PrSpeak Anthony A Rose
Anthony A Rose
VP – Corporate Affairs, Walmart Hong Kong
16 Nov 2012
In the past, ‘work hard’ was the mantra. Now it is ‘work smart’. Gen-next professionals have to be very clear about the top few priorities in their lives and commit their time and resources to the most important things first. You have to decide what is right for you and what is wrong.
Anthony A Rose, a leading corporate affairs and influencer marketing expert, has a career spanning 21 years. He has worked with companies such as Walmart, P&G and GlaxoSmithKline. He is currently VP, Corporate Affairs, Walmart Hong Kong. Rose recently launched a book ‘Daddy’s Logic’ in which he has compiled the advice he received from his father, Charles Albert Rose, over the course of 30 years. It also carries real-life experiences and anecdotes of some of the most inspirational people in the world.

In an interaction with exchange4media’s Shanta Saikia, Rose speaks about the lessons learnt from his father, how ‘Daddy’s Logic’ can help individuals excel in their professions, how to lead a complete life with no limits and more...

Q. What is ‘Daddy’s Logic’ all about? Who do you think should read this book the most?
‘Daddy’s Logic’ is based on advice I received from my father, late Charles Rose. The idea came to me in 2001, the year that my dad passed away. It struck me then that the advice I had received from him all of my growing up years had stood me in good stead in college and in my early career. In the years that followed, I was increasingly disappointed with all of the management jargon being thrown around to young professionals. I started testing my dad’s advice against the lives of the most successful and inspiring people I knew and discovered that my dad’s logic was very similar to their success principles. In 2009, I conceived the book. It includes 20 success principles for life and career. ‘Daddy’s Logic’ includes over 50 inspiring people from across the world – people such as Bob McDonald, Chairman, P&G; John Pepper, Chairman, Walt Disney; Sam Balsara, Chairman of Madison Group; Khoo Swee Chiow, the only South East Asian to have climbed Mount Everest thrice, among others.

The book is for people of all ages and backgrounds as the principles are equally successful for life and for career. I have readers as young as 15 reading the book to those aged 75. Some parents are buying copies of ‘Daddy’s Logic’ and getting me to sign as souvenirs for their children when they grow up. I think it is particularly helpful for students, young and mid-career professionals.

Q. All the author’s proceeds are being donated to Habitat for Humanity. What prompted you to take such a step?
My parents have been a real inspiration to me. We grew up with quite limited means. My parents never had much by way of material wealth even though my dad came from an accomplished and wealthy family. But they had an incredibly strong relationship. Growing up, we were taught to live within our means and be generous to the point of it hurting. I recall many years when my mum would carry treats for the neighbours or donate to the church, etc., even though there was never excess money at home.

I have committed all of my royalties from this book to Habitat for Humanity and hope to sell 10,000 books in year one alone. This would help me support the building of eight homes for the poor or underprivileged through Habitat for Humanity.

I believe that instead of many of the leaders of today just talking about generosity, we should take action. I hope my move will inspire other authors to do the same.

Q. You have celebrated quite a few industry professionals in your book – Sam Balsara, Bob McDonald, Zelma Lazarus, etc. How did you zero in on these individuals? What are the most important learnings you got from them?
I started with over 125 heroes for ‘Daddy’s Logic’; then kept trimming the list of interviews done till I was left with just over 50 heroes. Each of these persons, such as Sam, Bob, Zelma, are quite unique in their own way, but they share some common characteristics.

• They are all excellent role models

• Each of them is self made or at the very least exemplifying 100 per cent commitment to whatever they do

• Each of them is generous and giving, both of their time and resources

• Each of them has outstanding achievements

‘Daddy’s Logic’ would not be possible without them.

Q. In your 21 years as a professional, what have been your key takeaways from the industry?
I believe that one has to live a life of purpose, love what you do, and commit 100 per cent to the task in hand today. Dream big, but do bigger. We can do so much more if we collaborate and work together to solve many of the pressing problems that face the planet. That is why I wrote ‘Daddy’s Logic’, because I know this advice is much needed in a world that is sometimes filled with complexity, greed and competitiveness.

Q. One of the major challenges that professionals face today is that of time management. From your own experience, how would you advise gen-next professionals to create a work-life balance?
In the past, ‘work hard’ was the mantra. Now it is ‘work smart’. Gen-next professionals have to be very clear about the top few priorities in their lives and commit their time and resources to the most important things first. You have to decide what is right for you and what is wrong. All of the greatest men of all time – Gandhi, Mandela, Branson, Mother Teresa – all have the same 24 hours in a day, but they prioritised and achieved. It all comes down to what is most important to you.

I also advise young professionals to do something they really love doing so that work is not a chore but a true calling. I love my career in corporate affairs. It has helped me touch so many lives through the campaigns I have done. I come to work every day wanting to make a difference.

Q. As a corporate affairs professional, what do you think your peers and young PR and Corp Comm professionals can take away from ‘Daddy’s Logic’?
I guarantee that every person who reads ‘Daddy’s Logic’ will come face to face with the truth of their lives and will be able to evaluate how they are doing in life with these simple 20 principles. After I wrote ‘Daddy’s Logic’, I audited my own life. I found that I was doing well on 19 of the 20 principles and had a clear gap on one.

I think the book will be instrumental in young PR and Corp Communications professionals having a more balanced and successful personal and professional life.

Q. On a personal note, what has been the most important lesson that your father imparted to you?
My father taught me that everything in life is driven by purpose. And I learned this over and over again in serving the most honourable leader I have ever worked for – Bob McDonald, Chairman of P&G.

Q. Is there any other book that you are working on at present or planning to write in the near future?
Yes, I will have a book on leadership out in end 2013. But you will have to wait for it.

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