The meaning of purposeful leadership has changed—what was previously deemed leadership qualities such as confidence and boldness have now been replaced with values such as empathy, engagement and listening.
A new study by WE Communications showed that 86 per cent of C-suite leaders in Singapore, US and UK say they've become more introspective during this time. "By looking within, leaders are examining their own consciences and convictions with new levels of honesty and vulnerability," the report reads.
More leaders are also bringing in their morals and values into the workplace with 89 per cent saying engaging with issues that affect their employees is a moral obligation, and the same percentage believing purpose is becoming as important as financial results. Furthermore, 71 per cent of leaders say articulating their personal values has become more important.
In Singapore, leaders understand that they need to consult a more diverse set of stakeholders but face the challenge of identifying clear-cut strategies on acting on these priorities. Seventy one per cent of respondents say that stakeholder engagement is one of the most important leadership priorities in 2021, but many face the challenge of being unprepared to do so.
Stakeholders in Singapore expect leaders to engage with a broad array of issues; build a culture of trust, respect and empathy; lead by example; motivate and empower people to drive change; and adapt swiftly and proactively. And most importantly, leaders are expected to show, rather than merely tell, how their actions embody an organisation's purpose.
This means donations and CSR are not enough. To positively impact society, businesses and their leaders must piroritise retraining and digitisation efforts while aligning their policies and practices with purpose, the report said.
To read the full report, click here.
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