The beginning of 2021 is, at its heart, a fantasy of refreshing perspectives and new resolutions—of the opportunity to make things better and with more attention to productivity and growth. In reality, it’s also one of the most challenging times for many of us, as we return from the holidays and fly straight into the plate-glass window of an overfull schedule – with a pandemic hovering above us.
As I converse with the people I have met about new year plans, the word “unstable” keeps coming up, and I think we should find that a little worrisome. Fear about loss in any form (our profits, our jobs and our stability) is what we experience when we face challenges, both extraneous and intravenous. It looks a lot overwhelming when we think of it this way, but ultimately, we’re surrendered.
In the midst of all these insecurities lies one simple fact of life. That we need to steer our own boats and make life better, no matter the challenges. Our first issue of LEADnovate is a call to leaders and entrepreneurs of today and aspiring leaders of tomorrow, to share their opinions on leadership – the How and the Why. The role of leadership has become a vital pivot in times of uncertainty.
You won’t find any New Year’s resolution in this issue, but you will encounter perspectives on the idea of first principles: the ideas and positions on which leadership is built. When we’re making so many important decisions to function better at work, in school and in our families, we need to pause and ponder. Why am I not making any headway? Why are we facing obstacles? How shall we cross them – together?
We come from many different fields and traditions, and this issue’s content reflects this fact. Our articles give us insights from Tang Tee Khoon, Singapore’s leading chamber violinist, to Michael Goh, GM of Iron Mountain Data Centres, whose business relationship stems on the single word: Trust. The issue also rides on the wings of vibrant leaders of a younger generation, with Linus Tan of ‘Synced’ encouraging youths to follow their passion and find their niches.
I am proud of the work of our writers, many of whom are youths and young adults themselves. Each of them aspires to connect the world as leaders and team players. To all of us at LEADnovate, leadership is not a status. It’s the giving of yourself in helping others to reach a common goal. It’s not a mystical trait that one person has but not the other. It’s also not a behaviour that you can simply improve through study and application.
Leaders are not born; they are developed, almost completely by their own effort. Let us also thank everyone, our interviewees, guest writers and last but not least, the LEADnovate team for contributing to this first issue.
~ Carean L. Oh