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However, according to Malaysian author Alvin Ung, one can lead without extensive resources or power; those that do so are barefoot leaders, those ordinary people who achieve extraordinary results.
Ung expands upon this concept in his latest book -“Barefoot leadership- The art and heart of going that extra mile”. The book is the culmination of two years of extensive research and over 1000 hours in interviews with some of Malaysia’s most successful barefoot leaders.
Those featured include Dr Jemilah Mahmood, founder of the humanitarian organisation MERCY Malaysia, Albert Teo, founder of Borneo Eco tours, human rights activist Irene Fernandez and Idris Jala who turned around Malaysian Airlines, to name but a few.
Speaking with Ung, he recalls that the central inspiration for the book was the realisation that “many of the top leaders lack one or more of the ‘5 C’s’: conviction, character, capacity, compass and a (higher) consciousness”. Furthermore, Ung expresses that in fact many leaders lack several of these attributes and thus, “we don’t find them inspiring”.
“The leaders I was looking for do not need leather wingtips or four inch killer heels to command a persona of power. They do not need to inherit wealth or be born in blue-blooded families in order to lead. If I removed their shoes and threw away their power tools, these leaders would simply shrug and proceed to lead…even in their bare feet. And I would be willing to remove my shoes and follow them”.
Continued in the Independent...