There is a belief among a large number of Muslim organizations that they are very successful and are on the path to change the world. From my perspective of having been in the area of global leadership development and my experience of working with major name international corporate leadership universities, I thought it would be a good idea to share a checklist that the top leadership of Muslim organizations can use to check how their perception syncs with reality.
Leadership is like physics – it operates on the basis of universal laws which work for everyone irrespective of their religious affiliation. Like gravity it operates on everyone who is in free fall within its range. The difference between free fall and flight is in the landing. So it is good to see if you are flying or falling, before you meet Mother Earth.
I want to begin with a quote from Paulo Coelho which says it all:
If you want to be successful you must respect one rule: Never lie to yourself.
Keeping that in mind always let’s go forward:
1. What’s the vision of your organization?
2. What’s the strategy to achieve the vision?
3. What’s the proof of concept that the strategy works?
4. What does your experience since inception show? Give data, not opinion.
5. What are the qualifications of your role holders?
6. How do they compare with role holders in benchmark organizations?
7. Who do you benchmark against and why?
8. What are your organizational values?
9. What are the operative definitions of these values?
10. What are the metrics to show that your values are operating and at what efficiency?
11. What happens to those role holders who don’t practice those values?
Shortest way to extinction: Have values without metrics.
You’ll even feel noble as you expire.
12. How do you place yourself in terms of your influence nationally and globally? Give evidence, not opinion.
13. Which national and international bodies seek your opinion or consult with you about Muslim matters? Give names and dates.
14. Do you have a Think Tank? Who are its members and what are their qualifications?
15. Who is your media representative and what’re his/her qualifications?
16. What’s the role of women in your organization?
17. How many women are members of your national and regional management?
18. What are their roles and qualifications?
19. Can a woman become the head of your organization? If not, why not?
20. What is your relationship on a daily basis (not token participation in public meetings) with other Muslim organizations, especially those who differ from you in dogma?
21. What are your metrics to support your claim?
22. What differentiates your organization from the others?
23. What is your strategy with regards to collaboration with other Muslims Organizations?Differentiate between actual grass root implementation and tokenism.
24. What percentage of your activities translate to your goal? What are the metrics?
25. How do you know that the organization is not in an activity trap? What is the year wise data?
Bad decisions made with good intentions are still bad decisions.
James C. Collins, Good to Great:
My dear brother
It’s not my intention to cause you pain by sending these things. Maybe I shouldn’t share them with you. This is just my cry of anguish for the pain of others.
A pain that can be alleviated if the silent majority of good people in countries that claim to be democratic stop being silent. You believe you’re country is free and supports free speech? Then maybe it’s time to test that assumption and speak out and tell Europe and America to stop telling lies and stop invading other’s lands and stop selling arms and trading in death.That’s the ugly truth.
Iraq didn’t invade America or Europe but both invaded Iraq. The result is there for us all to see. The issues are ugly. If I name them you’ll get angry. So I won’t. But you know them as well as I do.
The fact is that it’s the silent majority who are not child killers but who sit silently while children are killed because those children are not their own, who are responsible. Their taxes are paying the killers salaries, buying the equipment, the ammunition and making the makers of those weapons and their sellers very rich. Those silent people are working in the weapons factories and taking salaries and bonuses for good work. What do they think those weapons are being made for? To drop ice cream on the children? Just because they call it cutting grass, it’s not like mowing the lawn. An entire generation is being cynically and deliberately destroyed.
Ask that silent majority to exchange places with those people, Palestinian, Syrian, Afghan and others and see what it feels like. Grass cutting looks different when the grass is your child, believe me. Tell them,” If you don’t believe me, try it and see for yourself.”
Remember that the cries and tears of the helpless are not unanswered. The One who listens and sees, waits for those He gave the power, to make changes and stop oppression. But when they don’t, then His decision comes. And that is not pretty and can’t be stopped.
I sincerely hope that all the silent good people of Europe and America wake up and face the fact that if they’re doing it in their name and they remain silent then they’re endorsing the action and accepting responsibility.
Responsibility has consequences
The foundational principle of job analysis for the purpose of fixing salaries is that compensation is directly proportional to complexity. The more complex the job, the higher the compensation. Complexity itself is defined as ‘the cost of correcting a mistake’. The higher the cost of correcting a mistake, a bad judgment, the higher the salary for that job.
Complexity = High cost of correcting mistakes = Higher compensation
With this in mind, let us ask, ‘Which job is more complex? Whose job is costlier to correct? That of the LDC/UDC or the Police constable /HC? Whose mistakes are more costly to correct? Someone who checks or rechecks a file, or someone whose wrong decision can precipitate a riot or result in someone being killed?’
Our argument is not about how much the IAS (Secretariat Staff) get paid. Our argument has to do with the Police, be it the constable or his superiors, all the way to the top. We believe and state that the scales of pay that have been suggested by the Honorable Pay Commission have no relation to the degree of complexity of the job. We believe that this violates the basic foundational principle of compensation assessment.
More recently, the complexity of the policeman’s job in India has increased even more with the sharp increase in urban warfare, communal tensions, separatist movements (Assam), terrorism and Naxalism. Add to that cybercrime, industrial security and insurgency (Kashmir) and you have a mix the like of which does not exist anywhere else in the world. Needless to say, the job demands skills, dedication, integrity, judgment and patience of a very high order.
On the one hand the policeman needs to be decisive and assertive enough, not to hesitate to take the tough call. On the other hand he/she has to simultaneously have the courage, forbearance and communication ability to diffuse a volatile situation without anyone getting hurt. Naturally the cost of correction of mistakes by someone in such a job is extremely high especially because in some cases the mistakes made are not reversible. In such a situation, being ‘first time right’ is critical. This requires a high level of integrity, education and understanding, impeccable and intense training and complete dedication to the job.
Job is perhaps the wrong word to use in the case of the Police, whose work is really a covenant, more than a job. We define a ‘Covenant’ as follows:
“The Covenant is your purpose of existence. It is the reason you walk the earth. It is the need you fulfill a promise made to the nation and to yourself. It is the gap you will leave behind if you cease to exist. It is what you will be remembered for. The Covenant generates a sense of loyalty and binds all those who share in it. It invokes a sense of pride and belonging that transcends generations and holds its believers to a code of conduct that defines them. A Covenant is lived by, bequeathed to successors and the reason they will cry when you die.”
We don’t claim that salary is the only criterion that determines excellence. But it certainly is one of the primary hygiene factors that impact the heart and mind of the constable and the officer. Salary is not merely about making ends meet. It is an indicator of the worth that the job and by inference, the individual is held in, by its employer – in this case the GOI.
The famous seminal research on motivation called the Hertzberg’s Theory of Motivation ranks salary as one of the most important hygiene factors that impact motivation. Without a salary that is fair and equitable the incumbent feels less worthy and therefore is more likely to engage in activities that are not unquestionable. It is for this reason that policemen and women in developed countries like the UK and the USA are paid salaries that are not merely favorably comparable with other Civil Services but with the regular salary market.
Paying those whose responsibility it is to maintain law and order, fight crime and bring its perpetrators to book, instill confidence in the citizenry and in this pursuit, if required literally sacrifice their very lives, less than what we pay to a clerk working in an office is certainly not the best thing for the nation.
Routine both enables and destroys the opportunity to make real gains. That depends on what you choose to include in your routine. You make the choices. The routine does the rest. For many people they get into a routine which they believe will enable them to live the life of their dreams. That’s flawed thinking because living and dreaming are not two separate things.
What you live is and becomes your dream even if you hold something else in your mind, called , “Dream”. For such people by the time they get to where they feel they can now pursue their dream, they find that they’ve come to the end of the road. There’s no more life left to make the dream come true. They discover to their horror that they were in fact making a dream come true all those decades…someone else’s dream while they were waiting to get to the point where they could go after their own.
The time to go after your dream is now. Because now is all you have and all you’ll ever have. Now is all that anyone ever has.
Make the right choices because everything else depends on that. You’re free to choose but every choice has a price tag. Read the price tag carefully. It will have the name of what you’re choosing to give up on it. That’s the price of the choice you’re making. Every time you choose to do something, you’re choosing not to do something else. That’s the price of what you chose to do. Do read the tag and decide if you really want to pay that price.
Many people make choices without reading the price tag. Then complain that they didn’t have any other choice. But that’s not true. The price tag had the name of the other choice which they could have chosen instead if they’d read the tag. Life’s store doesn’t have a cash or checkout counter. The choices are remotely linked to your account and you pay as soon as you put the choice into your basket. So you pay as soon as you choose. Only, you may not feel the pinch right away.
But not to worry. You will. We all do. Some feel the pinch and it can hurt, sometimes very badly. Others feel the joy.
Once again the choice is ours to make
Thoughtshare as I look back on sixty years.
The picture is my name in Arabic calligraphy hand painted by the Imam of the Great Mosque in Xi’an
The Great Mosque of Xi’an ( Chinese: 西安大清真寺; pinyin: Xīān Dà Qīngzhēnsì ) is located near the Drum Tower on 30 Huajue Lane of Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China. The mosque covers 12,000 square meters.