Growing people into leaders, building communities of love, transforming nations.
By ANG HUI MING
THIS mission has been the driving force behind Leaderonomics for the past 10 years, and the calling is still strong today.
We believe that everyone can be a leader; that leadership is the answer to the rise and fall of a nation, a community, an organisation, a family unit.
We had a simple belief that as long as each of us could grow even one person to be a better leader, this person would go on to build a community of love around him/her, and when many communities of love are built, our nation would be transformed.
Every time there is an impulse to give up when the going gets tough (just like any entrepreneurial journey), this mission helps me to put things into perspective time and time again… with the reminder that the work is not done yet. Even more so now, when our country is on a mission to rebuild itself.
As I look back over the past 10 years and where Leaderonomics is today, I can’t help but feel a surge of gratitude to the many people who believed in our dream, who supported us and walked with us, who promoted us when we had no name, who were pillars during our tough times and who have been our partners until today.
These are the heroes we want to honour and say thank you to:
1) The pioneering group
When we founded Leaderonomics 10 years ago, our ‘office’ was the Starbucks in Damansara Uptown. We planned our credo, our long-term plans, our first website, and had our first strategic employee meeting at the home of one of the founders.
Even our first interview was done at McDonald’s – a management trainee who to my utmost surprise, agreed to join us though we had nothing solid to offer other than our dream.
The pioneering team were the first few Leaderonomers who journeyed with us in the first three years, where we bootstrapped everything, and where we experienced the pains of building an organisation from scratch.
It was also a time when we took a lot of big risks, tasted small successes and failed a lot, learnt a lot and supported each other to not give up, and struggled to make a name amongst the corporate big boys whilst staying true to our mission and community initiatives to democratise leadership for all, even the lower income groups and the underprivileged.
Many in the pioneering team took huge pay cuts and whenever we had major projects, family members would jump in to help and volunteer, sacrificing their personal time to become part-time employees without being asked.
To the pioneering Leaderonomers… thank you for believing and trusting in us. Thank you for being able to see the ultimate end goal and for making the early sacrifices that enabled Leaderonomics to survive its founding years.
2) Our clients… our partners
We will always be grateful to the first few clients who placed their bets on a small, unnamed organisation to develop their top talents.
From there on, early referrals and word-of-mouth testimonies paved our entrance into many more organisations, enabling us to partner with leadership teams to develop leaders in the corporate arena. Our clients are our partners in bringing about national transformation.
Our clients, thank you for allowing us to journey with you, to identify and develop your talent, build and transform your culture, and create people strategies to achieve organisational goals.
Many of you have become our friends and we take pride whenever we see the people we work with progress in their leadership journey, take on more influential roles, and make a greater impact in their organisations and communities – even more so when they become better leaders in their homes.
Thank you to some of our clients who have entrusted us to tell their leadership stories and ideas, and for inspiring other organisations and spurring them into action.
Thank you to the many clients and sponsors who opened the doors to their employees and their children; for us to build leaders and foster the bonds between parent and child through your employee-kids camps.
All of the work we partner with you drives our mission to transform this nation through leadership development.
And every engagement you give us indirectly goes into the initiatives of building leaders amongst the youth and non-governmental organisation (NGO) leaders in our country.
You are our partner in empowering the lives of many for a better future.
3) Our faculty
From only a handful of leadership programmes and one youth camp in our early years, to a repertoire of solutions, interventions and possibilities today; we are so thankful to many local and international expert faculties.
To our trainers, consultants, coaches, assessors, simulation masters, designers, and speakers; it has been an enriching journey exploring new ideas, innovating solutions, co-creating new experiences, and researching latest interventions that would bring about greater impact to the leaders we work with.
To our inspiring contributors, writers, and producers who never fail to deliver inspiring stories and thought leadership articles each week to inspire the nation and ignite a spark in people who want to become better leaders, we salute you.
We value your commitment to excellence and for taking bold steps with us. And we value your partnership, many of you have been with us from the start till today, in developing talent amongst corporate leaders, the youth, and even NGO leaders.
Thank you for your partnership in building the future, and for being willing to volunteer your time and expertise in youth and NGO development work to transform our nation.
4) Our volunteers, M.A.D. (Making a Difference) agents and sponsors
One of our core values in Leaderonomics is giving.
Giving to others, giving of ourselves, giving to make the lives of the people around us richer.
All of you who have volunteered your time, resources, finances, talents, gifts, and just the willingness to be available to build up a child, an NGO, a village ‒ or a school ‒ you have our highest respect.
Our volunteers come from every age group, some as young as 12 to those as wise as 70. Every one of you inspire us to continue what we are doing as you align with our vision to build the future generation and current communities.
We thank you for your relentless passion to invest in people to become leaders and to be role models yourselves.
I am personally motivated by our young M.A.D agents who strive to give their best and continuously learn, and who fearlessly lead the youths in schools and in camps.
I am consciously reminded that investing in young people is a lifetime journey, and our sponsors show me that every year as they continue to sponsor many underprivileged youths.
It reminds me every day that there is no age limit in leadership.
Thank you for your selflessness and role model behaviour. I believe that each of us who has given, has been blessed even more greatly by the lives we see transformed.
5) Our allies
We had simple dreams… to transform the nation of Malaysia.
Little did we know that this dream would catch on with other like-minded leaders, those who saw the same need in their own countries.
We started to grow beyond the shores of Malaysia when we met courageous, selfless, trustworthy and passionate individuals, who were willing to pioneer the starting up of Leaderonomics in their own countries.
We thank our extended family in Thailand for breaking new ground and persevering, growing with us and making a positive impact on the lives of leaders there. You are an inspiration and encouragement to us with the many milestones you are achieving.
We thank our pioneers in Cambodia for attempting to go greenfield in a country that is in so much need of leadership development. We learnt so much from our failure there, but we have not given up and will return wiser, with a bigger influence next round.
For the upcoming pioneers who have been planning with us over the last year, we look forward to expanding and replicating our social enterprise and leadership development ecosystem with you very soon to bring transformation to your nation.
6) To Leaderonomers… current and alumni
Every great mission and dream is only achievable when selfless people take action!
My dearest Leaderonomers… each and every one of you are true heroes.
Some shone so brightly when you joined us, and brought light to the team and to the participants of the programmes you ran.
Some came rough and had edges to chisel off to show your brilliance; today we see you bring hope and give your all to impact others.
Some joined us with a burning passion for our country and for the future generations, and we’ve seen the beautiful fruits of the seeds you’ve sown when a leader comes out of their shell.
Some of you came with a lens that could see beauty and a story in every context, creating content that inspires people.
Some of you came with the heart to serve others, and you journeyed with so many people to see them grow into better leaders.
Bringing it together
Leaderonomics exists today because of Leaderonomers.
The ones who held firm to our mission, who supported each other when the going got tough, and who pursued excellence and broke boundaries to bring the best leadership interventions to the people we serve.
They are the ones who remained humble and learnt continuously, who celebrated each other’s achievements and meaningful moments, who celebrated the achievements of our clients and cheered for them.
The ones who were friends first then colleagues or service providers, who loved and cared for each other and our clients, who made an impact in their personal lives and in their own communities, and the ones who have left us but continue the mission to build leaders in their new environments and be ambassadors for us.
At Leaderonomics, we believe in ‘Once a Leaderonomer, always a Leaderonomer’. And we truly treasure the relationships that bind us within and outside of Leaderonomics.
Thank you, awesome heroes!
We look forward to many more decades of journeying with every one of you on this journey called life, and we wish all of you heroes abundant blessings in all that you embark on.
Let’s never grow weary in making a difference!
Prefer an e-mag reading experience? This article is also available in our 24th November, 2018 digital issue. Access our digital issues here.