21 Oct 2016 08:55:58 AM

Overcoming challenges: Four leading professionals share their career journeys

It’s no secret that failure is often the biggest fear many professionals have. Some may be so focused on mistakes that they lose out on hidden opportunities, especially the chance to come back stronger and better. 
Dr Hari Narayanan, Managing Director (Penang Operations) of Motorola Solutions Malaysia; Dato' P'ng Soo Hong, Managing Director of First Solar Malaysia; Dr Elizabeth Lee, Senior Executive Director of Sunway Education Group, and Ann Osman, MMA fighter speaking during a panel session moderated by Talent Acquisition Director of Dell Penang, Bandhana Rai at the Northern Region Diversity Summit 2016.

At a panel discussion during the recent Northern Region Diversity Summit 2016, four leading professionals from different industries explored the topic of failure and how they respectively overcame setbacks in their careers.
Taking The Leap
Dato’ P’ng Soo Hong, Managing Director of First Solar Malaysia, shared his experience of rising to the challenge when he received a project that he felt he was not yet ready for. For him, the fear of failure running inside our head are the things that are keeping us from moving forward.

“No one is ever ready. It is always a continuous learning process.”

Agreeing to this is Dr Hari Narayanan, who has been with Motorola Solutions Malaysia for nearly two decades. Currently the Managing Director (Penang Operations), Dr Hari added that the need to look for various experience in every aspect is very important in building a person’s diversity. 
The opportunities that are taken will build credibility and trust.” 
Don’t Hold Onto Failures
Professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, Ann Osman, shared how upset and embarrassed she was to be defeated on home ground after a loss to Russian fighter, Irina Mazepa. Ann who is Malaysia’s first female pro MMA fighter, shared how difficult it was for her to get back out into the arena, but soon told herself that the failure she was facing would only last for the day.

“Rejection, failure, loss, they all hurt but what matters is coming back from that.”
On the same note, Sunway Education Group’s Senior Executive Director, Dr Elizabeth Lee, described herself as someone who does not believe in success and failure. A prominent figure in the Malaysian education industry, Dr Lee pointed out that everything is an experience on its own. However, what is more important than the event itself is the act of moving forward.
Life is a journey, and you may trip a little bit or pick a few flowers along the way, but you must always move on.”
Believing in Yourself
The biggest challenge many individuals face, as agreed by the panelists, would be breaking down the internal walls that stop people from doing what they want to do. 

“We have to make sure that we don’t make ourselves, our own worst enemy,” said Dato P’ng, as he emphasised the need for people to stop doubting themselves and to start taking action in order to make the change that they want to see and be. 

Ultimately, as Ann shared, “you are the driver of your life”.