6 Lessons to Foster Win-Win Businesses: The Young Entrepreneur’s Confession from the Maybank GO Ahead Challenge

Maybank GO Ahead Challenge was the ultimate business competition modeled after the popular The Apprentice and The Amazing Race. Top students in their penultimate year of study or final year were pitted with students from top universities in Malaysia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore.

A total of USD 45,000 (RM 140,000) was up for grabs for the top 3 teams in the grand finale. Participants went through two National Level challenges and the top 30 participants were selected for the grand finale which was held in Kuala Lumpur. Finalists also stand a chance to get fast pass to join the Global Maybank Apprentice Program (GMAP), a targeted development program to nurture young leaders.

It was my first ever reality business competition and I had great fun involving in the entire process – from strategizing business plan, convincing bankers for startup fund to execute the ideas at One Utama Shopping Mall.

It was a really fantastic experience and here I summarized 6 lessons learnt in the business challenge.

1.      Look for a Win-Win situation in any business scenario

In the initial stage of the competition, my teammates and I had made it crystal clear that we were working as a team to win and not to compete with each other.  It was a smart move. Our relationships were tested rigorously but at the end of the day, we did not have a crash in personality. We pulled each other up.

Yes it is very important to perform well individually, however what is more significant is the ability to galvanize and work as a team to achieve greater mission.

Think not just how to get the most out of the limited pie, but focus on making the pie bigger so that everyone can get a fair share.

 2.      Think positive and be confident.

In this kind of intense competition, you need to be very confident. Cheer your teammates up and constantly remind each other that you can do awesome. See challenges as a prerequisite to succeed.

If you think you can, of you think you can’t – you’re right. – Henry Ford

3.      Know what you and your teammates are good at.

There is a saying which states that talent is the key to an organization. I agree just partially. In fact, putting the right people at the right place and at the right time is the path to succeed.

I was very lucky to lead a team with balanced and outstanding capabilities. Yao Guang is extraordinary in making financial decision, Celestina is amazing in strategic management, Franz has a marketing instinct and Enkhzul is extremely good in details. Hence my main role was just to ensure everyone was performing and moving towards the right direction.

4.      Able to work and deliver under stress.

The real world is full of stresses. There are roadblocks which dampen our mood and spirit. But regardless of any circumstances, we still need to deliver.  So, filter out the noises, focus in result and try to turn stress into dessert.

Do not be panicked, always bear in mind that when there is a problem, there is a solution.

5.      Be creative.

In the Maybank Challenge, there were many cases where we were tested on creativity and innovation. The management wanted to see how we responded to crisis and dealt with problems. There is no “right” answer in life. Always keep your mind opened and challenge yourself with new ideas.

We used to say think out of the box?

Now – it is think without the box.

6.      Competition is just a short term process – look beyond and build a relationship that last for long.

Quoting my statement on The Star September 7, 2012

Taking part in the challenge was one of the best decisions I ever made. It is a wonderful competition with a diverse combination of talents at work, out-of-this-world challenges and even CSR initiatives. The best thing is we became good friends and each of us had something to take back from the competition,”

Competition is indeed just a short term process. Do not be entangled in the hostile situation for too long. Look beyond that and build a sincere friendship with the participants. You will never know how you might come across in each other life in the near future – and they could be a great help.

p/s: Wilson Beh invested his prize in Maybank share and commodities. You may watch Maybank Go Ahead Challenge Webisodes at http://www.goaheadchallenge.com