Cheelip Ong: The Formula for Success in Career and Life

Ong Chee Lip, Regional Chief Creative Officer, Lion & Lion

A visionary at heart and a mind fueled with innovation, Ong Chee Lip is a hybrid creative leader with over 20 years of integrated advertising expertise. Ong has led creative teams in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Tokyo and China.

He was only 32 years old when he became China’s youngest Chief Creative officer (CCO). Cheelip has also received awards internationally, regionally and domestically, such as CLIOs, One Show, EFFiES, One Show Greater China, ADSTAR, Cannes, to name a few.

We sat down with Cheelip to find out what drives him and makes him the remarkable guy he is. Here is Cheelip’s perspective on success in life, from career advice to guidance for the younger generation:

  1. Key to success and practices to live by
  2. Idols and life philosophy 
  3. Advice for young people in the workplace

1. What is the key to your success, and what are some practices you live by?

Cheelip: I think success can be measured in several ways; everyone’s perception of what they deem as wins is different.

That said, to those who wish to achieve success in their career and personal life, my advice is to set goals for what you’d like to achieve and accomplish. You need to understand what you’d like to gain out of the experience, and especially how you’d like things to turn out.

By doing so, you won’t get easily swayed by pathways that do not serve your goals, which is why I begin by picturing the end in mind. I envisioned and mapped out the career I wanted from the moment I started working and planned ways I could meet the opportunities when they arrived.

Another important element in success is passion. This drive will help you to persevere in even the toughest of times. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals; their sense of purpose can act as an inspiration that feeds into your inner passion. An analogy I like to tell is that passion is like a flame in the fireplace that needs to be refuelled with logs and paraffin to burn brightly.


Life and career tips

2. Who are your idols, and what is your life philosophy?

Cheelip: A lot of the inspiration I gather in my life is based more on books than they are from people. I find that books hold so much knowledge, reflecting heavily on the writers. Having said that, I love reading business books as I like to understand entrepreneurs and their careers. Some of my current favourite reads are:

As much as it is a saying that most are familiar with, my life philosophy is Go Get It. It sounds simple, but there is so much courage in staying true to what you want. It’s very easy to fall into a state of discouragement or lose your way in life. This ties back to knowing what you want out of your life, let alone your career. I believe pursuing your goals with your sense of self intact is also important.

In essence, commit to your craft; commit to your passion.

Life and career tips

3. What advice would you give to young people in the workplace?

Cheelip: I’ve had the privilege of managing teams with members of different ages, and it’s interesting to see how different age groups are wired differently. I see these young people as my teachers. I’ve learned about E-gaming, Discord, and what have you. I love their energetic spirit and sense of exploration.

One piece of advice I can give them is to understand the value of commitment. They’re more technologically inclined to the world; there are so many more opportunities for them to explore what they truly want. While it is very vital to explore, there needs to be a commitment. When you commit to something, you stick with it and work on it, it will give them the success they want.

Lastly, be courageous to make the right choices. I think sometimes we need a bit of bravery in life to say “No.” Life also comes with uncertainty, so it is natural to feel anxious and worried. Learning to find the middle ground and stay present will also help us realign ourselves.

For more about Lion & Lion and the services offered, click here to find out more! Or stay connected with Cheelip for more of his inspirations here!

IQI provides you with the freedom to choose and succeed in your career — your way! Venture into limitless potential and bask in the glory of a successful career among other award-winning professionals today!

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