Don’t lie to yourself

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:

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Jazak Allah Khayrun…the questions are indeed revelatory for any organisation wishing to explore its operations and functioning more deeply. Nevertheless, the questions in my view do not delve deeply enough into the machinations of the malaise sweeping 'our organisations'. In my humble opinion one must consider the classification in itself firstly, that is, what is the definition of a 'Muslim (or Islamic) organisation', how does one come to define an organisation as such, who sets the parameters for these definitions, why even perhaps do we, or they – the organisations themselves, classify organisations as Muslim or Islamic. My reasoning behind… Read more »

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