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News & Press: Metro New York News

Metro NY: Myths of Asian Leadership Nov 27, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Ascend Metro New York
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On November 27, 2012, Deloitte’s 30 Rockefeller Center office hosted over 100 guests for an Ascend event. Ascend professionals from the Metro NY area came together at Deloitte’s office to learn about the "Myths of Asian Leadership”. This seminar was led by Mr. Wesley Hom, National Board Member and officer of Ascend, Former IBM Vice President and Managing Director. The featured speaker was Mr. Rajiv Basu, a partner at Deloitte since 1981.

The night kicked off with Deloitte Senior Manager, Danny Wang, introducing the first speaker of the event, Rajiv Basu, Deloitte Lead Audit Partner. Mr. Basu shared his experiences as a professional moving through the ranks of Deloitte and setting the stage for the main portion of the seminar by questioning the audience as to why they believe there are few Asians within the C-Suite of corporate America

Finally, Mr. Hom emphasized professional Asians need to maintain a balance of Asian qualities and new behavior and skills. Mr. Hom's presentation discussed the challenges Asian Americans face in entering the C-Suites of corporate America and focused on these 6 specific skills individuals must possess to rise to prominent leadership positions:

· Communication skills

· Leadership and collaborative skills

· Adaptability and learning

· Differentiated thinking- Making yourself unique and being creative

· Strategic and Holistic thinking

· Taking risk with integrity

Mr. Hom stressed the importance of differentiated thinking and being creative as the most important skill to achieve positions in the "C-Suite”. Presenters offered advice on topics such as finding a mentor and networking effectively. Both presenters were well-received by the audience as they shared stories about their own careers as an Asian.

We interviewed the participants on that day and below are one of the responses:

"Ascend's LEAD Seminar discussing the "Myths of Asian Leadership" brought to light issues that I was not keenly aware of before the November 27th event. As only a first-year at Deloitte's audit practice, I never thought much about the leadership positions at my own firm or corporate America in general and the individuals who fill these prestigious roles. Listening to both presenters discussed the obstacles Asians face in moving up the corporate ladder, I realized that I had to be more aware of how I presented myself to my colleagues and to begin developing the leadership skills which Mr. Hom's was emphasizing throughout his presentation. Although it is early in my professional career, I have to learn to go beyond my cultural upbringing and move outside of my comfort zone in order to further develop my career.”

Overall, the workshop was insightful and interactive. Ascend professionals were able to ask questions during the session. Luckily, members were able to walk away with a newfound understanding of how to effectively develop skills to become more competitive.

We would like to thank the event committee, membership committees, and volunteers for organizing and helping at such a great event.


Huisi C. Fung says...
Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Congratulations to the successful hosting of the event! I agree that all the discussed skills are very important, e.g. Communication skills , leadership and collaborative skills, adaptability and learning, differentiated thinking, making yourself unique and being creative, strategic and holistic thinking, taking risk with integrity. Because I am not only a minority, but I also represent a member of women in Corporate America, I think women in Corporate America face similar challenges, e.g, we are getting a lot of education but not necessary promotion opportunity, etc. Sometimes, as women, we have to fight so hard to get into the Big Boy Club. Women don't have enough women friends supporting them in C-suites. What I am trying to say is that I think in additional to all the above discussed skills, it's also very important for Asian professionals to know how to build alliance and make friends with groups that are different than ours, and not to confine ourselves in a limited circle.

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