Expat Leadership and Lifestyle in Southeast Asia: Overcoming 5 Key Challenges

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Living overseas as an expat comes by its very nature with numerous challenges and rewards overall. In the workplace, however, the expat manager can face even greater obstacles and difficulties. Some are humorous – merely minor roadblocks to navigate – but others, if not successfully navigated, can be pitfalls hazardous to the development of your team, the success of your company, or the health of your career.

A Valuable New Resource for Expat Managers

As regular readers of this website’s sister print publication, The Expat, will recall, we ran a series of monthly columns over a span of about two years called “Managing in Malaysia” written by long-term expat Pete Brunoehler. With over 20 years of experience leading teams in Southeast Asia for American and European multinationals, Pete built an impressive management resume in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, and he was a natural choice for providing guidance to expat managers on how to successfully integrate in their new environment, and not only hit their company targets, but to thrive both professionally and personally while doing so, building and nurturing quality teams, and ultimately leaving behind a legacy in which they could take pride.

Now, the content of those many columns – and more – has been collected into a new book from MPH Publishing that should sit on every expat manager’s bookshelf: Expat Leadership and Lifestyle in Southeast Asia.

Organised thoughtfully into 32 chapters, grouped to help satisfy the book’s subtitle, “Overcoming 5 Key Challenges,” the contents centre around the author’s many real-world experiences and the anecdotes and lessons are presented in an easy-to-read and enjoyable manner. Each chapter has a theme, and the storytelling prose is followed by the key takeaways from the lesson, and then further synopsised by a Rapid Recap, giving the highlights at a glance. It’s a great way to present the material, and makes reading the book a real delight. The more seasoned expats will surely nod their heads knowingly while going through the pages, recognising common themes from their own lives overseas!

For the working expat, if you’re expecting an assignment in Southeast Asia, have recently moved into such a role, or have been here for a while but don’t feel you’re up to your own standards somehow, the book is a must-read. However, though aimed primarily at expat managers, Expat Leadership and Lifestyle in Southeast Asia is valuable for many others, as well. Human resource managers set with the task of orienting expat employees into Southeast Asia, for instance, will find the book incredibly helpful, as will corporate leaders (whether local or expat) who face the challenges in integrating local staff and expat staff. Additionally, family members of working expats will not only find the anecdotes enjoyable to read (and often amusing), the stories will underscore the myriad challenges their family member faces on a daily basis, and help them better understand the trials and tribulations with which all expat managers occasionally struggle.

In addition to the driving force of the book, which is expat management and leadership, the final section (comprising several chapters) focuses on expat lifestyle, which brings its own set of challenges and rewards. Overall, Expat Leadership and Lifestyle in Southeast Asia comprises 125 pages and is a fresh, enjoyable, and highly useful and relevant resource for any expat working in the region.


Author Peter Brunoehler has led various MNCs in Asia since leaving the United States in 1992. Currently, Pete lives with his wife in Penang. Expat Leadership and Lifestyle in Southeast Asia is available starting this month at fine bookstores such as MPH throughout Malaysia.



A book signing and “meet the author” event to launch Expat Leadership and Lifestyle in Southeast Asia is being held on Saturday, 19 January 2019 at the MPH Bookstore in Mid Valley Megamall. Held from 11:00am to 1:00pm, this is an outstanding opportunity to get your copy of this book during its initial release, meet the author, and have your copy signed. You can just turn up at the MPH Bookstore, or you may RSVP by emailing [email protected]


For more details about the launch event, click here.

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