When I was given the task of writing a leadership stories, I was blanked. What are the stories that I should write about? I do have quite a number of leaders whom I admire. A motivator I saw in the television once said that if you want to success you must have an idol to be your mentor. An idol means someone you admire about and you want to become like them for their success stories. While mentor is someone who has a good traits and personality and they may guide you with their success recipe. For someone to create history it would never been an easy job and one must possess a good quality of leadership and personality. Leadership can be define as the ability to influence people to do the job for you with continuing support. As for me, I do have few figuras that I admire for their hardship, charismatic and all the positive values they have been possessed. For this story, I decided to write about all my two icons that for me had showed the right path that I should undertake.
As in the present years, I truly admire our fourth Prime Minister – Tun Mahathir Mohamad and Dato’ Maznah Hamid – a well known ‘The Iron Lady’ whom is also the Group Executive Chairman and founder of Securiforce Group. As for Tun. Dr. Mahathir, who has not known this lagendary nationalist? Also known as ‘The Father of Modernisation’. During his 22 years of governance, he managed to transformed Malaysia from agriculture-based economy to industrialized-based economy. During my school days, I do not understand why people bother so much about him. All I used to hear was the rumours be it the positive or negative remarks that no one can proven it to be true. But, I changed my views over him once I completed my Bachelor Degree. I still remember the moment where I went for a window shopping with a friend at a book store and that was where I came to realize there was a newest copy of Datuk Lat Mohamad’s creative copy avalaible on the book shelves. It entittled ‘ Che Det ‘ if i’m not mistaken. I bought the comic. It was such an impressive work-art where Datuk Lat illustrated the life of this lagendary icon using a cheecky comic and understandable language. I’ve read the comic for third times as the author illustrated the life of the former Prime Minister in a way that is so nice and creative.
But, for the purpose of this story, I will eloborate more about my second idol. She’s a real brave lady, with the good personality and not to mention her ‘vocal’ voice while pointing out sharply her views and perpectives of any of the subject matter discussed. The ‘Iron Lady of Malaysia’ that I am talking about came from Air Hitam, Kedah and yes she is a very well known entrepreneur , business woman, a motivatior and a speaker of numerous TV shows. It was all started back in twenty-seven years ago. In a TV show where she was invited as one of the speaker, she mentioned of the incidents that made her reform herself. Came from a poor family, she had to work very hard to ensure that even with limited resources she managed to complete her study. Then, just like other ordinary students, she applied for an employment and secured a position as a tuition teacher where she teached English subject to the children of employee of foreign embasies in Kuala Lumpur. One day, in a conversation with one of the parent who once said to her, “you will not be able to get rich if only be an employed-wage earners. Those words totally had smoldered her spirit and she knew that something needs to be done and that she must reform herself. With some market analysis, she found a security company that almost filed for bankruptcy. She voiced out her planning of buying off the company and she believed the action she took was the right one, happened to be at the right time and right situation. The process of developing the glory was not easy though. She started off the company with merely RM 5,000 from her own savings compared to the other security company with the capitals between RM500,000 to RM 1 million. None like any other entrepreneur, she started off without any aid from the banking institution and up until now where all her companies were established pogressively growing.
As the success of my idol has been potrayed in the above sentence, I wish to share some of the hardships she went through together with her husband. During the early years of Securiforce, she managed to employ only a few guards with she herself as a manager being her own clerk, a secretary and sometimes she would became the guard when the guard that she attached to a client went off for annual leave or some other reasons. Being the jack of all trades in this business is not easy. I still remember in a TV Show where she was invited to give a talk about ‘Starting Early’ she told the audience that she once used to be called with negative cum unpolite remark just because she’s doing what usually being doing by a man. But she survived and thanks to her strong character and was never felt interrupted or bothered with those words.
After almost three decades of struggling,she now heads nearly 50 branches with employee reaching 5000 people, hundred of firearms and numerous of armoured vehicles. The services offered are not only limited to static guard, but also expanding to logistic, cash-in transit, cash management, armoured tracking service and other services. She also expanding her business by founding a Property Development Company which has an agreement with Kuala Lumpur City Hall. The company is to develope a piece of land in Kuala Lumpur to build the condominium and penthouses. It shows that her company is thriving from strengh to strengh. With her outstanding leadership qualities and distinguished leadership, she always got the invitation as a motivational councellor in numerous TV shows.
She received several awards for her contribution and services. In appreciation of the leadership qualities she potrayed, she was awarded Leadership Graduate Award. Also bestowed the award Dato Setia Diraja Kedah (D.S.D.K) by HRH the Sultan of Kedah. Because of her deep interest in Human Resource Development, she founded Maznah Motivational Company (MMC) where she is currently actively delivering speeches, talk and conferences. She wants to see and to develope more entrepreneurs, hoping that in the future she would see more of the youngsters could give contribution in the economic growth of the nation.
Of all her good qualities as a leader, no wonder she could become an outstanding icon in the country. This dynamic lady with firm character, a risk-taker, accept challenges, a mother and a wife that symbolizing the female power. As a newcomer in public sector, i oftenly came to a situation be it in the meeting, or in a discussion whereby we can see that female officers seldomly possess all of these qualities. I can tell that even if they do, not many of them. What i meant are the characters of risk-taker and firm. Sometimes, there will be times where fast decision making process needs to be done, the tendencies of delaying the process by having the needs to consult their superior are there even though it is within their own authority or power.
The success story of Maznah Hamid outlines a few good qualities that a young female leader like me could follow. Among other, to be a winner there must be a burning spirit in ourself. A good leader must will never stop to find the way out by crafting an effective strategy to solve a problem. A first trial may not usually works but we should never stop from learning and trying. A feeling of a champion should always be nurtured that we will never stop fighting for excellency and always strive for the best. Besides that, to become a great leader, we must know how to divide the time for ourself, family, career and life entirely. Everybody in the world has the same and equal time and what differentiates us is how do we use our time. As a leader we must never stop learning. A saying said ‘once you stop learning, you will stop from leading’. A learning proccess can be derived from everything that surrounded us may it be from the books, from our subordinates, from well-experienced workers and from any other resources.
The story of Maznah Hamid has been giving me a new insights of leadership. While facing all the toughest situations, she still standing, firmly and telling everybody that she will still standing there, holding tight her mantra of life and she’s living to the fullest. While standing high on the top, she gives her hand, helping and guiding those people that willing to give their very best in achieving their dreams. Though she is an entrepreneur while I am a young manager in public sector, those qualities can be adapted into my life hollistically. I am continuing to develope my inner strengh, focussing on my own strength and the team that I am working with. Being a leader is not just doing the right thing, but also doing the thing right. One day, no matter what the destiny has been written for me in the future, I will strive for the best and promise to contribute back to the people and community. And, it has been here..deep inside my heart for many years back. InsyaAllah, I’ll prove it.