Friday, July 16, 2021

Facetime with Fei Yue’s Chief Executive, Arthur Ling


If you're looking for someone who knows Fei Yue Community Services inside out, one of the best candidates to turn to would be Arthur Ling. The new Chief Executive (CE) has been with the organisation since 1991, alongside the previous Executive Director, Leng Chin Fai. The pair worked together for 30 years before Chin Fai was succeeded by Arthur in July 2021.

mosAIC spoke to Arthur in an email interview and found out management is not the only skill under his belt. Apart from managing Fei Yue, the 55-year-old spends his time conducting marriage preparation courses – something he has been doing with his wife for more than 20 years. Recently, he also rekindled his love for table tennis.

Read on to find out more about Arthur, and how he would describe the Community Care sector using marriage as an analogy.

You previously served as the Deputy Executive Director. How do you foresee your contributions to Fei Yue will change with the new role of CE?

I will continue the good work and foundation laid down by Chin Fai, who led Fei Yue for the last 30 years, growing the organisation from a centre to over 35 centres and more than 600 staff. It will indeed be a pair of big shoes for me to fill.

Stepping up as the CE from a Deputy Executive Director role means I am now entrusted with more responsibilities and expectations. As part of my contributions to Fei Yue, I will ensure that I equip myself with knowledge and skills to make important strategic decisions, as well as increase my involvement to coach and mentor the next generations of leaders at Fei Yue!

What are a few things that are at the top of your to-do list?

  • We have just completed reviewing the mission and vision statements so the next step would be to make sure they are communicated to the staff. There will also be a planning cycle around the revised statements to drive home the messages. The next steps will be ensuring that our corporate objectives and goals are carefully planned out for the next three to five years.
  • Nurturing the next leaders is key. I shall be looking at strengthening and implementing our leadership development plan so that potential leaders will continue to be nurtured and developed.

We saw an old video where you mentioned that you ran marriage preparation courses with your wife. Could you describe the Community Care landscape using relationship terms?

I am a firm believer that a marriage has to be “safeguarded” by principles and foundations to help its growth, especially for the younger generations. A marriage lasts a lifetime, and it takes a lot to nurture, whether in terms of commitment and investment of time and resources. It’s hard work.

I see the partnerships in the Community Care landscape as having similar important and key elements as building a strong marriage. These elements include the four Cs, which are:

  • Connect and communicate – There is this saying, " 有关系就什么都没有关系了!". It means that where there are close connections amongst people or partners, many challenges can be overcome when there is trust. So it’s all about spending time to communicate and connect with one another. This is essential if we want to build our networks and relationships.
  • Commit to a common vision – The commitment stems from having a common vision, such as seeing our seniors age in place healthily. When we forge a common vision, it helps everyone, bound by a common goal, come together and move forward in the same direction.
  • Contribute – All talk and no action will never work. Every partner has to put in effort and contribute according to the plan so that at the end of the day, the seniors shall benefit from it.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I am an introvert, but I do enjoy working with people around me. I am more people-oriented in terms of how I function at work. Hence, my style is definitely more consultative and democratic. But when I need to quickly act upon something, I can also be decisive.

But style aside, Fei Yue, as led by Chin Fai in the last 30 years, prides itself as an organisation that believes in teamwork and collaborative leadership, rather than depending on just a charismatic leader. And now with a strong group of senior management and HODs, we aim to be an organisation that shall be built to last!

What do you do to unwind?

I run, go to the beach with my wife every Sunday (unless if it’s raining), as well as read many books. I also pray a lot in the morning to prep myself for the day ahead!

Tell us something that a lot of people don’t know about you.

I was table tennis player on the school team when I was 12 years old, and after years of not playing the sport, I recently rekindled my interest in it. I engaged a coach to train me, along with a good friend. It sure felt good to be able to enjoy learning and playing table tennis again, and seeing my improvement!

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