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The Importance of Self-Reflection

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So, what are you doing now? That was the typical question which I was asked during the many open houses, I attended a few years ago. Such a question is an opportunity for self-reflection.

So, I thought, I share my experience on self-reflection here. This seemingly harmless question “so what are you doing now” is taken differently by different people. It can make some very uncomfortable, while to others such a question may shake their self-worth to the core, but some take it as an opportunity to reaffirm their conviction ‘yakin’ about their future endeavour.

At that time, many people thought I had secured another job before leaving my past position. It is by choice that I did not pursue full-time work right after that. So, whenever people asked me “So what are you doing now?’’ Full time on Facebook” I told them.

Of course, they did not believe me. Probably because I was appointed as director of a number of companies such as Bank Islam and Cagamas.  

Self-reflection is About Revisiting your past

Leadership is responsibility that you ask on judgement day

I would advise when face with uncertainty about the future, you should first look back.

At that time, to understand where I am heading, let me share with you a bit about my journey up to that particular moment.

Self-Reflection on Leadership Qualities

My time and education at MRSM Kota Bharu and Perth really shaped my character. I am thankful to my teachers in Pengkalan Chepa who did not only teach me academic subjects but nurtured me to lead myself and others. In the MRSM system those days, teachers were also your facilitators, they let you explore life, pointing you in the right direction and providing helping hands when you fell.

You might be interested in The Missing Link in Leadership Today

Self-Reflection on time in MRSM

We learned to choose what was right and wrong ourselves while our teachers were observing at the side, ready to lead us back to the mid-stream in case we wandered away too far.

That, together with the upbringing of my parents and grandparents, prepared me to live on my own at the age of 18 when I was sent to Perth. As a young person in a foreign land the freedom to do anything only reinforced my character further.

Also Read: Advice for Future Leaders

Self-Reflection Process of Discovery

Upon my graduation, I worked in small accounting firms in Perth and Kuala Lumpur. While guidance was available, you had to explore things by yourself when working in those kinds of outfits. If one was not a self-starter and self-driven, life would be very challenging.

I later started my own accounting practice and later with few like-minded friends founded a larger partnership. I left the firm to pursue my passion for strategy advisory. During this stage, I was involved with many businesses and organisations. I saw how they grew and prosper and also their failures.

This was also the stage where I was involved with the accountancy profession, in Malaysia, regionally and globally. The peak was when I was elected to lead the local national accounting body.

Along the way, I was given the opportunity to be involved with national bodies or initiatives spanning from export of professional services, trade negotiation, overseeing conducts of companies, education to the promotion of integrity and anti-corruption.

Honesty and Integrity

I was later given the opportunity to set up a regulatory structure overseeing auditors. I was also given the responsibility to oversee critical components of our RM 2.5 trillion capital market. This experience provided me with the appreciation of the value of honesty and integrity, especially when I saw how values was destroyed when honesty and integrity were compromised.

I was blessed with all the opportunities and experience and I believe it would be worthy for me to share them with individuals and organisations in the areas of leadership, governance, and strategy. Looking back, each new role is preparing me for a new challenge.

I also had made my fair share of mistakes in my life. However, one thing which I had learned was

if we honestly wanted to do the right thing but we still got it wrong, the final outcomes would not be that bad.

You are destined for something better

Whatever your journey, has been it did not happen by chance but rather it is part of a divine plan. Honesty and integrity is the key to your future success, it is actually an invisible capital that you, don’t see. When the time comes, you’ll be presented with an opportunity that you may not even imagine.

Whatever, your answer to the question ‘So, what you are doing now? Just know one fundamental truth. As a servant of Allah,  pray to Him for His guidance and blessing. You should hope you would be able to do whatever little good to yourself, your family, your society, your country, and the world at large.

Trust your journey so far is preparing you for something greater. InsyaAllah things will turn out better than you expected. You might have your own plans but Allah’s plan is better and inevitable.

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