MALAYSIA has always been strong at centralised policy leadership. Its weakness has always been at implementation leadership, especially in the services and maintenance sectors, particularly at the local levels. To be strong, the nation has to optimise the use of its natural resources and be productive in its created goods and services, in all sectors at all levels.
A strong society has cohesion of the citizenry who share the common vision and values of respect for life, property, peace, harmony and stability. It is a society where communities and families, people from different backgrounds can work, play, relate and build the nation together, assured that their rights are protected. A strong society is one, when it comes to the judgment call, the citizens will not tolerate false leaders, with hullabaloo rhetoric, or lesser leaders with destructive ideas and plans.
In a productive society, there is the culture of the joy of work and contributions. It is a society involved in strategic acceleration of development to close gaps between the rich and the poor, between regions and between income disparities. It is a society with the passion to eliminate and reduce poverty, especially hardcore poverty. In such a society, there is the care and concern that no child or adult should go hungry and no family should be disadvantaged, generation after generation.
There must be no wastage of resources.
Productive leaders of industries and public services keep up with relevant and feasible ideas of management and business gurus. Jack Grossman’s insights in Managing with Wisdom could be helpful to leaders who want to be productive;
IN marketing-based relationships, you can give as much as you want, but expect only what you contract for, no more; and,
IN personal-based relationships, expect no more than people are able or willing to give.
In an authentically productive society, leaders contribute to ensure the following cultures:
THAT individuals will pay their income taxes and commit to other duties and responsibilities;
THAT companies will likewise pay taxes and commit to long-term programmes of corporate social responsibility;
THAT there is recognition of the talents of women, of the young, of the elderly and of minority groups;
THAT there is recognition of the importance of the culture of continuous improvements (kaizen), and continuous perfection (kansei);
THAT the society will boldly set an agenda of integrity, for instance, by 2030, the nation will be among the top 10 least corrupted nations;
THAT the society is a caring one, which will care for the sick, disadvantaged and unfortunate members, but will not nurture a culture of begging;
THAT the society understands and combats the syndrome of learned helplessness and will not allow its young to grow ingrained with a subsidy and entitlement mindset;
THAT the society understands and will create surplus wealth to cater for its citizens with disabilities, those in need of medical attention or other needs;
THAT it is a society which will invest in education for future generations;
THAT it is a society which continuously build strengths in its fundamentals, physical and informational infrastructure, education and training, research and development, community facilities and support system for its innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs in the arts and sciences;
THAT it is a society with a culture of the dignity of labour and the joy of work; and,
THAT its productive leaders understand the necessity to act both in strategic accelerations of development and in appropriate areas, to focus on incremental and sound development.
Productive leadership is conscious of the 50 or more companies that changed the world, such as Microsoft, Apple; McDonald’s; FedEx; Nike; Intel; CNN; Boeing; Hewlett-Packard; Sony; Agence-France-Presse; Walt Disney Company; Coca-Cola; Proctor & Gamble; Yahoo!; Toyota; Toys R Us; Kellogg; Firestone Tire & Rubber; Avon Products; Hilton Hotels; Singer Sewing; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; H. J. Heinz; Amazon. Com; Exxon Mobil Corporation; Levi Strauss & Co; and Google.
Malaysia can be proud of its most valuable brands, which can be the world’s inspiring brands tomorrow, such as Maybank; CIMB; Maxis; Public Bank; Celcom; DIGI; Resorts World; Parkson; Sime Darby; Petronas; Perodua; AirAsia; IOI Corp; Ambank; RHB Bank; F&N; YTL; SP Setia; TV3; Sunway; Dutch Lady; The Star; Old Town White Coffee; Padini; Affin Bank; TM; and Bonia.
Productive leaders must work to close the income gaps between people and to ensure that higher costs of living do not affect the standard of living and the quality of life. Productive leadership is substantive leadership; it is not ceremonial or rhetorical, neither hollow, nor shallow.DATUK DR IBRAHIM AHMAD BAJUNID NST Columnist - 19 DECEMBER 2014 @ 8:11 AM