5th CEO Dialogue: Mental Health Awareness & Vulnerability

March 11, 2022

Human-Centred Leadership: Building Mentally Healthy Teams in a Hybrid Work Model was the theme for WWL’s 5th CEO Breakfast Dialogue on 11 March 2022. This closed-door event, the first “Members and by special invitation only” session since WWL’s incorporation as a Public Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) on 13 August 2021, was kindly hosted by Dell. Dell is a WWL Founding Member.


In total, 56 CEOs and Leaders attended this event which creates a safe space for leaders to come together to listen and learn the whats and hows from each other as human-centred and well being-focused leaders.


However, due to the safe management measures of that time, only 38 CEOs attend in person at Dell Singapore while their Plus-Ones (COOs, CHROs etc) joined the conversation virtually. This hybrid mode of participation was apt and experiential given the discussion focus of leadership and hybridity.


To acknowledge that emotions have a place in our workplace and society, everyone was asked to check in through a Mentimeter poll and a word cloud unfolded on the screen to encapsulate the collective presence of both the in-person and virtual participants.


Ng Tian Beng, Senior Vice President & General Manager, APJ Channel from Dell Technologies welcomed the participants. This was followed by a special sharing by Dell’s Vice Global Chair Chuck Witten, who joined us virtually from US and openly reflected on his aspirations for Dell in leading mental wellbeing and his role as the worldwide sponsor for Family & Balance across Dell’s 160,000 employees worldwide.


WWL Founder and Chairperson Anthea Ong then kicked off the dialogue with a breathing and mindfulness exercise – a staple at all our breakfast dialogues – before inviting the leaders to reflect on what mental health means for them, and how the hybrid work norm has affected their personal mental wellbeing and their role as a leader for their people. She then asked “What does a mental wellbeing-centred leader look like?” and took the audience through the WorkWell Leadership Model of Courage, Compassion, Commitment and Clarity, backed by research and studies.


As part of WWL’s continuing exchange of personal experiences and leadership practices in these CEO dialogues, the leaders were split into groups to discuss the following reflections for any two of the 4Cs. The conversations in these group discussions are governed by Chatham House rules.


  • Courage – How do I show up with courage that includes my vulnerability? How can I lose sight of courage? 
  • Compassion – What makes me want to be compassionate? How can I lose sight of compassion? 
  • Commitment – How do I know that I am walking the talk with mental wellbeing? How can I lose sight of commitment? 
  • Clarity – What does clarity mean for me? How can l lose sight of clarity?

The CEOs and leaders regrouped after the breakout session and were asked to self-assess where they are in the 4Cs through a spider chart on Mentimeter, before sharing their respective challenges that make them lose sight of showing up with the 4Cs as leaders. The discussion ended with a thoughtful commitment from each leader on what would be the one change they would make to become a better human-centred leader, and how their people know that mental wellbeing is a strategic priority for their leaders. Anthea then asked each leader to reflect, quietly, on why mental wellbeing is important to them, because we must be well to lead well.


The dialogue was extra special as it also marked the official launch of WWL. As part of the celebration, all 18 Founding Members and 13 Champions received a Certificate of Recognition, with the former also getting a plaque to commemorate their contribution and membership. 

Access to details is limited to members only