As CEO of Hyundai, South Korea's largest conglomerate, during the 1970's and 80's, Lee was able to rebuild most of post- war Korea, transforming a poor, farming country into a recent success story. After his CEO position at Hyundai, Lee moved on to be mayor of Seoul in 2002, and then eventually, using his popularity, president of the Republic of Korea. Using his recently acquired position power, Lee has made a commitment to environmental and economical sustainability and has launched a new energy conservation program. Some of the details in this plan are labeling electronic devices that use more than one watt during stand by mode with a yellow sticker and forbidding car owners to drive on one designated weekday, with violators being fined. Becasue Lee was able to prove himself to the Koreans as a leader in the past and show them the economic benefits of environmental sustainability, much of the Koreans have increasingly prioritized environmental issues alongside their president. In fact a recent poll taken in South Korea indicated that 53% of the people in South Korea actually think environmental protection is more important that economic development.
Lee is an excellent example of many types of effective leadership and leadership styles.
First being his excellent use of Social Judgment skills. Being involved with the South Korean government and its people for such a long time, being CEO of Hyundai and as mayor of Seoul, Lee was able to gain the capacity to understand and relate to the people of South Korea as well as gain their acceptance as a leader. This enabled Lee to work with his followers an establish rules and regulations he knew the citizens would be more than willing to abide by, and in fact, support. This also better enabled him to implement a change program within the framework of the country that is embraced by most. It allowed him to gain a perspective on environmental issues that deeply coincides with that of the average South Korean. Most importantly his social judgment skills allowed him to formulate environmental sustainability programs to help solve the extremely complicated problem that is global warming and environmental degradation.
Lee is also a great example of an Achievement-Oriented leader, who by definition, challenges his followers, (South Korean people), to perform work (Environmentally sustainable programs) at the highest level possible. Setting strict rules, such as designating a specific weekday that an individual cannot drive is a great example of this approach. He has set an extremely high standard of performance for his followers (south Koreans), and expects them to follow through with his guidance. More importantly than expecting his people to follow through with his environmental programs, Lee is confident that the South Koreans have the ability & capacity to accomplish these challenging goals. Otherwise he wouldn't have presented these environmental initiatives to the people of South Korea with such broad confidence.
Do you think Americans would ever go for these types of environmental control regulations??
By: Jarett Diederich