Senior Vice President’s speech


June L. Rokoff, senior vice president at the Lotus Development Corporation, once used a unique visual aid in a speech at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts.

“A couple of years ago,” she told the students, “when I was named to the position I have now, my husband David took his collection of my old business cards and had them framed.” She held up the framed cards for all to see and continued, “Here it is – I keep it hanging in my office. When I look at it, I think of two people.

“One is my 10th-grade math teacher, who told me I should probably give up on math, or my career relating to math, because I was no good in geometry.

“The other is a boss I had in my second job, when I was 23 years old. He told me I’d gone about as far as I could go in the computer industry. He said I should just accept the fact that my career had “plateaued” and quit trying to get ahead.

“So if any of you see my old math teacher or my old boss, would you let them know that today I have 1,200 people working for me? And that most of them are very good in math?”


About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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4 Responses to Senior Vice President’s speech

  1. kuaychap_kia says:

    True, such things happened regularly but in Singapore amidst the foreigner bashing, as a Singaporean myself I think that we Asians have a culture of jealousy, ignorant and destructiveness compared to the westerners. Those two person in June’s life must have told her out of desperation after trying hard to make her do better, then at the last resort, telling her their earnest views hoping that she will wake up and work harder.

    If according to our Singapore culture, how many would tell you for example “Alan, like dat you drive train, you better buck up or sleep at home lah, sure kena sack leow”. INSTEAD, one might be thinking ‘hahaha Alan sure die liao. Looking forward to wayang leow, mind my own business’.

    Our Asian culture is that, when we should motivate, we discourage. When we should point out, we keep quiet. Just like the olden days Chinese parents (maybe till this day) scold their kids to go and die as a form of endearment.

  2. kuaychap_kia says:

    Another thing, if June Rokoff’s point is that people who say she cannot make, she prove to them she can make; why don’t she also talk about the positiveness of those people in the past – for instance a girl who cannot do geometry and sotong about computer business, eventually overcame her adversity or learning handicap to become the senior executive of a major IT company? Always got two sides of the story mah? Imagine if the teacher sees that she cannot even do geometry, she tells her “June, that’s great! One day I am sure you will become Einstein. By the way, here’s your marked exam paper – you’ve scored 10% for geometry. Try to aim for 15% in the next exam k?”

    • Kuaychap,
      Here in Sg they believe in genes and elitism lah. They condemn you once you kena stream to hopelessness. That’s our mindset and culture. If your parents are graduates then your kids will be smarter. Does it ring a bell? Langgar!

  3. patriot says:

    Congratulation to Mr and Mrs Lohcifer
    for having become grandparents.
    They will be happily busy and joyfully
    They asked for it and their obedient
    children fulfilled their wishes.
    I can imagine Lohcifer now nursing
    and kissing the baby. In three years
    time he will panting running after the
    toddler. And his family
    will be happily soaking in the joy and
    bathing with happiness.


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