Developing leaders through job rotations
Chng Bee Leng currently heads up a team in an entirely new domain for her, as Group Head of Risk Policy since 2018. Hear what she has to say about how her leadership style has evolved over the years.
"I've been with OCBC Bank for over 20 years now, having started with the company in 1995. Time has flown by so quickly that it amazes me some time when I think about my journey with the Bank. Don't ask me how old I am! But obviously slightly more than 25! Many of my life's important moments all happened here, and I was proud to receive the Long Service Award for completing two decades of service."
Growing through rotations
"I started with OCBC as a product manager for consumer unsecured products and subsequently rotated to take up roles with our mortgage, auto loans and deposit businesses, all vastly different experiences. Over the years, I was assigned various new tasks that developed my muscles as an employee and leader. One of the highlights of my career was setting up FRANK by OCBC. That was a very stretching assignment but a fun, learning experience!"
"Apart from learning on rotations, the bank also encourages us to be progressive and keep learning. In fact, my current role is a relatively new move I made in 2018, after 6 years in consumer risk management. Risk policy management was an entirely new scope of work for me. Besides corporate credit policies, I'm also learning about the new field on environmental, social and governance (ESG)and it's invigorating to see how quickly this area is developing. I guess that's why I never felt bored over the years!"
Developing a leadership style
"We all develop different leadership styles depending on the experience gathered on the job, the teams we lead, our own personality and the goals of the department. Over the years, I've had great managers who have given me space, encouraged me to implement my ideas and to challenge myself. They would step in whenever I got stuck but they were never authoritarian."
"In the same way, as a leader now, I consult my team for ideas and involve them when making decisions. I am fortunate to have an experienced and highly skilled team and I believe in tapping into their experience and ideas. As a manager, the crux of my role is to empower them, give them the space and freedom to work, and truly harness their potential. They learn. I learn. Win-win!"
On teamwork and department culture
"Sometimes, with much work on hand, we may forget that we have fellow team members who can share the load. When everyone brings their expertise and strengths to the table, the team becomes powerful and effective; so much can be achieved together! This is why I value teamwork."
"It is also greatly assuring to know that your team is behind you, and care and look out for each other, even if we sit in separate offices. When a colleague who was based out of Singapore fell extremely ill, the Singapore team sent her flowers and encouragement. It was such a simple gesture, but one that truly showed how we can care for each other. Distance cannot stop us."
"We acknowledge and respect the different life-stages the team members go through. As a team, we support one another to ensure that we continue to deliver good work while being there for our family outside of work."
Risk Policy team, Group Risk Management, Chinese New Year Lo-hei, Feb 2019
My aspirations for the team
"Just this year, we've advanced leaps and bounds in our sustainability agenda through our work with other businesses across the bank, as seen from our Sustainability Report 2018 (pg. 52). Every initiative is a new step into uncharted terrains, and I look forward to seeing our efforts strengthen the Bank's position in the coming years."
"If there's one greatest takeaway from my time with OCBC, it is about embracing change and to keep learning. Just look at me - still going and looking ahead!"