Getting in shape to serve his country has given this broker greater insights into his business
AUSUN Finance property portfolio manager and 2018 MPA Young Guns finalist Thomas Tang signed up in the Melbourne University Regiment officer candidate program when he was in college to fulfil his desire to serve his country, as well as for its professional development training.
When he became a broker, he started to apply the values he learned from his army training so his team could effectively ‘fight’ together and achieve bigger missions.
Here are the values he learned:
1. Mateship and teamwork
During Tang’s five-week recruitment training, he was put together with people from various states and cultural background. They were different in many ways but they bonded over one mission: To train to be competent soldiers.
Tang admits their training was tough; however it became bearable because he had his mates to share the experience with.
“Unlike the banking world, we have many individual awards and heroes. In the army, we win as one, and we lose as a team too,” Tang told MPA. “Teamwork and mateship is crucial. In the banking world, if someone fails the lending compliance, the whole company could be affected.”
2. To be tough
Tang and his mates train to survive every conceivable weather condition, terrain, and environment. He hates every minute of their brutal training, but he’s learned to appreciate it afterwards when they talk and laugh about it at the bar.
“Training taught me to be tough both physically and mentally,” Tang said. “I can work long hours, which allows me to complete a lot more tasks than usual. I can stay in front of my standing desk for 12 hours a day for six days when I’m busy.” With regular exercise, Tang is not worried that working long hours will damage his health.
Neither a tougher lending market nor the ongoing challenge with assessors to get an application across the line can deter him.
“My mind is tougher than before,” he said. “I know I will never give up. It is in my blood now.”
According to Tang, officer training defines leadership in two ways: Character and competency.
Tang learned that one should be the leader people want to follow. The person is expected to lead people in difficult and unknown situations, and to bring out the best in his or her team members.
With highly modern and adaptive training methods, the army allows Tang and his mates to discover their individual leadership style and apply it appropriately in various circumstances.
He also learned that leaders must be competent in their trade. He admitted that he’s a bit disappointed that some people in the banking and mortgage industry carry managerial titles despite having little lending knowledge and customer service skills.
“My definition of leadership completely changed since I joined the army. It is different from the corporate world, and what we look up to,” Tang said.
Servicing ex-service personnel
Tang recently discovered that there are many recovery centres for discharged military service personnel who are injured, may have transitioned to civilian work, or reservists. He wants to help equip them with employable skills for civilian life, and to teach them wealth creation via property investment by launching a series of financial guides for military service members.
“I would like to do this pro bono,” Tang said. “I’ll give good tips and strategies without taking them on board as my clients to avoid conflict of interest. I just want to see our people in the army retain their skills and talents, and to see their impact in society.”