From September 12 to 14, 2007, "The World Women's Forum" was held in Seoul with more than 700 participants. The Forum was hosted by MBC with support of the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family. Under the theme, "Defining Women Leaders and Success," world-renowned leaders including Alvin Toffler (Futurist and author of 'The Third Wave'), Muhammad Yunus (2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate), Hesung Chun Koh (Chair, East Rock Institute), Beth Brook (Global Vice Chair, Ernst & Young), Lan Yang (Anchor), May Lee (Broadcast Journalist), Sukhinder Cassidy (Vice President, Google), Sung-Joo Kim (Chairperson & CEO, Sung Joo Groun/MCM Group) and many others were invited and shared their stories, insights and other invaluable leadership issues.
Among the over 70 powerful speeches from the Forum, I want to share the messages from Dr. Hesung Chun Koh (Dr. Chun), a well-known scholar and author of recent best-sellers, 'Authentic Leadership in Multicultural Society,' (2006) and 'Women's Authentic Leadership' (2007). The following is a summery of her lecture at the Forum, and also her special lecture at the Sookmyung Women's University on Sep. 18th. Dr. Chun identified seven tenets of authentic leadership which can empower women leaders in today's multicultural society.
Those are (1) Defining and maintaining one's cultural and gender identity, (2) Role fulfillment and self actualization, (3) Virtue's superiority over skill, (4) Know your diaspora self, (5) Creative synchronism, (6) Compassion, and (7) Passion (Standing for something, sense of mission).
First of all, women in the 21st century need to identify their own self with cultural dignity and try to become authentic leaders with creativity and passion. Second, throughout the Korean history, women have fulfilled their leadership through their role dedication. Third, the authentic leader should have not only leadership skills but more importantly virtues which would be real asset for success. Fourth, in today's global society authentic leaders need to learn and understand cultural differences and diversity to become world citizens. Fifth, authentic leaders should have values and visions to synchronize past, present, and future. Sixth, the ability of building relationships embracing truth and compassion is the tenet of authentic leaders. Seventh, authentic leaders should have missions beyond their own self and interests.
The valuable lessons and messages from the Forum disclose that our S leadership vision with spirit, skill, service, and strength reflects not only Dr. Chun's seven tenets of authentic leadership but also other leadership contents and insights at the Forum. With S leadership vision and practices, Sookmyung will continue to be a pioneer in nurturing global women leaders in the 21st century.