Unicorn startups create the world’s youngest billionaires at present. Still, the admiration goes to those who managed to stay on top for so many years.
Between the old and the new, the easier choice would be to listen to those whose careers span almost a century.
Take, for example, Teo Siong Seng, the chairman of Pacific International Lines Pte Ltd. His father’s words were what kept him grounded during the most trying time in his leadership.
Teo is one of the 14 children of Chang Yun Chung, who Forbes listed in March as the oldest billionaire. He has a net worth of $1.9 billion at the age of 99.
Chang was born in 1918 which makes him 100 years old today. He founded Pacific International Lines in 1967 but already passed the leadership to his son in March. Still, the Singaporean billionaire visits the office every day. With him is a diary where he writes down all his daily activities to keep his mind active.
When Teo accepted the responsibility, he embarked on a journey of guiding a company which is among the world’s top 20. He found himself herding the company’s 18,000 employees.
Patience is one problem that Teo said he has been working on as a middle-aged executive. He was known among his workers as one tough leader. He even described himself as bad-tempered.
“But my father taught me one thing, in Chinese, it’s ‘yi de fu ren’ — that means you want people to obey you, not because of your authority, not because of your power, or because you are fierce, but more because of your integrity, your quality, that people actually respect you and listen to you,” Teo told CNBC in an interview earlier in December.
His father’s lesson proved to be effective when as a managing director Teo had to negotiate with pirates who held the crew of one of the company’s ships hostage in 2009. The hijacking took place off the coast of East Africa and Teo had to endure 75 days of negotiations for the crew’s released. Staying calm was the one thing that made him committed to bringing back his employees to their families.
Indeed, in Chang’s long years in the business industry, he said he never lose his temper.
“When you lose your temper, you just cannot control yourself,” he said.
The oldest billionaire also values hard work and honesty. For him, honesty is given to everyone no matter what their places in society. What he promised, he fulfills whether it be for his superiors or for his employees.
These are the same values that Chang carried with him when he started his career in the Singapore shipping industry for the first time in 1949. It was his hard work that brought him to Singapore as a Chinese immigrant who graduated from the Xiamen Datung College. It was his patience and honesty that guided him through the 18 years of being an employee for another company. It took him jobs after jobs, one company after another before he was able to build his own. And the rest, so they say, is history.
Top 5 strategies to boost your business in the post-pandemic world
Businesses around the world have suffered because of the pandemic, regardless if they were small companies or large ones. In...
The demand rebound in the commodities market is still not here
Palm Oil closed higher. Demand reports from the private surveyors are stronger this month. Production ideas are turning seasonally higher...
Is Asia on its way to conquer the global hemp market?
Now that commercial hemp cultivation and CBD production is already booming in China and the first countries in the region...
Ethereum registered new all-time high in daily transactions – DeFi as driver
DeFi has helped to strengthen Ethereum's dominance since it has become an important part of the crypto sector. Every week,...
Kard raises €3 million and changes its business model to become profitable
Kard, the neobank for teenagers has just raised $3.5 million (€3 million) to expand its range of services and deploy...
Featured6 days ago
Top 5 digital banking ideas from today’s most innovative fintech companies
Cannabis5 days ago
First harvest of German medical cannabis is likely to be delayed again
Featured6 days ago
2020 TSX30™ confirms durability of market trends: where to invest now?
Featured5 days ago
The fintech sector in Italy is small but has high potential to support the economy