INSPIRASEE OF THE MONTH:
Muhd Nur abadi bin mohd nizam
This month’s Inspirasee for the leadership category is the one and only, Muhamad Nur Abadi bin Mohd Nizam, a 22-year-old gentleman and a 4th-year Biology major. Abadi was appointed and deservedly trusted as the Naib Yang Di-Pertua of PMUBD for the year 2018/2019 academic session. As someone who is as inspiring as Abadi, usually, there is another person whom they look up to. But at the starting point of his leadership journey, Abadi had no one or nothing as his inspiration. This may be due to his early involvement in leadership activities, ever since his primary school days, to be exact. Nevertheless, he does not doubt his love to participate and get himself involved in these activities until this present time. He enjoys working in a team and challenging himself to think critically when solving problems - definitely what a leader should get used to, and Abadi finds these enjoyable. Abadi’s intention from the very beginning was to improve himself, especially in terms of character. He tends to underestimate his leadership skills and thinks that he is still lacking some things in that field and is still developing these skills by leading others and learning from them. After all, what better way to learn other than a proactive and hands-on approach.
Throughout his journey, Abadi recognised the strengths that have helped him. One nature that he admitted to having is that he cares about things rather “too much”, that is what he claimed. And another one would be him asking too many questions to others. Shows how vocal he is about his concerns and isn’t afraid to ask about his team’s wellbeing and if they are facing any problems. Abadi is very communicative with others, especially his colleagues, and it may seem as if he talks too much but it is for the benefit of the team and great communication is definitely one of the essential skills of a great leader. But just like every other great person, Abadi has fears himself, especially when starting a new project. He fears the feeling of not knowing or forgetting important matters. He prefers the help of guidelines or references, more like a to-do list on what needs to get done. He does also need others to remind him as he claims to be forgetful so it is crucial for someone to remind him of his tasks and update him on what he has missed. Even when he loves to assist others, he finds no harm and in fact, he understands that he himself needs others to assist him. And that’s on teamwork.
But leadership is not the only activity that Abadi enjoys. Photography is also one of his many passions. He is a freelance photographer, taking pictures of weddings and other events. Previously he joined EMPRO and is still currently a loyal fellow EMPRO. Abadi finds joy in music too and is committed to such art. He is a musician in a gulintangan club, Kelab Orkestra Gulingtangan Varsiti. At the present moment, he is keeping this from being spread but he and his friends are forming a traditional music band named Seri Laila Irama. This band is currently accepting invitations to perform at events, especially weddings. Impressively, they have been working on a collaboration with Pancaindera Entertainment in a program called Bedudun. Last 23rd February, they released a recording which was their first-ever episode. Even with being committed to many hobbies, Abadi claims himself to be a workaholic person. And sometimes may forget that he is a student and focus so much on work. Fortunately, he has friends to remind him about these things such as assignments to get done and he is glad to have them. For curriculum activities, since it is on every Wednesday, he is able to handle them. His outside activities, such as being a musician, he does not know when people might call him and his band to perform so they need to make early-on preparations where they have to sharpen their skills before performing on the day of the event. Although he can tolerate this, he may still forget that he is a student, which is very understandable
As for obstacles, especially when leading or working with an organisation, he understands that they are normal and everyone will go through them. Challenges Abadi pointed out were getting into arguments, misunderstanding each other, and having some work not done on time. Despite these, as humans, he claims that we run away to avoid making mistakes. Instead of reacting through anger or pressuring them, we might as well help them with their tasks and go through these obstacles. Once more he emphasized that instead of running away from the obstacles, he should run towards them together. This reminded Abadi of the last time he had a difficult time working with a colleague. He preferred not to tell when and who he had this difficulty with but they had problems in communication. It happened when he was away from a project. This person did not update him or inform him of what was happening on the project. He had to catch up on his own instead of being told by his vice or assistant about what he has been missing out on. Therefore, he had to get updated by his other colleagues on what has been done and what has not. How he handled it was not by being too mad at this person because it has already happened so he just went on, continuing updating himself on the things he missed out on.
Aside from all the hardships and obstacles, Abadi also had memorable and funny experiences. He decided to tell two stories. One was during the national youth day, 2018, where he helped his colleagues create games for the public to play. On that day, Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam was the guest of honour, and he was going around booths and asking them questions such as what they were doing for that day. When their turn was approaching, they were reminded to get ready and Abadi was told to remove the cap he was wearing that time. Turns out, a cap wasn’t the most appropriate thing to wear when meeting the Sultan. So he had to take it off but his hair was quite messy and he tried sorting it out. When it was time to meet the Sultan, Abadi asked His Majesty’s permission to speak in both Malay and English while presenting. And so he explained the things they’ve done on that day including the games they had set up for the public. During the event, they had a woodblock to show the FOSSB’s logo. But then His Majesty thought he had to sign it but it wasn’t supposed to be signed. They didn’t have a proper pen at that moment either. So they had to apologise and told His Majesty that it was just their prop. A little panicking moment for them but Abadi finds that memory fun to replay. Another story that is more recent happened in 2019 when he attended the SCN Cultural Forum held in Laos and it was his first-ever flight in his 21 years of living. It was his first time flying in an aeroplane which landed in Malaysia firstly, then Thailand and finally landed in Laos. Although it might sound fascinating to fly to three countries at once, it was only a transit to end up landing in and truly visit Laos. But nevertheless, he was excited and still is when reminiscing his first-ever flying experience. Visiting Laos itself was memorable to him as he really did enjoy taking in the view and meeting new people. The environment there made him realise and grateful for what he has in Brunei. He found that in Laos, the surrounding was quite messy so if you think the traffic here is the worst, think again, because the people in Laos have successfully made a two-lane street, four. He claims that when we see the environment in other countries, we can compare them with Brunei and realise how grateful we should be for what we have in Brunei.
There is no doubt that Abadi has some harrowing experiences that have changed the way he leads others and changed his perception on life. Abadi admits that there were times when he was under so much stress and other people were being uncooperative or not working well with him. When people don’t do the work that needs to be done or according to how it was planned, he does find it frustrating. They did apologise to each other during the post mortems because, at these times, they would point out their mistakes and the things they lack so that they’ll perform better for the next events. This did change Abadi’s perception on life and change himself as he learnt that we need improvements to become better humans.
Moving on, let’s get to know more about Abadi’s personality that may surprise some people. Those who may not know him personally may find him as someone who is silent or introverted but when he is silent, he is actually being observant. Abadi explained that he was observing other people’s behaviour but he will not tell people his opinions or his findings. In most cases, he is actually quite friendly and even playful. He admits that he plays so much and likes to joke around especially ‘dad’ jokes. Another habit Abadi possesses is that sometimes he may not do his work but no, this isn’t because he is lazy but he wants to see what his friends or colleagues would do when he does not do his job. Are they going to remind him about it or are they going to solve it themselves or are they going to let him be and do his job for him instead? This may help his friends improve themselves or as Abadi would call it, “evolving”. It was his weird way of teaching them but as someone who practices this, he understands that people will bash him about it but he is willingly facing the consequences.
Improvement is vital especially in Abadi’s career in being a leader, and this is where challenges help him do most of his improvements. The challenge of communicating with others is one of them. He is aware that different people have different communication styles. Some may have a more serious manner, others may have more preference and ease in using English. He thinks that his English needs more improvement and it is necessary for him to learn about his surroundings and environment because he, as he labelled himself, likes to play rather too much. He knows that he needs to overcome his own mistakes and correct them and this is with the help of his friends whom he is thankful for as they have pointed these flaws out for him and he is going to take this advice to improve himself. Communication, for Abadi, is also a very common challenge that he noticed when it comes to leadership. He emphasized some more that people will have different ways of communicating, whether they are the people you’re working under or the people who you work with. We need to get to know the people around us by learning their personalities. Try to communicate effectively as sometimes the message we assume to understand may not be what it is intended to be when it was delivered. What we think may not align with what they have envisioned. We need to sharpen this skill and that what Abadi is working on too especially when you have people working under you, try to understand them. Abadi also added that being strict is necessary. He has the ability to be strict before things get any worse.
Failure is another challenge he needed to face during his days as a leader, and this reminded Abadi of the PMUBD Showcase. At that time, they went to an estate. He and his colleagues already stated the time to them when they needed the items which were around 2 p.m. but it turned out that the estate was waiting for the message from his team on when the items needed to be sent. The other clubs were already frustrated, asking for the chairs, tables, poles and every other thing. Abadi’s friends tried reassuring them that they had already contacted the estate but the estate did not know because neither Abadi nor his team checked the email and such so they went to the estate to investigate and ask about their items and it turned out, the estate was waiting for a message from them. So that was a very stressful moment for them, especially for the logistic team. They had ended up deciding that it was already fine although they got bashed by the clubs as they accused the PMUBD management at that moment but it was beyond their control and yet they have apologised for the inconvenience. In the end, they had to accept the judgements and criticisms from others.
Obstacles, failures and mistakes seem to be a norm Abadi has to get used to but even so, he is still a person who needs someone who he can depend on when he is struggling as well as celebrating. Sadly for him, it was not a girlfriend as he doesn’t have one (yet and there is nothing wrong with that). So for now, his support system consists of his friends, especially those he met in his first year as a UBD student. At first, he did not really know them personally but he recognised them as they are from the same major as him which is Biology. They got along and up until now, they are still friends, best friends. They were the ones who reminded Abadi that he is a student and he needs to do his work such as assignments. This was all thanks to them. Their friendship became stronger due to having almost similar problems. He felt lucky to have them as they have taught him life lessons. Lessons he did not know and never thought of learning, including IT on the computer. During his MPP days, he also had a few friends that had his back. Before he joined the MPP, they told Abadi that they were joining too. They invited him to be in their team. He was hesitant at first but later on, they decided to make a bet. If one of them leaves the MPP, all three of them will. Others will question this bet and find it ridiculous. But they did not leave the MPP, instead, they have successfully completed it together. The three of them also would lend each other ears when one needs to rant about their work or shortcomings, whether it is something they are currently working on or need to work on. Abadi is entirely grateful to them for helping him during his MPP days, leading the PMUBD until the very end of his service. Although issues might arise, they managed to settle them. Abadi’s friends definitely impacted his life as they have taught him how things need to be done. They have opened Abadi’s eyes to things that he may take for granted and made him more aware of the protocols in management. Mostly the things he would not expect to learn in class.
Carrying on towards the future, Abadi has goals and hopes for himself. He is planning to pursue his studies to master. He also hopes to be a good leader by further improving his leadership skills that others are advantageous enough to have but he has yet to possess. One of the skills he had in mind was persuasion skills to easily convince and influence people. He finds this skill important and we never know if he might end up leading a company or an organisation in the future. And if so, he would like to lead better.
Before continuing to the last question, Abadi would like to express his gratitude for being nominated as this month’s leadership Inspirasee and congratulate those who have just started involving themselves in the leadership industry and those who are still going on strong. He hopes that you will enjoy this journey, meet new people, and make more connections. He reminded that if you are struggling, do talk it out with others and this does not necessarily have to be your team or colleagues that you work with or under. Try talking to the people you consider your pillar support, and this could be your family or your friends. He also advised that if you have your own pillar support, don’t forget to be the pillar of support for others. You never know when you might inspire others. Abadi mentioned that he himself didn’t know he had the leadership skills in him. People out of the blue put him in the position of a leader but he had to do it. If he is given a task, he will try to do them better than before. Abadi also reminded us, other than talking to a friend, remember God when we are struggling. He pointed out a verse from the Holy Qur’an:
“And Allah loves the patients.” (Surah Ali ‘Imran, verse 146)
Abadi then continued by saying, as a leader, we have to make a good first impression even if we may not be a great leader ourselves. But if that’s unattainable, we can always impersonate great leadership while working. He hoped to those who are working towards their leadership career to keep on pursuing and keep on developing and this is also for Abadi as he is still learning and making himself better. If others talk bad about you, let that be the burning fuel for your passion and use that to keep improving your leadership skills. Lastly, Abadi once again thanked those who have chosen him and supported him in his journey of becoming a leader.
Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Muhamad Nur Abadi bin Mohd Nizam is deserving of this month’s Inspirasee as he is unquestionably a great and humble leader who is still aware of his flaws and is dedicated to improving them and himself as an individual. We hope that Abadi can achieve his goals and more and may his journey as a student, a photographer, a musician and of course, a leader be eased and blessed. May great things come his way and may he keep on inspiring us to be a great leader.