Creating Wealth is a Team Sport

by Patrick Liew on August 20, 2019

Creating Wealth is a Team Sport

There was one moment that will always be etched in my mind.

A large boardroom.

Lots of files and documents on the table.

Around the table were some of the smartest professionals in the business world.

There was total silence.

All eyes were on me.

We had put in more than 12 months of hard work to prepare for our company’s listing on the securities exchange.

All the grounds have been covered.

Changes and improvements were made.

There was nothing else – at least in our minds – that needed to be done.

We had filed our application to the relevant authorities and regulators.

We were waiting for the “Committee” of the securities exchange to deliberate over our application.

We had expected them to give us the final approval that fateful day.

I had planned to take a holiday break the next day. I needed to release the stress and strains that have been accumulated for a long time.

I wanted to recharge myself.

I aimed to come back and create the best future for my company and myself.

Our banker stepped into the room with a surprising announcement.

“The ‘Committee’ cannot come to a decision. They will review it again tomorrow.”

If hearts falling to the ground can be heard, there would be a loud thud.

After a moment of uncomfortable silence, I told everybody, “Let’s go home. We have had a very long day. There’s nothing much we can do right now.”

That evening, I spent the time going through my life.

I started to review myself, “Did I do something wrong?”

“Is there something about me that has caused the delay or worst, rejection?”

I searched my heart and went through almost every area of my life.

My past floated through my mind.

I also thought about my present and future.

In case you need to know, my worries were unnecessary.

On the very next day, almost right from the start of the working day, we were told that our company has been approved to become a public-listed company.

When I reflected on this and other similar experiences, I realized that wealth-creation, like many important aspects of life, is a team sports.

All great businesses depend on great leaders and teamwork.

Ultimately, it’s the people in your business that makes your business works.

To succeed, there are eight critical success factors that should and must be learned, developed, and practised to build a great organization.

These eight factors should be executed by not only the leader but also every member of the team.

1. Cause

Every key stakeholder, including your employee knows that he has only one short life to live.

There’s no dress rehearsal and no way to repeat a live performance in the drama of life.

Therefore, he wants to make full use of his life and live for a compelling purpose.

In the process of running a business, give your people an electrifying cause to live for throughout their lives.

The more electrifying the cause, the more they will devote their heart, mind, and soul to fulfill the cause.

To do so, your business should exist for a purpose that’s meaningful, significant and impactful.

When you communicate the purpose of your business, your message should not only appeal to the mind.

It should also be heart-moving and gut-stirring to gain buy-in, support, and active participation from targeted stakeholders.

To help you design an electrifying cause, ask yourself:

How is your business helping to improve the lives of your colleagues and customers?

How is it making the community, country and other countries a better place?

As you craft and continue to improve the purpose of your business, how can you leave a sustainable legacy and change the world for good?

2. Culture

Many businesses fail not because they are unprofitable but because their key stakeholders have lost faith in their businesses, their leaders and teams.

That is why you should decide, right from the beginning, to set a high standard of morality, ethos, and honour.

If your people don’t know what you live for, believe in, and want to achieve, they won’t follow you.

To develop a strong culture, ask yourself:

How can you develop a mission, vision, and set of values that will unite your people and win their hearts and minds?

How can you inspire them and fire them up to achieve desired dreams and goals?

How can you continue to improve their performance and productivity so as to achieve the best outcomes?

How can you help them focus on achieving sustainable results and do the first things first?

How can you help them develop the personality, responsibility, capacity, capability, creativity, agility, adaptability and tenacity to achieve success?

How can you help them redesign, re-skill and reinvent themselves to achieve not just incremental but also quantum leaps of results?

3. Champions

What is a successful organization?

In a nutshell, it’s a “leaders build leaders who will go on building even more and better leaders” movement.

As a leader, you must build leaders who can build other leaders.

The more and better quality of leaders you have, the stronger your organization will become and the better your overall results.

Just as importantly, you should also learn how to be an outstanding follower.

One of the highest achievements as a leader is to be a servant-leader – one who leads by loving and serving others.

To help you build an organization of champions, ask yourself:

How can you attract talents and convince them to be part of your organization?

How can you earn their trust so that they will help to fulfill a worthwhile cause?

How can you earn their respect so that they’ll continue to put in their optimal time, effort, and other resources to achieve desired results?

How can you love them so that they’ll be loyal to you and will stand and fight with you to fulfill the targeted dreams?

4. Coaching

To build a great business, you should invest in every key stakeholder.

When you invest in human lives, you’ll live a great life.

Aim to help your key stakeholders expand their potential, enhance their performance, and continue to excel and reach the highest level of achievement and fulfillment.

To do that, you should practise what I call an “I Do, We Do, You Do” system.

You are the ultimate model for your key stakeholders.

First, show them the way. Then work with your leaders to achieve the best results.

Finally, ensure they can do it on their own.

To continue to achieve better results, you need to grow and help them grow.

And ensure that they’ll continue to grow even if you’re not with them.

When your key stakeholders feel that their lives have been transformed for good, they will be more grateful and loyal to you.

Over time, they will go from being dependent on you to becoming independent.

Ultimately, your people will develop an interdependent relationship and work together to collaborate and co-create better solutions.

To help your people learn, improve and achieve better results, ask yourself:

How can you strengthen self-learning and turn your organization into a learning organization?

How can you help your people continue to change, improve and persevere to achieve better results?

How can you help them find joy, satisfaction and fulfillment in learning?

How can you help them to help themselves so as to continue to learn and take themselves to a higher level?

5. Community

Everybody wants to belong to a community of caring friends – a community that bonds closer than a family.

Nobody abandons a positive friend and community.

Therefore, immerse your team in love.

Love is the most powerful force in the workplace and in life.

When you have to speak, ensure that your words will only be words of life.
Words that will lift up your key stakeholders and together with them, build up a loving community of friends.

Develop the foundation of your business to deliver positive service, advantage, and growth.

Turn your organisation into a wise, loving, and respectable family.

To help you build up a community of caring friends, ask yourself:

How can you inject more fun, excitement and dynamism into the organization?

How can you continue to motivate and inspire your people?

How can you love your people and create magical moments for them so as to build up a treasure trove of beautiful memories?

6. Challenge

Every key stakeholder wants to be challenged to do well and to do good.

If motivated correctly, they can rise up to achieve a higher level of results and fulfillment.

As a leader, you need to spend time to understand your leaders.

Find out their unique needs and expectations.

Craft worthwhile goals and dreams to help them live a meaningful, dynamic and fulfilling life.

Be a partner in helping your key stakeholders achieve a worthwhile calling in life.

7. Care and Concern

Your people are not interested in what you know and do, but how much you care for and care about them.

As a leader, if you don’t have a heart to love and serve your people, you don’t deserve and qualify to be their leader.

According to Abraham Maslow, the highest level of needs is not self-actualisation but self-transcendence.

In other words, as a leader, learn to live beyond yourself to help others live a better life. Serve a higher purpose in making our world a better home.

The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become.

8. Cohesion

A great team is a team that learns how to cooperate, collaborate and co-create solutions together.

There are five key dimensions to help you build such an effective teamwork.

a. T – Team
Many people use the acronym – TEAM, to stand for “Together Everybody Achieve More”.

It should stand for “Teams that are Effective Achieve More”.

Teamwork starts with the people in your team. It is the people in your team that ultimately makes the team work.

To develop an effective team, you need to seek out the right talent to do the right job and at the right time.

The emphasis is on seeking the right talent – and not the best talent.

The best talent may not fit well with the job and the team.

However, the right talent with the right Knowledge, Attitude, Skill and Habits (KASH) can help you achieve a more sustainable success.

After choosing the right talents, you need to ensure that they are equipped and empowered to perform their roles and responsibilities.

You need to help them learn continuously so that they can get better results.

b. E – End Point

In my company, we have a saying that “result is the only true measurement of work and life”.

As a leader, you need to first determine the win-win results that you wish to achieve for your team and team mates.

In addition, you need to subordinate your personal interests to the interests of the team and organization.

It begins with an actionable plan for achieving the results and results define the effectiveness of a team.

In this regard, it is important to note that if you walk on the same pathway, you will reach the same destination.

To improve the destination, you need to find or create a better pathway to it. In other words, to get better results, you must redesign your organisational structure, system, and process.

You must commit to a process of continuous and never-ending innovation, improvement and growth.

c. A – Alignment
To ensure that the team reaches the end point productively, every member must support and be aligned to the team’s philosophy.

It includes the team’s mission, vision, values, and operations.

The team must be committed to adopt effective formal and informal communications to ensure that its members are working efficiently towards the desired objectives.

d. M – Motivation

As a servant-leader, you must always remember that every member in your team is a unique individual with gifts and talents.

Your team members have their own needs, fears and aspirations.

Your job is to empathize with them in order to bring out the best from them and to help them enjoy the best of life.

To do that, you need to constantly inspire and motivate them to love their duties and to do them to the best of their abilities.

You need to work closely with them to help them find meaning, excitement and fulfillment in their work.

It bodes well to remember that if you don’t have a heart to love and serve your team members, you do not qualify and deserve to be a leader.

e. S – System
To ensure that you have the most effective team, the team members must not only be in alignment and be totally motivated, there must also be systems in place to help lead and manage them.

The quality of your systems will determine the quality of your team.

It will also determine your team’s speed of growth and achievements.

Think: How can you creatively redesign your team’s model of operation so as to achieve a higher level of success?

If you and your business adopt and adhere to these eight factors, you’ll build a more stable, secure and sustainable business.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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