Friday, December 13, 2013

Executive Charisma: Six Steps to Mastering the Art of Leadership

Expect acceptance.
Regardless of rank, expect to be treated as an equal.  If you expect acceptance, you just might get it.  If you don't expect it, you definitely won't get it.

Control your attitude.
Success in business is based more on mental attitude than on mental capabilities.  Be optimistic toward yourself, others and life.  Walk in to a room with a spring in your step and a smile on your face.

Perfect your posture.
Pull your ribcage away from your pelvis, roll your shoulders back and down, pull your stomach in and tuck your bottom toward your spine.  Breathe deeply.  You'll not only look better, but feel more energized, alert and in control.

Think before you talk.
Think fast, pause, then speak purposefully.  One CEO practices saying everything to himself before he says it out loud so that he will hear how it sounds and can change it if he needs to.

Slow down.
Speed in speaking, moving, gesturing and walking looks nervous and scared.  Scared people get passed over, not hired or promoted.  Learn to speak in comfortable, easygoing and welcoming way.  Don't waste time, but do speak as if you have all the time in the world for those you are speaking to.

Shoot straight.
Everything you say or write can be done in a simple, straightforward manner.  Just do it.

Be a good storyteller.
People understand you better, remember what you say longer, and find you smarter and more interesting if you use anecdotes to make your points.

Be aware of your style.
Clothes don't make the man but they do make a difference.  Wear well-tailored, good quality clothes that make you look like you are in charge.  But remember, it isn't much about your look as how you look at things and what people see when they look at you.

Admit your mistakes.
If you are error-free, you're likely effort-free.

Don't be bullied.
If you are justly criticised, don't take the bait and get into an argument.  Instead calmly ask: Why do you think that?" "What do you mean?" or "What's that based on?"

Be flexible
Be able to stand out while still fitting in the crowd.

Be at ease with yourself and others.
Look others straight in the eye, eliminate any defensiveness and take the edge off your voice.  Never let them see you sweat!

source: internet

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Developing True Professionals to Serve Customers

by VICTOR S.L.TAN (source: Management Bulletin, Jul/Aug 1994)

True professionals are a rare breed.  As Asian nations strive towards industrialisation and development there is a need to balance economic and material achievements with strong commitment to cultural and moral values.

One way to do this is to develop true professionals in every field both in the public and private sectors.

Defining a True Professional

What makes a true professional? Graduating from training in a specialised body of knowledge or in certain highly esteemed professions does not make one a true professional.

A true professional practices a high level of professionalism. Professionalism lies not in what one knows but rather in the way one practices his trade or vocation.  It is a commitment on the part of a professional to discipline himself to carry out his obligations or duties deemed appropriate, morally responsible and of the highest level of integrity in his job.

There are some professions and trade with broadly-defined codes of ethics which guide their activities.  I believe there are some common characteristics in such codes.  It is not the intention here to discuss the details of the common rules and regulations governing each profession, trade or industry.

However, I would like to share with readers the seven characteristics which a true professional should possess.

  • Uncompromising Integrity
Integrity is the most distinguished mark of a professional.  A true professional cannot be bribed; his influence cannot be bought or traded.  He views his character as his main capital of success.  He would not sacrifice his moral principles for any price.

  • High competency level
A true professional is one who has expertise in his own special field.  He has great sincerity and enthusiasm in promoting and upgrading his area of practice.  He constantly seeks ways to improve the daily tasks required of his profession.  He takes great effort to build his skills, knowledge and experience to a level which his clients or customers fully appreciate and respect.

His competency allows him to excel and render top quality services.  The satisfaction he receives from the excellent work that he does reinforces his drive to maintain his high level of competency.

  • High degree of client-focus
A true professional is sensitive and responsive to his clients or customers. Whatever role he plays, be it an advisor, an information provider, a mediator, a problem solver or a combination of these roles, he is fully committed to give his best.

He takes time to understand the needs of his clients and often goes the extra mile to meet them.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
A true professional has excellent interpersonal skills.  He is diplomatic in handling difficult situations with people. 

He makes people at ease.  He listens well and communicates effectively.  He has the ability to win friends and influence people with his enthusiasm, sincerity, presence, confidence and friendly disposition.  He works well both with individuals and teams.

  • Strong commitment to a calling
A true professional has a deep sense of calling in the work that he does.  He works for more than just pay and the comforts of life. He views his profession as a calling to help people solve their problems.  He has a deep sense of pride in his profession and will do everything to protect its reputation.  A great part of his motivation comes from the satisfaction he gets from the positive results he helps achieve for his clients.

  • Positive mental attitude
A true professional is a tough-minded optimist.  He has a positive mental attitude towards life in general.  He possess strong determination and perseverance to see things through.  He deals with challenges and difficulties in his profession with a sense of calmness and self-control.  He helps others to see the brighter side of life and encourages them to hang on during moments of crisis.

  • Balance in life
One cannot remain for long as a true professional if one does not possess a balance in life.  A professional who totally devotes his time to his works and ignores his family will soon cave in emotionally.  A true professional leads a healthy balanced life, taking time to achieve total development - in terms of intellectual, social, psychological and physical fitness.

A professional may only succeed materially, but a true professional achieves total success and happiness with his fully developed life.  The search for professionalism is a journey within.  It requires great effort and discipline.  And this is what separates true professionals from the masses.  The fruits of professionalism are inner peace, self-fulfillment, respect from others and a sense of pride from helping to enhance the image of the profession.  These are reasons enough for workers to strive to be true professionals.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Islamic Banking Products

compiled by Dr Rosli Yaakob

Since the 1970s, Islamic banking has emerged as a new reality in the international financial scene.  Its emergence is regarded as a manifestation of the revival of Islam and the growing desire of Muslims worldwide to live all aspects of their lives in accordance with Islamic teaching.

For the benefit of the readers, we describe below the various concepts of the Islamic banking products which are available in Malaysia.

AL-WADIAH YAD DHAMANAH (safekeeping with guarantee)

The concept of Al-Wadiah Yad Dhamanah refers to deposits which have been deposited with another person, who is not the owner, for safekeeping.  As wadiah is a trust, the depository becomes the guarantor and therefore, guarantees repayment of the depositors, when demanded. The depositors are not entitled to any share of the profits but the depository may provide returns as a gift (Al-Hibah) to the depositors as a token of appreciation.

AL-MUDHARABAH (profit-sharing)

The concept of Al-Mudharabah refers to an agreement made between a party, who provides the capital and another party (entrepreneur), to enable the entrepreneur to carry out business projects, which will be on a profit-sharing basis, according to predetermined ratios agreed upon earlier.  In the case of losses, the losses are borne by the provider of the funds.

AL-MUSYARAKAH (joint-venture)

The concept of Al-Musyarakah refers to a partnership or joint-venture for a specific business with a profit motive, whereby the distribution of profits will be apportioned according to an agreed ratio.  In the event of losses, both parties will share the losses on the basis of their equity participation.

AL-MUDHARABAH (cost-plus financing) 

The concept of Al-Mudharabah refers to the sale of goods at a price which includes a profit margin as agreed by both parties.  In Al-Mudharabah contracts, the price, other costs and the profit margin of the seller must be stated at the time of the agreement of sale.

BAI' BITHAMAN AJIL (deferred payment sale)

The concept of Bai' Bithaman Ajil is similar to the concept of Al-Mudharabah, except that in this case, the sale of goods is on a deferred payment basis.

BAI' AL-DAYN (debt trading)

The concept of Bai' Al-Dayn refers to debt financing, i.e. the provision of financial resources required for production, commerce and services by way of sale/purchase of trade documents and papers.  It is a short-term facility with a maturity of not more than a year.  Only documents evidencing debts arising from bona fide commercial transactions can be traded.

AL-IJARAH (leasing)

The concepts of Al-Ijarah refers to an arrangement under which the lessor leases an equipment, building or other facilities to a client at an agreed rental.

AL-IJARAH THUMMA AL-BAI' (hiring followed by sale and purchase) 

The concept of Al-Ijarah Thumma Al-Bai' refers to two contracts undertaken separately and consequentially as follows:

(i) Al-Ijarah contract (hiring/renting);
(ii) Al-Bai' contract (sale and purchase)

Under the first contract, the hirer hires the goods from the owner at an agreed rental over a specified period.  Upon expiry of the hiring period, the hirer enters into a second contract to purchase the goods from the owner at an agreed price.  This concept is applicable for financing of consumer goods and durables.

AL-QARDHUL HASAN (benevolent loan)

The concept of Al-Qardhul Hasan refers to an interest-free loan given mainly for welfare purposes. The borrower is only required to repay the principal amount borrowed, but he  may pay an extra amount as a gift (Al-Hibah) at his absolute discretion, as a token of appreciation.

AL-WAKALAH (agency)

The concept of Al-Wakalah refers to a situation where a person nominates another person to act on his behalf.

AL-KAFALAH (guarantor)

The concept of Al-Kafalah refers to the guarantee provided by a person to the owner of a goods, who had placed or deposited his goods with a third party, whereby any subsequent claim by the owner with regard to his goods must be met by the guarantor; if it is not met by the third party.

AR-RAHN (collateralised borrowing)

The concept of Ar-Rahn refers to an arrangement whereby a valuable asset is placed as a collateral for a debt.  The collateral may be disposed in the event of default.

AL-HIWALAH (remittance)

The concept of Al-Hiwalah refers to a transfer of funds/debts from the depositor's/debtor's account to the receiver's/creditor's account where a commission or fee (Al-Ujr) may be charged for such service.

AL-UJR (fee)

The concept of Al-Ujr refers to commission or fees charged for services

source: Bulletin Qariyah Masjid Darul Ehsan, Subang Jaya (1996)