Interview with Calvin: The Pitfalls of Leadership

ag-aug-2015-29 by Awaken Generation

Tell us a little bit about yourself... Some fun facts.

What do you want to know about me? In my free time, I like to find things that energize me, actually. So sports is a big thing for me, discovering new places, doing new things… I’m actually a very boring person (laughs).

No you’re not! I heard that you like to clean & organize things as well right?

Well, only if people leave a mess. Like, ahem. But yes, I like to keep things clean & organized.

What material are you currently reading?

I love reading Habitudes by Tim Elmore, who is an amazing speaker, leader & writer. He was mentored & trained under John Maxwell’s leadership. I like his books because the content deals with the welfare (internal) & attitude (external) of a leader. As leaders, what we don’t realize is that we have to learn to lead ourselves well because whatever we “import”, we unwittingly “export” to the people that we lead.

Tell us about something you’ve personally learnt from leading the Awaken Generation team & student cohort.

Leadership is never about suppression, it’s about empowerment. You’re supposed to help your team feel good & productive, but the sad thing is that many leaders abuse their power & cause their team to suffer. That’s operating out of a place of fear & that’s not the Kingdom perspective at all.

That’s the exact opposite of what we seek to do here… that’s why we have things like team devotions, updates, mentoring. We pray & worship together, we encourage & affirm one another in our different gifts. & of course, we hope to pass this culture on to our students!


Leadership is never about suppression, it’s about empowerment.

What is one big pitfall that leaders often fall into?

As long as you are a leader, you need to receive. You give out so much of your emotion on a daily basis, so how can you not be fed?

I like to use this example: the ten commandments. Did you ever realize that four of the commandments are about our relationship with God, while the other six are about our relationships with our brothers & sisters? This doesn’t mean that your relationship with God is secondary to the relationship to the people around you, but it means that a lot of our lives are spent living in communities, interacting face-to-face with someone. We are not made to walk alone. No man is an island. We are made to walk in community.

A speaker, evangelist & a life coach, Calvin’s heart beats to see every life transformed, living purposefully & fulfilling their destiny in Christ. Calvin is the Head of Mentoring at Awaken Generation & leads both the staff  & student cohort pastorally.

LeadershipCalvin Hong