Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dayak Leadership: What reference do we have today?

Written by gkm2020


There have been a huge number of new blogs, articles, and commentary published recently on both political and/or current economic “crisis”. What can we do about it or how can we overcome it? At the grass-roots level, I think there are a few things that our Leaders and their followers, teams or staffs might remember that will enhance their success at navigating these perilous waters and waves.

Lead, Don’t Follow

The media propaganda - First of all, do not believe (necessarily) all the super-heated hype you hear from the media, “Berita Hangat” or “Berita Panas” or “Prestige Political Champaign”. Always remember that the goal of the media is to make news, yield from advertising, embellish it, and then sell it. You cannot ever trust the media to become the de facto leader of your organization, especially in a “crisis” situation.

Trust yourselves and your own knowledge of your family, your loyal followers, organization, business, industry, and metrics, without hysteria. Tap into your people’s talent, innovation and creativity by challenging them to think outside the box not inside the box or within the circle of our community’s mindset and offer possibilities and/or solutions to the organization’s problems. Leader of Talent.

Lead By Example

I’m the Chief-of-Staff. I’m the Commander-in-Chief. Leaders must have guts and/or courage, dare to shoulder responsibility(s) and accountable to all decision made.  Leaders are Executive Officers who know how to read, study, analyze and made Executive Order or Executive Decision.

Be openness, cool and calm! What possible benefit can you derive from running around behaving like your hair is on fire or hiding from bees attack or as though you’re seeing a ghost staring in front of you? People are just a human being and they all have limitation like you too.

Believe me, if you behave that way, your people will get spooked, very, very spooky. Your best people are the ones with the most options, and they are always the first to leave when times get tough enough to start looking for alternatives. Don’t hasten their untimely departure by acting badly. Ask yourself this, “Would anyone want to follow me right now, and be proud to say it?” Leader of Command and Control.

Lead By Informing

This is your Captain speaking….I am constantly amazed at how many leaders seem to think their people are clairvoyant. They aren’t any more clairvoyant than you are. So, you must increase the level of communication and more communication and maintain liaisons to/with your people by a significant amount, even to the point that you feel as though you sound like a broken record.

Many leaders start to circle the pubs when there is bad news, and allow the gossip machine to take over for them when times are tough. For every closed door meeting, plan and/or strategies to have an open session with folks who may be wondering what is going on. Leader of Heart. 

Lead With Encouragement

Tell the truth and be transparent! Nothing is more discouraging than knowing you can’t trust your leadership to tell you the unvarnished truth in a crisis. Be honest, tell all, then encourage your people by developing best-outcome scenarios and acting accordingly. Ever listen to a skilled coach give a pep-talk when the going gets tough or rough?

I remember a scene from the movie “Apollo-13,” when Chris Craft said, “This could be the worst disaster NASA’s ever faced. Gene Kranz, replied, “With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.” By refusing give up, Kranz inspired his team to greatness, not defeat. Leader of Morale and Hope.

Lead By Decision-Making

You may have to make some unpleasant and unpopular decisions. Make them and accept the consequences. But, for heaven’s sake, be humane. Do not EVER inform someone they are being terminated by e-mail or by short-messaging (SMS) or using a third party!!! As leader you got to be firm and direct.

I have heard of numerous instances where employees are furloughed by e-mail, and I cannon imagine a more cowardly, callous act toward a valued colleague. Of course, if you don’t value your colleagues or your very own peoples, you have no business leading them in the first place or even thought of trying to represent them. We need Leaders with Value and Might.

Lead With Character

Tempted to do something less than honorable in a crisis? Well, please remember, our dear Leaders and/or potential leaders or leaders in the making, that your past actions will follow you as closely as your shadow. Your reputation as someone who is trustworthy is quite fragile. All eyes are on you, including those of your “kaban semenua”, “orang kampong”, partners, affiliates, employees, suppliers, and customers and almost everyone who have known you.

I read an article that some consumer products companies are not increasing prices, but instead are reducing the net weight in their packaging, (and probably using labeling to hide the empty space). Customers (especially the smart ones) won’t forget you tried to pull a fast one on them and will go elsewhere. You may have many examples on this too. Leader of Honor and Ethic. 


Above all, you must remember that this “crisis” is more than likely a speed bump and not an insurmountable barrier. If your organization be it in politic or business or others has been well-led, chances are the current political “crisis” is one that will NOT overwhelm you.

If you can endure, your weaker rivals may perish, making you stronger than ever when the political and/or economy rebounds (which it certainly will). When is the best time to make investments in people, products, marketing, internal strength, and capability? Act right now, before your political rival defeat or weaken your element of advantage and/or don’t wait for the market turns upward, not afterwards.

Happy reading and have a nice day!!

Leka ka nyaka tu dulu meh penemu ari aku…

Mupuk aku unggal/wai, agi ka begiga ka kayu-ramu dikena aku nungkun api…

Dayak Leadership: What reference do we have today?

Written by gkm2020


When you look around the corporate landscape today, you see plenty of highly paid executives. These men and women are obviously all smart, hard working and powerful. But do we have the key leadership attributes of the greatest men and women in Dayak history?

Singular Focus

The greatest men and women in history often were singular in their focus whether it was political success, military victory, building a business empire or leading a great cause. These great people fought the odds, challenge the impossible and popular opinion over and over again to achieve success in their area of focus.

Today’s executives often jump from venture to venture and corporation to corporation and so it goes on. They put a quick fix in place and move on to the next high paying challenge. While there are exceptions, this model had become increasingly common.

Broadly Educated

The greatest men and women in history were often self-educated. But they were also continuously self-educated. Those who were formally educated generally were not specialists in one area of field but were broadly and liberally educated in a number of areas from languages to sciences to history and literature.

Today, more often than not, the men and women who lead the largest corporations in the world are engineers, accountants and MBAs as opposed to liberally educated people. We need to implant educationist mindset in our people. Education is a continuous effort if we want to become a more developed community or at par with others.


Historically, some of the greatest men and women have put their cause or their mission far ahead of their personal wealth and stature. They were by definition “selfless” - they did whatever it took to achieve their goal or mission. In many cases, they did in the long run become rich and famous. But this was often an end result and not a goal in and of itself.

Today, it is not uncommon for both organization and/or corporate and other executive leaders to pursue the goal of fame and fortune for those ends alone rather than passion for a cause, vision or mission. That’s human nature and weaknesses being easily influenced by this materialistic world. Ask our inner-self?


Some of the greatest people in history have denied themselves food, sleep, family, friends, hobbies, home comforts and more to achieve their goals. While there have been exceptions, many of the greats of all time put these comforts low on their list of priorities compared to what was needed to accomplish their life goals and missions.

How many leaders and/or executives today give up anything - except maybe sleep? Generally speaking, they seem to want - no demand - that they have it all. And have it all now. How very different from the majority of the great leaders of the past if we can compare our current Dayak political leadership today?

Leading By Example

Whether it is in politics, military, police and other enforcement bodies, social causes and business or others, the greats of the past have lead by example. To lead by example, our leaders must lead from the front. This exposed them to the greatest danger, the greatest criticism and the greatest exposure to the negative effects of pursuing their goals or causes.

Today, at the height of our political correctness, executives and other leaders do not take a step without the counsel of the public relations, security, legal, shareholder affairs and finance teams or think-tank group and/or advisors. Even then, most are timid to make statements much less to take bold actions visible to their communities or grassroots, employees and/or their customers.

People Come First

Leaders of the past went through subordinates as often if not more so than the leaders of today. What differed was that loyalty, bravery, courages and integrity was often rewarded. Good and great leaders always brought in the best to serve under them in all capacities and levels. They wanted only the best - people stronger, smarter, energizer and more capable than themselves to further their causes, armies, companies and other ventures.

Today leaders though capable, technocratic and adventurous but majority of them are materialistic. So, how could we or ones overcome this?


This multiplied their personal effectiveness. When their people failed or otherwise fell by the wayside, the leaders found other roles and places for their fallen loyalists. When our leaders fell, we “the people” replaced them with new capable, committed and quality leaders who could continuously lead us to achieve our Vision, Mission and Objectives.

Bad leaders, we don’t salute them but dishonorably discharge them. We must maintain a good chain-of-command policy and must have our own shadow cabinet committee.

Traitor & Napoleonic Mugabe Must Be Replaced

Though our ancestral leaders are less educated but they have a brave heart to lead us fight and destroy our enemy and build-up our menua, “Menua Tanah Adat Dayak”. Today, leaders and/or executives fear being outshined by their subordinates or potential contenders. Whose fault is that? By the way, is our “Adat” not a common law and/or recognize law? Or is it a jungle law? 

Today, majority of our Dayak political leaders fear of loosing their position. They are ready and willingly to conspire, compromise and/or collaborating with their most common enemy and/or competitor(s) just to protect their personal interest but not the interest their own community. We can call them a traitor in Bangsa Dayak and a betrayer to our great ancestral leaders.

Dayak Communities At Stake

Our Dayak communities are now at stake. We are being regionalized. We are being divisionalized. We are being dammed. We are being resettled. Our native lands are mostly sold and systematically de-heritage to some elite groups. Our cultures and our mother language have been revolutionized and/or indirectly influenced or attacked by an external threat - “Cultural Imperialism”. Our minds are charmed. Our thinking is being poisoned. Our representatives are being blackmail and/or sold. Our peoples are influenced by materialistic elements. Our heart is easily bought with money.

If we were to analyze it well, we are already “Bangsa Orang Setinggan Sarawak” (BOSS) more or less “Pendatang Haram Dayak” (PHD) in our own native land. Is it not shame and sad to hear it? What are we going to do about this new branding? Nama peda aja? Kendiau aja? Change we need. 

Today, our very own Dayak leaders particularly our political representatives not all but majority of them dare to keep their mouth silent, head down hidden and turned their back on us. They are our worse enemy of the state within our very own Dayak community. They are also known as “musuh dalam selimut” and/or “katak dibawah tempurung”. Do we still need this Imperials’ cronies? If we lost our lands, our cultures, our pride, our dignity and our mother language, we have lost our entity!

Pass On The Baton

Often, the only reward for loyal service is to be honorably dismissed or relief sooner rather than later. We need to pass on the baton in order to achieve continous development, fairness and equitability. The most important asset is viewed as a disposable and interchangeable commodity by today’s leaders. The aim is to eliminate “megalomania syndrome” in our leaders. 

If we disagreed with something that affect our lives, our communities and our future, can we not boycott it or stand-up against it? What is the purpose of being an elected representative if ones dare not to speak up the truth and defend and/or protect our native rights and interest?

We Must Treasure Our Youths

Over the course of history, great men and women have accomplished amazing things. Their achievements have resulting from: seeking a broad and continuing education (learning), singular focus, being selfless, denying themselves to achieve their goals and missions, leading boldly from the front and selecting the best people and putting them first. Not only we need our men and women now, we need our youths more than ever now for they are our future leaders. Our youths are our asset, our human capital and our Millennia Leaders.


While our organizations and/or corporations of today are generating great wealth under the leadership of executives, they could perform exponentially better in the short and long term under leaders who followed and applied the same principals as the Dayak greatest men and women over the centuries. 

Notes: According to historian Pak Haji Hassan from Kalteng (Republic of Indonesia), Dayaks rule Nusantara including Borneo starting from the 4th Century. There was no such country such as Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah or Kalimantan that time. Dayaks Empire fall and was replaced by Majapahit Empire in the 14th Century.

Above all, we do need both capable and quality Men and Women Leadership in Dayak communities today i.e. to help us uplift our economic standard of living and business initiaitves, defend our Dayak indigenous peoples rights, protect our lands, to overcome crisis and navigate us to a progressive future. We do not need a “King” in our community but a good, reliable, capable and quality leaders.

Bah…mupuk dulu aku tu…unggal/wai/madik…..ka nurun baru begiga ka kayu-ramu….alu empai mau agi unggun api nya deh….

Happy reading and have a nice day!!

Dayak Leadership: We Must Build Quality Leadership Skill

Written by gkm2020

General Introduction

Leaders are a necessity. Leaders are navigator, motivator, inspirer and driver in the front seat.

To qualify as a leader, Leaders must first have these basic skills in: Command; Control; Communication; Coordination; Openness and Intelligence.

Society is an organization and so is Dayak Long House and/or Dayak Resettlement Community Area, and as such, will not grow or flourish without capable leadership.

Effective leadership has qualities that mark it out. It achieves. What are some of the qualities of such leadership?

Here in this topic, I would like to suggest some possible Leadership Qualities:

Mastery of Task 

Any leader worth their salt ought to have a mastery of the task over which they lead. It is equally acceptable to be gifted at selecting the best of candidates to fill in the areas where the leader cannot be. 

No leader can be reasonably expected to hold all the key positions and to handle everything.

Earns the Respect of the followers 

This is closely related to the above. No leadership can expect loyal followers if there is no clarity as to the direction in which the organization is heading. Coercion and bullying tactics hardly earn respect.

If the leadership is clear sighted and effective, those being led can confidently look towards the leader, whenever there is the need.


The leader who is interested only in self is easily spotted. There is generally little or no support for followers. The leader who will take all the credit, even for the output of those being led cannot long expect to retain any respect. The leader represents, and is an embodiment of the aspirations of the followers.

Sharp and Decisive 

A leader who cannot make decisions cannot truly be seen as a leader. Decisions have to be made on several issues, sometimes several times in a given day. Making decisions is a marker of a leader.


The leader who is not accessible can hardly identify with those being led. Even reasonable instructions appear as dictations when such instructions come from faceless leadership.

Has the working Solution or knows Strategy and Tactics of the organization 

This boils down to the fellow with the answers or solutions. If those being led do not what to do next, the leader cannot afford to be in the same position. The leader usually knows a thing or two which others do not necessarily know. Leaders can be creative. They might even be visionary, depending on the situation.

Communication, Communication and more communication 

Leadership ought to lead. This is done by communication. This communication can be verbal or non-verbal, but there must be communication. Relationships are built on communications and the leader who cannot communicate cannot build those relationships. 

Communication is at the heart of leadership.

Of course there are many styles of leadership and at times, the style employed depends on desired outcome. The above are by no means exhaustive, but where any of those skills are lacking, the difference is usually clear.

It is sometimes inferred that leaders are born, not made. This may or may not be the case. It may, however, explain the difference between a leader and a commander or a manager. One is not necessarily the other.

It is also necessary to make a distinction between a leader, an individual and leadership which could be many and have several people. This article is about the person.


My question to you: What to do you see our current Iban/Dayak political leadership and/or corporate leadership today? Do they have that leadership quality? If No, how would we overcome it?

Happy reading and have a nice day!!