Leadership: What Is It and How to Deal with It? [Part Two]

Dec 18, 2010


What Is It and How to Deal with It?
[Part Two]

[Part One] | [Part Three]

Dr. Pasha

(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)



One Scenario

Consider a scenario.

For a group, organization, community, nation or society…

Things have stayed the same forever.

Things are not getting better.

Nothing moves.

Nothing works.

Nothing changes.

Nothing gets done.

There is confusion, chaos, apathy, indifference and inertia everywhere.


Another Scenario


Consider this other scenario.

For a group, organization, community, nation or society…

Things are going from bad to worse.

Every new day brings news that is worse than the previous day.

On the personal, social, organizational, economic, political, national and every other level.

Disaster follows disaster.

Each more grim, more tragic, more terrible, more deadly, more damaging and more devastating than the other.

The downhill slide never stops.

Rarely slows down.


Questions To Ask

If this is the case – and how often it is! – it is time for the group, organization, community, nation or people to ask some pointed questions.

Why is this happening?

Who is minding the store?

Who is responsible for this mess?

For this cavalcade of catastrophes and mishaps?

Disasters and defeats?

And tragedies?

And failures?

And miscalculations?

And errors?

Is there anyone accountable?

Anyone who will take responsibility?

Anyone who will not pass the buck, duck blame or hide behind lame excuses and rationalizations?

And behind glib talk?

Seeking to shut people up when they want to speak?

When people want to exercise their God-given right of asking questions.

Demanding answers.

And seeking truth.

And when people insist on exercising their right to know – that amazing gift that Islam gave to the world.

The right to know.

The right to ask questions.

Of anyone, by anyone.

Including God himself.

The way Abraham did, as the Qur’an narrates the event, when he asked God: “How do you make the dead come alive?”

God then said to Abraham: “Do you not believe?”

To which Abraham replied: “Yes, I do. But still, I want to know.”

Or the way, again as the Qur’an puts it, Moses implored God in the sacred valley: “God, please let me look at thee!”

The right to ask questions.

And the right to expect and receive answers.

A gift of ultimate and irreducible freedom and dignity – conferred by Islam on humans in general and on Muslims in particular.

Therefore, ask questions the group, organization, community, nation or people must.

And here are some questions that are worth asking.

And then there are more questions.

Questions such as why isn't anyone doing anything?

Where is the leadership?

Where has it been all this time?

What has it been doing?


What is the general track record of this leadership so far?

It is, therefore, now time to put the leadership to a serious test. The group, organization, community, nation or people must now ask some even more pointed questions.

Where did all the money go?

How did leadership utilize the resources that it had at its disposal?

Human resources as well as material and other resources?

Resources to which it secured access on behalf and in the name of its group, organization, community, nation or people.

Resources which it raised from and in the name of the group, the organization, the community, the nation, the people it purports to represent, serve and lead?

Resources that were placed at its disposal so willingly and so generously, and with so much trust, by its group, organization, community, nation or people?

Resources of which the leadership was meant to be a trustee, guardian, protector and custodian?

How did leadership account for those resources?

How did leadership allocate, budget, utilize and spend those resources?

What does leadership have to show for the resources it spent?

What is leadership’s explanation for the failures of the past?

And the predicament of the present?

And what are its plans for redeeming the future?

How were those plans developed?

With whose knowledge, help, advice, feedback, input and participation?

How and by whom were they tried, tested, simulated, analyzed, evaluated, debugged, modified?


Inept Leadership: Gadha Model

In situations like this, maybe it is time for the group, organization, community, nation or people to ask if the leadership is inept, incompetent, naive, negligent, lazy, inefficient, gullible and, plainly speaking, stupid and, therefore, unfit to lead.

That means the leadership does not understand what is going on.

It is incapable of sound analysis and judgment, penetrating vision and insight, and clear foresight.

It lacks sharpness, expertise, skills, energy and sophistication.

As a result, it makes mistakes and miscalculations, which prove to be deadly, disastrous, costly and tragic for the group, organization, community, nation or people such leadership purports to represent, serve and lead.

Time after time.

Day after day.

Case after case.

Situation after situation.

This clearly represents a naive, inept and incompetent type, style, approach, philosophy or model of leadership.

We can call this model of inept and incompetent leadership the Gadha Model of leadership.

Using a word from the Urdu language, which is a language of great culture and sophistication, allowing for irony, subtlety of expression and nuances of meaning, widely used in India and Pakistan, and around the world where Indo-Pak Muslims live.

Gadha in Urdu means a donkey. But socially, it also means foolish, inept.

“So-and-so is a Gadha” is a common expression among Urdu speaking people, meaning so-and-so is foolish, naïve and stupid.

Not unlike the English expression “Don’t be an ass!”

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