In a world that has forever changed by the coronavirus pandemic, it will take a unique style of leadership, dedication, and discipline to bring businesses forward to the new normal. And while many chief executive officers (CEO) fall under the bracket of intelligence and innovativeness, very few are valued leaders of their companies. So, what makes these CEOs stand out from the rest?
Neo Kian Hong, SMRT Corporation Ltd.
Mr. Neo is the SMRT Chairman who famously gave up his car to take the train to work. As the company in control of Singapore’s transport system, Smrt Corporation Ltd. had to face a variety of issues before Mr. Neo took the helm of the company. One of the many ways Mr. Neo showed dedication as the new head of the company back in 2018 was to sell his car and move to a place nearer the train station.
He famously said during one of his many interviews that he didn’t want to buy a new car when he sold his car because he wants to take the train. For him, it is the best way to understand the deep-rooted issues that affect public transportation. Plus, he also gets to do some work while commuting the work. That’s the kind of commitment and dedication you should wish to see in a leader.
Cheryl Bachelder, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Before Ms. Bachelder took the CEO position at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in 2007, the company was in huge trouble. Sales are falling. The competition has never been tougher. But more than anything else, there is a strained relationship between the company and its franchise owners.
When she finally took over, Ms. Bachelder did one thing: she focused on serving the people who invested in Popeyes over the years. She put the spotlight on the restaurant owners by listening to their woes and responding to their needs. By doing so, the dedication trickled down to the very last employee on the payroll. Franchisees began reinvesting in the brand and the company becomes global once more.
Harold Macdowell, TDIndustries
The whole leadership concept of TDIndustries is servant leadership. This means that the company has always been employee-centered. It is, in fact, 100-percent employee-owned. Even during the toughest economic times, the goal of the company is to keep everyone employed. The key thing here is to sustain a work environment where employees feel they are valued, appreciated, and respected.
The formula works so well that TDIndustries is on Fortune magazine’s prestigious list of 100 Best Companies for 20 straight years. But to reach these heights, Mr. Macdowell has to continue the path set by his predecessors: build trusting relationships, protect the partners at all costs, pursue excellence, and celebrate individuality. These are the core values of the company.
If you’re thinking about how to survive this health, political, and economic crisis, look at the values that show leadership, compassion, and dedication. Because at the end of the day, it is these values that can take businesses to new heights. They’ve proved that time and again through their successes.