Want to be a leader?
June 25 2020 12:57 AM
Hala Bader al-Humaidhi
Hala Bader al-Humaidhi

By Hala Bader al-Humaidhi

Leadership requires a lot of effort. There have been many theories about it and how to be a better leader in every situation. John Maxwell gave the theory about the “#’Five levels of leadership’. Learning about these five steps in the light of principles of Islamic Caliphs and ways of Islamic leadership can allow one to better comprehend leadership. The five levels are:
1. Position
2. Permission
3. Production
4. People Development
5. Pinnacle

When one has been given a position, he/she has to be approachable and should make an effort to co-operate with their employees or underlings. Muslim scholar, Ibn-e-Khaldun wrote, “Leadership is an outcome of the interaction between different social groups.” After the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Caliph of time would always have a group of intelligent and honorable people near him, who would help him to come up with the perfect decision. Maxwell’s level of positions demands the following:
1. A leader should empathise with subordinates to show them that he/she cares.
2. Commend good work to bring forth motivation.
3. Give and take feedback for the betterment of the results.
4. Take care of the communication of information, so that team members can operate successfully.

The next stage of leadership is permission. It means that now people want to follow you because of their own free volition and not because they have to. To get the support of your subordinates, you have to be careful while making a decision. Make sure to:
1. Implementing work will have positive effects on the people with whom you are working.
2. Treat employees without any sort of racial or gender discrimination
3. Always hold people accountable for their mistakes.
4. Give support to your team members.
An example of a good leader can be derived from the quote of Caliph Umar, “Even if a goat was lost in the Euphrates, Umar would be accountable for it in the day of judgment.”

This level of leadership is achieved when people start to follow you for the results of your previous efforts and the progress in quality (of institution or organisation) during your charge. When you reach this level, you have to make certain improvements in your skills to bring consistency and better communication in your field. The qualities of a production leader are:
1. Finding versatile ways to improve the connections necessary for employees to feel engaged.
2. Paying attention to the demands of the underlings and give appropriate directions.
3. Inputs from fellow workers is important.
4. Every person should be well-trained according to the type of field they are involved in.
5. Being mercurial according to the latest trends in technology and development.
During the reign of Caliphs, every person was given the job according to their skills. The literate ones were given the duty of educating more people. Good horse riders were given the responsibility to spread news and give messages in faraway lands. Smart and pious people were given the role of leaders in their respective state organs.

People Development:
This phase is unlocked once people start to follow you because of the amelioration you have brought in their skills, personality, and career. They realise that listening to you will only result in a further rise in their potential as employees. To reach this stage, there are important things that one should do
1. One should be honest, consistent, and easy to talk with. 
2. Just decision-maker.
3. Ready to tackle any issue within one’s team.
4. Helping current and even former employees whenever they need help.
5. Be a good mentor to many people
6. Brilliant at communicating the roles of employees along with the expected results.

Caliphs were the first to establish a special department for the investigation of complaints against the officers of state. Similarly, they formed the independent judiciary and declared it to be a sovereign state organ with its power. No one was above the law, not even the Caliph himself.

Leaders residing in this phase are not only mentoring other employees but are also able to help others reach the people’s development stage. They improve the prominence of their organisation, giving important roles to the most honourable and talented men, and finding new talents along the way. Pinnacle leaders:
1. Raise productivity and make the team and department successful.
2. Create an environment of justice and competitiveness that helps every member to contribute towards the success of the organisation.
3. Treat all members with respect.
4. Manifest integrity, keep their vows, promises, and behave in ethical ways.
5. Trust the supervisors and let them make independent decisions.
6. Lead people that have creative ideas and get better results.

The best way to climb through these ranks is to consistently study, improve, and learn new managerial skills. While learning these skills are important, one also has to be honest and strict with his employees as well as with himself, so that there are no injustices in the buildup!

* The author is a consultant in Public Relations and Personality Types. Instagram: @Tipsbyhalahill

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