03 September 2014

How Many Bosses Will Do Like This Man...?

GIC chief takes MRT to work, shuns the corporate high life 
Spore's GIC chief takes MRT to work! Despite hefty pay, Lim Siong Guan shuns the corporate high life
He may be the group president of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, but Mr Lim Siong Guan rides the MRT to work. He alights at Raffles Place, then walks about 20 minutes to GIC's office in Robinson Road for the exercise.
If he needs a postage stamp or has any errand of a personal nature, he queues for it himself instead of bothering his secretary.
His yearly tour of GIC overseas offices since 2007 - four days around the world: Singapore, San Francisco, New York, London, Singapore; and another four days around Asia: Singapore, Mumbai, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore - is the stuff of corporate legend.
He does not book a single hotel room, sleeps on the plane, refuses a corporate limousine and insists on public transport. He lives out of a small carry-on bag and showers in GIC office gyms. The London office keeps a spare towel for him.
It is a practice the former chairman of the Economic Development Board says he picked up from his EDB days of city-hopping as "check-in luggage increases very significantly the chances of missing connecting flights".
By all accounts, Mr Lim is an iconoclast. The former head of the Singapore civil service, who served as permanent secretary in the ministries of Defence, Education and Finance, and in the Prime Minister's Office, is also a hard act to follow.
He sticks out in the financial sector because of his ascetic values, thrift and humility. He owns a Volvo S60, easily the smallest car among his colleagues.
While he won't spend on hotel rooms, he's prepared to spend a lot to effect organisational change. Everywhere he goes, he ignites a mini revolution, cutting red tape, operating close to the boundaries and bucking conventions.
His pet phrase is: "Are we ready for the future?" His pet name is Yoda, for his wisdom, long-range thinking and fearlessness in challenging his staff to think, even ahead of their ministers.
He is also known as one of the toughest - because of his formidable intellect and unbending principle - yet nicest bosses to work for in the civil service. His top question to staff is always: "How can I help you do your job better?"
He minimises it all, ascribing it to his yearning for "simplicity" and to "experience what ordinary people have to experience". 
Full article: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=352082:spores-gic-chief-takes-mrt-to-work-despite-hefty-pay-lim-siong-guan-shuns-the-corporate-high-life&Itemid=3#ixzz3CE4TTTET


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