Lessons From Two Leaders.

The stories of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Chin Peng reinforced my belief that that all organisations succeed or fail primarily because of leadership.

Nothing great is ever achieved without a great leader and a great team.

Leaders change the landscape of society. They can change lives for better or for worst.

The good news is that all us can become great leaders. We can build a force for good that will make our world a better home.

There are essentially 6 critical success factors that we can learn from these two leaders to help us build a great team and achieve sustainable success.

These factors can and should be learned, developed, and practiced. It is not just the responsibility of every leader but also every member of the team to implement them.

1. Cause

Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Chin Peng shared the same initial vision of breaking away from the clutches of our British colonial masters. Both men fought for independence but on different platforms.

Their total devotion to the cause and willingness to die for it became a rallying point for the people around them. Many followed them and were prepared to make tremendous sacrifices to turn a challenging dream into a reality.

The first critical success factor to building a movement is to have a worthwhile cause.

The driving factor is to ‘Give your team members a worthwhile cause that they are willing to die for.’

Every human needs a compelling purpose for living. The higher the purpose, the more they will devote their heart, mind, and soul to fulfill it.

What greater inspiration is there in life than to know that we have one short life to live and therefore, we need to make full use of it. What bigger cause can there be than to change the people and world around us for our future generations.

Mr Lee has devoted his life to turning Singapore from a third world country to a vibrant globalised city-state. His courage, leadership and dedication to nation building has made Singapore one of the most admired countries in the world.

As for all of us, I believe deep within our hearts, our Creator has placed a burning cause within our hearts. There is a calling that you and I will have to respond to so as to optimise our contribution to society.

If we promote our cause one person at a time, one day at a time, one experience at a time, it will soon take traction. With perseverance and constant improvement, our personal mission will become an organisational movement.

2. Culture

If people don’t know what we aspire to achieve, they will not join us. If they don’t what we believe in and how we intend to live it out, they will not follow us.

In addition, if they don’t trust us, they will leave us. However if they respect us, they will become passionate and productive members in our team.

Many teams fail because members have lost faith in their respective leader and their team. That’s why it’s important to decide right from the beginning to set a high standard of ethos, morality, and honour.

As a lawyer, Lee Kuan Yew believed that law and order was fundamental in establishing a good society. He was well known for suing his opponents when they put his integrity into question.

Even though it might not be a popular thing to do, nonetheless he believed that he needed to press home the truth. Otherwise, he would have no moral authority to govern the country.

If we and every member in our team seek to be trusted and respected, our team will last for a long time. We will be in a better position to collaborate and achieve better and more sustainable results.

3. Champions

Every revolution is essentially a ‘Leader build leaders who will go on to build even more and better leaders’ movement. This cycle of leadership development eventually takes on a life of its own.

Who should be the first leader? Please say, ‘Me!’

If we are an outstanding leader, there is absolutely no reason why we cannot succeed. As a leader, we must also build leaders who can build other leaders otherwise the movement will soon come to an end.

One of the reasons why I respect Mr Lee Kuan Yew is his commitment to implement an orderly and effective succession plan. He believes that the incumbent should step aside at the appropriate time and a new generation of leaders should be inducted to take Singapore to another level of growth and achievements.

To be an outstanding leader, we must also be an outstanding follower. Unless we know how to follow and to work in a team, we will not know how to lead others and command their respect.

The highest achievement in leadership is to be a servant-leader – one who leads by serving others. Unless we love and serve our people, we do not qualify and deserve to be a leader on a long term basis.

The more leaders we have in our team, the stronger our team will become. With a stronger team, we can achieve better and more sustainable results.

As we strengthen our team, a tipping point will happen and the team will start to fly. Our cause will blaze a trail of glory.

4. Coaching

As a leader, one of our key roles and responsibilities is to invest in developing every single member in our team. We need to help him maximize his potential, enhance performance, and reach the highest level of achievement.

It is my belief that when we invest in developing lives, we live the best of life.

To do that, we need to commit to lifelong learning. The day we stop learning, we immediately become uneducated.

In a fast changing world, there is a limited shelf life to our knowledge and expertise. If we are not learning, improving and achieving better results, we will soon become irrelevant and redundant.

Lee Kuan Yew is a good example of a lifelong learner. He reads widely and solicit information from different sources.

More importantly, he has disciplined his mind to sieve through information and focus on what are critical to achieving the best results. Till this day, he is still being tutored so that he can improve his command of the Chinese language.

When we inspire others to learn, we will also enhance our learning experience.

By the way, coaching is not just training, it is about walking the
journey of learning, growth, and results with our team members.

I call it an ‘I Do, We Do, You Do’ experience. As a leader, we need to set a good example and show the correct way to our team members.

Then, we need to work together with our leaders to achieve the best results. Finally, we need to ensure that they can do it on their own and improve on our results.

When our members feel that their lives have been transformed for good, they will be grateful to us. They will be more motivated to develop an interdependent win-win relationship with us and to support us to in our pursuits.

Who is the first person we need to invest our time in? Who’s next…and next…? Let’s give them our best to achieve the best results.

5. Community

Nobody abandons a positive friend. Everybody wants to belong to a community of friends – a community that bonds closer than a family.

Mr Chin Peng returned from exile in China to join his comrades in Thailand. He wanted to look after them and in turn, they looked after him too.

There is a sense that he cared for the welfare of his men. I’m sure he went out of the way to look after them and that’s why they were willing to spend the prime of their youth living in and fighting from the jungle.

One of the fulfillments in life is to be a part of a purposeful, vibrant and growing family.

Aim to build such a family-feeling in your team. A family that will not only bond everybody together but which will also attract others to join the team.

Immerse the family with love, the most powerful force in the world. Learn to proactively show care and concern for one another and do it graciously, continuously and generously.

Inject lots of warmth, fun, excitement, and dynamism into the team. When that happens, how can the team not soar?

How can others not want to follow us? How can we not begin to take action today?

6. Challenge

Every human needs to be challenged and should be challenged. Healthy challenges can motivate the team to rise to a higher level of achievement and fulfillment.

A productive member deserve such an environment and will value such an environment to help them stretch their potential and drive them to achieve better performance and outcome.

As a leader, we need to spend time to understand our leaders and their unique dream and goals and help them discover their calling in life.

The beautiful thing is that we can always be a partner to anybody and help him design a positive, worthwhile, and desired future.

We need to develop structure, systems, and processes to help them live an extraordinary lifestyle. When they sense our sincerity, sacrifices and initiatives to help them, they will become more committed to help fulfil the cause.

Do it for every leader and for the rest of your life. I believe our Creator will bless us beyond our wildest dream and imagination.

The above 6 factors are imperatives to develop a team of excellence, a team that is built to serve and designed to last.

Let’s turn our team into a model of lasting greatness.



About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/ For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/ Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: