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Balancing leadership and fatherhood

Leading a major institution requires strength, determination, and drive, but at EastWest Bank, three top leaders demonstrate that they can also approach their fatherly responsibilities with tenderness and compassion.

EastWest CEO Jerry Ngo and familyEastWest CEO Jerry Ngo and family

EastWest CEO Jerry Ngo and family
EastWest CEO Jerry Ngo and family

Executive Vice President and Head of Consumer Lending Lawrence Lee and his familyExecutive Vice President and Head of Consumer Lending Lawrence Lee and his family

Executive Vice President and Head of Consumer Lending Lawrence Lee and his family
Executive Vice President and Head of Consumer Lending Lawrence Lee and his family

Executive Vice President and Head of Consumer Lending Lawrence Lee and his familyExecutive Vice President and Head of Consumer Lending Lawrence Lee and his family

Executive Vice President and Head of Consumer Lending Lawrence Lee and his family
Executive Vice President and Head of Consumer Lending Lawrence Lee and his family

Jerry Ngo, CEO of EastWest, along with Lawrence Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Consumer Lending, and Martin Reyes, SVP Head of Marketing, embrace their roles as easygoing fathers at home, despite being tough bosses at work. This contrast is a welcome departure from the more rigid parenting style prevalent in the Philippines.

Ngo, a father of two adult children, acknowledges that being a disciplinarian is challenging in today's world. Having traveled extensively for work, he and his wife raised their children with adaptability.

“”We grew up fairly strict, my wife and I, but we learned to adapt. We learned to treat them as adults, to have adult conversations and discussions early in their lives,” Ngo says.

Reyes shares a similar mindset, striving to be a friend to his young adult children.

“That's the only way they can be open. What you don't want to happen is they hide things from you and be distant,” he shares.

Lee, whose eldest son has special needs, emphasizes the importance of kindness and understanding as a parent. He recognized early on that he needed to adapt his parenting style and approach the challenges with patience and experience.

From the home to the boardroom

These leaders' fatherly instincts also influence their leadership styles at work.

Reyes believes that fatherhood has made him a more compassionate leader, treating his team members as his own children. While he demands more from his employees at work, he maintains a compassionate approach and believes that tough love is sometimes necessary.

For Lee, facilitating the right culture and atmosphere is a common aspect of being both a father and a leader. Understanding the type of environment that fosters growth and success is crucial in both domains.

The leaders understand the importance of a healthy work-life balance and quality time with family, too.

Ngo advises his team to prioritize family over work, emphasizing that moments with loved ones are invaluable.

“I always try to be there. And I keep telling my team, if there's a conflict between you and your family, you should just choose your family,” Ngo says.

He also recognizes that his actions as a father leave lasting impressions on his children and sets an example for future leaders.

“Your nonverbal communication is equally important as your verbal ones,” he adds. “Children have a way of mimicking how you behave. For example, if you treat your wife well, there's a better chance that your children will treat their partners like that. Those kinds of things, you don't directly teach.”

Lee echoes this sentiment, suggesting that being oneself and having fun are essential even when the responsibilities of fatherhood may seem intimidating. By being authentic, he hopes his children will follow suit.

Reyes has an even more understanding take on this lesson, a thinking honed by years of friendship with his kids.

“You can't force your ideas and set your own principles or standards on them,” he says. “They will decide on their own. You can try to guide them through example or let them learn themselves. But you have to be around them, too, and catch them when they make a mistake.”

With leaders like Ngo, Lee and Reyes at the helm, EastWest's employees can rest assured that they have mentors who combine empathy and compassion with ambition. These leaders not only guide their “children” in the workplace but also help them reach their full potential, contributing to the bank's success.

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Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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