Leadership-In-Action Conversations
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CBD LinkedIn logo


10 January 2020, Friday

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CBD LinkedIn logo

The Council for Board Diversity jointly organised an event with LinkedIn Singapore. It comprised a Leadership-in-Action Conversation with Sherman Kwek, Group CEO, City Developments Limited and was moderated by Janet Ang, Former Vice-President, Industry Solutions and Smarter Cities, IBM Asia-Pacific on ‘Traits of a Successful Board Director – a CEO’s perspective.”

Sherman shared that there are ‘4C’s of being a successful board director:

Courageous: Don’t be afraid to voice your views and avoid groupthink, but be tactful at all times.

Curious: Be willing to learn and be prepared to ask questions in order to bring about a higher level of discussion.

Comprehensive: Do your homework and review board materials in advance. Ask concise questions to ensure a sound decision-making rationale.

Calm: Take a moment to recalibrate your response when emotions run high. Take things offline if necessary.

The ‘4Cs’, together with other helpful advice from Sherman Kwek, Janet Ang, and other experienced directors, have been consolidated into an infographic (below) and an animation video aimed at helping aspiring board directors prepare for their board roles.

LinkedIn Workshop

With the guidance of helpful LinkedIn account managers, attendees had hands-on experience learning to leverage on LinkedIn’s numerous features such as sharing media on their profiles, curating personal posts, and joining the broader conversation on global or local topics of interest to them. This equipped attendees with the tools to improve their digital footprint and enhance their online presence.

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Sherman Kwek, Group Chief Executive Officer, City Developments Limited, is a member of the Council for Board Diversity. He was previously Deputy CEO and Chief Investment Officer of CDL. He has been spearheading the Group’s expansion in China, Japan and Australia for almost a decade and recently, he also broadened the Group’s presence in the UK by acquiring two prime office assets there. Prior to joining CDL, he was the CEO of Hong Kong-listed City e-Solutions Limited, the Chief Operating Officer of Singapore-listed Thakral Corporation Ltd and a Director of RECAP Investments Limited, a real estate private equity fund.

He is serving on the Council of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Singapore Business Federation Young Business Leaders Network. He was also a member of the Diversity Action Committee (2017 – 2018).

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Janet Ang is a retired IBM Vice President and former Managing Director of IBM Singapore. She is a veteran in the tech industry and has lived and worked in Japan and China for over a decade. Janet has a diverse background having managed IBM Services in Greater China, IBM Industry Solutions across Asia Pacific and Lenovo Desktop Operations globally.

She is an Independent Director at SPH Limited and the Bank of the Philippines Islands. She also chairs the boards of SISTIC.com, NUS Institute of Systems Science and Caritas Singapore Agape Fund. She also serves as deputy chair of the SBF Foundation and sits on the boards of Esplanade, HTX and Singapore Polytechnic.

Janet was awarded the NUS Business School Eminent Alumni Award in 2014, the NUS Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2015 and the Singapore Computer Society – Hall of Fame Award in 2018. In 2019, Janet was awarded the Public Service Medal (PBM) by the Singapore Government.

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The Council for Board Diversity (CBD) believes that board diversity catalyses robust governance and responsible stewardship, and is a valuable driver for growth.

Having diversity in the board brings together the diversity of judgement to chart the best course through uncertainty, challenge, opportunities and risks – applicable to both for-profit and non-profit organisations. The mix of knowledge, skills, experience, gender, age and other relevant features is harnessed to devise strategy and manage its execution. Against this backdrop we believe that including women on boards, in particular, adds a powerful lead-in to the other forms of diversity that bring value to the board’s role in the company.

CBD, established by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, endeavours to promote a sustained increase in the number of women on boards of listed companies, statutory boards and non-profit organisations as a stepping stone to broader diversity.

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LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. Its vision is to create economic opportunities for every member of the global workforce. Its mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. For more information on LinkedIn, please visit sg.linkedin.com.