Not many people know that I was an Instructor during my National Service days.
For the uninitiated, all able-bodied males in Singapore have to serve in the armed forces (The Army, Navy or the Police) for at least 2 years usually before they head-off to college or university.
As a senior instructor in the Army, I had the privilege of picking my co-trainers.
So I decided to approach one of the junior instructors to ask if he will join my team.
His answer was a firm “NO! You always pull rank!”
I was shocked.
I was hurt.
And I was confused.
What was wrong with using my rank to get things done?
But that was the TURNING POINT in my life.
After I joined the Corporate world, I set out to change my leadership style.
I read voraciously on leadership and motivation.
Bit by bit I put into practice what I learned on leadership and motivation.
One day I was asked to build up a regional team in Asia Pacific.
I switched from being COERCIVE and COMMANDING, to being AFFILIATIVE and DEMOCRATIC.
Eventually I built a regional team so cohesive that we achieved 0% attrition rate; hit almost 100% of all KPIs; and almost 100% engagement rate.
Over 10 straight years!
I don’t remember his name. But I still remember how he looks like.
And if I see him one day, I will thank him for making me who I am today.
So what kind of leader are you?
If you would like to find out how you can be a better leader, check this out: Leadership Style Questionnaire