A Simple Thought – Friday, 19th February 2021

Leadership is hard, harder than I may think

Perhaps the biggest divide that exists, in my opinion, today is the one between leaders and their subjects. I find it much easier to make an opinion seated comfortably on my couch about the blameworthiness of a leader, My thoughts are naturally shaped in part by the relentless opinions of network channels that are pushing a certain agenda. On the other hand, I also find it pretty compelling to find fault in the electorate for their disdain following their inaction and over expectation. Then, I decide to evaluate based on my own environment of micro leadership, when it dawns upon me that this is no child’s play. If I do not have the courage in my heart – both to take hard actions and to suppress my sincerity on many occasions, if I do not have the knack of playing the sport of kingmakers, then I really have no business being in leadership. But wait a minute, how did leaders suddenly become strategists? Advanced leadership, you may shout out. But when I study the life of the glorious Imam Ali (AS), I do not see leadership equalling politicking, I see justice and fairness, ideals that we all hold dear… so long as it tilts towards our inclinations. There are many times when I feel absolutely apprehended by the thought that each moment of my life, I am leading someone or another, and when I fall short as an exemplar or overarch in pomposity, then I stand to be held accountable in His majesty for having caused a travesty of sorts. The codification of modern day leadership is best defined as a mature way of organising the affairs of an organisation, a state or a society grounded in the preamble understanding that the citizenry know less, and should indeed know less. Our leader gave us a very profound spectrum of leadership in which self was servitude to the rest. How I wonder at the greatness of this personality, whereas it seems completely impossible to keep a balance as such. I now know that it is not material to shovel blame, it is a question of understanding leadership from the perspective of the great son of Abu Talib, only then can sufficient sense begin to emerge, in the bigger picture.

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About the author

Mohamedarif is a marketing professional and educationalist with a penchant for writing as a hobby since childhood. As he experimented writing about sporting events at first and then current affairs, he quickly developed a skill for observation of his environment and began to write on reform topics, especially in connection with the community. To further feed his pursuit of writing, he founded several newsletters and bulletins at his school and at the Husayni Madrasah in the 1980's, all the time learning from others already in the field not just about writing, but also about pre-press and production processes. He was also the editor-in-chief of the Knowledge Magazine in 1995–1996. A decade later, importing a flurry of ideas into his new home, Nairobi, he first founded a two page community newspaper then became a regular writer of the Friday Faculty before establishing the Community on Friday, a fully fledged Madrasah magazine in 1996. And while his writing at the community continued, he simultaneously started writing for a business weekly, pairing in with his newfound role as a marketing professional. During his time in Nairobi, he wrote several speeches for sitting chairmen and presidents while also giving some himself, developing his concurrent role as a public speaker and trainer.

With changing times and a decrease in advertising sponsorship, as well as a fall in overall readership, Mohamedarif transformed this publication into an electronic blog. Thus was born the Community on Friday in its present format.

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