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Are you a demanding boss, Lee Lik Hsin?

Blog post   •   Feb 06, 2018 09:12 +08

Each week until April 30, 2018, we are shortlisting a local corporate figure who has demonstrated excellence in a media appearance, in the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018.

He probably is, but when your boss exudes authenticity and empathy like he does, it's difficult to be angry.

Lee is CEO of SIA-owned low-cost long-haul carrier Scoot, and based on his recent CNBC TV interview we have shortlisted him for Best Interview for TV in the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018.

Each week until April 30, 2018, we are shortlisting a local corporate figure who has demonstrated excellence in a media appearance.

The winner of the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards will be announced at a special ceremony in May.

We have launched the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards to recognise local Senior Business Leaders for their communications skills, and to showcase authentic and credible home-grown communicators. These are shining examples for other local business leaders to follow, and to build a culture of excellence in communication, to maximise the potential of Asian companies in the Asian Century.

Lee appeared on Managing Asia with my former colleague, Christine Tan. I enjoyed Christine's probing questions. When you've been hosting a show as long as she has (since 1999), the most difficult part is to keep it fresh. And Christine certainly managed to do that, to get under Lee's skin.

But we found Lee did these three things well, to warrant shortlisting in the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018:

  1. Authenticity – It is surprisingly difficult to be yourself in front of the camera. But together with empathy and logic, authenticity builds trust. The more real you are, the more trustworthy you are to your target audience. Not only are you providing them with honest and genuine insights, they will also feel secure knowing that you actually mean what you say, and that you say what you mean. Lee's interview technique wasn't super polished, but ironically that makes him more real.
  2. Empathy – this is another important trait Lee displays in his interview. His responses acknowledged Christine's questions, and while he did return to the key points he wanted to make he didn't leave viewers feeling like he was being evasive.
  3. Key messages – Short and poignant key takeaways are ideal when you take part in a TV interview. It's so difficult to retain audience attention these days. Lee kept his takeaways easy to remember. You can see how these translated into short key messages in the form of text on screen. As a producer at CNBC, my job was to listen out for these lines during interviews, so we could quote or paraphrase them on screen. And that's exactly what the producer of Managing Asia did. Click on the Resource Link and see the screen shot below and watch the interview to see what I mean.

Even as Lee came across as genuine and trustworthy, he still stuck to his messages, as this part of the dialogue shows.

Christine Tan: You talk a lot about core values, but are you a demanding boss?
Lee Lik Hsin: All bosses are demanding, I think. But... and I think that is natural and to be expected. One of the pillars of our core values is really a rewarding organisation.

Once again, we have shortlisted him for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2018 for his authentic, empathetic and on-point interview, setting an excellent example for local business leaders.

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