Mentoring with Garuda Indonesia's CEO (Mr. Emirsyah Satar)

"In 2001, a man decided to join a company which was almost collapsed, not to mention the company's bad reputation. He did turnaround to the company and made it healthy again. He left the company after 5 years of dedication. Apparently the company showed no good progress as he left. He came back again in 2005 and he made the company achieve many awards and recognitions from the world."

Do you want to have a guess?

Yup. He is Mr. Emirsyah Satar and the company is Garuda Indonesia.


Last Wednesday it was such a pricessless moment that I had the opportunity to meet and discuss in person with Mr. Emirsyah Satar along with other 20 chosen young bright people in his office, Garuda City Centre. At that time we gathered in an event called "Super Mentor", a leadership program organized by Mr. Dino Patti Djalal, former Ambassador of Indonesia for United States of America.

Mr. Emirsyah Satar started the discussion with his presentation
I believe that human is a photo copy machine. We just need to find out and learn other people's story of success and copy it in our own way.

Mr. Emir shared many things about his strategies to 'cure' Garuda Indonesia. He said that he changed the mindset of the employees. He asked Addie MS to make a special song for Garuda Indonesia so the employees will be proud and live their own role in the company maximally. Up until now, he arranged 7000 employees and he use the top-down approach in leading them. What does it mean? It means that leadership is the key. He said there should be no democracy in business. It's leader's job to bring the whole team to a place they have never been before. He quoted John P. Kotter, "Successful change is 70 - 90 % leadership, 10 - 30 % management".

When I asked him about his motto of life, he said "Good is never good enough when much better is expected". Aside from that he said "I have never compared myself to anyone. Even in my workplace, I never know how much my friends got paid. I'm just focus on what I'm doing and do the best, later on the opportunities will rise."

Mr. Emir basically is a man who loves challenge. He said that it's in his DNA. Living as a son of a diplomat, he had a good ability to adapt in a new situation quickly. That's why he left Citibank. When he reached the highest position he could achieved in Citibank, he said to himself "It's time to leave".

In Garuda, he built the perspective of career step based on meritrocacy, not based on duration of work. At first, this was opposed but he believed that there were still great workers in the company who were willing to take Garuda to the next level just as much as he wanted to.

He values every opinions and he believes that every each of us should re-invent ourselves everyday. This means that everyday we have to be able to think about creative idea to do things more efficiently, effectively. When we're about to start to make it as a habit, of course the idea won't popped out directly. But then again, we have to begin to get used to it.

His ambitious goals have made Garuda to be able to achieve a prestigious award from "Sky Trax" which was "The World's Best Economy Class" and the 8th position in "The World's Best Airline". Leading an airline company within a super tough industry, he still wants to spare some time for cleaning up the airplane's cabin. Every 3 months, the board of director and him supervise the cleanliness of the cabin and also join the clean-up. Fyi, they also clean-up the lavatory! Furthermore, he always tries to balance his life. When he has a leisure time, he never miss the opportunity to maximize it with his family and relatives.


Meeting an inspiring person has always been a great opportunity because I always feel "charged" afterwards. I wish I can be an inspiring person which gives real contribution to the nation like him. The other bonus in this program is that we can meet new young people and share ideas. The funny thing is, there are two people that apparently have already met me before. We joined the same competition.

Thank you Pak Dino for this opportunity! If you guys think you deserve an opportunity to be mentored by other great figures, follow @dinopattidjalal for more info and prepare your CV and motivation letter :)

Supermentor Batch 5


Really like this post, nice sharing Nad
Nadski said…
@Izzah: Thank you so much! Glad you like it, semoga bisa berguna untuk kita semua dan menginspirasi anak muda lainnya :)

Popular posts from this blog

Lidah Digoyang di Palembang


Best Delegate in TEIMUN 2014: Have Faith, It Will Lead You Anywhere You Want