Hong Kong’s unique status makes the need for local, home grown leaders all the more imperative. This is because we have an important role to play within the region, as well as on the global stage and to ensure that we do not get left behind. Hong Kong must be committed to training and educating a well prepared cohort of local leaders, whose leadership is to provide guidance and representation, along with vision and innovation. These leaders must be torch bearers for the rule of law, economic and social stability, civic mindedness and service to the community, ensuring that the needs of the local community are met, while having the competencies to lead on a wider national and international stage. Nearly 19 years after the Handover, these are the leaders Hong Kong needs for the future if it is to live up to its adage of “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong”.
What better place to start than with young people? Young people, with their enthusiasm and optimism will be the leaders of tomorrow, not just in the political arena, but at the helm in social, economic, business, medical, religious, academic and community affairs as well. And to ensure that these young people have the foundation on which to assume their leadership roles, education and training need to begin now.
It is to this vision and these values that The Hong Kong Institute of Leadership Development (the Institute) will be established on the site of the former Fanling Magistracy, as the pioneer in leadership education and training for Hong Kong.
Importance of Leadership Training in Hong Kong
At present, there are no systematic, all encompassing or regular leadership training programmes and courses offered in Hong Kong. What are available are usually scattered and industry specific, short term or often one-off exercises. There are also few professional level leadership skills trainings and exposures. What are available are numerous organisations carrying out teambuilding exercises as one part of leadership training.
Even schools, as a result of the “3-3-4” educational reform, which has as its vision, “an education system conducive to lifelong learning and all-round development”, with a stress on the importance of students’ leadership development, have included “leadership training” as an element in the Other Learning Experience (OLE).
However, this is not good enough. Leadership training needs to be systematic, life long, and with clear objectives. It needs first of all, to make an early identification of youth leaders and set them on their way with progressive training. This will include not only classroom knowledge, but also experiential learning, horizon-broadening activities, international exchanges and visits, as well as exposures and sharing with prominent leaders. This is the promise of The Hong Kong Institute of Leadership Development.
The Hong Kong Institute of Leadership Development
The Vision of The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Institute for Leadership Development is to become the pioneer in leadership education and skills training for Hong Kong youth, creating a pool of competent, competitive and committed leaders for the future.
Its Mission will be to equip future leaders, whether in politics, or in social, economic, business, religious, academic and community affairs, with the opportunities and environment to develop their intellectual and practical competencies, skills, values and attributes to succeed in an increasingly globalised and competitive world.
Without a firm foundation of Core Values, leadership education and skills training can only be transitory. These core values include the commitment to the Rule of Law, to equal opportunities, for fairness and anti-corruption.
Encompassing these values, the Institute will ensure that leaders can reflect:
Sustainability: to lead for the future, it is imperative to know one’s tradition, identity, culture and history and to seek a balance between social and economic development to ensure that no one is left behind.
Openness: to be a positive leader, one must have a clear perspective, coupled with loyalty and a sense of belonging, while being tolerant to differing opinions and views and embracing diversity.
Benevolence: to be an inspirational leader, one must have a heart for people, to be sympathetic and compassionate to be caring, kind and determined to find solutions for the common good.
Professionalism: to be functional and practical leaders, one must be qualified, skilled, trained and practised in how to lead and how to make a difference.
History of Leadership Training by The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups understands the link between leadership and youth and has been actively training young people with leadership skills since 2000, with the establishment of the-then Centre for Leadership Development, which was later re-named “Leadership 21”.
Since 2000, over 91,000 local secondary and university student leaders have embarked on a journey of leadership training. Leadership 21 has provided over 830,000 training hours, and more than 400 secondary schools have nominated student leaders to take part in the different training courses.
Moreover, around 300 renowned leaders, from a wide variety of fields, have been invited to attend dialogue sessions, and have shared with students their visions, words of wisdom, and invaluable experiences. Various government bureaux, tertiary institutions, and private corporations have also commissioned Leadership 21 to organise different leadership training programmes.
Since 2006, “Hong Kong 200”, a 10-year leadership training project has been organised annually with 200 of the best students in Hong Kong. A “Leaders to Leaders” lecture series, jointly organised every year with The University of Hong Kong (HKU), provides young leaders to converse with community leaders and share ideas and opinions. Similarly, the annual Summer School for Effective Leadership, has over the past five years become one of the most popular summer schools in Hong Kong.
Adaptive Re-use of the Fanling Magistracy
As a Magistracy, the building stood for solemnity and integrity. This will be echoed in The Hong Kong Institute for Leadership Development. The revitalisation of the premises for functional use, along with its preservation, forms part of the educational core for the Institute’s students. This is because, especially for young people, it helps to expand and consolidate their sense of identity and belonging. Also, by marrying the past with the future, it inspires young people to remain committed to the values inherent through the judiciary.
The Hong Kong Institute of Leadership Development is committed to the future of Hong Kong by instilling in young leaders a vision for the future, a passion for service, a commitment to the common good and a determination for progress and prosperity.
By combining these values with the highest standards of instruction and experience, we believe that the Hong Kong can not only retain its unique and proud history, but make a positive and lasting contribution to the region and the world.
Unit No.2, LG2/F, Shek Pai Wan Shopping Centre, Aberdeen, HK