GME provides training and education to all employees continuously. Last week we had a special session and welcomed an important role model, Mr. Lee Seung Gu, former CEO of Samsung SDI. GME invited Mr. Lee Seung Gu to share his experiences to all GME Team Managers on how he started his career from bottom level staff to Samsung SDI CEO.
Mr. Lee started his career back then in 1982 with tasks he was very unfamiliar. Despites the fact that he felt a big gap from what he had always wanted, Mr. Lee has continued his work life with extraordinary passion since his first job at Samsung E&C.
Around 1986 Mr. Lee was assigned to Saudi Arabia to expand new businesses. In Saudi Arabia, he faced a challenge where Saudi government requested his company to write management documents in local language for inventory management and localization of parts. All documents were written in English or Korean, but there was a significant shortage of manpower capable of interpreting in Saudi and English. Instead of the time and manpower consuming conventional method, he began to simply translate all English words into Saudi, inputting these translated words into a computer and combining them. The combined sentences and words have reached a level where all documents in the company can be automatically translated through a process of inspection by a native Saudi Arabian. He said that he was able to meet the requirements of the Saudi government through this automated system and solve the fundamental problem through his ideas.
Mr. Lee always had a habit of going to work 1 hour earlier in the morning to organize all documents in the company , learn about his tasks and the whole process of the business related to the company. As a result of repeating this process he was able to have a better understanding of the overall work than anyone else in the department. He said that each of these detailed efforts helped him a lot in his journey to becoming the CEO.
In his spare time, he devoted himself learning international taxation (US, UK) and business management. The knowledge he accumulated in this way in 1986 helped him throughout his life especially when he was assigned to work in Tokyo around 1996 and Beijing around 2006. Based on various experiences, he has built a new system, nurtured employees, and has faithfully built a foothold at Samsung.
When conducting business in China, he faced a crisis of being stranded due to various problems, but he humbly accepted it and sought a breakthrough with a new method. “What was particularly helpful for me was simply just went out for a walk where I can organize my mind and thought about all things. I was able to come up with a solution after thinking and pondering every moment of the day,” said Mr. Lee.
In the training session, Mr. Lee mentioned few times the importance of having balance life and practicing on positive mindset, find a time and an activity that helps us to have clearer mind is one of the ways.
Mr. Lee Seung Gu 3 live principles:
- Positive mindset like “I can do it”, “It will work out”.
- 진인사대천명 (Jininsa Daecheonmyeong) meaning Heaven helps those who help themselves, the idea of doing your best and leaving the results.
- Approach life with humbleness and determination to pursue an honorable life
Based on these 3 principles, he explained that anyone will surely be given a chance if he faithfully builds up his skills and maintains good health. He advised that either individuals or GME as a company must act based on good and positive moral to achieve any kind of goals. Mr. Lee encouraged us to always be objective about ourselves because decisions are different depending on our current position and situation.
“To become an expert and a great leader, you must study both practical and theoretical studies. It is a crucial key to make time for self-reflection, self-evaluation, and self-development,” add Mr. Lee.
Highlighting some of the practical and theoretical tips from Mr. Lee:
- Select and subscribe one of the magazines/newspapers for a certain period to keep ourselves updated with the trend.
- Reading books that help you to have better conversations with people. It is difficult to start a conversation and even harder to continue a conversation if we have lack of knowledge.
- When the company’s work changes, be sure to buy and read a few related books. “Thanks to these activities, I had opportunity to be an executive in the company who has better understanding and take on overall business management tasks such as planning, innovation, business management, human resources, global SCM, etc.,” said Mr. Lee.
- Set goals for both work and personal life, and then work towards it.
- The importance of having control of our mind and practice positive mindset. This will lead us to be more creative and be able to create fundamental solutions for all challenges.
This kind of motivational leadership training is just as important as vocational trainings. GME believes that continuous training keeps managers and their team on the cutting edge of industry developments. Consequently, if employees are competent and on top of changing industry standards, this helps the company to hold a position as a leader and strong competitor within the industry.