Blu Inc Media’s Chief Executive Officer Datin Azliza Ahmad Tajuddin was among 25 distinguished individuals from across the region nominated to the inaugural Kindness & Leadership 25 Leading Lights Southeast Asia list.
Supported by Asia Square, the initiative’s aim is to celebrate and showcase the importance of kindness in leadership and how it is an essential strength that empowers positive change and drives sustained growth.
Helming one of the largest magazine publishers in Malaysia, Datin Azliza believes that women’s magazines have a powerful role to play as they share empowering stories and highlight often difficult subjects that are not often discussed openly.
During her time as CEO, Datin Azliza has initiated many fundraising projects including the yearly Pink Project that is run in collaboration with local Malaysian designers as a means to create awareness and raise funds for organisations such as the Breast Cancer Foundation.
So , why is kindness essential for a leader in today’s world? Datin Azliza responded, “Reap what you sow…if you sow kindness then you shall gather care, love and affection. Kindness is the most underrated act in leadership and yet the most powerful and profound. It’s the least costly and everyone and every leader can help someone, with a simple act of kindness.
As a mother, she often leads based on her maternal qualities, sometimes being stern and disciplined and sometimes being caring, supportive, understanding and empathic.
To her, kindness makes business sense as it ensures employees feel good and it boosts loyalty and performance. “It helps build meaningful relationships, not just with employees but between clients. Once relationships are built, support for each other can last a lifetime,” she said.
The Kindness & Leadership initiative received nominations from many different countries across the region and from a wide range of industries and fields.
All entries were reviewed by a distinguished panel that comprised of representatives from different industry sectors including Hugh Andrew, Managing Director, Blackrock Real Assets; Tin Pei Ling, Singaporean People’s Action Party Member of Parliament; Jo Tyndall, New Zealand High Commissioner to Singapore and Rupen Desai, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Dole packaged foods. The panel was chaired by Natalie Black, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific.
Indeed, leaders need to lead by example and they should not only be benchmarked by their ability to generate profits or productivity but also how they are able to change lives through the power of kindness.
Kindness & Leadership 25 Leading Lights Founder Pinky Lilani CBE DL commented on the campaign saying, “It is tremendously exciting to announce the inaugural 25 Leading Lights, Southeast Asia, in association with Asia Square. By placing a spotlight on phenomenal leaders
throughout the region who are using the power of kindness to make a massive impact in business and to effect positive change, we collectively place kindness at the centre of the leadership debate.
“Together, we encourage the leaders of today and tomorrow – no matter their role or background – to lead with kindness,” she added.