The Wacana 2008 Conference was held in Malaysia and we sent 4 youth leaders to participate in the Conference also hoping that they will come back with more ideas and inspiration ready to share with our youths!
Here is a quick re-capped on what they have shared which I think, is very important for all of us to learn and give some thoughts about:-
- To understand how various organizations are run
- Qualities of leadership
- Learn how to expand the community’s capacity
- Share experiences
We had many speakers address to us on the topic of leadership, but i will only touch on the speeches/points that we find more significant.
Dr. Tan HS (Chairperson of Wacana 2008 Organising committee)
-Leadership requires Vision, Values and Vitality
-feels that they are lacking a united vision as a community
-Imperative to look beyond the present
-necessary to associate with people of noble character
-if we were to lead others, we ourselves have to be established in the noble traits, then only will we be able to lead others effectively and be respected.
-necessary to go beyond organizational leadership but intellectual, communal, and spiritual leadership as well.
Ven Punaji (In representation of Ven. K Sri. Dhammaratana)
-A leader is not a driver/boss
Analogy: To lead a cow, the person should not whip the cow but walk in front and let the cow follow. Apply this to our normal lives, eg. Father has to stop drinking/smoking if he wants his son to as well.
Afew meaningful quotes.
"A leader is not a person who follows a trail, but creates a trail for others to walk on"
“Your majesty, you must first set an example for your ministers and practice the dharma yourself, only then will they practice the dharma”
Sariputta: Is it okay if I don’t follow the vinaya rules?
Buddha: If you don’t follow, who will? You have to set an example. A leader is one who sets an example for others to follow.
Four steps to success:
- Intense desire
-If sense of value is not right, effort might be directed to robbing a bank. Thus such desire has to be accompanied by wisdom. There should be a strong desire to cultivate Sila (Morality), Samadhi(Concentration) and Panna(Wisdom).
-energy for appropriate and continuous actions. If unnecessary, efforts will be wasted
-If one way fails, it’s not a failure but a change to change and try to succeed. Buddha looked for more than one teacher.
-leaders should engage in lateral thinking.
-believed that emotions were innate, but now it is found out that they are controlled by thoughts.
-calm thoughts: Rationality, wisdom and meritorious deeds
-self-centered thoughts: anger, jealously prevents the gain of final liberation
-emotions cannot be controlled by fighting, suppressing or exchange of harsh words, but by changing the mental image.
Venerable Chuan Guan
-Feels the need to encourage youths to take up leadership roles and to empower them to make decisions; trust the younger generation.
-Buddha trusted the task of ordination of new Bhikkhus to his Sangha communities.
-Buddha entrusted new leaders with work, but these new leaders have to earn this trust.
-New does not mean young.
-Trust that with the same vision, the process will be appropriately adapted.
-what’s important is not the leader, but the leadership, together with partnership, relationship, friendship, stewardship.
faith > wisdom: blind faith
wisdom> faith: cold rationalism
vigor> wisdom: mindless activities
wisdom > vigor: restlessness
That's about all the important parts. May everyone have a good and blessed day ahead!
Forest would also like to add that he has learnt from the conference that: LEADERSHIP IS ACTION, NOT POSITION
Venerable Chuan Guan from Kong Meng San Monastery has also generously shared his conference paper with his public via his blog. Below is his conference paper.