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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

9703-TRAINING NEEDS OF FUTURE MANAGERS

Paper at the Konvesyen Kebangsaan Kejurulatihan Model Malaysia at PWTC, Kuala Lumpur 4-5 March 1997 by Professor Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. MB ChB, MPH, DrPH (Harvard) International Islamic University PO Box 70 Jalan Sultan Petaling Jaya Fax (603) 757 7970

ABSTRACT

The paper presents the thesis that the future manager will require continuous training because the rapidly changing working environment requires updating of skills all the time.. The training must aim at equipping the manager with skills in 4 different but complementary areas: personal attributes, conceptual, practical and human skills. Personal attributes are basic character and personality: drive, values, attitude, bravery, humility, honesty, integrity, and commitment. Practical skills are needed for performance of technical activities: communication, decision making, problem solving, and implementation. Human skills are needed to understand and motivate followers. Conceptual skills are intellectual functions involving planning, co-ordination and integration of activities. They are analytic, rational, and intuitive abilities. Personal attributes are acquired early in life; thus the elementary school and the family are the first training institutions for future managers. Societies that will be strong in business management in the future will be those that bring up their children in the best way. The best method of training at the adult stage is mentoring. The most important skills to impart to the future manager are human skills.

 

1.0 NATURE AND NURTURE

 

1.1 The old debate about nature and nurture is not very relevant today. Very few attributes necessary for successful leadership are in-born. Most are acquired early in life in the home and the community environment or are learned in adult life.

 

1.2 Most skills have to be learned by training. The training has to be continuous. The business environment is changing so rapidly that a skill learned today will be outdated and useless tomorrow. Management is thus life-long continuous education and learning.

 

1.3 The most important acquired skills are human ones. Good leaders have well developed human skills. They understand those below him as unique individuals and not in a generic sense. They will deal with each person in an individualised and unique way. The great secret of leadership is to be able to tap into the potential of each individual and make him a peak performer, each in his individual and unique way. You must realise that individuals are unique and have God-given talents and potentials to make them productive and useful contributors to the organisation. They respect followers each in his uniqueness. Good and effective leaders have a firm belief in people.

 

2.0 THE BASICS: VALUES, ATTITUDES, VISION, & KNOWLEDGE

 

2.1 A leader must have positive and moral values such as honesty, ethics, and social responsibility. These values are taught by religion, the family, peers, and life experience. Values can also be inculcated by habit. A leader with no values is very dangerous

 

2.2 The following is a partial listing of positive values: authority, security, stability, competitiveness, cost-effectiveness, selflessness, ethics, honesty, equity, justice, social responsibility, intention (niyyat), itqan, ihsan (efficiency), ikhlas (sincerity), passion for excellence, continuous self-evaluation, always mindful of the almighty, justice, truthfulness, trustworthiness, patience, moderation, keeping promises, accountability, dedication, gratefulness, consistency, cleanliness, discipline, and co-operation,

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2.3 A leader must be brave and strong. In times of danger followers will be firm if their leader is firm. There is a mutual psychological dependency. A brave leader will have reassured followers around him. When the followers are reassured and are firm, the leader is also encouraged even more to be firm and face crises. A leader must have a strong personality. Strength of personality does not mean violence, roughness or stubbornness. It is strength of character, sticking to moral values and attitudes at all times, and avoiding whatever is immoral even if it is expedient and is attractive.

 

2.4 The leader must be a model of honesty. Honesty in public and private affairs in a crucial test for a leader. Honesty is required in seemingly small or trivial things. Dishonesty is a habit, once acquired is difficult to shake off. Small dishonesties will one day become big ones. A successful leader has financial integrity in dealing with public property. It is not enough to be honest; you must be seen to be so and you must avoid any suspicious behaviour. The only way to ensure this is complete transparency in financial matters. Followers must know what is going on so that they are assured that had there been any discrepancies they could have seen them. A leader and his immediate or extended family should never gain materially from his position. Taking public property is clearly theft. There are other situations that are not so clear to which moral and not legal tests have to be applied. A leader or his family can, like all citizens, sell or buy legally. However those dealing with them may give him preferential treatment because of the position. Such treatment would not have been possible before assumption of leadership. In such a case there is unacceptable gain from the leadership position.

 

 2.5 Attitudes are enduring or permanent feelings, opinions, or beliefs about self and others. They may be positive or negative. Attitudes start with ideas, wrong ideas are associated with negative attitudes whereas good ideas are associated with good and positive attitudes. Ideas determine behaviour and feelings. A good leader has positive attitudes toward others. He will keep away from negative attitudes such as racism or prejudice in any of its forms. An optimistic attitude to life is needed. Pessimistic leaders discourage their followers.

 

2.6 A leader must have a vision. The vision is developed from wide consultation and is refined by practical application. The vision must be maintained in easy and difficult situations. The followers must be convinced about the vision. The vision must be focused and in conformity with organisational culture. A good vision must be backed up by positive values. A distinguishing characteristic of great leaders is ability to see farther than the followers and to see the big picture. The bigger the vision, the greater the leader. An effective leader sets goals and is an example to the followers on how to reach those goals. The leader who has vision must be objective and not confuse personal and organisational interests. The credit for whatever he does should go to the organisation. He must under-estimate his importance as an individual. He must have a healthy mixture of confidence (for organisation) and humility (for himself). He must focus on the organisation and not his person. An ummatic view is needed so that the leader is not parochial or provincial. Local issues should be been in a holistic context of the whole ummah if they are to be understood well. However when it comes to solutions the leader should be more local in approach in order to succeed. The only precaution needed here is not to create problems on the macro level while solving problems on the micro level

 

2.7 Knowledge both basic and specialised is necessary for leadership. No one should become a leader without the basic knowledge needed to carry out responsibilities in the particular leadership situation. A religious leader must know at least the basics of the religion. A business leader must know the fundamentals of business. A leader however need not be a specialist. He can always employ people with specialised knowledge for particular tasks. The leader must be honest with himself and know the limits of his knowledge. Some deficiencies can be corrected by more education. Others can only be compensated for by relying on people who have the necessary knowledge.

 

3.0 PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES OF LEADERS

 

3.1 Religious dimension:

            Taqwa, deep spirituality, Islamic and refined personal manners, adherence to the sharia

           

3.2 Intelligence and wisdom:

            intuition, intelligence, flexibility, clear mission and goals, master of detail

 

3.3 Strong, genuine and likeable personality:

            will-power & decisiveness, stamina, deep belief in principles, acting on principle, not following the crowd, decision stickability, knows and uses strengths, accepting and compensating for weaknesses, courage, a sense of humour, ability to keep secrets, genuine personality, simplicity, good listener, honesty, credibility

 

3.4 Commitment, motivation and responsibility:

            sacrifice, participation, commitment and dedication, a high sense of personal responsibility and accountability, assuming responsibility for mistakes, dependability, high and self- motivation, enthusiasm, positive attitude, optimism, risk taking, truthfulness

 

3.5 Physical and emotional well-being:

            good health (physical and mental), emotional balance & security, energy, hard work, energy, positive attitude

 

3.6 Self-control and balance:

            self-discipline, self-control, non impulsiveness, firmness in crises and under stress, perseverance & patience, self-leadership, self-sufficiency, action-oriented, being always prepared

 

3.7 Knowledge:

            basic knowledge of Islam, history, current affairs, specialised knowledge as needed

 

4.0 CONCEPTUAL SKILLS

 

4.1 Vision:

            Ummatic outlook, ability to see the whole picture, positive vision, thinking big, broad perspective, long-term vision and ability to articulate it, understanding maqasid al sharia, belief in success, set high standards

 

4.2 Goals and objectives:

            ability to identify and focus on specific goals and objectives, not being distracted by daily problems, consistency, sense of direction, identification with organisational goals

 

4.3 Objectivity and reality:

            reality, realism, accept change, living in the present, correct sense of timing, learning from failures

 

4.4 Creativity:

            originality in thought and action, initiative, resourcefulness, Understanding and using synergistic relationships       

 

5.0 PRACTICAL SKILLS

 

5.1 Planning and goal-setting:

            Goal-orientation, pragmatism, orientation to detail

 

5.2 Communication:

            communicating goals effectively, good communication, active listening,

           

5.3 Team-work, motivation, coaching:

            understanding and appreciating the different natures of human beings, effective meeting management, teaching and coaching others, management of conflict within the group and between groups, seeking and using advice

 

5.4 Decision-making and problem-solving:

            soundness of judgement, rational thought, quick but not hasty decisions, consultation and involvement of others

 

5.5 Organising and managing:

            ability to prioritise, effective time management, ability to follow through,

 

 

6.0 HUMAN SKILLS

 

The following human skills are needed in a successful business leader: Interest in people, tact, compassion, empathy, enthusiasm, showing concern, tolerance, being supportive, keeping good company, trusting others, loyalty, helpfulness, impartiality, inspiring others, charisma, accessibility, respect for others, gentility, ability to inspire other, ability to motivate, ability to encourage, ability to direct, equitable, praising success, confronting failure, thanking people for good work, politeness.

 

7.0 METHODS OF TRAINING

 

7.1 The best method of training future managers is mentoring. It transmits practical and human skills in addition to attitudes and values. Mentoring involves assigning a trainee to a senior and experienced leader or manager who in this case is called the mentor. The trainee works closely with the mentor usually as an assistant. Training is passive, the trainee observes and asks questions. The mentor may also point out special learning opportunities

 

7.2 Other methods of training that can be used are:: one-to-one, Mentoring, Lectures, Discussion groups, Panel discussion, Debates, Dialogue, Brain storming, Demonstration, In-basket exercises, Case Studies, Role Playing, Simulation, Assignment of projects, Entertainment/games, Self-directed learning, Personal development plan, Interactive video, Computer-based/programmed learning, Multimedia,

 

7.3 The following are opportunities or settings for training: workshops, Conferences, Seminars, and Camps

 

SLIDE #1: PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES OF LEADERS

Religious dimension

Intelligence and wisdom

Strong, genuine and likeable personality

Commitment, motivation and responsibility

Physical and emotional well-being

Self-control and balance

Knowledge

 

SLIDE #2: CONCEPTUAL SKILLS

Vision

Goals and objectives

Objectivity and reality

Creativity

 

SLIDE #3: PRACTICAL SKILLS

Planning and goal-setting

Communication

Team-work, motivation, coaching

Decision-making and problem-solving

Organising and managing

SLIDE #4: HUMAN SKILLS

Interest In People

Tact

Compassion

Empathy

Enthusiasm

Showing Concern

Tolerance

Being Supportive

Keeping Good Company

Trusting Others

Loyalty

Helpfulness

Impartiality

Inspiring Others

Charisma

Accessibility

Respect For Others

Gentility

Ability To Inspire Other

Ability To Motivate

Ability To Encourage

Ability To Direct

Equitable

Praising Success

Confronting Failure

Thanking People For Good Work

Politeness

 

SLIDE #5:  COMPARING TRAINING METHODS

 

METHOD                    SET UP           PRESENTOR  AUDIENCE    RETENTION

                                                            ROLE              ROLE

                                    -----------        ----------------            --------------   ---------------

ONE-TO-ONE

MENTORING

LECTURES

WORKSHOPS

CONFERENCES

SEMINARS

CAMPS

IN-BASKET EXERCISES

ROLE-PLAYING

SIMULATION

PANEL DISCUSSION

DEBATES

DIALOGUE

BRAIN-STORMING

DEMONSTRATION

ENTERTAINMENT/GAMES

 

SLIDE #6: THE USE OF CASE STUDIES IN TRAINING

 

                                                            ADVANTAGES                      DISADVANTAGES

 

 

HISTORICAL

 

CONTEMPORARY

 

PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES OF LEADERS

Religious dimension

Intelligence and wisdom

Strong, genuine and likeable personality

Commitment, motivation and responsibility

Physical and emotional well-being

Self-control and balance

Knowledge

 

CONCEPTUAL SKILLS

Vision

Goals and objectives

Objectivity and reality

Creativity

 

PRACTICAL SKILLS

Planning and goal-setting

Communication

Team-work, motivation, coaching

Decision-making and problem-solving

Organising and managing

 

HUMAN SKILLS

Interest In People

Tact

Compassion

Empathy

Enthusiasm

Showing Concern

Tolerance

Being Supportive

Keeping Good Company

Trusting Others

 

HUMAN SKILLS

Loyalty

Helpfulness

Impartiality

Inspiring Others

Charisma

Accessibility

Respect For Others

Gentility

Ability To Inspire Other

 

HUMAN SKILLS

Ability To Motivate

Ability To Encourage

Ability To Direct

Equitable

Praising Success

Confronting Failure

Thanking People For Good Work

Politeness

 

COMPARING TRAINING METHODS

METHOD                    SET UP           PRESENTOR  AUDIENCE    RETENTION

                                                            ROLE              ROLE

                                    -----------        ----------------            --------------   ---------------

ONE-TO-ONE

MENTORING

LECTURES

WORKSHOPS

CONFERENCES

SEMINARS

CAMPS

IN-BASKET EXERCISES

ROLE-PLAYING

SIMULATION

PANEL DISCUSSION

DEBATES

DIALOGUE

BRAIN-STORMING

DEMONSTRATION

ENTERTAINMENT/GAMES


THE USE OF CASE STUDIES IN TRAINING

                                                            ADVANTAGES                      DISADVANTAGES

 

HISTORICAL

CONTEMPORARY

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule March 1997