Leading Like Tunku

Aug 29, 2014 1 Min Read
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Photo credit (above): Phalinn Ooi | Flickr

The late Tunku Abdul Rahman was a leader many Malaysians look up to, even till today. He is known to be a visionary, a fair and just leader.

Here are three lessons from our former Prime Minister which we can apply in our working world.

“You must observe the law, respect and uphold the law, that is how it is supposed to be. To respect the rule of law, you don’t have to be a lawyer. We know the rule of the law is supposed to provide justice and so on.” – Tunku

While fighting for our country’s independence, Tunku always held the importance of law, and abided by it. We should do the same in our leadership positions.

Although there may be many loopholes and shortcuts to get our organisation to where we want, there is always a more noble and humbling sense of achievement when we do things the right way, without violating our ethics.

“Just as the constitution ensures that his office is respected, so too must a Ruler respect the constitution.” – Tunku

What is a leader without the respect of his or her people? Great leaders like Tunku understand the importance of their people, and in return, accords them the respect they deserve.

As a leader, one should listen to the needs and voices of his or her people, and ensure that they have what they need to reach their utmost potential.

“In Malaya we welcome fair competition, even if it competes with our own industry.” – Tunku

Leaders should always be welcoming of challenges. Competitors shouldn’t be seen as obstacles to the organisation.

Instead, leaders should train the organisation to engage in fair competition, and leverage it to find ways to further improve and grow the organisation.

Hyma Pillay is a proud Malaysian who wishes all Malaysians Happy Independence Day. She hopes Malaysia continues to grow beautifully as we share love, kindness and joy with one another, despite racial backgrounds, political beliefs and religion. To engage with her, email editor@leaderonomics.com.

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