Friday, July 26, 2013

7 Wonderful Qualities Of A Leader

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition (2010), defines leader as a person who leads a group of people, especially the head of a country, an organization, etc.

To be a wonderful leader, one should possess combinations of some of the following qualities:

(1) Leaders Have Good Communication Skills

Leaders are good communicators. They leave no doubt about the meaning of their message. That’s what Stan Toler (2002) wrote in his book “Minute Motivators for Leaders”. He added that communication process isn’t complete until the audience has both listened and understood the delivered message.

Bob Adams (2001) in his book “The Everything Leadership Book” said that effective communication skills are integral to any working partnership / team or personal relationship. Therefore, according to him, it is safe to say that good communication skills are one of the building blocks of being an effective leader.

(2) Leaders Are People with Courage

Courage is largely habit and self-confidence. It is a valuable commodity on the battlefield or in the board room. Alan Axelrod (1999) mentioned this in his book “Patton on Leadership”. According to him, General George S. Patton, Jr., one of the most decorated American heroes during World War II, believed that courage could be learned – acquired through practice. 

According to Marshall Loeb and Stephen Kindel (1999) in their book “Leadership for Dummies”, leaders learn how to suck up their courage, trust their instincts, and move ahead into the unknown, even when they’re just as scared as their followers.

(3) Leaders Pay Attention to Details

During World War II, in commanding the U.S. Third Army, General Patton understood that wet socks lead to trenchfoot and other conditions that keep a man from marching, wrote Axelrod (1999). Socks are a small and lowly item, but Patton realized that on dry socks (and healthy feet), the efficiency of his army depended.

On the other hand, lack of attention to details can result in tragedy. According to Seth Godin (1995) in his book “Wisdom, Inc.”, the space shuttle Challenger exploded because a fifteen-cent rubber part did not function in unusually cold weather. Several brilliant scientists (and astronauts) were killed because this one tiny detail was overlooked.

Napoleon Hill (1937) in his book “Think and Grow Rich” mentioned about the mastery of detail, which was one of the 11 important factors of leadership. According to him, successful leadership calls for mastery of the details of the leader’s position.

(4) Leaders are Problem Solvers

“You can measure a leader by the problems he tackles. He always looks for ones his own size”, wrote by John C. Maxwell (1999) in his book “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader”.

Every workplace will have some conflict, no matter how great the leadership team may be. Leaders need to identify conflict as early as possible and determine what kind of conflict is involved and its underlying causes. These remarks were written by Bob Adams (2001) in his book “The Everything Leadership Book”.

(5) Leaders Build Relationships

Building relationships based on trust was one of the topics covered by Ian Lawson (2001) in his book “Leadership”. According to him, there are seven key behaviours / attributes in this area:

- Not putting self-interest before the interests of your staff,
- Keeping promises and doing what you say you will do,
- Being in touch with and sensitive to other people’s feelings,
- Being calm in a crisis and when under pressure,
- Being honest and truthful,
- Not taking personal credit for other people’s work, and
- Always being fair.

(6) The Leader as Team-Builder

Ismail Noor (2002) wrote his book “Prophet Muhammad’s Leadership” that the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. is acknowledged as an exemplary team leader who knew how to get the best out of his principal lieutenants by understanding the true value of the human resource factor.

According to him, effective team-working stems from people complementing, rather than, rivalling, each other or merely co-existing alongside one another.

The leading members of the Majlis Syura or the Consultative Council during the time of the Prophet’s governance were Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, Umar Al-Khattab, Uthman Al-Affan, Ali bin Abi Talib, Zaid bin Thabit Al-Ansari, Abd. Rahman bin ‘Auf, Salmaan Al-Farsi, and ‘Ubayy bin Ka’b.    

Scene at the door to Makam Rasulullah, peace be upon him, at Masjid Nabawi in Madinah

 (7) The Leader as Visionary

In her book “Leadership Skills for Managers”, Marlene Caroselli (2001) stated that for leaders to effect positive change, they must have a picture of what the improvement will look like. That improvement, on a small or grand scale, is called a vision.

According to Ros Jay (2004), vision is the ability to develop the future strategy of the business. In her book “The Successful Candidate”, she wrote: “vision implies that not only can you see ahead and respond well in advance, but that you can also be pro-active, setting the trend yourself and setting how the business will look in several years’ time.  

“Wonderful leaders are comparable to eagles. They fly higher but not in flocks, like most birds”.   

17 Ramadan 1434H (Nuzul al-Quran)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Following Leaders With Integrity


Leadership and Leader have become the everlasting subjects that are discussed extensively by many consultants, writers, authors, academicians, politicians and others. Many agreed that leadership is about behaviour first, skills second. 

According to Bruce R. Jewell in his book “An Integrated Approach to Business Studies (2000)”, leadership is the art or process of influencing people so that they perform assigned tasks willingly and in an efficient and effective manner. Andrew Gillespie defines leadership in his book “Business Studies Through Diagrams (2001)” as the process of influencing others towards a shared goal.

While a leader is a person who leads a group of people, especially the head of a country, an organization, etc. This is as defined in Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, New 8th Edition (2010).

John C. Maxwell in his book “New Leadership 101 (1997)” wrote: A leader’s credibility and his right to be followed are based on his life, as much as his lip.        

A leader worth following entails the person to exhibit, among others, an element of integrity.

What is Integrity

One reputable private institution of higher learning, Taylor’s University, situated in the State of Selangor, Malaysia uses the word Integrity as one of the three elements as their corporate motto. The other two elements are Wisdom and Excellence. To them, integrity is about right values and morals in life; it is the backbone that upholds strong and positive characters.     

The INTI International University also undertakes the word Integrity as part of their corporate motto (besides Quality and Caring), while Monash University Malaysia publicized: “Integrity that ensures employability in the corporate world”. Both of these universities are also located in the State of Selangor, Malaysia.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, it defines integrity as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. When a person is honest, he tells the truth; not lying or cheating. It is as simple as that. Moral can be described as following the right and accepted standards of behaviour; good in character; or able to understand the differences between right and wrong.

A distinctive example of a person of highest integrity was the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). During his time, he was known as al-Amin which means the trustworthy one.

George E. Wolf, P.E. ( wrote that many times we put a little spin on reports, presentations or programme updates just to make them a little more interesting or acceptable. According to him, spin and integrity are not compatible concepts.

Many political and corporate leaders as well as others had made mentioned to or written something about integrity and related subject. For reference, some of them are listed down below:

- Competency and the skills of civil servants are extremely important and must be complemented with integrity.
-  Lack of integrity had brought down many corporate czars and corporations in the last 1997 Asian financial crisis.
-  When you live with integrity, you succeed. You are open and honest and your life is uncomplicated and less stressful.
-  In a survey for 15-category types of occupation conducted in early 2006, conducted by MORI of United Kingdom and Business Ethics Institute of Malaysia (BIEM); the respondents in the U.K. and Malaysia trusted the following professionals – 1st, doctors; 2nd, teachers; and 3rd, professors. Politicians occupied the last position.    


With integrity, a leader has the freedom to make independent decisions or judgement for the benefit of his company.     

We do not have to go to Harvard & Yale or Oxford & Cambridge to learn that good leaders are followed mainly because people trust and respect them, rather than the skills they possess. The acid test of leadership is for the leader to turn around and see if anyone is following him.   

12 Ramadan 1434H

Friday, July 19, 2013



Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882), an American philosopher and poet, once said: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”.

Robert M. Unger and John Kuppillas Jr. (1991) in their book entitled “Success is a Choice” wrote: “Leaders in all walks of life use enthusiasm to inspire their followers in pursuing worthy objectives”. On the other hand, many dictators have used it to inspire their people to support evil.

Joe Girard (1995) in his book “Mastering Your Way To The Top” advised us to look for enthusiastic people. People who see the glass as half full, not as half empty.

From the above, what is enthusiasm then? According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, New 8th Edition (2010), enthusiasm is a strong feeling of excitement and interest in something and a desire to become involved in it.

To demonstrate how you can profit from enthusiasm, following two enthusiasm-related stories adapted from “A Year of Growing Rich” by Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) can be used as evergreen examples.


Martha Berry founded a school in mountainous North Georgia for poor boys and girls whose parents could not pay for their education. It was financially difficult to carry on with her work during the early days. Finally she was able to arrange to meet with Henry Ford to ask for assistance. She explained to him what she was doing and asked Ford for a modest donation. Ford refused!

“Well then,” said Berry, “will you give us a bushel of peanuts?”

The novelty of the request so amused Ford that he gave her the money for the peanuts. Miss Berry helped her students plant and replant the peanuts until they had piled up a considerable sum of money. Then she took the money back to Ford to show how she had multiplied his small donation.

Henry Ford was so impressed that he donated enough tractors and farm equipment to put her school farm on a self-supporting basis. Through the years, Ford gave more than one million dollars to help build the beautiful stone building which now stand on the campus.

Ford said, “I couldn’t help being impressed with her sincerity and enthusiasm and the marvelous way she applied it on behalf of needy boys and girls.”


Carol Downes gave up his job in a bank to join a recently formed automobile company owned by W. C. Durant. Checking for a possible promotion after six months, Downes went to see Durant and asked how he could improve his services to the company, what were his greatest faults and virtues in his work. Finally, he asked, “What position higher than my present one am I qualified to hold?”

Durant was amused with the sheer courage and enthusiasm as demonstrated by Downes’ questionnaires.

Durant gave it back to him with only the last question answered. He had written, “You are hereby appointed to supervise the installation of machinery and equipment in our new assembly plant, with no promise of either promotion or increased in pay”.

Durant also gave Downes a series of blueprints, showing where the machinery was to be installed and said, “Here are the instructions for you to follow. Now let’s see what you can do with them”.

With no engineering training, Durant could not even read them. Instead of admitting defeat that he had bitten off more than he could chew, he went out and found the right man to do the job. Downes hired an engineering firm to supervise the installation of the machinery under his direction and paid the fee from his own pocket.

One day as he walked to Durant’s office to report that the job had been completed – a week ahead of schedule – he passed a row of executive offices. He was shocked to see one of the doors was lettered CAROL DOWNES, GENERAL MANAGER. Durant told him that he was promoted to that position with a rise in pay.

Durant said, “When I give you that blueprint, I knew you couldn’t read them. But I wanted to see how you would handle the situation”. He added, “Your resourcefulness and enthusiasm in finding someone to do the job marked you as good executive material. If you had come back with an alibi instead of a complete job, I would have fired you”.


As Ros Jay (2004) had written in her book, “The Successful Candidate”: “Enthusiasm is largely about putting your heart into what you’re doing”. While Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) in his book “Keys To Success” wrote: “A person without enthusiasm is like a watch without a mainspring”.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Enam Petua Untuk Berjaya

PADA 5 OGOS 2010]
(Saya ingin mengucapkan selamat menjalankan ibadat puasa dalam bulan Ramadan yang mulia ini kepada semua pembaca blog saya; semuga anda semua beroleh kejayaan)
Apakah sifat-sifat istimewa yang dimiliki oleh orang-orang yang berjaya dan berhemah tinggi? Mengapakah mereka terus menempa kejayaan demi kejayaan sedangkan dalam masa yang sama orang lain terus dilanda masalah?
Jawapannya ialah bagaimana mereka melihat setiap masalah yang dihadapi. Mereka mengendali setiap masalah secara betul dan praktikal. Mereka juga memahami enam prinsip yang berhubungkait dengan jenis masalah.
Saya telah menemui jawapan ini dalam buku “Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do” yang telah di tulis oleh Dr. Robert H. Schuller dan ingin berkongsi dengan semua pembaca  blog saya ini untuk menuju kejayaan.

Apakah masalah anda? Anda tidak mempunyai pekerjaan? Mungkin anda berfikir bahawa setelah mendapat pekerjaan semua masalah akan lenyap. Mereka yang mempunyai pekerjaan juga bermasalah. Mereka mengeluh kerana terpaksa bangun pagi untuk pergi ke tempat kerja pada setiap hari kerja. Dan ratusan, mungkin ribuan pekerja mendapat kerja yang tidak mereka sukai.
Sesetengah orang pula beranggapan bahawa masalah mereka timbul kerana terpaksa melapor diri kepada seorang ketua. Tetapi ramai ketua yang menghadapai masalah, sama ada dari segi perhubungan ataupun pengurusan kakitangan.
Jadi bagaimanakah keadaan dengan mereka yang berjaya? Adakah mereka terkecuali daripada menghadapi masalah? Sebenarnya setiap kejayaan tidak menghapuskan masalah, ia melahirkan pula masalah yang baru.
Setiap masalah biasanya akan berakhir. Lambat laun ia akan pergi jua.
Ketepatan kenyataan ini adalah jelas kalau kita menoleh kebelakang melihat sejarah manusia. Tamadun manusia menghadapi detik-detik kegemilangan dan juga kejatuhannya. Institusi kamanusiaan yang menghadapi suasana kemelesetan akan satu ketika nanti menuju kemercu kejayaan secara perlahan-lahan.       
Setiap masalah mengandungi bahan atau ramuan rahsia potensi yang kreatif sama ada untuk 

diri anda ataupun orang lain. Masalah yang dihadapi oleh seseorang boleh dijadikan modal 

perniagaan yang menguntungkan untuk orang lain. Contohnya, seseorang yang pernah 

diisytiharkan muflis oleh mahkamah boleh bertindak sebagai seorang panasihat kepada 

mereka yang akan diumumkan sebagai muflis.

Masalah yang dihadapi oleh seseorang boleh memberi kesempatan atau peluang baik kepada orang lain.
    Sebagai contoh, kita kadang kala tersua dengan seorang jurujual yang berjaya. Tetapi bila diselidiki, ia berkelulusan dalam bidang sejarah dan pendidikan yang tidak ada kaitan dengan kerjayanya.
Sebenar ia dahulunya bekerja sebagai seorang guru. Tetapi sebagai seorang guru yang 

menjemukan, ia telah menimbulkan banyak masalah kepada majikannya hingga ia 

diberhentikan kerja. Kerana marah disebabkan pemberhentian kerjanya, ia berazam untuk 

menunjukkan kepada masyarakat bahawa ia juga boleh berjaya dalam hidup. 

Kini ia bersyukur kerana dibuang kerja kerana peristiwa itu membuat ia sangat marah hingga bertekad untuk terus berusaha hingga berjaya.      
Anda mungkin tidak dapat mengawal masalah. Tetapi anda boleh merancang tindakan balas 

terhadapnya. Sekiranya anda mengawal rancangan tindakan balas terhadap masalah hidup, 

bermakna anda telah dapat mengawal masalah yang melanda diri sendiri.
Masalah boleh membuat anda lemah atau sebaliknya. Ia juga boleh membuat anda hidup dengan lebih baik ataupun menderita. Semuanya bergantung kepada diri anda.
Akhir sekali, orang-orang yang cekal hati boleh terus hidup walaupun dalam keadaan yang menyulitkan. Kerana mereka memilih untuk bertindak balas secara positif dalam keadaan sulit atau berbahaya walaupun ia bukan satu perkara yang mudah.
Misalnya, apakah tindak balas positif jika seseorang itu menghadapi masalah kewangan yang rumit? Dalam situasi ini apakah tindakan positif yang harus diambil? Larikan diri daripada penagih hutang? Mencari jalan keluar seperti minum hingga mabuk atau sebagainya?
Tidak! Tindakan balas negatif itu hanyalah penyelesaian sementara yang boleh membuahkan lain-lain masalah baru.
Tindakan positif terhadap masalah itu memerlukan semangat yang kuat untuk membuat 

langkah pertama. Ia memerlukan keberanian untuk bersemuka dengan penagih hutang dan 

berunding secara jujur dan terus terang. Jika mereka berkeras, maka jalan paling baik yang 

harus diambil secara undang-undang dan terhormat ialah menerima diisytiharkan sebagai muflis oleh mahkamah.

Pendek kata "Sekiranya anda tidak dapat selesaikan masalah, maka anda harus mengendalikannya".