Paul Tan is My New GM
The final 2 years of my publishing company
By Edwin Kheng
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7
Just like the apostle Paul who declared at the end of his ministry that he had did his utmost in everything that the Lord had tasked him to do, I felt that my brother-in-Christ Paul Tan was sent on a mission to be the general manager of my company during the two most difficult years of my life, which corresponded with the final chapter of my career in running a publishing business.
Towards the end of December 2005, I remember one of my directors introducing Paul Tan to me as the new Sales Director for our directories division. He was to spearhead the sales team to bring in revenue for advertising sales in our various directory publications.
My very first impression of Paul is that of an unassuming and humble man who did not talk big or say much but rather let his actions and results do the talking. I was the Executive Director of the company in charge of finance and administration, operations and human resources and I was losing sleep over our cash flow situation.
On his first day, Paul shook my hand and just said, “Don’t worry Edwin, I will bring in the orders, and also the customer’s cheques!”
And he did.
After just two months, Paul personally brought in the bulk of the sales figures setting the standard for the rest of the team to follow.
I remember being on the cc list of an email that he sent to his directories division to buck up or ship out.
“Honeymoon is over,” he declared.
Paul also added, “Do not take my kindness as though it is my weakness. Remember that I am kind but I am not stupid. Either you get yourself organized or I will organize you.”
Besides leading by example, Paul also created more sales trainings for the team on Saturday mornings. Every day there would be constant reporting and a good feedback loop so that we could try to...
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