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Your Country's Success is Your Success - Start with Learning and Helping

We are grateful for Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Chairman of Business China, for sharing his valuable insights with us at the Singapore Mentoring Committee (SMC).

Mr Lee spoke on a topic that may seem out of grasp for many of us: "How would Singapore prosper for the next 20 to 30 years?". However, he implored youths to think again, as the future of Singapore is not just a topic for policymakers, but also for the younger generation to consider as they will be the ones shaping its future. One of the key takeaways is the interdependence between the success of individuals and the success of a country. The younger generation, who have more years ahead of them, will benefit from a country that is thriving economically, socially, and politically. Therefore, it is essential for young people to think about how they can contribute to the progress of their country. To this end, he had the following advice for youths.

Photo of Jia Wen with Mr Lee Yi Shyan

Continuous Learning

Mr Lee spoke about the importance of continuous learning, and the importance of learning from each other. He emphasised that everyone has something to learn from others, and how it is important to recognise this. Mr Lee also said that even with his vast experience, his knowledge and learning are limited. He cited an example of how he even took up courses on Artificial Intelligence just recently to enhance his knowledge on the subject. He held the view that learning should continue even in the workplace, providing a unique perspective that we are paid to learn there, contrasting it with university where we must pay to do so. He strongly advocated for life-long learning and cheekily reminded the audience to utilise their SkillsFuture credits.

Helping Others

The second learning point is on the importance of helping others. Mr Lee said that one of the best ways to motivate oneself is to help others and have a positive impact on their lives. This can be done by looking for ways to add value to others' lives and improve their situation. He also said that in the workplace, helping colleagues can build positive relationships and teamwork which leads to a more successful and productive environment. Furthermore, he pointed out that helping others can bring happiness and a sense of fulfilment, which is important in one's personal and professional life. By seeking to add value to the lives of others, we can find a sense of purpose and fulfilment. This can also inspire others to pay it forward and create a ripple effect of positive change.


The third learning point is about the importance of having good leadership qualities. He emphasizes that leadership is about taking responsibility and being prepared for any situation. Citing an example, he mentioned that in the military, if the leader gets lost in the jungle, the whole team will get lost so it is important to ensure that the leader understands what is required and is able to steer the team in the right direction. He highlights that as a leader, he or she would need to first motivate him or herself and a potential good way to start may be to view other people’s happiness as one’s own. Being a leader is a position of responsibility, and it requires individuals to behave maturely and make decisions that benefit the group. In the workplace, having good leadership qualities can lead to a positive work environment and can inspire others to do their best work.

Jia Wen with 3 other mentors and mentees

In conclusion, Mr Lee's speech reminded us that the future of Singapore is not just the concern of policymakers, but of every Singaporean. As mentors and mentees, we must work together to learn from each other, motivate ourselves by helping others, and continuously learn to grow and prepare for future leadership roles. He certainly inspired all of us to embrace the challenges that lie ahead and work towards creating a better future for Singapore.

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