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Opinion: Tenets of a Leader & Effective Leadership in Cambodia – Acquire the Art & Science of Leadership

Opinion: Tenets of a Leader & Effective Leadership in Cambodia – Acquire the Art & Science of Leadership

Raymond Sia

Ask 3 different managers how they define “leadership”, and you will receive 3 different answers.  Ask the same group of people whether leadership is more of an art or science; and you will receive a more complicated different answer.

We are told the word “leadership” is derived from the Old English word “laedere”, which means the one who leads.  Having worked for 3 decades in 3 different markets, I have been blessed to have encountered and worked with both “good” and “poor” leaders.  In my personal leadership journey, I have drawn reference from both the good and bad experiences, replicating & improvising on the “good ones” and reminding myself to avoid repeating the “bad ones”.

Read More: Leader Talks – Raymond Sia On Collaboration, Cooperation And Capacity Building For Cambodia’s Banking Association

I believe every individual’s leadership journey is personal.  It all depends on the circumstance and situation the person is in.  I believe in the Situational / Contingency Theory of Leadership that states that one size never-fits-all.  A person can be an effective leader when he /she adapts the leadership approach / style to the situation and environment they are in.

On this note, I have penned-down over time; experiences and learnings on Effective Leadership; which I will share over a series of articles.

Acquire the Art & Science of Leadership

1.   Leadership is Action.

Leadership is about delivery and not about feelings. While we have been created with emotions, leadership requires us to deal and manage our emotions. There are always “good and bad days at the office”.  Even on the bad days, a leader still needs to show-up; and lead exemplary.

In our career we would have met both good exemplary leaders whom inspires us and also those who (unfortunately) are only good at talking but completely hopeless & disappointing when it comes to actions & results. The worse ones are those who speak without content or whose actions contradict what they say.

“Ductus Exemplo” – Leadership by Example.

2.   Leadership is an Aggregation of Best Practices.

Leadership is a continuing journey of learning and acquiring new approaches and practices. It’s not a one-stop-shop. You will never be able to find a book that teaches everything about leadership.

As qualitative & complex leadership is, one can aspire to acquire mastery in leadership by reading as many relevant books & materials and seeking-out and observing good leaders and emulate their good behaviours.

Effective Leaders are always curious (for the right reasons and solutions) and never stop learning.

“Ancora Imparo” – I am still learning.

3.   Leadership is about (genuine) Follower-ship.

Leadership is not about ourselves. We ought to question ourselves regularly whether do our people follow us merely due to the position / role we are in or out of genuine respect for the value(s) we bring ?

Effective Leadership cuts across titles and positions. True leadership (with our people & teams) continues to resonate & generate follower-ship even when one is no longer in the position of power.

“Non Ducor Duco” – I am not led, I Lead.

Raymond Sia is an advocate for Responsible Banking and currently serves as Canadia Bank CEO & Executive Director and is also the Vice Chairman of the Association of Banks in Cambodia. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of the institution he represents.

He is a Cambodia Leadership Review 30 International Voices in Finance 2024 – download the free PDF via the QR Code below.

Cambodia Leadership Review Top 30 Finance 2024.

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