Last week I had the opportunity attending a leadership course. As usual I was a wee bit apprehensive when I received the phone call informing me of the course. Yeah you know, not another leadership course. Another lecture by some “I know everything” lecturer. Another round of team building, group discussion, presentation, yada yada. But this time it was rather different. Even the place was different. It was one of those abandonned teachers’ quarters that has been converted to a training centre in the middle of a palm oil plantation along the coastal road leading to Teluk Intan. A place called Sungai Buloh, Hutan Melintang, in Perak, roughly 200km from Kl and 100km from Ipoh. To say the place is spartan is an understatement. Being originally designed as a family quarters, every apartment has three rooms, one kitchen, one bathroom, and a living room. Five of us sharing one apartment – two to a room and the third room has a single occupant. Each apartment has only set of keys and there is no wardrobe or anything to put your belongings. It was really a good down to earth lesson for us. Even the course facilitator, shared a room with us.
As I said earlier, I was expecting the usual stuffs but then it was different. Even as we started, an argument already broken between the faci and one of the participants. It was a good natured healthy spar. One party was gloating over his ability to write books on subjects as varied as species of flowers. The other party was questioning the danger of writing and propagating on something that has not been proven. It was a good start to the course.
One thing I gleaned from the course was on how to read other people’s personalities and try to accommodate your plan according to their personalities. It may not be possible to change these personality traits but what you can do is to adjust your plan to make the best of the personalities. The traits are not new, I am sure you have heard and read about it in one form or the other somewhere. The first one is the hardworking, meticulous and bossy Eagle. Eagle suffers no fool and always wants to be the boss. Opposite is the peace loving Dove who rarely takes any risk and would not rock the boat and prefers to work in the background as well as quite easily satisfied with existing condition. The Peacock is efferverscent and fun loving character with little regards for order and rules. Peacock is a good orator and loves attention. The Owl is the one with attention to detail. He maybe boring but everything about him is properly structured and highly organised. Owl makes a good auditor as it has a keen eye for details.
I believe this course is a welcome respite for the bedraggled officers bogged down by office works like me. It gives you time to reflect on your position and takes stock of your situation. As and added bonus, you get the chance to meet old friends from all over the country that you have not met for many years. It was more like a reunion of friends who took the PTK course in 2006. It was also a good chance for me to reaffirm network with the various Education Department in the country. And the place had low Celcom and Maxis signals! Real boondocks.