One month before, my junior asked me several questions related to society and leaderships. He is my junior since secondary school but I didn’t know him much at that time. However, when we met in CUCMS, we become close to each other and no doubt, the thing that connected us is ‘ukhuwwah’. For me, he is one of the potential leaders and I put a lot of trust and hope in him to lead his batch and the upcoming CUCMS generation.
His question towards me was simple;
- “What is the key to the success in leadership and also in society management?”
- “What preparation should I do if I was chosen to lead one of the biggest societies in this college?
I couldn’t give exact answer at that time although I can give him several tips. However, it’s preferable for me to make better guidelines, so not only he can benefit from it but also the others, Insyallah. Therefore, I did some ‘research’ and readings and at the same time, I mould it together with my experiences then I came up with my own rule of success in those fields. For me, it is the most basic and essential thing needed for anyone who want to success, climb to the top and become greater than anyone although he is an average guy. It's Success Triangle.
First, is the mission and vision. In the first hadith by Imam Bukhari & Muslim in Hadith 40, Allah SWT has said that everything we do must start with ‘niat’ or our intention. Anything that you want to get involved to, whether in taking any project to work for, study or to be in relationship, you need to have mission to be successful since the beginning. A society or organization will stand strong as long as the mission is clear and sturdy. Imagine when an organization is getting bigger and the leaders gradually forget the mission, it will regress and fade with time if there is no one who can stand and remind those people. At last, it will crumble meticulously. That’s the conclusion on my observation and with a mission, I lead PPIM CUCMS Student Chapter to a level where it can stand on his own, as long as the future leader understand the mission and stand strong with it. Same goes to any project I choose to initiate and to take on such as Le Tour program, BLS Training School Tour, conference and others.
Let’s take a great example such as Salahuddin Al-Ayubi, the conqueror of Jerusalem, who put his mission to free Jerusalem throughout his life and would die for it. He said, ‘Anyone who can conquer Jerusalem means he has conquered the world’. For that, he focused all his might and life, and worked it out. Until several years, Allah SWT has granted his wish and after hundred years, Jerusalem was conquered back by Muslim people. His achievement shows how great and how far someone who has mission in life can go. Therefore, set your own mission and vision right now, whether short term or long term, paste it on the wall and work it out. Pray for it and may Allah SWT grant it.
Practically, the mission that you have to list down must be in two important perspectives – spiritual and physical. For example, you aim to lead a society, therefore physically; you can aim to set up a network connection with potential sponsors, politicians, expertise and friends from nationwide or international. At the same time, spiritually, you want them to understand that with Islam as guidance, you can lead the society to the utmost and set a good leadership model to the others. Whatever reason you put, make sure it can give you the spirit and strength to work and move forward. And please, believe in yourself and your faith. Never cease down and never look back. Simply to say, you need very high self-confidence and this will differentiate you with other normal people.
Second, is having a ‘perfect’ team. To work in a society, you need to learn how to interact with others. From interaction, you need to choose people who can work around you. Those people that you can rely on trust and put your hope, that you can call them ‘comrades’. It comprises of different people of various personalities and expertise. A team won’t be perfect if all of them are leaders or all are workers but it must be the combination of both. To get that perfect attraction towards each other, experiences doing or involved in project together can determine the level of compatibility. And the number of people in the group is not significantly essential but the qualities. Therefore, the best target group of a productive team is the teenagers. For me, teenagers are the most valuable asset. In a certain ages, above 35 years old, the productivity will be reduced due to other responsibilities such as family and hectic job. Imam As-Syahid Hasan Al-Banna has mentioned in his words,
“Andai Islam seperti sebuah bangunan usang yang hampir roboh, maka akanku berjalan ke seluruh dunia mencari jiwa-jiwa muda. Aku tidak ingin mengutip dengan ramai bilangan mereka, tapi aku inginkan hati-hati yang ikhlas untuk membantuku dan bersama membina kembali bangunan usang itu menjadi sebuah bangunan yang tersergam indah…”
Syeikh Fathi Yakan, also in his words, talking about teenagers,
“Pemuda ialah sebuah tenaga yang digunakan oleh Islam untuk membangunkan dan memakmurkan alam. Tetapi orang lain telah mempergunakan mereka untuk meruntuhkan umat manusia. Sesungguhnya manusia hari ini penuh sesak dengan pemuda dan pemudi tetapi mereka ini hanyalah kosong, hanyut dan terbiar..”
Teenagers are the group of people who has the most potential and great motivation in them. They will improve endlessly with the guide and advice from other people and they also will learn from their mistakes. Sukarno, a great leader from Indonesia has mentioned in his every speech, “Give me ten guys and they will roar the world”. That’s the proof on how much potential a teenager has.
Third and the last one, is to have leadership quality. In Launching a Leadership Revolution by Chris Brown & Orrin Woodward, they have listed down 5 qualities that must be incarcerated in every leader in this world. Those are,
Learn – you have the courage and dare to learn from anyone else. A friend of mine who is studying in Korea, has experiences meeting with Tun Mahathir Mohamad. He noted in his blog, titled Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad : Catatan Peribadi / Pertemuan Kedua;
“Secara peribadi juga ingin saya katakan bahawa kadangkala Tun kelihatan seperti seorang budak kecil kerana beliau sering bertanya tentang apa sahaja yang beliau tidak tahu tanpa rasa segan, sentiasa menunjukkan minat yang mendalam dalam apa sahaja bidang seperti robotik…”
Even a great leader who has built a legacy in this world has this kind of courage, the spirit to learn and learn as much as he can. Not forgetting his deep interests in reading and writing. For me, reading is one of the essential parts to build your own character and idealism. Build your own library and get used to John C. Maxwell, Dale Carnegie, Robert T. Kiyosaki and Anthony Robbins’ books. They have done a really good job in describing inner qualities of a leader. And writing, it is the way for you to exchange and share your knowledge and opinions. Get used to blogging and journalism. From this, we will gradually learn to accept comments from others and we improve ourselves from it. Conclusion here is to learn, read and write.
Perform – perseverance through failure to find success. For me, in simple words, no fear, never back down and never give up. Through my experience, I happened to lead a team assisting a ‘sunathon’ program in Setiu, Terengganu and it was a total failure. I have burdened my team; they need to spend a lot of money and time, not forgetting how lethargic they turned out to be. I learned from it and vowed that I will never let it happen again.
From that experience, I plan a strategy for 2 years scheduled with program and make sure adequate time for preparation of every project and programs.
Mark Theodore Roosevelt words, “I never won anything,” said he, “without hard labor and the exercise of my best judgment and careful planning and working long in advance”
Lead – extend your abilities by expanding your team. I have stressed this previously but what I want to focus now is the ability to win and influence people. This requirement, I defined it as a deep, driving desire to learn, a vigorous determination to increase your ability to deal with people. Dale Carnegie, in his book, How to Win Friends & Influence People, he has stated 6 ways to make people like you, 12 ways of to win people to your way of thinking and 9 ways to change people without arousing resentment. I just want to stress the sincerity in relationship, admitting your own fault when you did mistake, helping them not only through hand but also in his way of thinking and idea, encouragement and never let them lose their face. If you have this, you have everything to become a respectable person and avoiding enemies.
Learn to speak up – public speaking. Dale Carnegie, in his book, How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking, he has stated several tips on how to deliver a good speech. Of course for the first timer, when you were called upon to stand up and speak, you became so self-conscious, so frightened, that you can’t think properly and lost everything you intended to say. However, practice is the solution and put your heart in it will give your speech a booster. When you have developed the pleasure and satisfaction in giving a speech, it is the times you have gain your self confidence towards public speaking. “Two minutes before I begin, “a speaker confessed, “I would rather be whipped than start; but two minutes before I finish, I would rather be shot than stop”. Preparation must be done before giving the speech and please write it down in notes and practice it in front of your friends or mirror. Reminder, the note is only emergency tool, when you become blank and speechless. Delivering a good speech will help us to get ahead and convey ourselves effectively; therefore it’s essential for a leader to be good in public speaking.
Develop leaders around you – learn to trust and have faith in other people. Having faith in each other is not a simple thing to do especially when you want to trust them with something involving high responsibility. However, the trust is the driving factor that helps them in developing their leadership skills, management and making decision. The trust is also a kind of silent encouragement and appreciation towards others. A quote says, to believe and trust people, it’s far difficult than expecting people to have faith in you.
Develop leaders who develop leaders – create a legacy. To create a legacy, you need to have your faith and idealism that can be continued by your followers. I will give you two great examples, our prophet Nabi Muhammad SAW and As-Syahid Hasan Al-Banna. Although they have died, their doctrines and faith (Islamic practice) has been carried on by hundred of peoples around the world. Therefore, they never died. They left something as contribution towards the future generation. Three things that we will carry on to the afterlife; ‘doa’ from faithful son, ‘sedekah’ that never forfeit and ‘knowledge’ that being pass from one generation to the others. It is the knowledge that Rasullullah SAW and Hasan Al-Banna fought and strive to deliver in order to make sure all the doctrines can be passed on to the next generation. From that, although we never met them personally but they have influenced the future leaders and that’s make them a legends.
- Chris Brown & Orrin Woodward - Launching a Leadership Revolution
- Robert T. Kiyosaki – Guide to Investing
- Dale Carnegie – How To Win Friends & Influence People
- Dale Carnegie – How To Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking
- John C. Maxwell - The 360 Leader
- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad : Catatan Peribadi / Pertemuan Kedua by sham86
- Syeikh Fathi Yakan Seorang Jurutera Yang Berhati Waja by Yussamir Yusof