KUALA LUMPUR: What are Royal Professor Ungku Abdul Aziz's secrets to success? One of them is to read nine books. This includes Harvey Diamond's Fit for Life, Not Fat for Life, Edward De Bono's Thinking Course, Tony Buzan's Mind Map, Head First and The 36 Strategies of the Chinese: Adapting An Ancient Chinese Wisdom to the Business World by Wee Chow Hou and Lan Luh Luh.
Others are Jim Collins' Level 5 Leadership, Sun Tzu's Art of War, Nicollo Machiavelli's The Prince on the Art of Power and Leader's Window by J.D.W. Beck and N.M Yeager.
The 87-year-old voracious reader said the books provide an insight on how to be good and successful leaders.
Citing an example, he said Edward De Bono's Thinking Course promotes lateral thinking. "The book teaches you to think differently," he said in his lecture "Quest For Success" as part of the Merdeka Award Lecture Series. He was a recipient of the award last year, in the education and community category.
Ungku Aziz said a good leader would have intelligence, credibility, humility, courage, and discipline.
He also said a good leader would be able to spot opportunities during crisis.
"Every crisis opens up opportunities," he said.
Later, when taking questions from the floor, Ungku Aziz said successful people were those who had resolve because their minds were strong and were resolute in reaching their goals.
"At the same time, humility is important, too.
"I'm happiest when I go to a kampung and people tell me 'you macam itu universiti punya' (you look like the person from the university)," he said to laughter from the floor.