Global citizens

In this picture taken on January 29, 2016, a women takes photographs under traditional Chinese lanterns decorated at the Thean Hou temple ahead of Lunar New Year of the monkey celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (AFP Photo/Manan Vatsyayana)

Every business, in whatever part of the world you are in, is affected by the ever-accelerating globalisation, driven by demographics and technology. For leaders, this means you need to be able to build bridges. Bridges between people with different cultures and religions, bridges between different business models and indeed bridges between increasingly diverse employees. Many of the skills you need to be an exemplary leader cannot simply be learned at MBA or other formal development programs. These can only be nurtured and developed by openminded engagements outside one’s own comfort zone with people and organisations, local and internationally.

Tomorrow's leadership – a strategic review. Source: LeadWomen.

With more women truly climbing the corporate ladders, this is an opportunity to lead corporations and organisations around the world towards a better future for all. An inclusive future requires balanced decision-making based on a diverse understanding of people and societies. Soft skills which in the past have been described as additional, "nice to have" skills for leaders, are now considered the necessary and critical hard skills needed to lead the people into an ever more complex global world. Organisations are only as effective and productive as the people working in those organisations and their motivation depends on the integrity and influence of leaders who embrace cross board diversity.

But there is more to leadership. The accelerating development of new technologies requires creative minds to find innovative ways to apply these advanced technologies. Creativity is becoming an increasingly important aspect of successful business. All employees in organisations will be required to be creative, to think out of the box. And creativity is imperative for true leadership, requiring individuals and teams to go beyond their own comfort zone and challenge the status quo .

When you read the headlines of the global newspapers, you may agree that around the world there is a dearth of leadership, with many opportunities missed to do better for more people. Old leadership styles are not sufficient anymore. The time is now for future leaders to rise to the challenge.


Frank Lucas is also the author of the book "International Roaming, a family chasing home abroad". This article is a collaboration between The ASEAN Post and LeadWomen. The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The ASEAN Post.