Speech at the Leadership Conference 2011 organised by Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang Run Run Shaw Hall, Academy of Medicine, Wong Chuk Hang July 30, 2011

在智经研究中心举办的领袖论坛2011的致辞 香港特别行政区行政长官 曾荫权黄竹坑 香港医学专科学院邵逸夫堂 2011年7月30日

Anthony, distinguished guests and speakers, ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you very much for this opportunity to join you today, and to share with you some of my thoughts on leadership.

Leadership is but a single word, and yet it encompasses so much.

Anyone who is married — in particular those who have shared a long and happy marriage — will know that even in the home environment leadership is required on a daily, sometimes even hourly, basis. Now, many of us men like to think that we are the head of the household and the family leader. And that’s certainly true… but only for as long as our wives let us think we are!

And anyone who has had the good fortune to enjoy a happy married life and a loving family environment will also know that it involves a lot of love, a lot of trust, a lot of patience, a lot of communication, a lot of perseverance — basically a lot of hard work. But the results far outweigh the effort. And I think it is true that many of the lessons — sometimes hard lessons — we learn at home can be applied in any discussion on leadership. Confucius once said:  “The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.”

I mention this because, in discussing leadership, we need to frame the context of what we are talking about. History is full of great military and political leaders — but the leadership required during war is different to that required during peace time. Captains of industry and enterprise are often held up as leadership role models — but the leadership required of a multi-national chairman of the board may not be the same as that needed by an eager entrepreneur hoping to start a cha chaan teng franchise. What lessons can we learn from the leaders of great sporting teams? What are the secrets of leadership in the cultural sphere? What makes a good headmaster at a local school?
我之所以这样说,因为我们需要为讨论领袖这题目定下一个框架。历史上有不少伟大的军事和政治领袖。但是在战乱中当首领,与在和平日子当领 袖,要求截然不同。工商业界的主管往往被奉为领袖的模范,但在跨国企业当主席所需的素质,与正在开展连锁茶餐厅业务的企业家所需的素质不一定相同。我们可 从成功的运动队伍领队身上学到什么?在文化界当领袖又有什么秘诀?在学校又如何做一个称职的校长?

As we see also from the excellent range of speakers you have today, leadership is required in every sphere of our daily life — in politics, in business, in community work, in civil society, in arts and culture, in urban development, in the creative industries — just to name a few.

The Bauhinia Foundation itself is a leader in the sphere of public policy research in Hong Kong — and here I must congratulate the Foundation on its 5th anniversary this year, and for providing such a wealth of policy perspectives during that time. The work of the Foundation and other think-thanks is not just a useful reference point for the government — it contributes significantly to the knowledge bank of experience and ideas on which the public and media can draw when discussing important issues facing our society. So, on this occasion, I must thank the Foundation and its members for all of the thought leadership you have provided for Hong Kong’s benefit since your inception in 2006.
智经研究中心本身,就是本港公共政策研究方面的领袖。我在此祝贺智经成立五周年,感谢各位在这段日子提出大量政策观点。智经和其他智库的工 作,不单对政府有参考作用,亦为公众和传媒在讨论重要社会议题时,提供丰富的经验和意见。智经及其成员自中心于二○○六年成立以来,以香港的利益为大前 提,为我们提供思维上的领导,我藉此衷心致谢。

Leadership is a subject that has featured in the news quite a bit lately — and I am sure it will continue to be featured even more in the next nine months or so as we choose our next Chief Executive. So, this conference and workshop today and tomorrow come at a rather interesting time.

Indeed, having heard and read so much lately about my style of governance for Hong Kong, some might say that the Foundation have been charitable in asking me to talk to you on the topic of leadership. Or perhaps it shows the Foundation’s perceptiveness and objectivity in trying to study this subject against a larger canvas of global political evolution from the past, to the present, and peeking into the future.

I have been careful in framing the context of what I am talking about today. I do not want there to be any doubt that what I say is anything other than my own personal reflections on leadership in the public sector of Hong Kong. It is not a recipe for success for universal application.  It is not a list of pre-requisites. It is a distillation of my own experience over almost 45 years of government and political work in Hong Kong — my hopes, my failures, my disappointments and, dare I say, my occasional triumphs in my own home town.
在准备今天演讲内容时,我经过一番考虑。我想与各位分享我在香港公营界别作领导的个人反思。所以,我所说的不是什么全球通用的领袖成功要 素,也不是领袖先决条件的清单。我和大家分享的,是过去差不多四十五年里,自己在香港政府及政界的经验总结,包括我的希冀、失败和挫折、及容许我这样说, 偶尔的成功。

This distillation of thoughts has been further concentrated by my service as the Chief Executive of this great city for the past six years. My thoughts on leadership have been very much shaped by Hong Kong and its people — what I have learnt and experienced from living and working in a free, open and pluralistic society, and a free and open economy, that is under the ever-watchful eye of a free and unfettered media environment.
过去六年,我担任行政长官,我藉此把自己对领袖的想法进一步聚焦。我这些想法,扎根吾土吾民,是香港和香港人的实际体验。我们身处的,是一 个自由开放、文化多元的社会,经济方面同样自由开放,而城市的日常运作,均在自由报道,并无束缚的传媒监察之下进行。我且以自己在香港生活和工作为基础, 向大家作经验之谈。

And on that note, I would like to share my thoughts with you.

The leadership of a politician, I believe, is founded on the personal qualities that he possesses and projects by his actions and words. Integrity comes first. You need the highest moral and ethical standards because without them you will never be able to build trust with the community that you lead and serve.

Next comes passion — passion for the people of Hong Kong. Passion to understand their aspirations and changing moods — at the grass root levels, through the middle class to the well-to-do. Passion to establish empathy with them. Passion to work with them, to identify the real life situation we face today. Passion to make it a better place for our children and grandchildren. Without passion you just won’t have the drive to do the hard miles. Passion also means that you believe in this place, you must have passion for Hong Kong, you believe and trust in its people, and you believe in its future.
其次是热诚,即尽心为港人服务的热诚。领袖人物必须要了解香港市民的期望,掌握他们的情绪变化,由草根市民、中产以至富裕阶层,与他们和当 前环境同呼吸、共感应。这种服务热诚,甚至须跨越世代,以子孙后代的祉为念,构建美好将来。领袖人物若没有这种热诚,在形势困厄之际,根本难有作为。热诚 之本,在于热爱香港这个家,信任香港人,信任大家的未来。

In the broader context, passion for our country, or patriotism, is just as important for a leader of Hong Kong. We are part of China. Our futures are forever linked. I strongly believe that Hong Kong people love their country and want to see it prosper. But I also feel that after a separation of one and a half centuries, we need to understand her more deeply. Without that understanding Hong Kong can never discover fully the unique role that it can play in the development of our nation. And what changes that development can make to the lives of people on the Mainland and in Hong Kong.  Not just in terms of dollars and cents, economic benefit or what we get out of it. Our community and our leaders need to look for ways in which we can contribute more to the national agenda by bringing into play our experience, skills and international outlook. Any such contributions will be richly rewarded. The Chief Executive must always remember that he is responsible to the Central Government as well as to the people of Hong Kong.
作为香港的领袖,热爱国家与热爱香港同样重要。香港是中国一部分,血脉相连,荣辱与共。我坚信,香港人都热爱祖国,希望国家昌盛富强。但我 亦感受到,两地经过一个半世纪的分隔,香港必须对祖国有更深入的了解。缺乏这种了解,香港难以充份体现自己在国家发展中可担当的独特角色,以及明白这些发 展如何改变广大同胞和市民的生活。当中涉及的,不单只是钱财、经济利益或其他好处。我们的领袖和社会各界,必须想方设法,凭借自己的经验专长和国际视野, 为国家的发展多作贡献。这些贡献,一定会带来丰盛回报。作为行政长官,必须经常谨记,自己同时向中央政府和香港市民负责。

I also feel that humility and self-reflection are very important personal qualities, if you want to be a leader in Hong Kong. Great leaders are not known to be shrinking violets, or to have much self-doubt. What I have learnt throughout my career is that the higher you go, the more humble you need to become. That is because the burden of responsibility also increases — there are more people relying on you and your judgment. There are more views that need to be considered and to be reconciled. There are different ways of approaching a problem than perhaps you alone may have considered. This does not mean that you put aside your vision, convictions or principles — it just means that in pursuit of your objective, you must try to put your ego to one side and acknowledge and admit that other people may have a better proposal to achieve your own objective. Humility also means that if you get knocked down you accept that setback, get back up again, and move on.
在香港要当领袖,我觉得谦卑态度和自省能力也非常重要。历来的伟大领袖,很少怯懦之辈。从个人工作经验所得,我认为越是身处高位,越要兢兢 业业,因为责任重大,许多人都依靠领袖的判断和表现。当然,涉及的考虑因素很多,而处理问题的方式,亦不局限于个人之见。但这并不代表领袖把自己的愿景、 信念和原则搁在一旁。他们反而要在追寻目标的过程中,尽量放下一己执,承认并接纳他人或有达致目标的更好办法。谦卑之道,亦在于遇挫败而敢承认,百折不 挠,坚毅求进。

Leadership indeed requires vision. But it must be a vision that is relevant to the people, relevant to the time, and possible to achieve. I have often used the word pragmatic to describe my approach to policy making, which is really all about how you bring your vision to life. A key aspect of this is to ensure that your vision — your policies and your planning for the longer term — are clearly explained and articulated. Why you have this vision. What it means for Hong Kong. Why it’s important for our future. What’s in it for the people of Hong Kong. Vision is nothing without discipline and perseverance — you need to make good on your promises. To use an often quoted phrase: You can’t just talk the talk; you have to walk the walk. If you believe in your vision, you need to fight the good fight because, if you don’t, that will ultimately erode your credibility.
领导需要抱持愿景,那必须是贴近民众、适时和能够实现的愿景。我经常以务实这个词语来形容我的施政方针,那其实就是务求把愿景实现过来。要 做到这一点,关键在于必须清楚说明并阐述愿景--你的长远政策和规划。为什么有这样的愿景?对香港有什么意义?为什么对香港的未来这么重要?香港人有什么 可以做?你必须有纪律并坚定地实行,才能实现愿景,兑现承诺。我们经常说:凡事都要说得到做得到。如果你相信自己的愿景,那必须坚守信念,奋勇向前,否则 最终必会损害自己的公信力。

Once you have your vision and set your agenda, then I believe leadership requires diligence. I recall that Bill Clinton once said something along the lines that ‘every day is an election day’ or governance is ‘a permanent campaign’. That is, every day you need to work hard to deliver on your promises and vision, as well as deal with the myriad and varied issues that clamour for time and attention. Unless you are diligent, you can’t deliver — because the devil is in the detail.
有了愿景和纲领,我相信领袖还需要勤勉用心。我记得克林顿先生说过类似的话:“每日都是竞选日”,或者管治就是“长久作战”。那是说你需要 每日勤勉工作,才能履行承诺实现愿景,处理各类耗时费心的繁重问题。你一定要勤勉用心,否则无法做好,因为工作细节是最容易出错的地方。

Now, leaders can’t keep an eye on every little detail of every policy of every issue — there’s just not enough hours in the day to do that.  But what leaders can do is set the example for others to follow. Entrust your team to remain diligent in developing and implementing policy. Yet for major issues, or in times of emergency, you need to be there yourself attending to the details of the mission.

Sensitivity to the changing world and sensitivity to the changing needs and priorities of the community is another aspect of leadership. Some might call it a radar system or even an early warning system. This is particularly important — and challenging — nowadays with such a multitude of avenues for people to express their views and opinions. I just mentioned the need for diligence in pushing forward your policy agenda. You also need to be diligent in listening to people’s views. It’s not easy or pleasant to change your plans or approach because, of course, you already believe it has been well thought through! But in my experience, no plan is perfect and often you can improve it by taking on board some new ideas or perspectives; or by acknowledging that community priorities have changed or moved on.
领袖的另一要素是灵敏反应——对不断转变的世界和民众诉求,必须更快领悟掌握。有些人说领袖需要有雷达侦测系统、甚至是预警系统那种灵敏 度。这点特别重要,难度也高,因为群众现在有各式各样的途径表达意见。我刚才提到有需要勤勉推动你的施政纲领,也有需要用心听取民众的意见。如果你相信自 己的施政计划和方针乃经过深思熟虑才定立,最终却要改变,要接受这做法的确不容易,也不好受。不过,据我经验所得,没有一项计划是完美无瑕的。采纳一些新 意念或新角度,或是随民众的新取向更改某些计划,也的确能够把施政工作做得更好。

Another lesson I have learnt about leadership is that you can’t do it alone. You need a good team of people to work with you. No leader can survive without a good team. In my current role, I have a dedicated group of Principal Officials supported by a political cadre as my immediate team. And of course we have the support and input of one of the finest civil services in the world, which works hand-in-hand with the political team to undertake policy and administrative planning, and to see through the implementation of our policies and decisions. All along the chain of command there are teams of people attending to the details of the daily business of government. And every team, in every division, of every department is important for the smooth and efficient running of Hong Kong.
另一个我学懂的道理,是不能够孤军作战。你需要一个好的团队。没有好班子的领袖是难以成功的。以我目前的岗位,我有一班尽忠职守的政治任命 主要官员辅助施政,当然还有一支全球最优秀的公务员队伍支援协助。公务员队伍与政治团队合力制订政策方针和施政计划,确保各项措施和决定得以切实执行。在 整个管理系统中,有各级人员处理日常施政的每一步工作,每个部门每一科系组别的同事,都对香港顺畅而高效的施政十分重要。

As a leader of Hong Kong, you really have to be a team player. You set the strategic direction and make it known to your team. After that you need to spend time with your team, to share your views with team members, to make sure they understand what you want them to do, and to give ample room for them to contribute their best. While it is important to monitor the progress of that work, it is equally important to empower your team to just get on with the job at hand — to trust them to deliver and to have faith in their ability. Leadership also means about standing by your team if something doesn’t go quite according to plan; and working with them to rectify any problems or to get a project back on track.
身为香港的领袖,你必须具备团队精神。你制定策略方向,并向你的团队清楚解说。花点时间与你的队员交流理念,确保他们明白你的要求,然后给 予他们充足空间自行发挥。监察工作进展固然重要,把任务全权交托他们、信任他们的办事能力同样重要。若计划进展未如理想,身为领袖的必须全力支持团队,与 他们一起纠正问题,使计划能够回复正轨妥善推行。

Communication is of course a vital aspect of leadership. We have to tell the community what we want to achieve. We have to explain our policies and decisions. We have to answer questions and address criticisms. We have to listen to what people have to say. We have to engage in a dialogue with civil society. Hong Kong is fortunate to have such a free and robust media that keeps the government on its toes. There can never be any doubt in Hong Kong that we do not know what the public thinks about any particular issue. Technological advances have made communication with the public both easier and more challenging in recent years — not just here in Hong Kong but for governments around the world. We are trying hard to meet the public’s expectations in this regard with greater use of social media platforms.
领袖的另一要素当然是重视沟通。我们必须向民众解释我们的目标、政策和决定,并且回应公众的提问和批评。我们必须聆听市民的意见,与他们对 话交流。香港有一支自由而蓬勃的传媒队伍,监察政府谨慎行事。市民的时评议论,我们不会听不到。科技发达,政府与市民近年的沟通变得更容易,也更富挑战。 这情况不限于香港,世界各地都一样。我们会多使用社交媒体与市民互动交流。

If you talk about YouTube or Facebook or Twitter, then naturally you think about the younger generations — the post-70s, or the post-80s, or the post 90s as we like to call them. This leads me to another important lesson about leadership and that is the need to nurture talent and to provide opportunities for our younger people to contribute their talents, and to develop their own leadership style and skills.

It has often been said that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow — and that is so true. New ideas, new approaches to problems, new ways of communicating — all of these can be harnessed by a leader who brings on board young talent to the team. In Hong  Kong, we are still in the relatively early stages of developing party politics — but we can see that more and more young people are becoming interested in politics and the issues which will shape the future of our city. I think that is a very positive development which augers well for the future of public administration in our city.
我们经常说今日的年轻人是明日的社会栋梁。这话十分正确。领袖透过提拔年轻才俊进入领导团队,可以带来新意念、处理问题的新方法,以及新沟 通方式。香港的政党政治发展仍然处于较初步阶段,但我们看到越来越多年轻人有兴趣参与政治和与香港未来有关的课题。我认为这是可喜的发展,也有利于香港未 来的公共行政。

Finally, perhaps most relevant for me at this point in time, is the understanding that change is inevitable and that all things must come to an end. Perhaps the word I am looking for is wisdom. History is littered with great leaders who stayed on too long — from heads of state right down to the chairman of a local social club. My time is very limited. I have made good progress in delivering the pledges I made at the beginning of my current term in 2007 — pledges set according to my vision for Hong Kong. Yet we can still feel the momentum for change building up in the community. I have no intention of winding down before my term expires on June 30 next year — indeed that would go against all of what I have just said about leadership. But the last year of any political leader’s term does throw up particular challenges as far as leadership is concerned. The most obvious, of course, is relevance. People will say: “ Donald will be gone next year so we need to start thinking about what we want the next CE to do.” There’s nothing we can do to stop those types of discussions taking place — and I would not want to.
最后一点,或许也最切合我目前的情况,就是领袖必须明白转变是必然的,万事万物都会有终结的一天。这或者需要智慧去理解。历史上许多在位时 间太长的伟大领袖,上至国家元首,下至社团会所主席。我的时间是有限的。我在二○○七年就任本届行政长官时,为香港的愿景定下施政承诺,这些工作计划至今 进展良好。不过,社会要求变革的动力还是越来越大。在明年六月三十日任期届满之前,我绝不会松懈下来,否则便有违我刚才所说的领袖要素。然而,任何政治领 袖在任期最后一年,都会面对一些领导上的转变。当中最明显的,自是某些事情好像与自己没有多大关连。人们会说:“曾荫权明年便卸任,我们要开始思考要求下 任行政长官做些什么了!”我们无法制止、也不想制止这类讨论。

All I would say is that it is a tremendous honour and privilege to be the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and I pledge to continue serving the people of Hong Kong with the integrity, vision, diligence and sensitivity I have just spoken about. My team and I are now working on our last Policy Address in October, and we will not shy away from the important issues that are of concern to the community — housing, bridging the wealth gap and elderly services. We will be starting our consultation exercise soon and I urge you all to provide your input. And of course, I am sure that the Bauhinia Foundation will have a submission or two to make as well.
我想说的是,能担任香港特别行政区行政长官,是我莫大的荣幸。我承诺会以我刚才所说的领袖要素——诚恳正直、抱持愿景、勤勉用心、灵敏反 应,继续服务香港市民。我和我的团队现正编写我将于十月发表的最后一份《施政报告》,我们不会回避社会关心的重要课题,包括房屋、贫富悬殊及安老服务等。 我们即将展开谘询,我在这里呼吁大家踊跃发表意见。我相信智经研究中心也会为《施政报告》提交一两份意见书。

Thank you very much.