Shinhan Pursues Servant Leadership
By Yoon Ja-young
Shinhan Financial Group CEO Shin Sang-hoon's key phrase for Shinhan employees is ``Just like beginning.'' He tells Shinhan workers that they shouldn't forget the resolution they had in the beginning, and that they should always be modest even when they move up to higher positions and take more responsibilities. A spirit of challenge and achievement should be maintained.
Shin, who has been leading Shinhan with warm charisma and a strategic mindset, has dedicated his 42 year career to banking since he joined Korea Development Bank in 1967.
He joined Shinhan Bank when it was launched in 1982, and took key posts at the bank and its holding company. He has been CEO since 2003.
When inaugurated as CEO of Shinhan Financial Group in March 2009, he suggested the 'ABCD Principle,' which stands for Acceleration, Back to Basics, Creation, and Deceleration. He is calling for many changes, upon the determination that businesses can only survive by adapting to endless changes and innovations.
The CEO has stressed that a financial business needs trust more than anything. Hence, Shinhan's vision for 2010 is 'Trust 2010, Sustainable Future, Reliable Shinhan,' which emphasizes that it should focus on enhancing corporate value as the long term perspective instead of pursuing short-term gains.
He is known as an ``ideas person,'' digging up new concepts and applying them to sales and management, and also a strategist who gets right to the core of issues.
The CEO gained trust from his employees thanks to his 'servant leadership' - the willingness to take work that others are reluctant to take. When it comes to management, if he has to choose between carrot and stick, he opts for the carrot, inspiring employees and encouraging them rather than driving them through reprimands.
When a target is set, he achieves it no matter what, in direct cooperation with employees. He refuses to be a leader who only tells people what to do. He is right there in the field working with them.
Thanks to his leadership, he successfully led the merger between Shinhan and Chohung, which many industry watchers were pessimistic about. As CEO of the new mega bank, he set up "The Bank of Pride" as his vision and successfully completed the integration.
Shin encourages his junior colleagues to have dreams for the future. "One person's dream may end up as a dream, but a dream dreamed by many can become reality. Dreams are what lead us to the future," Shin has said when he has the chance to talk to employees.