#Voicesof… Ayumu Matsuki: An Effective Leaders’ Guide

My name is Ayumu, and I joined this company three years ago as a fresh graduate. I’m currently a Business Development Team Lead handling the Manufacturing portfolio. I am responsible for client handling and making sure my team performs to their utmost excellence. I have been with the company for three years, and I hope my insights and experience on the job will help you see things from a new perspective.


1.What strategies will you implement as a newly appointed Team Leader to build a cohesive and productive team?

It’s crucial to remind the team members to set individual goals and goals to be achieved as a team. I encourage open discussions between team members to let them know I’m always ready to listen and help.

Being transparent with them about our performance and letting them know where we stand is essential too. With that information made known, it’s easier for us to work together to achieve a unified, clear goal.


2.What tools and resources do you use to make your work more effective?

I have been using these three tools and resources to help me produce great work and productivity.

a. Journal: I keep a journal where I write down everything, from thoughts, ideas, and emotions into it. Daily self-reflection helps me be aware and intentional: to improve in areas I’ve not done so well and to celebrate little victories of that day.

bE-hailing services: I acknowledge I am not a morning person and value my sleep more than anything, and being stuck in traffic is not a good start to anyone’s I used Grab or Gojek to minimise the hassle of travelling so that I can concentrate on myself without being bothered by others and have a moment of silence before I start a long day.

c. Miro: This is a fantastic tool I use daily to help me sort out information using flowcharts to improve my daily workflow and formulate my mid to long-term planning.


3.How do you plan to track the productivity of your team members? And what will you do to support them if they underperform?

Being engaged and involved in their tasks is something significant to me. I prefer to be kept in a loop to know what is being done daily, but I trust my team enough not to micromanage them. It’s essential to give them feedback on what they have done well and to let them know the areas they lack that can be improved.

When a team member underperforms, I will set aside time with them and have them discuss things with me. Understanding the challenges and difficulties (the root cause) is vital, and we can both develop a solution that improves the situation.


4.Give us an example of a skill you have acquired on the job and which areas of work it has been helpful in.

As time went by, I picked up people skills after working with so many individuals. I learned the importance of teamwork and getting everyone involved, making each other feel important.

As a Business Development personnel two years ago, I wanted to do everything on my own—from finding my clients to candidates and having to follow up with either of them took a tow on me. Hence, working together has also improved my communication skills and emotional intelligence.


5.What advice, lessons or insights have you gotten earlier in your career that has guided or inspired you?

My mentor constantly reminded me of the value of staying humble. This is especially important in a work setting. Our company’s average age group is relatively younger than other companies, and promotions are often handed out to people with excellent qualities and performance.

Often, some people think it’s okay to be arrogant just because they are handed out a new title and elevated to a new position. They think it’s solely due to their hard work and begin to treat others differently. Learn as much as you can from others with a good attitude.


‘The key to growing is to stay humble, regardless of your position.’ 


6.What would you like to impart to those who aspire to follow the same path as you did?

Results come first. In our industry, it’s somewhat competitive due to respective sales targets. We all know that hard work and perseverance are necessary, but the outcome is your results. If you want to advance the corporate ladder, you must be able to show and prove what you can do and do it well. Wherever you are, whatever designation you’re in, it’s essential to keep track of your progress and account for it. Based on my experience, many people demand a promotion or benefits before showing they can contribute to the entity or even their team first.

Next, being able to garner the support of others would help you advance further. Often, achieving something significant is done through the support of others. The ones that believe in you will naturally encourage and journey with you.


7.What are your preferred methods of communication with your team members to ensure all of you are on the same page?

I prefer the utilise tools that increase productivity and efficiency. At the office, all our communications are done via Microsoft Teams; it’s also where every individual can get the latest updates, reply to chats, schedule and attend meetings and use various productivity tools on the platform.

I do my best to share all the information within our group chat to allow them to grasp the rough idea of my plan first, and then it will be followed by a short face-to-face chat to ensure we’re all on the same page.


Interview by Destiny Goh

Marketing Communications Executive