Jonathan ES Lin
Life · Tech · Faith

How it Started

Oct 28, 2020

Admittedly, Malaysia's still doing great compared to some Western countries. Boo. (Left: "No need to quarantine." Right: "Lockdown in the capital.")

There's a How it started / How it's going trend going on in Twitter, usually bragging about how well things are currently going, or how they are not.

Well, here's mine.

How it started

Leaders of born, of course.

Leaders also write long boring essays for the school magazine which nobody reads.

How it's going

Ooh. Burn.

Some ranting commentary

Well, can't blame him. He was just stating the obvious. I know it already. I'm failing by my own standards. Most of my school mates know, but they are too polite to say. Pretty sure everyone is thinking it at some point.

I think I was voted "most likely to succeed" somewhere, but I forgot the source. Likely to succeed in what?

Not sure why people who are in the same boat as you right now call you out for being in a better boat last time? The logic defeats me. Does that make you feel better? Last time I drive Mercedes now I drive Toyota like you're driving your Proton now, then you insult me because I used to drive Mercedes last time? That makes you feel better about your Proton? HAHAHAHA.

Why, of course Fazil is indeed successful. CEO of his own digital agency C27 with a team of 3 dozen or so. Co-founder of Moneymatch. Investor in Kakitangan.com.

As for me, I founded a bunch of small business bullshit.

If you ask me, I made the mistake of not getting out of technical role quick enough. But it's kinda too late to switch back to a non-technical role. Nobody gonna give me the chance, even if I show them that I was "The Born Leader" in Nostalgia 2005 Hall of Fame. Fuiyoh.

Somehow over the years I became more and more introvert compared to high school days. People are like porcupines. Eventually they will show you their quills. High school was perhaps an unrealistic simulation. In the real world, people just snub you when they disagree with you. If they don't disagree, they are somehow stabbing you in the back passive-aggresively.

I am proud of what we achieved in SMKDJ. The year prior to me at the helm, most prefects had their neckties worn dangling down, dishevelled and unkempt. There was pride lacking in doing the job. I fixed that, and "enforced" a culture of neckties up, immaculate uniforms, and a bunch of other reforms. I introduced "Going the Extra Mile" tie pins to emphasize the need for going the extra mile. A lot of students refused to sew on school badges, so the prefects were equipped with sewing kits and we sewed those things on the spot. The prefects room was refurbished and redecorated, among many other things. I think the team did a great job. Morale was much higher, prefects were more respected and also more proud of themselves for doing a job well done. During that period, I read a lot of management books, including many from John C. Maxwell, Good to Great (Jim Collins), and The Leadership Challenge (Kouzes and Posner), implementing as much as possible the leadership principles that were relevant. It still remains the best time of my life. I woke up everyday feeling excited, unlike nowadays.

Fast forward to today, leadership is not a title. Nobody gets you to lead without you already being a leader. You have to be a leader everyday, without a title. Sometimes it's the people with titles who are the worst leaders.