At 39 years old, Mohd Adhari Belal Din was appointed as the Assistant Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). In his current capacity, Mohd Adhari helms the Strategic Human Capital, Strategic Management, Human Capital Development Centre and IT Services Departments.
Prior to that, he was the Director of the Strategic Human Capital Department as well as Strategic and Risk Management Department. Before joining the central bank, the Bachelor of Arts degree holder in psychology and organisational studies from the University of Michigan was a Managing Consultant with Hay Group Sdn Bhd.
Mohd Adhari, started out with change management at PwC prior to joining Hay Group.
Attributing his move to BNM to Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Mohd Adhari opines that Tan Sri Dr Zeti is the best talent manager he has ever known. “She has the knack to see other people’s potential and in drawing it out,” he says.
“The Bank has over the years been making long-term investment in leadership and talent management to continuously develop future leaders. In five to 10 years, our current crop of staff will emerge as better leaders,”
NO FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
On his own career path, Mohd Adhari candidly admits he has no fixed formula for success. While acknowledging that he doesn’t fit the typical mould of a central banker, he has assimilated well in the organisation. Mohd Adhari says, “I am good at juggling relationships between different stakeholders. I provide BNM a balanced perspective on growth for the people.”
He explains, “For me, it’s about bringing value to the central bank. I always ask myself: How can I bring value to the table? What is it that I can do that others can’t or what is it that I can do better than others? What are the things I can do better now than before? If I can’t accomplish either or both of those tasks, then it’s time for me to go”.
Affirming that his psychology background spurs him to ask the type of questions that don’t normally get asked, Mohd Adhari says, “I always believe your strengths need to be relative to the set expectations of your employer and those expectations are constantly changing. I’ve this thirst to fill up whatever gaps that exist and continue to add value to those who work around me”.
“I’m willing to admit I don’t know everything. But I will push myself to find answers to those things I don’t know. I’d go to different sources and use all the ways and means necessary to find what I want to know.” It may be perceived as an unconventional way of doing things.
TALENT FOR THE CENTRAL BANK
According to Mohd Adhari, “I choose people based on their strengths, in finding the right match for us each time. I recruit candidates based on them fulfilling the right value system. Regulatory work is not everyone’s cup of tea.”
He himself affirms he didn’t expect to end up loving the work and the meaning of the work he does. “Somehow you become immersed with all the shared experiences. Even though the work is challenging, you still go all out to pull things off as professionals,” he says.
Mohd Adhari also said he has learned that commercial values may not necessarily work in regulatory settings. “Regulatory institutions may want to flatten the existing structure but check and balance have to be observed in order to achieve greater outcomes.”
“The Bank has over the years been making long-term investment in leadership and talent management to continuously develop future leaders. In five to 10 years, our current crop of staff will emerge as better leaders,” he says.
" I always believe your strengths need to be relative to the set expectations of your employer and those expectations are constantly changing."
HIS LIFE AND WORK PHILOSOPHY
Citing his 62-year-old mother as his moral compass, Mohd Adhari holds his mother’s mantra to “always say ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’, and mean those words well” as his philosophy for work and life. “It matters a great deal to me what my mother thinks of my work and I strive to live by the same values she instils in me.”
In his spare time, Mohd Adhari dives, caves, hikes and cycles. While he often goes hiking, wall-climbing and caving, he reveals that diving is a more recent sport which he enjoys tremendously. His passion for outdoor sports has somewhat become an avenue for him to bridge between the Gen X and Y in the bank.