27 Top Insights by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar

Always want to hear from Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar. Now, I had the opportunity to attend his talk on 1 February 2018. A public holiday for Hari Wilayah. But here in Johor, people are working. And, this man of charisma and top leadership qualities made his way to Johor Bahru.

I am glad that I attended this session. Soft spoken, yet with powerful character, he shared about his journey as CEO in three major companies in Malaysia. UEM, Telekom and Maybank. He served the government for one term and now is the Chairman for Permodalan Nasional Berhad. PNB is the largest fund manager in Malaysia.

His achievements were the result of hard work, resilience and integrity. Having been in top of his career, once unemployed after his term with the government ended. This is his request to serve only for one term. He embarked on a unique experience being an Uber driver. The news traveled fast and become viral when he had one of his ex staff as his customer. He managed to get quite a sum for charity from UBER driving.

He appeared in Harith Iskandar show with Yuna. You can watch the promotional video here. Which is interesting. No script whatsoever before the recording.

Here are some notes taken from his slides. I hope you find it inspiring and enlightening as well. Combine work hard and work smart. His winning formula.

27 Top Insights by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar

Leadership insight 1: Corporate Leadership and Management

  1. Be clear on your mandate.
  2. Perform a full diagnosis of the company. Establish the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  3. Match the task required with the management talent internally before bringing in reinforcements to fill the gap.
  4. Revisit the vision and mission to ensure relevance. Formulate strategies and action plans together with the management team and syndicate them with all stakeholders including the Board, shareholders, employees, regulators and business partners where relevant.
  5. Communicate your plans and update them regularly with all levels of employees.
  6. Set clear and measurable short term and long term targets with clear timeline and accountability.
  7. Implement balance scorecard/performance management system.
  8. Align the interest of management with that of shareholder.
  9. Share the rewards not just with management colleagues but with all performing employees.

Leadership insight 2: Management Principles

  1. Always focus on the fundamentals. Don’t worry about short term market fluctuation.
  2. Address the core issue of customer service, product innovation, competitive/optimal pricing, effective delivery channel and profitable market share.
  3. Be clear on the costs and benefits of every venture, product, initiative or plan.
  4. Beyond the for quadrants of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability for listed companies, bottom line is about shareholder value creation (ie: more profit, higher dividends and better share price in the medium to long term).
  5. Do not over spin.
  6. Once you have achieved fundamental improvements, then you can complement it with branding or rebranding as the case may be. Form without substance will not get you anywhere. But when you combine substance with form, you will go a long way. This applies to personal branding too.

Leadership insight 3: Personal leadership Skills and Attributes

  1. A good leader must be visionary, articulate, authentic, engaging and have unquestionable integrity.
  2. You don’t have to be the typical “loud” corporate leader to be effective. In fact it can be counterproductive.
  3. Gone are the days when CEO just needs to tell people what to do in large organisations. CFOs are also expected to be more hands on and provide appropriate guidance on how things can be done.
  4. Be professional, honest, sincere and truthful to your Board management colleagues and employees.
  5. Do not hesitate to say sorry and admit your mistakes and learn from them. We are human beings after all.
  6. Focus on the job at hand and don’t worry about your next career move. Your reputation will precede you.

Final words:

  1. Work hard and work smart. Go for distinction. Pursue professional qualification.
  2. Focus on your task at hand. Do it well. Your reputation will precede you.
  3. Don’t stop learning. Use technology to your advantage.
  4. Keep innovating. Think outside the box in coming up with solution.
  5. Embrace the 3 key attributes of a good leader. Integrity. Competency and Humility.
  6. Be grateful especially to your parents.
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