We had a wonderful inaugural episode of Coffee, Collaboration, and Enablement in ASEAN and India, hosted by Pooja Kumar with guest Michael Teoh Su Lim from Thriving Talents.  Michael’s thoughts on agility and resilience were well worth your time.

There are so many valuable lessons and insights. Here are just a few.

1️⃣People buy the emotion and not the product or

2️⃣Consider how you can position yourself as a trusted advisor, partner, and thought leader for your client.

3️⃣Lead with industry insights

4️⃣Develop measurable learning journeys and measure ROI for the client

5️⃣ Wrapped up with Michaels’s personal story of purpose, persistence, and pivoting of strategy to get to his aspirational goal of meeting Barack Obama.

Give a listen and remain curious.

Audio Transcript

Pooja Kumar
Okay, welcome to coffee collaboration and enablement for ASEAN and India. I am Pooja and my mission is to create a place where sales enablement, professionals and leaders can share what they do and learn from each other and new ways of helping their own teams Excel. I’m super excited today today we have Michael tear, who is the founder of actually an amazing company called thriving talents. And they’re learning solutions provider here in ASEAN, focused on a very specific niche market of helping company leaders drive the best results, especially out of the millennial employees. He’s worked, Michael and I have worked together in the past, and Michael’s worked for Fortune 500 clients across 41 countries across the globe, actually. And in fact, we’re going to hear about this a little later. But he’s also had the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. This is one of his training workshops. That would have been quite freaky, Michael.

Michael Teoh Su Lim
That was amazing. I mean, just sure President Obama was really tall, like towering tall,

Pooja Kumar
really. And you’re pretty tall. So

Michael Teoh Su Lim
yeah, that says a lot, right? Because when he walks in, you can feel his aura while it’s just charisma. So you talk about charisma, it’s that he leaves you speechless. You’re like, Oh, my God, he’s here. But anyways, if we have time, we will talk a little bit about that. And we’ll relate it back to a lesson I learned about sales enablement, because it took me a while it took me four years to talk about sales leaders, salespeople needing persistence, resilience. That’s a story about it and some strategy. So if we have time, we’ll talk about that later. Pooja,

Pooja Kumar
make sure we have time for that, because I’m really interested in that. Okay, so look, I’m honored to have you here, my first guest on this podcast for ASEAN and India. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?

Michael Teoh Su Lim
Well, I think the entire world is currently fighting a pandemic, and we are winning the battle with the vaccine coming up. So stay resilient, that is when we really appreciate all those sales skills, experiences and are asking us to never give up being resourceful. It’s helping us at the moment, weathering the pandemic, obviously, my business being a learning solutions partner, where we were so used to deploying our training, our speaking our consulting services via face to face. When COVID-19 came, it disrupted us, it gave us a new normal to work with. And immediately I find myself where not only am I now being demanded by my clients to equip their sales team, with a brand new mindset with brand new ways of doing things. For example, right now, it’s no longer about face to face presentation. It’s about how do you engage your audience virtually. But I also find myself at the other end where right now I need to equip I need to enable my sales team, I need to enable my partners around the world who has been reselling our products and services, to know how to sell during this new normal. So things have been interesting. That’s why I’m here to hopefully share some nuggets of wisdom, from the many pitfalls from the hundreds and 1000s of dollars that I burned due to experimentation, with marketing with sales last year in the year 2020. And we’re now in 2021. So I’m excited to share this so that you can avoid those mistakes I had, I’d gone through and leverage all the lessons I’ve learned together with our clients and how you could deploy an effective, a resilient, resourceful sales team moving forward.

Pooja Kumar
Wow. Okay, so you said a whole bunch of stuff over there. I’d love to hear your story about what you’ve changed between 2020 and 2021. Could we start there in terms of your offerings? Sure,

Michael Teoh Su Lim
sure. I think the first thing that I’m just share based on our experience, so we are somewhat the industry would say a rather traditional learning solutions company where we organize workshops are organized master classes, and all these are all face to face. So when COVID hit the first thing everyone is doing is how to innovate and everybody is saying go online, go online. Now nothing wrong with that but from our experience Pooja, we went to our clients because people say hey, if the markets changing, you need to talk to your customers, you need to talk to your prospects. What do they want? What is their changing tastes, so you could actually cater your products or services to them. And that’s what we did. But when COVID hit, it took the world by surprise, we thought it was a china problem. And then it became a global pandemic, right? Surprisingly, when we went to speak to our clients, they actually didn’t quite know what to do as well. You know, and then what happened is that they were trolling in solution. They’re like, hey, why not do this? They were like, why not? Do your training using 3d imagery using the Oculus read? Or? Why not? you’re spinning in virtual reality. It’s all about why not? Why not?

Unknown Speaker
Yes,

Michael Teoh Su Lim
one of the big mistake that I learned, and that is we follow what our clients want, and nothing wrong with that. But it, it makes May my team and I changed directions too many times.

Unknown Speaker
Right. You

Michael Teoh Su Lim
know, people always say that, hey, your customers, your prospects know best? No, I would I would humbly like to decline. I would say, a lesson from there is because we change so much so often. Yeah, frustrated, my team, especially my salespeople. Yeah. And number two, we will seem like last we didn’t know what to do. So my takeaway from that? Yeah, that’s a really quick lesson, right? There is my take away is, let the dust settle. Yeah. And instead of asking one to two clients, like, Hey, what do you want to change? Look at the industry, look at what they’re doing. So that’s what we did, right? changing, changing so much. And then we decided that, hey, let the dust settle down for a month, and during this month, we positioned ourselves as a thought leader. So instead of calling up clients and prospects and said, Hey, we have this new training solution, hook us up, we position ourselves where we contributed a lot of value. That means like a good sell Pooja, doing online webinars, producing podcasts, we enriched our learning management system online, we built content. So it’s about building bullets, building the nation, so that you could go to war, when the war is ready when the war arrives, right. So that’s something that we learn. So really build your foundation, wait until the dust settle, look at the average industry sentiment that’s going around in your market. And that is how you would have a firmer way forward on knowing what to change and how to deploy your team project.

Pooja Kumar
And I absolutely, what I love about that Michael is having been one of your clients before last year, I have had absolutely no idea so so as a client, I have no idea what really works. Last year, we were all trying out new stuff. So I’m really looking for vendors to tell me based on industry experience, that’s virtual reality headsets, cool. But based on industry experience, this is what we think is going to work best in learning. And based on what I see in trends. So I love I love that you were leading your clients to what makes sense. And and focusing on the content piece, which is actually really important at the moment is is delving into that.

Michael Teoh Su Lim
Okay, that’s right. That’s right. That’s right. So that’s a hard lesson for us. I mean, I did invest some amount of money, you know, changing chasing the trends. It can be good, but my recommendation is really know what you’re getting into, look at the average of the industry look at the sentiment of the industry, instead of basing it off one of your customers or one of your prospects.

Pooja Kumar
Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And and that that makes so much sense that I really, I mean, I’ve personally value that I’m sure that others like me value that as well. We’re looking for what’s good, rather than what we think is good. Michael, tell me something in in in your research and understanding what sellers need more of what’s coming up for you. What do sellers in ASEAN need more off right now?

Michael Teoh Su Lim
I think number one, based on our impression is that right now everybody’s going online, so whatever products or service that you’re selling, it has become borderless. And because everybody has gone online, the consumer behavior to consume information online has never been so rampant. It has never been so intensified as compared to what COVID or the lockdowns have done for us. So one of the things you want to do is that have an open mind. Don’t just focus On the local market, but explore on the global market. Now I know an argument here Pooja as people are saying that, Michael, it’s so easy for you to say that, or I work with a huge multinational company. I mean, I have teams in Vietnam that servicing the Vietnamese market. I don’t have to be there, right. But I think one thing that company or sales teams can do is to start investing in what I call thought leadership, as I mentioned earlier, because right now, during this time, no doubt, it’s a tough time. For some people, it’s a lucrative time for some people as well. So you have a lot of people going online, but people are really looking forward to see who are the trusted advisors, they are not looking for a salesman to work with them, they’re looking for a partner to work with them. And to be a partner, you need to be seen as adding value, you need to be seen where, hey, you are delivering a industry wide content strategy, insight that would help your clients that would help your clients industry grow without being seen as expecting something in return.

Pooja Kumar
Right?

Michael Teoh Su Lim
So that is what’s going on. That’s one of the ways how you could go global goal regional, and position yourself as a thought leader and as a trusted partner. So if you were to ask me, Michael, what should sales leaders train their sales teams to do during this time? I would say number one, train them about how they can become thought leaders in the industry. All right, that’s number one. Number two, train them about virtual presentation. Now, when we talk about virtual presentation, and I do this for a lot of my clients, a lot of people tend to say that, hey, it’s about just appearing on zoom on MLS teams on Cisco WebEx, and then about us just talking, it’s not you need to learn how to engage your audience, read their PowerPoints correctly, understand that there are some people that are viewing this now live online, you know, I would love to talk to them to get to know their comments, call out their names, if I could see their names, you know, call out their names, so that they feel connected. So it’s all about virtual engagement. And the other training that I think sales leaders need to invest on is storytelling. In a sense, now you have all this data. I mean, you’re a big multinational company, you do business to business solutions, or even business to consumers, b2c, you have data, because with that data, you will provide insights to your prospects to your customers that, hey, they should adopt your solution, are they going to feel a lot of pain. But the challenge is a lot of people present data as data. Now people are not inspired with data, people are inspired with the story behind the data, people are inspired behind the emotion, that set of data triggers. Again, just to wrap up for this point, preacher, a wise mentor of mine, one of the top salesman in North America has always shared with me and he said, Michael, people don’t buy information. People buy emotions.

Pooja Kumar
I love that. That is so true, too. And the point that you made around data I and I do that resonates the most for me. And X amount. 120% of people today are thinking x y Zed makes no sense. But when you bring that story in, and you bring the emotion and that you’ve now got a hook to really talk to your customers, thank you for sharing that. When I spoke to you previously, or just before we started, you also talked about a very unique part of your own company that you’ve spent some time investing in, which is around psychological well being of salespeople and people that you serve as Can you tell us a little bit more about that? Why is that important?

Michael Teoh Su Lim
Excellent. Well, here’s the thing. You know, I’m happy to share about what my company has done. But I would like to bring you and all the viewers and the listeners out there, you know, Hello again, through the process, and when you talk about psychology, right, so so just to share with you a disclaimer right here Pooja has put in a lot of effort in preparing this for all of you. Okay, we just want to give absolute value to all of you. So here we go. So traditionally, let’s talk about sales kickoff. So right now is the season where a lot of companies are doing sales kickoff. So normally sales kickoff is when you invite the CEO, the CEO inspires the crowd sharing about the objectives, the goals, the key performance indicators of the year. All right. And then normally if the company is a little bit more proactive, they want a little bit more you unique blend, they will invite a speaker, an external speaker, a motivational speaker to, to rally up the crowd right now. That’s cool. Okay. However, one of the things that we realize, as we partner with all these fortune 500 CEOs, we understand what their sales team really need. Sure, clarity is important. You need to get clarity from the top most top senior person to be telling your sales team that this is our goal, okay? Because if they see that they have gotten the buy in from the top for them to chase for their goal, it at least gives them a clear go to strategy for them to hit the market. That’s number one. Number two, getting a motivational speaker, that’s fine, because you want to have variety, you want to give them that extra, I would say injection of high spirited charge. But what we find as well, psychologically, is that as we design this program, so some of our clients I speak in a lot of sales kickoffs, is that employees now one more because a lot of them are working from home. A lot of them right now the lines between work life balance, because they’re working from home, they’re constantly with their families, with their screaming children, are there nagging in loss, or just sit there saying, Okay,

Unknown Speaker
so

Michael Teoh Su Lim
what happened is that the lines are being blurred. So, if you were to just do a kickoff, will it solve everything? It wouldn’t? What We then see is that you need to do kickoff, and then there has to be a momentum to sustain their drive. So what momentum are we talking about? What can you do? After the kickoff, you could initiate a monthly catch up session, where you could invite all your sales team to come back and learn about topics that may not be related to sales, but it’s more related to their own well being? mental health Good idea. Great. Yeah, mental health, learn about how to manage stress, learn about how to deal with rejections. All right. And then along that journey of sustaining their momentum, say for the next six months, yeah, the first one, you could have a mental health engagement, mental health talk. The second one, you could have a virtual team engagement, which is something that we do as well, virtual team engagement is when they come in, and they just have time to bond as a team. Because right now, a lot of your salespeople when they’re working from home, you can’t help them from them thinking that sometimes they may be working in silos. They’re working alone, because they’re really not. Yeah, colleagues in the office, they’re working from home, right. So what you want to do is that you want to have activities to get them together, if face to face activities are not allowed. Go virtual. So that’s something that we have provided for our clients as well, virtual treasure hands, you know, this is getting them to do something together, sustain that momentum. And then in the span of this six months, you could actually do a follow up, what happened is that a lot of sales teams tend to say, oh, right after the kickoff, the CEO have spoken right after the motivational speaker have inspired us. But what happens next, so an agreement perhaps could be arranged, either with the same speakers that you’ve had, or with a separate vendor, a separate speaker, and his or her role is to do a follow up on the major points on the major themes that was mentioned during the start of the year kickoff. So this is around three to four months after the kickoff, you do another follow up, you refresh what they have learned, you remind them of what goals they are going for. And you make this all measurable. So we have been doing that with some clients and truth be told, Pooja, that was how we, as a company driving talents have survived as well, in a sense, where we started to not provide motivational seminars per se. We started to provide learning journeys, learning solutions for our clients, and when you call it’s a whole journey, right? Yeah, from one month to six months to a year. So that’s what you can do with your team. And last but not least, if your sales team could see that you’re investing so much, I’m not only talking about money here, I’m talking about so much in a sense that care, that you show them that you care, they would repay you. Yeah, they receive more. Right?

Pooja Kumar
Exactly, absolutely much more engagement. And I like that you’re doing that I mean, it you know, many companies do have their, their their learning paths and and of some of the larger companies do have their learning parts and their engagement. journeys. But I haven’t really spoken to a vendor that does this, you know, until I provide a learning solution, I’m providing a solution to a problem. So I really love that you’re doing that. And, and I think it’s so important, especially what you said about, you do your kickoff, and you do your main pieces, then you give them a few interventions to keep them engaged. And then you do another piece, which reminds them of what the goals were in the first place, and then do a few more interventions. I love that strategy. That’s really cool. What what Michael, can I ask you, have you seen some results that you could share from this new style of engagement that you’ve pulled, you know, or learning solutions that you’ve, that you’ve created for your teams?

Michael Teoh Su Lim
For sure. So I would like to allude us to three scenarios here, three case studies. So number one, of course, we have seen like our clients, their sales have gone up at least 40 to 50%, from just within the third month, right. And there is actually a reason for it. I’m not just saying this, because it’s to glamorize what we have done. So let me share with you the reason and this leads me to my second point. So you see, when their sales team are trained using this methodology, what happened is that oftentimes they get excited. They get some new strategies, they get some new ideas and insights from the kickoff. So that’s month number one, so they get excited. But if there is no follow up, aligned with the theme of what was established during the first month kickoff, what happened is you will leave your sales team quite one, they’ll be wandering around, they’ll be thinking, that’s it. It’s just another kickoff. And two weeks after that, you’ll be feeling

Unknown Speaker
man. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah.

Michael Teoh Su Lim
They’ll be feeling like, Okay, what what what happens next? It’s two weeks since the kickoff. I’m not feeling it anymore. Oh, my goodness. Right. So what happened is that when it is announced that the program, hey, we have a follow up for you, which is a month after the initial kickoff, right, those sales team, there’ll be thinking, Okay, I have my doubts. It’s been two weeks since the first kickoff, I’ve tried some of the strategies and the techniques, some work, some didn’t. But at least in two weeks from now, I have another follow up. So I’m going to go to the follow up, I am going to rain down under speaker on the expert about what I’ve gone through, so that he could give me my solution. And that’s the best part. You see, oftentimes, a lot of kickoffs, it’s always the speaker sharing nothing wrong with that. But I believe what’s the missing equation is, are you giving time for your sales team to experiment with their newly learned trade in the market, get some feedback, and then come back giving them a source, a platform, a channel for them to then ask questions based on their experience?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, so I’m learning right?

Michael Teoh Su Lim
Yeah, yeah. So So that’s it. That’s the second scenario where we have seen a lot of clients that come back to us and they said, their sales team, they’re looking forward for the follow up, because to be honest, some techniques work, some didn’t work, that’s fine. So they come to the follow up, we do the follow up. And normally clients signed up for three follow ups. So the first follow up happens a month after the first kickoff, the second one happens two months after the first follow up. And then the last one happens two months after the second follow up. You see, so at least they’re being grounded, right, at least they know. So we have seen sales increase for our clients I mentioned again, 40 to 50%. They are those who got more numbers as well. And then the second part is of course, we have seen sales team having the motivation, their momentum sustain, because they know that hey, they have someone to ask question two. And last but not least Pooja. The third scenario that we should cherish this. We share with them that during this time of COVID of the lockdown, thought leadership is very important. How do you position yourself as a trusted adviser as a trusted partner as a trusted authority in the eyes of your clients? And normally for this we normally share people say for your sales team. It’s not about them picking up the phone and calling your prospects or clients that hey, we have a new product in this new normal. Please buy it from us. It doesn’t work anymore. You need No it doesn’t. It doesn’t work anymore. You need to build client intimacy, client intimacy and and and and Client intimacy. I mean, I mean, my dear friends, Pooja is one of my clients that To be honest, right? Yeah. But, you know, when I spoke to you Pooja, I don’t recall going up to you and say, hey, are there any training? Can I do training and sales for you? I just said, Pooja, how are you how I can help. And then Pooja said, Hey, I’m doing this sales enablement podcast, you know, and you just posted up on your LinkedIn. And I just replied and said, I’m happy to support it. You know, I’m not getting paid doing this. But I promise you Pooja said, I’m gonna give you a lot of value, I want to give a lot of your listeners a lot of value. And that’s what we did. Right? So again, client intimacy, trained up your sales team to call up all your prospects, to just ask them, How are they doing, to just give them some insights about their industry that they may not know, even if they know, but just the effort of you, at least trying to help them would have would have blew them away? They would have been very touch Apps, but my emotions, you go,

Pooja Kumar
exactly. I love that. Okay, so we kind of getting to the top of the half now that I had set up. And I know, one of the, there’s, there’s a couple of things that I really want to know, there’s so many more things I want to talk to you about. But I know that everyone wants to know, because I want to know, tell me about when Barack Obama walked into your workshop, what did you do? How did that happen?

Michael Teoh Su Lim
Wow. So I’m okay. So whatever story I share, even though it’s my story, I always want to relate it back for the benefit of our sales leaders, sales enablement, teams that are listening to this right now. So allow me to provide the context. So it was in the year 2011. And I have this dream, this dream was to meet President Barack Obama. I love how he speaks. I love everything about him. So I said, I want to meet him, right? So just like with any sales leader, leading a sales team, you have that big vision, and that big vision, you could take it as a dream, or you could put action to it. Well, obviously I put action to it. Right. So what happened is that I wrote letters to the White House, I wrote 11 letters to the White House. And to show the president my sincerity, I would hand write those letters. You know, these days, people say, Michael, I would write a letter to you, but what they really meant was I’m gonna type out that letter printed out. And the only part that I use the pen to write is my signature. I think that’s a lot of cool. Okay, I think if you want to write a letter to someone write it. Okay. So I agree. Because I wrote those letters. I sent it over to the White House. And guess what Pooja? Nothing happened. Nothing happened. Yeah, all those stamps, all those stamps, right? So and express airmail stamps anyway, so So nothing happened, right. So I think, as a sales leader, I think we need to remind ourselves that, hey, we can be knocking on walls. But sometime it’s about you asking yourself, whether is it worth it to pursue it? Right? So I wasted a ton of money on stamps on Air Mail. But I thought, hey, if I could just have that glimmer of hope. It will, it will be worthwhile. So if you remember the timeline, that was 2011 2012. I asked myself, do I want to continue on this crazy dream? And I said, Yeah, Yeah, why not? Right? Again, for a sales leader. Always remember your purpose, if your purpose, whether you want to break that sales record with your team, it’s a personal purpose of yours. Or if you just want to prove to your boss that you could do it, you know, have that purpose, remind yourself of that purpose. If that purpose is higher than the means, and then go for it, right. So So what happened was I pursued that purpose. I said, I want to meet President Obama, because I hope that that could be an inspiration, if I get to meet him, for young people to believe in your dreams and go for it. Now, writing letters will no longer cut it. So what I did Pooja was you gotta change strategy, just like a sales leader, right? If something’s not working, you’re not a tree, please change it. So writing letters don’t work. So I go, I went on strategy number two, that was to spam. Barack Obama’s Facebook, Barack Obama’s Twitter and the White House, email, online email, so I like kind of spammed it. I’m pretty sure they blocked me not sure about that. But But um, I did that and guess what? No response. And there you go. That was one year one,

Pooja Kumar
right? So emails, so letters, handwritten letters and spam tweets to please Okay.

Michael Teoh Su Lim
So nothing happened, right? 2013 and I asked myself again, what am I doing right? And then I said, Hey, the purpose is higher, the purpose is higher. So now Okay, go so I gotta change strategy. So the next strategy I could think of is just to talk to people just to talk to as many people that I know and tell them my dream. Now here’s the catch. You know, this is something related to sales. Now, oftentimes sales leaders or sales teams, they’ll be like, I need to close the sale. But if there are very, very I hate to use the word desperate, but again, it’s a it’s it’s it’s that mindset, right? I didn’t take it as desperation, I just said, I just took it as I want to really meet him. I’ve tried to method it didn’t work. This third method, I’m going to do it. And that was I met all my clients. And then I asked them, I said, Hey, I have a dream. I would like to meet President Barack Obama, how can you help me? How does this work for salespeople? If you want to close the sale, go to your client, go to your prospect and say, to be honest, I really need this sale, because I am just $50,000 away from hitting my annual target. And if I hit my target, it’ll be an inspiration to my team. And again, it’s been that tons of research, right Pooja where people say, if you want to persuade someone, the moment you say, I need you to do something, and you add the golden word, because it will automatically increase your chances of getting an agreement from that person by at least 30% it’s better than nothing.

Pooja Kumar
But you really need to be seen as the trusted partner before you have that conversation.

Michael Teoh Su Lim
Client intimacy, you need to be building that. Yeah, so what happened was, you’re absolutely right. So 2013 I went to talk to people talk to politician talk to basically talk to my clients. And all of them said all the best they would try and then nothing happened 2014 roll by I spent three years it didn’t work. And then what other strategies have I can I think of right so a friend of mine said buy a flight ticket, go to Washington, DC cabins at the White House wait until the motorcade comes by throw yourself on to the beast right? They call it the beast the lemo and then you’ll definitely catch Barack Obama’s attention and most likely you’ll be put in jail. So I’m so some ideas just don’t work. So again, do not follow everything right? Do your research. So one of the things that I thought Pooja, I asked myself this, what method can I use? That still has the most variable, and the method with the most variable is actually talking to more people. So I just spoke to more people I talked about client intimacy, right. So again, I just want to share this, they I would like to make a disclaimer, I’m saying this, I’m gonna mention a brand. I’m gonna mention a brand of a client of mine, it’s fine.

Pooja Kumar
You can mention it.

Michael Teoh Su Lim
They didn’t pay me to do it. I always share this story because I am forever indebted to them. I love them to bits. I mean, I I love you too. Boo. jazza. Don’t worry about it. Okay. I

Unknown Speaker
love Michael.

Michael Teoh Su Lim
Yeah. Okay, so I’m gonna mention Microsoft. So Microsoft, when trading talent started in the year 2012. We were a young company, and Microsoft was our first ever client ever. So that client intimacy with Microsoft, is there like very high. So I spoke to Microsoft, I said, I want to meet President Barack Obama. And then Microsoft in Malaysia came back to me and said, We heard President Obama is coming to Malaysia. No way. 2014 but he’s only going to be coming for a day. I’m not Yeah. Michael, we will, we will try to help you. Okay, we’ll try to help you. We don’t know how we’re going to do it. I said, Oh, my God, if I could just meet him for five minutes. That’s That’s more than enough. Right? Microsoft, we will try to help you. We’ll try to help you. Okay. No promises we will try. And they were so lovely. So To cut a long story short, they tried. And then they said that, Michael? Two weeks. So during this time, like two weeks, two weeks before President Obama landed in Malaysia, for a visit for a government to government visit, Microsoft came back to me and said, Michael, we were not successful in getting you to meet him. His schedule is to pack even for a picture opportunity photo op. It was not possible. But Michael, we got another idea. We will be organizing a workshop for young kids to teach them how to code. And President Obama will be visiting that workshop. If you’re okay, we’re going to get you as a facilitator. As a speaker in that workshop, you go in, you go and facilitate that workshop guide these young kids, young leaders of tomorrow. And then President Obama will be there at least you could catch a glimpse of it. I’m like, oh my god. Yes. I would do it even for free. So I did it. I did it. Right. I went there. And then you know, President Obama was charismatic. He came in, I can tell you this, all the ministers in Malaysia where we are based, they’re all seated behind a bulletproof glass. Like that is how intense I had to park my car one kilometres away from the venue where they were hosting him and they were like snipers on the rooftops and stuff like that. So it’s crazy. I had to go through three scanning machines, I have to remove my metal belt. Thank God I was slim at that time, it didn’t drop need to remove on my phone. And President Obama was only scheduled to visit and then leave. It was just there for a photo op. But he was such a gracious man. I mean, he, he spoke to the kids. And he asked the kids, one of the kids, he was like, Who’s your teacher, and they pointed at me. And at that time, I was facilitating the workshop. So President Obama just waved at me. And then I had the chance to take a picture with him, I had a chance to have a chat with him for a good five minutes. It was an amazing experience. But just to wrap it up, Pooja, what’s the biggest lesson here? You know, being the only training company at the time in Malaysia to have had the President of the United States visit a workshop that we were facilitating, that we were involved in, it’s a testimonial for us, but again, just like you know, Pooja, I work with companies to motivate and mobilize their young people to be more productive and profitable. And being in the training industry, being the younger one, like myself, I mean, I’m in my 30s. But at that time, I was in my 20s. Right? It was an uphill battle. But with such a testimonial, it not only open more opportunities for us, but it opened more appreciation of the industry to what younger talents, younger trainers, younger speakers, so I’m just grateful to have been able to do that puja. There you go. That’s the story of my experience, once in a lifetime, with President Barack Obama. So

Pooja Kumar
it’s incredible. Well, you know, my learnings from this entire conversation with you is how important is persistence, agility, and being resilient? Yeah, agility, and resilience goes really well. But you have done that, your persistence. And I love what you said about really setting your bar high and, and dreaming that dream, and actually loved everything about this. So thank you very much. And tell me something, Michael, we do need to end soon. But I’d like to, to give you a chance to tell everyone if they were looking for you and thriving talents, where should they find you?

Unknown Speaker
Well,

Michael Teoh Su Lim
I’m on LinkedIn, happy to connect with all of you on LinkedIn, you could go to our website at driving talents.com driving talents.com. I mean, I love that brand. They’re their clients that come to me and say, Did you bought that domain? I say, Yes, I did. Well, that’s that’s nice. Right? And why would you look for us Pooja, you would look for us, if you hire a lot of young people. So you talk about the millennials generation, the Generation Y and generation Z’s. If you hire a lot of employees that are below the age of average, on average, below the age of 35, you should be talking to us, we’d be happy to help you help you do what help you to motivate them, to mobilize them to achieve what to make them more productive in their work, to make them enhance their performance for you. And to create a happier working environment where your younger executives, your young professionals, could work better with your senior leaders. So that is where you should be looking for. So if you hire young people, you’re looking at engaging the younger employees in your company, to manage them with your senior generation employees. That’s why you should look for us in sales in team performance. And in company culture, happiness, there you go in a nutshell, Pooja,

Pooja Kumar
well, and such important parts of aspects of the business to consider to think about, especially in ASEAN, where there is a growing number of millennials entering the workforce with old fogies like me.

Michael Teoh Su Lim
No, no, no. Well, well, well, for the seniors that are listening to this right now. It’s about how you communicate to them. It’s about how you become a mentor figure. And sometimes people say, are becoming a mentor, figure, even for a sales leader, right was senior, there’ll be like a, it’s a lot of tough work. It will not be tough when you learn a structure, when you learn a system. So it’s all about structure and system. And that’s something we could help you as well. I mean, if we have more time, I would love to share some of that. But because today, come

Pooja Kumar
back, yeah, we’ll come back. Yeah, yeah, we’ll come back. And we’ll actually I do want to talk to you a little bit more about what that looks like and what what you know, especially the bridging of the generation gap and how to get more productive with your millennials. But we have run out of time, so I’m going to say goodbye and Gung hay, fat choy. Happy Chinese New Year. Lunar New Year for you and all of our all of our listeners that might be celebrating

Michael Teoh Su Lim
thank you so much Pooja and me coming from a hockey and descent which is another part of like the big Chinese community like to say Gong sci fi you notice that the different in slang the difference excellent right there. So that’s that’s the hawk can wait gongzi pie okay. abundance and prosperity. Thank you to all the sales leaders sales teams who have been tuning in Michael to signing off. Thank you Pooja for this puja. You have been awesome. Back to you.

Pooja Kumar
You’re awesome. Thank you, Michael, and thank you for being my first guest and so many insights. All right, see you and I will have your back on for for the millennials and bridging the generic generation gap. We’ll figure out what to call it.

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