Leadership Culture: What Does It Mean To Be a Leader?
February 24, 2022

As a leader, the way you influence your team’s everyday work environment is important. EGN recently caught up with Toyoyuki Ushioda, Senior Vice President of Group Strategic Business Finance in GLP, who shared his values on what it means to be a leader.


A Leader Beyond Borders

Hailing from a background in real estate investment and fund management, Toyoyuki moved to Singapore in 2018 after working at GLP for five years in Japan, where he spearheads group-level strategic planning in finance perspectives, such as capital allocation and management

The INSEAD alumnus says, “Leadership styles vary depending on circumstances. For example, during times of crisis, sometimes you have to adopt a dictatorship style in order to get things done quickly and efficiently. When dealing with creativity and appraising the quality of work, a democratic, consensus-based approach works better. I believe that as long as the leader chooses morals first, he or she will lead well. The same leader needs to be proactive and flexible in order to suit the circumstances in this fast-changing business world.”


Cultural Differences in Leadership Styles

When asked if cultural aspects affect the leadership qualities of a person, Toyoyuki said, “Yes, the cultural background of the leader does affect the authenticity of their leadership style, as it affects how one view themselves, their strengths, and their weaknesses. It also affects how situations are dealt with in a multi-cultural setting, as different people have different ways of interacting with each other. Ultimately, a flexible approach to being a leader is what will allow you to deal with different situations efficiently.”

“As a leader in an international setting, some unique challenges I have faced are understanding all the different cultures of the people on my team and applying that to how I lead my team. You can’t only look at the circumstances and personal backgrounds of the people you lead. Learning more about their cultural backgrounds allows you deeper insight into who these people are and how they can work well together. This really comes in handy if you need to persuade them to carry on tasks despite conflicts of interest. For example, should I get to the point right away during a meeting? Or should I allow some time for discussion or personal issues and updates? I believe it all depends on who is in the room. ”


Toyoyuki’s Leadership Advice

“It is important to speak to peers in order to constantly better ourselves as leaders. Peer groups and talks are one way to hear from other leaders’ experiences and challenges, as well as their approach to problem-solving. Networking with others is the best way to meet peers and learn from each other.

“Young and upcoming leaders of multicultural background who want to join networking groups should be open to meeting people or groups of people from all walks of life. EGN has many different peer groups with diversity in terms of nationality and industry too. As a leader, I believe it is beneficial to learn from people outside your industry, in order to adopt holistic approaches. This will open up your view on the world and it may lead to better solutions for the challenges you are facing.”

If you are an executive or know an executive that might benefit from joining EGN’s peer groups, or if you need help finding the best peer group to join,  which would be the best peer group for you to join? Visit EGN to learn more and register as a member!

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