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7 Questions on Leadership with Duy Nguyen


Name: Duy Nguyen


Title: COO


Organisation: Dongon.vn


With over 18 years of experience managing business-critical projects, leading teams, and delivering measurable results, I am confident in my abilities to provide a level of expertise that is hard to come by.


I take pride in my capability to comprehend the business landscape and the mindset of traditional trade wholesalers and retailers in Southeast Asia. My record of success in sales and marketing speaks for itself, and I excel at building and maintaining long-lasting relationships with customers.


I am passionate about developing and implementing innovative and digital projects, specifically focusing on creating a "machine" that can sell products faster than myself. With my extensive background in:


1. Entrepreneurship

2. New business development

3. Operations management

4. Management consulting

5. Business Analysis

6. E-commerce


I am confident that I can achieve that goal.


In the short future, I aim to be an expert in Net Zeo and DMDRs (Derivatives Market Disclosure Rules) to lead my fellows to the far end.

__________________


"As COO, Duy was primarily responsible for scaling the company and reaching over $100M in sales within the first year. As a leader, it was inspiring to work with Duy and do something that had never been done before. I'd recommend Duy to anyone I know." - David Butler - ex-VP, Global Design and Innovation at the Coca-Cola Company.


Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!


I hope Duy's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Cheers,

Jonno White



1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?


1. The Art of Listening: Overcoming Communication Barriers

2. Navigating Different Leadership Styles to Build a Strong Team

3. Juggling Priorities: Balancing Work and Personal Life


2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?


I was given the opportunity to take on leadership roles in various projects and initiatives.


I was not afraid to make mistakes. I quickly took everything my boss threw at me. Why not? It's a great promotion.


I thought I would be a perfect leader immediately, and It was one painful big mistake in my career. I did not know it was important to be humble and admit when I was wrong.


I was willing to take full responsibility for my mistakes as a leader. I was so proud of my "shining" characteristic.


Therefore, I forgot to learn from my mistakes. It took me years to understand how hard it is to be a true leader.


3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?


I always pick 1 task I love to do the next morning before bed. So, I start my work day with a desire to touch something I would love to make it happen.


Then, I check my schedule for the day and fill my free slots with the prioritized tasks. I have used the Pomodoro structure (25 minutes of focus 100% on the job, then a rest of 5 minutes) to solve the issues, so I have no problem with the scheduled meeting or even emergency circumstances).


I spend a maximum of 3 hours on the highest priority task, then try to finish three jobs with lower priority that can be accomplished quickly.


If I still have free slots, I read the rest of my email in my inbox, arrange my documents on my desk and laptop, or make warm-up one-on-one conversations with my crucial staff.


Most of the time, I don't have free slots to do those fancy maintenance tasks. And I don't want to stay at the office for extra hours to finish any jobs (unless they are worth. more than 1M USD in profit and they can not wait until my next work day).


I'm back home and clear anything relating to my current job from my mind.


Enjoy family dinner with all of my family members.

Spend time with the kids's home exercises and hear their stories from school, something that they are looking forward to sharing with you,

Do some outdoor exercise with my wife, and try to make her laugh at least once


Before I go to bed, I think about what I would love to do in the morning when I wake up.


4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?


One day, I gave a guy under me an impossible task. He could not accomplish the task for sure. So, I had a reasonable reason to fire him. The true story behind this shit was that I needed to cut the operation cost by firing him to ensure I had enough funds to maintain the rest of the team.


I still feel guilty about him until now. But I did not regret the action and decision on that day. As a leader, you must make a shitty decision for the less-bad-result. Yes, and from that day, I became a true leader.


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?


The Art of Delegation: Maximize Your Time, Leverage Others, and Instantly Increase Profits - By Charles C. Malone


I used to be a micromanager. I thought that I had to do everything myself in order to get it done right. This was a huge mistake. I was constantly stressed out and overworked, and my team was underutilized.


"The Art of Delegation" changed my life. Malone taught me that delegation is not about giving away work. It is about empowering others to take on responsibility and achieve their full potential.


I started by delegating small tasks to my team members. I was surprised at how well they performed. They were eager to learn new things and take on more responsibility.


As I became more comfortable delegating, I started to delegate more important tasks. I found that I was able to focus on more strategic work when I wasn't bogged down by administrative tasks.


6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?


Responsibility is yours and yours only. Reward and Result belong to the team and team only. Step down from the leader position if you can not accept this rule.


Giving out the order by asking for help from your staff.


Training your team skills by learning their practical experiences.


7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?


All the key persons under my leadership always told me the same thing when we reunited after several years of separation.


"Bro, you are my greatest leader and teacher so far. I started understanding your lessons when I moved up in the new environment."


So far, those complimentary are my true medals of honor.

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