In 2017, Elaine Too became the first Malaysian woman to assume the role of managing director at Japanese beauty conglomerate, Shiseido Malaysia. When I congratulated her for this achievement in her career, Elaine graciously attributed it to the faith that her superiors had in her leadership skills and capabilities.
“During my interview, I could tell that they were not interested in my gender, race or nationality. They only cared about whether I would bring quality work to the table and lead Shiseido Malaysia in a challenging business environment,” said Elaine.
On paper, Elaine certainly fits the bill. With close to 2 decades of experience in the beauty industry, she knows the ins and outs of her field like the back of her hand. Scroll on to read our interview with this gutsy lady boss on success, leadership and work-life balance.
1. Act & Lead Decisively
“In business, everything changes in a blink of an eye, so you must always move swiftly and decisively. There’s no time to waste,” she expresses.
Ever since she took over the number 1 spot, Elaine’s priorities lie in building a stronger back-end support for the company’s business units and strengthening the ‘pillars’ of Shiseido Malaysia—the people that drive its success.
“In the past one year, I spent a lot of my time improving the processes for our business units. Once you join the dots internally, it will reflect externally. My staff, especially those on the frontlines serving our customers and stakeholders, are depending on me to help them do their jobs better. I take that responsibility seriously,” she says.