by RONALYN BANAKEN
Dr. Kasom Chanawongse, president of the Thailand-based College of Asian Scholars,
hammers on leadership during his talk at the UB Centennial Hall on Aug. 6.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Kasom Chanawongse, president of College of Asian Scholars (CAS) in Thailand, recently spoke before a group of University of Baguio (UB) students, pressing on leadership and the ASEAN 2015 integration.
Dr. Chanawongse first briefly touched on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) initiative, which aims to integrate Southeast Asia’s diverse economies. “For it [AEC] to succeed, there should be a balance between economic, ecological and social interests,” he said.
The ASEAN integration does not only drive economic convergence; it also predates the expansion of borderless education in the ASEAN countries.
Citing the Education for Sustainable Development program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Dr. Chanawongse underscored the vital link between education and sustainable development.
“As UNESCO put it, Education for Sustainable Development allows every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. Education for Sustainable Development means including key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning; for example, climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction and sustainable consumption. It also requires participatory teaching and learning methods that motivate and empower learners to change their behavior and take action for sustainable development. [It] consequently promotes competencies like critical thinking, imagining scenarios and making decisions in a collaborative way. [It] requires far-reaching changes in the way education is often practiced today,” he said.
Dr. Chanawongse then went on to talk about leadership, quoting the author, businessman, educator and keynote speaker Stephen Covey.
Covey, in his widely read business self-help book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, presented a framework for personal effectiveness, concluding with a list of seven habits: be proactive; begin with the end in mind; put first things first; think win/win; seek first to understand, then to be understood; synergize; and sharpen the saw.
But for Dr. Chanawongse, two more things must be added to the list of seven habits – emotional intelligence and executive intelligence.
According to Dr. Chanawongse, emotional intelligence – or EI – takes in five characteristics and aptitudes: self-awareness, mood management, self-motivation, empathy, and managing relationships.
“Why the habit of utilizing the characteristic and aptitudes of EI for leadership is important is that research suggests that emotional health is fundamental to effective learning. One of the most critical elements for success in most knowledge-based endeavors is an understanding of how to learn,” he said.
He further explained, “The key elements for this understanding are all elements of emotional intelligence – confidence, curiosity, intentionality, self-control, relatedness, capacity to communicate, and ability to cooperate. People who understand how to learn are more likely to succeed in life.”
Executive intelligence (ExI), on the other hand, provides a new perspective on leadership. He explained: “The ExI theory has its roots in an expanded and applied type of critical thinking, specifically it is how an individual skillfully uses all the available information as a guide to thought and action.”
“Instinctively we think inside the box of what we already know. What we need in the modern world is to be able to suspend our instinctive predisposition so we can take advantage of our cognitive processes to consider more information and options that may be available [other] than what is inside the box; think outside the box as well as inside the box to conceive what else may be possible other than fight/flight decision-making,” he said.
“In the ExI theory, both information and intellect are important. The idea is to make the right decision, rather than the quickest,” he added.
Concluding his talk, he emphasized the following thought: “The more you learn about leadership, the more you realize that there is still a lot you have to learn yet. Leadership is a life-long continuous learning process – but a worthwhile habit.”
UB and CAS has a partnership which covers an agreement on the conduct of a joint MBA degree program. The memorandum of agreement, signed between the two institutions in 2013, allows for the collaborative teaching by both UB and CAS faculty members of MBA in CAS. The program covers the following courses: English Bridging Program; Organization and Management; Methods of Research; Statistics; and Managerial Accounting.
A football buff, Dr. Kasom Chanawongse shares some of the milestones of the College of Asian Scholars in the sport.
He coaches the College’s football teams.
Dr. Kasom Chanawongse presents the accomplishments realized from UB and CAS’s academic partnership.