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Leadership talk revisits why Asia is world’s ‘hottest’ region

KUCHING — While it is a region that boasts 50% of the Fortune 1000 companies and 69% of the world’s natural resources, it also has 8 out of 10 of the most heavily militarized zones in the world and harbors 56% of the world’s poverty-stricken. The complex and unpredictable continent of Asia is undeniably a sizzling spot for innovation and growth.

This was one of the main topics Center for Asia Leadership (CAL) Co-Founder and President Samuel Kim expounded on during an executive talk on April 23 at Waterfront Hotel in Kuching, Sarawak.

CAL is a non-profit dedicated to addressing social needs and problems in Asia through research, development, training, and publications, all focused on social and public leadership, innovation, and educational practices.

Not about authority

Organized by Leadership Institute of Sarawak Civil Service, the talk also focused on the need to redefine leadership for Asia that is moving to establish itself as an economic and political powerhouse amid highly volatile and ambiguous times.

The institute’s purpose is “to train as many civil servants as possible so that they will be able to appreciate their role as a ‘catalyst of change,’” reads its website.

“Ultimately, leadership is not about authority, personal characteristics, or expert knowledge. … Leadership means deliberately mobilizing people to do whatever is needed to be done to improve our lives and conditions,” said Kim, who has developed more than 27 leadership programs across Asia.

According to him, “leadership” is really more of a verb than a noun. “At the end of the day, you don’t need authority to exercise leadership. Anybody can exercise leadership,” added Kim, who holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

During the half-day session, some 50 participants revisited the reasons why leadership determines the over-all health and progress of not just organizations but entire nations.

CAL’s latest book

The other highlight of the said event was the official launch of Acumen Publishing’s latest book, Rethinking Asia: Realities and Aspirations of the New Eurasia, also known as RA5. Acumen Publishing is CAL’s publications arm.

Edited by Kim, RA5 is the fifth in the Rethinking Asia series and explores the intriguing potential and promise of Eurasia, a region that enjoys the best of two distinct yet intimately interconnected continents.

Comprising 10 chapters, the newly-released book, which was edited by Kim covers an array of topics from 21st century leadership and Design Thinking to challenges posed by corruption in the region.

RA5 is sold at RM 62 or USD 13.99. Interested parties may email cali@asia-leadership-2023.local for inquiries on how to order.

By Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz