FPT Retail’s Female General – Mrs. Nguyen Bach Diep: If behind a successful man is a woman who silently sacrificed, then behind a successful woman is a team that silently sacrifices.
As the Company’s leader, Ms. Diep acknowledged that over the past six years, she has put priority in work rather than her family and that she “is not perfect” in a woman’s favor.
In the event Women’s Summit 2018 on 18 October, Mrs. Nguyen Banh Diep – the Chairman and CEO of FPT Retail – is one of the female leaders appearing on the stage of Forbes Vietnam.
Like other successful women, Mrs. Diep is calm and energetic. Mrs. Diep is a big contributor in FPT Retail’s six years of growth, from 17 stores initially into Vietnam’s second largest smartphones retailer. The great thing about successful women is that they always mention the “backstab” that sacrificed for that success.
Mrs. Diep shared that: “If behind a successful man is a woman who silently sacrificed, then behind a successful woman is a team that silently sacrifices such as children, family, even colleagues, there is not only one person”.
“I should have cared for my children more”
In 2012, FPT Retail, with the trademark of FPT Shop, officially had the license to establish a joint stock company with the initial number of stores of 17. Coming after in an intense retail market, FPT Shop, especially the Board of Directors of this brand and Mrs. Diep must stand in front of “terrible pressure”:
“I have engaged in FPT Retail for only 6 years. In such 6 years, from the beginning, there are many big retailers in front of me – Mobile World, Vien Thong A. They had already had many years ahead, while I am just at the beginning”.
“It’s like the period of a startup,” she recalled.
“It’s like it is impossible to fail. We had to survive to keep the jobs for thousands of employees”, said the Female General.
Facing these challenges, as the Company’s leader, Ms. Diep acknowledged that over the past six years, she has put priority in work rather than her family and that she “is not perfect” in a woman’s favor.
“In the past, in principle, every women must fulfill her family role first: Educating children, taking care of them, taking care of their parents, doing the housework,” she said. “Being a leader makes a person have to spend much more time at work so it is obviously that that person cannot
accomplish everything perfectly.”
Mrs. Nguyen Bach Diep recalled that sometimes there was an event in her children’s school where the children would receive an award, but she could not come to encourage them because she was on a business trip.
“Even though she did not feel anything, but I myself feel guilty”
“I should have done better and cared for them more,” she confided. FPT Retail’s Female General called it a sacrifice of her children for her.
“Even though they did not feel anything, but I myself feel guilty”, she said.
It seems that because of that sacrifice, Mrs. Diep tried to take advantage of any free time of the day for her family and children.
Every day, every morning, the leader of 6,000 employees at FPT Retail still prepared breakfast for her family. “When I go to work, I always make use my time in the car to talk to my children,” she said.
Working until 7pm, Mrs. Diep shared that she often “come home, have dinner and after that, work with her children on their homework”.
“Many times when they already go to bed, I check emails for work then I go to bed,” she shared.
_ If there is an extra hour of the day, what would you spend that hour on?
_ Definitely for my children! – Mrs. Nguyen Bach Diep responded immediately.
“When I hit the job, I am just like…I’m going into a trance”
To her children, she always care for them, but to her colleagues and subordinates, she admitted that she had kind of “nasty temperament”. “When I hit the job, I am just like…I’m going into a trance”, she said. She once revealed with Forbes Vietnam that she is a high-tempered and fierce
person in work.
“People who have followed me have to accept my nasty behavior, and they have to meet every strict requirements from me,” she said.
However, it was not the only thing that her colleagues had to “accept” about her.
She mentioned another sacrifice: “Colleagues share their goals and aims with me, and then, they have to take the time and sacrifice their families for that”.
Therefore, Mrs. Diep said that under the role of a leader, it is necessary to “ensure the interests of those people.” That is, we have to lead the Company in the way that the followers can receive something significant.”
Speaking to be done, according to Mrs. Diep, is also a way for a leader – despite male or female – can gain trust from subordinates.
Family is on one hand, work is on the other hand. People always asked the female leaders about the “balance”. Which side is more important? Mrs. Diep said that “it depends on the point of view and each period of time”. And in her opinion, she must “focus to do the best” and “do not complaint” about her choices.
She quoted a foreign politician: “He said that we are the ones who choose our position: I choose to be the Prime Minister, so every morning I come out of the house, I have to smile and encourage my employees, even though my whole family had been arguing last night. I am in this position and I am supposed to do that.”
“When you have already chosen, it means that the Company have chosen you and you have agreed to be in this position, so you have to do your best there. If you are not interested in it, then leave. However, if you have chosen, then focus on doing your best, only then can you develop and grow”, she said.
According to Thao Thao – Cafebiz