Philosophies shared at HKBN
Besides getting a chance to look under the hood of a leading company, the two students who shadowed Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) CEO William Yeung also got to see Yeung's leadership philosophy in action.
Ritchie Wong Lik-chi, who is studying a BA English Studies and BEd (Hons) English Language Education programme at Chinese University, and Charles Chiu Chun-ting, a Bachelor of Business Administration (Law) student at the University of Hong Kong, spent three days with the HKBN boss early last month. "They had the opportunity to find out about our company, the broadband services we provide to the residential and enterprise markets, and also about our competition," Yeung says.
Days one and three, in particular, gave the pair an overview of how the business works, but they spent time with Yeung throughout. "They joined me for meetings, including with our sales and marketing teams and with the internal quality improvement team, and I stayed behind afterwards to debrief them. At the end of each day, I met with them and they gave me feedback. I asked them questions and then I explained how I saw things.
"I think they found this very valuable, but in return, I think I also gained something, because I could find out what youngsters like them are looking for and what they are expecting as broadband customers."
There were some surprises along the way for both students and CEO. "They asked me a lot about how to run a company, the role of a CEO - and one of them asked me to compare myself to Ricky Wong, the boss of HKTV," Yeung adds with a chuckle.
At least one element in Yeung's leadership credo - which he sums up with the acronym GOD - gave the students pause for thought. "G stands for 'give', O stands for 'objectivity', and D stands for 'daddy'. No matter what level of leadership you're at, if you want to make an impact, you'd better try to give instead of take. As for objectivity, I just reminded them that if they become a leader in future, they should always remember they have two ears and one mouth. That means that two-thirds of their time should be spent listening.
"The D for daddy simply refers to one's life-work priorities. No matter what career you're in, no matter how high you want to aim or how much money you want to earn, don't forget family comes first and your career second. They were a bit surprised about this last one, because they thought a CEO would be having many, many meetings during the day and work late into the night, but that is not the case.'"
Yeung was impressed by Wong and Chiu. "They were much better than some university students I have met in terms of maturity and their willingness to learn."