HSMC President Forum: Leadership – A View from the Top

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HSMC launched the HSMC President Forum which aims at providing a platform for sharings with distinguished leaders.

The first President Forum on 31 July 2015 featured a discussion with Dr Michael Lindsay, award-winning sociologist and educator, President of Gordon College, USA, who is also a prominent expert on leadership and culture.  Around 100 distinguished guests from different sectors, corporate management and academics attended. At the Forum, Dr Lindsay shared with us the personal stories and powerful findings of his ten-year Platinum Study of 550 elite CEOs, senior government leaders, and non-profit executives in the USA.

HSMC President Simon S M Ho delivered a welcoming speech, expressing our honour of having Dr Lindsay to be the guest speaker. HSMC and Gordon College established partnership and exchange programme in 2014. The 2 colleges shared the same educational ideal – nurturing students to become future leaders through liberal education. To pursue this common goal, President Simon Ho has been hosting a radio programme “President’s Dialogues with Distinguished Leaders” in Hong Kong sharing their leadership experience and recipes for life success. It aims to broaden the horizons of youngsters and further promote liberal and leadership education.

Dr Lindsay encouraged students to start their first jobs at large corporations, broaden their horizons and establish networking with different parties. According to him, in USA, political leaders are mostly lawyers who are good thinkers and communicators. In China, political leaders frequently are engineers who are good at solving technical problems. He also stated that in the process of becoming a successful leader, thinking institutionally but acting personally, personal and professional networks, the ability to seize opportunities and overcome blames / challenges, having a mentor and a sponsor in life are all crucial. Seamless communications should be maintained not only among high levels but also with junior staff.

At the end of Dr Lindsay’s talk, President Simon Ho had dialogues with him, followed by Q & A from the audience who raised enlightening questions. President Simon Ho summarised 3 points to conclude the inspirational forum. One, leadership is mainly about ‘people’. Two, a leader has to manage himself first before leading others. And three, leadership is more an art than a science.

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