Martin Lee @ Sg
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DBS CEO Richard Stanley Diagnosed With Leukemia

After a couple of days of Chinese New Year break and eating lots of goodies, I was surprised to see that DBS had requested for a trading halt of their shares this morning.

About two hours later, DBS issued a statement announcing that their CEO, Richard Stanley, had been diagnosed with Leukemia and would be taking leave of 3-6 months immediately for treatment. In his absence, Chairman Koh Boon Hwee will take on a more active role.

It came very suddenly as the CEO Richard Stanley was still busy at work last Friday. Normal flu-like symptoms (fever and cough) lead him to seek treatment on Monday (26th Jan 09). He was warded on Tuesday and the diagnosis was confirmed today.

Apparently, there were no warning signs prior to this.

Health (and life) can sometimes be so unpredictable. We all know that leading a stressful life is not very healthy. A stressed-out person gets sick more easily. The financial tsunami that has struck us all in the past year would probably have caused additional stress to many of us.

There’s a saying that goes: “When we are young, we spend all our health chasing wealth and when we are old, we spend all our wealth to stay healthy“.

In this new year, perhaps it is a good time to have a closer look at our work-life balance. Work hard – but do remember to play hard, eat well, exercise moderately and listen to your body as well.

We wish Richard a speedy recovery.

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2 comments
Falcon says 10 years ago

Yes, I fully agree that stress can kill. I myself personally experienced that. When I was twenty something, I worked very hard, working day and night and even on weekends in order to earn more money. When we were young we have lots more energy and did not know when to stop. I took on bigger and bigger roles and more and more assignments. I was very proactive and took on many functions to show that I am capable. I noticed some of my older colleagues who were reluctant to volunteer and even push away some extra work. I used to chide them for being lazy and bo chap.
Then after many years of such a lifestyle one day I suddenly lost partial sight in one eye. I attibuted it to stress as I always did not say no to any new assignment and my HK boss then piled me with more and more portfolios and assignments. I did all of them in record time and it kept coming till suddenly my health collapse.
So it is with Richard, I believed the stress as the CEO of DBS is tremendous, what with SS Lim chiding him for retrenching staff. Richard knows that SS is well connected and he has to tread very carefully. So after months of prolonged stress, it finally got to him.
I decided to take it easy and opt for early retirement. This is because there is no point, beyond a point, of earning more money but not having the life to spend it.
I stopped working 2 years ago and my blood pressure went back to normal. It was a lucky thing I did not take the advice of doctors who prescribed high blood pressure pills some years back, otherwise I will have to take them for life.
Come to think of it, our blood pressure rise because we are stressed, that is a normal function of our body. We then artificially suppress it with medication but the stress continues. What will happen to our bodies?
It is better to be natural and reduce the stress and everything will go back to normal then to earn money in order to buy medicine to cure ourselves.
Of course I am not saying we should all stop work, we have to see what kind of work. If it is stressful work, then we have to reduce the stress by opting for a less stressful kind of work.
Actually for most executives who have worked for decades, they should have enough savings to be in a position to stop the stress.

Reply
    lioninvestor says 10 years ago

    Hi Falcon,

    Thanks for sharing. You are right. Beyond a certain financial level, the marginal contribution to happiness becomes lesser. There is only so much that money can buy.

    I also personally know of a few people in their 30s who developed heart conditions.

    One major contributor is no doubt the stressful industry that they work in.

    Reply
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