Archive for the ‘Professionalism’ Category

The frequency of my posts has reduced from more than ten a month, to about 2 – 3.


Bukan tak nak update; in fact a lot has happened, but I just cannot find the time to write them down.


Alasan. As always.


Anyway, someone recently told me that he believes that I am currently at a crossroad. After the nerve-wrecking interview last Wednesday (of which he was one of the interviewers), he feels that I am indecisive of where I want to be in five or ten years time. The interview was actually part of the management’s effort to look for potential leaders in the organization.


1 hour and 15 minutes… and know he knows me or what I want in life?


Photo: The Teeming Brain


I am not going to say that he is wrong, because once in a while I do have that feeling. But at this current moment, my immediate aim is to actually complete my studies. I have got four more years before I turn 40. And I hope that I can complete before I reach 40. What happens next, whether I decide to join the academic department, or stay in the management, is something I don’t want to think about now. I will decide when the time comes. Ideally, I would like to be part of the management, but I would also like to teach one or two subjects so that I can share my knowledge with the future leaders of the country. Is that so wrong? At least I am not pretending to be someone I am not. Only time will tell because only Allah knows…


I leave it all in His hands.


Meanwhile, I just found out from Aini yesterday that Mynie’s mother had recently returned to the AlMighty after suffering a stroke. May Allah bless her soul… forgive her… and grant her the highest level of paradise… Al Fatihah.



Read Full Post »

One of the magic rules of communication is to be a good listener.


Basically, you have to actually listen to what the other person is saying to you. Listen, and digest. Pay attention. Even if you do not understand what the other person is trying to say, pretend as if you do. And if possible, try and summarize or repeat, in your own words, what you have understood from his words.


Seek first to understand, then to be understood – that is Habit No 5 according to Covey in his famous “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” book.


Have empathy.


But then again, listening to the same person again and again is not an easy thing to do. Some people just like to talk and talk and talk… non-stop… on and on… on and on…


Once in awhile, I do get tired… and bored, of course. Especially when the topic is something that has got nothing to do with me. Plus, it is something that I can never be interested in (e.g. why this football team won… like, who cares?). It gets even worse when the other person tries to be philosophical and you just don’t have a clue on what the topic is all about. And the worst part is that, when you hint that the person needs to stop, that person ignores the sign (or pretends to ignore, I am not too sure).


Please, have empathy on me. 

I can listen, but I too, have limitations! I need some space!

Read Full Post »

10 Attributes

Last week, Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin, the Managing Director of PROTON delivered a speech at the closing ceremony of our career week.


He shared with us, what he thought are the 10 most important attributes that one must have in order to be a successful person.


One: Be Open To be successful, you must always be open to change. Learn to accept new ideas and always be willing to learn.


Two: Have Initiatives At work, try as much as possible to volunteer yourself to do things beyond your current scope of work. It is important to remember that no job is bad – whether it is big or small, you will always learn something out of it.


Three: Create Opportunities Be different from others, and you will find that there are opportunities for you to grab. But remember, do not step on other people’s toes!


Four: Patience Life is a journey. There will be failures in life, but do not get disturbed. Learn from the mistake, pick up the pieces and improve. Have patience and do not let your failures distract you from your journey.


Five: Strong Sense of Belief You must always believe in yourself, in your own capability. Therefore, learn what your strengths and weaknesses are. Have a strong conviction in yourself. (He gave the example of Proton and how he believes that Proton is a good car!)


Six: Art of Communication One most important principle in communicating is to understand, i.e. seek first to understand before you seek to be understood. Communicating is a syndication of your thoughts and values, so learn the art of it.


Seven: Seek Knowledge There is a sea of knowledge around you. You learn from your organization, the people around you and most importantly, from your mistakes. In fact, mistakes are the best lessons in life so do not be afraid to make mistakes. He also mentioned that we need to learn from nature – because nature will educate us on adapting and surviving in life. Some will win, and some will lose so learn from that.


Eight: Set Targets Start setting targets early in life. Know what you want in life, set targets that can be achieved in five years and strive towards that. Why? If you know your targets, you do not lose opportunities. Decide now, do you want to be leader or a lagger?


Nine: Be Humble In your struggle to be a better person, stay humble. Being humble will not cost you even a single cent, not even a single sweat! Humility is extremely important because it will open more doors, and people around you will open up – and this, gives an opportunity for you to learn new things!


Ten: Have Faith As Muslims, always remember your iman. Your iman will guide you and remind you that we can plan but only Allah decides. He was reiterating his experience with the Exora and how he and his team performed solat hajat throughout the project because no matter how technically good a car is, only Allah can open up people’s hearts to buy the car!


He also reminded us to always remember our parents. Thank them everyday, because the doa of our parents can open up the doors of rizq. And strive to have a balanced life, and thank your spouse for his or her support. 

To be successful, you must like what you do. Can you imagine having to wake up in the morning and struggle to get to work? Try and enjoy what you do. It does not matter what or how much a company can offer you, but what is important is what you want to achieve in that company.

It was an enlightening session because Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin is indeed, an eloquent speaker.  

Thank you Datuk, for your thoughts and insights, and for motivating us to strive for excellence.

Read Full Post »

9 February was indeed, a sad day for me. I was emotionally drained.


It was a sad day for Malaysia as a country for democracy has truly died. It was also a sad day for our national oil and gas corporation as it was Tan Sri Hassan’s last day as the CEO and President.


I first received the news that the Federal Court unanimously decided that Zambry remains MB at around 11.30 a.m., while I was on the way to Kuala Lumpur. Even though I had expected that he would win, I still felt that there was hope.


But it was a unanimous decision. 5 – 0! That was something really unexpected. Shocking. Didn’t any of them have slightly opposing views? Could it be that the judges did not have the courage to declare that their former Lord President’s action was erroneous?


Putting aside my sentiments as a member of PAS and a strong supporter of Pakatan Rakyat, I am more worried about the implications of that decision – it was a Federal Court decision!


The discussion that has been going around centers around the fact that Malaysia is moving towards an absolute monarchy. Does this mean that any Sultan whose State Constitution is similar to that of Perak’s can call their ADUNs over for a cup of tea, ask them if they are happy with their current MB, and if majority does not, the MB can be removed the next day? I guess if that is the case, elections are not important anymore! I am waiting for the full judgment to really understand what their reasons are.


But I am also glad that Pakatan Rakyat has accepted the decision quite bravely. Like it or not, we still have to work hard for the next general elections, which does not seem too far away. We need to put aside this battle for awhile, and concentrate on winning the war!


Anyway, I spent the rest of the day in Kuala Lumpur trying to control my emotions, and trying to hide my tears. Surprisingly, I did not shed any tears over the Federal Court’s decision but I lost it when I met Tan Sri and Puan Sri over lunch. Actually, I consider myself fortunate to be able to say goodbye to Tan Sri and Puan Sri in person; I even decided to stay on after my meeting to join the crowd to bid farewell to Tan Sri and Puan Sri.  


And that was emotionally draining. I think almost half of the Twin Towers’ occupants came down to say thank you for all that he has done for the company. People were clapping, shouting his name, screaming “I Love You Tan Sri”, singing the company’s song… and I saw so many people wiping their tears when he walked past them. Tan Sri kept on saying Thank You to everyone. It was just so depressing. I waited until his car left the Twin Towers, which was around 6.30 p.m. and got home at nearly 9.00 p.m.


Tan Sri’s Thank You note a day earlier to all the employees was talked about the whole day. I am glad I downloaded a copy because I couldn’t control my tears after reading it. He has done so much for the company, for the nation. His values should be emulated by each and every one of us.


He is the icon of the company and will remain in our hearts forever. Thank you, Tan Sri. You will be greatly missed!

Read Full Post »

Self Motivation

I attended an in-house Personal Knowledge Management Workshop on Wednesday.


It was an enriching experience since KM has always been one of my favourite topics. Plus KM is now one of the organization’s priorities, considering that we are moving into a knowledge-based economy + we are a university.


Anyway, during the introduction session, one of the participants discussed about self-motivation, which I think is worth sharing. How does he motivate himself at work? It starts when he moves out of the house to go to work. He rides a motorcycle, but he imagines that he is driving his dream car – maybe a C-Class Mercedes Benz, a 5-series BMW or once in a while, a Jaguar. He knows that this is completely out of reach, but he finds that just thinking about doing it motivates him greatly. And he can perform his best at work!


I wish I could do the same. I should try believing that what I am doing now is my dream job. But then again, my dream job is to be a stay-at-home-mom!   

Don’t think THAT will motivate me at work!

Read Full Post »

Negativity is something I do not appreciate, and it is definitely not the feeling that I look forward to.


Sometimes, the vibes seem to be so strong that it makes me miserable and depressed for a few hours, or maybe even days.


I encountered this some few weeks back, after I had a discussion with two colleagues, on separate occasions. Despite that I empathize with the situation that they are in and as much as I try to understand their displeasure and frustration, that negativity affected me terribly.


Not everyone is happy with what they are doing or how they are treated in an organization but to me, that is absolutely normal. You just cannot please everyone. I am sure that they have tried to take into consideration each employee’s requirements but when you have a huge workforce, it is just impossible to make everyone happy.


And I will always remember this conversation that I had with ‘someone’ in the organization. He said to me, yes, it is okay to criticize your organization because one can never be fully satisfied, but don’t overdo it – and this is simply because that is where you earn your living – and you need to make sure that it is ‘halal’!


Anyway, aren’t we all responsible for our own happiness?


I once read this quote by an anonymous author, “People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”


But I cannot deny that I used to be quite negative sometime back, but I made a vow to improve. That is why, I try, as much as possible, to avoid meeting with negative people. When I get depressed, I force myself to act positive, think and nurture positive thoughts and pray that the bad vibes go away. I sincerely pray that my two friends will develop more positive feelings in life.


And I will always try to remember what Allah said in the Holy Quran, Surah Al Ra’d verse 11, that “…Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves…”


May we become successful khalifah in this world, which in turn will bring us everlasting success in the hereafter.


Happy 2010!

Read Full Post »

Doha, Qatar

I spent five days in Doha, Qatar last week on an official business trip.


I haven’t been to Doha before, but I find some similarities between Doha and Dubai. Doha, despite being a much smaller city compared to Dubai is developing rapidly… thanks to the oil and gas industry. There were so many new high-rise buildings along the coast, that when you stand on one side of the city, you could see all these developments quite clearly. It was quite a sight, actually. Cantik.




And Doha is also a very clean city… maybe because of the small population, and because the government has lots of money to spend in order to keep the city clean.   


There is also an Islamic Arts Museum in Doha along the bay, which houses different types of artistic items originating from Muslims all over the world. The materials on display were quite fascinating, and some of these dated centuries ago, maybe as early as the 8th century.    




There are also many Malaysians working in Doha, especially in the oil and gas industry. One of my friends, a young couple with four kids, have been living in Doha for the past 4 years and they simply love the place. The pay and the benefits are higher compared to what they get in Malaysia… almost triple, so I guess it is worth it.


However, everything in Doha seems to be expensive. For example, a plate of Nasi Beriyani would cost you about 40 Qatari Riyals (by the way, the exchange rate is one to one with Malaysian Ringgit; i.e. 1QAR = 1MYR), a taxi ride would not be less than 40 QAR for a 10-minute ride (simply because the hotel would not allow you to take the normal metered taxis which would be much cheaper). And the hotels… the rates are unbelievable! The event was held in Sheraton, which averaged QAR 1400 per night, so we had to settle for another hotel… a much cheaper hotel for around QAR 640 which is a distance away from Sheraton. Regardless of the lesser price, the hotel was superb and quite close to the Souks (souk = market).


The souks were also quite nice. But of course, the items sold were expensive. I like to give out fridge magnets as souvenirs for my friends, but even that costs QAR5 each – and the shops, they won’t entertain your bargains!


All in all, it was an interesting trip – except for the fact that on the flight to Doha on Qatar Airways, I had to sit next to a guy who got drunk from drinking too much beer! Seriously, when are the airlines going to ban alcohol on board? It was quite an unpleasant experience!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »