CK’s Leadership Theory

You should have read my previous post to understand my basis for developing this theory. To recap, the textbooks on leadership theories serve no purpose in describing all the assumptions and studies about leaders’ behaviours. At the end of the day, all that they tell you are: “it is uncertain”, “there are still more to be discovered”, “but it depends on the situation”, “however, there are still other…”. Yeah yeah just shut up if you’re not going to give me a proper conclusion on what I am supposed to learn. If I were to die tomorrow, I don’t want to regret wasting the last moments of my life trying to study something worthless like drinking cat shit coffee.

You can’t quantify leadership as if it is kinematics. You cannot use science to explain leadership. It will be foolish to do so, just like trying to use science to fight faith. It will end up going around in circles.

CK’s Leadership Theory cuts all the crap and goes straight into how to be a good leader. I don’t have to define what is a good leader. Good means good, period.

CK’s Theory of Leadership

This theory is based on observing the traits of good and effective leaders throughout my lifetime and summarising them. I don’t give you the crap of exceptions. In primary school’s civics moral education you learnt that right means right and wrong means wrong correct? They don’t tell you, oh this act is technically wrong but it benefits many people so it can be right. You have a brain, assess the exceptions yourself.

1) Leaders know themselves well

All of these good and effective leaders have very high emotional stability and maturity. They know their own limits and do not take unnecessary risks. They learn on the job and adapt well to changing situations. They remain calm and composed under pressure.

The above descriptions don’t seem like there is anything to do with knowing themselves, but these are in fact the results of self-awareness. Once they understand themselves, they are able to control their thoughts, attitudes and behaviours to a higher level.

2) Leaders empathize with others

You will be surprised at how much these leaders know you. It is as if they read your mind through WIFI and you feel comfortable talking to them. Okay even if you don’t due to the power distance, you still respect them as your leader. This is due to the way they portray themselves (point 1) and the way they communicate. Good leaders understand your concerns.

3) Leaders know their purpose

A leader without a purpose behaves like a follower. The effective leaders know what they want. They possess the drive and passion to work towards their goals. They inject life and excitement into their followers, inspiring them to strive for success. Good leaders don’t give up halfway, they dedicate themselves to all the tasks that they have started on and finish them, even though they may not like it.

4) Leaders possess good ethics

Good leaders have a sense of righteousness. They are selfless, sincere and fair. They make the most appropriate decision in grey areas. They don’t have to “follow the book”, because they are “the book”.

Guidelines

Some people believe that a leader is born, not bred. CK’s Theory believes in giving everyone a chance. All that comes down to it is to first be a better person as a whole. You will still be a failure if you are fucked up. Look at Durai, who got himself in jail. How do you be a good and effective leader then? Here are some guidelines to CK’s Theory.

1) Know yourself

This is quite obvious. If you do not understand yourself from head to toe, soul and heart, inside out and upside down, how will you understand others? Take some time, sit down and reflect on yourself. Look back at incidents, and see how you could have changed the situation to make it better. Look back at times you felt strong emotions, and see how you could have controlled them to make things better. Look at your interpersonal relations, and correct any imminent problems and issues you care about.

Spend some time to engage in some internal conversations with yourself. This is not autism! You are weird if you had never talked to yourself before. Don’t believe? What is going on in your mind while solving a mathematics problem? What is going on in your mind while reading a book? You ask questions in your mind right? You read aloud in your mind isn’t it? If you never had this experience, I wonder how you had managed to live for over 20 years. But it’s okay, just follow CK’s theory.

Talk to yourself, ask yourself questions. Like what would you do if someone killed your family? How would you react when you found out your spouse is cheating on you? How would you deal with a friend who betrayed your trust? Test your own limits mentally. Get yourself into different moods and experience them internally. What do you have to do to master piano? Practice right? So you have to practice to master your own emotions. Look at the Honda road bully case, would it have happened if both of them had control over their own emotions?

By the way I’m not a psycho, people who know me well know that I am very strong emotionally. And it was through all these internal conversations that built my strength.

Find out if you are a visual, auditory, kinesthetic or an auditory digital person. That way, you can accomplish things with half the effort. For me, I’m more visual. Just see the way I use my words: “See”, “Look”, “Find” etc. I also process information in pictures, and I have a knack for remembering a string of numbers in photographic form.That’s how I know I’m visual.

See, by understanding yourself, you don’t have to know what is task-oriented or relations-oriented. It comes naturally. You don’t have to uncover your traits based on what the textbook says. You already know them. You don’t have to try to achieve emotional maturity. You are already matured.

Other than having self-awareness, you must also behave appropriately. Being aware of your anger and your bad habits without attempting to change them positively serves no purpose. You still let them happen, and then? There is no need to define what constitutes good behaviour. I’m sure all of us are old enough to tell the difference between good and bad. Portray yourself appropriately.

2) Know others

In leadership, it is never just about yourself. You must manage your interpersonal relations. Find out what type of person the other party is (visual, auditory, kinesthetic or auditory digital). This has been proven to work. If the party is auditory, use aural words in your communication and you will have him clicking with you. For example, “Can you show me a way to look at this idea in a bigger picture?” will not sound pleasant to the subconsciousness of an auditory person. Instead, “Can you tell me how to tune in to this idea on a bigger note?” fires the person’s neurons, which makes a difference in the kind of information you get from him.

Also, by knowing yourself, you will be able to empathize with others more easily. You will be able to put yourself in their shoes and be more considerate towards them.

See, by putting effort into knowing others, you will know how to influence them with the correct approach. There is no need to figure out if a legitimate tactic or an apprising tactic should be used. There is no need to even study these terms and try too hard to apply them. It is just like trying to calculate the angle and force required for you to shoot a basketball. “Shoot means shoot la, what angle power and shit.” A lot of things in life are “just like that” and there is no point looking in too deep. It all comes naturally.

Of course you can’t make best friends with every father mother son. There are people whose personality you just can’t click with! But you can still maintain good relations with them by understanding their concerns. We all like people who understand us don’t we? They make us feel comfortable to share our ideas and concerns.

You can command respect by knowing others.

3) Know your purpose 

Some call it goal, others call it objective. To me, it includes your mission, vision and whatever sion. But frankly, it doesn’t get any closer to these. Nonetheless, in order not to complicate things like the textbooks, every mother single term under the sun related to achieving falls here. You must know what you are here for. To help the company to boost sales? To train a batch of difficult recruits? Or to manage a student club?

We can hold a leadership position for a few weeks, a year or even 30 years. We may not be able to set a specific goal for 30 years where you don’t even know when you will die. However, we must have a purpose.

Goals don’t have to be SMART. Fuck this shit on specific, measurable, attainable etc.  You will become a robot doing this! Humans are born to be flexible, not to blindly follow stupid not-so-SMART rules. I am not talking about an organization’s KPI or targets here. These goals are mandatory as a job requirement so suck it up. I am talking about goals with intrinsic value to you personally. Something as simple as this will do: “I want my team to have the most memorable and fun time under my charge.” Please don’t come and tell me “fun” and “memorable” cannot be quantified, so this is invalid. This is CK’s Theory so screw off. SMART goals are for people who lack self-discipline, self-awareness and sense of purpose. Undertake an effectual approach, and you will find plenty of opportunities waiting for you.

Referring to the above example of a goal (your purpose), you will then put in your best in making sure love is in the air. Show your passion and dedication. Your subordinates will love coming to work. You inspire them to go after what is important for them. There should not be anything specific thing you ought to do. It comes naturally.

4) Know ethics

Even though you may be a great leader, there is a difference between a good ethical leader and a good unethical leader. A good mafia boss who treats his men well is acting against the law and moral code. He is not ethical. Look at Hitler, he is a good leader but what happened in history you should know… There could be a grey line between ethical and unethical, but we all have to agree that there is what we call a “social norm”, which majority of the society agrees on. Most of such “social norms” are defined by the law, but there are certain practices that the law does not cover.

Reserving seats using tissue paper is one such social norm that the law doesn’t cover. By taking away the packet of tissue paper and sitting on that “reserved seat”, you may be deemed as  being unethical and can be sued in court. My point is that good leaders have to act diligently and perform with integrity. All these come naturally when you tell yourself to stay upright.

Summary

That concludes CK’s Leadership Theory! It very much summarizes all that you need to know about leadership. Much of these 4 points overlap and work in sync to build an effective leader. To work towards a good and effective leader, you have to know yourself well, put in effort to understand others, be passionate about your purpose and act ethically. You really don’t have to try too hard, it all comes naturally as you develop yourself. Lastly, they cannot be too long-winded too, so effective leaders conduct effective meetings that take minimal time.

Final words

I don’t claim to perfect all that I just wrote but it never hurts to keep trying. We should always aim to be a better person as a whole. Anyway I must clarify, there is a difference between vulgarities and adjectives. There are some expressions that you just can’t express with the same impact without using the appropriate adjectives, that may appear as profanities. Rest assured these adjectives are just for emphasis, and I have very much restrained from using others that bring more impact. Speaking from the Singaporean culture, if you come from a typical Chinese family and went to Chinese schools, you know what I mean. Our English vocab is limited, which brings me to clarifying that I’m not angsty when I rant or complain. If I speak, I speak in a calm tone.

Thank you!

Chun Kiat

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