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Leaders and Cacophonous Harmony

“Leaders, whatever their professions of harmony, do not shun conflict; they confront it, exploit it, ultimately embody it. Standing at the points of contact among latent conflict groups, they can take various roles, sometimes acting directly for their followers, sometimes bargaining with others, sometimes overriding certain motives of followers and summoning others into play” (MacGregor Burns, 1978, p. 39).

A short reflection on leadership during a time when new leaders will assume power:

With the passing of the United Nations’ global goals, known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), countries are looking for ways to attain the ever-elusive peace and build a global community that cares about people and the environment. I want to work toward harmony, but I’ve come to accept the fact that conflict is inevitable and serves an important purpose. This purpose is to unveil areas of divergence, build common understandings, and map out a collective plan that leads to improvement of life, not acceleration of death. This sounds extreme, but from what I’ve seen, read, and experienced so far, life vs. death is the overarching theme of many problems in the world. Continue reading “Leaders and Cacophonous Harmony”

Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

Financial Education in the Era of SDGs

Wealth formula-FLM_Social_Media_Infograpics-01There is a general consensus that financial education is necessary. The global financial crises during 2000-01 and 2007-08 pushed the international community to better educate the population on how to manage their finances. Several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to promote a robust economy while narrowing the socioeconomic gaps within and across the nations. While April is considered as Financial Literacy Month in the U.S., financial education is a lifelong process. After all, the economic landscape is always changing.

The long-term effects of having a financially illiterate population may prove to be more damaging than the recent economic recession if there are no interventions in place. Hastings, Madrian, and Skimmyhorn (2012) highlighted an array of financial mistakes that people have made and continue to make, such as irresponsible credit card usage, inadequate diversification of assets, and failure to refinance fixed rate mortgages during a time of declining interest rates. Individually, these mistakes are already costly; collectively, they create a complex web of economic problems.

Continue reading “Financial Education in the Era of SDGs”

Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

What Can Leaders Learn from Rashōmon(羅生門)?

Rashōmon (羅生門), one of 黒澤明 /Kurosawa Akira’s exceptional movies, is based on 芥川龍之介 /Akutagawa Ryūnosuke’s short story “In the Grove” (藪の中). I first watched it in a film studies course where we analyzed the use of lighting, camera angles, music, and structure of the film to understand how they underscore the themes of equality, truth, and hope in post-war Japan. A few years later, I encountered the film in a leadership course. Seen from a leadership perspective, the movie takes on a new meaning. The dynamics of the film were no longer ideas to be analyzed and entertained for the sake of discussion; they had visible consequences for an individual and an organization. Rashōmon challenges leaders to handle the complex nature of truth and the truth about human nature not within the confines of a film, but in the unpredictable course of life.

Continue reading “What Can Leaders Learn from Rashōmon(羅生門)?”

Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.