The Path To Leadership: Rafiza Ghazali

Rafiza Ghazali
Rafiza Ghazali

Rafiza Ghazali, in an interview with Business Today, speaks on being the face of Cradle Fund and the methods of leadership in guiding her team and in dealing with the startups, and she says, “Respect needs to be earned for the title.”

“I’ve always believed that respect for a title must be earned. When I first arrived at this office, I didn’t expect them to treat me like a CEO simply because I am the CEO.

“I know how to earn their respect, and I’d rather earn it than demand for it and if I earn instead of demanding, it makes the difference,” she says.

As a leader, she chooses to be a leader that empowers her team so that in a way it can allow them to think outside the box while at the same time providing a safety net for good working relations and results.

“I like to empower my team and let them own their own decisions because that’s the only way for them to grow while it provides them with a safety net. Allow them to be innovative and creative, thinking outside the box.

“Because to me, all of us play important roles and have a voice to say. You know, they have to improve and we all support each other.”

She become the CEO of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd on June 1, 2020.

Work Satisfaction

Rafiza found fulfilment at Cradle because she comes from a long line of entrepreneurial family members, and she believes that entrepreneurship will help shape economic growth.

“What I like about Cradle is that it allows me to assist startups in their early stages. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, my husband is an entrepreneur, and I believe entrepreneurs will drive economic growth. 

“Being in this position provides a great deal of satisfaction, I have the ability to make a difference and assist startups in their growth. I don’t have any personal investments in any startups. For me, it’s about creating an ecosystem that allows more startups to thrive.

“I am also fortunate to work with a dedicated group of people who share the same values and goals. They support me despite the fact that the team works too hard with little personal interest,” she says.

Prejudice Against Women

Rafiza believes that today’s prejudices against women could be a problem but today, being a woman is no longer an issue.

That is because many women are pioneering industries and are at the forefront. The question is whether we have the courage to take what it takes and face it.

“I believe we’ve reached a point where we’re seeing a lot of successful women, regardless of their gender, who have either had a head start or faced challenges in their line of work,” she says.

She understand her position, many young people came to her for advice to be leading women and she remind them to get done and to never think of her just because she’s a woman rather think about what it takes to be in her position.

“Many young people have approached me for advice, and I always tell them, first and foremost, never think that I am up here because I am a woman. Then you’ve already established that you lack confidence.

“Instead, is it because I’m a woman that I’m asking? Better yet, ask yourself, what can I do to ensure that I get this job? Perhaps I should network more, make myself more visible, and be more assertive.

“At the end of the day, you have to be your true self. Don’t pretend to be a man,” she says.

Failures Maketh Man

She says that it’s not about being a strong woman, it’s about understanding the priority in solving the issue, remaining focused and don’t let things get into the head.

“It’s not because I’m a strong woman, as I’ve been told many times. You don’t let a lot of things bother you mentally and concentrate solely on resolving the issue. Things that I learn from failures it just how well you prepare yourself to face these challenges and not let them affect you too much.

“It isn’t easy. When you’re faced with a lot of challenges, keep going, consider it a lesson learned, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

“People fail all the time. Many successful people fail on a regular basis. You know, just because we fail doesn’t mean we’ve failed in some way; on the contrary, failing means we’ve dared to try.”

“Cradle’s mission is to provide more than just grants; it is to provide all of this capacity-building support in order to help the startup ecosystem become as trendy as possible with the fewest challenges so that entrepreneurs can address the real problem,” she concludes.

Iffah Salleh contributed to the article

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