Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Lee Kuan Yew

Name: Lee Kuan Yew

Date of birth: 16 September 1923

Organization: Parliament of Singapore

Designation:  Member of Parliament (Singapore's First Prime Minster)

Education: University of Cambridge Double Starred (double First Class Honours) Law

Lee Kuan Yew is a Singapore Politician. Often being recognise as “Founding Father of Modern Singapore”, he is also one of the most influential politician figures in Asia. Lee was Singapore's first Prime Minster of Singapore, with his successful ministerial position over 50 years, acknowledge him as history’s longest serving ministers, and finally on 14 may 2011 he officially announced his retirement from the cabinet after the general election in 2011.

Lee was born as British subjects, studied at Raffle’s College, and later further his studies at University of Cambridge majoring in law, graduating with Double Starred First Class Honours. Upon returning from his studies, he worked under a law firm as a legal advisor to the trade union, which later expose him to step into politics. He had gone through the four era of Singapore, from the colony of British, to the Japanese Occupation, thirdly the Malaysia ruling after the World War Two and finally the independent state Singapore. 

Leading Singapore from third world to first world metropolitan city

November 12 1954, Lee and a group English-educated, formed the PAP. There were mixtures of different members, which consist of pro-communist and non-communist members, both party needed each other’s supports at that time to “break free” from the British ruling. In the national elections on 30 May 1959, PAP won 43 of 51 seats in the legislative assembly. Singapore gained self-government in all state matters except for defense and foreign affairs, Lee then became the first Prime Minister of Singapore on 3 June 1959.

During 1961, Lee decided to join Malaysia and form a federation which include Malaya, Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak in order to end the colonial ruling under the British.  However, this federation did not stay long, due to a conflict between the Chinese and the Malays which then cases a race riot. In order to end the tension, the only solution is to pull out from the federation, at this point of time, Singapore was not ready to separate from Malaysia. Lee was against the ideal of separating, but he also understands that the secession was inevitable to minimize further bloodshed. Leaving with no choice, Lee decided to sign a separation agreement on 7 August 1965 which discussed about Singapore post separations with Malaysia in order to continue cooperation in areas such as trade, and mutual defense. Finally on 9 August 1965, Lee officially announced the separation, and full independence of Singapore.

This period might be the lowest period in Lee’s life, facing three main concerns such as national security, economic, and social issue. On the other hand, this is also the tuning period for Singapore success brought by Lee. Being a very weak new born country, Lee began to seek international recognition of Singapore’s independence by joining the United Nation on 21 September 1965.  At the same time, Lee ask Goh Keng Swee (Singapore first minster for interior and Defense) to build the Singapore Arm Forces (SAF), and requested for help from other countries, for advice, training and facilities. Lee also makes it compulsory for all able bodies Singapore male age 18 and above to serve National Service. Lee always placed importance in developing Singapore economy, his meticulous attention to this aspect was so extensive that he had to tend to the Singapore national image of being a “Garden City”, something that had been sustain till today. 

Lee also introduce legislation giving the Corrupt Practice Investigation Bureau (CPIB) greater authority to conduct arrest, investigating bank account, income tax return of suspected person and their families to ease corruptions. He also believes that ministers should be well paid in order to maintain a clean and honest government. In 1994, Lee propose to link salaries of ministers, judges, and top civil servants to salaries of top professionals in the private sector, to help to recruit and retain talent to serve in the public sector. On 28 November 1990, Lee finally step down, handing over his prime ministership to Goh Chok Tong, Lee, as then the world’s longest serving prime minister, and it was also the first leadership transition sine independent. 

At this point of time, Lee remained still remain in the cabinet, with a non-executive position of Senior Minster, and play a role as advisory. He was then ascended to the title of Minister Mentor created by his son Lee Hsien Loong, who is now the third Prime Minister of Singapore. On 14 May 2011, Lee decided to leave the cabinet for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his team to have clean slate.

Leadership Style
  • Transformational
As we can see from above, the way he leads Singapore into independence and transforming it from a small settlement from the British colony to one of the most developed state in Asia today, solely depending on its people as the only natural resource.

  • Charismatic
His promise to his people to lead Singapore out from foreign ruling, and colonial domination was fulfilled, not only did he kept his promise to his people, he did it by excelling the expectation. Lee is definitely someone, who people wants to instantly follow.

  • Autocratic
By looking at the policies he had made, Lee definitely is able to make decision alone, and having full authority to lead his followers.

  • People-oriented
His act of stepping down from being the prime minister to being an advisor, and finally step out of the cabinet. Shows that he is a people oriented leader, who is able to effectiveness and efficiency supports, trains, and develops his followers.

Hence, Lee indeed display traits of a Transformational, Charismatic, Autocratic, and People-oriented leader which why he is widely respect and praised by many Singaporeans, and other world leader.

We have learnt that communications is essential for a leader to lead the team. There are many kinds of communication. For example Mr. Lee Kuan Yew uses the non-verbal communication to maintain the brotherly hood of Singapore and Malaysia by making the national language of Singapore Malay, although the common that we speak is English. This was to maintain the peace and stability of Singapore, as mention that the separation was due to race riot. It was a non-verbal means to show that Singapore is willing to keep in a good relationship with Malaysia although we have separated, we wants to keep this brotherhood of both country strong so that the citizen will remain and stay in the peaceful era. And this non-verbal communication was proven to be effective as even after the separation there is no major dispute over both countries regarding racial problem. 

During his stint of being the leaders of Singapore, he travel around to overseas for social visit, this is one of the most common ways of showing communications act, leader will need to travel around to build a good relationship with other countries, so that we will be connected and build mutual trust. We can see communication a basic thing that we are doing every day, but however if a wrong signal is being send over, disaster might happen. It is very important that during all kind of communication, we are sending the correct information over. Imagine if Mr. Lee, make Chinese language as the National language, because majority of Singapore is Chinese, what would the consequences be? Needless to say, other races will feel that they are not being treated fairly and another race riot might occur. Hence, in conclusion, it is essential to be able to communicate effectively, it is the most important skills for everyone to master.

Robert Earl

Name: Robert Earl

Birth date: 29 May 1951

Organization: Planet Hollywood

Designation: CEO and Founder

Education: Graduated from University of Surrey with honors degree in Hotel and Catering Management 1979

Robert, Earl, chief executive officer, Planet Hollywood. 
Robert Earl founded Planet Hollywood in 1991. Earl also is co-chairman of BHM Gaming Opportunities, the owner of the former Alladdin Casino hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Planet Hollywood owns a global chain of 20 show-business-themed restaurants located primarily in tourist hot spots. 

Early Career Path 
In 1977, Mr. Earl founded President Entertainment, a company that developed theme restaurants. Under Mr. Earl's leadership, over the next ten years, President Entertainment grew to a $120 million enterprise. In 1987, Mr. Earl sold President Entertainment to Pleasurama PLC ('Pleasurama') and joined the Pleasurama management team, where he assumed responsibility for the management of another theme restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe PLC ('Hard Rock Cafe'). During his five years in charge of Hard Rock Cafe, Mr. Earl pioneered its expansion from seven to twenty-two units while substantially increasing its profitability. In 1993, Mr. Earl resigned from Hard Rock Cafe to concentrate full time on running Planet Hollywood. He serves as Chairman of ECE, S.A. de C.V. Since November 1998, Mr. Earl has been Chairman of the board of directors of Planet Hollywood. He served as Co-Chairman and Director of OpBiz, a subsidiary of Bh Re Llc until January 2009. He has been Director of BUCA, Inc. since September 2008. He has been a Director of Planet Hollywood International Inc. since 1991. Mr. Earl served as Executive Director of SMI Corp. Ltd. (formerly known as Star East Holdings Ltd.) since November, 2000. Mr. Earl’s contributions to the restaurant industry have been acknowledged through many awards and accolades including the very prestigious Time Magazine’s 'The most influential People in America 'in 1997. 

Birth of Planet Hollywood
Mr. Robert Ian Earl opened his first Planet Hollywood restaurant with partners like Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in New York 1991. This was followed with the new opening in locations across the world including London's West End, Kuwait, Cancun in Mexico and Las Vegas. He has over 31years experience in the restaurant industry. Mr Robert Earl wants to bring theme restaurants to "another level". Allowing customers to immerse in the feel of being in Hollywood. 

In 1999, Planet Hollywood went bankrupt and numerous restaurants were closed down. They only kept going in a few of its original locations with the help of new investors from Saudi Arabia who made a relatively modest investment in the company. After the crisis faced, they learned:
  • Celebrity isn’t enough. ‘These bozos thought, cynically, it was   enough to trade on their Hollywood backgrounds. Bad move, fellas,’ wrote Malcolm Gluck.
  • Word-of-mouth is crucial. Word-of-mouth is more important than advertising and media exposure when it comes to eating out.
  • The theme should be tied to the core product. Food, rather than an abstract notion of ‘Hollywood’, should have been the theme.
However, in 2001, Planet Hollywood filed for bankruptcy again. This round was due to the downturn in in tourism after the terrorist attack. The company said it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, and such measures will enable all restaurants to stay open for business. Through that, Planet Hollywood stressed it was back on the road to profitability focusing on core restaurants in major tourist locations, but reluctance in tourist travel has proved costly. 

But Mr. Earl was determined to eradicate the sting of that collapse, which was memorialized in headlines like “Rocky K-O’d” and “Arnold Terminated.” The name Planet Hollywood may still be shorthand for a cultural and financial bubble. But Mr. Earl, who lost more than $1 billion on the way down, has managed to retain control of the company, now a much slimmer, privately held chain of a dozen or so restaurants.

The real embodiment of his redemption, however, is taking shape in the hulking form of a shiny new Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort on the site of the old Aladdin casino in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip.
The casino’s official opening is slated for the weekend of Nov. 16. Mr. Earl is overseeing final renovations that include, among the 2,500 rooms, penthouses named after celebrities who will occupy their namesake lairs while in town, but which the rest of us can inhabit for as little as $599 a night.
“I can’t abide by failure,” Mr. Earl, 56, who is known among his friends and employees for his high energy and boldly hued shirts and socks, said in an interview.

Mr. Earl also plans to announce a new roster of celebrities, including Pete Sampras and Roger Clemens, who will be affiliated with the casino and hotel and serve as its ambassadors. The idea is similar to one used in the original Planet Hollywood, where a lineup of 32 celebrities received stakes in the project, but this time, he said, only Bruce Willis and Mr. Stallone are co-investors. “I’ve been strongly trying to communicate to everyone that ‘this is not your old Planet,’ ” Mr. Earl said.

Walt Disney

Name: Walter Elias Disney

Date of Birth: 5th December 1901

Organization: Walt Disney Cooperation

Education: McKinley High School; Chicago Art Institute

"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality."  
                                                                                                                                Walt Disney 

Walter Elias Disney aka Walt Disney, creator of Mickey Mouse and founder of the Walt Disney Corporation, was born on December 5, 1901, in Chicago, Illinois. Since young, he was interested in art and would sell his drawings to his neighbours to make extra money. He studied art and photography at McKinley High School; at night, he took courses at the Chicago Art Institute so as to pursue his art career. After he was rejected by the army, Disney left for France. He drove an ambulance and chauffeured Red Cross officials for a year over there before returning. 

Once he returned, he decided to pursue a commercial art career, which lead to his experiments in animation. He produced short animated films for local businesses in Kansas City. Nevertheless, Walt ran out of money when he started creating The Alice Comedies; his company Laugh-O-Grams went bankrupted. Rather than giving up, Walt headed for Hollywood to start a new business and at that time he was even twenty-two. Together with his brother, their wives and partner, Iwerks, produced three cartoons featuring Walt’s Mickey Mouse in the year 1928, which brought him to huge success in the animation industry. He continued producing films and characters and in the year 1955, he accomplished one of his dream by opening the $17 million Disneyland. Walt’s 43-years of success was because he carried his vision and mission with him and over into other areas of cooperation.

A successful leader needs to have followers. In order to do so, Walt Disney was said to have possessed many leadership styles. In 1936, Disney built his enterprise in Los Angeles, CA and select 700 highly skilled artistic employees. Not only that, striving to produce the best work, he went around the country seeking for artists to come work for him. He offered to subside for their education to perfect their skills whereby helping others is a consistent trait of an effective leader. He drew people in with his charismatic charm and family-like work environment. For instance, in return for the excellent job done, he invited his employees to his house for barbecue on Sundays. This instills trust and a sense of caring in the employees. In addition, Walt Disney requested for his employees to address him as “Walt” or “Uncle Walt” which made them feel welcome and warmth. His friendliness and family-like relationships with his employees built faith and confidence in Disney and its vision and his employees were glad to work long hours without any salary as they believed in what they were doing. Additionally, Walt understood and was able to accept the process of change. Change is unavoidable in any circumstances. One need to learn to embrace it and use it as an improvement opportunity and not to say, Walt knew that and he was always a step in front of change.

Yet, after Walt moved into his new studio, he changed. He became more demanding and controlling, where he exercised an autocratic leadership style. If he did not like what the employees do or say, he would fire them immediately. Nonetheless, he would still asked for employees’ ideas or input through employees’ survey which made him a participative leader. Lastly, coherence is possibly the strongest leadership capacity that Disney possessed. He constantly brought things together to encourage conversation. Walt knew how to prioritize and focus his work due to his moral purpose. He demonstrated all of the criteria needed for a true leader.

Above are a few examples of what Walt Disney had done as a leader. He did more to touch the hearts, minds, and emotions of millions people than any other man in the past century. Through his work, he brought joy, happiness and a universal means of communication to the people of every nation. Based upon the ideas which his name represents: imagination, optimism and self-made success, Walt is undeniably a legend and a folk hero of the 20th century.

Below is a video about how brilliant Walt Disney is as a leader.