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5 Tips for Becoming a Successful Leader from APAC's Top Executives

Becoming a successful leader isn’t just about climbing the corporate ladder; it’s about developing a mindset that is steadfastly committed to your own personal growth. The Asia Pacific region is a dynamic and fast-growing economy, that needs leadership talent with critical business acumen, technical skills, and the ability to think strategically. Inspired by the experiences and insights of the Asia Pacific region’s most inspirational and seasoned leaders, we’ve put together five invaluable tips, designed to help you on your journey toward becoming a successful leader and taking the next step in your career whatever industry you work in.

  1. Know Yourself

    The first step towards becoming a successful leader of others, is understanding yourself. What drives you? What excites you? What are your values as a person and as a leader? Knowing the answers to these questions helps you to put reason behind your ambition, to choose the right roles in companies that share your goals and to direct your energy to developing the skills and expertise you need to succeed.

    Just as importantly, once you understand your motivation, you’ll be better placed to communicate to others why they should be excited to work with you. You’ll be able to make clear what you are doing and why, and ensure you have the support of your team.

    “What gets me going is working with my younger colleagues, supporting them, knowing that they are all very ambitious. They want to do well… and they are engaged in interesting ideas that could make a real difference to the world.”

    Loh Chin Hua, CEO, Keppel
  2. Think Long-Term, in Your Career, and in Business

    According to PWC’s Annual Global CEO Survey, 53% of leaders in the Asia Pacific region do not believe their current business models will survive the next decade. Becoming a successful leader requires you to both focus on short and medium-term goals, but also to have far reaching vision. To anticipate what is coming in the long-term so you can be better prepared.

    A great way to cultivate this ability to think long-term in business is to think about the future when you choose how to grow your career. While it’s important to develop the skills you need for you next move, you should also look at what your long-term aim is. If you are planning to be an executive start developing good communication, decision making and relationship building skills now.
  3. Cultivate Your Network

    In business, as in life, we cannot succeed without the help of others. The strongest leaders understand that without the whole team working together growth is impossible. Part of your journey to becoming a successful leader involves developing strong connections with others in your industry.

    One thing to remember however is that you must build networks that link down and across as well as upwards. That is, while it’s important to make connections with those who can help your career now, such as inspiring leaders and senior managers who can mentor you, you also need to develop connections with your peers and those who are coming up behind you. You never know who will have the ability to help you in future.

    "As a CEO, we cannot work alone. To put it bluntly, part of what makes a company successful is having a strong team, and we are fortunate to have one."

    Piyajit Ruckariyapong, CEO/Executive Director, Sappe PCL
  4. Embrace Empathy, Flexibility & Communication

    Today’s leaders are increasingly being asked to manage cross-cultural teams, perhaps even working in large, global organisations. Successfully managing teams where different work cultures blend requires leaders with the ability to empathise, to respond to situations flexibly and agilely and to communicate simply and clearly.

    By learning from other workplace cultures, we can balance their approaches with our own strengths. Bringing these skills into traditional Thai workplace culture for example, where respect for hierarchy, politeness and indirect communication are valued can help improve collaboration and teamwork.

    “Our company vision – Proud of our Thai heritage, uniquely delivering gracious hospitality to the world – is very important as it gives us the flexibility to create distinctive experiences that blend the best of local and Thai hospitality customs in each destination.”

    Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International
  5. Keep Up with the Latest Tech

    Technology shapes our modern world, and the transformations caused by today’s digital revolution shows no sign of slowing down. To be a successful business leader you must stay up to date with the latest advancements because technology shapes the way businesses operate and interact with their markets.

    Staying updated enables leaders to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and meet changing customer needs. Moreover, technology often opens new avenues for growth and expansion, ensuring you explore untapped markets and stay ahead of the curve.

    “If you cannot catch up with the new paradigm in technology, you will be out of the game.

    Alice Chang, Founder and CEO, Perfect Corp.

    As you step into leadership, remember success lies in the journey as much as the destination. Take inspiration from APAC's top executives with these five practical tips. Embrace the challenge, stay resilient, and keep growing—because the path to success is as enriching as the achievement itself.

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Learn more about how JacksonGrant can help you grow your career and find a new role by getting in touch with a consultant today.