The Value of Community in Supporting One's Leadership Journey
A Singapore Leaders Network Event (with Dinner and Networking)
Thursday, 10th April 2023
About The Event
A community is only as strong as its individuals, and the strength of our SGLN community was in full force for this interactive evening. We discussed the importance of developing meaningful relationships, both through mentoring, as well as for community development. Our participants got a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities of leveraging the Singapore community for global leadership development, and also developed practical takeaways for building meaningful relationships with others.
We were honoured to have senior community and business leaders Albert Tsui, Jaz Athenia Chua and Nichol Ng join us to share more about the good work they are doing in their respective communities and how communities like SGLN can better flourish.
1️⃣ Mentoring is essential for developing leaders in any business, and chemistry is key.
We learnt a lot from the success stories of those in the pioneer mentoring batch, including a young entrepreneur who was awarded funding thanks to his mentor, and a senior local leader who now has a global leadership role in a Fortune 500 company.
2️⃣ Be the change you want to see in your communities.
Our panellists shared their experiences in large business communities such as SBF, INSEAD Alumni Association, and YPO. They emphasised that taking the initiative and working towards changing the status quo is important rather than relying on others to take action first.
3️⃣ Leadership in community volunteer roles differs from corporate business leadership, but the lessons we learn are valuable in both worlds.
We must think about how we can enrich our employees' and volunteers' experiences and enable meaningful work in our organisations and communities.
About the Singapore Leaders Network
Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the Singapore Leaders Network aspires to help advance the social capital of Singaporean corporate leaders who can support one another on their professional and personal leadership journeys - whilst cultivating a vibrant and robust community. This is achieved through large scale in-person events, smaller business networking sessions on various topics of interest, mentoring, as well as an online LinkedIn community.
Albert Tsui is Executive Director, Advocacy & Policy at the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), the apex business chamber championing the interests of the Singapore business community in areas of trade, investment, and industrial relations. SBF represents more than 28,000 companies, as well as key sectoral trade associations and foreign chambers.
Albert leads government relations and policy coordination across SBF’s functional groups, and has rallied industries to co-publish thought leadership positions on (i) sustainability as a growth engine, (ii) uplifting women in the workforce, and (iii) nuancing international manpower inflow for services industries, amongst others. Albert represents Singapore as Alternate Member at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council, where he leads key economic integration work-streams on facilitating environmental goods and services, and cross-border paperless trade.
Prior to joining SBF, Albert served for more than a decade in the Singapore Civil Service in various policy, planning, and programme roles. Albert has degrees from Royal Holloway College, University of London, and Downing College, University of Cambridge.
Jaz Athenia Chua
Jaz Athenia Chua is a seasoned fintech professional. She is currently a Director, Strategy and Ops in the EUAU CEO Office with PayPal. She leads strategic revenue generation and acceleration initiatives. Jaz has a deep understanding of sales, marketing, business operations, compliance, change management, and sales incentives.
Jaz has directed large-scale transformational projects, including managing HP's split into two Fortune 500 companies and leading the adoption of Anaplan for the APJ region within a year. She has also negotiated margin-based pay based on pricing from sales and headed a joint sales and financial planning committee to align on revenue objectives. Jaz has designed analytics dashboards, provided insights, removed obstacles, and has driven efficiencies, enabling sales to perform and consistently overachieve revenue targets year on year. She has designed and implemented a competitive blitz for sales at APJ level resulting in at least 20% increase in revenue, as well as shaped incentive plans to drive revenue in strategic directions and retain salespeople. Jaz has tailored comprehensive onboarding to allow new hires to overcome the learning curve and rolled out data retention, PDPA, audit, and compliance. She has also sourced appropriate tools to transform business in HP and taken a decision on a suitable e-voting tool for INSEAD Alumni Association in her then capacity as a Secretary responsible for compliance and legal matters.
In addition to her professional achievements, Jaz is an Entrepreneur in Residence with INSEAD, whose mission is to increase the number of successful entrepreneurs amongst their students. She has also helped mentor INSEAD students and alumni in their entrepreneurial ventures. She conducts bootcamps, reviews pitch decks, and works to connect entrepreneurs to venture capitalists and consultants. Jaz is involved with Oman and Nanyang Technological University of Singapore Business School initiatives to mentor Oman’s business proposal finalists.
Jaz is passionate about empowering people to proactively embrace opportunities, lead with confidence, and thrive in everything they do. She and her team organise events on career development, diversity and inclusion, work-life balance, and financial planning in her professional and voluntary board roles. Jaz is committed to community building and has actively participated in various initiatives aimed at bringing the INSEAD alumni together. Being part of these communities has allowed her to network with like-minded individuals, share knowledge, and give back to society.
As the President of the INSEAD Alumni Association Singapore, Jaz has organised events on career development, work-life balance, and financial planning. Jaz has collaborated with fellow alumni to drive positive change in the community such as the Business as a Force for Good Awards for Singapore-based businesses generating positive social impact. Jaz believes that community building is essential for personal and professional growth. By connecting with others and working towards a common goal, individuals can gain new insights, develop new skills, and make a positive impact in their community. She encourages everyone to actively participate in communities that align with their values and interests, as it is a rewarding experience that can lead to meaningful connections and personal fulfilment.
Nichol Ng is CEO and Managing Director of X-Inc Pte Ltd, the parent of a group of companies that has been in the food business since the 1930s. She oversees about 180 employees, more than 5,000 products, over 4,500 customers, and an annual turnover exceeding S$70 million. Together, the companies bring to life dreams in the food ecosystem – from foodservice and retail to logistics and property.
It was her passion for food as well as a desire to deliver service with a heart that drove Nichol to acquire the family business and rebranding and restructuring the company in May 2007.
Prior to this, she was a Marketing Executive of MediaCorp Radio Pte Ltd where she was part of the team in charge of re-branding all the MediaCorp radio stations, including Class 95, Y.E.S 933, Perfect 10 987 and Gold 90.
In 2012, Nichol co-founded The Food Bank Singapore, a charity which re-distributes excess foods to more than 370 non-profit organisations that reach out to more than 300,000 underprivileged individuals.
For her effort in feeding the needy, Nichol was named as one of the 10 honourees in The Peak magazine’s The Peak Power List 2016 and listed in Forbes Asia’s 2017 Heroes of Philanthropy and Harper’s Bazaar’s The Power List 2018. In 2021, she was the Southeast Asia honouree of the YPO Global Impact Award Regional, which recognises young CEOs for their impact outside of YPO, celebrating CEO impact that is both sustainable and scalable.
She has leadership roles and is actively involved in various local and global organisations:
• President of ONE (Singapore)
• President of Young Presidents Organisation – Singapore Chapter
• Board Member of Global Compact Network Singapore
• Asian Representative of Global Call to Action Against Poverty
• Member of International Women’s Forum
• Executive Committee Member of St Nicholas Girls School Alumnae
• Member of the Tan Tock Seng Medifund Board
More than just being a successful businesswoman, Nichol is happily married to her partner of 25 years and believes that the best legacy to leave her four children (from ages two to nine) is not money but her values.