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Faces of HR: Manulife’s Suzie Custerson on growing the organic leadership pipeline

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Manulife’s Global Business Effectiveness Lead – Talent Management, Suzie Custerson believes maintaining a diverse leadership pipeline is essential to avoid reaching growth saturation, she shares in a chat with Priya Veeriah.

Q. When did you first start your career as a leader?

After graduating from university in my early twenties, I was fortunate to have a leader take a risk on my lack of experience at the time and place me into a people leadership position. It was a tremendous experience which subsequently lead to further career development opportunities.

Q. Who is your inspirational leader in life?

I’m regularly inspired by many people and right now I’m enjoying reading a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear which is all about understanding habit cues and responses as well as useful templates for building new habits.

Q. What is your favourite quote on leadership?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Q. Why do you think organisations plan to fail when they fail to plan an organic leadership pipeline?

One of the biggest challenges with leadership pipeline building is that it’s a long ball game. Many organisations are too focused on short-term outcomes to the detriment of investing in longer-term planning.

Q. How can one gain the most from your session at Talent Management Asia?

I’ll be aiming to share insights into the inclusive leadership development journey we’ve embarked on at Manulife and why building an organisational culture that celebrates, values, respects and rewards individual differences and unique perspectives wins out.

The team at Human Resources invites you join Talent Management Asia this March and April 2019. Visit the event website to check out the stellar speaker list and reserve your seat:

Or you can simply drop us an email at

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