Today I had the great privilege of having lunch (along with a group of fellow students) with the former CEO of Chunghwa Telecom, Dr. C.K. Mao. He genuinely was one of the most impressive people I have met in a long time, and I don’t think I will be able to do it justice in this post.
He had a very clear and calm charisma about him, yet was able to slice through incredibly complex concepts and articulate brilliant answers in a very meaningful and precise way – all in a second language.
The key takeaway from his various years in leadership across a wide variety of sectors both in government and outside was:
Domain knowledge is not as important as having a tool kit that you can bring across various industries. His kit includes “decision making” and “change management”. You should develop your own
To communicate big ideas at the transition point in an industry (for Dr. Mao at CHT this was in the transition from landlines to broadband/DSL): get people involved in *doing*: half will get involved and feel motivated, 30 percent will follow their lead, and 20 percent will probably quit or leave the firm.
He also had some very interesting thoughts about the future of mobile and phone services generally, which he sees progressing towards mobile IP-based data-transmission.
As I can attest to by the fact that I am drafting this note on a blackberry mobile device, I strongly believe in the future of the mobile internet. I am convinced that mobile is the future in more ways than one. Our fixed screens will be cool and good for media content, but lots of content will be easily accessible and text/image based along with us all the time. We will be able to interact socially in ways that make holding the device in our hands just part of the way things are done…and you guys will stop getting annoyed at my typing away…maybe that last bit is a bit too far-fetched, but there are exciting times ahead.