Strategic Leadership

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Executive Summary
Leadership is a winning combination of both personal traits and the ability to think and act as a leader. It acquires a person who directs the activities of others for the good of all. Anyone can be a leader. Leaders change all the time, hence, they left behind a legacy for incoming generation to appreciate and emulate. It constitutes a landmark that continues to flourish and remembered from generations after generations.

Leadership inspires others to take the appropriate action. Therefore, strategic leadership is a management model that trains and encourages employees to best prepare the company for the future. In other words, strategic leaders are always looking ahead and analyzing the present in terms of preparation for what may be ahead for the business. Strategic leaders are adaptable and growth-oriented as well as the sense of awareness is a big part of a strategic leadership style. They take responsibility for getting things done by training employees to think and act more effectively to achieve the best result possible for the company.

Sometimes, patience, perseverance and time are the simplest ingredients to achieve personal success. Most great achievements were not born until a great deal of time, enormous patience and unwavering perseverance prevail. It is important that a business should not be started just because everybody else is doing it or it looks like it is a way to make a lot of money. Starting a business should be because something unique is found that the business can be carried out better than anyone else. Starting a business means one really want to make a big contribution to the society over a long period of time.

One of the key components to success is having the courage to follow a vision and take the bold steps necessary to turn that vision into reality. He had a vision. More than anything, he dared. Dared to go where nobody did. He is Dato Tony Fernandes, the flamboyant, dashing and informal-style Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the now successful Air Asia. Air Asia, a budget airline phenomenon he proudly proclaimed, “Now Everyone Can Fly.”

Dato' Sri Anthony Francis Fernandes or mostly known as Tony Fernandes was born on 30 April 1964 in Kuala Lumpur, and is the son of the late Dr. Stephen Edward Fernandes and Ena Dorothy Fernandez. Apart from being the first person to introduce the first budget no-frills airline or Air Asia, he is also a Malaysian entrepreneur and the founder of Tune Air Sdn. Bhd. Subsequently, he also started a hotel chain called Tune Hotels, the first budget no-frills hotels in Asia.

He was educated at Epsom College in 1977 to 1983 and then graduated from London School of Economics in 1987. He worked very briefly with Virgin Atlantic as an auditor, subsequently becoming the financial controller for Richard Branson's Virgin Records in London from 1987 to 1989. He was admitted as Associate Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in 1991 and became Fellow Member in 1996. Upon his return to Malaysia, at the age of 28, Tony became the youngest person in recording industry's history to head Warner Music Malaysia - a role, which he excelled in. The amateur guitarist went on to become vice-president for Southeast Asia for Warner Music Group from 1992-2001 and was responsible for revolutionising ethnic music, nasyid and dangdut, bringing them into the mainstream of contemporary Malaysian music.

He is a 'big believer on big dreams'. One night, he saw an Easy Jet television advertisement and got interested in the concept of low-cost carriers. He realized this is what he wanted to do. With that, he mortgaged his house and rallied a couple of his buddies in the music industry to set up Tune Air Sdn Bhd. Although the Malaysian government turned down the license application, he did not give up easily but instead met up with then Prime Minister, Dr Tun Mahathir Mohamad. On hearing what he wanted to...
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