25 Leading Lights the Way for Kindness in SE Asia

25 Leading Lights the Way for Kindness in SE Asia

July 18, 2019

Founder of Women of the Future Programme Pinky Lilani CBE DL launches the Kindness & Leadership Southeast Asia 25 Leading Lights Campaign to change the conversation around kindness in business.

Nominations are now open for business leaders across Southeast Asia who lead with kindness as a new initiative to celebrate and encourage kindness and challenge how the business world views success kicks off this month.

Dubbed Kindness & Leadership Southeast Asia – 25 Leading Lights, the campaign aims to showcase 25 individuals across the region who are building a new status quo grounded on kindness and respect and who are overturning leadership stereotypes.

Launched by the Women of the Future Programme (WOF) and supported by headline sponsor Asia Square, the campaign aims to share the stories of 25 “Leading Lights”. The aim is to inspire others and recast kindness not as a weakness in leadership, but as an essential strength that empowers positive change and drives sustained growth.

WOF was founded in 2006 by Pinky Lilani CBE DL and Cherie Blair CBE is Awards patron. Its Global Ambassador is HRH The Countess of Wessex.

The organization features a portfolio of events and projects that support and celebrate the successes of women through the WOF Awards, WOF Summit, WOF Ambassadors and WOF Network.

WOF says it is a movement focused on kindness and collaboration in the workplace, galvanising a community of influential women to work together as a new generation of talent across business, media, culture and public service.

In 2018 WOF launched a campaign in the UK to celebrate kindness in leadership. Listees of the inaugural UK list included; Charlotte Hogg, CEO of Visa Europe, Anya Hindmarch CBE, Founder and Director of Anya Hindmarch, Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever and Gareth Southgate, Manager of the England National Football Team.

On the launch of its 25 Leading Lights Campaign in Southeast Asia, Ms Lilani says its time to change the metrics of success in business.

“We want to change the conversation around leadership. In a world preoccupied with the bottom line and ROI, kind leaders have shown that you can transform organisations in a positive way and foster true collaboration. Such leaders inspire creativity and productivity, empower others to succeed, and create an environment for the organisation as a whole to succeed. We need to recognise the contribution of these leaders to business, the economy and society, and encourage more leaders at all levels to follow their example, and this is why we are launching Kindness & Leadership Southeast Asia – 25 Leading Lights,” says Ms Lilani.

Ms Lilani says the WOF works closely with the Business School, University of Oxford, to explore characteristics associated with kind leaders, those who are deeply thoughtful of others and show humanity, generosity and compassion, and are dedicated to supporting the well-being of others and fostering a spirit of collaboration.

“These are the traits that we will be looking for in our selection process for our inaugural 25 Leading Lights,” says Ms Lilani.

Entrants will be reviewed by a panel comprising representatives from different industry sectors, ranging from Hugh Andrew, Managing Director, Blackrock Real Assets; Tin Pei Ling, Singaporean People’s Action Party Member of Parliament; and Jo Tyndall, New Zealand High Commissioner to Singapore. The judging panel will be chaired by Natalie Black, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific.

BlackRock Managing Director Hugh Andrew and panelist for the event says Asia Square Tower 1 is excited and privileged to support the inaugural Asia Pacific 25 Leading Lights Kindness and Leadership Awards.

“Today’s workforce probably has the largest bandwidth of employee’s expectations than we have experienced before, and leadership must reflect these expectations. In recognising Leaders who demonstrate consideration and kindness we believe that this Annual Award Programme will inspire and encourage leadership that focuses on employees, the community and the environment in which a business operates,” says Andrew.

How to Nominate

Share a story of kindness from someone whom has impacted you in your career, or whom is leading with kindness. The criterium:

Candidates must work and be based in Southeast Asia

They should be leaders in their fields – those in a position of leadership that can directly affect the culture of the company and industry within which they work

Candidates must be nominated by another and cannot self-nominate

Those nominating will need to write a citation about the candidate that clearly demonstrates their leadership impact through kindness

Also required are two testimonials from people who have been impacted by the candidate

Nominations are open now and close on October 7, 2019.

The 25 successful candidates will be announced at a special event on March 19, 2020.


(Featured image of Pinky Lilani CBE DL courtesy of Women of the Future Programme.)


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