Based on the answers from the interview of the leader, I want to share the importance of quality leadership in the viewpoint of Prof. Dato’ Rafiq.
As a Muslim, I believe that my religion, Islam, has taught its followers, Muslims, that we were born to be the servant (khalifah) to the God the Almighty. The word ‘servant’ is often mentioned by Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr. Mohammed Rafiq bin Dato’ Abdul Kadir in order to have the work life balance. On this basis, he put himself not primarily as a Dean of Faculty of Engineering at work place as well as a lecturer in the class, and neither as a husband to her wife at home, nor a father to his 5 children, but as a servant to God. Nonetheless, he knows the responsibilities he has to carry differ as a Dean in UTM, and as a father and husband at home. He as well illustrated these two roles of responsibility as wearing shoes, where you act as what you wear. That truly teaches me to be accountable and professional.
He inspires me and my team to serve excellently to both Malaysian society and the world. Currently, UTM is the second ranking in Malaysia that has ventured into the engineering niche. He added that UTM is supposed to ace the first rank, due to that reason, he urges that consolidated efforts should be performed to achieve that goal. In my point of view, he is a strategic leader, a forward thinker and remarkably intellectual. What truly amazes me is that he obtained Dato’ and Professor titles at his young age.
Leadership is so much more than positions and titles, it is about liable actions and showing great examples. Same as Prof. Rafiq, he never implements the mentor-mentee system since he opines that such system could not be the right way to train the future successor. Nevertheless, he is inclined to use ‘pause and think’ method as a way to train the awaiting list of Dean’s candidates.
Furthermore, he emphasized that there are three new skills a Higher Education Institution leader should possess. The most prominent aspect of a great leadership is to stay patient and be a good listener to excel in one’s job scope, followed by influencing others or consensus. He also added that a great leadership takes someone with professional attitude and a high emotional quotient. The combination of these three skills are essential in making a right decision as a leader.
Plus, he beautifully ended his advice that deeply touched my heart which sounded like this, “give the fullest to this life; otherwise, there are more excuses come from us. Life can be treated as a long journey, sometimes there is a sunshine; but, sometimes there is a rainy day. Just remember to entertain everyone fairly and be a servant to Allah s.w.t.”
Here is a photo between my team and Prof. Dato’ after the interview session.