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69% of APAC investors think current leaders unfit for the future


Korn Ferry’s The Self-Disruptive Leader study revealed that out of the 795 investors surveyed globally, 69% of investors in Asia Pacific believed that today’s private-sector leadership was “unfit” for the future

Concerns peaked in China, where 82% of investors say the traditional leadership stock is not fit for the future, with investors in Japan not far behind (80%). In Singapore and Hong Kong, while investors were amongst the least pessimistic in the region, more than half still agreed with the sentiment – 51% and 54% respectively.

In APAC, talent was found to be a primary decision-making factor for investors, especially in Australia where 92% say that the CEO is critically important when deciding which companies to invest in. On the other hand, investors in China were the least likely to hold this opinion in the region, with 70% saying that the CEO is critically important.

Globally, 78% insisted the CEO is critically important when deciding in which companies to invest in and 83% cited an exceptional CEO as critical to an organisation’s success in disruptive times.

The survey further revealed that a majority of investors in China (96%), Indonesia (91%), Singapore (91%) and India (90%) believed organisations are confronted by disruptive challenges.

Aside from this, they recognised that the need for transformation will only increase the demand for effective leadership in the very near future. Malaysian investors were the most admand—77% said that the need for transformation is going to make leadership more important to company performance within the next three years. Investors in Australia remained a close second at 76%.

With all that said, APAC also hosted the most skeptical markets of the study. Investors in India and Indonesia remained the least likely to recognise the increasing importance of leadership, with just over half (54%) saying that it will be the case.

The demand for future-ready leaders was felt more urgently in some markets than others. More than two thirds of investors value future vision and orientation over past performance in Hong Kong (66%) and Singapore (69%), peaking to 78% in Japan. Investors in Singapore are also much more likely to agree that the challenges of disruptive market conditions will make leadership more important within the next three years (86% versus 69% globally).

In APAC, only Indonesia bucks the trend, where less than half (46%) of investors said they value future vision over past performance.

The study further analysed 150,000 leadership profiles worldwide to reveal that , on average, only 15% of executives across the globe, including Asia Pacific, had what it takes be truly great leaders in the rapidly-changing business world.

Although Singapore, Hong Kong, and India, had the highest proportion of self-disruptive leaders in the region, this figure stood at only 17%.

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