Award-winning leadership coach and Founder of ACEsence Yeo Chuen Chuen speaks up about Asian leadership and virus crisis
Yeo Chuen Chuen, an award-winning leadership executive coach working regularly with Fortune 500 clients and founder of ACEsence in Singapore, has recently been named one of the “Top 101 Global Coaching Leaders” and “Women Super Achiever” at the 7th Women Leadership Congress, a segment of the World HRD Congress. The awards recognise her professional achievement as a thought leader and a contributor of value.
Yeo Chuen Chuen with her “Woman Super Achiever” award
“I am honored to have received both awards. It is a recognition of the resilience and grit that help me get to where I am,” said Yeo. “These awards not only show that my relatively younger age is not a barrier to becoming an excellent executive coach, but also how it is possible for all women to overcome gender bias whilst redefining roles and definitions of success.”
In her forthcoming book, 8 Paradoxes of Leadership Agility, she draws from her pragmatic, international experiences in coaching senior executives from over 30 countries. In her latest book, she discusses the power of changing mindsets, illustrating the concept with the success stories of transformation and newfound confidence in global leaders in today’s workplace.
Based on her unique Re4 TM coaching model, leaders of global organisations are encouraged to adapt their mindsets and leadership styles, enhancing their abilities quickly to influence and motivate. As an example, Yeo applauds the recent speech by Lee Hsien Long, the Prime Minister of Singapore, who demonstrated willingness to adjust his mindset in face of the threat of COVID-19, pledging the country’s commitment to getting through this period together through social cohesion and ensuring there is adequate stock of essential supplies. He also laid the foundation for citizens to adopt new mindsets while the nation shifts its approach as the situation continues to evolve.
‘His swift action and commitment indicates the power of mindset changing, and how a leader–whether we are talking about a private or public organisation–needs to be quick in decision-making, as well as to communicate that decision clearly and sincerely to his community or stakeholders,’ said Yeo.
Advocating people-focused leadership and management, Yeo recommends senior executives to embrace a more open-minded management style, moving away from the fixed hierarchy and a purely top-down governance approach.
The agility mindset allows business leaders to examine and “reconstruct their maps” differently, be aware of unconscious bias and be assertive in making bold changes necessary for today’s workplace — putting the right policies and incentives in place which could bring about parity, equality and diversity much earlier.
Yeo added, “All policies, processes and initiatives are only transactional and skin deep if we execute them without changing our mindsets. A mindset shift is still the greatest enabler for gender parity as we challenge the norms and redefine gender roles in families and workplaces so we can advance from work-life harmony to work-life synergy.”
Yeo pointed out that the problem that affects leadership in both public and private sectors across various Asian countries is that many decision-makers are still very traditional in their mindsets.
“This certainly impedes the efficiency and progress of the organisation,” Yeo said. “There is an excessive emphasis on technical skills of recruits, rather than leadership and creative, adaptive thinking.”