Breaking down the invisible fence
By Patricia Hului
In his book and blog, The Greatness Guide, leadership expert Robin Sharma told a story about an invisible fence.
The story goes that Sharma read a sign from a dog training company vouching for a system that set a boundary a dog would not get past.
It wasn’t a boundary maintained by physical means, but it was a training system that got the dog accustomed to staying within a certain boundary so much so that when the dog becomes accustomed to it that when the physical fence is gone, it will not run beyond it.
The result is that the dog put up an imaginary fence in its head and according to Sharma, humans are like that too.
Astro Radio Chief Executive Officer Jake Abdullah shared this story during a talk at Forum Belia Tegas 2015 held at Pullman Hotel on Sept 5.
Jake, who is better known as one half of disk jockey duo Jakeman and Skeletor spoke to a room of some 1,200 youths on ‘Youth Capacity Building for Employability’, putting his own personal touch on the seemingly ambiguous topic by sharing his own life story as testament to how he got to where he is today.
Jake first highlighted one clichéd but important thing which is to be yourself.
“The truth of the matter is, no two people are alike,” Jake stated. “I refuse to be like anybody else. I want to be the best Jake possible.”
On a personal note, he shared that he used to be in a band but then he realised he was a terrible musician. Then he thought, “Maybe I can spin some music, so I became a deejay.”
Inspired by what his Sufi master told him, “The greatest sin in the world is when you don’t use God-given potential”, he urged the youths to find their own talents and master them.
“You can’t be great in many things but you can be good in one or two things. Find out what they are now.”
Jake advised the crowd that if they were trying hard to be someone else, they will only be a good imitation at best.
“The worst thing that can happen is you will be the second class of somebody else. If you cannot do something, move on. Don’t try to follow the crowd. Why do you need to impress anybody except yourself?” he asked the crowd. “When you will be great at being yourself, nobody can deny that.”
The self-proclaimed fitness freak emphasised to the room how it important it was to never succumb to peer pressure and social stigma.
Dressed casually in a collared black T-shirt and blue jeans, Jake does not fit in with how society imagines a CEO to look.
“I fought with people because of the way I dress. I’m not saying to dress badly, as long as you are comfortable it is fine,” he said.
He also reminded people not to give up, but persevere. “Nobody says it will be easy. You have to do your time.”
Keeping Your KPI
A corporate company usually uses a key performance indicator (KPI) as measurable value to demonstrate how effective it is achieving key business objectives.
The father of three said it was vital to have personal KPIs. These life KPIs as Jake referred to could be anything from a money-saving goal or number of books to read.
To remind himself constantly of his own KPI, he jotted them down on his bathroom mirror.
“Start to develop your life’s KPI. Don’t have too many. Just have three or four,” he said. “Don’t make it so unachievable.”
He has been in broadcast since 1996, first as an announcer/music director.
His DJ stint has been ongoing since 1980. Now, he has two number one mix shows on the radio and at the age of 50, is now the oldest working DJ in Asia.
Jake once told himself that he would be the CEO of Astro Radio and on May 1, 2013 he resumed his post after a brief stint with iM4U.
While most people preach on rewarding themselves for a job well done, Jake believed in delayed gratification.
“One of the most important things I practice is delayed gratification,” he said.
While people around us posting photos of them going for vacation in social media, Jake shared that it was a good idea to hold back a little bit.
He also advised them to save, keep and invest their money while they can. “Even your time is money. You don’t have to follow the tide, stand out.”
Jake advised the youths to sow the seeds and reap the benefits.
Education, education, education
Growing up, Jake had no money to further his studies. Hence when he started making money, he said he grabbed every opportunity to study.
Now he has a multiple degrees including an MBA and a Master Degree in Metaphysical Science plus a PhD in Metaphysics.
“On Oct 5 I’m taking my second MBA in University of Liverpool,” Jake shared with the audience mainly made of students. “Don’t stop studying.”
According to Jake, nowadays people do not have excuses not to study with the availability of free online courses on the Internet.
He also suggested youths on going to Coursera.com and Lynda.com to continuously learning something new.
“Make sure you study, because whatever you do now will impact your life later,” Jake stated.
Get rid of that invisible fence
Referring to the story of an invisible fence, Jake stated “We have been told by so many people we can’t do this, we can’t do that.”
The certified life coach emphasised on taking out these mental obstacles stopping the youths from achieving what they want.
“Everything you want to achieve must be won in the head first,” he shared.
Yet, with all the achievements in his life and many hats he wears – including coach of Silat Gayong and adjunct professor for MBA students in leadership at UNITAR – Jake still does not consider himself as successful.
He impressed the crowd by saying, “I’m a work in progress.”