[STARCAST] Let’s meet SHINee – Byword of gentle leadership ‘Onew’

SHINee is shining in various areas as well as in the K-pop world. SHINee has already proved their power in the K-pop world with their fifth mini album ‘Everybody’. Each member of SHINee has his own personality. Min-ho is appearing onMBC’s drama series ‘Medical Top Team’ as an actor while Tae-min is appearing on MBC’s variety show ‘We Got Married’ as a manly man. Jong-hyun and Key are expanding their area of interest into songwriting and musical, respectively.  

The leader Onew of SHINee, which marks the fifth anniversary of its debut this year, played a big part in each member being active in various areas. Onew’s gentle but sometimes charismatic leadership has led the team to be in the current position. Then, what is Onew’s own leadership like? In 2010, SHINee said conditions of a good leader in an interview with KBS2’s ‘Entertainment Weekly’. Onew turned out be have all conditions such as responsibility, eloquence, charisma, spirit of self-sacrifice, and handsome face. Today’s ‘Let’s Meet SHINee’ take a close look at Onew’s leadership based on the conditions of a good leader put forth by the SHINee members.

# Condition of a good leader 1 – charisma

When you hear the word ‘leader’, a man with a strong charisma usually comes to your mind. When SHINee debuted, people mistakenly saw Jong-hyun as a leader due to his powerful vocal style and fierce eyes. However, the leader of SHINee was Onew, the oldest member. Onew, who reminds one of ‘gentleness’ from his name to his appearance, had gentle leadership. Onew respects the other members. He listens to their ideas instead of forcing them to listen to him. Onew said, “I accept anything. If not, I was stressed out. I never tell them to do something as I say.”

# Condition of a good leader 2 – responsibility

Just because Onew respects and trusts the other members does not mean that he neglects them. In their early days, he had a hard time as a leader with a heavy sense of responsibility. Onew spoke about his feelings honestly on MBC Music’s ‘SHINee’s One Fine Day’ aired early this year. He said, “I felt a sense of pressure to think that I should lead this team for at least a couple of years.” In an interview Onew had when he debuted, he revealed such sense of responsibility by saying, “I want to be a good leader for the other members who are good to me” or “I hope to be a leader who can ride through difficulties together.”  

# Condition of a good leader 3 – spirit of self-sacrifice

Onew neither tries to stand out nor forces his ideas into the other members. Tae-min said, “Onew does not tell us what to do in a certain situation, but he tells us to follow what we think is right.” The remark demonstrates Onew’s sense of self-sacrifice where he steps back for others instead of taking a forceful attitude. The same goes to music. Onew has a clean and neat voice while Jong-hyun has a powerful voice with high techniques. Onew’s gentle voice backs up Jong-hyun’s outstanding voice. That is how SHINee’s music can be complete. When Min-ho and Tae-mina engage in individual activities, Onew just supports them. “I am such an optimist. I do not have a sense of competition against the other members or other teams. I just have curiosity. I am not jealous. I am not in a hurry.”  

# Condition of a good leader 4 – eloquence

Eloquence is important since a leader speaks on behalf of his team in a TV program or an interview. Onew’s eloquence has already been revealed in several variety shows. In 2010, Onew debuted as a host of a variety show through KBS2’s ‘Ya Haeng Seong’ where he also succeeded to create his image as a ‘god of Takbam’. Producer Cho Seung-wook, who selected Onew as a host, praised him by saying, “Using Onew for the host was a successful challenge.” He hosted MBC’s ‘Show! Music Core’ for about 9 months together with Min-ho, Miss A’s Suzy and Tiara’s Ji-yeon. He deserves a passion mark for an eloquent leader.

# Condition of a good leader 5 – handsome face (?)

Onew mentioned ‘a handsome face’ as a condition of a good leader. In fact, Onew is not a flower boy type, but has a pure and boy-like face. His single eyelid and smiley face are tender and sweet. The soft image gave him the nickname ‘Tofu Leader Onew’. His appearance has a great effect on his image as a gentle leader. However, his thin and long eyes and sharp face line seem to show Onew’s strong sense of responsibility and spirit of self-sacrifice.  No words are needed any more. The pure and sexy guy Onew has a good-looking face.

Most of all, what drove Onew’s gentle leadership to shine was strong trust among the SHINee members. They chose Onew as a person whom they seek advice from when they are in trouble. Onew said that he now relies on the other members instead of being concerned about being a good leader. In an interview, Onew said, “I tended to keep my story to my mind when I was having a tough time since I am a leader who is responsible for everything.  As the oldest member of the team, I did not want to worry the younger members. These days, however, I started to share my story with them. They are a great help and even lead me.” There was Onew behind the completed boy band SHINee.