Hsieh Hu Fua, CEO of the Singapore Stock Exchange, and Owen Ow, CEO Yeo Hiap Seng (Malaysia) Bhd, were guest speakers at the 13th Edition of CEO Unplugged at the NUS Business School.
The 2007 edition of CEO Unplugged may have started off on a low-note, when we heard that Mr. Jonathan Larsen, CEO, Citibank Singapore would not be joining the event, but once things got started, we were completely captivated by what we heard from the other two CEO guest speakers. Everyone in the audience, who I am sure each cherished a dream of becoming a CEO, was all ears.
Mr. Hsieh Hu Fua, CEO SGX (Singapore Stock Exchange), was the first to get unplugged. In case you are wondering about ‘unplugged’, this event was formatted like the Oprah Show. So, it was more of a personal interaction as an individual, than about vision, mission and strategy. Mr. Hsieh started off in a very interesting note about his first class at the NUS Business School long time ago. This was about modeling the entire management theory using cycling as an analogy. His lecturer spoke about balance, coordination, moving ahead and all other aspects, he said. Interestingly, he left his first class with a negative impression of what lay ahead. Mr. Hsieh kept the audience in a lighter mood all the time. He spoke about how critical it is to be a global person and become a part of the global talent pool which is what companies look for these days. While revealing himself as a lazy person who never had a long-term plan for himself, he was being very frank and laid the connecting platform really well. He mentioned that his greatest fear would be letting down people. His experiences during the early days and the struggles he had gone through carried a strong message to the audience as did his firm note on ‘never-say-die’ attitude which he said is needed for any CEO.