This is a favorite story of mine. For me it illustrates how Tans believed and trusted in their people's good judgment.
This happened sometime in December of 1986 when I was preparing for the first ever Managers' Convention of Jollibee,which was to be held in January,1987.
I got a call one afternoon and when I picked it up and said the customary greeting I recognized the familiar voice at the other end. It was S' Tony Tan. And he wanted to get my idea about something related to the convention.
We who were in the committee had agreed to give all participants a custom made jacket as a souvenir. S' Ato,who was head of the project, suggested that we have the Convention logo embazoned at the back of the jacket so that when the managers wore it they would be constantly reminded of our convention theme ("No. 1 Again in '87'.)
What S' Tony wanted was my opinion on where to put the logo. He said,"Ato told me that you plan to put the Convention logo at the back of the jacket. What do you think?"
"What do I think?" I couldn't believe my ears! Here was the President of the company consulting me about a simple matter! He wanted my opinion so I gave it to him.
I told him that when we had met about the matter, it was S' Ato who recommended the placement of the logo at the back. (I made it very clear that it was his brother's choice.)
But if I had my way, I told him, I'd much rather put a small version of the logo in front, at the left side. My reason for that was the jacket looked elegant and having a big logo printed at the back would "cheapen" the look. (But of course, I didn't tell him that.)
After I said my piece,he simply said,"I think so too."Meaning he agreed with my idea about the logo! Then he said thanks and hung up!
I was quite concerned after that because it might appear that I had disagreed with S' Ato's point of view. But at the same time I felt a sense of elation, simple because I had been consulted by the President and had given him my 2 cents!
When the jackets came out,the logo was printed the way I had suggested it..and it really looked great!
I never heard any negative reactions from S' Ato about my "reversal" of his decision, and that is what I admired about the owners and the company.
I would be consulted about many more things during my long stay at Jollibee, but I will always remember the day I reversed S' Ato's decision!