Building People: Sunday Emails from a CEO


Quotes from Liew Mun Leong

"Reputation and trust are very important hallmarks of our company. We must always preserve them as part of our competitive edge."

"Our business leaders must never slip into what I call 'maintenance management' mode and mindset. It is like running on a treadmill and not going anywhere forward. A growth company needs growth business leaders, not 'maintenance' managers."

"Our mission is to 'Build People'. The main 'heavy lifting' is to train, develop and groom our young talent to be the ...

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Quotes from Liew Mun Leong

"Reputation and trust are very important hallmarks of our company. We must always preserve them as part of our competitive edge."

"Our business leaders must never slip into what I call 'maintenance management' mode and mindset. It is like running on a treadmill and not going anywhere forward. A growth company needs growth business leaders, not 'maintenance' managers."

"Our mission is to 'Build People'. The main 'heavy lifting' is to train, develop and groom our young talent to be the Group's future leaders."

"I strongly feel that if we have no passion for people, we can't build the right team spirit to succeed."

"Integrity, honour, fairness, a sense of responsibility to the community and treating people well are all core values promoted by CapitaLand. They serve as a moral compass for our conduct throughout our careers."

"There is a concise explanation of management and leadership. Simply put, management is about doing things right, leadership is about doing the right things."

"Building people is our central business strategy. Human resource management must be the priority of our business leaders. We will invest heavily in our people to help them develop into productive and talented human capital. We will treat them with the same importance as the other assets on our balance sheet. We must care for them not only in relation to their work, but also look after their general welfare."

"No matter how tough it is, be positive and enjoy your work. If you have a healthy body and mind, you will definitely do better at your job."

"An organisation needs something beyond money and contractual employment to bind the company, its shareholders and its people to make lives more meaningful. We need to build a 'soul' in the company. CapitaLand Hope Foundation has come to embody our 'soul'."

"CEOs set the tone at the top, and nothing is more important than leadership and ethics. CEOs and business leaders must accept responsibility and ensure that there is no erosion of business ethics and values in the activities under their watch."

"Human resources are not human capital unless and until we successfully invest in them."

"Don't label your role boring; it is your job to make it interesting."

"'Bright eyes and bushy tails' are not good enough."

"CapitaLand needs a strong human spirit and a soul so that it can remain truly caring to its people and to the society that we live in."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118469422
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/17/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Liew Mun Leong is the Founding President and CEO of CapitaLand Group, which he helmed from November 2000 to 31 December 2012. Prior to that, he joined Pidemco Land as its President in 1996. Pidemco Land merged with DBS Land to form CapitaLand in November 2000.

Mun Leong is currently Director of CapitaLand's philanthropic arm, CapitaLand Hope Foundation. He is also Chairman of Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Chairman of Surbana Consultants Holdings, as well as Director of Singapore Exchange Limited (listed on the SGX-ST) and Singapore China Foundation Ltd.

In 2011, Mun Leong was conferred the Meritorious Service Medal at the Singapore National Day Awards 2011 for his chairmanship of the Changi Airport Group, in recognition of his outstanding contributions in public service and community work in Singapore. He was also named one of the top 25 most powerful businesspeople in Asia by Fortune magazine as well as Best CEO in Singapore by FinanceAsia that year. In 2008, Mun Leong was named Asia's Best Executive of 2008 (Singapore) by Asiamoney and Best CEO in Asia (Property) by Institutional Investor. He was conferred the CEO of the Year Award (for firms with a market value of S$500 million or more) at the Singapore Corporate Awards 2007 ceremony and in 2006, he was named Outstanding CEO of the Year during the Singapore Business Awards. In 2012, he was conferred the Outstanding PR Champion Award by the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore (IPRS).

Mun Leong graduated from the University of Singapore with a Civil Engineering degree and is a registered professional civil engineer.

This book, available in English and Chinese, is the third volume of a compilation of Sunday emails to his colleagues. The first two volumes were translated into Chinese and Vietnamese.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Our Competition 1

1. The Competition CapitaLand is Facing 3

2. Are We Competitive and Combative Enough? 9

3. Obama Concedes that China’s Railways and Singapore’s Airport are Better than the US’ 15

4. “If You are a Pretty Girl, There Will Always Be a Long Queue for You” 19

5. Are We Still Ahead of the Curve? 24

6. Are We Product-Focused and Product-Driven Enough? 29

7. Lessons from Chinese New Year! 37

8. There is No Such Thing as an Uncommunicative CEO 41

Chapter 2: Our People 47

9. Young Turks and Silver Hairs 49

10. The War for Talent—Pull or Push Factors 56

11. “Man is Truly Great When He Acts from Passion” 65

12. “Bright Eyes and Bushy Tails” are Not Good Enough 73

13. What Should “Apprentice Executives” Do to Succeed in CapitaLand? 80

14. Effective Managers and Strong Pragmatic Leaders! 87

15. Notice of Leaving CapitaLand in One Year’s Time 93

16. There are No Bad Workers, Only Ineffective Supervisors 96

17. Why CLIMB in CapitaLand? Converting Human Resources to Human Capital 101

Chapter 3: Our Corporate Culture 111

18. Ten Corporate Principles of CapitaLand 113

19. What Say You? 118

20. Talk to Your Bosses! 125

21. An Unexpected Year-End Lesson 130

22. The Very Best Thing for a Person is Health 134

23. CapitaLand Wear Less Day & Green Reward 140

24. B20 Summit and Anti-Corruption Group 145

25. Chongqing Dog 150

26. Again, Can We Manage Our Mobile Phones with Discipline? 154

27. The “Soul” of CapitaLand 160

28. Stay True to Our Core Values, Always! 167

29. “A Simple Life”: A Loaded Message on Values 172

Chapter 4: Our Strategy 177

30. To The Next Ten! 179

31. Project FOT—Our Corporate Strategies 186

32. Synergy with Surbana, the One Million Homes Developer 192

33. Some Personal Thoughts on the General Election (GE) 198

34. Lessons from the General Election (GE) 205

35. Managing the Fourth Economic Crisis 212

36. CNBC’s Managing Asia with Christine Tan 220

37. Climbing the Hierarchy of Needs through the Arts 237

My Last Sunday Email to Bid You Goodbye 245


38. The Wall Street Journal Asia, 19 March 2012 - Managing in Asia: CapitaLand Sees Plenty of Spark in China 255

39. Jinghua Times, 26 August 2011 - The China Market Has Bubbles but Will Not Break 260

40. The Straits Times, 28 August 2010 - Silver-haired but Highly Treasured 268

41. Bloomberg, 23 May 2012 - CapitaLand CEO Calls Shoebox Flats Inhuman 275

Index 279

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