An advertising executive with over 20 years of experience, Yell’s managing director Peeradon Gabriel drives effective strategic change for his list of automotive and retail clientele. With time spent in multiple international network agencies, Peeradon brings his wealth of experience in consulting global and regional clients to Yell and established Yell Singapore in 2019 to drive business development to conquer the APAC market.
Here, Peeradon discusses how he learned to be a successful leader, the importance of transparency, and what he considers the most useful resources throughout his career.
LBB> What was your first experience of leadership?
Peeradon> My first experience of leadership was quite exciting, and I knew it was essential for me to prepare myself and my team well to gain the client’s confidence. I knew I had to take charge and lead the team to make sure we could win and achieve our goals.
LBB> How did you figure out what kind of leader you wanted to be – or what kind of leader you didn’t want to be?
Peeradon> I learned what makes a good leader from my bosses and the way they think. They always looked at things positively and acted as a motivator. They build a supportive team and help them develop and grow in their careers. For me, the right mentor is the key to success. Mentorship helps a team develop and strengthen in many aspects. It’s also important to be genuine.
LBB> What experience or moment gave you your biggest lesson in leadership?
Peeradon> Failure gives the biggest lessons in leadership. You learn and develop from failure, analyse what went wrong and find ways to win over it.
LBB> Did you know you always wanted to take on a leadership role? If so how did you work towards it and if not, when did you start realising that you had it in you?
Peeradon> Yes, I always wanted to take on a leadership role. I work towards it with work KPIs set between me and my senior. I always try to find new solutions and new knowledge. I revisit past work and identify what could be better in order to deliver better with the next project.
LBB> When it comes to 'leadership' as a skill, how much do you think is a natural part of personality, how much can be taught and learned?
Peeradon> I think personality is a huge part of leadership. Leaders can learn from their own mentors and adapt in their own style. The most important thing is to be genuine.
LBB> What are the aspects of leadership that you find most personally challenging? And how do you work through them?
Peeradon> Gaining trust from team members is the most challenging for me. Having an open line of communication is one of the most important elements of effective leadership, so it’s vital that the team knows you are there for them at all times. Coaching also helps, allowing you to see what could be strengthened and how you can equip your team - making them feel proud of themselves when they achieve tasks.
Leadership is developed through practice - as well as support, coaching, and mentorship. With this, others like me can overcome challenges and grow to be good leaders.
LBB> Have you ever felt like you've failed whilst in charge? How did you address the issue and what did you learn from it?
Peeradon> Yes, I address it in a very straightforward way and admit what has gone wrong, providing a solution to fix it right away.
LBB> In terms of leadership and openness, what’s your approach there? Do you think it’s important to be as transparent as possible in the service of being authentic? Or is there a value in being careful and considered?
Peeradon> I think it’s very important to be as transparent as possible and also be authentic. When everything is clear, it helps everyone move fast and easily.
LBB> As you developed your leadership skills did you have a mentor, if so who were/are they and what have you learned? And on the flip side, do you mentor any aspiring leaders and how do you approach that relationship?
Peeradon> Yes I did have a great mentor which helped to accelerate my leadership skill. I could always ask their thoughts on how to cope with situations. They were also ambitious, genuine, caring, and positive. I believe that if you look at things in a positive way, you can find the best solution.
LBB> It's been a really challenging few years - and that's an understatement. How do you cope with the responsibility of leading a team through such difficult waters?
Peeradon> I’ll come back to the positive perspective here. Leading with optimism helps me and my team through difficult times - and having the ability to listen to the team, sit down together, and find solutions. Connecting consistently with the team, solving problems together, really helps.
LBB> How important is your company culture to the success of your business?
Peeradon> Company culture to me plays the most important role to the success of business. Genuineness makes the team comfortable and allows them to focus on work through the tough time.
LBB> What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help you along your leadership journey?
Peeradon> My own mentors, the management team, and the team at Yell all help me along the way of my leadership journey. We work together closely and support each other in all aspects.