'The leadership development journey: How Entrepreneurs Develop their Leadership Through their Lifetime’ is the 4th book of Jen Vuhuong (discover other books at jenvuhuong.com/books).
This book reflects leadership development is a multilevel multi-context self-learning longitudinal journey embedded in a social learning environment with 9 influential factors: parents, teamwork sport activities, teachers, role models, mentors/coaches, community-based networks (social factors); self-learning, experimentation, self-reflection (self factors).
These findings of the book are based on a longitudinal qualitative study of interviewing 100 SME's business owners and leaders attending a British leadership development framework and an international communication and leadership programme.
My journey of creating the book
From January to April 2017, I had the opportunity to experience a 12-week course to study leadership as a part of my master’s degree in International Management in the UK. Earlier to that, I always associated leadership with something big, just for someone in a big organization or a country, and ambiguous. The leadership perception wall was consciously and subconsciously socially constructed. Thanks to the 12 weeks, I founded each brick in the wall slowly taken down to open a diverse picture of leadership. Most importantly, it helped me embrace a strong desire to understand more about it. I would read about it, think about it, ask people about it everyday.
It seems that when we focus on something, opportunities start showing up. I was invited to be a speaker in a collaborative leadership conference. The lecturer of the subject was willing to guide me in the later leadership research. My journey of leadership development moved to the next chapter. After practicing leadership unconsciously and consciously over my whole life and deeply researching on the topic of leadership over the past year, writing this book to share with you what I think about and what I have found about the leadership development journey of almost a hundred SME owner-managers/founders/CEOs and future leaders from different countries has been an honor. The book aims to give you a clear big picture of different perspectives on leadership in literature/practice and the common patterns that help the interviewed leaders develop their leadership capability/identity in SMEs’ context.
My intention is to convince you that leadership is not an ambiguous faraway subject but an act of developing, being, becoming, starting from TODAY; and that leadership resides in each and everyone of us, that everyone of us is a leader of our own life, our families, or an organization.
Our leadership program is based on the research
"It is impossible. Be realistic. Remember you are just a girl from the countryside. Stay home, get married and have a bus load of kids.”
That’s what people always told me when they heard about my dream of studying abroad to open my mind and learn how to help people.
But I was the most stubborn kid in my village. And I stubbornly believed ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ had a second better spelling: "I'M POSSIBLE.’ I was determined to live my life my way. I was a Vietnamese country kid who applied to University, won a scholarship to work Samsung in Vietnam and then Dell in Malaysia, won scholarships to study in Spain and the UK, and never quit my dream.
Living and working with people from all walks of life, I have seen inspiring stories of people who have succeeded in life despite their backgrounds and circumstances. I realized they all shared a common characteristic: their empowering mindset and determined action to develop themselves and contribute to society. They all believed 'IMPOSSIBLE' was 'I'M POSSIBLE'.
I am upset to see young people - especially in developing countries like Vietnam - limiting themselves by the social norm of life being just working a job and getting married to produce children. I am upset to see those potential leaders trapped in the same routines of every-day life. I am upset to see their passion for a better life limited by the numbers on their paycheck.
This project therefore, is devoted to empower young people to unleash their potential and passion to be more and contribute more - to lead their lives and lead the world to be a better place.
We are an organization based in Vietnam that functions as a community providing people-training on personal development and leadership development. We want to expand to other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Thailand or India and build (and maintain!) connections with western countries like the UK, the United States, Spain or Germany.
We already have the experience, passion, and the network of people. We created this crowd-funding campaign to find the financial we need to translate our mission into real action to impact everyone's life. We believe in what we do and we want our friends to believe that they, through their contribution, will make a difference for young people all around the world. And with their help, it will not just be a belief. We will all make a change.