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7 Questions with Alvin Chong
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7 Questions with Alvin Chong
Name: Alvin Chong
Current title: CEO and Founder
Current organisation: Hegel Ecotech Indonesia
A highly experienced Director for more than 14 years in Indonesia Sanitary Market Such as electric water heater, gas water heater, solar water heater, electronics, electrical equipment and other household appliances.
Typical of a leader who emphasizes building good relationships with all distribution networks.
currently the business that I'm in is the solar water heater business, I really care about all things related to renewable energy. One of the things that makes me love solar water heaters is because solar water heaters can provide the benefits of hot water for many people so that it helps save a lot of electricity usage.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
The most challenging being a CEO, when we are faced with a situation to unite the minds of many people in the company, so that they become a vision and mission that is in line with the Company.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I started my career in 2006 as a salesman in an Italian electric water heater company called Ferroli water heater. I started my struggle with hard work and difficulties with target pressure from the company and pressure from co-workers at my level, when they had already performed with their results, while in the first 1 to 3 months I was just learning and adjusting to the company's atmosphere. I studied and tried to follow my co-workers to the field door to door offering water heating products to the building material shops that were our distribution target. 1 - 3 months I studied, and in the end I started to get up the courage to rely on myself by trying to maintain my confidence even though I received many rejections and rejections from the building material stores.
Came to a point, I found my rhythm and high self-confidence because of my various successes in getting cooperation with various building material shops to reach more than 1000 shops, from there I started to achieve the targets that the company gave me, and even I exceeded the sales target per sales and finally 1 year later I was promoted to area manager to handle a wider distribution area in Indonesia, and the achievements that I created did not stop here, I continued to shoot and shoot to create a lot of sales and expand the distribution network in Indonesia. The area that I handled until finally running for 2 years I succeeded in shifting my GM, and I replaced him as a GM at the age of 26 in my group. My name and my actions are increasingly recognized in the world of building materials, until one day I got an investor who offered me the opportunity to become their partner to start my own business, and I built my business in the solar water heater business.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I'm used to getting up at 6 in the morning, and I start exercising for about 30 minutes, before I get ready to take a shower and help my son prepare his school materials. and after that I go to the office at 7 am. When I got to the office I checked a lot of reports from the relevant divisions and tried to start a meeting to discuss the work report on my Brand Hegel Solar product distribution. and I really like the friendly atmosphere in the work environment, so the work environment in my company is very relaxed, because I have the principle that a job with a conducive work environment will greatly improve the performance of the employees. Usually, if not in the pandemic era, maybe I will have many meetings and meet with building material store relations to maintain good relations with them. but because of the current pandemic era, we do a lot of zoom meetings with partners or related project divisions. We came home from work at 5 pm. When I get home I try to get rid of things related to work for quality time with family.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Leadership lessons that are very important and I teach a lot to my team,
A good leader is a leader who can pave the way and help his team to succeed.
Because we are in a very modern era, the role of the leader in providing examples for communication, selling skills, and the ability to build relationships with consumers is very important. Every employee needs to have a role model, so they can copy and paste.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us oleh Daniel H. Pink
In his leadership book, Daniel Pink says that good leaders don't use incentives to motivate.
At the heart of the way Daniel Pink motivates employees is with autonomy, expertise and purpose.
Autonomy is the freedom to do any project to develop their work. Gmail and Google News are one example of the results of Google employee autonomy.
Employees who are helped to have certain skills will be more motivated to do a better job than those who are ignored altogether. Sometimes training is the reason employees keep working in a company.
Everyone always wants to have a meaningful purpose in doing their work. If an employee doesn't have a goal, he or she will lose the motivation to put in more effort.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Employee retention depends heavily on employee engagement. While engagement as a whole is a large subject, there’s little debate that mastery helps drive engagement. Feeling like you’re getting better at something—it feels good, right? It makes you want to continue pushing forward, even when it’s difficult.
Contrary to popular belief, leadership is a skill. It’s something you can learn. And, in the process of learning it, you start to feel fulfillment: ‘I’m better today than I was yesterday.’
This building of leadership skills should be a more valuable, outsized focus—for both businesses and employees—because business rewards leadership more than other skills. While they’re harder to develop and more intangible to define, building them up has disproportionate rewards for employees. Businesses need leadership in spades in today’s environment.
Since the modern economy demands leadership at all levels for companies to remain competitive, it’s no surprise that increasing employees’ mastery of leadership will create a more engaged workforce.
The core competencies of leadership
When I think about leadership, I think about four core competencies. While leadership competencies will vary depending on the organization, these are generic building blocks leaders should be working with.
1. Leaders are self-aware.
Our People Management Study showed that a common characteristic among good managers is self-awareness. When I think about self-awareness, it comes down to locus of control. Is somebody not just self-aware but do they take ownership of their awareness?
2. Leaders show a true appreciation for others.
Good leaders genuinely care about the people around them. This is different than creating followership. This care is more about genuine interactions and caring about the relationships, not just what the relationships will ultimately enable them to do.
3. Leaders inspire followership.
Followership asks the question: Is this person capable of getting people to put resources and energy toward whatever goal that leader has appointed?
4. Leaders are highly competent.
Complementary to the skill of inspiring followership is competency at what they’re asking people to do. Have they mastered something, are they capable of mastering something, or are they in the process of mastering something that would allow them to effectively lead others?
Those last two attributes really depend on each other, because a leader who inspires followership but lacks competency isn’t leading people anywhere good. A leader who’s competent but doesn’t inspire followership isn’t actually leading anyone.
How to build leadership capacity at different levels
Leadership competencies don’t necessarily change at each level, although the expectation differs.
For example, an independent contributor might start developing self-awareness around what’s in their locus of control—themselves. This might be as simple as saying “um” less or identifying when they become paralyzed by overanalyzing a situation. As these independent contributors grow, that awareness will expand to include the impact those actions have. (Ex: “When I get in the grip, this is how it prevents me from making better decisions, which, in turn, prevents others from wanting to follow me.”)
Mastery needs to go up substantially as you grow in business. If you have a gaping hole in one of these areas, you won’t be successful as you grow and climb the ladder.
The good news is that practicing these self-correcting mechanisms becomes easier as you grow in leadership capacity. The process itself becomes more efficient as you go. In the beginning, it can be all-consuming to practice this kind of self-awareness and reflection, but as you grow in seniority, you’ll be able to reflect more quickly.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
A very meaningful story when I became a CEO, a very meaningful thing just happened and I feel in the current Pandemic Era. We may know if many companies are bankrupt or even struggling to get through the current economic crisis. but I am very grateful that so many employees of our company are still working with passion to help the company get through this difficult situation without them complaining at all and taking advantage of the situation to take a lot of vacations when regulations require the company to enforce WORK FROM HOME. In my heart I say that the work culture and conducive work environment that we have built so far have had a very good effect when the current situation is very difficult, the attitude of the employees is also very good, they are very concerned about the survival of their company.