CKGSB Professor Saar: Leadership Is Not Only for the Elites
May 23, 2013

On Thursday, May 16, hundreds of people poured into the Grand Hyatt Beijing for a public lecture titled In Search of Direction - Leadership and Innovation by Every Single Person, delivered by Professor Shalom Saada Saar, the author of the book Leading with Conviction.

“Leadership is everywhere. It is NOT only for the elites, or great leaders who appear on the world stage and single-handedly change the course of history,” Professor Saar wrote in his book.

The lecture was the latest in Professor Talk Series, hosted by the MBA Program at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB), where Professor Saar teaches leadership and management. The Series offers the public free opportunities to learn about knowledge in business-related disciplines, and to share CKGSB’s cutting-edge insights on issues attracting wide attention. 

Amid ever-mounting career pressures and the fast-changing business landscape in China, young professionals see soft skills, like leadership, as a major competitive advantage in the job market. During the lecture, Professor Saar talked about four important pillars for one to master leadership: knowing yourself, balancing your skills, embracing changes and being creative. 

“Everyone has experienced the challenge of leading others,” said Professor Saar, “but the pillars I have talked about can be built, taught and learned.” Over 400 people attended the event, and none left before the entire event ended.

Professor Profile

Professor Saar teaches leadership and management at CKGSB and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His teaching and research focuses on organizational leadership, change management and strategic planning, particularly in executive education. He has helped global corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations articulate strategic direction, identify core competencies, and design and deliver learning initiatives.

Professor Saar has extensive experience in developing and implementing curriculums in strategic management for executives, including the Center for Leadership Development, St. Paul Companies, Aetna Institute for Corporate Education and Center for Public Management. In the past thirty years, he has coached thousands of executives from over thirty countries on how to manage change, motivate and influence others and lead in adverse environments.

He has presented research at leading international civic, industry and professional associations on the importance of soft power and transformation for individuals and organizations. He is currently working on a book articulating the essence of leadership and teamwork.

Noted for his interactive teaching style, Professor Saar's leadership seminars combine case studies with a focus on teamwork, simulation and communicative approaches to give his students self-knowledge on their own leadership competencies. Professor Saar has also taught at Harvard University, State University of New York, Stony Brook, University of Hartford, Southern Methodist University, Loyola College and Luiss Business School.

About the CKGSB MBA

The CKGSB MBA is a full-time, 14-month program based in Beijing and taught in English. All courses are delivered by international professors who have served on faculties such as Wharton, Stanford, Harvard and INSEAD. Our faculty ranks sixth among worldwide business schools in research contributions and our professors take up advisory roles in global policy-making bodies. We pride ourselves on unrivaled research and hands-on knowledge of the Chinese market. We are at the forefront of Chinese business education in the next economic superpower. The CKGSB MBA Program is your ideal guide into the new opportunities of this emerging giant.

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