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My Principals Leadership Style

School Profile
I am working in MARA Junior Science College, Kepala Batas. It is a fully-boarded
secondary school with 1000 students ranging from form 1 to form 5 and more than 120 of
work force including the teachers and staffs. The school is opened in 2008 and from that
moment on, it emerged to be one of the icons in Kepala Batas and had become one of the
selected MJSC to be crowned as Ulul Albab among the other five in Malaysia.
The Ulul Albab Program is introduced in 2010 here and this Ulul Albab Program is a
specialised program intended to incorporate the Islamic Education whilst at the same time
retaining the conventional education program based on the Malaysian Integrated Secondary
Curriculum and Syllabus. As such, the extra programs that they would have here including
the sunnah-related programs like swimming, horse riding and archery. Apart from that, the
students are required to memorise the 30 juzuk of Al-Quran and that is part of the compulsory
program that they have to commit with.
The school is located in the heart of Kepala Batas district; branching from Seberang
Perai from the south all the way to the north. Locating about half an hour drive from both
Sungai Petani and Penang, it is a surely nice place to be in and infrastructures are well-
equipped. People from Sungai Petani and Penang are well connected to a well-built facilities
around with Institut Latihan Kemahiran MARA locating next to it.

The Principal Leadership Style
The base line that I can see from the working and leadership style of the Principal in my
school is that it can be somewhat an Autocratic type of Leadership. He is a kind of friendly at
a glance, when mixing aroundin terms of what we can say as the way he socialize; he is not
that sociable. So, in this case I can say that he really is a kind of introvert and the relationship
with the teachers are not that close. He does not mingle around with people and he is always
in his room for like twenty-four seven and I cannot say much about that because it is his style
at the first place.
We (all of the teachers) rarely see him going around the school checking things and
getting to know the conditions around the school. He is always in his room and waited for
any information to be served by one of his trustworthy person. He rarely does any kind of
investigation and would digest any kind of information that comes his way as true regardless
of whether it is really true or not.
I am aware that his autocratic style is always controversialin a way that he will axe
anyone that go against him or rejecting his idea. It is very prominent especially in the
teachers meeting whenever he is collecting the ideas from the teachers and trying to propose
for everyones opinion in any issue. But in the end, any opinion will be left out as just an
opinion and he will stick to what he thinks is the best and the right way to do even though
many of us disagree. It is always like that and it seems like he is the sole decision maker for
the schools objective. Most of the time, the meeting held was totally uselessconsidering
the time wasted there for hours just to listen to his decision even though many opinions arose.
Whatever it is whenever it comes to the completing any goal, he wants it to be on time
and by hook or by crook the task given to any party should be completed within the time
frame given no matter what kind of problem the person would be having. Intrinsically, this
would eliminate the sense of humanity as the leader is not having any empathy to the people
who worked under him.
I am not sure why he is implementing this kind of leadership in the school. He started
off as a history teacher, and after that he moved to vice principal position before he was given
the role as a principal. According to his colleagues who had been working with him as a
teacher long ago in MJSC Taiping, he was not a kind of autocratic type. He is very friendly
and concern about his friends and colleague. Only when he moved to Vice Principal position,
they could sense the slight change and starting from the first day being a principal here, he is
fully autocratic type. It is something that logical to say that, by doing so (being autocratic) he
could disregard any kind of favourism in working. Meaning that, he is not ready to treat
anyone as special or having some kind of advantage from others. That is a good thing. At
the same time, being an autocratic would set a scale to the people he leads that he is not that
somebody whom you can come over and try to bribe or get close for any kind of hidden
agenda, maybe.
Apart from that, being an autocratic would lead a principal to be having a group of
people who are ready to work beyond the limit with triple-extra effort in order to achieve his
goals. The con is that he cannot avoid the pressure to pressure people. But he will get the job
done at a specific due time and achieving his goal right away. Besides, he will also have
people who are ready to commit even in a extremely stressful condition (because they are
being forced by the deadline). However, he has to deal with the quality issue as the people are
working under pressure and somehow or rather, they cannot come with the work that is up to
the expectation as they are trained to work with a mind-set of as long as I have done my
part. This is rather dangerous and unhealthy to the school or any organization as well
because the quality issue had fallen to number two or three.
Basically, he is not having a good relationship basis with the teachers. The reason is
that, he is never concern to the teachers welfare at the first place as he is tied with his goal.
So he thinks that whatever the condition is, goals are number one and task should be done in
time. No one is giving any excuse to say that they could not complete their job because of
this and that as the philosophy is there is no excuse for you. When it comes to this stage, the
people (teachers) are in pressureall the time. They have to make sure that everything is
well-organized and up-to-the-marque whilst at the same time, they have to sacrifice their
personal life in order to make sure the goals and their commitment to the school is fulfilled.
This would lead to an unhealthy relationship between the teachers and the principal as it is
always sour to do something that you are forced to do.
On the other hand so far, I found that his relationship with the students is good. But I
reckon that his relationship with students are well organized due to the fact that they have got
nothing to do with him with the task-oriented matter. Basically the students affairs are
handed over to the Vice Principal of Students Affairs. Thus he had nothing much to deal with
the students cases. Unless the case are serious, he will take over. However the teachers are
always to be blamed whenever there is any case regarding the students arisebecause he is
holding to the philosophy that students are our clients. So, the clients/customers are always
But he sometimes showed his incompetency in handling some of the so called high
profile cases like bullies and fighting. For instance, the bully case that happened last
February. As far as we are concern, those who are proven to have done the wrong doings
such as bullies and all are not fit to be in the MJSC system. To that extend, the students
should be expelled to ensure harmony and conduciveness of the school is reserved at all
What happened was, he decided to overturn the case as not serious and the students
were only suspended for two weeks whilst in the rulebook clearly stated that they should be
expelledjust because he had been threatened by the parents that they are going to file a
lawsuit for expelling their children. This kind of thing had resulted a kind of discomfort
among teachers as we think that the decision made by the principals sometimes displayed his
weaknesses in handling big cases in a proper way. And yet, we are still having this unwanted
students here in the school because of his infirm calibre.
When it comes to relishing the school goals, his style of leadership does not prove any
kind of affirmation to the schools progress. For example, the school had done poorly in the
SPM results since last four years as we ended in the 33
placing out of 43 MJSCs in
Malaysia compared to (11
the year before) during his first term and going down further to
placing in 2011. This mark has been proven further as the ranking fell down to 37

placing in 2012 and 38
placing in 2013 respectively. While in PMR examination ranking we
were in 24
placing during his first term (beating the previous 32
). But it turned out to be
unwell the next three years as we are only able to maintain 35
placing for three
consecutive years. The philosophy of leadership had become unfavourable among the
teachers and most of the teachers are pressured. Since last four years, the school is still
finding its stable position to be the main contender in the league of elite schools. However,
they could not relish the goal just yet because of few restrictions within the school, even
though the teachers are all committed and fairly well at teaching whether on or off the class.
There are also few parts that he is not doing quite well in appreciating the teachers
who were committing themselves with extra classes for the students. As for me, they should
not be questioned why they are doing the extra classes. He would have conversely credit
them by giving some token of appreciation as a pay-off for their hard work and commitment.
As such, the teachers motivation would be lifted up and more of the quality environment
would be gained in order to drive the school goal to its destination.
The autocratic style of leadership that he is implementing is none any close to that of
the western theory. The basic thing of the western theory of goal orientation is there, but one-
on-one orientation is not implemented at all. The vision is too general and he is not aware of
the fact that everyone has their own unique quality that can be brought forward. He also has
no machismowhich is a great quality to show ones stand and firmness in decision making.
He is easily threatened by something that would rip away is position in advance. Apart from
that, there is no short-term result oriented applied. Everything is in annually-oriented. Thus,
the competency is only a kind of annual commitment rather than on-going commitment. But
he insists on something that is called as being committed all the time towards the goal.
Doesnt this contradict the first one? I think it really does, for sure. The last but not least,
rationalism is not something that this man is up to. He is goal driven as if nothing comes his
way. He never cares the challenges. We (teachers) are fully responsible for the things that we
do and he never wants to take note about the problems that we might face. As such, he never
cares about our feelings and he will never ask. Thus, he will always keep on being like that
without rationalism.
In my humble opinion, his style of leadership is the catalyser to the school progress.
For that reason, being an executive type of leader would bring a rewarding and much more
conducive working environment rather than being iterated in the space where we are
pressurised and threatened. The principal should always be the one who can be rational
himself at the very first place. Therefore, the leadership that he carries forward can be
instilled in a way that people who worked under him feel happy, comfortable and motivated
at all times. This kind of leadership only goes with the executive type of leadership. They
develop, they motivate and at the same time they encourage the people to work with them to
achieve the mission. Autocratic will never bring you anywhere far in todays modern
leadership as the leadership philosophy has now become broader and people in this age are
no longer interested in a Nazi-typed leadership.