The expression “lonely at the top” describes the situation faced by many in top management positions, as a study by Harvard Business Review revealed that 50% of CEOs have reported feeling a sense of loneliness and 61% of them felt that the condition holds them back from delivering their best at work.
Executives’ Global Network (EGN), a peer-based network of executive members, has also conducted a survey in 2019 through its Singapore office revealing that 30% of senior executives were suffering from executive loneliness. These numbers had nearly doubled to 59% by December 2020 due to the fact that many senior executives then felt isolated as a result of the pandemic.
“Many do not understand how leadership is always a learning process and that even those at the top still find the need to learn and seek expert opinions and discuss possible solutions,” said Nick Jonsson, Co-Founder and Managing Director, EGN Malaysia. However, it is not always easy for senior executives to find a sparring partner whom they can level with, therefore driving the necessity of a peer network platform that facilitates the exchange of knowledge and ideas for people in top positions.
Nick Jonsson, Co-Founder and Managing Director, EGN Malaysia
Founded in 1992, EGN provides a venue for leaders to share their struggles, celebrate victories, gain fresh perspectives, and learn new skills as well as promote critical thinking and true collaboration. Through its peer network of executives, EGN supports business leaders to be no longer on their own as they are now able to draw on the experience of others in their group and learn from peers of a similar level who work for similar-sized companies with similar scale, challenges and problems.
Nick, who is also the author of the book Executive Loneliness, mentioned how this is aligned with EGN’s long-standing motto of “making each other better”, as its peer networks help leaders get the boosts they needed to make a difference, offer unique value, serve others and have a greater impact on their organizations.
Representing more than 8,000 companies and 70 professions from 14 countries, EGN offers senior executives the opportunity to connect with industry leaders from other markets, learn beyond their normal environment and strengthen their leadership system, while proving there is a safe space for learning, collaboration and accountability.
Business leaders will always be faced with unexpected challenges such as the pandemic, which has forced them to adapt and pivot to navigate businesses through times of crisis. One of the major changes that many leaders might not be fully ready to comprehend is the digital transformation mainly caused by mobility restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, resulting in massive changes in consumer behavior, human interaction and adaptation of work culture.
According to a recent forecast by International Data Corporation (IDC), global spending on the digital transformation of business practices, products and organizations will reach up to USD 2.8 trillion in 2025 with an annual growth rate of 16.4% over 2021-2025 as organizations pursue a holistic digital strategy for people, processes, technology, data and governance. McKinsey Global Survey of executives also revealed that their companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions, and of their internal operations by three to four years.
Making decisions amidst the rapid digital transformation trend brings a new level of pressure and challenges for business leaders, hence the urgent need for knowledge exchange and latest insights from various industries and experts.
Expanding into Malaysia
As a growing economy in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is no exception to benefit from a peer network, hence the establishment of EGN Malaysia for senior executives operating in the country – including locals and expatriates from various backgrounds and industries – and connecting them with opportunities to share and exchange knowledge, experience and expertise.
“We are delighted to announce the opening of our Malaysian office and provide business leaders here with access to a trusted forum, where members help each other to face challenges, solve problems and identify opportunities,” said Dona Amelia, Co-Founder, EGN Malaysia.
Dona Amelia, Co-Founder, EGN Malaysia
The Indonesian artist and musician who has now plunged into the world of entrepreneurship also shared that EGN’s presence in the market may help reshape the mindset of Malaysian leaders, from ‘knowing-it-all’ and always competing against each other, to sharing amongst their peers and growing together instead. Peer networks help leaders to cultivate a growth mindset by opening up to learning new things and allowing them to bring this new perspective into their workplace to foster a better growth culture in their companies.
EGN members are able to experience an ever-growing community, which features an annual line-up of six in-person peer group meetings, 12 in-person cross-functional events, 24 virtual cross-functional meetings, and four networking events. Moreover, each peer group is assembled by EGN’s experienced networking consultants to ensure that they match the members’ level and professional discipline.
“In addition, we do not allow selling activities in any of our sessions. It is purely knowledge sharing and collaborating. However, due to the trust amongst our members, business may happen between them as deemed appropriate,” said Dona.
Another unique highlight of EGN is that it provides members with the Member’s Universe, an online community of more than 14,000 members coming from different parts of the world, which features a global query function, in-app messaging, virtual EGN groups, regional events and global webinars as well as other valuable learning tools and resources.
“EGN continues to thrive as a successful professional networking company and has managed to increase its Singapore membership database by over 50% in the past two years. In addition, we have also recently won a prestigious recognition from the Entrepreneurs 100 Award 2021 for Singapore’s Emerging Entrepreneurs of the Year,” Nick concluded.