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Ambition Leaders

We talk to Paul Endacott, Managing Director of Ambition South-East Asia about his career.

How did you get into recruitment?

My career in recruitment started by chance rather than design. I was previously working for a Reuters joint venture in a role that took me to Hong Kong in early 2002. Whilst in Hong Kong I was approached by a global multinational recruitment firm for a role in their business. After about 8 interviews and a few meetings over drinks I was convinced to make the move. 

Who is your role model as a leader?

That’s a tough one as there are many depending on the facet of leadership you’re looking at. I admire Steve Jobs for his single-minded vision and commitment to extraordinary design and quality innovation. Richard Branson for his charismatic approach and ability to build successful teams with such high levels of employee engagement. Jack Welch for his decisive, no-nonsense and ruthless approach to achieving results. 

I suppose from this you can see I don’t have one leader that’s a role model, but there are many I like to learn from. I also wouldn’t limit myself to just those who have global recognition as some of my biggest lessons and insights have come from leaders running smaller local businesses.

Some of my biggest lessons and insights have come from leaders running smaller local businesses

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by people who work hard and make a meaningful positive difference for themselves and others. I’m inspired by people who come from very little or very difficult backgrounds and achieve remarkable things. It’s these type of people that remind me that no one is too small to make a difference and with focus, hard work and commitment anything is possible.

No one is too small to make a difference with focus, hard work and commitment anything is possible

What is the most valuable advice you have been given?

Take time to listen, no one has ever learnt from talking. I find this great advice and you can learn things from just about everyone you speak to if you take the time to listen to them.

Take time to listen, no one has ever learnt from talking

What is your greatest achievement?

Taking Ambition from a handful of employees in Singapore to over 70 employees across Singapore and Malaysia. I am very proud of the work we have done in establishing Ambition as one of the leading specialist recruitment firms in the region.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome it?

Probably the biggest challenge was navigating Ambition Singapore through the global financial crisis (GFC). I joined Ambition in Singapore in August 2008 and at the time the business was mainly focused on the Banking sector, so was quite heavily hit in the coming months. As a team we had to make some tough decisions on people, but also some brave ones in launching new business lines over the next 6-12 months. It was personally challenging being in a new team and in a new country, but I was very fortunate to have a core of great people around me. With focus, hard work and determination we exited the (GFC) well positioned for growth secure in the knowledge that if you can grow a profitable business under such challenging conditions, you can grow under almost any conditions.

Can you give me three things on your ‘bucket list’

  • Travel around the world with my family
  • Learn to scuba dive 


3 words to describe yourself

Determined, motivating and humble.​