As marketing director of PT Oracle Indonesia, Goenawan Loekito is all too aware of the incredible advantages afforded by technology, both to corporations and also business leaders in performing managerial tasks.
But he is quick to emphasize that technology, for all its amazing benefits, is a mere tool in running a business, and human factors play a much more important role in the context of its success.
Use of IT-based devices such as laptops, computers, WiFi and smart phones can facilitate the flow of communication regardless of time or distance. Yet without strong teamwork, a project might not run as expected, he added.
He used a recent product launch seminar as a case in point.
“I just asked them [his subordinates] to do this and that and they ran the seminar alone. Without my physical presence, they could still contact me any time without facing a problem,” he said enthusiastically as he showed a mobile-sized WiFi router.
“The project ran well because we have a strong team that trusts and respects one another and share integrity; all of which are our corporate values,” said the 51-year-old, known as a practitioner and observer of business, technology and leadership issues.
Being able to manage the seminar remotely was only one benefit of technology; it also speeds up the sale and transaction process and allows management to have access to accurate and real time data through a system called a single source of truth.
Goenawan, a graduate of Gadjah Mada University, began his career as a computer programmer 33 years ago. His keen interest in business prompted him to take various courses on business, human resources, public relations, marketing and leadership. He has held strategic positions in different multinationals, and outside of his day job is a motivational speaker at companies, universities and places of worship.
He is also a dosen terbang (university professor engaged by more than one institution) at several top campuses across Indonesia. Over the past 12 years, he also has been a radio host at one of the top stations in Jakarta.
Becoming a radio host and speaker is part of his passion for sharing values to others, which, he said, matched the company’s principles.
“Resourceful people from different backgrounds, including top CEOs, are invited to share their experience, challenges and success stories. The program is presented in a light and humorous way. Their inspiring stories are expected to motivate listeners.”
Technology also is a help in managing the demands of his job and other responsibilities.
“Of course, it is a matter of delegation and time management. I am assisted by technology and a strong team. With technology, I can work anywhere and anytime.”
Business success is also determined by leadership qualities, he said, with a leader required to respond in a manner that informs, educates and entertains their subordinates.
“For example, if there is a ‘difficult’ or uncooperative employee, the leader should be able to educate them by touching their heart so that they become cooperative,” he said.
Goenawan believes it is important to identify the strengths and weaknesses of employees, which can influence decisions regarding training.
When it comes to day-to-day activities and time management, he refers to the Pareto principle, which states that roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes.
“By percentage, leaders and employees focus 80 percent of their time on their main job-related activities, and the remaining 20 percent on learning, 5 percent of which on learning completely new things,” he said.
Managing the boss
He also takes a different approach to viewing the boss. Conventionally, the head of a company is understood as the one who always instructs but he posited that subordinates can also manage their leader.
“However, managing the boss does not necessarily mean burdening them but rather adding value,” he said.
“Sometimes a boss may make a sudden request without understanding the whole situation. As a subordinate, you can ask for an explanation and propose a solution.”
In the context of human factors, self-management is important. That is why a leader should not only be able to manage their emotions, time and energy but also their personal life.
He said his wife contributed to his career success, and also in helping him meet his self-fulfillment as an individual and social being.
“My wife gives me input on ‘dos and don’ts’, which keep me balanced,” he said.
Based on his years of experience in many different environments, Goenawan concludes that earning different formal educational degrees, starting with the Indonesian S1 (bachelor’s) through to S2 (master’s) and beyond are not enough for fulfillment.
“It requires S8,” he quipped.
The S8 are S1 selamat (safe), S2 sehat (healthy), S3 sukses (successful), S4 sejahtera (prosperous), S5 sedekah (alms, social concern), S6 senyum (smile), S7 seksi (sexy) and S8 surga (heaven), he said.
“One should keep spirited and grateful while engaged in a journey to achieve that.”