Being able to engage with employees at work and taking time to find out who they are outside of work will go a long way to show them that a leader cares and appreciates them for who they are, affirms Enver Erkan, Managing Director and Country Manager, Pfizer Singapore.

Q What are the top lessons you have learned during your Pfizer tenure?

Prior to my appointment as Managing Director and Country Manager of Pfizer Singapore in 2017, I’ve worked across Pfizer’s offices in Turkey, UK and Europe. My approach to leadership has largely been shaped by my mentors and colleagues around me. I strongly believe in the importance of learning continually by listening actively to my colleagues and patients. This has helped me to stay grounded as a leader and at the same time, better understand what matters most to my colleagues, partners and patients.

Q What are a few leadership best practices you adhere to?

As leaders, we all do our roles for a limited period of time and what matters at the end of the day is the impact and value we create for others. Much of my efforts have been focused on grooming talent and fostering a diverse and inclusive environment where every colleague is driven by a sense of purpose and brings his or her best self to work every day. I see my role as a coach who strives to bring the best out of every colleague. Business results will follow if you have passionate and driven teams around you.

Q Given how rampantly leadership is being disrupted, what are we demanding from leaders that we didn’t previously?

There is a rising expectation for leaders to be more approachable and relatable. Employees want leaders they feel comfortable around. Being able to engage with them at work and taking time to find out who they are outside of work will go a long way to show employees that a leader cares and appreciates them for who they are. On the business side, the healthcare industry is constantly faced with new processes, technologies, regulations, evolving needs and growing incidence of complex diseases. These innovative disruptions and changes require leaders to adapt their business model and strategies more often than before.

Q As such, what in your view is the mindset of a good leader?

Having strong agility and ability to adopt new roles and create new meanings in response to changing circumstances and expectations will be critical. There is strength in diversity and as we embrace change, a diverse workforce will expand the capabilities of the team and deepen experiences and insights. The mindset of a good leader will be one that not only champions inclusiveness across gender, disability, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, and age but sets the example for employees to follow.


This interview was published in Human Resources Online’s January-February 2020 edition of the Singapore magazine and will soon be published in the Q1 edition of the Malaysia magazine.

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Photo / provided

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