Leadership amid competition

What are the desired leadership qualities in the current business environment?

The current business environment, taking the smallest city-state, Singapore, for example — a tiny red dot highly dependent on trade — is facing much challenge and pressure.

Within Singapore itself, the market as a whole is maturing and in some sectors, even saturated. We have moved from the phase of manufacturing and industrialization to an economy built on knowledge and even now, one that is rapidly changing due to technological advancements. For example, if we see how the retail industry has come thus far, it was once a thriving market where textiles were produced locally, sold economically and business was profitable. Fast track to today, the business environment is such that costs of raw materials have gone up, producing locally is rare due to the manufacturing factories that have phased out and now armed with the access technology provides, we see shifts in consumer patterns where they have gone online to source for cheaper deals.

With these changes happening quickly in the market place, business owners would need to set their sights far and long to different avenues of growth so as to thrive and remain competitive in such business environments.

Three key desired leadership qualities for continuous success in a fast changing business environment would be first to have a growth mind-set, second to have a foresight and vision, and third, the perseverance to carry these through.

A Growth mind-set

A mind-set on growth would mean that a business is constantly evolving.

As the saying goes, “change is a constant.”

One must therefore not stay still, but be agile and quick to respond to changes. With such a mind-set, the leader is always on a proactive lookout for what the next wave could be, before begin hit or even swept away by it.

Leaders with a growth mind-set are also ones that are hungry for growth. These leaders are proactive and on the scour for opportunities. They have a sharp eye on events taking place around them and would be able to ride on opportunities that they have prepared themselves and their team for. Such business leaders would also have an appetite for calculated risk, taking the necessary and wise steps to advance forward, and not held back by fear. There might be some losses, but the potential and growth opportunity outweighs it.

Foresight and vision

This would mean that these leaders are visionary and have set their sights not on what they currently have, but on what could be.

They have the clarity of foresight and are able to look far and see the opportunities that others do not see. These leaders are equipped with panorama advantage and have an aerial view that scans opportunities beyond their comfort zones.

With such a clear and determined vision, these leaders are then able to motivate and bring people alongside them to share the same goal and work towards a challenge worth overcoming because of the empowered vision they would have articulated.


However, to achieve and bring the vision to reality, it takes perseverance to stay the course.

These leaders do no fizzle out in face of short term losses but are fiercely committed to see tangible results and see the efforts of his and his people reaped.

Leaders like these many not have all the answers, and are truth that it could indeed take a length of time before the desired fruits are harvested, but their perseverance and courage inspires the people around them to follow and make things happen.

Even in a challenging business environment, leaders do not forget that success is a team effort. They desire to see collateral success and persevere to communicate the vision and share the results of growth with their people.

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