On 15 July 2019, the Big Brother Big Sister Programme brought Beatty and Orchid Park secondary school students to Lukoil Asia Pacific Office at Marina Bay Financial Tower.

Mr. Barry, Managing Director of Lukoil Asia Pacific office, kick-started the session by providing an overview on Lukoil’s operations in the Asia market and also raised issues on the emergence of advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence. Mr. Barry shared with us the importance of teamwork as a key success factor that enable companies to be successful sustainably.

Mr. Barry introducing Lukoil Asia Pacific to our SSP participants.

Importance of Teamwork

Mr. Barry highlighted the significance of teamwork in this diversified world. Teamwork enables greater exchange of ideas, expertise, experience and skills, allowing teams to cover more grounds and reach further. Such exchanges also ensure that teams are flexible and adaptable towards rapid changes.

Besides sharing how crucial teamwork is, Mr. Barry gave advice on how to be a good team player. “To be a good team player, one needs to be willing to sacrifice. Not all jobs are glamorous and easy. Sometimes, we need to be willing to bend our knees to lift others up, in order for the team to achieve new heights.” 

Mr Barry added, “On a recent trip to Vietnam, I chanced upon a tower-building competition between two groups of children that were split into boys vs girls. As the tower got higher and exceeded their height, the children had difficulties stacking the tower. It was at this moment one of the girls decided to take the lead and allowed the other team members to stand on her back, whereas the boys, although taller, were unwilling to do that.  This allowed the girls to eventually win.” This demonstrated the importance of being willing to do unwanted jobs in a team to lift the entire team. 

Student presentation

The students also prepared a short presentation about their experiences in the sailing programme. As the students took turns to share  their key takeaways, it also served as an avenue for them to boost their confidence and public-speaking skills. 

Students from Beatty Secondary School sharing their SSP experience with the audience of the day.

Leadership talk by Yvonne

Ms. Yvonne is a career coach and Assistant Director at Nanyang Technological University Career services. Yvonne shared with us two of her life mottos: Enduring Success and Failing Forward.

She explained, “It is okay to fail, everyone has failed before. However, what is important is that every time you fail, you make less mistakes than before and you become better. That is what failing forward is.” 

Ms. Yvonne also noticed that the students were very interested to learn about good leadership skills. She shared with us John Maxwell’s concept of the Leadership Pyramid and some key traits a good leader should possess. 

The 5 different levels of the leadership pyramid by John Maxwell

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  1. Position (Rights)- people followed you purely because of the title you were given, because they have to. This is the simplest but most fleeting type of leadership. 
  2. Permission (Relationships) – Your followers give you permission to lead them. They follow you because they want to. It could be your access to resources, you’re popular and charismatic etc.
  3. Production (Results) – You are competent and have a skill that your team needs. People follow you because of your contributions to the team.
  4. People Development (Reproduction) – people follow you because of the things you do for them. Because you nurture them and they can grow by following you.
  5. Pinnacle (Respect) – People follow you because of who you are and what represent. Leaders like this look after their teams, and their teams would do the same for them in challenging times.

She then encouraged the students to aim to achieve the pinnacle of the leadership pyramid. 

It was definitely an enriching session for the students. Mr. Barry also encouraged active participation, and towards the end, secondary one and two students had the opportunity to interact with Mr. Barry and Ms Yvonne while helping themselves to the variety of snacks provided in the Lukoil Pantry.