Pak Anto – a story of Mutuality to the very end
I sit on this flight from Makassar to Jakarta in a daze and felt an intense need to put this story down. Its a story of a really special Mars manager I have known for a short period but till the end, a story of Mutuality and most especially, a Martian that embodies this principle to all he met – his warmth, and kindness makes you feel that you are the most special person in the world and and his humility and love puts the most junior of associates at ease.
The cocoa sustainability team in Indonesia just welcomed a team of 50 new associates into our family – R&D and sustainability associates that have been working with Mars as contractors for years and the business approved the proposal to become associates (btw, JC approved this within his FIRST week in the Global Chocolate President role, thank you JC you cannot imagine how happy you have made 50 families in the rural areas of Indonesia who works day and night coaching farmers to adopt our technology)! We had a team meeting welcoming the team and sharing with them our ambitious 2015 strategy and plans to improve yields and farmers income in Indonesia. The spirits of our new associates were high and P&O also helped organise Essence of Mars and Development@Mars for these ‘new’ associates.
Pak Anto came in to share the senior manager story in Essence of Mars. He of course, had to fly 3 hours to get here to share his story and inspire the team. During lunch, he spoke to all the newbies and in his usual Pak Anto style, captured their hearts with his unassuming style and humor. The rapport he has with the team made me wish I was a little more like him… role model leadership.
So the story he was telling goes this way – he shared who he was (Invianto means INDONESIAN dad + VIETNAM mum = ANTO), his career in different organisations (Loreal, Danone etc) and how he learnt all the different principles in the different organisations… Then his story went on to say – what he found different in Mars in the short 1 year since he joined was Mutuality – this he did not find in any other previous organisations. Just when he had us all hanging onto his every word… waiting in anticipation – he fell to the ground. We all thought Pak Anto was role playing and was waiting for him to get up. But he didn’t.
Mayhem ensued (imagine 80 people running around screaming – you get the picture) but we had order within seconds (but it felt like a long time). Fortunately the team was all trained in First Aid due to the remote nature of their work and the best in the team started CPR. When he resumed breathing, the team carried him horizontally to the hospital 5 minutes away. Sadly he passed on.
Now 4 hours later, I sit in this flight sending his remains back home to his family. I have never had to do this before but for you Pak Anto, you took the effort and time to come all the way to inspire the team, thank you for your sacrifice, your care and your warmth. I feel honored that this is the last thing we do for you and your family – a friend and an inspiration to the end.
Pak Anto, I /we all really to wanted to know how your story on Mutuality ends. But He has other plans for you and you are in a better place. Thank you for the lives you have touched and the stories you have told, you remind me our role as leaders are about living the 5Ps and you lived it up to the end. Thank you my friend.