Member's Success stories
Steve Potter, Senior Advisor of Taskonir Trading
How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?
I have always been interested in different cultures and countries and that’s what encouraged me to leave my home in the UK and seek out opportunities overseas. So far, I have lived and worked in 14 countries on three continents. My children have always encouraged me to take on new adventures and challenges even though it has meant being an absentee father for much of their lives.
What are the principles you mostly adhere to in the business?
I developed a set of five business principles many years ago which I still review from time to time but very little has changed over time. I call them the Power of Five:
PEOPLE: As a leader, people are your most valuable asset and you must always work to ensure their safety, development, welfare & well-being.
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT: As a leader, you must always strive to be ethical and transparent in the way you deal with others.
PROCESS: You should always conduct your business in a logical and disciplined manner using “best in class” processes and procedures that are fact-based and measurable
PERFORMANCE MEASURES. Results count and these results are measured by others, not you.
PROFIT: A private enterprise needs to be profitable so we must focus on the things that create a positive bottom line not on the bottom line itself.
To achieve the above results, one needs two things: Skill & Passion. The analogy I like to use is that of an orchestral conductor. You surround yourself with the best musicians you can find and then get them to perform together as a team/orchestra.
What was the shortcoming that was the most challenging for you in the business?
I’m not sure that it was exactly a shortcoming but the most challenging event was managing through sever economic downturns. It has happened 3 times in my career on different continents, but having to make people redundant because of events outside their control is more than challenging – it is heart-wrenching.
After all this success, what do you struggle with now?
I don’t like contracts, they are win-lose, not win-win documents, take up hours of time and most of the time are not worth the paper they are written on. If a business relationship is going to be successful, it requires trust and teamwork not a contract
What is the latest business achievement you would like to highlight right now?
The latest business achievement for me was being elected Chairman of AmCham Mongolia and helping my wife Ari set up her new business.