Newsletter No. 538

賴漢榮 博士於馬來西亞土生土長,曾在亞洲和美國等地留學,來港於大學講授國際與亞洲商業和管理,至今近廿 載。2018年,他獲頒博文教學獎,為從教以來第九個教學獎譽。今期《中大通訊》邀得這位學生眼中的「良師益友」 暢談對教育的熱愛、廣結人脈的訣竅,以及鍾情邱吉爾的原因。 Born and raised in Malaysia, Dr. John Lai began teaching international and Asian business and management in Hong Kong after years of study in Asia and the US. On being awarded the University Education Award in 2018—the ninth accolade in his two-decade teaching career, he spoke with CUHK Newsletter about his passion for teaching, the importance of networking—and his particular fondness for Winston Churchill. 你的教學深受學生歡迎,可否談談最注重培養學生甚麼態度? 我認為出來做事講求的專業精神和良好工作態度需要在學 校培養起來。其中一樣是守時,因為這是對人基本的尊重。 對自己的學習負責也是我所重視的。我要求他們上課專心致 志、全情投入,用心聆聽且不斷反思所學。沒有比在進入職 場前培養好專業精神和良好習慣更重要的事情了。 為何如此熱衷教育? 一切源自十七歲那年。一晚我躺在床上,仰望天花,突然意 識到自己的夢想是在大學教書,向學生言傳身教。我希望 能與人真切交流、建立深醇真摯的關係,互相啟發,相得益 彰。最近,一位交流生傳來一句名人雋語:「庸師說教、良師 解惑、明師演示、大師啟發。」這正是我一直以來追求的目 標—導引和啟發學生,繼而點亮他們的人生,這給我最大 不過的滿足感。 教育上有哪位楷模? 我的兩位同事—兩年前榮休的 范建強 教授,以及 牧野成史 教授引領我涉足教育行政,在制度上推陳出新。范教授親身 演繹優秀的行政離不開信任和自主;牧野教授則鼓勵我放 懷跨步,懷着雄豪之志「開創新局」。 如何做到與學生和校友均保持緊密聯繫? 廣結善緣、與人建立誠摯關係需付出時間和心力,但一切 都值得。我身處多至數不清的WhatsApp群組,藉此與學生 和舊生們保持聯繫。我也常與他們暢敘,互道工作和生活近 況。他們給我的靈感和啟發,我也會在上課時提及,讓學生 參詳汲養。 你強調學習旨趣在於順性和發現自我,而非名利和權力的追 逐。這好像與大眾眼中的商學教育背道而馳? 商學教育以至教育本身的精神是鼓勵學生反思和明瞭自己 的人生志向。名、利、權有份定義我們的人生,但自我發現卻 是無比珍貴的歷練過程—它讓我們在生命各方面都有所 長進,穩步邁向成功。說到底,做自己熱愛的事相當重要,這 樣我們才可每日愉悅起床,迎接新挑戰,從中學習和成長。 你對滿有潛力成為未來企業家的學生有何寄語? 世途多艱,並不會對人有所遷就或憐憫。但「踏出舒適區,生 命才真正開始」,勇於適應、變通和接受挑戰,人生才更見精 采。失敗乃常事,但只要記取教訓,愈挫愈強,自能坐看雲 起,收獲豐盛。肯德基創辦人哈蘭·桑德斯和特斯拉之父伊 隆·馬斯克都是經歷無數挫敗才成功的。 你書架上有全套邱吉爾的《第二次世界大戰回憶錄》,你愛讀 政治書籍嗎? 我熱愛閱讀,對各種科目和題材都有興趣。政治與商業密 不可分,與我任教的國際和亞洲商業更是關係千絲萬縷。 我仰慕政治家的才識和手腕,探求他們使國家走向強大之 道。他們的領導才能和感召眾人的人格魅力很值得領袖和 教育家借鏡學習。當然,他們雄辯滔滔、文采風流,讀來已 滋味無窮。 Dr. John Lai — u — 管理學系 Department of Management — u — 管理學理學碩士課程聯席主任 Co-director of Master of Science in Management programme 08 # 5 3 8 | 1 9 . 0 5 . 2 0 1 9 口 談 實 錄 / V iva V oce Appreciation for your teaching is well captured in the minds and hearts of students. What are some of the principles you preach? I believe in reinforcing workplace professionalism and developing good work attitude. One thing that springs to mind is my insistence in inspiring habits of punctuality, which translate as an outward representation of respect for others. Taking responsibility for their own learning is another of my core values. Students should be focused and engaged in class, ready to listen and constantly reflect on the knowledge that is imparted. It is of utmost importance to develop good workplace habits and professionalism before entering the workforce. Why are you so passionate about education? My passion was ignited when I was around 17. I was lying in bed, looking up at the ceiling when I realized I wanted to teach in university and impart my knowledge to students. I wish to inspire and be inspired through the meaningful conversations I have and relationships I develop with people. Recently, an exchange student sent me a quote, ‘The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.’ This quote aligns with what I’ve always aimed to do. To me there is no greater satisfaction than to teach, inspire and make a difference in someone’s life. Do you have any role models in education? My two colleagues, Prof. Dennis Fan who retired two years ago, and Prof. Shige Makino have inspired my move from teaching to administration. Dennis exemplifies how the core values of trust and autonomy are the soul of good administration, while Shige emboldened me to step forward and ‘make a difference’. You have close ties with students and alumni. Can you share some of the keys to success in this area? I believe in developing meaningful relationships and close acquaintances. With that in mind, I try to stay in close touch with alumni and current students even if it means having many WhatsApp contacts and groups. I truly treasure these relationships and try to get together with them once in a while to see how they are doing at work and in life. I often receive a great deal of inspiration from them and channel that inspiration to my students in the classroom. Your emphasis on interest and the process of self-discovery rather than money, power and fame deviates from the supposed values of business education? The essence of business education and education in general is to encourage students to critically reflect and develop a better understanding of what they would like to do in life. Money, power and fame are not unimportant, as they define us to a certain extent. But the process of self- discovery is much more invaluable as it drives our constant improvement in any aspect of life, and success will follow. At the end of the day, following your passion is important as it makes us wake up every single day and throw ourselves at the different fun challenges ahead of us, while learning and growing in the process. Any advice for your students, the entrepreneurs-to-be? The world is full of challenges and will not make it comfortable for you. However, ‘Life starts at the end of your comfort zone’. Learning to adapt and taking on challenges will make your life more meaningful. Failing will likely be a norm, but it is learning to fail forward that is the key to a better life. Failures are merely lessons that teach us to come back stronger after every hit we take and to move forward in overcoming the challenges. Think about KFC founder Harland Sanders and Tesla’s Elon Musk. Success only emerges after repeated ‘lessons’. You have a whole set of Churchill’s The Second World War on your shelf. Are you a fan of political books? I am an avid reader and take an interest in a wide range of disciplines. Politics and business are closely intertwined, and the former relates to the subjects I teach—international and Asian business. I admire politicians’ tact and study how they make their countries great. Their leadership and ability to inspire people to work towards a common goal are examples we can all learn from to become leaders and educators. Their rhetoric, of course, is a pure joy to read. Amy L. Photo by ISO Staff