Interviewing CFO and investor/shareholder
- Fonfun Corporation: mobile services for internet. Changed name from Netvillage to focus on what they’re actually doing. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and boardmember and investor/shareholder.
- When did you experience gratitude in your workplace? I wasn’t really in a place to experience gratitude, so I never expected to receive gratitude because I was in the second highest position.
- How did you as a leader foster gratitude in your workplace? There is a principle: don’t come from negativity, always come from positivity and constructivity. Something constructive and positive when it comes to any work. Compliment when the job gets done well, and make sure that it gets compensated as well. Externally, always deal with clients, customers, business partners with gratitude and courtesy. Gratitude is always the most important thing, and is an atmosphere I tried to create. Implementation: during group meetings and company meetings, it’s important to demonstrate that in action. If you don’t, people wouldn’t respect you.
- What are ways that you wish you could have received gratitude? To be very honest, the financial compensation.
- What was one situation that you were shown gratitude? When I left the company, many young employees I have never talked to thanked me. I would play basketball with them after work, I never worked with them, but it was these guys who came to me and thanked me and said that it was an honor to work with me and that they wished that they could have worked with me.
- Looking back, do you think that there is any other way that you could have increased the culture of gratitude in your place? It really depends on the person, so it’s hard to say. I’ve worked with many types of people from many different cultures. The best way is to make the business itself solidified, make it profitable. When the business is going well, then there is a good atmosphere created in the company. Top guys must stay humble.
- Would you say that your workplace had a culture of gratitude? Not really, it was a very complicated situation in the workplace when I came in.
- Do you think that it would help if there were external reminders to be thankful? That would make a huge difference. Even the lighting and the cleanliness of the office makes a big difference. A clean, organized office with good lighting creates a good atmosphere. It totally changes. Most important thing is that if you go into the details. As a CFO I followed what I call the three “L”’s. List (organization), Log (keep track), Loop (communication). When I was in FonFun, smokers vs nonsmokers had a big divide because smokers would go out to the smoking room and talk and communicate things that they wouldn’t tell the nonsmokers, which created a divide and was not good. A workplace can’t be chasing numbers and outcomes; it has to be for the people.
- Do you have any other questions for me about this project? Interesting project…