What is the difference between youth leader and adult leader?

November 4th 2015, Shaw Foundation Alumni House Auditorium, National University of Singapore

There is one moment, one moment that makes my eyes spark brightly in TF LEaRN Leadership Forum
That makes me focus on stage and being amazed, really

It is a Word from Mr. Benedict Cheong, the CEO of Temasek Foundation

He asked us,"What is the different between youth leader and adult leader?"

There are several answers from my fellow TF LEaRN scholars, they are:
1. Experience. Adult has more experience than youth
2. Youth has no fear, in contrast with adult who work based on institution's system
3. Youth has a vision. Adult does their work.
4. And I forgot~ hehehe

Then, what is the answer from Mr. Benedict Cheong?

He said these words
"Youth trust other people. You don't have suspicion to them.
You trust each other. There is no ulterior motives from the other side.

As youth leader, you have great potency to learn. Fantastic potency to learn. You want to learn new thing, try new things, What is the question that you always ask? "Why and Why Not"
Why not do this? Why do this?
No Fear, No Shame, No Suspicion. Always learning.
You speak about institution and how adult have to work in institution. Adults have to think about how we say and how we do impact the others. Even without those institutions, I think some of us have lost a bit of our will to try new things. So, as we grow older and older, we lose a lot of the youthfulnes in our life.

And maybe, Ok, I will use this analogy.

Where is the river start?
It is start from the mountain, as clear water, drinkable water, unpolluted, undeterioted.  But, as the stream goes down, what happened? People do washing in the river, people throw things into the river, etc, but by the time the river reaches down, how is it? the river is dirty, corrupted, and polluted.

Growing from youth to adult can be quite like that as well. You start by having idealist, you have a lot of idealist, clear vision. But along with growth, you have to pick up. You pick up fear, you pick up shame, you pick these need to work in institutions. And the water doesn't work anymore.

Adult leader has to learn from you.
To be more visionary, to have no fear, to have no shame (ok, maybe has a bit shame lol), not to be afraid to make mistake, not to be afraid to fall down, to trust more, to trust another person-another leader more.

Just imagine what can we have if we trust each other? We will get better understanding of each other, greater company and industry, peace, prosperity.

And this is why we spent so much time for this program. This is why we invest a lot of temasek foundation resources in this program. To help you guys, all of you here, Grow Up! not into the adult leader that are afraid or shame. But to retail you usefulness to leadership as you grow into hihgher position when you come back to you respective country.

Don't lose your youthfulness,
Don't lose your vision,
Don't lose your quest to learning, your quest to try something new, 
Not to be afraid to do mistakes.
If you can do that, also can build trust with person around you, this program is really success.

So, the next time we meet, say to me that
"Yes Sir! I don't lose my Youthfulness"


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