Month: October 2007

Books, and more books.

I’d love to think of myself as a highly-determined person, but there’s at least one thing I know I could not help but surrender to my desire.

Books.

I managed not to buy any more books last semester, because I have told myself I need to finish all those books on the shelf first (Though in between I still indulged myself in carboot sales findings). I cheated the rule by borrowing a pile of books from McDoughall and Manchester Central Libraries, so until now I still have some books untouched.

Then I came back from Egypt with one hand luggage full of books (that’s the trick, hand luggage is rarely weighted). I think that bag was more than 15kg. I couldn’t help it, really. Translated books published by PMRAM were unavoidable, and since maktabah was just ‘sepelaung’ from Rumah Perlis, I couldn’t help passing without buying. If the precious hardcovered 750-page Selected Writings On Purifying the Soul by Sa’eed Hawwa is just LE 40 i.e. £4, who would not want to buy, right?

And last week, upon receiving my quarterly allowance, I headed direct to Waterstone’s.
Thinking of buying three books (no specific, desired title), but here are my catches for the day:

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins – can you tolerate the idea of ‘a religious atheist’? Finished the first chapter already, interesting to learn how far people utilize their minds to defy the existence of God. By the way, I think this guy has a bit of the look of the dearly missed Jose Mourinho. Huhu..

Rich Dad, Poor Dad’s The Cashflow Quadrants by Robert Kiyosaki – can’t stop reading, really. Already in the third chapter, I found it quite motivating, but I also found this, some sharp criticism on his books:

John T. Reed’s analysis of Robert T. Kiyosaki’s book

which also leads me to read this article:

Who wants to be an Entrepeneur

which somehow proved that Kiyosaki was of no help, maybe. It is good to have pro and con on something (You see how I was influenced by the Theory-of-Knowledge-class way of thinking?) and reading more about Kiyosaki leads me into finding out that Yahoo Finance is exciting enough to be read.

Currently reading a few other books, and the one I really need to finish is No god But God by Aslan Reza, which I think is a must-read. Though I don’t agree with everything he wrote, but I do find the book good enough to be recommended to others. I’ll tell you why later, inshaAllah. But here is what I found in Youtube, a debate between Aslan Reza and Sam Harris,(Encik yang menulis buku The End of Faith). I really need to find time to watch all the parts.

And yeah, for those who are still thinking there are things more important than reading, here’s a tip:

Schedule time to read. If you’re waiting until you “find” the time to read, it will never happen. If it’s important enough to read, you’ll need to carve out time to do it. Consider these possibilities:

  • Read while exercising (treadmill, stationery bike, etc.).
  • Identify any “wasted” time, such as when you’re waiting to meet with someone, or when you are doing out-of-town travel.
  • Will you read at work or at home, or both? What is the best time of day to plan reading time? Block out designated time to read.
  • Keep a TO READ folder in your car. That way you will always have something with you if you have unexpected down time (traffic jam, going to the gym, you are early or someone else is late for an appointment, etc.).

You can use your tickler file to place specific reading materials in specific dates that correspond with some of the above possibilities. For example, if you are flying somewhere next Tuesday, identify what you will take with you to read and place it in your tickler file for that day (along with your airline ticket or printout of your e-ticket confirmation code). If you have scheduled exercise time into your calendar and you would like to read while doing stationery exercise, put reading materials in the tickler for the days you will go to the gym if that will help you remember to take it with you. In other words, tee yourself up for success in getting through your reading pile!

and some more:

I Don’t Read Because — I Don’t Have Time

I have to agree with my mother, if you really love reading, you’ll find a time for it.

Don’t ask me where do I get the time, I read for pleasure.

Trauma

Masih dalam mod trauma sebenarnya.

Malam khamis lepas rumah saya dipecah masuk. Memang sangat mengerikan bila difikir-fikir, dan sehingga semalam saya menyedari saya masih belum berjaya menghilangkan trauma itu – ketika Hanee melakonkan semula adegan saya ditolak jatuh pencuri, saya terjerit kuat, tindakan refleks yang tidak mampu ditahan, dan ketika itu saya masih merasakan debaran yang sama yang dirasai empat malam sebelumnya.

Sekitar pukul satu pagi rasa-rasanya, saya masih berjaga menyiapkan coursework (haven’t I told you that my courseworks are now like water flooding my life?), ketika saya mendengar tingkap besar bilik saya dan juga pintu hadapan diketuk-ketuk. Saya bersendirian di tingkat bawah, Hanee, Nida dan Kak Ros semuanya di atas. Of course, I don’t have the gut to open the front door alone, dan asal-asalnya saya mahu saja untuk membiarkan pintu diketuk-ketuk – mungkin sekali lelaki mabuk, atau anak-anak muda sengaja gatal tangan mahu mengganggu. Tetapi kerana lebih lima minit ketukan masih bertalu saya mula berdebar-debar, langsung naik ke atas mahu mengejutkan Hanee. And one strange thing was that the corridor light (which is usually switched on throughout the day) was not on. Terpaksa saya meraba-raba memetik suis, sebelum sampai ke bilik Hanee -dan Hanee, kerana baru tidur (walaupun coursework belum siap..hoho) agaknya masih mamai, memujuk saya untuk membiarkan saja. But I was a bit nervous, it could be something, right?

I forced Hanee to come downstairs and sleep with me, and as we walked down the stairs we came to realized that the door was shut from outside. Hanee was pretty sure that she locked the door, and even put the chain lock properly before she slept – and we ran upstairs – there must be something wrong. Hanee rushed to her room, and I walked towards Kak Ros’ room, crying out her name, opened the door of her room, switched on the light and….

..there was a man running out of the room, pushing me, ran over me and left the house from the front door, leaving me stumbled on the floor screaming my lungs out – I ran into the bathroom, locked myself and couldn’t stop screaming – I’ve never been that afraid and shocked for all my precious life.

I was still trembling when Kak Ros memanggil dari luar a few minutes after that.

Haih. I am still nervous when I am writing this, really.

It is not until the next morning that we realized quite a lot of things have been stolen, though Kak Ros’ laptop was safe (that guy didn’t managed to bring it out, he left it in the laundry basket), including MCOT’s projector (huhu). Even our collection of money on the fridge was stolen, which indicates that he was also in the kitchen , a few metres away from my room and has been in our house for quite a long time – and I was thankful that I didn’t have this sudden desire for a cup of coffee, or else I might have seen him clearly in the kitchen – which could be more frightening, and I am also thankful that the thief didn’t have any knife in his hand when he pushed me down, or else I might have been in the hospital right now. Lucky that I only have these bruises here and there – leaving me unable to lie down on my back comfortably for a few days.

So the policemen came, and I found out that the one who was knocking my door was my neighbour’s young son Ali, after he realized that our front door was opened (God knows why he was still awake and out of the house at one o’clock in the morning).It was a big question mark on how he got in (but Hanee and I beleive there was more than one man,since we thought we heard another male voice screaming when we screamed),since the back door was unlocked too when the policemen came.

Dan tengahari tadi, saya berjalan sendiri pulang dari kuliah, langsung melewati rumah jiran saya. Kalau hari-hari biasa saya senang melihat burung peliharaan nenek itu yang sering diletakkan di tingkap besar berhampiran pintu depan, tetapi kali ini tingkap besar itu ditutup dengan papan, dipaku rapi. Dan nenek itu, sedang menyapu serpihan-serpihan kaca yang bertaburan di depan rumahnya. Saya (sebenarnya dalam mod peramah juga — There are some mornings in which I have this strange feeling of having desperately a need to converse with strangers, the warning don’t talk to strangers doesn’t apply to me). Saya berfikir beberapa saat, dan dek curiosity melampau, saya pergi bertanya nenek tersebut.

And I found out that her house was also broke in, but this time the police suspected a revenge case, since it was early at 10.15 p.m, and those crazy guys broke the front window and door with a concrete slab (can you imagine that?).

Haih. I’ve never felt so unsafe – and I could still remember what Hanee and I agreed when we tried to sleep after the police was gone — when it comes to this that we suddenly feel that there’s a need for a man in the house.

Maybe I should get married soon..huhu.

A Traveler’s Note


purgatory
Originally uploaded by dEEsign photography

I have forgotten when was the last time I cried as hard as I did today.

Here’s a poem, for you.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

p.s. I am just a traveler, and at one point of the journey I met you, and I am forever thankful for that. But that’s the choice I made.

I hate you but I love You

Love & Hate
Originally uploaded by krandolph

Terkesan dengan kehebatan speaker yang saya kisahkan dalam entri sebelum ini (Go Easy), saya memulakan resolusi baru: menghafal hadis daripada booklet kecil ‘Words of The Prophet s.a.w’. Untuk menghafal hadis dalam bahasa arab, matan dan juga sanad memang mengambil masa yang lama, tetapi kalau tidak mampu sepenuhnya, jangan tinggalkan langsung – jadi saya usaha juga menghafal sedikit-sedikit hadis dalam bahasa Inggeris. Juga kembali kepada resolusi yang lama saya tinggalkan: Satu kisah sahabat r.a. setiap hari, untuk memastikan saya sentiasa termotivasi untuk terus berjuang. Bukankah Rasululah s.a.w awal-awal lagi sudah berpesan, sahabat-sahabatnya seumpama bintang penunjuk jalan di langit? Ikutlah mereka, mudah-mudahan kita juga selamat di dunia dan akhirat.

Saya teringat definisi yang saya temui sebelum ini, definisi kepada frasa ‘Islam is the way of life’. Selalu disebut, semacam klise jadinya, tetapi kadang-kadang memang patut kita bertanya balik, betulkah gaya hidup aku ini gaya hidup Islam? Satu artikel dalam buku ‘The Challenge of Islam’ itu menyebut Islam sebagai a whole system of action and thought. Sistem yang mentadbir pemikiran dan perbuatan seseorang. Kalau mengikut definisi ini, saya pun tak pasti adakah semua perbuatan dan pemikiran saya benar-benar Islam, setiap saat dan waktu.

Hadis riwayat Bukhari dan Muslim menyebut:

‘ Whoever loves for Allah or hates for Allah, gives for Allah or withholds for Allah, has indeed completed faith.’

Bunyi macam senang. Cinta, benci, memberi dan menahan pemberian semata-mata kerana Allah. Pernah juga berbincang mengenai hal ini dengan sahabat saya, dan memang terpaksa akur, perkara-perkara yang saya lakukan, kadang-kadang kerana saya suka melakukannya, bukan kerana Allah suka akan perbuatan itu. Saya benci sesuatu kadang-kadang tidak berasas – bukan kerana Allah tidak suka akan sesuatu itu. Paling teruk, ada perkara yang saya tahu Allah tak suka, tapi saya buat juga. Maknanya iman saya belum sempurnalah.

Mungkin kalau saya beri contoh, akan menjadi lebih jelas hal ini. Katakanlah saya berkawan dengan seorang makhluk bernama A. Saya mengaku saya sayangkan dia kerana Allah (alah, macam ayat biasa kita selalu dengar, uhibbuki fillah), tetapi pada suatu hari saya mengalami mood malas dan segala macam mood yang berakar daripada arus bukan alpha dalam otak saya. Dan ketika mood saya tidak sihat itulah, kawan saya meminta tolong.

Ada dua kemungkinan yang mungkin berlaku:

  1. Jika cinta dan kasih saya didasarkan kepada Allah, sudah tentulah saya akan berusaha melawan nafsu malas itu dan melayan segala tuntutan persahabatan dengan baik.
  2. Jika cinta dan kasih saya itu kerana SAYA sendiri suka dan kasih, maka pada saat-saat nafsu menguasai tentulah saya melayannya mahu tak mahu.

Banyak lagi contoh praktikal. Memang susah nak diamalkan – cinta, benci, memberi dan menahan pemberian kerana Allah – tetapi itu bayaran untuk syurgaNya, menjual emosi sendiri demi kecintaan Allah s.w.t.

Bagaimana?


A Few Quick Updates

Eid Mubarak everyone!

Taqabbalallah minna wa minkum.

Craving for some times to write, really, but with a lot of things going on, have to put this on hold.

Majlis Raya MCOT would be tomorrow, Saturday at 10.30 a.m to 3 p.m, Moss Side. Then next week there’s gonna be another raya (MSD), but I won’t be here in Manchester. And I consider myself lucky. If I eat some more, I will be 60kg in no time. (48kg at the end of Ramadhan and 51kg after 3 days, thus the rate of increment is 1kg per day!)

Then I have a very important Sunday.

My E-poster group (for Manchester Leadership Program) has chosen a topic on Nuclear Power, which is basically one of my biggest interest. Lucky me. Can’t think of how I’d fit in if they have agreed to choose something relates to economy, business or else. Must have been very quiet all the time. For a Chemical Engineering student, a topic on energy resource is an absolute advantage. Will try to sneak out to a free lecture on nuclear power at Brunswick St. this coming Tuesday.

Courseworks are now like water, keep pouring in with deadlines that won’t allow me to go for a theatre or two. I’ll stick to Youtube for entertainment for the time being, or maybe I’ll eat some more. Eating is entertaining as well in the short run.

Al Gore won a Nobel Prize for his effort on environmental issues (despite the 9 crucial errors in his film). Damn. Why science has been neglected? Why? Why?

Baby Adam is now two months old.

Latest pic: Hari Raya kedua. Adam was looking at his Tok (i.e. my mom). And his o*er**ight Mak Cik.

Adaaamm..jangan menggemukkan diri seperti your Mak Cik. Not healthy.

Manchester is killing me. Has planned with Hanee to go for a breakaway- I wanted to run away to Amsterdam this coming study week. But Hanee prefers hiding behind the stones at Stonehenge. No more cooking in large-scale she said. Yeah. We hide and we study Process Control, ok? I think I should just follow her will, since she has been a good personal secretary answering phone calls looking for me. (I’ve been so lazy lately to even recharge my phones. Connectivity is a torture, really.)

Random updates, which rooted from my not-so-well condition.

Sorry, mate!

Go Easy on His Path

I know that Allah has always made easier for me to follow His path, though I sometimes tend to ignore it. But not yesterday.

Here it goes.

Class started at 9 a.m (as always, everyday, 5 days a week), with Maths 3. I dislike numbers, but since my lecturer Mr Peter Senior is very enthusiastic about maths, I do get the excitement sometimes. Good things do propagate to others. Then I went to Process Control class. I have the instinct that it will be the most challenging subject this semester, and yes, it is – and during yesterday’s lecture I was completely lost after 20 minutes. I have not finished revising previous lecture, the notes which she (the lecturer) asked to be read on our own, and I didn’t understand a single thing thought during the new lecture, so there was no point staying for the tutorials, I must go and reread everything first.

So to the Joule Library I went, (It was only 11 p.m. and I had a group meeting at 1 p.m, so I couldn’t go directly back home) but instead of revising Process Control, I studied Process Fluid Dynamics (I’m flexible that I rarely stick to plans), which is more fulfilling. But then, reminding myself of my workloads – school works I mean, the SPB thing has gone a bit slower right now -I thought of not attending the ISOC Ramadhan Talk : What’s Your Ramadhan Resolution, at 2 p.m. I did feel slightly guilty if I did not attend, but for 5 minutes or so I tried to justify why I need to go back home, and try to finish whatever I need to catch up with with my studies. I decided to go back instead of going to the talk.

As the group meeting ended around 1.20 p.m, I walked passed a door and then I remembered that I needed to settle my elective change matter with Angela the program administrator. So instead of heading to the bus stop, I went to see Angela.

I was supposed to fill in a form, just that, but Angela asked me to sit down and explained to me about the Environmental Technology elective modules – which are going to be executed differently starting this year. One solid week for one module, not the usual one-lecture-per-week method of teaching. So she asked me to decide carefully (Can you handle one subject everyday for five days, 9-5?), so I just took the form without filling it (though I was pretty sure I want to graduate with MEng Chemical Engineering with Environmental Technology no matter what), and by the time I left it was already 1.45 p.m.

Then I just spontaneously decided to pray at UMIST Underground, and of course, head to Renold C09 for the talk after that, though I planned to go home and study Process Control.

This might not be at all a significant story for you readers, but it is for me.

I am not keen of waiting, but yesterday’s flow of events didn’t waste my time at all. There was supposed to be a time gap, which I hate, between group meeting and the talk, and furthermore I had this Majlis Khatam Quran to attend at 4 p.m, (no rest until iftar will make me too tired to have a high quality terawih session) but just as I said before, Allah has made things easier for me.

Normally, my group meeting lasts for 5 minutes, but yesterday it took longer. We finished meeting at 1.20 p.m. (40 minutes before the talk starts)

Luckily, I was reminded to go and settle the elective-changing process, now that I was in The Mill.

Normally, taking and filling the form requires less than 5 minutes, but yesterday I needed to wait for Angela to finish her phone call and listened to her explaining. That made the whole process 25 minutes. (Done at 1.45 p.m.)

Of course I am so grateful I went to the talk – it was overwhelming, seriously. The content was good, and the speaker was excellent- impressive indeed.

For the whole lecture, I think 90% of whatever that was uttered by him was either verses from al Quran, hadith, quote from prominent scholars, saying from great ulama’ or a one-liner that will stay long in my heart – only the remaining 10% was his own words and reflection. Amazing – I mean, I am training myself to be a good speaker, but I do recognize my weakness in remembering sources of important points I am to give – I might read some scholars’ statements but I can hardly remember their names precisely. Mentioning them anonymously is not always convincing, especially to those sceptics out there.

The talk ended late, as expected, at 4.20 p.m, leaving me with 25 minutes before heading south to St Gabriel Hall’s Chapel (our majlis khatam Quran was held in a place full of crosses and virgin mary’s pictures, mind you). I went home, changed my clothes (didn’t know why I had to), prayed ‘Asar and rushed to the ceremony. But all the way I was filled with this grateful feeling because right after I stepped out of C09 lecture hall, I was enlightened (Then I realized that it has been quite a while since I last listened to such inspirational talk) .

That’s the story.

Boring , but my point is, hidayah and taufik come to all of us but sometimes we repel and reject it. Shame on us!

Manchester Leadership Programme: Why Follow When You Can Lead?

Leadership

Originally uploaded by mjp3000


**Entri bahasa rojak Melayu-Inggeris. Proses terjemahan bahasa Inggeris ke bahasa Melayu agak memakan masa.

Saya belum berkisah tentang Leadership Programme yang saya sertai, bukan?

Sebenarnya baru dua sesi saya menghadiri kuliah program ini. Sebetulnya, jika saya berada di fakulti lain, Sains Sosial misalnya, saya boleh sahaja mengambil kira modul ini dalam jumlah kredit yang perlu saya penuhi untuk sesi pengajian saya. Namun oleh sebab saya berada di Fakulti Kejuruteraan Kimia dan Sains Analitikal (CEAS) yang sudah ditetapkan subjek/modul yang perlu diambil setiap semester, maka 10 kredit yang saya peroleh hanya kredit tambahan. Tetapi diingatkan, walaupun kredit tambahan, saya masih perlu memberi komitmen yang sama. Itupun jika saya benar-benar mahu menamatkan program ini dan memperoleh award yang dijanjikan.

Baru dua sesi, tetapi dua sesi ini menyebabkan saya teruja untuk menghadiri kuliah selanjutnya. Kecuali minggu ini (saya perlu berada dalam grup tutorial), memang dijadualkan banyak sesi lecture yang menarik, from prominent and knowledgable speakers. Mampu menyebabkan saya berfikir tentang perkara-perkara selain mixing vessel, dryers, heat integration dan lain-lain perkara yang disumbat masuk saban hari di sekolah. Sesi pertama dihadiri Presiden merangkap Vice Chancellor universiti, whose lecture was somehow impressive. Tetapi tunggu, sesi kedua minggu lalu lebih mantap, dan itulah yang saya nanti-nantikan masa untuk menulis tentang perkara yang disampaikan.

I have to say that I was a bit sceptical when I saw the title : Theory of Leadership, tetapi pengarah program MLP (Manchester Leadership Programme) awal-awal lagi memberi justifikasi – hands-on experience works better, tetapi atas feedback peserta-peserta tahun sebelum ini, teori juga perlu. Jadi saya katakan pada diri: OK, let us see how different the western theory of leadership compared to the one I know, rooting from my Islamic background just to get my mind working throughout the session instead of just absorbing.

Speaker minggu lalu, hmm, mungkin lebih menarik penyampaiannya berbanding Presiden Universiti – Head of School of Education. Namanya saya lupa. Tak penting pun, kan?

Katanya, teori kepimpinan yang akan dibincangkan ini bermula pengkajiannya (dan ditegaskan, teori-teori itu BUKAN sains, malah hanya sekadar pemerhatian) kerana melihat keperluan dari segi ketenteraan. Tak disebut tarikh mula manusia mengkaji hal ini, tetapi saya fikir perkara ini memang bermula sejak dulu. Kenapa military? Saya teringat buku bertajuk ‘Obedience to Authority’ yang saya pinjam sebelum ini di Central Library. Buku itu mengulas tentang Eksperimen Milgram http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment yang menguji sejauh mana seseorang itu akan mematuhi figura autoriti meskipun bertentangan dengan personal conscience individu itu. Hal ini paling banyak dapat dilihat dalam operasi ketenteraan; sehingga ke tahap membunuh seseorang atas arahan ketua meskipun secara personal individu yang diarahkan itu merasakan perlakuan itu adalah salah. Jadi, adalah munasabah seandainya teori kepimpinan ini dikembangkan atas keperluan dari sudut ketenteraan, kerana menarik untuk dikaji figura autoriti yang bagaimanakah yang mampu menyebabkan orang bawahannya melakukan sesuatu yang luar biasa.

Ada beberapa teori yang dibincangkan – the common ‘born leader or trained’, dan sebagainya, tetapi ada beberapa ciri yang dikemukakan yang saya berasa sangat skeptik ketika pertama kali didengar.

Satu, katanya, pemimpin yang menyerlah berdasarkan sejarah mempunyai alpha male characteristics. Dominant, strong, forceful and likes to be in charge. Ini contoh ciri-ciri yang saya temui dalam artikel di internet. But hey, why the word ‘male’? First of all, speaker sendiri menegaskan, dia bukan mengatakan all leaders must be male, but all great leaders mostly have alpha male traits. OK. Ada bunyi-bunyi sexism. Mestilah saya tidak berpuas hati, adakah empat karakter contoh yang saya sebutkan itu mesti dimiliki oleh lelaki? Semacam gender conditioning; boys must not wear pink (except metrosexuals nowadays), girls must love pink; boys must not cry, girls must be as graceful as possible; Girls must be polite all the time, boys, it is optional. Adakah wanita secara semulajadinya tidak akan memiliki sifat dominant, strong and forceful? Atau sebenarnya kita sudah banyak terpengaruh dengan mitos-mitos gender-stereotyping seperti yang termaktub dalam buku self-help sealiran dengan ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’? Saya cuba imbas cepat-cepat, ketika dalam dewan kuliah itu, wanita-wanita dalam sejarah Islam yang pernah saya kenali. Saidatina Khadijah, sebagai businesswoman berjaya pada zamannya, mengetuai organisasi perniagaannya, mungkin sekali beliau juga dominant, dan tentunya strong. Saidatina Aisyah r.a. pernah saja menyertai ekspedisi perang, malah terlibat sekali sebagai pemimpin tentera dalam perang Jamal (correct me if I am wrong).Kedua-dua wanita agung ini telah diangkat oleh Allah s.w.t sebagai wanita paling mulia di alam ini sepanjang zaman dan perlu dicontohi semua muslimat, jadi adalah mustahil bahawa sifat sebegitu adalah milik lelaki sahaja. Mustahil Allah s.w.t mengkehendaki saya melakukan sesuatu di luar fitrah kejadian saya dengan menjadi dominant and strong.

Oh ya. Baru terbaca kelmarin artikel dalam akhbar. Guardian atau apa, yang memuatkan excerpt menarik dari sebuah buku yang menentang segala mitos yang menghantui masyarakat dalam relationship psychology, misalnya seperti apa yang diketengahkan dalam buku ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’. Lagi tajuk lain yang mungkin anda pernah dengar :’Why Men Don’t Listen, Why Women Can’t Read Map’. Tajuk pun sudah ada generalisasi, memang tidak boleh diterima. Saya boleh membaca peta dengan baik, ok? Saya pernah membaca buku yang pertama, dan memang saya agak sarkastik dalam menilai. Bukan apa, such books are only read by women. Kedua, banyak teori yang dikemukakan dalam buku itu tak selari dengan apa yang saya lihat berdasarkan pengalaman peribadi. Langsung tidak. Contohnya, the falsely-believed so-called fact bahawa wanita lebih banyak bercakap berbanding lelaki. Sangat-sangat tidak boleh diterima akal, kerana sejak kecil lagi saya tahu bahawa ayah saya lebih banyak bercakap berbanding emak. Malah di sekeliling saya ada ramai lelaki yang saya lihat lebih bijak berkomunikasi berbanding pasangannya. Itu contoh, ada lagi fallacy lain yang saya temui dalam buku itu.

Back to the topic.

Satu lagi ciri yang dikemukakan dalam Trait Theory of Leadership adalah outstanding physical appearance. All great leaders in history had distinct physical appearance, be it very short, or very tall, or maybe red-haired. Contoh paling awal terbayang dalam otak saya ketika itu adalah Napoleon (babyfaced and short). Saya rasa point ini ada betulnya. Seingat saya (hasil pengajian di Mesir mungkin), kesemua nabi dan rasul yang didatangkan kepada manusia memiliki wajah yang tampan (which implies that semua nabi dan rasul adalah lelaki, emphasizing this point means that I’ll never agree with claims that ada nabi berjantina perempuan).

Interesting to note another important, observable trait of good leader, that they have ‘just above average’ intelligence. Intellectuals cannot be good leaders. Saya ketawa besar saat mendengar kenyataan ini, tetapi justifikasi yang diberi memang boleh diterima logik akal: Geniuses have difficulties in explaining things to average people. How could people follow if they do not understand a leader’s vision?

Banyak lagi point menarik yang disampaikan, ada juga yang mencabar kepercayaan yang sudah lama menjadi tradisi. Kita selalu diingatkan untuk menjadi team-player yang baik, ditekankan supaya belajar untuk bekerja dalam satu pasukan, tetapi sebenarnya leadership needs to vary according to context. Ada masa-masa tertentu kita perlu menggunapakai teknik ‘impoverished’, mungkin juga ‘slave-drivers’, mungkin juga stail ‘country club’, tidak semestinya dalam setiap keadaan kita perlu menggunapakai teknik bekerja dalam kumpulan. Ada masa ketua perlu lebih supportive, ada kalanya perlu lebih directive. Got what I mean?

Saya mesti memaksa diri untuk aktif berdiskusi online: soalan-soalan yang saya sudah lama tahu jawapannya,contoh: does leadership comes with moral obligation? (By God, of course it is – sebelah kaki berada di neraka once kita memegang kepimpinan), perlu diterjemahkan dalam jawapan yang lebih universal.

A great challenge for myself, I say.