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7 Questions on Leadership with Harvey Grewal

Name: Harvey Grewal

Title: Co-Founder & President

Oranisation: Hagmak Consulting

Results-driven leader with a positive attitude and passion for providing high-quality advice and guidance to clients. Proven ability to identify customer needs, resolve conflicts and build strong relationships. Possesses excellent problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills. Detail-oriented team player with strong organizational skills. Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously with a high degree of accuracy.

Organized and dependable candidate successful at managing multiple priorities with a positive attitude. Willingness to take on added responsibilities to meet team goals. With more than 30 years of experience in successfully delivering numerous large scale greenfield and brownfield infrastructure projects. Helping organizations improve their operations and increase their overall efficiency and profitability by successful implementation and management of supply chain and logistics systems.

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

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


Jonno White

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

Being relevant and staying ahead of the curve. Thinking out of the box is easier said than done, it is a consistent work in progress day in day out.

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

Walking the road less travelled. Embracing new challenges head on delivering results made my supervisors believe in me to take on more ambitious projects. It was my first major upgrade project in HP Printing Cartridge production line with a daily production capacity of 100K cartridges per day. The project was to upgrade the obsolete PLC with new ones and downtime was 48 hrs to achieve the objective. It was an ambitious project to gut out the existing wiring and replace with the new wiring and PLC. I was the lead PM and programmer and everything was progressing timely and we completed the wiring and installation by mid day on the 1st day and started the commissioning process and hit a glitch in the process stabilization. I focused on resolving the issue without realizing I had gone a full 30 hrs without sleep. Upon top management insistence to get rest I went home showered and tried to sleep but kept thinking on how to resolve the lingering process issue. Since I was working against a deadline to get the equipment up, I returned to the project well rested, full of vigor and with a fresh mind. I had finally resolved the issue and the equipment was released for production well within the planned downtime. My dedication and professionalism toward my project and work impressed the management and they entrusted me with leadership to bring process knowledge from the HQ in Corvalis, Oregon (USA) to Singapore and train the rest.

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

Evening prior I'll check my calendar for the planned meetings for the coming day and ensure that I am updated of the material of discussion. Morning starts with a brisk walk and some light stretching, shower followed by a breakfast. I read emails and check messages once every hour as it is more productive that way. Meetings and networking take up most of my time. Making sure to cycle a minimum of 20 KM twice and swim 1 KM once a week. Evenings are filled with family time with early dinner together. Take out time for listening to music and read articles on 5 different topics. Meditate before sleeping.

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

Certain things take longer than usual to come about be patient and have faith in yourself. Life is a journey which needs to be enjoyed and appreciated with loved ones.

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?

Hagakure is a book of samurai wisdom written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, a clerk who served during the age of the Samurai underneath Nabeshima Mitsushige12. It is a collection of thoughts and sayings recorded over a period of seven years, and as such covers a wide variety of subjects, often in no particular sequence. The book gives insight and instruction in the philosophy and code of behavior that foster the true spirit of Bushido - the Way of the Warrior.

“Sincerity does not only complete the self; it is the means by which all things are completed. As the self is completed, there is human-heartedness; as things are completed, there is wisdom. This is the virtue of one’s character, and the Way of joining the internal and external. Thus, when we use this, everything is correct.”

― Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

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

Never settle! Keep reminding yourself to never get comfortable. Change is the only constant. Real growth is outside your comfort zone.

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

It was 2019 and I had just moved to the Philippines to take over a first ever ASRS Cold Storage project in the country as the COO and had the cards stacked against me. I had to build a team to deliver 2 fully functional facilities with pressing timeline and budget. It was a uphill battle but I did not lose focus of my objectives being away from family and loved ones in new country with its unfamiliar traditions and customs. But i accepted the challenge in front of me and plodded through making progress. Delivered the 1st facility successfully in Nov 2019 and got the new team to start operating it and Covid hit us hard in Mar 2020 and all works came to grinding halt on the second facility with whole world going into a lockdown. It was challenging with all the logistical nightmares with world-wide restrictions managed to successfully deliver the second facility in Nov 2021 against all odds. Which allowed us to help distribute the Covid Vaccine through both our facilities.

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