For the past 12 years, I kept hearing his voice in my mind. He was like talking to me in almost every major situation I faced. And yet.... I haven't met or talked to him again after I resigned from my first job in Jakarta.
I was so fortunate for having been trained and mentored by this fine gentleman when I was working in Indika. He was "on loan" from a reputable conglomerate company for 1 year. Although it's only 1 year, he made tremendous impact in our work ethics, discipline, integrity and company culture.
When he first came in, we feared him. He was very strict and discipline on the "Dos and Don'ts". But after a few months we totally understood him and grew enormous respect towards him.
Thing he said:
1. Do the best in whatever you do. In plain malaysian slang is "no Cinchai cinchai" in doing things. He told me, if one day I have to be a taxi driver, be the best taxi driver. If I have to be a housewife, do the best in that role. Don't be the best manager only (I was a manager at that time) because we hold a lot of roles in this world. Do the best in every role you hold and you will be happy and satisfied. Until now I still believe it and I swear he is right.
2. Everyone has a past "video" of his/ her life that makes him/her behave in certain way today. A grumpy person may had a very difficult life before. If we have a very difficult life, it is very difficult to be nice to other people. He asked me to imagine if I were abused, no money, no education and everybody told me I was stupid and useless. Would I be smiling and nice to everyone I meet? So when someone is giving us a sour face, he said, we should pity him/her instead of being angry at that person because he/she must have some bad moments. And if we still can smile, laugh, help people and give something to other people, we should be very thankful because it means we are better off from millions of other people in the world.
3. If you work in an office and you have subordinates, you have to come earlier than them. He really did what he said. I had to stay in the office until 6 am to finish a proposal. I went back home, had a nap, took shower and went back to office. He expected me to come at 8.15am before the office opened at 8.30am. He said, my staff wouldn't know that I stayed up late and I didn't need to explain to my staff about what I did. The only thing they needed to know was we all have to come on time. He let me go earlier that day after some meetings outside. Because of that everybody came on time to the office. Even all my big bosses...
4. Respect and trust are EARNED. Being a manager, a director, a boss, or a parent does not mean people will respect and trust us. Only fools and ass-kissers (literally what he said) respect and trust a person based on a person's title. Prove yourself first...
5. Don't ever join a NATO. Meaning No Action Talk Only. Once people associate us with NATO, nobody will trust us.
6. Listen. Most people talk and talk and talk trying to show off how smart they are without realizing that actually they are revealing their foolishness and stupidity. It's a simple thing that a lot of people fail to do : LISTENING.
7. We live our lives in a huge turning wheel. While everybody is trying to be on the top, the wheel keeps on turning. Sometimes we are up and sometimes we are at the bottom. So treat everyone equally with respect because one day that person may be on the top and we are at the bottom.
8. When we climb a mountain, we get tired after we climb half way. We get even more tired after 3/4 way to the mountain. That's when a lot of people give up and turn back down. Most people give up when they are close to the top. Same thing with success. Most people give up without realizing how close they are to success.
9. Share your life with your loved ones but never give your life for anybody. He gave me an example: I made my friend her favorite cake. When I gave it to her, right away she gave the whole cake to her husband. To make it worse, the husband couldn't appreciate the cake and threwq it away. Will I be angry? Yes.
But if she eats the cake and share it with her friends and relatives, will I be angry? No. Same thing with life. God has created the beautiful world and life for us. Enjoy and share it with our loved ones. Don't simply give our lives for someone else... Worse, giving it to someone who can't appreciate it. The minute we give our lives to someone's else we will lose our identities and we'll die inside.
10. Be like water in the river. Water flows into a river, touches the soil and makes grass and flowers grow on its bank. The water gives life to the fish, insects, snakes and a lot of animals in the river. People can have fun swimming and cooling down from the hot sun. When small dirts drop into the river, the stream will wash them away. Let's use our body, mind and life like water in the river, giving meanings to lives. If we can't contribute in a big way, make someone smile, help someone alleviate his/her sorrow, clean the earth, plant a tree, etc... When bad things come, wash them away... Don't waste our lives making someone angry, miserable, or sad.... Life is too short to be wasted on unnecessary things.
While there are so many other things that he told me, those 10 things are still echoing in my mind until today, following me every where. I thank God for having a chance to be with him, even for a short one year. Like he said, it's not how long you live but how you live your life.
He may never read this blog but I want to say again and again, Thank you very very much.... I can't say thank you enough to Pak Djonny Wiguna, the President Director of PT Central Asia Raya (CAR).