Malaysia Dateline

Why good leaders are good teachers?

All over the world we can read that many leaders are retiring and considering retirement. But this is not happening in Malaysia as the current Prime Minister (at 93) is willing to go for at least a term which added up to 98.

The ‘man who would be PM’ comes at 71 and is said willing to wait for his chance to lead our country.

What are they teaching us actually?

I made some reading, and noticed that Ian Read, CEO of Pfizer announced his retirement year-end and the passing of the baton to deputy Albert Bourla.

General Electric announced the ouster of John Flannery, replacing him with board member Larry Culp.

The happening seems that ‘one who hold a long-term position’ would want to retire to make way and give chance to new ‘head’ who may see shorter terms holding office.

Even Jack Ma announced his retirement last month from his Alibaba chair to give way to his successor Daniel Zhang; a person he groomed to take over.

For sure is that leaders retiring will want their legacy to last; they will for sure want their ‘vision’ to go on for centuries.

The transition planning of leaders should not be vulnerable and any leaders will have their own leadership transition invested.

Great leaders like Ma is definitely a great mentors and coaches. The mentoring and coaching skills are learnable.

Great leaders will always say they want to teach and are teachers. This is common for any good teachers will want their students to excel to their own capabilities.

No teachers would want their students to fail. Thus, leading and mentoring are tangled all along and comes together.

As leader or teacher, we would focus the one who we are helping to develop; if in a big number then we will have to focus to the numbers.

Leader or teacher, they are mentor. One of the task of mentoring is empowering the next generation through good relationship.

To make things work is to know your people. Good leaders know who they want to develop.

Each one of us have our strength, weaknesses, hopes and aspirations and good leader don’t simply pour everything to his/her disciple but he/she will definitely know the characteristics of the mentee needed to be the successor.

In the case of the current development in Malaysian politics, it is said that the PM is willing to give up control in accordance to the readiness of the person said to be developed.

In teaching, a teacher is ready to teach when the student is ready. The readiness criteria come with the successor talent or skillset, ready-made mind set, with respond to the urge to learn, accept feedback and willingly to be nurture.

The development and growth needs high discipline and consistency.

In between the period, we need to assess our measurement of power and success.

A good leader or teacher will need to be alert and aware on how things are after retirement as it is now. Safeguarding, sustaining resources is another value system.

To be a leader or teacher requires you to know of people but also to know your people. 524

*Azizi Ahmad is an educator .

The views expressed here are do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysia Dateline.