People Who Care Can Change The World For The Better
In the past, most of the leadership positions are held by men. Women often play a supporting role at work or even at home. Great leaders are often those who are confident, vocal, and inspiring. However, times have changed and definition of great leaders has gradually evolved. Leaders of the future need to have a very important quality and that is love. Knowledge and technical skills can be taught and with practise, one can become better. However, caring for others and compassion is not something that can be taught, it must be discovered within, by ourselves. Every one of us is born with a loving heart and compassion and that is why whenever you look at babies, they are always so kind and peaceful. However, as we grow up, we are influenced by our the values of the people close to us or by the environment we grow up with, thus we often lost track of who we really are. We need to constantly remind ourselves who we are and discover the loving, kind and compassionate child whom we used to be. The future belong to people who care, who care more for others than themselves, who is willing to give their love to the people around them.
I am very fortunate to work with many very caring and loving women who are leaders in their own ways during my time at Greendot.
Auntie Mabel has been a very important pillar of support for me all these years in Greendot. She joined us (Greendot) as a cook in 2013 when we were still operating our stalls in schools. She was just a housewife then with minimal F&B experience but she chose to join us because she wanted to promote vegetarianism. Even though our pay was not high then, she still decided to join us because she felt that it was very meaningful to cook vegetarian meals for the students in school.
Auntie Mabel often say that she is an ordinary mother but it is this humility and down to earth character that makes her so special. She often share with me that cooking for the students in schools was one of the happiest period in her life. Life was simple and meaningful, waking up early to cook healthy vegetarian meals for the students daily. Although the work was tough, the smiles on the students and seeing that the students become regular customer of the food she prepare gave her a lot of satisfaction and happiness. Throughout these years. She gave me a lot strength to overcome many obstacles and shared with me a lot of wisdom to help me make better decisions. She is a leader in her own ways, because of the love within her, always caring for people around her.
Auntie Mee Kim
You probably haven’t seen her before but I am sure you have heard her voice if you regularly patronise our outlet at Bedok Mall. She is our attendant for the afternoon shift at Bedok Mall. Whenever you walk past our outlet at Bedok Mall, you will hear someone shouting very passionately “健康素食！”. That is Auntie Mee Kim.
Auntie Mee Kim has been with us since our first outlet at Bedok Mall. She is a true leader without any title. Although she is just a service crew, but whenever she is on duty, the energy and vibes in the outlet is always very positive. She works with her heart and treats every customer with love and respect. It is this energy that positively influence the people around her to work with a happy heart and enjoy their work. Many customers have wrote in to us, complimenting how much they enjoyed her service and how homely they felt when she is around. This is a real example of leadership. Your title doesn’t define who you are, its your heart and your actions. We are definitely very fortunate to have Auntie Mee Kim with us.
To be honest, there were many times when I wanted to give up during my first few years of start up because it was really very tough. I felt helpless and frustrated at times. However, I believe that everything happens for a reason and these challenges are here to help me grow. Nonetheless, during my most difficult times, Bee Keng joined us (Greendot). She came from a Multinational Company (MNC) background as such she has a lot of experience in terms of corporate management and processes. That was what we lacked of at the point of time.
Even though she had a lot of experience and held a high post previously, she chose to start from the ground to learn the ropes and mingle with the ground staff. She wanted to work alongside them and was very humble and willing to learn when she had to learn from the aunties and uncles in the outlet.
During her time at Greendot, she constantly gives a lot of care and love to the people around her. She will always go the extra miles to help others such as visiting the outlet after her work to talk to them (the ground staff), console them, or help them solve their problems. She is the real example of always putting others before herself. Often, during the public holidays, she would volunteer to help out the managers at the outlets when there are shortage of staff even though she didn’t had to.
I often ask her why she work so hard to help the ground staff even though she didn’t have to. She replied,”Because they are very kind people and whenever i go to the outlet, they genuinely care for me and take care of me (cook porridge for me, pour a hot cup of tea for me after a long day). I want to help them whenever Ican, in whatever ways that I can”
It’s true, kindness and love makes the world go round.
Yong Hong, Co-founder of Greendot