My name is Yihan and I reside in the sunny island of Singapore. I am from a family of six; I have three siblings, a twin brother and one other younger brother and sister.
I’m 24 this year, and I’m studying in one of the top business schools in Singapore, Singapore Management University. I have currently pursuing a degree in Business Administration and I’m in my final year of school. I will be graduating at the end of 2009.
I have had various experiences in leadership when I was serving in the Singapore Armed Forces, but I would say that my real leadership journey began in Jan 2007.
In late 2006, my peers invited me to serve in the leadership of University-YMCA. As the name suggests, University-YMCA is a subsidiary of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), an Christian organization whose mission is to develop individuals in mind, body and spirit.
My leadership journey began as the Vice-President of University-YMCA.
Before this, I had never stepped up into a formal leadership position before.
However, my peers saw something in me that they believe could move University-YMCA forward: passion.
Although I lacked the experience and the confidence to take up the leadership initially, my peers saw that I was someone who was hungry for greater things.
I was initially very apprehensive about taking up the position, but I chose to take a step of faith and agreed to rise up.
When I first stepped into University-YMCA, the organization was not in a very good shape. This was partly because it was a new organization: systems, processes and standard operating procedures were not in place yet.
So beyond the name, it was really a youth group who gathered once a while for meetings and activities. While we were a happy group of people, but I felt that something was missing in our organization.
We were not a very united bunch of people and we were not making a lot of difference in our community.
In late 2007, I chose to step up as President. I felt a call to raise this organization to a position of leadership in Singapore Management University.
I wanted this organization to change the dominant culture in the University.
To put it into context, Singapore Management University was made up of individuals who were driven, motivated, grade-focused and inward-looking.
It was a University that had a culture of me-myself-and-I. It was about studying extremely hard to get good grades, and getting a good job.
As a result, students continually competed to be the best; but in the process lose sight about caring for the community and serving others who need their help.
I felt that things had to change, so I took up the Presidency with this vision in mind:
To change the mindset of the typical Singapore Management University student.
I chose my team of Executive Committee members: 10 of them.
I shared the vision of changing culture with them and I instilled the passion in them to want to see the same change in school.
Sharing of the Organizational Vision
However, things were not as smooth sailing as I thought it would be. There were several problems that surfaced during the year 2008.
There were Executive Committee members that were more focused on their other responsibilities and put this organization’s vision at a lower priority and as such, they did little to further the cause of the organization.
It was then that I realized that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I began to realize the work required to change a dominant culture in the community was going to be real hard work.
How can a small group of individuals hope to change a whole community?
Was it even possible?
There were a lot of times that I felt extremely discouraged; times that I felt I was fighting this battle alone; times that I wanted to give up.
There were days that I just went down on my knees, cried and prayed for a breakthrough to happen.
Thankfully, things began to pick up again at the end of 2008; my leaders began to catch on to the vision of changing culture once again and they started running with me.
During this period, I also identified several new leaders that could rise up to take leadership positions in my organization.
In 2009, the organization began to take off in its level of influence in the community; we also grew in the number of camps/events we organized to 15.
My leaders became more independent as they began running their community outreach programs with little or no assistance from me.The club began to grow in size as well. From a membership of 80 people in the year 2006, today (April 2009), the club has 500 members in its mailing list and about over 50+ sub-committee members and leaders.
Through all this time, I have managed to gain a lot of experience in leadership. From someone who was afraid to stand up to take a Vice-President’s position in 2007, I have become a person of influence that people look up to; a leader in my community.
In this book, I will continue to share with you specific experiences that taught me the principles and lessons that I hold in my heart till today.
Once again, I hope this eBook will greatly benefit you in your own leadership journey.
Move on to Chapter 3: Vision in Life
On a monthly basis, I write to you to share with you about my thoughts, some great articles and resources on leadership as well and I know it will greatly benefit you.
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Here are just a few of the pages that offer useful leadership resources for you. You will become a more equipped leader with these:
Great Quotes on leadership that you can use or be inspired by!
Movies: A collection on awesome leadership movies to teach leadership
Team Exercises: Some team building game ideas for you
Books: Some great books you can buy to enrich yourself
Let me begin by saying my deepest thanks to you for visiting this website. Your words of encouragement never fail to inspire and push me further to build this website to be a blessing to more people.
I have only skimmed over the website and the e-book so far, but what I've read was surprisingly deep for a non-commercial and easily accessible product.
Hello Yihan, I am very grateful for your book about leadership. It is very exciting and amazing. It's encouraging and it gives us all hope.
I was inspired by your writing and i have started putting those principles into practice.
I am compelled to write you personally and say how excited I was to discover your website. Even though I have found many websites on leadership, yours stand out because of your Leadership Movies section.
Thank you for the article that you have been sending on true leadership; I really appreciate that. I aspire to be a good leader but it starts with me first. Thank you very much. - Eagles Audacity
I have stumbled across your website a few times in my research and I wanted to commend you for the work you are doing. Your site is a great resource for leaders!
This site is amazing...thank you. I have been exploring today, and found so many great resources!
Dear Yihan, thank you for your leadership website. I am digging into visionary leadership. Thanks for your insightful summary. There are lots of valuable resources around.
I like your website a lot. In fact, I’m undertaking Masters in Construction Management and your articles help a lot.
Excellent site! Thank you so much for the time and effort you've put into compiling some of the best materials on leadership.
Hi Yihan, Thank you so much for your generosity sharing us about Leadership awareness, skills and development. God Bless.
Thanks a lot for wonderful articles on your site.it gave a lot of information in undertaking my management studies. Keep it up; good work. Thanks.
Yihan, your dedication to this site is very obvious and well done dear. Blessings be upon you; I shall in turn do my best to make a difference and be a part of this journey of true leadership with you.
To be honest, I don’t find a correct lexical to describe, how effectively I am using your site for my personal /surroundings development. Hats off to you!!!
Very helpful website really :) sometimes it’s better to be simple than complex. You give example which helps people like me understand what you want to asay.
I am grateful to God for giving us a great mind like you. You are an extraordinary individual with the wisdom & understanding to teach others to lead. You open our eyes and reveal the answers for our everyday lives with remedies we can use to enhance our lives and that of others. Way to GO! I pray God's continuous blessings on your family, friends and for the great work you is doing!
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