Mr. Quang Huynh: Reading autobiographies to learn management skills

Reading autobiographies to improve management skills was something Mr. Quang Huynh pursued when facing difficulties in managerial issues during the early stages of his career.

In the MBA For Success talk show organized by the ISB Institute, Mr. Quang Huynh, the CEO of Deutsche Bank Vietnam, shared the autobiographies that he considered as bedside reading.

Encountering challenges in managing people at a very young age

At the beginning of 2020, the appointment of former CEO of Maritime Bank (MSB), Mr. Quang Huynh, as the CEO of Deutsche Bank Vietnam had drawn considerable attention in economic and financial journals.
Particularly noteworthy was Quang’s nearly 30-year career journey through high-level positions in several leading banks both in and out of the country. From 2015 to 2019, he served as the CEO of MSB Bank. By January 2020, he had risen to the position of Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank. Previously, for nearly 20 years, he had held significant roles in the management boards of the HSBC Group in Vietnam and the Asia-Pacific region.
Businessman Quang Huynh was elevated to his first management position at Hongkong Bank when he was very young in the late 1990s. He recalled that his biggest challenge back then was his management skills, particularly in dealing with people of similar or slightly older ages among his subordinates.

Autobiographies improving human resource management skills

Consequently, he took the proactive step of reading numerous books to enrich his experience. “I was fortunate to have good language skills, so even though management books were scarce in Vietnam at that time, I could buy and read foreign books. I spent a lot of time reading autobiographies of famous managers and leaders, which helped me enhance my human resource management skills.”
Sharing his bedside reading selection, he introduced three autobiographies: “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” and the portrait of Sandy Weill, the chairman of Citigroup. He believed that he learned countless lessons just from these three autobiographies.
“How to Win Friends and Influence People,” “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” and the biography of Sandy Weill, Chairman of Citigroup, are the ‘bedside books’ of Mr. Quang Huynh.


Mr. Quang also emphasized that in the process of personal development for young individuals, whether through accumulating experiences, studying, or through books, discipline needs to be prioritized. When you have free time, would you use it to improve yourself or for leisure and entertainment? Would you read autobiographies or browse the web for videos?

The boundary between these two choices becomes fragile if you lack discipline. Being strict with yourself will help you stay on the right path, gradually accumulating knowledge and experiences that will lead to personal progress.

“MBA For Success” is an online event series featuring high-level executives from renowned businesses, guided by Assoc. Prof Tran Ha Minh Quan, the Dean of ISB. The event provides an overview and practical insights into learning experiences and work expertise aimed at young professionals.