By CHONG KEAT LIM, MILLIE ONG and ANDREW LAU
In this new series of articles, we take a look at leadership traits that we focus on at various stages of personal development. This week, we look at determination.
1. Youth team
Our story of determination comes in the form of a foosball table. It was a few years ago when we first acquired a foosball table for DropZone, our youth inspirational centre in Petaling Jaya Old Town.
We imagined teens mingling around the table having fun while sharing stories about daily happenings.
Never mind that none of us knew how to play foosball, let alone have any idea of the rules or proper techniques for controlling the ball or scoring.
It’d be the thing that would draw the crowd together for good, clean fun and action. Besides, how difficult can it be to play foosball?
No regular foosballer
Then one day, one of the members brought a friend—Edwin—who wanted to check out DropZone after hearing about the brand new foosball table. Edwin loved the place but having watched our foosball action, he wasn’t sure if the table was being utilised properly.
As it turns out, Edwin had the proper “foosing” techniques and was happy to coach anyone who was interested to improve. In short, we ended up enrolling for his free lessons.
So we started learning the ‘ABCs’ – ball control, passes, shooting, and body posture, among others. It was exciting and painful at the same time.
Anyone who has tried forming a new habit will tell you that it takes a period of adjustment before a new behaviour becomes the norm. There were frustrating moments such as when we failed to do the passes right and bungled the shots, and we wondered if this was a good idea at all.
But we trudged on. We told ourselves that it was important to get the foundation right in order to maximise learning outcomes. We were determined to see it through, and our efforts soon paid off after a period of relearning.
Since then, foosball has not been played the same way. Matches have become faster and more thrilling. We were able to enjoy and gain a deeper sense of satisfaction from the game.
Determination made this possible, allowing us to accomplish the right goals at the right time, regardless of obstacles.
Determination is practised in our project management pieces with youth through the DIODE project pitch-out, Club MAD projects and DropZone events where participants are encouraged to see their initiatives through to completion. This trait is also highlighted in daily informal coaching sessions, especially in DropZone where youths are reminded to be firm in their pursuit of their personal goals.
The Leaderonomics Youth team is dedicated to providing youths between the ages of 11 and 19 with opportunities to develop and grow their leadership potential.
2. Campus team
The word determination holds a very special place in the hearts of Campus team members. It was not so long ago (three years to be exact), we were a plucky internal startup in Leaderonomics with no clients, minimal products and processes, but just a whole lot of determination.
Today, we are sought after for our business simulations.
From 0 to 4,000
In 2014, we journeyed and trained close to 4,000 undergraduates from all over the country. The happy smiles that we see on the faces of these young leaders certainly fuel our work.
As we look back, we realise that determination is the thing that separates those who succeed and those who do not.
More importantly, it also differentiates between the good and the great. We also believe that determination and excellence is not something we can claim to have. It is a “something”, which we have to earn from the testimonials of our clients and also participants.
We have been blessed to have clients who not only praise our work but who have also been returning year after year to collaborate with us. While we are not perfect, we push ourselves to deliver as close to perfection as possible.
This year we embark on our biggest project yet, a Leadership & Community Programme with 1,500 university students. Certainly our time, team resources and creativity will be stretched but we believe it’s going to be a good stretch.
While we do not know the outcome yet, we are more than determined to make it an amazing experience for the students.
We believe that this is the determination that will bring us further than we have ever been. So it’s not about the Determining factor, it’s about the Determination factor.
The Campus Business Simulations are designed to encourage perseverance towards completing a set of goals. Often we throw in unexpected situations and interventions that disrupt the student’s plans and challenges them to think through the problem.
The students select their own businesses or community projects based on KPIs and expectations set at the level of working adults. The objective is to push students out of their comfort zones to achieve things which they have never thought possible.
Leaderonomics Campus strives to empower undergraduates by arming them with a sound command of practical and professional knowledge, fostering creative and critical thinking, and facilitating the evolution of their unique leadership styles.
3. Corporate services team
In Leaderonomics, the Corporate Services team is responsible for providing leadership development services for corporate organisations, with the vision of building leaders one leader at a time.
The team consists of over 20 individuals, each playing a different role that focuses on diagnostics, solution design or programme management.
Our vision is to build leaders who will impact their communities positively, and lead with love rather than hate.
In a corporate setting, we are faced with the challenge of developing leaders who can contribute to their organisations, and also personally to their communities.
We choose to persevere despite obstacles because of our belief in the overall vision and mission of the company.
We see the benefits gained by participants of our programmes, and every small improvement counts. And so, we have developed the determination to continue doing our work – becoming even more determined in tough settings.
“No” not in our vocabulary
Determination is vital in order for us to push forward despite being given the word “No”, and especially when there are easier routes to take.
To contribute to the vision, we choose to work with our clients by building relationships with them and taking the time to deliver quality work.
In our training and development programmes, we emphasise setting personal goals for each individual. By providing the tools, platforms and support (through elements such as programme managers and mentors), we help to ensure that participants are able to experience and practice determination to the fullest.
Participants often have to overcome many obstacles in completing their projects, which help them develop an efficacy in terms of embodying determination as a trait.
The Corporate Services team in Leaderonomics aspires to help talents fulfil their potential for leadership through holistic efforts, via intended and customised talent management processes. We pinpoint your talents’ capabilities through talent assessment, and craft development journeys to help them move towards being successful leaders.
To find out more about our various programmes and initiatives, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more leadership traits articles, click here.
First appeared on Leaderonomics.com. Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 25 April 2015
Lay Hsuan is the content curator for Leaderonomics.com. She writes occasionally and is the caretaker for Leaderonomics social media channels. She is happiest when you leave comments on the website, or subscribe to Leader’s Digest, or share Leaderonomics content on social media.