One of my favourite leadership quotes is “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. This quote is originated from the American first lady (1933-1945), Anna Eleanor Roosevelt  (Figure 1). As the wife of 32nd president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, United Nations ambassador and humanitarian, she was one of the world’s most broadly respected and influential woman. When first looking at this quote, I didn’t know that this quote came from a woman until I did some further searching.  I am so attracted to this quote because there is a sense of ‘heart’. With the era of science and technology these days, we can see that heart and emotion always being left behind. People are losing their sense of humankind and always thinking of profit and money on making any decision. Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the pioneer in fighting for the civil right of African Americans and the poor. As a leader with heart and compassion, she showed her empathy and she felt the other people feelings by fighting for the rights of the people in need.

Figure 1: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

As a woman leader in Malaysia, especially in the Southern area, I can say that Raja Zarith Sofiah (Figure 2) is one of an example of a good leader with “heart”. Being born in a Royal family, her humbleness and modesty fascinated the people. She is very active in matters of welfare and she also holds the position of Trustee of the Johor Spastics Association, Malaysian English Teaching Association and Chairman of the Malaysian Red Crescent. She launched the Johor Zarith Sofiah Foundation of Johor in 2012 and the foundation aims to raise funds for various educational programs. The foundation is also aimed at spreading Islamic learning. Raja Zarith Sofiah is indeed a woman of high spirits and ambition to see Malaysians in better condition. She held many forums and worked with experts from overseas to discuss the direction of national education. Indeed, her role in strengthening the learning system in Malaysia is immense. Raja Zarith Sofea was a degree and master graduate from Oxford university. With her good education background, and good leadership examples, I believe she is one of the example that suites with the quote, “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart”.

Figure 2: Raja Zarith Sofea

Basically, there is always a need to make a decision whether we should use our mind or our heart when dealing with ourselves. Giving an example; when I am planning to go for a class at 8 am. I slept early so that I can wake up at 5 am in the morning to pray, prepare breakfast for my family and to be early in class. It is already 5 am in the morning and now, I have two options; to wake up or keep sleeping. My mind understands that I have to wake up but, my heart says to relax and enjoy the sleep and wake up in another 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and so on. This happen in our daily life; we will go easy if we listen to our heart and this is a main reason for most failures. It is always important to use our mind to control ourselves. Without willpower and hard work we will not succeed.

There is different situation when dealing with others. In this case, we have to use both; head (mind) and heart. It is significant to think logically and most importantly we have to realize that every individual is sole and has their own personality, hence we cannot control their life. Therefore, use our heart to appreciate other’s sweats. For instance, when a student presented their project, appreciate on their hard work instead of only commanding on your own ideas and suggestions. Always say thank you as appreciation, care on others and never shy to say sorry when make any mistake. Heart helps in making a connection with others and at the end of the day, we will feel happy and satisfied for causing a smile on somebody’s lovely face.