Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing spoke at an event organised by the Oxford & Cambridge Society of Singapore yesterday (11 January 2018) and he had three things to say about the characteristics of leadership required to steer Singapore into the future.
He made three key points in his speech:
- Being upfront with the people
- Find new ways to communicate and connect
- Be accountable and responsible
On being upfront with the people, he was referring to being upfront with the people on the challenges and options as well as spending time explaining the “Why” instead of just the “What” or “How” to the people.
New Way to Communicate and Connect
Leaders must also continue to find new ways to communicate and connect with different generations.
“At times, inaccurate and misleading information can ‘go viral’, possibly clouding a person’s view on an issue. The challenge then is to find ways to manage this, and get citizens to understand the matter at heart,” said Chan who is also the Secretary General of the National Trades Union Congress.
Being accountable and responsible
On accountability and responsibility, he said leaders should make good on promises and, when there are problems, work together to put thing right immediately.
His speech comes right on the heels of last week’s response by the group of 16 younger generation of leaders to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh hok Tong’s Facebook post expressing hope that the fourth generation of leaders will pick a leader among themselves.
This is not the first time that Chan has made a comment about the 4th generation of leaders. In fact, last year, he spoke about the 4G leaders to a group of foreign correspondents.
Teamwork more important than individual
At the Foreign Correspondents Association of Singapore briefing on 30 October 2017, he told the correspondents that “it is more important to look at the team than to look at the individuals”.
“In Singapore, you’re not going to expect as if person A becomes the Prime Minister versus person B, that the direction is going to be so diametrically opposite as to cause a huge discontinuity or disruption. In fact, whatever policies that we have in place now are thought through by the team, carried by the team, owned by the team.”
– Chan Chun Sing
Importantly, Chan said that each of the members in the team have their strengths and weaknesses, but they are “all committed to make sure that as a team, we can help cover each other’s strengths and weaknesses, overlap each other as in playing football, to make sure that we bring the country forward.”