6 Leadership Lessons in Eulogies to an Iconic Leader

6 Leadership Lessons in Eulogies to an Iconic Leader

Today i witnessed, through teary-eyes at times, eulogies to a great human being from a very tiny and great country-Singapore. As the prime minister, president, past prime-ministers and other significant Singaporeans including Lee, Kuan Yew’s son, delivered their eulogies, I could not but help connect to how Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard are known to have built HP. Perhaps this post may help make us a better leader, from what i heard and learnt today. Simple.

Focused on the task at hand: This means getting to the point and staying around it even in the face of distractions including things like visual distractions, sounds, ideas not on agenda etc.

Deeply cared for people in the here and now by being aware of the now and addressing it right then and there even if it meant breaking away briefly from protocol.

Fought hard to build out the vision that he had so much conviction in. Bill and Dave were determined in building a great company and they fought hard to build it.Mr. Lee, Kuan Yew did the same in building and guiding Singapore.

Meditate- yes. This may or may not surprise you. I wouldn’t know if Bill and Dave meditated but Lee Hsien Loong, the current prime-minister of Singapore and eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew shared how his father learnt and encouraged his son to meditate. To clear the mind and get back in touch with oneself.

Sense of urgency- there’s no time wasted on things that are either not family nurturing, wellness nurturing or goal nurturing

Start of with the realities of what we are and let it evolve. Don’t go for one stroke solutions. You may regret it.

Lee Kuan Yew’s doctrines – stability can lead to growth. With discipline, give people a stake in the country’s(company’s) development that directly connect with realizing their life-dreams. There’s more. Lots more. He was there for the long haul. Most CEOs of multinational companies and corporate world, in general are in for a tenure of but a few years. That makes your job as a leader different and more difficult.

We have faith in the human spirit. I hope this piece will give us the resolve and ability to evolve as better leaders–for our children and families, co-workers and society we live in.

Much Respect. RIP Lee Kuan Yew.


Gurunath Hari is the author of “The 6 Dimensions, Overcome Presenteeism: Excel in work and Life”. He has over 25 years of corporate experience, including leadership and management roles. His working life started at the end of the pre-computer era and continues to the present ‘everything-mobile’ era.