Datuk Nicol David

The business of being a good leader

“It is not enough to know or follow rules. Rules can be bent or loopholes found. You need ethics. Teach your staff ethics and you won’t have to worry about the rules being broken.”

That, in a nutshell, was what Rajeev Peshawaria, CEO and executive director of The Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre (ICLIF), shared during a recent talk entitled ‘Leadership Masterclass: Excelling in the Gig Economy’.

The event doubled up as a soft launch for LESA 2019 – the Leadership Energy Summit Asia (LESA) conference on Nov 5-6 at Sasana Kijang, Kuala Lumpur.

Peshawaria is one of seven world-class speakers of LESA 2019 and joining him is Malaysia’s Datuk Nicol David, a former world No. 1 women’s squash player who retired from the game two months ago.

“I’m excited to be part of this event, more so since it will be held in Malaysia,” said David, who was voted squash’s female Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) a year ago.

“I hope to share part of my journey and how I managed to stay on top for so long.

“I had the hunger to succeed but I needed a lot of people to help make me a success. Leadership and success are all about teamwork.”

Besides Peshawaria and David, the other speakers at the seventh annual LESA are Aron Ralston, founder of BrandNew Stefan Olander, futurist Sophie Hackford,  author and global keynote speaker Fredrik Haren and CXA Group founder Rosaline Chow Koo.

Ralston captured headlines around the world in 2003 when he freed himself when trapped between two boulders in a remote canyon by severing his arm. His life story was subsequently made into a movie – 127 Hours – which starred James Franco.

The other five are trailblazers in their respective fields.

“I’m honoured to be sharing the stage with six world-class and inspirational speakers,” said David.

“After listening to Peshawaria, I believe we have much in common. I look forward to speaking at LESA.”

Separately, Peshawaria said the business world has become a treacherous place for leaders.

“The growing acceptance of LESA over the years is proof corporations are hungry for solutions at a time when courage and not conservatism is needed for a breakthrough,” he said.

As such, the theme for LESA 2019 is ‘Blazing the Trail in the Open Source Era’ and the panel of speakers is specially curated as shining beacons of leadership energy.

Traditional leadership principles believe that more control will result in more productivity. Is this still relevant in the Gig Economy?

“At ICLIF, we believe that giving more freedom to employees will lead to higher productivity.

“It is for this very reason LESA 2019 will also focus on ‘Freedom Within a Framework’ as its sub-theme,” said Peshawaria.

He added astute leaders build their organisations around the concept of Freedom Within a Framework.

“Conceptually, this is made up of two defining parameters: freedom and framework. Freedom, first and foremost, means trusting employees. It is about believing that if you give employees the latitude to think, make decisions and act on behalf of the business, they will respond with responsible behaviour.

“Framework means providing employees with a set of guidelines that are based on values, within which to work.”

The two-day conference will also feature interactive masterclasses, a lively Big Debate session, announcement of the ILEA (ICLIF Leadership Energy Awards) 2019 winners and valuable opportunities for participants to network with like-minded leaders from various industries.

For more information or registration, visit https://iclif.org/lesa. Early bird rate ends on Aug 31.

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