Many people have asked when our next book would be published after reading THE LEADER, THE TEACHER & YOU. We are happy to announce that the “next book” has been launched on 29 April 2016.

Entitled WINNING WITH HONOUR in Relationships, Family, Organisations, Leadership, and Life, the new book is available at all major bookshops and can be ordered online here.


The book has received 18 affirmations from respected individuals in seven countries, including the former President of Singapore, Mr S.R. Nathan. We have listed five below for your reference. You can also find all 18 affirmations at the book’s website.

 “This is a deeply wonderful book, best read with a pencil. There is scarcely a page on which one will not take notes and later return to the wisdom contained. It draws attention to Singapore “punching above its weight” and an explanation as to why—a well-defined concept of Honour. The case for this and future work is made with excellent analysis and supporting anecdote. The book is not only a worthy successor to its predecessor, in many ways it surpasses it. Read it. Digest it. Base your important decisions on it.”

Mr Francis Hartmann (Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, USA)

“This is in many ways an exceptional book. It provides an insider’s view of Singapore, the success story as well as the challenges the city state faces in a rapidly changing world. It is up to date on management issues, but at the same time rooted in profound knowledge of history. It contains pragmatic assessments of economy and society. Above all, it is a spiritual book satisfying the need of the reader to look beyond the fleeting material success and to focus on ever-lasting values, of which Honour is certainly the most important one.”

Mr Urs Schoettli (former Asia Correspondent of Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Switzerland)

“This is another hugely impressive and highly original book by Siong Guan and Joanne H Lim. It deals with values and virtues as the key to a rewarding life—whether in relationships, in business or in the life of the nation. Winning with Honour celebrates winning but at the same time challenges the modern, consumerist ideal of success. The book will challenge everyone regarding the meaning and purpose of our lives. It deserves to be widely read.”

Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach (Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs International, UK)  

“This is a timely book written as Singapore enters another period of transition in a difficult local and global environment. A year after the death of Lee Kuan Yew, it is opportune to reflect on the key aspects of his philosophy that allowed Singapore to develop from a poor outcast from Malaysia into probably the world’s most successful city state. Sensibly, the authors have not tried to analyse all the various components of success. They recognise that the future is going to require different skills but have picked the umbrella quality of Honour to enable a wide discourse on the individual and collective attributes that are most likely to ensure that the next generation continues to innovate, develop, and succeed.”

Sir John Rose (Chairman, Holdingham Group, and former CEO, Rolls Royce Inc., UK)

“How did Singapore ascend the global economic ladder to be a model for emerging economies? In Winning with Honour, Siong Guan and Joanne Lim put forth that Lee Kuan Yew’s visionary leadership also saw through the weaving of a fabric of Honour into the good governance instituted. Honour and honouring have made Singapore exceptional and need to be sustained for a bright future. This book is a primer in conducting our everyday lives in Honour and with Honour that we may, putting others before ourselves, emerge winners in the race of life.”

Mr Philip Ng (Chief Executive Officer, Far East Organization, Singapore)


This new book is thicker than the first one, but don’t be put off by the thickness.  It is just as readable as the first book, with the same format of thought summaries on the pages on the left side in very large print, and the full ideas developed on the pages on the right side.

The content covers thoughts on virtually all aspects of life:

  • Individual lives
  • Family
  • Community
  • Organisations
  • Nation

In this blog, we describe why WINNING WITH HONOUR came to be written.


WINNING WITH HONOUR is, in a special way, a tribute to the work of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and our founding fathers, but goes considerably beyond what they have done for the nation. Singapore celebrated 50 years of independence in 2015. For many countries around the world, 50 years is not such a big deal. But it is a big deal for little Singapore, which has been described as a “little red dot” on the world map.

The government of Singapore in 1959 had not believed that Singapore could survive as an independent sovereign state on its own. Singapore was still a British colony, and with no natural resources to call its own, Singapore needed a contiguous economic hinterland; merger with Malaya to its north seemed the obvious solution.

This happened in 1963 with the formation of Malaysia made up of the Federation of Malaya with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore. But the marriage did not last long for Singapore. Independence came suddenly and unexpectedly on 9 August 1965. Singapore had to find its own way to survival, security, and success despite thinking it impossible in 1959.

You know all this, but I thought it appropriate to mention that we cover this in the book.

There was nothing in Singapore, apart from its people hungry for work and life. Even the earth was not fertile. The solution, under the leadership of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, was to build a brand of Honour centred on integrity, trustworthiness, dependability, determination, tenacity, hard work, and adaptability.  It was a brand about being a people and a government who delivered on promises we made, and who left no doubt that we would honour our word whenever we gave our word, no matter what. Success followed the temerity and the imagination.


According to Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy, headquartered in London, Singapore was the world’s strongest nation brand in 2015. As the CEO of Brand Finance said in his foreword: “In a global marketplace, a nation brand is one of the most important assets of any state, encouraging inward investment, adding value to exports and attracting tourists.”

In the Executive Summary of Brand Strength (as distinct from Brand Value) came the statement:

“Singapore is the world’s strongest nation brand in 2015. Nation Brand value is reliant upon GDP, i.e. revenues associated with the brand. Singapore’s small size means it will never be able to challenge for the top spot in brand value terms, because its brand simply cannot be applied extensively enough to generate the same economic uplift as ‘brand USA’ for example. However in terms of its underlying nation brand strength, Singapore comes out on top.

 “As the city-state celebrates its 50th anniversary its citizens can be rightly proud of the nation they have created. … The chief architect was of course Lee Kuan Yew. The vision, pragmatism, longevity, intolerance of corruption and relative benevolence of the country’s first prime minister and elder statesman are widely seen as the key reasons for its success.

 “Unfortunately for nations looking to replicate Singapore’s success, finding the next Lee Kuan Yew is no easy task and may be a foolhardy one. Long-term leaders are often correctly regarded as more concerned about their own power than the interests of the nation, with Lee Kuan Yew being the exception that proves the rule. … Singapore’s international reputation has spread by word of mouth as much as it has by active promotion.

 “Though the passing of Lee Kuan Yew in March this year (2015) is a sad loss, he leaves a legacy that few can hope to better. Singapore is now seen as modern, innovative, industrious, welcoming to outsiders and increasingly culturally rich, and has left its neighbours (including Malaysia) far behind it.”

However, celebrating 50 years of independence will not make the future for Singapore unless the virtue of honouring our word is understood and sustained by succeeding generations.

The genesis of the book WINNING WITH HONOUR was a sense, almost of compulsion, to share our convictions on the utter criticality of Honour to make Singapore’s future.


As we studied the literature and developed our arguments, it struck us that Honour was not just about explaining Singapore’s journey from Third World Economy to First World Economy in a generation, but is an essential virtue that undergirds purposefulness in life, happiness in family, stability in society, advantage in business, success in leadership, and security in the nation.

Thus it came about that this book became one about life and living, and not just about the survival and success of Singapore.

The book is written from the perspective of Singapore and Singaporeans, but it draws wisdom from history, geography, culture, religion, the wisdom of the ancients, as well as writings and examples from all over the world. We believe there is a universality in the message of Honour that can prove valuable to all who would care to reflect on how to sustain success in one’s life, family, community, organisation and/or nation.


The purpose of this book is to invite thought about what “winning in life” actually means. What is success? How do you define success? What makes for a satisfied life?

The book also seeks to raise consciousness about the virtue of Honour in our lives, and posits that a good way and the best way to win in life and work is to practise and promote Honour, particularly in the two dimensions of:

  • Honouring Our Word
  • Honouring Each Other

The book draws wisdom from the ancients and religion, as well as from recent research and contemporary commentators. We do not claim to have all the answers, but we share what we ourselves have learnt so that you can come to your own conclusions and convictions of what makes a successful and satisfied life.

We hope that you will find enormous benefit from the book, whether it be to enhance your capacity to lead your lives, your families, your communities, your businesses and organisations and your nation, or simply to question what you are doing with your time and your energy to achieve good for yourselves and for those around you.


Live Life.  Live Well.  Live Good. 


Winning with Honour

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