July 22, 2015

The ‘other’ interview

Rushdi Siddiqui

The difference between a good leader and a transformational leader is the latter’s openness to being challenged, as they get a chance to showcase their talent, thinking and tasks.

Such leaders provide insights whilst rest of us just provide hindsight.

Such leaders see the what’s on the other side of the mountain, whilst the rest of us just see the hiking trail.

When you speak to such leaders, you can actually “see their minds working in real time!”

Now, having worked on the non-journalist side at Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, and Thomson Reuters, you learn about what is not editorial newsworthy.

For example, press releases on winning awards (Islamic finance), speaking at an event (Islamic finance), opening an (Islamic bank) bank branch, launching an (Islamic) product, etc, are generally not newsworthy for likes of Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, WSJ, etc.

Thus, if a talk show was in my horizon, Zilzar Trending, I would ask the following questions from the below-mentioned people and provided (my version of) an answer.

Two underlying assumptions of such leaders, they (1) have a sense of humor and (2) have enough confidence in themselves to make fun of themselves.

Some people I cannot meet, as dead, some I have met and others I hope to meet.

The purpose is not only get insights to their thinking, but also raise issues that never reach them because of their gatekeepers, who may not understand, not “get it”, can’t be bothered, or act as toll collectors to pass through. Thus, “access or lack of it to leaders” is what makes for an inclusive populace.

Q: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, former prime minister and now President of Turkey. What have you/AKP gained as a result with the fight against Fethullah Gulen and Twitter? Are not the principles of Islam, foundation of AKP, about inclusion, why not tolerate dissent and opportunity for opposition to be heard?

Possible answer: yes, but no comment today. Interview is over!

Excerpt from The Malaysian Insider, 22 July 2015, Wednesday