Balancing Youth and Experience for Powerful Leadership

As the world moves towards more tech-savvy and dynamic ways of doing business, the age of a leader becomes less relevant. Nevertheless, there is still valuable truth in the saying that “experience counts”, and age is a definite contributing factor to that.

At Manulife Financial Advisers, our leaders bring to the table their diverse experiences and backgrounds. This unique blend of diversity creates an ideal platform for communication and collaboration, effectively narrowing the skills gap where the more experienced can share their accumulated wealth of knowledge whilst the younger leaders can put into practice innovative new approaches.

In this exclusive feature and video by Asia Advisers Network, Yuen Kah Fai and Nethan Chew sit down for an insightful session into their thoughts about the unique advantages of Manulife Financial Advisers.

Age is really just a number; it is about how ‘young’ you feel inside. For Nethan, he noted that everyone at the firm, regardless of their physical age, was “young in passion”.

“Having a young mindset is really what drives everything forward … Whether you are 60, 50 or 30 years old, you should never stop having that “I want to grow, I want to learn more, I want to do better” outlook. And I think that really sets us apart,” he said.

For Kah Fai, he emphasised that this learning mindset is a two-way street. “We also learn from them, in a different sense. We are all learning from each other – it’s not so much about how I motivate them, sometimes they are the ones who motivate me and most of them are younger than me.”

In addition, it is also important for younger financial services consultants to be given the right guidance and motivation as they learn to manage the peaks and troughs of the business. Oftentimes, this is best achieved through leading by example – walking the talk as one might put it.

Kah Fai recalls how one of his team members had been feeling discouraged due to the COVID-19 situation. Eventually, this led her to start questioning her decision to stay in this industry. To overcome this challenge, he accompanied her to one of her subsequent appointments where he showed her some of his own methods for handling a client. “At the end of the day, what we want to show them is that we still have the ability to go outfield and interview clients, uncover their needs and demonstrate the steps to do a proper closure,” he said.

It is important for leaders to have such a mindset as it naturally permeates through the organisation. Nethan feels that when people see their leaders still willing to learn, do more and grow even while managing their leadership responsibilities, it will motivate them to strive harder. “When we were first established (as Manulife Financial Advisers), we boldly stated that we dare to take the lead and we dare to take on the challenge. And because of that, everybody works together for a common vision.”



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