Executive class: up-and-coming Papua New Guinea professionals [part 2]


We talk about leadership and success with Philip Dotana Hehonah, Company Secretary and Head of Legal at Teachers Savings and Loan Society. He is the second interviewee in our six-part series showcasing Papua New Guineans under 40 who are leading the next generation.

Philip Dotana

Teachers Savings and Loan Society’s Philip Dotana Hehonah Credit: Godfreemam Kaptigau

What the most important quality of a leader?

He or she must lead by example and be able to motivate others. They must be a person who others want to follow, in spite of age or experience. One can only be a leader if one is followed.

If you were hiring someone for a job today, what are the key qualities you would be looking for?

I would be looking for a person I can trust.

What are the forces that drive the industry or space you work in?

In recent times, it has been digitalisation and new technology. The increase in access to mobile phones and internet has brought with it opportunities to improve services and provide financial products to people. However, it also has its challenges, such as reliability of the internet, power outages and cyber-crime.

How have your parents influenced your work?

They have taught me that success is not defined by position, education level nor silver and gold. Success is knowing your incompetence seeking to address your deficiencies through God’s wisdom found in the Bible.

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How has COVID-19 changed business?

COVID-19 has accelerated change in the business world with people moving to an online/ virtual environment and working from home.

What are your top tips for success in business and life?

A godly Christian character helps to overcome limited experience. People matter. Show proper respect to everyone, even when you’re busy. Be ready and willing to take calculated risks.

This is an excerpt from the article ‘Executive class’, which first published in the October-December 2022 edition of PNG Now, Papua New Guinea’s leading lifestyle magazine. Read the emag here.

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