Leadership is a critical factor for organisational success. Leadership is an engagement process that influences others to achieve a common goal. A leader ensures that the organisation's people, system and structure are coherently aligned to achieve organisational goals. A Real Leader further champions the embracement of shared values by organisation members and drives performance to achieve breakthroughs that establish new performance benchmarks. Real Leaders also recognise the importance of a personal connection with the people they work with. They build relationships with their constituents and earn their commitment, that is critically needed for their organisations to navigate through the business challenges.

Leading with authenticity and a legacy for others to follow; Real Leaders inspire their people to a higher level of excellence that is needed to achieve breakthroughs in both good and rough times. They are approachable, trustworthy and influential. Their constituents follow more readily and are more committed to the organisation’s success.

Framework of Real Leaders

Real Leaders are authentic and make a positive impact on individuals and the community that they live in. They exercise great responsibility and utilise their personal influence for the benefits of others — and eventually, for the benefit of their organisations. Real Leaders are also real learners, who can be developed intentionally and effectively given the right tools and environment.

As Organisation Development practitioners, Dr. Lily Cheng and Dr. Peter Cheng's extensive experience in developing leaders in more than 14 countries over the last 30 years led them to distil the 6Cs that characterise a Real Leader: Competence, Creating An Inclusive Environment, Compassion, Character, Conviction with Courage, and Credibility. The first three Cs make up the "What-ness" of a Real Leader, while the other three Cs make up his or her "Who-ness". What-ness complements Who-ness — but to complete the ‘equation’, Real Leaders sustain organisational excellence by ensuring that they Shape Values-Driven Culture and Drive Performance.



A Real Leader performs what is expected and required for the position. The ability to equip constituents with the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes and attributes to perform their role efficiently and effectively.

Creating an Inclusive Environment

A Real Leader creates an inclusive environment that constituents feel comfortable in, due to the respect for relationships formed with each other. Diversity is valued, making for great synergy and satisfaction at work.


A Real Leader exercises care and concern by putting oneself in the shoes of other and showing sympathy to constituents in their predicaments and provide the needed support to see them through.



A Real Leader adopts the right attitudes, and works on attributes that applaud prosocial behaviours for the common good for others in the community. The leader encourages constituents towards positive thinking to embrace the right morals and ethical practices to make the world a better place.

Conviction with courage

A Real Leader embraces strong beliefs within ethical and moral parameters and makes explicit stands that will not easily falter or be compromised. The leader pushes constituents to pursue ennobling agendas that impact the community they all live in.


A Real Leader holds clear values and walks the talk consistently to enlist constituents through shared values, resulting in the achievement of a common good.


A Real Leader shapes the culture of the organisation by ensuring that organisation members conduct themselves in line with the organisation core values, changing their explicit behaviours by working on the espoused values underpinning everything.


A Real Leader ensures organisation members are accountable to deliver agreed performance expectations by providing timely feedback, addresses performance issues while equipping them with necessary competencies to attain performance excellence.

Why Real Leaders?

Is Real Leaders for me and my organisation?

Real Leaders will benefit leaders and organisations who desire to not only gain awareness on their individual and collective leadership competencies, but also believe in long-term leadership development. Organisations that believe that leadership development is an integral part of overall organisation strategy and development will also find value in the follow-up interventions that the Real Leaders programme can provide for their leaders.

What makes Real Leaders so different?

• While many leadership programmes and development solutions are created through academic exercises alone, the Real Leaders Development Intervention Suite combines the best of more than three decades of practitioner experience, CEO interviews, and authors Dr. Lily Cheng & Dr. Peter Cheng’s doctoral research into change management, leadership and the value of 360° feedback in leadership development.

• Developed with multicultural contexts in mind and a specific understanding of both Western and Asian values, Real Leaders is grounded in the universality of leadership principles across cultures, languages and time.

• Real Leaders is not a one-off classroom learning event but rather a complete suite of development solutions that facilitates effective adult learning and leadership development through personal reflection, group interaction and discussions, as well as real world applications.

Real Leaders 360° Feedback System allows participants to draw insights from their individual or group interpretation of the Real Leaders 360° tool into the areas needed to develop as a leader, their strengths and able to identify their further development plans.