Arsalan Shahid

What does it take to be a leader?

My dear reader, how are you? السلام عليكم

The leader of a people is their servant — Shah Waliullah Dehlawi

Taking half an hour of my day out to reflect on leadership and employ some words to articulate my thoughts.

Leadership is a concept that should not be lesser known to any of us. After all, 4.8 billion leadership books are written each year. And many of those books ultimately become best sellers.

Economics 101 says demand drives supply. A programmatic causation analysis can help us conclude that ‘leadership’ is a trait in great demand.

With the ground laid up, let me make a calculated claim followed by a fact,

Claim: Human race is severely lacking good leaders.

Fact: No one is a born leader. It is an acquired trait.

A number of colleagues and loved ones have been asking about my perspective on leadership. I ask myself the same and my inner self says, being a leader is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice. A choice to willingly choose to sacrifice, practice kindness, peace, love, compassion, and take responsibility.

It is a choice to:

Let us make it clear. Leadership does not come from having authority. It demands the utmost sacrifice of yourself. It urges you to stay with the just cause when the world goes against you. It may also demand courage and patience to lose your loved ones and relatives.

Do you see any examples of such beings around you? I see very few now, but history tells me of many such examples.

They were Zoroaster, Confucius, Buddha, Krishna, Guru Nanak, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, …, and Muhammad SAW (Holy Prophet).

Did you ever notice a typical pattern in all of them? They had no worldly authority but were the best leaders. Their followers were inspired to follow them and not manipulated. They sacrificed the most in their lives but never compromised on their merits. They spread peace. They questioned themselves before others. They took responsibility.

Would you aspire to be a leader now?


I hope you find this post useful. If you find any errors or feel any need for improvement, let me know in the comments below.

Signing off for today. Stay tuned! Happy learning.

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