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S'pore leaders will not waver on two core beliefs as pursuit of excellence evolves: Heng

Former civil service chief Lim Siong Guan (left) and Education Minister Heng Swee Keat (right) at the launch of Mr Lim's book, The Leader, The Teacher And You: Leadership Through The Third Generation. Singapore's leaders will not waver on two co
Former civil service chief Lim Siong Guan (left) and Education Minister Heng Swee Keat (right) at the launch of Mr Lim's book, The Leader, The Teacher And You: Leadership Through The Third Generation. Singapore's leaders will not waver on two core beliefs even as they continue striving for success, Mr Heng said at the launch on Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Singapore's leaders will not waver on two core beliefs even as they continue striving for success, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Wednesday.

These are that everyone must have a role and stake in the success, and that the key to future success lies in developing the young.

"How we go about pursuing excellence will change with time and conditions, but what must not change is our belief that success must be shared, both in the making and the partaking, by all in our society," he said at a book launch by former civil service chief Lim Siong Guan.

"Nor do I see us changing our deep belief that the road to future success lies in developing and growing our young to their fullest potential."

Mr Lim's book, "The Leader, The Teacher And You: Leadership Through The Third Generation", captures Mr Lim's thoughts on leadership distilled from his distinguished 37-year career in the civil service.

It also dwells on the problem of leadership transition that many organisations face. Its subtitle is a reference to a Chinese proverb that wealth built up by the first and second generations is squandered away by the third generation.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Mr Lim, 66, said it is crucial for the third generation to be exposed to the principles and values of the first generation - a point Mr Heng also made. Leaders must identify "that which is timeless" - values that defined the first generation and that can continue to guide subsequent generations, said Mr Heng.

He added: "Without this, there is only change without purpose, movement without direction."

He added that the most trying challenge for a leader is deciding what to change and what to retain.

The minister also singled out three ideas from Mr Lim's book: leaders must always be learners; leaders are teachers seeking to be a "steward for the future"; and the best legacy a leader can leave is the people he has developed.

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