A View from the Top: Eric Goh, Managing Director, EMC Corporation Singapore
By Lisa Cheong
What do you look for in young leaders?
Budding leaders should be passionate about fulfilling their aspirations as this forms the foundation from which they will draw their energy towards driving the things they set out to accomplish. They must also be willing to listen to constructive feedback, not be afraid to adopt best practices and put their words into action.
How can employees make a lasting impression on you at work?
I appreciate individuals who possess a great sense of integrity, i.e., those that do what they say they will do.
Best career advice you’ve ever received?
I hold two very sound advice close to my heart during the course of my career:
- When you ascend the ladder of success, always remember to bring someone along with you, and don’t stumble anyone if he happens to be on the same way up as you;
- Leaders should never be afraid to surround themselves with good individuals, preferably those who are more capable than themselves.
This way, they get to learn and choose from amongst the best talent.
What was your biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
The most challenging situation I’ve ever faced is always during a financial downturn and when the economy is in a constant state of flux. During these trying times, the difficulty lies in having to reduce the workforce in order to keep up the pressure of maintaining the company’s operating margin in preparation for a rebound. This is always the hardest of tasks as the consequence of my decision affects livelihoods.
What drives your motivation at work?
Talent development and bringing out the best in individuals are aspects that contribute to my motivation at work. I also derive a sense accomplishment to see my team, driven by job fulfillment and satisfaction, going the extra mile to meet the requirements of both internal and external stakeholders. Working in such a high-performing, high-energy organisation will, no doubt, push employees to excel.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I personally believe that having a servant leadership attitude is key to ensuring that employees are at the center of everything you do. If we create a conducive environment for employees to perform, spend the time to coach them, understand their motivations as well as be sincerely involved and interested in their well-being, they will give off their best to meet customers and stakeholders’ priorities and requirements. This will only strengthen the trust level between customers and the organisation, which will eventually extend the profit pools for the organisation to invest further in employee development.
Describe a typical day for you at work.
Before I start my day in the morning, I spend my time reflecting and meditating, mostly being grateful to God for the resources and strength I require to get me through the day. When I’m in the office, the better part of my day is spent on face-to-face meetings with my direct reports and cross-functional staff, as well as having business management and strategy discussions. I will also try and schedule a couple of customer and partner interactions during the day to drive business opportunities.