Principal: ‘Lead By Example’
Singapore Sports School’s principal, Mr Tan Teck Hock, hopes the student-athletes who were installed as leaders in an investiture ceremony on 7 February 2014 will lead by example – do more and speak less; do the right thing even if it is not the most popular action to take; have the willingness to serve.
He asked a simple question to drive home the message of servant-leadership: “When you see litter, do you pick it up and dispose of it properly or do you walk away and leave it to the cleaners?”
Mr Tan shared Dr Kent M Keith’s “The Paradoxical Commandments”, which was written in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders. He quoted Dr Keith: ‘I saw a lot of idealistic young people go out into the world to do what they thought was right, and good, and true, only to come back a short time later, discouraged, or embittered, because they got negative feedback, or nobody appreciated them, or they failed to get the results they had hoped for. I told them that if they were going to change the world, they had to really love people, and if they did, that love would sustain them.’
Mr Tan said every student-athlete leader should uphold good character traits – be the "Junzi" and not be petty-minded.
The "Junzi" does more and speaks less, is knowledgeable and disciplines himself, while the petty-minded is egotistic and does not consider the consequences of his action in the overall scheme of things.
With firmness, Mr Tan said the lack of character disqualifies them from leadership.
The Paradoxical Commandments
Dr Kent M Keith
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.