Mar 10, 2011

The Leadership of Muhammad

(by John Adair, Kogan Page, 2010)

Let's start with some definitions from the book.

Person's characteristics or expected function

Role model :
A person who is regarded by others as an outstandingly good example of particular role.

... and see how Islam sees a leader

For Muslims, the first and original leader is Allah and all are bound by their faith to Allah.

Model Leaders in Islamic perspective:
1. A Muslim (seorang muslim)
2. Exalted (agung, mulia)
3. Humble (sederhana, rendah hati)
4. Capable of vision and inspiration (punya visi dan menginspirasi)
5. Dedicated to the service of people (melayani rakyat)

On a journey, the lord of the people is their servant
(the book mentioned this is the hadith of Rasulullah pbuh though I have not found the originator or the sanad of this hadith anywhere).

Universal or generic role of leader
(three interactive circles)
1. Achieve the common task
2. Hold a group together as a unity
3. Meet the individual needs

How to achieve that ?

  1. Exemplify or personify qualities expected, required, and admired in the group
    (shared the group vision and values)
    --> As you are like, so will your rulers be

  2. Acquire generic qualities of leadership
    (enthusiasm, integrity, firmness and fairness, resilience, humanity and humility)

  3. Be a skilfull shepherd.
    • Master the Skills
      (appropriate qualities and knowledge, experience, knowing the politics, tradition, negotiation method, etc)
    • Know the business well
      (preparation, threat, responsibility, liability)
    • Willingness to sacrifice

Lesson Learned

Sesungguhnya telah ada pada (diri) Rasulullah itu suri teladan yang baik bagimu (yaitu) bagi orang yang mengharap (rahmat) Allah dan (kedatangan) hari kiamat dan dia banyak menyebut Allah (Al Ahzab 21)

  1. Unity of command.
    • Where shepherds are lost, sheep are lost
    • Seven shepherds, no flock

  2. Integrity
    • Implies trustworthiness, to a degree that one is incapable of being false to a trust, pledge, or responsibility - in a small matters as well as great ones.
    • It is more than honesty i.e refusal to lie, cheat, steal in anyway.
    • Trust is vital in human relationship
    • It is counterpart of Tauhid.

  3. Humility
    A humble person knows their limitation hence he is not unwilling to heed advice, even when it is unsolicited, or to ask for and accept help.

  4. True leader serves those whom he/she leads both as a group and also as a set of individuals.
    • The clan is always greater than the chief.
    • Sharing the labours, dangers, and hardships.
    • The leader identifies, nurtures, draws out and channels the greatness of his members.
    • The good leader treats team members as leaders in their own right.
      --> The leader of leaders.

  5. Keep Learning
    You are not born a leader, you become one. Never too late to learn, sooner the better. A leader becomes wise - acquires practical wisdom through natural aptitude, practice, and reflection.

  6. Have phronesis (practical wisdom)
    Wise decision and act upon them. This word comes from Greeks, can be interpreted as knowing the right thing to do at the right time/place in the right way.

  7. Reciprocity is a law in all personal or social relations (love, inspiration). What you give as a leader will be what you tend to receive.

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