Thursday, September 6, 2012


The moment all of our 3 boats sank at Teluk Sekadeh.

2 months taking up the position as Midshipmen CO was never easy for me. Frankly, not even a day I get to sleep peacefully, everyday people come to me telling their problems and dilemma, every hour I have to keep everyone updated with the next activity. Due to the drastic change in culture and routine, the subordinates started to create problems, gossips started to spread. 2 weeks ago, I was so close to be dethroned. Division Leaders and Committee Members were elected based on the highest vote, even my position was decided by the majority, we practice democracy. 
I was about to call for a meeting, to let everyone voice out their problem, they can just speak and suggest ANYTHING! Sometimes, when u listen to them, they feel appreciated. When their voices are heard, they feel hopeful. Sharing problems and discussing solutions actually empowered them to exercise their leadership and indirectly make them understand my burden. As expected, majority questioned a lot of my decisions and many of them were clouded with what is going on. In the military, last minute orders just fall from the sky and bombard us with lots of unexpected challenges. I'm a task oriented leader, to get things done, sometimes I wasn't given the chance to discuss nor let everyone decides. Allowing them to speak up might make me look stupid if I can't answer their doubts and argument. To cut short the long story, I was standing alone in front, facing all the stressful and unhappy faces, performing a persuasive and convincing speech to satisfy everyone. It felt extremely fulfilled when everyone sees eye to eye, understand each other. That brave move of mine, has tested my leadership and public speaking =p 
I have just won a "war"
 UPNM Final Year Midshipmen

Solving everyone's problem and had no one to solve my shit was tough for me. I had some very personal problem recently, until I have totally lost the excitement of becoming a Navy officer, I did not see a purpose. Yesterday 2 incidents have totally flipped things over, absolutely energized me. 
First Incident
 I went for the swim test. Jumping down from the platform is still my deepest fear. I stepped on the platform, my heart was hammering my chest. Without making this dive, I can never pass my swimming test no matter how well I can swim. The moment I stepped off the platform, I stopped breathing and I think my heart did stop for split seconds. It felt so long hanging in the air! 
Boom! It took me quite a while to swim back to the surface. My ass was painful, must be because I landed wrongly. Doesn't matter to me anymore, the swimming part is just piece of cake to me. It took all my courage to face this deepest fear mine.

Second Incident
Meeting with Commanding Officer was a great morale booster for all. Only great leaders are able to offer hope to the men and make them feel motivated to achieve the organization's mission. I've only seen 2 great military transformational leaders so far which I can really look up to. The others are just mere managers doing basic routine work. The CO and I have some similarity :
1. both of us are aircraft engineers
2. we joined the Navy because of sports. He even admitted that who he is today is totally different from what he imagined during his younger days.
He was so frank and straight forward! I bet not many senior officers dare to make such confession. During that session, we were exposed to young officer's dilemma and a few interesting case studies. He also mentioned that good command of language and ability to write a convincing article and ability to argue persuasively is an important skills required to be a good leader. 
I've put on 2kgs of weight. I'm gonna monitor my food intake and run more. Taiping Marathon is just around the corner, need to train harder.

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