After reading Akın Öngör’s book named “Continuing Progress after Me” (Benden Sonra Devam), I have learned Garanti Bank’s story in detail and placed Akın Öngör in my favorite leaders. He has a special place in my heart as Steve Job’s?
In Turkey it is very hard to change processes. Unfortunately many lazy persons become together in here and there is a very lazy aura everywhere. Probably, creating a brand in Turkey like Garanti is harder than creating Apple…
Akın Öngör dedicates his success to good employees, good systems and harmony under pressure. A leader’s mission is to make people work harmonic. But the first step is to compose a right team. In his book, about composing an efficient team, Öngör writes that:
Invest on people, train, improve, and feed with high technology. Trust your employee. Encourage them. Authorize them. Give a chance to express their opinions. Encourage them to come up with suggestions. Award them for applied suggestions and efficient works. As a natural result, motivation and creativity will increase.
With this creative environment which Akın Öngör constituted, he brought in Garanti Technology to Turkish IT sector.
The other thing that drew my attention on the book is “Personal Care Education” which Öngör implemented. First impression and appearance are really important. Actually we all know it but in practice we are little inadequate. I think that starting from primary school; we should give this education to our children.
After I read the book, I found myself angry with Akın Öngör in a few issues. The first is his early retirement and the second is his refusal of Ziraat, Emlak and Halk Bank’s co-chairman offer. In my opinion, with this refusal Turkey lost many important things. Even though, he made some useful thing like founding WWF-Turkey but I am not convinced.
In brief, it is a must reading book…