Listen to Kong
[Photo of Francis Kong]
Award-winning author Francis Kong
shares modern business techniques - and a dollop of humo - with the Chinese-Filipino Business Club
"What's the difference between a boss and time?"
asked this question before a puzzled crowd of around 500 businessmen, employees, educators, and students at a recent leadership seminar in Binondo hosted by the Chinese-Filipino Business Club
Indeed, what keeps Kong
busy these days are his
Chinese paisanos (compatriots) wishing to learn modern techniques in running their businesses.
have it that Kong
is fully booked till 2009 with the country's top companies to give leadership seminars for managers and employees.
Kong, president and CEO of Funworks Inc., among other business concerns, surely has a lot to tell colleagues about the pitfalls of traditional Tsinoy management.
Most of his
management prowess was learned in the hard-knocks garments industry back when it topped the country's exports.
Another thing Kong
belied is the traditional belief that if you taught your best employee the secrets of the trade, you would be digging your business' grave.
You'd wake up one morning to see your right-hand man setting up shop right in front of you, applying a better version of your strategy to his
own business, and being your staunch competitor.
said, is an old, backward, reactionary belief that should be discarded.
said modern Tsinoys should apply a more Western approach to succession, by building second-liners and nurturing their loyalty.
Instead of guarding trade secrets, he
encouraged bosses to share them with subordinates who sought out their wisdom.
Impart knowledge to the next generation, he
reminded the audience the old masters actually did it right.
They handed down knowledge and education from one generation to the next, loyalty being a byproduct of this generosity.
If those you nurtured one day tried to make their mark with their own businesses and profit from your teaching, wish them luck, Kong
told the audience.
Society will have a way of rewarding you.
No Sacred Cows
[Photo of Francis Kong]
Part of the Kong's trademark is his
willingness to question everything in his
discussions, even himself.
said even speakers like him may not teach the right things.
admonished businessmen to not only keep an open mind, for that won't be enough, but to also think critically.
also had a bone to pick with hypersensitivity, a trait common to both Filipinos and Chinese, businessman or not.
said hypersensitivity retards critical thinking and, therefore, hinders progress.Put yourself in a state of disbelief, Kong
advised, but welcome truth when it presents itself to you.
Manage Systems, Lead People
Leaders are made, but first they have to be born, Kong
A leader is made two ways, he
Some are born leaders, like the Dalai Lama.
But if you looked at how businesses were run in the last century, Kong
said, emphasis was placed on management - the implementation of systems to run industries.
In essence, it was the businessmen - not the unions - who spurred the labor movement, Kong
"Management is all about production and control," he
"We are not here to produce products," Kong
reminded the businessmen.