Leadership Coaching to Revive MAS to Health
THE RECENT NATIONAL HEADLINES IN EARLY MAY THIS YEAR ON MALAYSIAN AIRLINE SYSTEM (MAS)’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF A NEW CEO TAKING OFFICE HAVE RENEWED INTERESTS AMONG MALAYSIANS ON MAS’ IMPENDING STEPS TO RESUSCITATE ITSELF.
Coaching is about helping leaders change, grow,
and mature in their thinking and behaviour
MAS – Malaysia’s national air carrier, have reported three colossal unprofitable periods since 1997. Subsequently, several CEOs have stepped in to turn the national carrier’s balance sheets into healthy profits. Although, the first two unprofitable periods were followed with short-term turnaround in black, there appears to be lacking a strong leadership team to sustain the organisation’s financial health. During the latest unprofitable period, MAS lost two aircrafts. On 8 March 2014, Flight MH370 flying from Kuala Lumpur to China was lost in unknown South Indian Ocean waters. On 17th July 2014, MH17 crashed near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine due to a surface-to-air missile attack. Consequently, Khazanah, the major shareholder and also a government body, have decided to shut down the organisation as they are unable to endure the two-decade financial haemorrhage. After several months of talent search, MAS Board of Directors appointed German Christoph Mueller from the Irish’s Aer Lingus in September 2014 to create a new MAS.
LEADERSHIP IS THE STRATEGIC KEY TO THE SURVIVAL OF AN ORGANISATION
The above corporate scenario speaks of the senior leaders’ failure in designing a robust health plan to revitalise the organisation from its financial woes. Effective leadership in its simplest form is about leaders influencing a group of people to achieve a better future. In other words, effective leaders strategically influence their organisation’s culture by nurturing their organisation to sustain longevity. In contrast, ineffective leaders cause their organisation to remain stagnant, thus resulting in premature organisational death. Geert Hofstede, a renowned Dutch professor in organisational culture, believes national culture influences organisational culture. Clearly, the likelihood of the Malaysian culture of high hierarchy has perpetuated within MAS. Its bureaucratic culture over several decades has resulted in a rigid leadership’s style unsuitable to meet the pressures of the rapidly evolving external business environment. Inevitably, MAS had succumbed to a stagnating organisation culture that has poisoned itself to death. It now has to recruit and rely on an external talent, a global and forward-thinking leader, to construct a new MAS.
LEADERSHIP COACHING IS AN ESSENTIAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TOOL
Leadership coaching develops leaders’ leadership capacity by aiding the leaders to move to their next leadership level. In essence, coaching focuses on changing. Coaching is about helping leaders change, grow, and mature in their thinking and behaviour. Coaching also focuses on helping leaders to unleash their potential, increase