Testimonials – Leadership

The following are testimonials by participants of previous White Leadership™ engagements. 

(Note: Names of workshops/modules were named differently before 2015.)

 

I thought the first session, conducted with Mr Ravi’s facilitation style, was effective and to the point. This gave most candidates food for thought on where they stood (from a professional standpoint rather than personal) versus where they needed to be, in the organization. There was good small-group interaction and participation facilitated by Mr Ravi.

~ Senior Project Manager, Oil & Gas Industry

The programme helped me to discover my leadership/managerial/individual style. The facilitator was provocative and direct. He challenged participants to react, but stressed the importance of thinking before behaving. He has a unique method of facilitating. I found the materials on leadership, thinking and use of the brain to be very useful.

~ General Manager, Oil & Gas Industry

The programme has taken our minds to the next level, creating greater confidence levels – especially pertaining to senior management, paving the way for transparency and creating more teamwork. This is a good programme that has exceeded our expectation level. It opened our minds to think further and deeper. The facilitator challenged our thinking limit; he would provoke us until we could come up with ideas or solutions.

~ Senior Manager, Oil & Gas Industry

Till this day, some of us still speak of Ravi, our leadership development guru, who has certainly made a mark on us. I take this opportunity to thank him for revisiting the fundamentals and core values of good leadership, reminding us of our responsibilities and obligations as leaders, ingraining in us the importance of leadership alignment and shared core values, and much more, all of which constitute the leadership essentials that make a difference to our organization. Thank you, Ravi, for being the “shaker” and the “shaper”!

The Group IT leaders who participated in the programme now operate with a common leadership language and mindset. We practise formal and informal ways of cascading and sharing whatever we have learned with our teams.

~ Head of Group Information Technology, Global FMCG

Take Charge Leadership: “Mark of the Lion”  for TNB Leaders, 27-28 Aug 2013 (a module of White Leadership™)

A very good leadership course with real life examples and useful approach that can be applied at the workplace as well as in one’s personal life. The facilitator is well-versed with the subject matter. A very professional facilitator; he has done an excellent job!

~ Rosidah Bte Shamsul Annuar, General Manager (Finance) – Transmission Division, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

The workshop was very interesting – discovering the unknown about oneself. The facilitator demonstrated vast experience during knowledge sharing. He walked through with us how the thinking process should be for a leader.

~ Manager, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Interesting – I really enjoyed the workshop and I believe it can help me in my career. The facilitator is energetic, knowledgeable and honest.

~ Ismail Bin Haji Abd. Rahman, General Manager (Regulatory & Stakeholder Management) – Corporate Affairs & Services, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

The workshop offered valuable insights; it enhanced my self-awareness as well as provided ideas and clues to further improve one’s leadership qualities. This would also be beneficial/useful in the family setting. The workshop also reinforced the importance of doing the right things.

The facilitator was able to provoke the audience to provide responses. His sharing of experiences livened up the workshop. He was friendly and very helpful.

~ Anuar B. Abd. Shukur, General Manager (EWRM) – Group Finance Division, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Overall, the workshop has been very interesting, especially in discovering one’s true self. The techniques taught were easy to understand and easily relatable to one’s life.

~ Anida Ishak, General Manager (Investor Relations & Management Reporting) – Group Finance Division, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Provocative but stimulating. Good insights into how we think. The facilitator was blunt but pleasant.

~ Manager, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Practical workshop; stimulating questions that constantly spurred our thinking. Should have more theory/explanation/engagement sessions before practical sessions – unfortunately, there was insufficient time.

The facilitator was knowledgeable, able to give practical answers/solutions to questions. He was frank and authentic.

~ Dev Ananda, Regional Manager (Selangor) – Transmission Division, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

My first impression was that I was not able to find out what the objective of the course was because handouts were not given and the slide presentation was not in order. Finally, I found that this was done purposely to make me think, and that was the objective of the workshop. Overall, it was a very good workshop not only for leaders but also for managers.

The facilitator has more than enough experience to share and to answer all the questions raised. Overall, he is a very good facilitator.

~ Dato’ Mohd. Zahir bin Md. Nagor, General Manager (Regional) – Distribution Division, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Mind-provoking; pushed us to really think through any issue. The workshop taught us not to pre-judge and offered a new way of thinking. The facilitator was blunt but fair, excellent in controlling the workshop.

~ Khamarudin Mohd. Isa, General Manager (Special Projects) – Transmission Division, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Overall, an excellent workshop! The contents guided us on the right behaviour and attitude, and offered knowledge on how to be a good leader. The facilitator was excellent. It was easy to understand his interesting mode of presentation. I didn’t feel bored listening to his explanation or stories.

~ Noraida Bt. Ahmad, Head of Strategic Supplier Management – Procurement Division, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

The workshop was an avenue for us to learn about how our brain functions in relation to knowing oneself. The facilitator was able to relate his experiences on leadership training and knock some sense into our thinking.

~ Manager, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Interesting due to its unique nature and the way the workshop has been carried out. Lots of learning to take home; it has given us insights into one’s self. The facilitator succeeded in keeping participants interested/motivated throughout the course. In view of his vast knowledge and experience, he is a skillful facilitator.

~ Ahmad Zamri Hamdan, Sourcing Controller – Procurement Division, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

The programme was somewhat different from the normal leadership training programmes that I had attended. It provided a personal evaluation through various methodologies/questionnaires to give an indication of the participants’ profiling. The facilitator used a direct approach, saying things as they were and providing honest feedback to participants.

~ Roslan, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

The workshop opened my eyes and provided me with tools to gauge myself. It prodded me to think about what I have done all this while – on track/logical or just doing something just because it must be done. It gave me a choice – to better myself or stay the way things are.

The facilitator had the skill and knowledge in what he was talking about. He was willing to engage his students and presented us with stories/experiences that made us think and challenged us to better ourselves.

~ Manager, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

The workshop was just magnificent and able to enlighten me on the science behind the process of thinking. The self-assessments were amazingly accurate and helped me understand myself better. Examples and case studies reinforced the understanding on how to enrich my leadership skills further. Bravo!

The facilitator has vast experience and credentials which made the entire course exciting from start till end. Very captivating behavioural reading on individuals; he made good references to books, videos and visual aids. Honest, bold and sincere.

~ Mohd. Thushan, Regional Manager (Kuala Lumpur) – Transmission Division, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

I would definitely recommend and encourage my fellow colleagues to participate in this programme. It’s a thumb’s up for me. In today’s day and age, it is vital for us to equip ourselves with the right knowledge and attitudes to take on the many challenges that the world throws at us. This is one of the programmes that I believe will be able to add value to the company as well as for the participants involved. People make up the company and not the other way around, so equipping the people is definitely of significant importance.

This programme continually challenges us to think beyond our own measure and provides good guidance towards becoming a better leader through our thinking mind and our behaviours. In the programme, we learned about filters and how we constantly filter many things around us which causes us to react and do the things in a behavioural way. Do we actually think before we react?

It also provides a platform and avenue for the participants to open up their minds and really see things in a wholly different light. We are able to open up and receive constructive ideas, and share our opinions and practices, which results in a better understanding of the businesses around the Company as well as the marketplace dynamics.

This programme has opened up a whole new window for me to improve and challenged me to step up. Ravi has constantly challenged us to become a better person and a better leader. His experience speaks for itself and truly extrudes authentic leadership. He is direct and never holds back to share his honest views to push you to another higher level as a leader. It is the choices we make that determine the outcome at the end of the programme. Positive attitude is everything.

~ Isaac Y, Branch Manager

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

Amid the commercial challenges faced by our Group, the intense competition and evolving consumer preferences, as well as the hierarchical, power-based culture, change will be an uphill challenge if we do not have the right change agents, whether developed internally or sought from the outside.
Take Charge Leadership is one of the change programmes for our people, and in terms of mindset/behaviour change and leadership skills development, it has been effective. I see it with my own eyes, as well as feel it with my own heart, during my day-to-day dealings with my peers, boss and my team. With this programme, we can nurture potential leaders to transform the Company.
That said, I must qualify that this programme is not suitable for everyone, and some may not be ready for it. The programme is tough, not only in terms of the time commitment, additional readings and home assignments, but it is also challenging to the heart. Those who are lazy, have big egos, think they know enough and are stubborn, will not be ready and may even affect the rest of the participants negatively. As long as one is open, committed, passionate and ready to change, then one ought to be given the opportunity.
~ Zenas K, Manager – HR Planning

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

In all honesty I was one of those skeptics when this programme began, but as the programme progressed, I realized it had a profound effect on me as a person. It gave me a feeling of being a better person at work with my colleagues, associates, friends, family and even people that I meet on a daily basis.

It’s almost like being in a meditative state unconsciously, thanks to filters that have been chucked out the window and being aware of the state of emotional quotient we are in and the environment of the people we are with.

We have been armed with many tools but it will be deemed useless if we do not step up and make a conscious effort or commitment to master these five components of emotional intelligence: Self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. I have begun pasting little notes around my workstation to remind myself and also with the hope to create a viral effect on my colleagues, too.

In this programme, I have made many “new” and special caring friends despite already knowing or working with some of them for a couple of years. I am sure there are many more of them out there that I have not had the opportunity to get to know.

I would recommend my fellow colleagues to take this given opportunity for self mastery, personal development and enhancement; coach Ravi will be the right person as he has the passion, patience and knowledge to lead them on this epic journey.

“To move the world, we must first move ourselves.” SOCRATES, Classical Greek Philosopher.

~ Alex MC Tan, Manager – Sales Operations

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

I would strongly encourage colleagues to participate in the Take Charge Leadership programme.

The industry landscape has become more competitive. The international players have deeper pockets. They have implemented aggressive marketing strategies, new and trendy equipment, and these competitors have more manpower. What has brought us here will not bring us there. During the transitional period for survival, excellent training and activation is a real solution.
I am very objective-driven.  Whenever I join any training, I will set an objective of why I want to be there and what I expect to learn there: What is the duration of training? What is the opportunity cost? With this programme, I felt great to accomplish my expectations. In the first lesson, I learned on how to take away “filters” and to focus on thinking before I behave and act.  In the second and third lessons, l learned the application of those lessons.
After a few weeks of practice, even my brother noticed the change when both of us we discussing family matters. He commented on my change into a different person: more proactive, open, understanding and able to forgive. Thanks to the course, life is a more delightful experience.
When I conducted road shows to our Distributor Market Representatives (DMR) on a new sales incentive scheme, I used what I had learned in the course. I noticed that people were more open and participative, and this created a cohesive environment. The April and May DMR performance results were impressive with better achievements and greater motivation levels. Of course, this is just the beginning of the road to success, as there are still many challenges.  However, I am more confident and better equipped to speed up the process.
Mr Ravi is an experienced coach-cum-teacher, and a person with long-term business vision. He does not calculate the short-term returns but focuses on investments in “emotional bank account” and “productivity capacity”. A good move was conducting the training across 3 different months instead of over a period of 3 consecutive days.
The coach is able to raise pertinent questions in between the programme to make participants learn new ideas and be involved in active discussions. He is sharp to identify an individual’s progress, any area of opportunity, and confront participants without fear or favour. It may make the participants uncomfortable at the beginning but in the end, it definitely achieves better results.
~ EH Goh, Region Manager (South)

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

The changing era of management
Throughout the years, I’ve noticed many styles of management and many ways in which issues were dealt with and resolved. It has been an evolution of sorts, with the way things are done now, compared to how it was done when I first joined the company. Back then, there was very little two-way conversation between the staff and management. The staff simply did what the management asked them to do. Now, nothing can be achieved if there is no communication. Managers need to upgrade themselves, and be able to see the future and prepare for the future. Focusing on the future sets leaders apart. (Truth 4-The Truth about Leadership by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner)
Flexibility & Innovation
Leaders make decisions effectively and efficiently. However, I also believe that no decision is final. Changes can be made at any time; issues could be resolved by just providing team members with a compassionate listening ear. A change happens because there is a better decision to be made. However, always consult those affected beforehand. Recognition and appreciation are two of the most important things in any relationship, including leadership. It is crucial to always recognize and appreciate people. With recognition and appreciation, comes trust. Leaders need to trust that their team members are doing the right thing.  (Truth 4-Trust Rules)
Inter & Intra-personal skills
Other than the inter-personal skills and techniques which are crucial in leadership, leaders also need to learn about self-mastery. Knowing the “devil in you”, knowing your emotions, learning to control your emotions and most importantly, knowing what triggers the emotions. When the amygdala strikes, we behave and react instead of thinking as per normal. As what James Kouzes and Barry Posner said, “You can’t fast-track your way to excellence. Leadership is a demanding, noble discipline not to be entered into frivolously or casually. It requires an elevated sense of mastery. It’s a matter of technique, of skill, of practice. And it can be learned, with desire and commitment.”
To cite a quotation I came across on Facebook, “If an egg is broken by outside force, life ends; if broken by inside force, life begins, Great things always come from the inside.” Therefore, as a leader I would encourage my fellow colleagues to participate in the Take Charge Leadership programme.
~ SK Tan, Production Manager

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

Without hesitation, I agree with other leaders in recommending and encouraging our colleagues to participate in the Take Charge Leadership workshop. Though the workshop is 3 days in duration, it’s actually a 90-day training of continuous self-mastery and regulation with focal alignment of our thinking, behaviour and action.
The 90 days of training will eventually affect the rest of your 9 months, 9 years and in fact, the rest of your life, as you will incorporate the renewed thinking, behaviour and action as regular habits on a daily basis. That’s the ideal goal and objective of this workshop, i.e. to develop a leader with high Emotional Intelligence, equipped and embedded with innovativeness, creativity and right thinking, translated into sustainable behaviour and action.
This workshop unleashes the leadership soul within us through self-discovery and mastery. Assessments such as Johari Window, Keiser Temperament Sorter and 360-degrees Checkpoint did the trick and helped me significantly. A leader who understands himself well enough will be able to understand and empathize with his followers better in shaping the group to higher performance group with higher EQ and response well in any business situation.
The workshop uses acclaimed literature to introduce us to leadership gurus, namely Daniel Goleman, J. Kouzes and B. Posner, but best of all, we were posed the question, “Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?” – a such simple yet deep and intelligible question, or rather avant-garde hypothesis, which opened a whole new dimension of our perception towards ourselves and others surrounding us.
This workshop also taught us that this leadership journey never ends; we should constantly challenge and question ourselves. Sustainability is not a one-time process, it’s a monotonous process. Being a great leader is not a part-time job with a short-term role as it takes more than that; it is a continuous self-assessed, self-authentic journey.
Hence, to enable ourselves for such monotonous sustainability, we need to possess high Emotional Intelligence (EI) measured through our Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ). Simply stated, EI is our ability to perceive our emotions, identify them, understand them, control them, and use them to assist our thought. It’s the ability to stay focused when we are under emotional difficulties. Of course, having good interpersonal and intrapersonal skills will help you a lot to be a great leader.
To sum up, I strongly recommend my colleagues to join this workshop as it is for their own benefit, regardless of their work or off-work situations.
~ Md Adzrain, Area Business Manager

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

As a manager, I am tasked to manage people and the business. The “trick” was to have everything appear to look good and feel good. I often acted before thinking, for example, turning down a request by simply replying, “That cannot be done” based on the filters at the back of my mind. That was the behavioural response.

The programme is excellent for personal development where it develops one’s self-awareness through a combination of tools like Johari Window, Keiser Temperament Sorter, 360-degree Checkpoint, Leadership Style and Multiple Intelligence. These tools often point out the gap between reality and the perception I have about myself. It was all about self-mastery, the basic fundamental of leadership, i.e. before one is able to lead others, he must be able to lead himself in the first place.

To relate it to the organization and its business units, which are now going through transformation driven by the need of business sustainability and market expansion outside of Malaysia, we must not only be ready to face the challenges, but also to act as the change agent to drive the change of the organization. Therefore I strongly recommend my fellow colleagues to participate in this programme.

~ HT Voon, Sales Manager

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

The Take Charge Leadership programme has produced proven changes in our batch, which were shared during the course of our training. It is a good opportunity that seldom comes by, for our company employees to be able to reflect, embrace their leadership skills, and continuously receive constructive feedback from our coach, Ravi, for improvement.  This helps us to reflect on our thinking, behaviour and shortcomings which were previously not known to us.

The outcomes of this training were priceless. We want to create excellence work place relationships where everybody loves to come to work; he/she knows what specific goals need to be accomplished in order to achieve the company’s vision. Motivation drives success, and customers will love to do business with us.  In essence, we need to develop more positive managers and role models in this organization.

Initiatives in my department in running a massive IT system upgrade for our Division include punctuality and efficient time management in ensuring members to remain focused on project status updates and the issues addressed; weekly 15-minute of pause check meetings to allow voices of dissatisfaction and improvement, encouragement and motivation; and a monthly eat-in lunch leadership forum by managers to share learning and encourage interaction.

The knowledge that I acquired and consciously apply daily helps in my personal life, especially with my two teenaged daughters. Taking away the expectations and filters help greatly in dealing with my daughters’ studies. Yes, they both achieved good results and will be awarded in this coming Chairman Award 2012!

I must say that not everyone is suitable for this programme if he or she is not ready to commit.  It involves time commitment to lot of reading materials and assignments.  Our daily thinking, behaviour and actions have got to be aligned.  Active participation to emails during this period helps us to embrace leadership skills.

In addition, I appreciate Mr Ravi’s assertiveness in giving us sensible cues regarding our decision making process. It reminds me that further behaviour change is required during decision making.

In summary, continuous learning and embracing our leadership skills can inspire innovative thinking and achieve top performance. It will benefit individuals to start implementing their skills in alignment with the company’s vision. Creating workplace excellence will open up new ways to engage colleagues and jointly build an army of loyal customers to our organization.

~ Elaine Yew, Business Solution Manager, Group IT

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

I recommend the Take Charge Leadership course for those who are going through a crossroad/dilemma or having many questions at work or in life as a whole, and need that extra lift…that extra push to deliver another breakthrough;

It is for those who feel that they have sacrificed a lot for their people but are not being understood; for those who have great ambition for their teams and children and are looking for ways and means to materialize this vision.
Even for those who feel that they know it all…
For those who care for their image and identity, and are eager to ensure that their behaviour and choice of words live up to the leadership title bestowed on them;
For those who feel that they have not touched people’s hearts;
For those who are willing to do what is right;
For those who have the courage to understand their own aura and behaviour;
For those who are working on the ability to forgive…
The programme does not shove the answers down leaders’ throats, but it facilitates and equips leaders with the tools and skills to work on their answers and destiny.
I also urge leaders to ask themselves: “Are you a boiling frog?” I picked this up from a book called Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, a book given by my ex-staff member, and subsequently, recommended by my coach, Mr Ravi.  On page 126 of the book, it says: “If you dropped a frog into boiling water, it will instinctively jump out. But if you placed a frog in a pot of cool water and gradually increase the temperature, the frog won’t notice that the water is getting hotter. It will sit there until the water boils – and will boil with it. The fate of that poached frog isn’t so unlike that of some leaders who settle into routine or let small conveniences solidify into large habits and allow inertia to set in.”
In addition, Truth 9 by Kouzes & Posner says, “The best leaders are the best learners, leaders are constant improvement fanatics; and learning is the master skills of leadership. This process takes time and attention, practice and feedback, along with good coaching. And, it also takes willingness from the leaders to ask for support.”
~ WL Lim, Service Delivery Manager

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

I believe the Take Charge Leadership programme is a very good platform for us to improve further. We should align internally on the same vision and mission to take the organization to another peak, and at the same time, this organization could produce and develop more leaders than managers… In these challenging working environments, we must be well equipped with right mindset and attitudes to take us through the long-haul journey. This is the programme that could lead us to be more assertive and add value to the organization and to ourselves individually.

Prior to this journey, I have attended various seminars, workshops and training, but I was not as clearly guided on my weaknesses, compared to this programme where our weaknesses were thoroughly identified with Personal Assessments, 360 Degree Assessment, Johari Windows etc.

Throughout the workshop, I have been changed to look at challenges in very different ways. The theory of Think before Behaving and then followed by Action has been a frequent weapon for me for the past 60 days. Some colleagues have improved despite the individual challenges among them. Of course, some of them were looking at me differently…

What I really learnt a lot was emotional intelligence. Previously, I had always jumped into conclusions before I fully understood the questions. I seldom gave others the opportunity to ask further and my answer would already be out from my mouth! I never practised and managed self-awareness at all, but now I realize that we need to be in control of ourselves to understand first before we react. We need to know all these by ourselves and control of our emotions first.

~ KS Lim, Region Manager (Northern)

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

For me, the programme offers us the mental nourishment to grow the giant in us. This is not an easy task, as it does not only influence the mind and behaviour but also plays a lot on the psychology of every individual. As long the candidate is willing to use his/her heart to learn how to develop his/her own capabilities, he/she will definitely be able to become not only a good leader but also a good person on the whole.
This course arrangement (i.e. the sessions being split across 3 months instead of 3 consecutive days) actually enabled us to first acquire the knowledge, process it, and then try to implement it and eventually practise it, evaluate it and further enhance it; all these naturally link throughout the learning, and the cycle goes on…
Therefore, I would like to sincerely thank Mr Ravi because he is not using his mind to calculate his ROI, but instead he used his heart to coach us, and he knew what best suited us. He willingly made his own investment (in time and effort) and took the risk to try out a new 3-month approach to suit our needs. This has definitely benefited most of us, if not all.
~ KH Liew, Region Manager (South)

Take Charge Leadership (a module of White Leadership™)

In my opinion, Take Charge Leadership is a good platform for us to acquire and execute the basic fundamentals required of a leader. To live up as a manager in a normal working environment is easy, but the paradigm is totally different when it comes to being a leader. It’s not as simple as learning from our parents when we were young; learning from the teacher when we were in school, or even learning from our direct superiors.

At the start of our leadership journey, Take Charge Leadership (TCL) places greater emphasis on personal mastery – these are the things that we can hardly get/learn from routine operational activities – for example, self-awareness, self-development, authenticity, values etc. In contrast, the “conventional training” that most of us are familiar with is very much methodology-oriented. Hence, TCL helps us to identify our own strengths and leadership style and to continue working on it towards bringing out our leadership traits. It does not remain static at only the soft skills part, but it goes deeper into participants’ hearts and minds to awaken in us the need for change, the importance of knowledge execution, towards becoming a better person, and a better leader.
On top of the above, I personally feel that the knowledge I acquired and executed at the moment is not only applicable to my working environment, but it also helps in my personal life, too. Seriously I feel it, and so does my wife.
All in all, I will encourage any person who is open, willing to take advice, committed, passionate, self-disciplined and prepared for change to grasp this golden opportunity to participate in TCL.
~ JC Chang, Branch Manager

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