Progressive Leadership: Creating Myself


I am already 21 years old. Times have shaped myself. Times have given me many experiences and also lessons. Many lessons learned. Myself is still being created with inspirations and leaderships.


Talking about leadership, I would put my father as one of my role models. My father is a hardworking man. He is a civil engineering consultant. He directs his own company in engineering. Having studied Civil Engineering major in Universitas Hasanuddin in my hometown, he had done notable work in road, bridge, buildings, dams construction. His works had taken him to not just in South Sulawesi area, but also to Ternate, Jakarta, and Nunukan, East Kalimantan.

One day he told me this story. This really amazed me. I know my father finished his education very well, splendid. His final assignment to the university is really thick. He boasted that that’s the thickest final writing ever done in his almamater. I believe him. I have seen the assignment. It’s a really big book, with many cool technical drawings in it. He typed it with typewrite and drew it manually, no computer at that time. I am so proud of him.

I was with my brother in our home. My father talked about his early experience in engineering. It was around 1989, my father was working with some Japanese engineers for Bili-bili dam  project in Gowa regency, South Sulawesi. Bili-bili dam is the biggest and important dam in South Sulawesi. The project was worth 780 billion rupiah and built with in the cooperation of government, private companies, and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency). The project is to control the flow and distribution of water for PDAM and used to create electricity (PLTA) for South Sulawesi.

So one day, the Japanese engineers were working on some formula calculation for the dam. My father got the works in his hand and found that’s the Japanese engineers calculation was wrong. The calculation must be carefully made because mistakes in micro numbers can change the result of the project.  It was critical. My father told the team that the calculation was inappropriate. He made the correction for formula and number calculation and hand it to the Japanese engineers team. His work was acknowledged by the project team and applied in the project making. Imagine, if the calculation and formula was wrong. It can make disaster and failure for the project. For many years, my father did not tell us the story until that day.

The story amazed me. I talked to my younger brother. I told him that we got a great father. We agreed to make amazing things too. Now, my younger brother followed my father. He majors in Civil engineering.

I want to do amazing things too. Like what my father had done in his works. I believe his works is dedicated to make living for his family. I also really understand that everything I had is because my father has studied and worked really hard.

In our house, he got this special big table for work and a very comfortable big chair that I called ‘boss chair’. Once he got a work to make reports of project progress, he stays there all the time. He works with his laptops surrounding by a big cup of coffee made by my mother, papers with graphics and words, printers, and etc. He faced the computer screen, his hand busy typing and editing.

Sometimes, I just feel sad seeing him work like really hard and I feel like I have not used my time well enough. I want to be a better one for him. He provides me many things for myself, for my living, but I should have used it wisely and better. Some times, when he is around me, I feel so safe, but in the same time, feel somehow unsatisfied with myself. He’s proud of his son who studies in ‘Jakarta’. In order to pay his hard work, I want to do huge thing for him. Something that can make him content.


Muhammad Junaib Salam is my inspiration. He studied well, works hard, all for his family. My grandfather name is Abdul Salam. If he never lived, I would not be here too. He is my inspiration too. He is a traditional farmer and ordinary employee in a office in my hometown in Maroangin, Enrekang regency. His education and love has made a man like my father. I wish, someday, they will proud of having a son like me.

I am still shaping my self. Things around me is shaping me too. I am learning from people I meet in my daily life, my family, my friends, thru organization, campus, newspaper, books, forum, thru any medium. I had a journal book, that I take almost everywhere, where I keep good notes on good lessons. I wish someday I will make my children proud of me too. I am grateful and feel content for everything I am. I don’t want to look back. Future is ahead. Bring on the challenge.

Not to tell anybody what to do. I just want to share my point, hope it can inspire others. Leadership is about the quality of being yourself with some set of virtue. Define your leadership and role models. If we got a dream, we shall put much effort on it. We got to work really hard. If someday, we can't motivate ourself enough, remember that what we are is because our good family and friends have helped us to go trough the times. Make them proud.

Have a great day!