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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Being Led

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT - BUSINESS SCHOOL, HKUST - DAY


  4. Sitting on a sofa and enjoying a cup of coffee, PETER looks out of the window when COLLEAGUE#1 (60s) approaches.


  5. COLLEAGUE#1: Gorgeous view, right?


  6. PETER: Yes! Every time I come up, I enjoy sitting here, watching the harbour.


  7. PETER (V.O.): Humans have their origin from the sea.


  8. Peter takes a photo of the harbour before he steps inside a conference room.


  9. INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY


  10. Sitting among other COLLEAGUES in a long table, COLLEAGUE#2 (50s) is making a presentation. Peter is in thoughts.


  11. PETER (V.O.): Whenever I hear any reference to "leader", it brings back fond memories. There isn't any "leader" as such. People can't distinguish the exercise of leadership from the exercise of authority.


  12. Act 2


  13. INT - BUSINESS SCHOOL, HKUST - CONTINUES


  14. FLASHBACK


  15. INT - CIVIL SERVICE TRAINING CENTRE - DAY (2002)


  16. Sitting among the AUDIENCE, Peter (48) is focusing on a PROFESSOR (30s) at the podium.


  17. PETER (V.O.): It's good to see him again in this refresher course. I first came to know him in 1999 in a briefing. The Government flew in Harvard professors to train senior civil servants on leadership.


  18. Pausing.


  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In 2000, I joined the week-long LEAD 2000 program. It was a residential program taught by visiting Harvard professors at HKUST.


  20. FLASHBACK UPON FLASHBACK


  21. INT. SUITE, HKUST - NIGHT (2000)


  22. Sitting on a sofa, Peter (46) looks around the fittings and furnishings.


  23. PETER (V.O.): How nice it is to work and live in HKUST! This is the first time I live in a University in Hong Kong.


  24. Pausing.


  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I applied for residential hall once at HKU in 1984. I was rejected, although I was living in Yuen Long.


  26. END FLASHBACK UPON FLASHBACK


  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I learned about the success formula. At the request of the Civil Service Training Centre, I wrote an article and it was published.


  28. The professor begins to speak.


  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In 2001, I began to attend an annual refresher course. He was talking about crisis management. See what he'x talking now.


  30. Looking at the audience, the professor pauses.

  31. PROFESSOR: Do you know there's a difference between leadership and authority?


  32. Seeing stunning faces, the professor talks in a dynamic fashion.


  33. PROFESSOR: People often take those exercising authority as leaders.


  34. PETER (V.O.): Those in authority command their subordinates to follow their orders. True leadership is the capacity to influence, not command, others to do things otherwise they wouldn't do.


  35. RETURN TO PRESENT


  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Leadership was so interesting to me that I made my way to Harvard and joined in its month-long Senior Executive Fellows Program in fall 2003.


  37. FLASHBACK


  38. INT. HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL RESIDENCE - NIGHT (2003)


  39. Inside a 2-room suite, Peter (49) is chatting with his ROOMMATE (40s).


  40. ROOMMATE: How can you manage reading hundreds of pages to prepare a day's seminar?


  41. PETER: I do the best I can. I've agreed to brief my colleagues from mainland China during breakfast.


  42. PETER (V.O.): If I don't understand anything, what knowledge can I transfer?


  43. RETURN TO PRESENT


  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My roommate was an Army Colonel and a three-time cancer survivor.


  45. Pausing.


  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The last time I heard from him was about two years ago when he said he had to resume his fight against cancer.


  47. Peter is in thoughts.


  48. Act 3


  49. INT - BUSINESS SCHOOL, HKUST - CONTINUOUS


  50. Raising his hand, Peter gets the floor and makes his remarks. The audience listen attentively.


  51. Meeting ends. Colleague#3 (60s) chats with Peter.


  52. COLLEAGUE#3: How're you? I've noticed that you're engaging in deep thoughts throughout the meeting.


  53. PETER: I just wanted to do the best I could to deliver some value in university governance.


  54. EXT. MTR TRAIN - DAY


  55. Phone in hand, Peter checks new Quora notifications.


  56. PETER (V.O.): "What is there to look forward to as one ages and becomes less agile?" That's an answer request.


  57. Pausing.


  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm being led by the Quoran to think about an issue that I wouldn't think about.


  59. Thinking.


  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The Quoran isn't exercising any authority. I'm not obliged to entertain the request.


  61. Finding an image from his Photos App, Peter types on his phone: Looking forward to return to nature.


  62. FADE OUT.


  63. THE END


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