From Powerpoint Guy to CEO: An Interview with Aleks Tan of OMF Literature

I was supposed to have a podcast episode with Mr. Aleks Tan, the present Chief Executive Officer of OMF Literature, one of the top Christian publishing houses in the Philippines. But as it turned out, our schedules totally didn’t agree with each other, that’s why I ended up doing an email interview with him instead.

I enjoyed reading Aleks’ responses and it encouraged me in the pursuit of excellence in my field. I hope it encourages you to do the same.

OMF Literature
Twitter: @omflit
Facebook: OMF Literature

Aleks Tan’s blog:
Aleks’ Twitter: @aleks_tan

Please describe your present career: what work are you doing now. Are you enjoying it so far?

Hi, Mighty. First I’d like to say thanks for the chance to share a bit of my journey with you and your growing audience. I’ve looked at some of the material on your site and am quite impressed and excited. Surely, many Pinoy yuppies will find invaluable help and encouragement here! I’ve actually toyed with the idea of putting up something similar, but you beat me to it! You’re doing a great job, brother.

Now onto your question.

I work at OMF Literature, the country’s largest Christian publishing house, where I have served in various capacities for 12 years now. (Hey, now that I think about it, I celebrate my anniversary with the company this month!) Last July 2013, I took over the role of CEO following the retirement of my boss. Before that, I served as COO for a year, which was preceded by various roles in Marketing and Sales, including a stint heading the in-house creative team.

Am I enjoying? Oh, yes. But not in the giddy, road-trip kind of way. I am getting acquainted with a new kind of enjoyment that entails a measure of seriousness and challenge, mixed with a lot of laughter and satisfaction, and held together by my faith in God’s call to serve at OMF Lit. Since I took on the role of CEO, I’ve been telling people that they shouldn’t mind me when they see me limping around. That’s because I’m still getting used to wearing these new and really big shoes! The two former CEOs before me, under whose leadership I had had the privilege of serving, have left a legacy of faithfulness and excellent leadership—really big shoes!—that I now find myself having to wear to work every day. It is both honoring and humbling.

Being CEO is fun—the three-word equivalent of rewarding, I guess—once you realize and embrace that you have been given a rare opportunity to impact the trajectory of an organization and the people it serves, both internal and external. More and more, I am convinced that being CEO of OMF Lit is a calling, not just to be an executive but also to be a pastor (in the shepherding sense), given that our organization is a Christian ministry run by men and women who have a very strong sense of calling to Christian service.


Did you always imagine yourself working in this field? What was your college background? Is your present job in line with your bachelor’s degree?

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