Lifestyle Business

Lance Gokongwei shares lessons from his father that he uses during pandemic

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
Lance Gokongwei shares lessons from his father that he uses during pandemic
John Gokongwei, Jr. JG Summit Holdings Inc. president and CEO Lance Gokongwei
File photo from 'Dad lessons from Eddie Garcia, Nards Jimenez & John Gokongwei, Jr.'

MANILA, Philippines — It's true that action speaks louder than words. For the most part, Lance Gokongwei saw how his father, the business savvy, late tycoon John Gokongwei Jr., aka "Big John," showed him how business is done through actions.

“All the lessons my dad taught us – he taught not through words, but by example. And all the lessons he taught, guide me until now,” Lance shared.

It is no wonder that all businesses managed by him and his siblings have thrived and are surviving especially during this pandemic.

Cebu Pacific, the low-cost airline Lance heads and where he sits as chief executive officer, is also hit by the global health crisis like most in the aviation and tourism sectors. This did not deter him from keeping the company afloat and help it weather the storm.

With the life lessons imparted by his father, Lance shared these helped him run CebPac, especially since the company is celebrating its 25th year this year.

Seek advice from others

It is an erroneous assumption that successful businessmen like Big John and Lance have all the knowledge and skills that they need.

His father asked him at the beginning of CebPac in the 1980s for help when John, who loved to travel and had a fascination for airplanes when he was a kid, asked Lance if he knows anyone who could help him with an airline he was planning to put up.

“He was in the United States at that time and read about a low-cost carrier called Southwest. That’s how all this started,” Lance recalled. "He came up to my office one day and said, 'I started this airline—can you think of anyone who could help?' For me, that meant he wanted me to help, so that’s what I did.”

Lance added, “You can never stop learning from others. Even when you’re the boss or the manager, you will benefit from the ideas of your colleagues.”  

If necessary, he continued, go ahead and tap the expertise of consultants and join industry groups that discuss problems in your field because “no matter what challenges arise, make sure to find the solution, even if it doesn’t come from yourself.”  

Be committed to serve

Lance is aware of the challenges that continue during these uncertain times. But like what his old man had said, being able to serve and be committed to fulfilling this purpose is another key lesson in life.

Lance said that Cebu Pacific stays committed in serving the public, with utmost safety, convenience and fun in every flight. "Our strong team - from the flight crew to the operations team, to those working from home or offices across the network - remain true to their service in making sure you arrive to your destination as safe and comfortable as possible," he said.

He added, “We have witnessed a lot of changes in 25 years - changes that enabled us to grow and reaffirm why we fly. As we celebrate this milestone, our commitment remains: to make the skies accessible for every Juan of you in the years to come."



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