Five “I” Words Of An Excellent Leader

According to businessman Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Bank, the largest bank in Southeast Asia, these five “I” words represent the five core qualities that shape an outstanding leader.

In a recent LinkedIn article, CEO DBS Bank shared that his 35-year career has helped him identify the five core qualities that shaped an excellent leader. In particular, all five qualities begin with the letter “I”

As the mantra for his leadership style, the 58-year-old CEO shared, these five “I” became more and more useful to him, especially in the time when the career road ahead is more difficult to catch.

“We are alive in the moment of an interesting stage. With the current technology breakthrough, future jobs will certainly be far different than they are at the present time.”, Piyush Gupta wrote.

And we can hardly say exactly what they will look like. As evidenced by a recent report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), up to one-third of the required skills for future work have yet to be identified. However, the good news is that there are still qualities associated with success that the future can never change. One of them is leadership.

“We are all leaders in our own world, wherever we are, and with whatever we do, if we can actually practice these five qualities, We are all capable of making a difference, despite all the changes around.” Gupta wrote. And, here are the five core qualities that an excellent leader should have, according to Piyush Gupta:

1. Individual accountability Responsible for yourself

At work, particularly in large companies, decision-making can easily be turned into the responsibility of the majority or followed of collective consensus, Gupta writes. However, according to this CEO, an excellent leader never does. An excellent leader is someone who understands that they need to take responsibility for their own work. So, they will take the initiative, and see the work of the organization as well as his own work.

The leader is the individual who possesses the insight into every corner of everything, including the world of oneself and their work. It is the person who controls, resolves the problem, and always thinks that all responsibility and decision-making are in his or her hands”, the CEO wrote.

 2. Initiative Have the spirit of pioneers

According to Gupta, a pioneering individual is someone capable of “strategizing”. An excellent leader needs to do this, as well as prioritize strengths, especially when faced with outside obstacles.

“The difficulty of leadership lies in: How to make a strategic roadmap which can help the work, the management or the community become better than the state of the business at the time of our establishment or when we take over”, Gupta said.

3. Innovation Have spirits of innovation

“In a world where speed is changing drastically, more than ever, leaders need to possess the spirit of innovation,” Gupta writes. Innovation does not mean that you have to create a new iPhone, but it simply possesses “Thinking Challenges of Patterned things.”

The CEO of DBS Bank said, “The leader must know the reasons behind everything and always have to give priority to what he can do to truly meet the needs of customers.”

4. Inspiration Have abilities to inspire

An excellent leader needs a solid vision as well as absolute faith in this vision. In addition, you must be able to convey this vision to others, so that they can support your view. Gupta also notes that “other people” here are not just subordinates, but co-workers, competitors or even people in higher positions.

“Excellent leaders always know how to inspire others, and lead them on the journey,” Gupta wrote.


5. Intent Have purposes

Finally, the leader needs to have a clear purpose, both for himself and the people they are leading, explains Gupta. He gave example, “What are we to do in this life? Why are we born? What heritage will we leave for later generations?” If we have answers to these questions and act with clear objectives, then that would be very powerful, “Piyush Gupta emphasized.


ADI-Digi is an independent management consultancy dedicated to creating value for ADI Group, its customers and external companies that seek to improve their Marketing, Digital Marketing platform performance.

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