The Art of Leadership


Course introduction

The ancient Chinese philosophers and thinkers fully subscribed to the importance of good leadership especially the wisdom of a ruler or leader. All the ancient philosophers reviewed extensively and discussed the wisdom of a wise ruler. They derived that a good leader is built on a foundation of moral authority as well as in the setting of a virtuous example for his subordinates to follow.
Wisdom is an integration of intelligence with experience and an integration of science and philosophy. Wisdom comes from living, from making mistakes, from listening to others and learning from others. This concept of ‘leadership by wisdom’ is highly relevant to today’s leadership study and development. The wisdom of a leader should embrace the virtues of benevolence and morality with deep insights and creativity in perspective. It is insufficient for a leader to be knowledgeable or intelligent yet far from wise. In today’s context, many leaders at organizational, national and international levels are grossly lacking in the wisdom to lead others. Wisdom is still a deficit in many of our world leaders today.

Course Benefits

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to;

  • Learn and practice various Chinese classical leadership approaches (humanistic, bureaucratic and naturalistic ways) in leading different types of people, organization and situation. Share and demonstrates how each leadership type achieves success and which leadership approach fits you best.
  • Improve your performance by strengthening your management & leadership skills and the key success factors of a strong leader.
  • Recognise your leadership style and evaluate its effectiveness with your organisational structure.

Target Audience

This 2-Day Workshop is customized for senior executives from organizations with International Business. It enables participants to embark on careers with global responsibilities and leadership. It also provides opportunities to deepen essential skill-sets to navigate, lead and overcome the complexity of overseas markets.

  • Business leaders and directors from both the public and private sectors.
  • Entrepreneurs who wish to do business in China or with the Chinese community.
  • Those who havea great passion for Chinese classics and philosophies - Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, Zhuangzi, Liezi, Xunzi and Han Feizi). Those who seek to broaden and deepen their understandings of the psychology of the Chinese people.
  • Executives from middle to senior management. Individual or entrepreneurs who wish to conduct business in China or understand and apply leadership philosophies from the ancient Chinese perspective.
  • Individuals committed to deepening skills in Chinese leadership and internationalization including academicians and researcher.

Course Outline

Module 1: The evolution of Chinese culture and why are hundreds of Harvard students studying ancient Chinese philosophies?
Module 2: Overview of Chinese philosophy and leadership followed by a brief review of the ancient Chinese ruler-ship or emperor-ship
Module 3: What is leadership from the Chinese perspective? What is wisdom?
Module 4: Discussion of Legalistic approach and develop a list of traits of a bureaucratic and disciplined leader such as:

  • Concept of Discipline
  • Rules and Regulations
  • Organizational Authority and Structure
  • Award and Punishment system
Module 5: Discussion of Humanistic approach and develop a list of traits:
  • Confucian Ethics
  • Principle of Humanism
  • Doctrine of Moderation
  • Principle of Learning
Module 6: A list of behavioural traits of a great and wise leader
Module 7: The principles of Naturalism and the development of:
  • An altruistic leader
  • A paradoxical leader
  • The principle of fluidity
  • The law of subtraction
Module 8: Discuss a list of characteristics (both capabilities and qualities) that make a great leader.
Module 9: How to nurture a great leader through self-cultivation?

Available Course Sessions

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Trainer Profile

Dr. Sheh Seow Wah

Dr. Sheh Seow Wahserves as a Management Consultant, Research Consultant, Seminar and Conference Speaker and Industry Trainer for several institutions for the past 20-25 years in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. His areas of specialization include Chinese classics, Chinese Family Business, Change Management and Research and Leadership and Management.

Currently, he is the Associate Lecturer for Singapore University of Social Sciences, RMIT-SIM (over 12 years) and University of Warwick, the UK for supervising Master degree candidate. He is the Adjunct Research Fellow for University of South Australia successfully supervised 18 doctorate students in Singapore/Hong Kong/China/Malaysia since 2002. He had sat on the Editorial Board of Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies journal.