Name: John Yip
Title: President CEO
Organisation: Ever Wonder Solutions
Professional Summary: John is a seasoned banker and business leader with 30 years of industry experience in law, investment banking, and wholesale banking. He is known for his exceptional strategic thinking abilities, organizational strength, and determination to attain target deliverables even in challenging circumstances. He has held leadership positions with strategic management and P&L responsibilities early on in his career and has demonstrated an inclusive leadership approach that has contributed to the success of the teams he has led. John has a strong understanding of digitization and has used his knowledge and experience in digital marketing to stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing financial landscape.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope John's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Managing and constantly motivating people whom you have hired
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
By accident, I was the hardest working chap when I was still wet behind my ears working my butt off as a struggling frontline investment banker
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Work plan is worked out before going to sleep the night before. There will always be detour to the work plan, most of the time.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Remember the cat and the tiger story? The cat taught the tiger lots of skills, hard skills and soft skills. One day the tiger decided to eat the cat. Fortunate for the cat, the cat climbed up the tree and the tiger was left howling under the tree. The cat said to the tiger, I did not teach you the last trick of the book, the survival skill that I have. The moral of the story is no amount of goodwill can keep your peers and colleagues aligned to your aspirations and goals and by that work together towards common prosperity. Along the way, there will be betrayal as humans are taken by quick and easy way to attain financial success. The moral of the story is not to be too trusting and always keep the ace card up your sleeve for survival.
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?
I do not believe in reading books about leadership. Leadership is never learned by reading and through academic pursuit. Leadership is truly savoured by trial and error experiment. The school of hard knocks can harden ones resolve and sharpen ones wisdom in dealing with leadership issues whenever leadership roles are tossed upon oneself.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Be true to yourself. Leadership is not about creating a master and servant relationship. Neither is leadership about creating power and distance so that a leader can be aggrandised. Jesus Christ, my saviour had provided a good example to emulate. Humility and others before self are virtues that need to be applied in the exercise of leadership power and responsibilities. Yes, remember the cat and tiger story I just relayed. Always keep an ace card up your sleeves when you have to lead for whatever reasons.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
The story of Lee Kuan Yew and how he whipped his fellow countrymen into readiness to out pace and out wit Singapore's bigger and much better resources endowed neighbours into becoming the economic power in Asia. In short, the leader's ability to structure a narrative and message such narrative into harnessing the strength and subdue the weakness of his governed subjects, can work wonders in turning around situations of despair and hopelessness into euphoric moments of success when the competition for survival is upended merely by the powers of belief and focused action in realisation.