Page 3 - VOICE October 2014

Basic HTML Version

Sawanee Areephan,
Senior Leader Starwood Hotels and Resorts
Interviewed By John Frost,
Managing Director of Values Based Leadership
tures. You need to learn about the different cultures
that you are working in and what is important to them
especially if you are an ex-pat.
Aside from leading other cultures effectively, I would
say to other senior Asian leaders that it is important to
know and understand the business that you are work-
ing in and what is important in that culture. Working
for Starwood, for example, I appreciated that the or-
ganisation is very structured but also gives people the
opportunity to be creative in their leadership role so
that Starwood can get ahead of the competition.
There is also a good values connection for me with the
Starwood organisation and this adds to my own per-
sonal inspiration to perform for the organisation on a
daily basis.
What is your experience of being a female leader
in Asia?
My view is that the world is changing and in my expe-
rience, the quality of work is the most important thing,
so male or female distinctions are irrelevant. My focus
is on behaving in a way that enables
people to believe in me as a leader
and to be there for them. In doing so
I hope to help them to believe that
there is nothing that we cannot
achieve together.
I work a lot on developing my inter-
nal confidence and my perception of
what is possible in my role. Having
this
self-awareness
and
self-
management helps me to be comfort-
able in my leadership role and to explore what is
possible. It helps instil self-belief in my capabili-
ties and has opened up a different world of possibili-
ties. This leadership journey has taught me that I have
something to offer, something to give back to other
female leaders in Asia. I hope to help them to learn by
being a role model and, wherever possible, to encour-
age my female colleagues to believe in themselves.
Book Review
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be
Vulnerable Transforms the Way We
Live, Love, Parent and Lead
by Brene Brown
In 2010 Brene Brown gave a Ted Talk called ‘The Power
of Vulnerability’. The video of this talk has now been
watched online more than 16 million times.
Daring
Greatly
came after the TED Talk and builds on more than
a decade of research Brene has done into shame, vulnera-
bility and honesty. She believes wholehearted living and
the power to dare greatly in all aspects of our lives,
comes from dealing with our vulnerability, our shame
and the ability to have honest conversations. She high-
lights that our sense of vulnerabil-
ity can ultimately stop us being
creative, being innovative and de-
veloping the resilience often need-
ed to make changes in our organi-
sations.
I found this book both refreshing
and challenging. It really got me
thinking about how much of my
own behaviours are driven by my
own vulnerability. The most inter-
esting part of the book, for me, was the final chapters
where Brene goes into detail about how shame negative-
ly affects our cultures and how the power of leadership
can break this cycle. I particularly liked the four strate-
gies presented in the book for developing a shame re-
sistant organisation. Each of these strategies relies on
leaders to ‘dare greatly’ by being constructive, engaging
and willing to have the honest conversations that are so
important in creating positive cultures.
The link to the video ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ can be
found in the video section of this issue of Voice. I recom-
mend watching the video to see if it resonates with you
and then have a read of the book – it’s well worth it.
Reviewed by Karen Frost
Director of Operations at Values Based Leadership
Publisher: Portfolio Penguin
John Frost
I always try to role model my values
and the behaviours that I expect of
others because I believe that this is
the most powerful way to engage my
people. ”
Male or female distinctions are
irrelevant. My focus is on behaving
in a way that enables people to
believe in me as a leader and to be
there for them. In doing so I hope to
help them to believe that there is
nothing that we cannot achieve
together.”