PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 March, 2011, 12:00am

How to become a good leader

There are four qualities that help you become an outstanding leader.

First, leaders have to understand the needs and characteristics of the people they are leading. Second, there needs to be open communication.

Third, leaders need to know what to do. Last, leaders need to be able to improve their teams' performance.

Understanding the needs and characteristics of the various participants in a group helps a leader to handle each person individually. This enables the leader to assign duties to different people based on their different skills and temperaments.

Open communication is important to create good working relationships within the group. To achieve that, the leader should talk to the participants regularly in order to learn about their strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing what to do ensures that the leader can give accurate and useful directions to the participants. Yet rather than dominate decision-making, a good leader should let participants work out solutions for themselves.

Finally, controlling the performance of the team is also important. The leader must act as the engine of the team. He or she should keep observing what is going on and give instructions when necessary. A good leader should also make sure all participants work in harmony towards the same goal.

Good leaders are good listeners, for example. They are also generous and not quick to blame team members for mistakes they make.

Good leaders need to be considerate, disciplined and independent.

Evelyn Wong Sze-cheuk, The Chinese Foundation School

Students don't need tutorial classes

Many students in Hong Kong attend tutorial classes. They think this will improve their studies and help them in exams. But I believe extra classes are useless.

They are a waste of time because most tutors just repeat what you have already been taught at school. I think it's largely because of peer and parental pressure that we take these extra classes at all.

I think we would be better off staying at home to study alone or else doing things we like, such as reading a newspaper or a book, or doing some craft.

This would also save us money. According to a leaflet from a tutorial centre, each class costs more than HK$400 a month. You should pay attention in class and spend that money on good books instead.

Ken Poon, TWGHs Lo Kon Ting Memorial College

Relationships are not complicated

Recently, my teacher asked us in class if we thought relationships today are more complicated than they were in the past.

Some of my classmates didn't hesitate to answer yes.

They believe that these day people are competing so fiercely for financial gain that they are almost unscrupulous about it. This made me wonder: Have our relationships changed because of competition?

Competition is not entirely a bad thing. Without it, many people would just become lazy and fail to strive to do better. It is true that many people are a lot more independent than they once used to be.

Similarly, technological advances mean that people don't socialise with each other as much as before. This lack of direct contact can make us feel more isolated and less happy.

Yet it does not take much to have closer relationships with people. All you have to do is be friendly and attentive to those around you. You will find that relationships have not changed that much.

Ellen Yiu Oi-lan

Ho's conflict not really our concern

The conflict between Stanley Ho Hung-sun's family and shareholders has been making the headlines for weeks. We read about it day in and day out. But it really is none of our business.

It is only the media that's pushing this story. The press uses its power to make profits by drawing public attention to stories they know will sell.

In this information-orientated world, we have no choice but to pay attention to stories that are on the media's agenda. I do not think that is fair.

Becky Yeung, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School Kwai Chung