I always believe that things happen for a reason. Just like the other day when I was asked to represent my Director to the KPI workshop of UPM. It was a blessing in disguise actually. Before the workshop we were fortunate to be able to hear a very eye-opening presentation by Prof Tan Sri Dr Mohd Kamal Hassan from the Center for Islamisation (CENTRIS), IIUM on Integrity in Management. The context of the presentation focused mainly on how leadership to NOT be seen as an honor (tashreef), but instead as a moral responsibility (taklif). This is a very interesting notion as it indirectly shatters the idea that leadership is only about individual power and greatness. Tan Sri Kamal Hassan also highlighted the characters of past great leaders of Islam including our Prophet Muhammad SAW, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq RA and so forth. In Islam, human beings are the SERVANTS (Hamba) of God and the CARETAKERS (Khalifah) of the world. Therefore the intentions of the leaders must not be tainted with self-centred interests as it will be reflected in their behaviors.
We know that leaders come and go. But as leaders, they communicate values whether intentionally or unintentionally. Leaders need to recognize that their values shape their strategy preferences, which influence the organisation’s culture. Porter (1980) mentioned that the personal values and aspirations of senior management have been identified as a key component of competitive strategy. So, the question is how do we ensure that the right values are communicated in the organizations? How do we ensure that the right values stay in the organization? More importantly, how do we identify the right values? I believe that is the question that every leader must ask. Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch said, 'Leadership is not about you. It's about the people who work for you.'
“Adakah kau rasa dunia isinya hanya kau yang punya
(Kau fikir kau siapa?)
Adakah kau lupa ataupun kau buta kau dan aku hamba
(Kau fikir kau raja?)”
-Lyric of Kalah dalam Menang: Mawi and Syamsul Yusof-
Porter, M. (1980). Competitive Strategy, New York: The Free Press.