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Asian Leadership

Advancing Asian Leadership

Third Opinion Partners has decades of experience and expertise in supporting organizations and leaders in Asia including multinational organizations operating in Asia and Asian companies expanding overseas. We understand the unique set of challenges as well as opportunities faced by Asian leaders. We commit to develop and accelerate the leadership capabilities of the best Asian leadership talent through our Asian Leadership Advancement solutions.

The Context
Visible Asian Success VS Invisible Asian Leaders
Unleashing untapped Asian leadership potential in global MNCS

Home to half of the world’s middle-class population and over 200 Fortune 500 companies, Asia is the world’s largest and fastest growing economy. Contrastingly, the advancement of Asian leaders to the top posts in global multinational companies is nowhere near being on par with the phenomenal scaling of emerging markets in Asia, with only a fraction of the total Fortune 500 board director seats are filled by Asian.

Many multinational organizations today face a leadership succession gap in executive ranks in their Asia operations as well as a lack of representation of leaders from Asia region in the headquarters. At the same time, a growing number of Asian companies expanding internationally are bemoaning a severe shortage of global-savvy and global-ready talents. On the other side of the table, Asian talents in multinational environments are struggling to break the ‘bamboo ceiling’, feeling being under-appreciated by head offices and under-prepared for global roles.

Whether the challenges stem from a common set of cultural values across different Asian ethnicities or from organisational or market dynamics, the Asian leadership gap is real and persists. As Asia is gaining the centre position in the global economy, organisations foresee a sizeable opportunity in developing a more robust Asian leadership pipeline and revamping talent strategy to unleash the untapped Asia-advantages and win in the global market.

Organizational :
Systemic Challenges

Talent Pipeline
Lack of Structural Supports
Lack of Sponsors and Diversified Network

Internal Hurdles

Culture and Values
Behaviours and Perception
Perception of Self

Tackling the underpinning challenges, breaking the 'bamboo ceiling'

Our extensive research with a large number of Asian and Western executive leaders from MNCs of different industries has identified two sets of challenges that impact Asia leaders’ advancement:

  1. Organizational Challenges – the structural, systemic, and organizational barriers that could potentially hinder the advancement of Asia leaders

  2. Internal Hurdles – how Asia leaders perceive themselves, the influence of Asia values and culture, and individual difficulty in demonstrating leadership skills and competencies required to be successful global leaders

Asian Leadership barriers include both organizational challenges and individual struggle :

Addressing Individual & Organizational Challenges:
Asian Leader Advancement + Global sponsorship

To address the challenges at both structural and systemic level and individual leadership development level for maximum impact, our Integrated Asian Leadership Advancement design joins individual leadership development with a Global Sponsorship Program. We ensure to align development objectives with the organization's vision, mission, values and global D&I agenda.

Research shows that having an actively engaged Sponsor is among the top drivers of advancing high potential talents into successful leaders. In the Sponsorship Program, by inviting and involving Sponsors throughout the program, potential structural challenges and barriers would be addressed and resolved, so that Asian leadership talent will receive optimal and continuous supports for their advancement.

Organization Vision & Mission
Asian Leadership framework

The lens through which Asian leaders seek and utilize reflective and in-the-moment knowledge, including self-awareness, cultural awareness and global awareness


the cognitive ability to think and lead at a higher level and direct energy & commitment of others towards a bold vision


the power that positively impacts organizational decisions and builds rapport with trusted influence


the ability that asserts oneself courageously and professionally and articulates ideas that enable forward momentum


the proactive establishment of internal and external networks and alliances to effectively advance the leader's agenda


The dynamic organizational and global context in which the leader operates

Becoming global leaders:
Asian Leadership Advancement Program

Based on rigorous research data and deep insights, our Asian Leadership Advancement Program (ALAP) is specially designed to meet the unique challenges and opportunities of Asian leaders. Through the program, we commit to helping organizations develop and accelerate the leadership capabilities of their best Asia talents. 


Our program features the “A-S-I-A-N” leadership framework – Aware, Strategic, Influential, Assertive, and Networked - targets the biggest need areas of Asian leaders with the ultimate goal of helping them build connectivity to their leadership context and environment.

Benefits for Talents:

  • Gain deep self-awareness and overcome internal barriers

  • Strengthen key competencies to become effective global leaders

  • Leverage individual cultural traits to lead authentically and fluidly

  • Build leadership visibility and alliances in global networks

Benefits for Organizations:

  • Increase number of global Asia talents in leadership pipeline

  • Leverage untapped Asia leadership potential and advance global Diversity & Inclusion agenda

  • Align talents to commit to the organization's vision, purpose, values and goals

  • Attract and retain top Asia leaders to strengths total talent capability 

A holistic customized experience for Asian Leadership Advancement

Every organization is unique and its state also changes over time. Prior to designing and customizing the Asian Leadership Advancement Program (ALAP) for your organization, we will conduct a number of Diagnostic activities in order to gain an understanding of the organization's needs, leadership agenda as well as leadership development gaps of targeted leaders. From there, we will customize the program design and approach, develop program features and deliver an impactful leadership program for your Asian talent. We are ready to support your organization to address both leadership development and organizational development needs.

Our customized approach in designing an impactful Asian Leadership Advancement Program consists of 3 elements:
Asian Leadership Advancement approach
Mount Fuji  - Asian Leadership

Advance Your Asian Leadership Talent

Let us support you to bring out the best of your Asian Leadership talent and build a sustainable pipeline for the future. 

Contact us to discuss on Asian Leadership Advancement solutions.

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