Leading in A Crisis: From Survival to Strategic Pivot
Asian leaders continue to deal with perhaps the biggest crisis they have faced in their careers. The combined social, economic, and health crises due to the Covid-19 pandemic continue to stress-test organizations, forcing them to stare at the potential reality of bankruptcy. CXOs not only deal with external leadership crises to keep their businesses afloat, but also deep personal leadership crises within as they dig into their ever-so-depleting reserves of emotional energy to motivate themselves and their teams. CXOs in Asia toil to survive and thrive in a world that, even with the most advanced analytical modeling, remains mysteriously difficult to predict and paint a reliable picture of. This paper—based on in-depth interviews with 73 C-Suite Leaders (CXOs) and board directors across Asia from different countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia). Industries, and organizations—articulates the journey leaders need to continue to navigate as they reflect, reset, recalibrate, and pivot to survive and hopefully succeed in the “next normal”. The research initiative was led by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), in partnership with the Institute of Corporate Directors, Philippines (ICD); the Indonesia Economic Forum (IEF); Center of Excellence in Management Research for Corporate Governance and Behavioral Finance, Sasin School of Management, Thailand; and the Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia (ICDM).