To my friend, the troublemaker

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A “quarrelsome person” who would” always look for someone to quarrel with” is a troublemaker. A former leader now serving in Sungai Buloh prison is a troublemaker.

All the hits and headlines in the media between policy lawmakers are considered quarreling and had caused supporters from each group to disagree; and it is troublemakers who are causing street demonstrations.

And of course, there are leaders leading the ‘action’ of troublemaking, and can we conclude that ‘leaders’ are ‘troublemakers’.

There is a line between being a leader and being the ‘know-it-all’ controlling type who feels they need to be involved in everything.

Every organisation has various types of employees. Some are serious and hardworking; while some are taking things easy. There are also troublemakers, backstabbers and office politicians, as well as incompetents. These people are always on the lookout for victims.

There is a saying that an organisation needs a few troublemakers. Troublemakers will trouble you as they are not satisfied with the current condition. Troublemakers are known to think smarter and have better ways to do things. Complacency is not for them; they will never wait to do things or like to rest on the laurels.

They may be troublesome but they do like problem-solving as that’s where the fun is for them. It is a kind of mental stimulation that creates positive energy and motivation by the possibility of attaining that particular type of satisfaction that only comes with a job well done. It’s a win-win situation, really.

Troublemakers don’t sit around waiting to be told what to do. They are natural-born leaders. They are proactive and see potential issues way before most other folk.

Organisations needs thinkers who act on their thinking. Your contented employees will become annoyed by what they perceive as the troublemaker’s tendency to ‘borrow problems’, but this isn’t the troublemaker’s goal. He just naturally thinks ahead. Don’t hate him for thinking.

When it comes to the ‘work’, troublemakers don’t like to fool around but instead prefer to resolve issues and generally get things done fast, efficiently and accordingly.

Unfortunately, sometimes their focus and serious manner gives others the impression that they’re cold, or mean, or uncaring. It’s not true. They’re just into quality and standards. Could your organisation use someone with that attitude?

There’s a lot of talk these days about authenticity and integrity and how much organisations need employees who are willing to speak up. Look no further than your resident troublemaker! Troublemakers are passionate and opinionated and self-motivated. They’re willing to take a stance because they believe in their ideas and your organisation.

Of course troublemakers aren’t always the easiest to work with. They’re not the most accommodating personality in the room, and they may rub some people the wrong way.

But they’re committed, smart, and all about improving your job. They do care. And every organisation needs employees who care. Do bet on those. Let’s allow the so-called troublemaker to do his or her part! Doing so could very well be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

Remember, good people are always in trouble. So, be nice but shrewd. Know your friends and foes. Learn to protect yourself. Never retaliate openly. Remind your co-workers that you are as tough as them!


AZIZI AHMAD is an educator.

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