Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed his view on what makes a good leader, in a virtual dialogue organised by US-based management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, on Monday (12 Oct).
Mr Lee was among several senior leaders across Asia who were present at the dialogue, which was themed “Reimagining the next normal for Asia and the World”. In a Facebook post published some time after the virtual meeting, Mr Lee revealed that he shared what his government has been doing to see Singapore through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Near the end of the dialogue, McKinsey & Company Asia’s chairman Oliver Tonby – who moderated the discussion – asked Mr Lee for his views on what constitutes good leadership.
The Prime Minister revealed that a good leader must be able to bring a strong, reliable team and tap on others who know more than him. Sharing that a good leader must also fulfil his duty to his people, despite any consequences to himself, Mr Lee said:
“A good leader must muster a capable team that you can trust, and tap on others who know more than you. You must also be psychologically prepared for surprises and setbacks, and make the best decision based on the knowledge you have. Above all, focus on your responsibilities and fulfil your duty to your people, regardless of any personal consequences to yourself.”
Mr Lee, the son of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, has been the leader of Singapore for over a decade and a half after he became head of government 16 years ago, in 2004.
Although he said that he will step down and hand over his role to his successor some time after the 2020 election, Mr Lee announced after the election that he will be staying on for some time longer given the uncertain future that lies ahead of Singapore due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout.
Interestingly, the ruling party suffered its second-worst result at the polls since independence in the 2020 general election. Aside from losing an unprecedented 10 seats in Parliament to the Workers’ Party, Mr Lee lost a Cabinet minister when the opposition party clinched a second multi-member ward.
Mr Lee’s presumptive successor – Heng Swee Keat – was also narrowly returned to Parliament with just over 53 per cent of the vote.
When asked for his views on good leadership, this was the reply from PM Lee Hsien Loong."A good leader must muster a…