"Before shadowing Tian Chong (we address him as TC) during the CEOx1Day program, I had several thoughts regarding leadership, and HP, in general. Throughout most of my working experiences, I have been surrounded by leaders who came from diverse backgrounds, mostly from the startups and technology industry, and who have worked in multiple companies prior to ascending into their current position. This gave me an insight that in order for one to be a good leader, they must have multiple diverse leadership experiences in varied companies, and that growing in only one firm will limit one's leadership potential and growth. Hence, entering this program and understanding TC's background and profile in HP, where he worked for over 20 years, I was very keen to find out more about his motivation, passion, and what about HP made him stay for an extended period of time.
I felt how TC interacted with his staff was very relaxed and respectful. TC also focuses on internal growth and culture, and motivates his team towards a common mission, which I find to very insightful. As I am currently the President of The Investment Banking Club (NTU), I saw many similarities regarding how HP and TC deals with external naysayers, to how IBC navigates around competition and conflicts. TC's leadership showed me that the success of a company, or a school club, is very much determined by the success, well-being and happiness of its employees, and also that external noise and naysayers are secondary to an organization's objectives. Having a strong internal belief and focus, while guiding a team towards a shared vision and goal, is what makes HP the successful company it is today.
What also surprised me was that even for the President of Asia Pacific, or the Managing Director of Singapore, all of them had open desks - meaning that they did not have their own private room. In fact, their seats and desks were the same as those of any employee. This told me a lot about the HP culture, and what it values. Having a flat hierarchy and collaborative, open working culture, is a key reason for its successes and innovations in this age."