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Top oustanding leaders in Asia

Dato' Tony Looi Chee Hong
Ms Khoo Gaik Eng - Grace Liu
Mr Georg Johann Chmiel
Mr Marco Francesco Righi

Dato' Tony Looi Chee Hong
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Ban Lee Hin Engineering & Construction Sdn Bhd

Do you think the idea of leadership has changed over the decades?

During the past, leaders were very strict. Staff were not allowed to object to his opinion or decision. Whatever he decided is what you had to follow. Leaders nowadays are open minded. They will accept opinions from all levels and encourage their employees to propose any idea and suggestion that can help the company to grow and improve.

Ms Khoo Gaik Eng - Grace Liu
Co-founder & Managing Director
East Wellsum Industries (S) Pte Ltd

Can good leadership be taught?

It is very difficult to teach leadership, as it is not just knowledge obtained from books. One can learn about the theory and the idea of leadership but it can't be obtained without endeavouring to lead. Only then can one build his own leadership style and also merge what he reads from books into an actual daily practice of leadership. Mentorship is also very important.

Mr Georg Johann Chmiel
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
iProperty Group Ltd

Apart from doing well financially, what factors are important for a person to be considered 'successful'?

Making a difference - having a profession and not just a job - enjoying the company of co-workers and celebrating successes together. A successful leader creates a vision and supports the company in achieving this vision. A successful leader is flexible about how to achieve the vision but never compromises the ultimate goal. People follow this leader because they trust him, not because they fear him.

Mr Marco Francesco Righi
Regional President Asia Pacific & Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia
Monier Malaysia Sdn Bhd

What kind of a leader are you?

I believe in 'working with me and not for me'. I care about people, their emotions and problems. I have been trying to build a working environment where everyone feels free to express opinions. I give respect and I ask for the same. Everything comes from a mix of personality, education and training, but more importantly from what I learnt from other leaders' behaviours.