“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Vision n Strategy

The young boy asked the old man, "why a fast running horse is better than the slow running horse"? The old man said, "It has developed the habit to produce more power so that it can run up to ten times faster than the slow horse"

The youngster asked, "And what if the horse is running in the wrong direction?" The old man smiled and said, "Then definitely it has the proportionate factor for wasting the efforts ten times quicker than the slower horse"

The young man asked, "And what if other horses are following him too?" The older man said, "Off course it will mislead all those horses too!"

The young man asked again, "Then why all other horses follow the faster horse?" The older man said, "Because that attracts them but all that glitters is not gold sometimes."

Lesson learned

Vision is one of the most critical traits of current and emerging leaders because strong vision results establishing better strategy to ensure success. In its basic definition, the vision is to see (visualize) the future at present moment and then aligning the strategies including but not limited to policies, procedures and action plans in order to ensure success without any setbacks.

Below 8 Ps elaborate the concept of Vision and Strategy altogether: 

1. Picking the Right Battle
Effective leaders ponder well enough to choose the right course of direction (the mission) which can lead them towards success with higher success probability and greater efficiency. This does not means that they select easy targets instead sometimes they select more challenging grounds with their gut feeling of success. However they are careful in making their choices because of being the captain of the boat. If the leader succeeds, the boat sails; if leader drowns the whole boat gets collapsed.

2. Perspective
How a leader sees the future is very sensitive matter. No matter how genius team members he/she possesses; his own vision is highly important. It is said that an army of dears lead by a lion is far better than any army of lions lead by a dear. The leader's vision depends on the level of mental comprehension of industry, current statistics, near future and long term forecasts/trends, overall knowledge and experience of associated domains, a lot of study and observation about market and expectation of stake holders.
3. Present Position
The leader must define the baseline because this will be the reference to be compared when measuring performance and progress at later stage. The visionary leader must clearly define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); the current values of KPIs, bench marking in line with industry standards, the measurement criteria and measurement frequency.

4. Policies and Procedures
The review of current and finalization of policies for concrete results should be done prior to kick off the execution phase. Yet a leader should be smart enough to closely monitor and tweak the policies and procedures in case something is putting the projects/programs in jeopardy. The market dynamics demands consistent focus and a lot of iterations in companies' strategies.

5. Plans
Failing to plan is planning to fail. The leader would define high level goals; the goals which are SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound)  Once defined, the leader assigns these to the team of managers which in turn use the RACI model for further low level implementation. (RACI tool is used for defining Responsibility Matrix; RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed respectively)

6. Pattern
Although Low level micro tasks is not a specific leaders' responsibility but it becomes very effective if leaders take active part few times during the life cycle of the project; especially when WBS (work breakdown structures) are prepared by the associated Project Managers. Sometimes his/her vision and experience can make big difference when reviewing WBS with the PM.

7. Progress Performance
Consistent progress and performance measurement against the baseline must be ensured by the leaders. This also requires risk identification, risk analysis and risk mitigation. The project becomes orphans if the leader does not review its performance periodically.
8. Power Plug
Last but not the least; he becomes the consistent source of inspiration, fuel and energy for his team members. By this act he ensures that the 'batteries' (employee's working potential) are charged throughout the life cycle of the project.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders

A young manager accosted me the other day. "I've been reading all about leadership, have implemented several ideas, and think I'm doing a good job at leading my team. How will I know when I've crossed over from being a manager to a leader?" he wanted to know.

I didn't have a ready answer and it's a complicated issue, so we decided to talk the next day. I thought long and hard, and came up with three tests that will help you decide if you've made the shift from managing people to leading them.

 Counting Value vs Creating Value. You're probably counting value, not adding it, if you're managing people. Only managers count value; some even reduce value by disabling those who add value. If a diamond cutter is asked to report every 15 minutes how many stones he has cut, by distracting him, his boss is subtracting value.

By contrast, leaders focus on creating value, saying: "I'd like you to handle A while I deal with B." He or she generates value over and above that which the team creates, and is as much a value-creator as his or her followers are. Leading by example and leading by enabling people are the hallmarks of action-based leadership.

Circles of Influence vs Circles of Power. Just as managers have subordinates and leaders have followers, managers create circles of power while leaders create circles of influence.

The quickest way to figure out which of the two you're doing is to count the number of people outside your reporting hierarchy who come to you for advice. The more that do, the more likely it is that you are perceived to be a leader.

Leading People vs  Managing Work. Management consists of controlling a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal. Leadership refers to an individual's ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success. Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.

In India, M.K. Gandhi inspired millions of people to fight for their rights, and he walked shoulder to shoulder with them so India could achieve independence in 1947. His vision became everyone's dream and ensured that the country's push for independence was unstoppable. The world needs leaders like him who can think beyond problems, have a vision, and inspire people to convert challenges into opportunities, a step at a time.

I encouraged my colleague to put this theory to the test by inviting his team-mates for chats. When they stop discussing the tasks at hand and talk about vision, purpose, and aspirations instead, that's when you will know you have become a leader.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Semuanya Sudah Terbalik

Seorang guru wanita sedang bersemangat mengajarkan sesuatu kepada murid-muridnya. Ia duduk menghadap murid-muridnya. Di tangan kirinya ada kapur, di tangan kanannya ada pemadam. Guru itu berkata,

"Saya ada satu permainan ... Caranya begini, ditangan kiri saya ada kapur, di tangan kanan ada pemadam. Jika saya angkat kapur ini, maka berserulah "Kapur!", jika saya angkat pemadam ini, maka katalah "Pemadam!"

Murid muridnya pun mengerti dan mengikuti. Guru berganti-gantian mengangkat antara kanan dan kiri tangannya, semakin lama semakin cepat. Beberapa saat kemudian guru kembali berkata, "Baik sekarang perhatikan. Jika saya angkat kapur, maka sebutlah "Pemadam!", jika saya angkat pemadam, maka katakanlah "Kapur!".

Dan diulangkan seperti tadi, tentu saja murid-murid tadi keliru dan kekok, dan sangat sukar untuk mengubahnya. Namun lambat laun, mereka sudah biasa dan tidak lagi kekok. Selang beberapa saat, permainan berhenti.

Sang guru tersenyum kepada murid-muridnya. "Murid-murid, begitulah kita manusia. Mulanya yang benar itu benar, yang salah itu salah. Kita begitu jelas membezakannya. Namun kemudian, akibat kelalaian, kita menukarkan sesuatu, dari yang benar menjadi salah, dan sebaliknya.

Pertama-tama mungkin akan sukar bagi kita menerima hal tersebut, tapi kerana terus tenggelam dengan godaan hidup, akhirnya lambat laun kita akan terbiasa dengan hal itu. Dan anda mulai dapat mengikutinya.

"Keluar berduaan, berkasih-kasihan tidak lagi sesuatu yang pelik, zina tidak lagi jadi persoalan, pakaian seksi menjadi hal yang lumrah, tanpa rasa malu, sex sebelum nikah menjadi suatu kebiasaan dan trend, hiburan yang asyik dan panjang sehingga melupakan yang wajib adalah biasa, materialistik kini menjadi suatu gaya hidup dan lain lain."

"Semuanya sudah terbalik. Dan tanpa disedari, anda sedikit demi sedikit menerimanya tanpa rasa ia satu kesalahan dan kemaksiatan. Paham?" tanya Guru kepada murid-muridnya. "Paham cikgu..."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Determining Your True Path

A master was strolling through a field of wheat when a disciple came up to him and asked, “I can’t tell which is the true path. What’s the secret?”

“What does that ring on your right hand mean?” – asked the master.

“My father gave it to me before dying.”

“Well, give it to me.”

The disciple obeyed, and the master tossed the ring into the middle of the field of wheat.

“Now what?” – shouted the master.

“Now I have to stop doing everything I was doing to look for the ring! It’s important to me!”

“When you find it, remember this: You yourself answered the question you asked me. That is how you tell the true path: It is more important than all the rest.”

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I’ve learned ...

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned that you should never ruin an apology with an excuse.

I’ve learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned that you can keep going long after you can’t.

I’ve learned that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I’ve learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I’ve learned that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned that your family won’t always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren’t related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren’t biological.

I’ve learned that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive yourself.

I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.

I’ve learned that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I’ve learned that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings, and standing up for what you believe.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Satu pagi itu, saya duduk berbincang dengan seorang Datuk ini mengenai apa yang perlu dilaksanakan bagi menjayakan program pembangunan kepimpinan untuk satu organisasi besar di negara ini.

Saya ‘bombard’ Datuk ini dengan pelbagai soalan dan syor untuk program ini. Saya lihat Datuk ini ‘deep’ memikirkan sesuatu sebelum dia senyum merenung saya.

“Betul Mior, there are so many things to be done to realize all these program. Actually at the moment I sedang membaca buku karangan seorang Professor Harvard ini. Professor ini sebenarnya merupakan seorang pakar dalam bidang ‘negotiation’. 

Dalam buku ini, she said, dalam kepala kita ini ada macam-macam agenda yang mahu kita laksanakan. Kita perlu ada ability untuk negotiate dengan diri kita apakah agenda utama yang perlu kita lakukan.

Jika kita tidak berupaya negotiate dengan diri kita, pasti kita akan rasa overwhelmed dan sudahnya nothing happen. Even at this point of time, I pun rasa overwhelmed sebab demand yang tinggi dari customer. But I know I have to establish apa agenda yang perlu dilakukan terlebih dulu. Jika tidak, huru hara.

Actually Mior, itu baru antara I dan diri I. Belum lagi cuba nak negotiate agenda dengan orang lain. Lagi havoc. But somehow, selepas kita tahu inilah realiti keadaan kita, we have to accept the situation dan move on. Yang penting whatever yang dipilih, we have to be responsible and accountable to it.”

Termenung sebentar saya mendengar kata-kata Datuk ini. Saya terasa benar the gravity of the issue yang diketengahkan oleh Datuk ini.

Bila kita lihat kehidupan kita ini, saban hari kita terdedah dengan beraneka agenda untuk kita pertimbangkan. Namun bagi mereka yang berjaya, mereka sebenarnya mampu ‘lock in’ kepada satu agenda dan kemudian make it happen. Mereka tidak mudah digugat dengan agenda lain. Itu sebab mereka berjaya.

Teringat saya kepada quote ini … ‘If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves’.

Di waktu ini, hasil selalu menjadi keutamaan. Sesiapa yang berupaya menghasilkan hasil, beliau akan dijulang. Jika beliau gagal menghasilkan hasil, beliau akan dilupakan. Mana mungkin kita berupaya menghasilkan hasil jika kita tidak ‘lock in’  kepada satu agenda.

Moga Tuhan beri saya kekuatan untuk amalkan apa yang dikongsi oleh Datuk ini. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

What Really Matter

Pertama kali saya saksikan video clip ini memang buat saya teruja. Memang video ini mampu menceritakan segala intipati (essence) dalam program yang saya bawakan iaitu Sedia Untuk Berjaya (SUB).  Mari kita sama-sama saksikan video ini ...

Agar hidup ini penuh bermakna, pertama sekali mesti kita ketahui apa ilmu dan skill yang mahu kita bina dalam diri kita. Itu sebab satu alat bernama S.W.O.T. digunakan bagi mencapai maksud ini. 

Namun tak mampu kita guna diri untuk mencapai segala matlamat jika kita tidak tahu bagaimana diri beroperasi. Itu sebab satu alat yang dinamakan 'Stick Person' digunakan bagi mencapai tujuan ini. Bila kita tahu bagaiamana diri beroperasi maka lebih mudah kita memperbetulkan diri bilamana timbul sebarang cabaran.

Bagi memperkuatkan diri agar kukuh dalam perjalananan kita untuk capai matlamat tersebut pula, kita harus tahu apakah nilai yang boleh dibawa oleh matlamat kita itu. Tanpa mengetahui nilai ini terutama bagaimana ianya bernilai pada orang lain, kita mungkin terjerumus kedalam satu mindset yang bernama 'syok sendiri'. Itu sebab satu alat bernama 'Business Model Canvas' digunakan bagi mengenalpasti dan membina nilai ini.

Jika segala aktiviti di atas kita hubungkan kepada niat diri kita untuk beri yang terbaik dalam hidup sebagai tanda syukur kita terhadap apa yang Tuhan berikan kepada kita, dengan izin Tuhan, hidup kita sentiasa diberkati dan dirahmati.

Moga dengan bantuan dari tiga alat ini, kita mampu mencapai maksud dari video di atas. Wallahu'alam.

Insya Allah akan saya masukkan video clip ini dalam SUB.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Erti Kepimpinan - Satu Cara Pandang

Adakah anda mempunyai keupayaan untuk mempengaruhi

Pelanggan Anda
Penyelia Anda
Rakan Anda
Orang Bawahan Anda
Diri Anda

… bagi mencapai apa yang anda mahu capai?

Bukankah bila kita mampu laksanakan perkara di atas, dengan sendirinya kita menjadi pemimpin yang berkesan?

Inilah yang telah disuarakan oleh seorang General Perang Dunia Kedua dahulu. Saya rasa General ini tahu apa yang dicakapkannya kerana beliau perlu memimpin/mempengaruhi askar-askar beliau yang perlu mempertaruhkan nyawa mereka bagi mencapai hasrat General ini. Fikirkan …

Segala kompetensi seperti merancang, berkomunikasi, mendeligasi, coaching, mentoring, memotivasi, berinovasi, mengurus konflik, mengurus masa dan problem solving merupakan antara elemen penting yang perlu ada pada seorang pemimpin untuk berupaya mempengaruhi dengan berkesan.  

Bukan itu saja, agar mampu memimpin/mempengaruhi dengan berkesan, seorang pemimpin mesti juga mempunyai nilai-nilai murni seperti berintegriti, prihatin, berkomitmen, bersemangat tinggi dan bertanggungjawab.

Apa kata kita jadikan keupayaan untuk mempengaruhi ini sebagai ‘The One Thing’ yang perlu kita fokuskan dalam hasrat membina leaders dalam organisasi kita? Dalam kata lain, segala usaha membina leaders perlu bermula dari titik ini iaitu keupayaan untuk mempengaruhi.

Kita jadikan ini sebagai ‘Our One Common Language’ bila bercakap mengenai Kepimpinan. Rasanya ini membuatkan kita semua senang fokus dalam membina kepimpinan di kalangan kita.

Bukan apa, apabila saya berjalan dalam satu-satu organisasi itu, saya lihat pemimpin-pemimpin organisasi itu mempunyai pelbagai takrif untuk kepimpinan. Masalah bila kita mempunyai pelbagai takrif kepimpinan dalam satu-satu organisasi itu ini ialah kita sukar untuk menyatu-padukan segala usaha membina pemimpin. Banyak sangat kepala. Sudahnya nothing happen. Fikirkan …

Saya mengimpikan agar satu masa nanti ada organisasi di Malaysia ini akan menjadikan slogan di atas sebagai ‘The One Thing’ mereka dalam membangunkan kepimpinan dalam organisasi mereka. Insyaallah. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tindakan dan ‘Passion’

Ramai yang mahu capai matlamat masing-masing. Dari ramai-ramai orang itu, hanya segelintir yang mampu capai matlamat. Ini adalah kerana ramai diantara kita tiada kekuatan untuk mengambil tindakan.  Tindakan membezakan segalanya. Tapi bukan itu sahaja, dalam zaman serba moden ini, tindakan kita perlu mempunyai dua ciri.

Pertama segala tindakan perlu laju. Jika tidak sudah tentu kita ketinggalan. Teringat kata-kata seorang sahabat ini,

Fast Action, Fast Result
Slow Action, No Result!

Berbeza jauh dengan apa yang biasa saya dengar semasa kecil-kecil dahulu, ‘Biar Lambat Asal Selamat’. Sudah tidak boleh dipakai lagi pepatah ini.

Kedua, segala tindakan kita perlu dibuat sehingga selesai. Ramai yang bertindak dengan begitu semangat pada mulanya tetapi makin lama langsung ditinggalkan begitu sahaja. Tindakan yang separuh jalan tidak akan membawa kita mencapai matlamat kita.

Beberapa hari lepas, semasa memfasilitatorkan program ‘Young Executive Forum’ untuk Bahagian Penghantaran, TNB, saya mendapat satu ilham bagaimana untuk membina ‘passion’ dalam apa yang kita kerjakan. Bagaimana? Ini penjelasannya …

Setiap satu kerja itu bila kita ambil tindakan, lama kelamaan akan menwujudkan ‘suka’ terhadap kerja tersebut. Dan jika kita terus mengambil tindakan terhadap kerja tersebut, ‘suka’ itu akan bertukar pula menjadi rasa ‘passion’ terhadap kerja tersebut.

Rahsia merasai ‘passion’ itu rupanya berdasarkan kepada tindakan berterusan walaupun pada mulanya kita mungkin tidak menyukai kerja tersebut. Kenapa bila kita ambil tindakan boleh menwujudkan rasa ‘passion’ pada akhirnya?

Ini adalah kerana bila kita mengambil tindakan, dua perkara akan berlaku,

1) Mampu melihat perkara-perkara baru mengenai kerja tersebut.
2) Mampu melihat kerja tersebut dari satu sudut pandang baru.

Mana mungkin seorang yang tidak mengambil tindakan itu mampu terdedah kepada dua perkara di atas? Perasaan yang timbul ini mudah digambarkan seperti ceritanya dalam lagu berikut. Renungkan kata-kata lagu tersebut.

Saya harap anda mampu nampak apa yang saya nampak mengenai bagaimana rasa ‘passion’ itu mulai wujud dalam diri kita. Moga selepas ini kita mempunyai sebab yang kukuh untuk mengambil tindakan.