IDN Media HQ Open House Day 3: A Leadership that Involves Effortful Struggles and Patience Equals Business Sustainability

Amelia Rosary Dewi | 31 October 2019

On Wednesday, 30 October 2019, we had Pongki Pamungkas (Chief Corporate Communication of Astra International), Dolly Susanto (Chief Commercial Officer of 3), Guy Kellaway (Communication Director of Nestlé), and Ivan Cahyadi (Sales Director of HM Sampoerna). They shared their perspectives about what their companies had been through and how they saw leadership in a person. 

Founded 57 years ago, Pongki Pamungkas as the Chief Corporate Communication of Astra International began his talk with the history of one of the sustainable companies in Indonesia: Astra International. This massive company was mentioned to have seven sectors of business, such as automotive, financial services, heavy-duty vehicles, agricultural business, infrastructures and logistics, information and technologies, as well as properties. To reach this very stage, Pongki highlighted the long and effortful journey that the company had been going, “Leadership needs persistence and patience since without these two, leaders can’t even prove themselves be leaders. To settle does take time.” Besides, the concept of the three phases of life: yesterday, today, and tomorrow, according to Pongki, was expected to help us more focus on the struggle we could afford today. Yesterday could never be changed, tomorrow didn’t guarantee anything, but we could let yesterday go, then learn from it and shape tomorrow by doing the best we could do today.

 

The second talk was held by the Chief Commercial Officer of 3, Dolly Susanto. She brought up a topic related to the company’s basic perspectives about leadership. 3, according to Dolly, believed that every individual was a leader that came in with his or her own strengths. However, a leader should also be the one who kept on respecting others and learning a lot of things—it had nothing to do with seniority or titles at all. “A leader in our version is that one person who not only keeps on learning but also empowers others. A leader is also that one person who is inspiring, humble, and able to tone up the situation with the thing 3 calls ‘Lollipop Moment’. It’s a moment when no one is repressed mentally and is happy with what they’re doing.” Therefore, 3 always wanted to be a place where the teams within it could optimize their abilities by being open to their ideas and aspirations.

 

After Dolly, the third speaker, Guy Kellaway as the Communication Director of Nestlé,  revealed the history of Nestlé. The founder of this consumer goods company, Henri Nestlé,  settled in Switzerland when there was a lot of poverty and severe diseases increasing the mortality of infants and children. It led to his invention of infant cereal and milk food to improve the state of infant nutrition. First started in 1866, Nestlé proved their possession of business continuity that still existed up to this era. Kellaway said, "Getting sustainability depends on the marketing and business strategy. We call it as a long term winning strategy—it's a strategy that obligates you to know your audience, the products that they need, and then be adaptive. Two-way communication is also important, that's why we always embrace every individual—such as retailers and customers, and community—like our dairy farmers, so we understand what they want and need. Eventually, we take care of our planet as well by letting others know that Nestlé doesn't use excessive amounts of water and is evolutionarily about to shift the use of plastic into paper."

 

Then, the last speaker for the third day was Ivan Cahyadi as the Sales Director of HM Sampoerna. Being alive for more than a hundred years, this company believed that innovations or new breakthroughs would always be the keys to obtain a sustainable business. HM Sampoerna got three values that had become their guidelines to assess a candidate in terms of leadership, "First, ask yourself: 'What if?' What if this doesn't work and do you have another backup plan it really fails? Second: 'Unlimit yourself!' Go outside the box, discover anything new, always keep on trying, and do enjoy the process. Third: 'Execution is everything!' Your ideas may be brilliant, but without eventually executing what you've planned, an idea will always mean nothing. Act now!" Ivan stated that a leader wasn't the one that came up only with bright ideas—he or she should really implement it and have a what-if thought, so if plan A wasn't successful, there would still be plan B or C.

All four speakers highlighted their notions about how a leader should be—persistent, patient, embracing, innovative, etc. If an individual was successful to optimize his or her leader-self, this very person would most likely be the one that brought up the sustainability for the company where he or she worked.