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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with Catherine Li-Yunxia

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Catherine Li-Yunxia

Name: Catherine Li-Yunxia

Current title: Global CEO Coach, Global Executive Coach

Current organisation: Sunglow Leadership International

Catherine is one of the most sought after impactful Executive Coaches with 16 years of Corporate working experience. She helps C-Suite and Senior Executives to deliver high impact results and achieve deep transformation in the areas of executive presence, leadership development and change management among others. She possesses a unique combination of qualities that has led to her success coaching in industries like Banking, Technology, Consulting and Energy.
Catherine gained international recognition as a Top Performer Coach by Global WHW in 2015. She excels in holistic coaching and empowering leaders to be their best selves by driving lasting behavioral change to achieve their goals and beyond and create sustained success.
Coaching Philosophy
I firmly believe everyone is naturally resourceful and has extraordinary capabilities, one only needs to unlock their potential and leverage their strengths. My coaching style entails enabling leaders to gain deep self-awareness, deep reflection and experience powerful shifts in perspective that results in lasting impact and transformation through behavioural change.

7 Questions with Catherine Li-Yunxia


1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

1) Making space for reflection.
Nowadays CEOs are scheduled to have a life at the workplace. Their calendar is fully booked or over scheduling. It’s very challenging to find time or space for reflection. However, reflection is critical for CEO’s effectiveness and personal growth. Reflection gives you peace of mind, and peace of mind is powerful. Just imagine when you make a decision, when you need to strategize, when you need to think about the company’s future and direction for the business, but you are stressed and mind fully occupied, you wouldn’t be able to have quality of work, or make a sound decision.
2) Navigate external change and establish right pace of internal change
Change is constant, especially with the unprecedented event of COVID-19 Pandemic CEOs are facing constant pressure to navigate external change. To tackle business challenges impacted by external change, a CEO needs to champion and lead change within the organisation. The external change is evolving constantly, which brings challenge and difficulty to establish the right pace of internal change.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Nobody graduates from a CEO school, and neither do I. A life path simply leads me to such a position. To me, it is more like a journey of consistently defining self. Your purpose of life and mission grow like a keep-rolling snowball, and one day you couldn’t let your mission rest anymore then you took up the challenge and started leading transformation and creating impacts on people, business and the industry.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Here is a simple equation:
work (65% of the day) + family life (20% of the day) + reflection (5% of the day) + “me” time (10% of the day) = a full day

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Be the torch to shed light on others.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

The book is called Leadership from The Inside Out, by Kevin Cashman.

It completely changed my professional life that leadership is all about others, but the inner drive of leadership comes from your own within.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

We use a structured approach by defining the type/level of leadership for each targeted individual:
1) The organisational level of leadership - how to build a high performing organisation that are for C-suite
2) Leading leaders - for those who are leading people that are already having direct reports
3) Team leadership - who are leading a team and how to build an effective team
4) One one one leadership and Self leadership: the ability of build good personal relationship and motivate self to achieve goals
What complements and completes leadership development programs is we build an engaging and motivating organisation culture and working environment.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

Everyday there are various stories happening in the organisation that are meaningful and impactful. One of what stays in my mind is the story about our sales director for an Asian country. He was absolutely an introvert and always struggled to build interpersonal relationships with others including customers, when he just joined our company as a sales executive to start his career.You can imagine how challenging he was facing to communicate with customers and secure contracts. However, with continuous proper groom by his manager who later became our Chief Revenue Officer, the shy young introvert sales executive had grown into the Head of Business Development for one of our key markets in Asia by leading 62 people to generate large revenue, develop a high performing workforce and become very influential with his exponential communication skills..

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