A leader’s competency is often only revealed during times of crisis–a test that political and business leaders around the world have been grappling with since the Covid-19 outbreak. Making difficult decisions with limited information is but one challenge for those in such a position to overcome. Doing so with kindness, compassion, and honesty was emphasized in The Mills Fabrica’s webinar, ‘Meet Mr. Antony Leung: Leadership In A Novel Crisis.’
Leung joined Nan Fung Group, which launched the Mills Fabrica revitalization project in 2018, as Chairman and CEO in 2014. Few people in Hong Kong rival Leung’s crisis management experience in both the public and private sector, having served as the special administrative region’s Financial Secretary during the SARS outbreak and chairman of Blackstone Group Asia during the 2007 global financial recession.
The Mills Fabrica Co-Director Alexander Chan moderated the fireside chat, which began with Leung sharing his general views of the current situation. He was open about his deep worry for Hong Kong, having faced both “natural calamities” and “human misfortune” over the past year, adding that the uncertain epidemiological nature of Covid-19 is worsening the effects of these “dangerous macro situations.”
Leung goes on to discuss how survival, on the part of companies and individuals, is to look for new opportunities and avoid panicking, as the economy will eventually bounce back. He also believes that leaders should prepare for potentially two more years of instability, should Hong Kong be hit with a second or third wave of infections.
During the question and answer section of the webinar, Chan asked the virtual attendees to submit questions via Zoom’s chat function. Many of the questions related to Leung’s economic views looking ahead, such as the future of Hong Kong’s property market and the Hong Kong dollar. He also touched on survival for startups, advising that they (1) conserve cash, (2) find new revenue channels and investors, and (3) come to terms with giving in where needed when it comes to valuation.
Leung closed the webinar with some food for thought during what can be considered the most compelling and intimate part of the session. While Hong Kong has experienced a relatively low number of Covid-19-related deaths, the devastating situation in other countries has prompted many to contemplate the purpose of life. He emphasized the need for leaders to take this opportunity to reflect upon one’s calling and, more importantly, evaluate the resources they have at their disposal and how they can be used to benefit others.