“In reality, a psychopath boss is more likely to prey on submissive ‘yes’ people”

The Grid: Top executives often lose sight of themselves and morph into monsters, who, depending on the culture of the organisation, can go unchecked and even rewarded. We recognise that not all psychopathic traits are bad when it comes to business but employees can pay a high price, right? An Australian study came out recently with ways to identify if your boss has psychopathic traits. Here is what they warn us to look for:

  • Egocentric: flamboyant, attention-seeking, manipulative and sometimes downright cunning
  • Lack of Empathy: cold, ruthless and calculating
  • Amoral: insincerity, back covering, superficiality and ultra-competitive

What can we do to prepare ourselves in dealing with a psychopath boss now or in future? (more…)


“Fundamentally young employees want to work with good leaders. This is where the best organization focus their efforts”

The Grid: Ok, technically speaking, a ‘millennial’, otherwise known as ‘Generation Y’, is someone born between 1981 and 1997 (at the time of this article, a millennial is between 20 and 36 years old). In the advertising industry, any talent acquisition strategy would feature Millennials, no doubt. Do the usual traits assigned to this generation, i.e., lazy, entitled and opportunistic, ring true in your experience?

Nick Seruwagi: Having worked in HR outside of the advertising industry, I know you don’t need to be a Millennial to be lazy, entitled and opportunistic. These traits are visible across any multi generation within any organization. However, our current Millennials do get the most stick for it. I would be lying if I said it didn’t ring true in some instances but there are many proactive,  ambitious and hard working millennials as well. We see this in the growing number of young entrepreneurs across the region.


“ hierarchical top-down style of management is ‘industrial age’ and being replaced by self-managed teams“

The Grid: In recent times, CEO life cycles are averaging less than four years. How can leaders optimize their shorter tenures in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) reality?

Ed Capaldi: The average lifespan of a CEO or an organization, for that matter, has never been shorter and continues to shrink. In these times, leaders who recognize that industrial-age strategizing is dead and develop an agile mindset will optimise performance and will have a greater chance of surviving longer in the role. Disruption across industries requires leaders to be a ‘game shifter’ focused on delighting the customer and able to make people want to do what must be done. In other words, it is about having the ability to deviate from past practices and adapt to change.


” Millennials are bright and quick and know that Google is your friend”

The Grid: As a millennial who runs a network for millennials, tell us; does culture or tradition play a role in your working lives today, how you make/sustain relationships or identify/achieve objectives? Does this differ much, do you think, when it comes to the millennial expat i.e. those outside their home country?

Sunny Jaswal: Millennials tend to have a culture that is unique to our generation. This culture allows us to communicate with one another in a casual fashion. This culture of casual conversation translates into every aspect of a millennial’s life, even as expats. (more…)

“People do not do business or cooperate with those they don’t trust. Your values come across in everything you do”

The Grid: Most entrepreneurs have emerged from a corporate, where they somehow imbibed, by osmosis, the core values or fundamental beliefs of the organization. Many would have viewed them with cynicism, no doubt, if management didn’t live up to the value statement.

When entrepreneurs start their own entrepreneurial journey, articulating core values for the business can take a back seat because there is a lot of other stuff to think about. At what point do you think entrepreneurs need to get the values for their startup, this unwavering guide for right and wrong, in order?

Dr. Constantine: Well, first of all, the size of the company shouldn’t matter. Business ethics and governance define the way your company operates in relation to society and has a far-reaching impact on your reputation.  Understanding, communicating and living your core values is crucial and guides you when faced with a conflict of interest and other challenges. It’s a requirement in starting a business and the only way to build your reputation. It is not something to can “afford” or ‘get’ over time.   (more…)