I came to the Asia Pacific leaders meeting with high expectations, hoping that by the end of the third day we can have a tangible and down-to-earth action plan to build the path to be the number one in this business. This was my first meeting with 10 other Asia Pacific ‘tribe heads’, sector development leaders, and three Asia Pacific top management and support team – Hern, Tamas, Connie, Alex, I, Anuchit, Simon, Sridhar, Wendy, Charlotte, Chris, Reiji, Roland, Ian and Serene. Yasuyo and Allura had to excuse themselves with regrets due to some personal matters.
Reiji opened this meeting with his view and direction on sector development – we have to gain the first position; it’s not good to be number 2 or 3 in this business. Helen was our facilitator during the first two days of strategic meeting.
We had a full 9-to-5:30 agenda during Aug 16 to 18. I will not elaborate the sessions and what we have discussed and agreed upon. However, I felt a bit disappointment because I didn’t get what I expected out of this meeting. The meeting had the high points though – at least we managed to gain knowledge of competitive landscape in Asia Pacific, provided honest look at ourselves and our peers, took any criticism well and not to put walls of defensiveness and ignorance. I learnt a lot during these 3 days including corporate politics.
Alex was my dinner companion during the first two evenings – first we tried homemade noodle restaurant about 10-minute walk from the hotel, then we tried a Shanghai-style restaurant. I liked the homemade noodle better, the noodle was so soft and the soup was very tasty.
I was really exhausted by the end of the third day. I just wanted to find some time to chill out immediately. But, I still had one big issue I had to resolve with this regional person. Well, I could tell this person was on defensive… just when I opened my mouth to talk about this issue he raised his voice and started to attack me. I might be a rookie in this business but I am not a rookie in business culture. Can you believe a westerner leave you in the middle of discussion without saying something like ‘excuse me’? I tried to be calm. I just need to have a good resolution not another useless fight. I will make sure some people especially the top management would know about this matter soon – a support function team should have a good customer service attitude and not a bossy attitude.
I checked out from the hotel around 7 at night. I arrived at my sister’s apartment about thirty minutes later. I could hear my nephew Matthew shouted my name loudly and repeatedly *smile*. My sister has not returned from the office yet. I soon unpacked my things and took a bath. Afterwards, I played around with my two kurcaci, Amanda (nicknamed Mandy) and Matthew. I showed them the things I brought for them and among other things is congklak (an Indonesian traditional game board for children). I love them very much. It seems all weariness just dissipated right away.
I had dinner and chitchat with my sister and on the background the chirping voice of Mandy and Matthew made me felt that I was really at home. I felt so blessed to be surrounded by the family I love.