Cover art for podcast For Women Who Love The F-Word

For Women Who Love The F-Word

100 EpisodesProduced by Genecia Alluora, Miss Singapore Universe (Runner Up), Miss Singapore International, Miss Singapore Chinese Cosmos 2011, Instant Podcast Leader, Secrets of The Soul Rich Woman Blueprint Author, Online Reputation Strategist, Award-Winning EntrepreneurWebsite

The podcast features business leaders, celebrities and inspirational figures with guests including Gary Vaynerchuk, Sheryl Sandberg, Elena Cardone, Mary Buffett, Neil Patel, Kim Kiyosaki, Pia Wurtzbac, Gerry Roberts, Grant Cardone, Denise Duffield Thomas, Sue B Zimmerman, Jay Abraham, Robert Kiyosak… read more


46: Lilian Leong, Former COO of 9GAG: Step Out Of Comfort Zone And Go Kick Some Ass (Just Do It!)

FWEP00046 Lilian Leong Today we have a really special guest with us her name is Lilian Leong. She is the Chief Operating Officer of 9Gag. Experience is the teacher of all things. Ms. Lilian shared her work experiences before she got the offer of becoming the Chief Operating Officer of 9Gag. (01:00-01:03) Hi, I'm Lilian and I’m the Chief Operating Officer of 9Gag. (01:08-01:24) Well less than a year. I join 9Gag last year in August. After like 9 months conversation with the CEO, I took my time to really evaluate the opportunity and 9 months later I was on board, that was August last year. (01:35-01:45) But I would say that I’m old enough to be seen as having influence but you know, I could never find a way to quantify that. (01:52-02:14) In my first half of my career, I spent the last 13 years running a little bit at Hongkong , that was one of the largest agencies. That’s the biggest creative agency in Hongkong. And then I changed field kind of, within still communication industry and moved to the media agency side. I ran UM IPG Media Branch Hongkong. (02:32-02:55)  Well that was pretty still. I will say quite similar because no matter if it’s advertising or media is kind of like still about communication. I talk to you, you talk to me that’s the rule of the game, I would say. So as a manager, of course, I have to understand people. I will say the biggest challenge for me back then was to understand culture.  Achieving gender equality is everyone’s responsibility. Men and women have different roles but they are both equal in opportunities, careers and rights. This gender equality was mentioned by Ms. Lilian. (03:37-04:34) Well this is my secret recipe, I would say. This is very important and obviously, this is neglected by lots of other people especially in general, I would say guys because men most of the time I think, the opposite gender will find understanding people, understanding about your feelings, is kind of like, demonstrates the weakness of a leader to listen, to ask questions.  But I guess at the end you have to understand the motive of the people. I’m not a fortune teller. I can’t read the motive of a person simply by looking at them or reading their palms, I mean that’s not my expertise. So I guess at the end of the day it is about asking questions, asking why, what are your feelings. I would say that’s step 1, all from the other steps, the trust that I demand from the team. (04:49-05:12) If I have to communicate with anyone, I also have to open myself, right? Open up myself so when I talk to them about the fear I have or the sadness I have they will say, they kind of like, they don’t understand the thought like being seen as the older person in the street and they thought, I don’t have fear. I don’t have failure, I don’t have sadness. (05:14-05:37) The biggest challenge is that they will be scared when I show signs of vulnerability of myself. They will be shocked and in some way, they are kind of feeling intimidated, overwhelming. But after we build the trust then that is okay, I would say and that’s a very worthwhile to do for any of the female leader, I would say.  (05:49-06:32) Fortunately, in the past of my career, I have never seen cases like that, otherwise I won’t be sitting here. I guess it would be not objective enough in gender at the end of the day will be a hindrance at any person’s career growth. I remember 20 years ago, back then, I was in an interview, being interviewed by the Vice President of China somewhere in a bank raid of agency and the client was Japan to Pagcor and that boss ask me so Lilian, what do you feel if you have to serve a bunch of Japanese guys? Do you think you can handle it?  (06:37-06:47) And my answer was if you have that problem, we have a problem. I was hired at the end.  (06:57-7:29) Japanese tobacco was the client so that’s even more difficult for me. But I just ignore this kind of myth and by the way, I never see myself as a woman. I see myself as a professional. I was an executive. I was just doing my own job like at the end of the day it’s like I would say, it’s  people capability more important?  How do you handle issues in your workplace? If they tell you that you can’t do something perhaps you should consider that they are only telling you what they can’t do. Never give a doubt as Ms. Lilian said. (8:27-8:40) I got harassed by some of the people from the very high up but I just kick their ass, I just said it’s not appropriate.  (8:48-9:13) I rejected them upfront and I said I won’t go and it’s not good. And then I walked away I really gave them a stepped face at the end of the day, it’s not what you say but it’s the gesture that you want to give. I gave that kind of tone like you know, mess up with me I’ll be kicking your ass that’s what I did and then they never came back with the same kind of approach.  (9:28-9:53) I didn’t worry, I didn’t worry at all. I just do what is my instinct, I have to protect myself just like an animal if I got attacked and then I’ll bite and I guess at the end of the day it is by basic instinct for any of the individuals male or female, older people or younger people to project themselves I think we have the right to do it. (10:29-10:38) I guess it’s like, believe in yourself and never overthink. I never give a doubt on what I want to do if I think this is the right move, I just do it.  Be eager to learn and improve. Be open to possibilities and changes and welcome new ideas. Stay open-minded and everything will be possible. Ms. Lilian shared: (11:11-11:54) First of all, when I changed from creative industry to media industry, creative agency people already thought I was a maniac, why would you want to work in the media agency and plan TV autro and digital. I thought data is very important is the essential for any of the marketing to build on so I took that chance and after 3 years and I thought you know what, I’m old enough and by chance I did have the opportunity to meet with Rey, that’s my existing CEO at the conference. (12:46-13:10) I only discover that I did let go a lot after I join, that I was officially the oldest employee in the company and I was the person who understands that the list, I don’t know how to deal with the loss of the tools, I don’t know how to google good enough, I don’t know how to handle google documents that well.  (13:34-13:51) Looking back is really a journey because it’s so different I wouldn’t have learned so much if I stay on the same company. and of course you know I will have my PA I will have my CFO I will have my HR to handle everything for me. But now, I’m the PA on my own and google is my best partner.  (14:54-15:24) The biggest learning in my career so far is never kinda you learn it all. I guess the biggest barrier for any individuals on earth, especially  some of the people I’ve been, I done that I hate this kind, some people ask me are you proud? As your mom proud of you? I said no, I really don’t think so. I’m still learning and I don’t think I’m not good enough.
 (16:25-16:42) Everyone will be afraid to get absolute someday, some time we all do. But if it happens it happens. So, but either way I just learned, I just want to be better and nothing will stop me.  (16:51-16:55) I want to move the world, I would. 
 Key Takeaways: 
  1. Careers have no gender.
  2. Believe in yourself because anything is possible.
  3. Let go of over thinking.
  4. Stand your ground and never settle for less.
  5. Open up and let others know who you are.
Key Resources:
Subscribe to Genecia’s Youtube channel:
Visit SRW’s website:
Follow Genecia on Instagram : (@Geneciaalluora)
Follow Genecia on Facebook:
Check Genecia’s LinkedIn:

Free Resource: "Soul Why: Soul Rich Woman Blueprint" and "How to Delegate 80% of your to-do list" --->

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