Business the heart way: Reflections on my first in-person meeting with my Indonesian team

Written by

Posted on

Business the heart way

I am writing my latest post from one of my favourite places: the Qantas lounge at Singapore Changi Airport. I am starting to frequent the lounge again with borders opening and my pre-COVID lifestyle reasserting itself.

As I write, the lounge is abuzz with chatter and laughter, with lots of business travellers once again passing through Singapore. I love the opportunity to reflect on life – both personal and business – when I am here. It is one of my many happy places and often presents a rare time for me to have time to myself to think.

This most recent visit was a roller coaster ride. There were some incredible highs, like spending time with my team members in Singapore and Indonesia; and some lows. The latter includes falling incredibly sick and having to have a teammate come look after me; the challenges presented by being away from my girls; and like many other business leaders having to deal with the Great Resignation.

However, for this post, I want to focus on one of the highs: visiting Indonesian office for the first time and meeting our team – again, for the first time.

My team now spans three main markets – Australia, Singapore and Indonesia – and it is amazing as a leader to work with people in such different markets. I have spent plenty of time in Singapore and Australia, but I am newer to having a team in Indonesia. We have been building the team over the last 2.5 years and most of the growth has been during the pandemic. I have to say, getting to see the Indonesian team in-person was one of the most humbling experiences of my career.

Many people have differing views when I say I have a growing team in Indonesia, but as a business we are serious about Indonesia – and for good reason. Our commitment is not only in the form of setting up an office (now with 10 people), but also appointing an advisor with a solid background in working in Indonesia, Robbie Gaspar.

Something that strikes me about doing business in Indonesia is the beautiful people and the talent that is there. Over the years, I have had some very disappointing experiences with people in business; some even make you question humankind and people’s moral character. In this age of the Great Resignation, when the conversation revolves around the employee, I think we’ve often overlooked the business owner/leader who is taking the risks, making the sacrifices to create the jobs in the first place.

The thing about the team in Indonesia is that they show a level of integrity and appreciation that I think is rare these days. They are hungry and keen for growth, and actively work to develop and advance their skill sets. They value the opportunities presented to them and give their all to make the most of them. Well, that is my experience at least.

I describe my Indonesia team as kind-hearted, team-spirited, hungry, hardworking, diligent, fun and very talented. They are also incredibly skilled. Indonesia boasts a population that is very digitally-savvy. That is why we have been building our design and digital hub in Batam. We are a little bit ahead of the curve in what we do in all sorts of areas – I think the same can be said about what we are doing in Indonesia.

Not only do we have a team based there, we are also starting to help clients tap the opportunities that beautiful Indonesia presents.

The future is bright. Team Indonesia, keep dreaming big, keep your enthusiasm, keep your beautiful energy and most of all, keep your kindness, as it is something that unfortunately is rare these days.