Last Saturday morning, I clicked on the Freakonomics podcast and started my run down Orchard Road. The title “Why Hate the Koch Brothers (Part 1)” caught my attention. Two things interested me: (1) Was there more than one reason to dislike the Koch Brothers? and (2) Why exactly are the Koch Brothers so well-known? I knew that the brothers used their wealth to influence politics, and I wanted to know more.
Freakonomics’ host, Stephen J Dubner, always has a unique spin on the topics he covers. As I listened, Koch told the story of his family immigrating from The Netherlands. Koch told the story of taking over his father’s business as his health declined. Then Koch said this: “What I love is innovation, finding new ways to create value.” That line has stayed with me. At 81, Koch no longer needs to work (his net worth is just shy of US$50 billion) but the reason he gets up in the morning is to create value. Me too.
Recently I attended a branding class hosted by a director of digital marketing. While the class was packed with insights and things I had never thought of, two tips have stuck with me:
- Avoid the ‘I’ syndrome: rather than rattle off what you can do for someone, why not ask questions about the issues they’re facing.
- Be thankful: thank your audience, the people who read and interact with you in real life and on social media, your colleagues, your family, the barista who makes your latte.
W.H. Auden once said, “Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.”
Going forward, let us make it a goal—and a routine— to create value with our ideas and innovations, and to act from a place of helping others.
That’s our aim this month on HQ Asia where we’ll be sharing articles on diversity, leadership journeys and research-based articles that can help you be a better leader. Is there a topic you'd like us to cover? If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
Some highlights from June that are worth a revisit:
- Corporate Responsibility with Ajay Banga, CEO of Mastercard
- Are You Ready to be an Entrepreneur?
- How to Mitigate Risk in a Family-Owned Business
- How to Foster Company Culture During a Merger
My heartfelt thanks for reading!