ICLIF Leadership and Governance Centre, established by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2003, aims to become one of the most, if not the most, respected centres of excellence for leadership and governance in Asia within five years.
Being the only leadership institute set up by a central bank, its programmes are been sought after by organisations and companies in the region and has attracted the attention of some of the world's top business schools.
"We are getting queries everyday and we are now doing business in India, Indonesia and Singapore. Companies from Japan and the UAE are also sending their participants here. This has happened in recent years," said its chief executive officer Rajeev Peshwaria in an interview, here, recently.
He said one such programme ICLIF has and which has been favourably reviewed is the Financial Institutions Directors Education (FIDE) programme for directors of banks.
"Many countries have asked us about this programme, which is a unique programme in Asia. Some even want to benchmark it," said Peshwaria.
He said ICLIF offers programmes that are not overly complex as they are not too academic.
"Our programmes are practical, simple, useable but powerful. We promise that when you come for a programme with us, you will learn real tangible skills, knowledge and ideas which can grow your organisation to make it more successful in a very real sense," he said.
ICLIF's products and services include open enrolment programme, customised programme, leadership advisory services and executive coaching and research.
Peshwaria said ICLIF has in the last few years assembled a very strong team of faculty who came from the US and Europe. They are from established education institutions like Harvard and Stanford and Fortune 100 companies like Johnson and Johnson and General Electric.
ICLIF has eight full-time resident faculty members and another 10 adjuncts, while the total staff strength of the centre is 46.
"As we plan to expand, we are looking to add two more faculty members."
He said ICLIF prides in its own research for its programmes and currently, it is doing a research on the Asian Leadership Index.
"We are studying 18 countries in Asia and our research is based on two questions, essentially the expectations leaders have of their followers and what are the gaps, and vice versa," he said.
Once the research is done, ICLIF will be able to tailor its programmes and products to meet those gaps.
"This kind of research on leadership has never been done anywhere. This is one of the most holistic Asian study," said Peshwaria, noting that such training programmes usually come from the West, with little research developed in Asia.
He pointed out that leadership development is an US$80 billion (RM248 billion) industry and despite the money spent on this yearly, the number of good leaders around in any country is still very few.
"Why? We believe the whole industry of leadership development where leadership is taught is flawed," he said.
Peshwaria said ICLIF recognises that leadership cannot be learned in a classroom, or through powerpoint slides, or by listening to stories of best practices.
"Leadership is not about competency, role play. It's not psychometric. The billions of dollars spent every year on psychometric tests where your answers to 200 questions can describe your leadership profile. To us, there is no correlation between anyone's personality type and leadership."
He said leadership is about a leader who wants to create a better future and having the energy to not give up.