Asian leadership can lead organisations to greater heights

A new report by the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) reveals a persistent gap in Asian leadership representation on the global stage.

Global Asian Leadership (GAL) can help organisations overcome the massive regional and global challenges they face, said Elisa Mallis, Managing Director and Vice President of APAC, CCL, who spoke recently at HRM Asia’s HR Leadership Series: Live.

Despite the development of Asian talent across multiple leadership attributes over the last decade, and clear indications that global organisations need Asian leaders to grow thriving businesses in Asia, there has been a decrease in representation of Asian leaders in top multi-national teams.

According to CCL’s new Global Asian Leader: From Asia, For the World report, in the top 200 organisations (by revenue), leaders of Asian ethnicity and or nationality represent only about 4% of the executive teams in US-headquartered companies and 3% in Europe-headquartered firms.

This is despite Asian talent possessing attributes, such as empathy, agility, and strong work ethic, to thrive in a leadership role.

CCL identified Asian talent’s lack of proximity to global managers making hiring decisions, misguided beliefs about what Asian talent can and cannot do, and attributing Asian leader capabilities to superficial traits, as some of the biases that are impeding Asian talent from accessing and succeeding in regional or global roles.

Elisa Mallis, Managing Director and Vice President of APAC, CCL, said, “There has never been a more important time to break the bamboo ceiling and enable Global Asian Leadership (GAL) in order to better equip organisations to overcome the massive regional and global challenges we face.”

To strengthen the GAL pipeline, organisations are urged to embrace five action areas:

  1. Reflect on the Asia agenda, business, and leadership strategy
  2. Evaluate leadership inventory in Asia
  3. Enable Asian leaders to better access regional and/or global roles
  4. Set talent up for success by helping them build the “right” global leadership attributes
  5. Make the GAL development process repeatable

Individually, Asian leaders must also cultivate five critical attributes – Courage, Curiosity, Trust, Strategic Thinking, and Influence – to further enhance their chances of accessing and succeeding in global roles, the CCL report highlighted.

Click here for more information and download the full report.

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