#HKULeadForLife

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About Lead for Life

Why Lead for Life?

Why Lead for Life?

Lead for Life is a transformational journey open to all undergraduate students at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). The purpose is to help them grow character values, virtues and traits that are essential for lifelong leadership. This is leadership which is life-enriching, life-nurturing (for leaders and group members) and a way of life. We aim to help students flourish during their time at HKU, and equip them to build flourishing communities afterwards. The programme presents character leadership as acquirable, desirable, and accessible to all. Students can develop at their own pace and readiness. Whatever your background or ethnicity, whether you are quiet or outgoing, have perceived abilities or disabilities, require special needs, Lead for Life can help you realise your full potential!

How did Lead for Life start?

How did Lead for Life start?

#HKULeadForLife

The Lead for Life programme builds upon the foundations and success of the previous Character of Leadership programmes run at HKU in collaboration with The Oxford Character Project. We have also partnered with the Leadership and Character programme at Wake Forest University in the Character and the Professions Conference. Starting with the 2021/22 academic intake, Lead for Life is a new Character Leadership certificate non-credit bearing programme for HKU undergraduate students.

Drawing on deep, multi-cultural traditions of wisdom and virtue, the programme will equip and enable HKU students to become leaders of character that make significant social impact locally and globally.

The programme is guided by the latest research on character-based leadership. Lead for Life is a partnership between the HKU CEDARS and Faith and Global Engagement. We aim to eventually involve collaboration and participation across all faculties of the university.

What is our vision?

What is our vision?

Our vision is to create a community of Lead for Life leaders who will not only experience a flourishing life at the university, but also impact the community. Lead for Life places high value on the multicultural contributions of local and non-local students from different ethnic groups, and diversity of experiences from people of different abilities and disabilities. Such diversity enriches the Lead for Life community of leaders in formation.

The inaugural Lead for Life programme began at HKU with the 2021/22 cohort. Students will journey with the programme throughout their undergraduate years. Upon successful completion of the programme, they will be awarded a Character Leadership certificate by HKU. Graduates, however, will be encouraged to view their graduation as a commencement of life-long leadership, as well as to return and help lead in the ongoing programme. The first year cohort launched with 200 students, and we will add 300 students in each of the second and third years, and then an additional 400 students in each of the fourth and fifth years. By the end of five years, it is envisioned that there will be some 1600 students who have completed or are enrolled with the programme. 

Mentors, who are industry and corporate leaders in Hong Kong, will be key to the transformational nature of the programme. They will work as pairs to lead groups of students in one-year commitments. This will allow students to experience different mentors over the duration of their undergraduate degree journeys. Our hope is for the mentor-mentee relationships to flourish through the rich sharing of insights on wisdom, virtue, friendship, happiness, courage, purpose, resilience and meaning.

What is character leadership?

What is character leadership?

The core notion of character leadership is that everyone can be a leader, as leadership is not limited to personality types or to having position or power, but each one can lead from who and where they are. The theory and practice of character leadership can be conceptualised as an individual’s journey of commitment to developing and demonstrating good character qualities and leadership competencies consistently and appropriately for different contexts, aligned with the individual’s best version of self, and with a transcendent moral sense of purpose to influence the common good goal of building flourishing communities. 

In simpler words, character leadership is about who you are, how you can consistently be the best version of yourself, and learning together how you can lead others to create the best version of a flourishing community. Community is integral to Lead for Life’s character leadership journey as community is both the means that affects formation of character and the end goal that allows expression of leadership influence.

Join the #HKULeadForLife movement.
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