and how he powdered them are still fresh in his mind. He is indeed a proud father of two beautiful daughters.
He is also a boss who says, "If you need my help in any way, please let me know," and he means it. He is willing to listen and never short of wise advice and opinions. He never, ever cuts short a conversation with a "listen!", even when he disagrees. One session with him can easily take up to an hour. One wonders how he has so much to talk about!