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Leadership lessons: driving economic growth in a diverse world

September 14, 2016

Vinod Kumar   

Former Managing Director and Group CEO Tata Communications

It’s been fascinating to see Asia’s phenomenal economic growth. One that many international observers have termed a ‘miracle’. Based in Singapore, the drivers that I have observed that contributed to this has been vast – from higher education, huge saving rates right through to a strong market for exporting goods, amongst others.

In my opinion, the greatest driver of them all, one that has distinguished the Asian economic path from the rest of developing countries has been leadership.

This is the driver that has led to a healthy +6 per cent economic growth year on year to date. However the picture looks far less impressive if you look at other dimensions of economic development. That is why a dedication and commitment to cultivating strong leadership is now more important than ever.

A large part of what is considered global leadership today has been shaped by western influence. As the Asian economy begins to account for more of global trade and GDP it is vital to infuse eastern orientations in organisational culture and leadership best practices. The rich texture that Asia brings to this picture may at times seem contrarian and confusing – however, we should boldly experiment with the intention of creating the right elixir for evolved leadership.

Exploring leadership lessons across the board has been a professional and personal passion of mine, some of you may have read my previous thoughts on this subject.  At the core of this is the notion of the transformational power every person plays in life, whether it be to society, family or in business.

Recognising the importance in transforming leadership practices, we’ve partnered with the Human Capital Leadership Institute to delve into the different leadership “mosaics” across Asia, looking at leadership characteristics in each individual country, and also finding compelling patterns of business leadership across Asia. Insights gleaned from over 4,000 hours of interactions with some of Asia’s top business leaders will follow in October so watch this space!

In the meantime, I’d welcome your thoughts on what your most valuable leadership lessons have been. Leave a comment below.