Darren Yaw’s Top 10 Leadership Qualities You Need for Success - darrenyaw.com

Darren Yaw’s Top 10 Leadership Qualities You Need for Success

“Leaders are not born, they are made, and although anyone can start a business, only a few can succeed. From his years of experience, Darren Yaw has learnt that it takes having an acute sense of direction to be a great leader. Empires thrive with a dedicated and visionary leader. History has taught us time and time again that leaders are essential in all operations. Even in the animal kingdom, wild wolves have their pack leaders, the alpha males. The alpha male does not only lead the pack but takes care of the females and pups. Darren Yaw is that great leader. Here are his picks for 10 leadership qualities that he believes any entrepreneur or aspiring empire-builder should develop.”


All leaders should be a motivational figure to their followers. This leads to a healthy organizational culture. To inspire employees to press on the accelerator or to brighten up lost spirits in the midst of a difficult defeat or setbacks that will inevitably arise. I believe in inspiring others. My passion for my work brings my employees along with me. It’s not just being about being a good public speaker. Early in my career in Singapore, I improved my language skills so I can motivate all my employees through their own mother tongue. This leads me to the next leadership quality I think is essential….


Communicating is key in every organization, in every meeting, in everyday life. Without proper communication, things can spiral downhill in an instant. All because there was no communication. Communication is a necessary skill. A skill that allows one party to express or give proper instructions to another party coherently. I take great effort to communicate with my team. Every Monday morning, like how most schools do, we will gather and have a meeting discussing the week’s tasks. Effective communication goes both ways, it’s not just speaking but listening too. My multilingual abilities (I can speak Chinese–where I first learned it in Singapore from my cousins, Malay—speaking to my friends in Malaysia, English—where I speak with my wife Judie. I am also learning Khmer—the Cambodian language to help me communicate with my business associates there.


Not everyone is blessed enough to be born with a high IQ. I believe that intelligence does not determine your fate. Being able to examine a problem and work out the solution is more important. Leaders should be analytically ready to weigh in the pros and cons of a subject so they can make effective decisions. When my father passed away, it was a very difficult time for me. He had a very special bond with me and I took it pretty hard. But it taught me early on to be mentally tough and resilient in the face of deep setbacks. Later I made it my mission to always be mentally prepared for the worst outcomes while still being able to stay positive.


Most managers are able to prioritize objectives. It is a common skill set that every manager must possess. To properly delegate tasks with the purpose of efficiently working under managed timelines is extremely important to me. I used to micromanage my team and my subordinates which led to poor productivity and morale. Now I delegate tasks to maximize the potential of every member of the team. My team works more effectively if I just empower them to do the work I hired them to do under the objectives I set. If tasks are not delegated properly and objectives are scattered, an organization will crumble from within. Time will show that working towards a specific objective will not only smoothen out work flows but as well as give time for feedback for further improvement.


As human beings we are social creatures. We need to connect to other humans to either be heard or to be understood. Leaders must be compassionate. On a daily basis, everyone has their own struggles, fighting their own private battles that you may know nothing about. In the workplace people tend to hide their struggles and personal problems. Good leaders should recognise that their colleagues and teammates are only human. My staff are my swords and shields against the ever challenging battlefield of business. I need my army to be at their best which means I should be sensitive and aware of their struggles and try to provide the support they need.


A leader should be able to have a clear and precise vision of the goal he or she wants to achieve. In a film set, a director, who is the leader in the production shoot, is the individual who sets the focus and vision of the shoot. He or she is the person who will be calling the shots, who decides which colour is suitable, or if a frame is good enough to continue. The production crew will look to a director for decisions. I think of myself as the director in the film of my own life. Before I set out to embark on a new project, I always make sure I spend a lot of time figuring out what I want out of it, so I can effectively communicate the vision and goals for it to members of my staff. A clear vision and concrete goals for any business starts at the top.


A leader should be well-informed and in the know about everything related to your business or company. He or she should know all the ins and outs of your business as well as anything related to your industry. You don’t need to know all the details of what your employees do on a daily basis because that would be micromanaging. But being well-informed means that you are aware of larger trends happening in the world and how it can or will affect your business. This is crucial to stay relevant with the times and ever-changing and evolving business landscape.


Being a leader means being able to take full responsibility when things go south. Although some might think that this means being a scapegoat, it isn’t. As a leader you are accountable for any actions taken by your employees. If a company succeeds, the CEO is thanked, but if the company fails, the CEO should also be the one in front of the firing squad. I’ve seen many leaders who are willing to throw their staff under the bus because they are too cowardly to step up. If your staff and team see you willing to take ultimate responsibility this will inspire loyalty among them too.


Every leader should have a high amount of self-confidence. This will help motivate their employees to be confident as well. I like to cultivate confidence in my team. I look for people who have the confidence to speak up and challenge me and my thinking. Likewise, I expect them to be tough enough to take my criticism and to meet the challenges at work head on and not hide their heads in the sand. Developing confidence in yourself and the people around you is vital for surviving the tough world out there.


In a world where cynicism is rampant, it is hard to find empathetic souls. Times are hard, and the world may feel like it’s crumbling to the ground. In the face of hard situations and circumstances, it can be hard for people to be positive and to not let anger or resentment colour their interactions or affect their workplace performance. An empathetic leader should be able to understand and give fair judgment. Especially when it comes to the mental or social condition of his or her employees. To be empathetic is to be able to put yourself into another’s shoes, as the saying goes. At Darway Corp, I try to practice this every day. If an employee is not performing at their best, I will do my best to find out why and to support them the best I can. Darway Corp tries to emulate best practices in cultivating a wholesome and supportive work environment.

Darren Yaw’s Top 10 Favourite Places to Visit in Cambodia - darrenyaw.com

Darren Yaw’s Top 10 Favourite Places to Visit in Cambodia

“Darren Yaw and wife, Judie Yaw, are both avid travellers. They enjoy travelling around the world together in search of the best destinations to share to their friends and family. They have been in countless countries around the world but they both share the same sentimental affection towards travelling to Cambodia. They spent their honeymoon in Cambodia and instantly fell in love Cambodian culture. Here his wife Judie reveals their favourite sights to see.”

I remember the first time Darren and I stepped foot on Cambodia. Although it was a short plane ride from Malaysia, the minute I breathed the air when I stepped out of the airplane, it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere. And I can safely say the same for my lovely husband, Darren. I could see the change in his expression when he first saw Phnom Penh, Cambodia from the plane. The excitement in his eyes could light up a whole airport runway. Okay so here are our favorite spots in Cambodia!

1. Sacred Temples of Angkor Wat

Darren Yaw’s favourite historical site in Cambodia - Temple of Angkor Wat - darrenyaw.com

Darren Yaw’s favourite historical site in Cambodia: Temple of Angkor Wat
Photo credits – Taken from https://hiddenarchitecture.net/angkor-wat-temple/

Firstly without a doubt a must visit spot for everyone is the temples of Angkor. Rich with history and architecture, Darren and I were at awe of how beautiful it was. We spent days admiring the ancient ruins. Seeing the temples bathed in warm colours during sunset is amazing and not to be missed.

2. Bokor Hill Station

Cambodia’s historical hidden gem - darrenyaw.com

Cambodia’s historical hidden gem
Photo credits – Taken from https://www.tripzilla.com/bokor-hill-station-cambodia/71850

A hauntingly beautiful building. I kept holding on to Darren’s arm when we entered the hall. Even so, I was still admiring the historical state of the building. Although the atmosphere was a little creepy, Darren and I were loving the thrill of being in what seemed to be an abandoned hotel.

3. Otres Beach

Darren Yaw’s favourite beach in Cambodia: Otres Beach
Photo credits – Taken from https://www.tripzilla.com/bokor-hill-station-cambodia/71850

Living in the city in Malaysia, sometimes it is hard for us to visit the beach. This wasn’t the case when we went to the Cambodian capital, Sihanoukville. With such lively atmosphere and warm waters, Darren and I have spent many afternoons sun bathing and playing a little volleyball with the locals.

4. Banteay Chhmar

Darren and Judie Yaw love the many faces of Banteay Chhamr, Cambodia - darrenyaw.com

Darren and Judie Yaw love the many faces of Banteay Chhamr, Cambodia.
Photo credits – Taken from https://www.tripadvisor.com.my

Just a 3 hours drive from Angkor Wat, you will arrive at another similarly exotic and historical site. There are a lot of symbols and patterns on building walls. It was very cultural and it felt like we were in a distant land across the universe!

5. Sambor Prei Kuk

Darren Yaw loves this shrine under the tree in Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia - darrenyaw.com

Darren Yaw loves this shrine under the tree in Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia.
Photo credits – Taken from https://kevinstandagephotography.wordpress.com

Speaking of distant lands, this scene here felt like it was straight out of a fictional novel! The journey here was quite adventurous, however the tree and the little shrine inside was amazing to say the least. We were told by the villagers living nearby that the shrine under the tree had a significant historical landmark, and we wanted to see it in person! It was so moving to see such a cultural phenomenon kept in such a beautiful state.

6. Pou Lung Village

The kind and lovely villagers of Pou Lung Village loved having Darren & Judie Yaw around - darrenyaw.com

The kind and lovely villagers of Pou Lung Village loved having Darren & Judie Yaw around.
Photo credits – Taken from https://visitcambodiatravel.com

Here in Mondulkiri, Cambodia, is a unique undisturbed tribe of the indigenous people of Pou Lung. Darren and I were as thrilled to encounter them as they were with us. I guess they like tourists? Nonetheless, it was very interesting to spend time with people without modern technology suffocating their lives. They were very peaceful and very kind!

7. Prasat Preah Vihear

Darren Yaw loves the architecture of Prasat Preah Vihear, Cambodia - darrenyaw.com

Darren Yaw loves the architecture of Prasat Preah Vihear, Cambodia.
Photo credits – Taken from https://www.traveltoasiaandback.com

Honestly, Darren and I love these historical sites. They are just so rich with beautifully intricate architecture that sometimes I forget that we’re still on earth! And Prasat Preah Vihear is no exception. Darren would sometimes sit for hours just admiring the architectural gems these people have made.

8. Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot

A palace with rich culture for those who are Buddhist, like Judie or Darren Yaw - darrenyaw.com

A palace with rich culture for those who are Buddhist, like Judie or Darren Yaw.
Photo credits – Taken from https://theculturetrip.com

You should come here to visit and experience Cambodia like nothing before! Inside the building you can see national treasures left behind by royals and many Buddhist tapestries. Till this day, the grounds inside are still being used for royal or various national ceremonies.

9. Koh Ker

A castle in disguise! Darren Yaw’s personal favourite place in Cambodia - darrenyaw.com

A castle in disguise! Darren Yaw’s personal favourite place in Cambodia.
Photo credits – Taken from https://www.lonelyplanet.com/cambodia

I cannot emphasise how much Darren loved this temple. The structure, the location, even the moss growing around it. He said that he felt connected with its architectural shape and design. Both Darren and I would walk to the top and just stare in wonder at how magnificent this temple is. Definitely 10/10.

10. Prasat Kravan

“This building would be perfect for a Wes Anderson-esque film!” - Darren Yaw

“This building would be perfect for a Wes Anderson-esque film!” – Darren Yaw
Photo credits – Taken from http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/prasat-kravan.htm

Last but definitely not least is Prasat Kravan. It was beautifully symmetrical from one angle. However some parts of it had fallen into disrepair due to natural weather conditions. Still it didn’t stop it from being one of our favorite spots!

Darren Yaw's Best Books on Business and How It Contributed to His Success in Singapore and Malaysia - darrenyaw.com

Darren Yaw’s Best Books on Business and How It Contributed to His Success in Singapore and Malaysia

“Darren Yaw believes that he would not be where he is today without opening himself up to new opportunities and consistently learning through increasing his knowledge. An avid reader, he frequently turns to books for inspiration and guidance on life, love and business. Here is a list of books that he has found to be of most help to him in trying to forge a successful career as an entrepreneur and investor.”

If I had thought I knew everything and decided I was not open to gaining new knowledge as well as changing my perspective on certain things, the Darway Corporation in Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia as it is today would never have existed. The years I have spent on this earth have taught me that life is a cycle of learning and that there is endless knowledge to be acquired. I have always been big on books. I enjoyed going to the National Library of Malaysia and that is where I met my wife Judie. During the early days of our relationship, my wife and I would spend our time bonding over books in the library. We would both go to the library every weekend. It wasn’t until then that I stumbled upon my first guide to business. At the time, I had just begun my business and I was struggling a lot. I knew something was lacking but I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

Then, the minute I began reading those business books, it was like something in my mind clicked. I slowly started applying the knowledge I was getting from these books to my actual business and the improvement began from there. Slowly, I could see the positive effects of that knowledge I was applying to my business. The minute I discovered this worked, reading business-related books sort of became an addiction. Now, I wasn’t only bonding with the woman I knew I was going to marry but I was also able to share an activity she loved as well as benefit from it.


The main branch of my business was originally located in Malaysia but because I had now learnt so much more that I didn’t know about the business world which was causing my business to grow rapidly, I made a bold move and decided to open the corporation branch in Singapore. I wouldn’t call it a risk in terms of expanding my business as such because I knew that as long as I had the secrets to success which were my books, applied them into the business just like I had before then I was guaranteed to succeed and gain high rewards and returns.

My wife Judie and I would always read a little before bed. On one particular night, I had a look at the book she was reading and this quote caught my eye:

“You will never know what you can achieve if you remain in your comfort zone.”

I remember this quote kept me up that night. Here I was, married to the woman of my dreams, business was booming but I realised that I had gotten too comfortable and content with my current success. Deep down in my heart, I knew it was time for me to broaden my horizons and expand. That was what inspired me to start up in Singapore. Knowing that knowledge was power, I again read up alot and applied the same tactics the first time, but I had to make adjustments because the market was different. Thanks to my reading and research, within a year the business was thriving. I now had successful businesses in Malaysia and Singapore.

Darway Corporation in Singapore opened up a new way of thinking for me. I had the confidence that I had the information I needed to set up another branch elsewhere. With the knowledge and skill set that I had already acquired, I began dreaming and planning to do more.


I know how hard it can be when launching a new business in terms of finding capital, studying the market and how to make sure your business actually succeeds. I firmly believe that to be successful and to keep growing, every entrepreneur needs to cultivate a reading habit. I feel that my recommendations here can be helpful for both established entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in the making. So here are my picks for books that motivated me to succeed in my business, and I hope they do the same for you.


This was the book my wife Judie was reading on that fateful night that sparked the inspiration to open up my business branches in Singapore. It is also the book that made me get out of my comfort zone and broaden my horizons by thinking of the endless possibilities to success. It is a very easy book to fall in love with and a must read.


My wife Judie referred this book to me. What caught my attention was the front cover that has the quote “The power of thinking without thinking”. Intrigued in wanting to know how it was possible to think without thinking, I gave it a read and my life was never the same again. It taught me that the time you have before making a decision is the most important time in your life because it determines your direction. It also taught me about the importance of first impressions, just like the first time the book caught my eye. It is quite a captivating book to read and learn from.


I must admit that I fell in love with Malcom Gladwell’s art of writing after I read his book Blink which my wife Judie had referred to me. When I had first encountered this book I remember my business was not thriving. By now we know Malcom is big on first impressions and the title of this book caught my attention. I managed to learn about how to be more innovative, the ideal structure of a business and understanding how the business sector works. Applying this to my business, I noticed a difference in how I ran my business and the role having these attributes played towards contributing to its growth.


This book taught me how to make my corporations stand out from the rest. What is your story and can you connect it to your business? Having a story behind your brand connects you and the consumers as well. He also talks about the two paths to success and which one is most effective. If you are curious to find out I suggest you give this book a read.


This book taught me how to deeply understand and learn your own character as well as how to build yourself and grow as an individual by taking care of yourself in ways such as eating right, spending time and pursuing your career. If you are looking for a way to maintain a healthy mindset this is the book.


This book was one of the stepping stones towards me building my other business branches. I loved this book because as much as the author is such an entertaining writer, he educated me on how to leave the old way of thinking in terms of pursuing career paths and creating the future you want to live in.


When I initially set my eyes upon this book, I was expecting a serious business book however, it turned out to be such an easy read educating on the importance of embracing change.


I was impressed by this book especially because it taught me how strategy works. It also made it very easy for me to apply what I was reading into my daily life and work. It really helped with my business growth in Malaysia right before I opened the Singapore branch.


My wife Judie introduced me to this book once she discovered my keen appetite for reading more business books. In this book you will be able to learn what it takes to run a successful business.


I still share quotes from this book up to this day. In a nutshell, this book teaches you the importance of persistence, how to be prepared and how to enjoy your business while working hard towards its growth. It also teaches the importance of being assertive especially toward your business and the decisions you make.


In this book, Tom Asacker amazed me completely in the way he defined the importance of a positive attitude and belief system. Your way of thinking determines your way of winning.


A deep dive into the life of the iconic Steve Jobs and how he handled his family as well as his business. This book helped me find the balance between your family and your business.


This was such an emotional read because it not only taught me how to look at my business as a way of life instead of work but to also wholeheartedly love what I do. I don’t want to give too much away but this is a must read!


If you’re looking for an entertaining book that explains business strategies and how to succeed in the modern world then this is it! I learnt that despite being successful, you still have to be open to new opportunities and make sure that your business is solid.


The ability to succeed depends on how much work and effort we put into something as well as having positive thinking. A good read especially if you’re looking for motivation. The more we develop our skills the better we become.