Programme Detail

​Nurturing a Leader:  Wisdom from the Ancient Chinese Philosophies

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The ancient Chinese philosophers and thinkers fully subscribed to the importance of good leadership especially the wisdom of a ruler or leader. All the ancient philosophers reviewed extensively discussed the wisdom of a wise ruler and they believed that a good leader is built on a foundation of moral authority as well as in the setting of a virtuous example for his subordinates to follow.

“Great capability can either cause great good or great harm if it is not

properly circumscribed by the right morality and virtue.”

In ancient China, education emphasized on teaching people to be wise rather than teaching people to be smart or skillful.  A common Chinese saying is, “Learn to live like wise men.” It is about using what we have learnt and our wisdom to respond to the changing environment.

“A word of wisdom from a Sage is far superior than ten years of education.”

To the school of humanism espoused by Confucius and Mencius, humanity is the core of all human races.  The school of humanism endorsed the virtues of righteousness and benevolence in order for a leader to be effective. On the other hand, the legalistic scholars, Xunzi and Han Fei Zi emphasized that a leader must occupy the top position of a power hierarchy in order to effectively execute strict discipline and the penal code. To Xunzi and Han Fei Zi, the roots of a man’s evil nature are his selfishness and greed.  The third key school of the hundred thoughts is naturalism put forward by Lao Zi. To naturalistic, a wise leader is characterized as having profound understanding, with deep insights into Nature and humans.

Leadership Philosophies


In this workshop, we will discuss and explore the different types of approaches in Classical Chinese Leadership, derived from the various schools of thought. 

Workshop Outline
Session 1:  An Overview​ of ​Classical Chinese Leadership

  • What is leadership from the Chinese perspective?
  • What is wisdom?
  • Overview of Chinese philosophy and leadership
  • A brief review of the ancient Chinese ruler-ship or emperor-ship.
  • A list of behavioural traits of a great and wise leader​

Session 2: Classical Chinese Leadership - from the Humanistic Approach (Confucius and Mencius)

  • ​An Overview of Confucianism
  • Developmental versus Control Approach
  • Discussion of Humanistic approach and develop a list of traits of: 
    - Ahumanistic (altruism) leader
    - An ethical Leader  
    - A ​ben​evolent Leader
  • The Virtue of a Leader: The Doctrine of Moderation
  • Discussion on Confucian Values and Corporate Culture

Session 3: Classical Chinese Leadership- from the Legalistic Approach (Xunzi and Han Fei Zi)
  • ​Discussion of Legalistic approach and develop a list of traits of a bureaucratic and disciplined leader​

  • A list of characteristics of a weak/poor leader will be discussed

Session 4: Classical Chinese Leadership- from the Naturalistic Approach (Lao Zi, Lie Zi, Zhuang Zi and Huai Nan Zi)

  • How to nurture a great leader through self-cultivation?​
  • The principles of Naturalism and the development of:
    - An altruistic leader
    - A paradoxical leader
    - The Athena doctrine of a leader
    - The law of subtraction  
    - The principle of relative
  • Discuss a list of characteristics (both capabilities and qualities) that make a great leader.

4 sessions, 3 hours per session, total 12 hours

Medium of Teaching

Target Audience
Executives from middle to senior management. Individual or entrepreneurs who wish to conduct business in China or understand and apply leadership philosophies from the ancient Chinese perspective.​


1. Lectures - To discover and uncover the concept of leadership from the Chinese perspective and how it can be linked to leaders' effectiveness.

2. Open discussion (individual and small group) - exchange of ideas among the participants facilitated by the speaker.

Trainer's Profile
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Dr Sheh Seow Wah(佘绍华博士)​

Dr Sheh has over 10 years of management consultancy experience at the corporate level.  Personally he is lecturing at a few tertiary institutions for more than 20 years, he has been a management trainer all these years in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Besides, he is the Adjunct Research Fellow for an Australian university supervising doctoral candidates since 2002. Up to this day, 18 of his doctoral candidates had obtained their degrees.

Over the past 20 years, he had published over 80-100 articles and journal papers locally and international and he had authored 8 books namely:  Chinese Management, Chinese Wisdom on Life and Management, Chinese Leadership, The Natural Way: Lessons from Laozi and Zhuangzi, The Humanistic Way:  Lessons from Confucius and Mencius, The Strategic Way:  Lessons from the Chinese Strategic Thinkers, The Legalistic Way:  Lessons from Xunzi and Han Feizi and Wise Leadership:  Timeless Wisdom From the Ancient Chinese. 


  • Trainees will be awarded with a Certificate of Completion from the CI-NTU after they have completed the workshop and have met the requirements stated as follows:
    - Completed the workshop with minimum attendance rate of 75% per workshop;
    - Participated in post-course surveys.
  • ​Trainees who fail to meet any of the above criteria and with a minimum attendance rate of 50%, will only be issued a Certificate of Participation instead.

Entry Requirement

  • ​Minimum 'A' Levels or Diploma holder. Alternatively, applicant with more than 2 years of working experience will be considered.

Enrolment Procedure

  • ​Application form can be downloaded from CI-NTU website or obtained directly from CI-NTU registration counter.
  • Please read all the instructions, terms and conditions stated in the enrolment form before any course enrolment. 
  • Submit Enrolment Form accompanied with:
    i) Photocopy of NRIC/Passport
    ii) Fees payment (including $53.50 registration fee and workshop fee)
    Note: For company-sponsored applicant, the enrolment must be signed and endorsed by the company stamp.
  • ​Email the completed form and relevant documents to or submit to us at CI-NTU reception counter.
  • All enrolments are subjected to the seats availability. 
  • Seats are based on first come first served basis. 
  • Full fee payment shall be made upon enrolment of the workshop.
  • ​Successful applicants will receive confirmation notice at least 5-7 working days prior to class commence.​

Workshop Fees
Registration Fee: S$50* 
Workshop Fee: S$600*
Total Fees Payable: S$695.50 (W​/GST & Reg. Fee)

Note: Workshop Fee include teaching materials and test fee.
*Prevailing GST is applicable.


  • This workshop is available for customising. 
  • The above price list is only applicable for enrolment of more than 6 trainees per class. Customised pricing for less than 6.

Discount Scheme
10% discount for NTU staff/ student/ alumni^*
10% discount for seniors (Singaporeans/SPRs/Non-Singaporeans) aged 50 & above^*

^Proof of identity status or relevant documents are required for verification purpose
*Trainees are eligible for only ONE of the abovementioned discount schemes

Refund Policy

Course fees paid to CI-NTU may be refunded if:​

TypePercentage of RefundWritten request for refund
is received:
Registration FeeNon-refun​dable​​-
Fee​ ​ ​100%More than 30 working days prior to the commencement of the course
50%Between 15 to 30 working days prior to the commencement of the course
0%Less than 15 working days prior to the commencement of the course​​​

​Date: ​​3 - 12 July 2018 (every Tue & Thu)
​​Time: ​​7pm - 10pm
​Language Medium: ​English
Fee: ​​​S$642 for 4 sessions (Inclusive of 7%GST)

10% discount for NTU staff, student and alumni*^
10% discount for Seniors (Singaporeans / Non-Singaporeans / SPRs) aged 50 & above*^.

*Participants are eligible for only ONE of the two schemes. 
^Proof of identity status or relevant documents are required for verification purpose.
​Contact Person:​Candy / Su Yee​
​Tel: ​​6592 2538 / 6592 2539​
​Email: ​​

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