John L. Gokongwei Jr. - a Leadership Article

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John L. Gokongwei Jr.

Who is he?

“Call it trite--but, believe me, success can be achieved, through hard work, frugality, integrity, responsiveness to change--and most of all, boldness to dream. These have never been just easy slogans for me. I have lived by them” Gokongwei Jr., John L., Commencement Address (AdMU), 27 March 2004.

Ranked by Forbes Asia as the third richest entrepreneur of the Philippines in the year 2010, John L. Gokongwei Jr., is a Chinese-Filipino business man who was born on August 11, 1926 had spent his childhood in Cebu, Philippines. He earned an MBA Degree from De La Salle University and attended the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He was included in the list of Heroes of Philanthropy by the Forbes Asia’s Magazine of 2008 along with his three fellow Filipino business men namely Oscar Lopez, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Ramon Del Rosario. Gokongwei is the founder and chairman emeritus of John Gokongwei Summit Holdings Inc. (JS Summit Holdings Inc.), one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines competing with well-known companies such as SM Malls and Ayala. JG Summit Holdings Inc. core businesses are: Universal Robina Corporation, Robinsons Land Corporation, United Industrial Corporation of Singapore, Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc., JG Summit Petrochemicals Corporation, Cebu Pacific Air, Robinsons Savings Bank and JG Summit Capital Services Corporation.

What made him a leader?

The qualities that Gokongwei possesses made him a successful business tycoon. He is a type of person who is a risk-taker; he was never afraid to take the next steps for his empire to grow. He is an optimistic person, failures and mistakes were never a barrier for him, he always try to have a healthy attitude towards failure, it’s a part of being an entrepreneur which is clearly stated in his quote:

“Success doesn't happen overnight. It's the small successes achieved day by day that build a...
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