Sunday, April 29, 2012


Saya DUDUK di Shah Alam. Hari ini zon di mana saya DUDUK diistiharkan oleh MBSA sebagai zon BERSIH.

Saya berfikir:

1. Kalau semua kawasan di dalam zon ini di BERSIHkan daripada semua punca KOTORan, mestilah semua KOTORan itu akan dibuang di satu kawasan lain yang boleh menerima benda benda yang KOTOR ini. Jadinya, tempat buangan KOTORan itu pula yang tidak BERSIH dan menjadi KOTOR.

2. Untuk mengelakkan kekecohan penduduk yang tempatnya di BERSIHkan, dan juga penerimaan KOTORAN oleh orang yang menduduki kawasan yang di KOTORkan, tentulah perlu satu persetujuan bersama.

3. Penduduk awam perlu kepada keBERSIHan tempat kerana mereka perlu bebas risiko penyakit dan kotoran agar kehidupan, anak cucu cicit mereka terjamin sihat di masa hadapan. Itu faedah yang mereka impikan.

4. Penduduk yang menjaga tempat KOTORan, perlu menerima KOTORan kerana 2 sebab. Pertama, itu tugas dan tanggungjawab mereka untuk memBERSIHkan tempat-tempat KOTOR. Kedua, Walaupun KOTOR di mata kasar, bukannya KOTORan semuanya tidak berguna jika diBERSIHkan. Jika digembeling tenaga dan akal (jika ada) KOTORan ini banyak boleh dikitar semula dan menghasilan banyak WANG!

5. Ternyata, penduduk yang gemarkan tempat yang BERSIH tidak seorang pun yang suka berpindah ke tempat-tempat yang KOTOR kerana sudah selesa dengan tempat yang BERSIH. Kecualilah seteleh tempat KOTOR diBERSIHkan. Itu pun bukan satu jaminan.

6. Sebaliknya, penduduk yang sudah lali dengan tempat yang KOTOR, juga amat selesa dengan tempat yang KOTOR kerana 2 perkara. Pertama, gaji tetap, tetap ada walaupun kerja KOTOR. Kedua, ada tambahan income dari benda-benda KOTOR yang boleh recycle yang dapat dilakukan sekaligus. Di sini juga kerap terdengar mereka berebut-rebut memBERSIHkan kotoran untuk direcycle!

Saya terus berfikir, patutlah ada yang suka tempat mereka diBERSIHkan. Dan ada juga mereka yang suka pada tempat KOTOR.

Saya: membersihkan kawasan rumah dan mengotorkan tong sampah!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Assertive, aggressive and non assertive

In any given situation, especially when making decisions, you have the choice of being assertive, aggressive or non-assertive.

If you choose to make decisions based on information and your needs, you are acting assertively. If you, on the other hand, based your decisions on the potential for influencing others or without any regard on the feelings of others, you are being aggressive. But if you choose to leave to others to make decisions to avoid conflict, you are being non-assertive.

Acting assertively enables you to express your needs, thoughts and feelings honestly and directly without violating the right of others nor hurting their feelings. Being assertive boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Finding Time To Say "Thank You"

I have always received feedback from participants attending programmes I conducted that saying 'thank you' to someone is fairly easy and quite natural.

I challenged them by asking them if they still owed their spouses 'thank you' for their first night they had together, despite having been married for many many years. Almost immediately, I could see everyone staring at me with a smile. A look that say nothing else but, "You got me."

Did I proved them wrong? The answers can only come from the participants.

The point I am diving is that saying 'thank you' isn't that easy after all, especially so when that person is close to you. By being too close, one can be very assuming.

This article and this response are worth pondering. Is there any lessons learned here?

Managers are too busy doing their own things and expects the subordinates and co-workers to understand them. Their excuses have always been that they have more importance and urgent things to attend to. Little did they realised that their subordinates are observing their behaviours as they contradict themselves.

Didn't managers always stressed "that the most important assets in the organisation is their human capital (people)" in their company speeches?

Should managers be continually reminded to find time to say "thank you" to their workers? Should it take outsiders to trigger managers' thought to say 'thank you' to deserving co-workers?

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Power of The Powerless

On Monday 17 & 18 August 2009 I have conducted a 2-day public programme on 'Pengurusan Kakitangan Yang Efektif' organised by Bridge Knowle. Participants comprised of senior managers, managers and executives from public and private organisations. Several topics were covered including discussions on the possibility of subordinates ganging up to demonstrate their powers.

This article compelled me to pen my observations on what we can learn from the mysterious letter i.e from the people management perspective and as leader, the manner in which we manifest our behaviour.

Disillusioned, aggrieved, demoralised, demotivated, indifferent and etc. etc... subordinates could be the result of perceived mishandling by managers.

The programme I have conducted revealed that though managers are aware of the merits of the influence power, more often than not managers have the tendency to use their legitimate power especially the coercive power. Perturbed by their subordinates' performance, they threw 'verbal rocks' and misused words at their team members. They saw it as straight-to-the point, bold and easy-to-understand. Little did they realised that the use of such legitimate power has adverse causal effects. They don't drive a winning team spirit. These causal effects, mostly counter-productive, may undermine not only their positions but also their organisations.

I called this manifestation of counter-productive behaviours by subordinates resulting from perceived mistreatment and mishandling of subordinates by managers as the Power of the Powerless.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

In Position or In Control? - Lessons Learned From PKA Board

'Former PKA board not hands-on enough: PAC'. That was The Star Online headline on August 13. I shook my head reading the news.

I started my career as a traffic officer with Port Klang Authority (PKA) way back in 1970's, moved up several levels in the operations departments and only left PKA after serving 19 years to join the private sector.

In our formative years as young traffic officers with PKA, everyone of us have indeed climbed up and down ships holds during our inspection rounds to know what really happened on the ground. Information was not readily available unless one made his presence on the ground.

To lead an operations department or for that matter an operations unit, PKA's cardinal principle then was that one must not only possessed a good academic background in transport but must also be hands-on - no less. Leaders were groomed from this group. The operations positions were envious to many - especially to executives with non-transport academic background.

Things have changed. The 70's was the 'know-what' era. When improvements in technologies created global impact on efficiency and productivity, the 80's became the 'know-how' era. The 70's and 80's placed importance on technical skills. However, the advent of IT in as early as 90's has revolutionised information as power and turns the 21 century into the 'know-who' era. For those who could leverage (or rather manipulate) information and develop the right connections eventually hold powerful positions. While the 90's emphasise on human skills, the 2000's challenges one to have the political skills to be in position.

In the knowledge era, being 'in-position' seemed to be more envious than being 'in-control'. Under such circumstances, those who only 'know-what' and 'know-how' will have least choice but to adapt and learn to only tell 'what their bosses want to hear'. The rest of the management theories and Katz's management skills model they learnt are only good to them whilst they were in colleges and universities. Let alone the spiritual skill.

Bank Bumiputra, Arthur Anderson, Enron etc went through these phases. They are history. Any organisation could go through these phases except those with 'high-values' and 'high-commitment'.

This whole things remind me of these Malay proverbs:'bapa borek,anak rintik and 'bapa kencing berdiri, anak kencing berlari'

However, as we passed through the prime years in our career we need to 'know where are we going next' for leaders need to give more than they should take.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Spiritual Skill: Today's Managerial Leadership Critical Competency

This article does ring a bell. While much has been said about the so-called scandal, PWC's report finalised, tabled in parliament and made public though, the issue is far from over.

Looking at the issue in light of the managerial leadership aspect, the much talked scandal has negated the applicability of Katz's model on managerial skills.

While Katz's conceptual and technical skills can be likened to the pedal and the rear wheel that drive a bicycle, the human skill can be likened to the front wheel. The latter dictates whether the rider reaches his destination or otherwise. The analogy implies that human skill is paramount in ensuring managerial effectiveness.

The present business environment where businesses are run at the speed of thought and are boundaryless, the much debated scandals like PKFZ, BMF, ENRON, Arthur Anderson etc. etc. (and the list goes on and on and on) however, have challenged organisations to look beyond Katz's.

In today's environment, Katz's will only be complete and balanced if both aspects of 'outside-in' and 'inside-out' human competencies are nurtured into managerial leadership. Human skill needs both the essence and the soul to make it complete and balanced. Otherwise, it becomes hollow. Such emptiness turns employees' commitment meaningless, vision/mission statements into corporate decorations and corporate governance a mockery.

Human skill requires both to keep knocking on one's conscience from within. This is spirituality - this is spiritual skill. Spiritual skill provides the true context and meaning of subservience, loyalty, integrity, accountability etc and the continual consciousness of the ultimate concern.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What Can Leaders Learn From Badan and Nyawa

The differing stand between Selangor Excos on the recent beer issue reminds me of Badan and Nyawa, two characters played in one of the most popular Malay movie classics, Nujum Pak Belalang.

In one of the episodes, Nyawa (S. Shamsuddin) and Badan ( Dato' Aziz Sattar) stole 2 cows and 2 goats from a village called Beringin Rendang. When they reached at a secluded place in the village, they decided to divide what they have stolen.

In the first round, Badan divided the stolen animals. Nyawa was not pleased with Badan as he was given 2 goats whilst Badan had 2 cows. Obviously, cows are both bigger in value and in size than goats. Nyawa called Badan a cheat. When Nyawa had his turn, instead of dividing the stolen animals equally, Nyawa did exactly what Badan had done. Nyawa called himself a cheat. Thereafter, they flexed their muscles and quarreled.

Badan and Nyawa had divided the lines (ropes) equaly but not the animals. They had indeed lost focus on the issue and more importantly they have totally forgotten that they have a shared goal - to divide the loot equally.

Belalang who had all the while been hiding on a tree saw an opportunity to seize all the animals when both Badan and Nyawa quarrelled over their loot. Belalang tricked both Nyawa and Badan who then hurriedly fled for their lives. Belalang had all the animals to be subsequently returned to the villagers.

The above is a synopsis of the what can be a cynical episode. It is cynical as we relate this episode in this Malay classic produced in 1959 to the diverging directions taken by Selangor government leaders on the recent issue.

I guessed the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee could be really displeased as leaders have not learned:
i) that organisation is vulnerable to attacks from third party if their leaders are going separate directions
ii) to resolve conflicts by focusing on common goals
iii) to move emotions before moving actions

The cue is, leaders need not have to wait till someone said "I have told you so." By then every efforts would be futile and followers left in limbo due to lack of direction on the part of their leaders.