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7 Questions with Wong Kin Tung
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Wong Kin Tung
Name: Wong Kin Tung
Current title: Chief Operating Officer & Principal
Current organisation: UCSI Schools Springhill Campus, Malaysia
Wong has been the Head of the National School at Tenby Schools Ipoh, a well-established international school in Perak, Malaysia and has held various teaching and leadership roles including Deputy Head of School and Head of Department. He has served as a Secondary History Teacher, school improvement team leader and vertical leader, leading the School for 11 years. He was also appointed to be the Mentor Teacher for the delivery of the Cambridge Professional Qualification in Teaching and Learning to help teachers develop their professional thinking and practice. Prior to joining UCSI Schools Group as COO and Principal of UCSI Springhill Campus, Wong opened a new chapter in the history of Ipoh, Perak as the Chief Executive and Founding Principal in setting up the Imperial International School, the first of the newly established Imperial Education Group of Schools under the HCK Group, an experienced education provider that is affiliated to SEGi University & Colleges. He led the School in stages of the process to be an approved Cambridge School with Cambridge Assessment International Education and joining the global network of Cambridge schools offering Cambridge education programmes. Wong is a Life Member of the Queen’s University of Belfast Alumni Association Malaysia.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
As one progresses and responsibilities increase, the scope and focus of what they lead broaden exponentially. Therefore, a work life balance will be a challenge.
Do not have enough time to do everything while setting the framework and at the same time to build up the culture and values in my team.
Being a leader, we don’t just do things, we change things.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
It wasn’t my choice at all. It happened as a result of trust from my former line managers. Then, it leads to good records, reputation, trust and leadership style.
Being an executive is not about title or the role, it is about being a role model for my team members to help them learn and be the best at what their focus areas are. Everyone who has the right attitude will achieve great results.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
A cup of coffee at 6.00 am during work days. I do not believe in crazy work-hours. After office working hours, I will not be touching any work-related matters!
Have a great dinner and a glass of wine especially during weekends.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Although being a leader is not within my traditional comfort zone, it has been a hugely rewarding experience. Leadership is an attitude and it is not dependent on the role you are at nor related to age. Just being at the top does not make you a leader too.
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?
Hersey-Blanchard’s Situational Leadership. There is no single leadership style that is better than another. Successful leaders are those who can adapt their behaviour to meet the demands of their unique situation.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Be firm, fair and transparent in making decisions. Trustworthy leaders are genuine people. I do not hide my beliefs or behave differently in order to exercise my authority.
Very often, I like to build leaders around me especially when talents are found. I do not micromanage from time to time, but I give free hands, total freedom and opportunities to my team to shine and to let them know what their goal to achieve is and guide them along the journey and let them feel the self-achievements.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see.
Everyone matters for running an organisation successfully, even a cleaning staff or a gardener.