This is the article I wrote for VEMBA Newsletter Vol 2. Issue. You can access the whole issue here:
Rewinding back to 2007, I was at a cross road. I was faced with the basic question that we all ask throughout our lives: “What is my next step?” I didn’t have a clear answer. At that time, I received a recommendation to join the newly launched VEMBA-HCMC program.
I was unprepared to apply for the program, but I was lucky enough to be accepted into the first VEMBA HCMC cohort. It turned out to be a wonderful journey. The huge amount of knowledge I acquired from the program was obviously my win. Surprisingly, it went even beyond that. I had fun, made friends with the cohort, and learned a lot from my peers. I kept in touch with my professors after I finished the program. I realized that it was the good people I had a chance to meet that made the whole VEMBA journey fulfilling and wonderful. I met incredible professors and friends throughout the program. That was what I was looking for after all, and that was my fortune.
In the middle of the VEMBA program, I went on and co-founded a company called KMS Technology with a group of friends. We grew to 60 employees in the first year, 180 in the second year and nearly 300 in the third year, 2011. We have doubled our revenue each year for the last three years.
When asked to explain how we did that, all I can say is that I was fortunate to have a talented group of people as my business partners to start KMS three years ago. And that was truly the reason. It has been them, my partners, who pushed KMS toward the success we have today. Good people matter. Having a great business idea and a great business strategy are important. But implementing it successfully separates successful people from those who fail. Once you start talking about implementation and execution, it is entirely dependent on the people that you have on the team, not the ideas. It is quite simple like that. Success only comes from our people. And we need to get good people “onto the bus” (borrowing words from Good to Great) at the very first sight of them.
Once we have good people on the bus, trust connects people and motivates them to perform at their best. Integrity is the key practice to build and maintain trust among the team. It’s as simple as this: Success<- People <- Trust <-Integrity. With this solid principle, I can see how KMS will become stronger and stronger everyday, as a team.
In brief, my two most important journeys of the past four years-VEMBA and KMS-share one thing in common: that I was fortunate enough to get to know, learn from and work with good people. That was really the key to the success I’ve achieved so far. For me, it’s not the total number of people I know that matters, but the total number of good people I know. Go out there, find, meet and recruit good people into your network. I guarantee it will bring all of the best to your life.