The Marks Of Revolutionary Leadership

by Patrick Liew on August 20, 2019

The Marks Of Revolutionary Leadership

As I observed PM Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally (NDR) 2019, I can’t help being inspired by him again.

He manifested what I called the six disciplines of revolutionary leadership.

1. Envisioning – Having An Electrifying Vision

The revolutionary leader realises that if people do not know what he believes in and where he is going to, they will never follow him.
PM Lee is part of one of the few if not the only team of leaders that plans more than 20 years in advance.

From Project Jewel, Terminal 5, to the new port, he plans to leave behind a better Singapore even as he continues to “plant more trees to provide a better shade for the next generation.”

He wants to ensure that our children and our children’s children can expand and fulfil their potential, optimize their performance, and achieve their desired pursuits.

They will be able to achieve even greater dreams to change Singapore and the world at large.

2. Exemplifying – Setting The Right Example.

Before changing and leading the team, a revolutionary leader changes and leads himself first. He seeks to be the leader that others would want to follow.

He earns trust and respect by walking his talk.

By delivering on his promises, he earns the right to lead.

More importantly, he has demonstrated by his leadership, performance and lifestyle that he is a leader who is worthy of our respect.

3. Enrolling – Developing An Effective Team

The revolutionary leader believes that the quality of his performance and results depend on the quality of his followers and teamwork.

Therefore, he proactively recruits the right number of the right people with the right talents to be a part of his team.

He develops them in the right way and cultivates the right team dynamics to fulfil an inspirational vision.

As I studied PM Lee’s team of leaders, I have to say that by any international standards, it is a great team of talents.

They have the commitment, character, competence and compassion to make Singapore one of the most admired countries in the world.

4. Empowering – Enabling Teammates To Fulfil The Vision

The revolutionary leader subscribes to a ‘Leader build Leaders…’ model.

As he exemplifies great leadership, he also helps his teammates to become great leaders and in turn they develop more and better leaders.

PM Lee has been building upon one of the most effective leadership succession models in running a country.

As Singaporeans, we should be thankful that few countries in the world have a more vigorous system in selecting, developing and strengthening its leaders.

5. Encouraging – Inspiring and Motivating Your Team Mates

The revolutionary leader has a servant’s heart – seeking to serve and not to be served.

He has a spirit of humility and values people above himself.

He keeps the fire burning by inspiring commitment and performance.

As a leader, he believes that if he doesn’t have a heart to love and serve his people, he doesn’t deserve and qualify to be a leader.

Throughout his speech, PM Lee gave credit to individuals, communities and the state, all of whose constituencies are important and vital in building our nation. He was generous in praising fellow colleagues and ordinary persons on the street.

What touched my heart was his clarion call to ensure that nobody who does his part will be left behind in the future.

There will be a stronger social safety net for all Singaporeans, including children, elderly persons, and needy families.

6. Excelling – Taking Your Team Unrelentingly To Higher Levels

The revolutionary leader is open to creatively take apart the organisation, and examine and redesign it so as to capitalise on new opportunities in a fast-changing landscape.

The ability and agility to reinvent the organisation to meet changing expectations will determine its winning edge in the new economy.

PM Lee reminded Singapore about the rapid change and uncertainty caused by major trends in the world. He challenged us to change our mindset, aim high, and adopt a new strategic direction so as to enhance our well being, advantage and growth.

Under PM Lee and his team’s leadership, I have faith that our shining red dot can only grow from strength to strength.

I am proud to be a Singaporean and a part of the Singapore Story.

Majulah Singapura!


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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