MBA Education

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SCMP Education

Leaders must have a clear vision

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 September, 2013, 8:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 July, 2014, 11:01am

I finally passed all my MBA Exams, which means literally I have completed all my mandatory and elective courses. For the six months onwards, I need to complete my dissertation to complete my MBA programme. I take pride of what I take home from my various MBA courses, inside and outside of the classroom, especially when it comes to management and leadership. The courses recapped on the characteristics of a leader and a manager that one must understand in order to lead and manage people.

Leaders are vision setters, who are born (if not, trained) to deliver dreams. They have brilliant ideas or fantasies that can be communicated to subordinates and motivate them to achieve and fulfill these dreams. This ability is more than communication skills. Like Steve Jobs or Jack Ma, they inspire people. Managers are executors, who are often cautious about anything, and who pay attention to every detail and do what it takes to avoid mistakes and troubles. They have extraordinary project management skills and technical competence.

When you understand the distinct characteristics of both types of person, you can quickly position yourself in any organisation and understand your roles. For me, I gradually understood the importance of having a vision.

I attended the Tipping Point Conference held at Hotel ICON on September 6, 2013. The conference was held annually, attracting people from different industries and different education background to gather and share ideas. New business start ups can boldly promote their business ideas to angel investors. Entrepreneurs and celebrities share their business development experience. This Conference’s theme is “Unleashing Our Next Innovation”. Panel speakers speak about their vision to promote innovation in Hong Kong and to nourish this home grown market for R&D. This is a big step to steer both the territory's policy and the generally accepted culture away from earning quick profits to finding a solid way to sustain and enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness in the long run. Leaders are bound to have a vision, who see the big picture and know what is the right way to pursue. As Jack Welch once said, “A leader’s job is to look into the future and see the organisation, not as it is, but as it should be.”

Putting the same idea to the context of managing an organisation or even writing my dissertation, it is so critical to be able to convey your vision to your teammates, allow it to permeate the workplace and to visualise this vision through your leadership and your actions taken. Hence when facing crossroads, leaders with a dream and direction will go into the right direction and drives the people that follow. My sincere thanks go to Dr Wan, who reminded me of this when I consulted her of my research topic. Without a vision, the research paper will be of no value.