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Long-time perspective June 19, 2006

Posted by humairah in Definitions & References.

"The amount of time that you take into consideration when planning your day-to-day activities, and when making important decisions in your life"

In 1974, sociologist Dr. Edward Banfield of Harvard University wrote a book entitled, “The Unheavenly City.” He described one of the most profound studies on success and priority setting ever conducted. Banfield’s goal was to find out how and why some people became financially independent during the course of their working lifetimes.

He started off convinced that the answer to this question would be found in factors such as family background, education, intelligence, influential contacts, or some other concrete factor. What he finally discovered was that the major reason for success in life was a particular attitude of mind. Banfield called this attitude “long time perspective.” Time perspective referred to how far you projected into the future when you decided what you were going to do or not do in the present. He said that men and women who were the most successful in life and the most likely to move up economically were those who took the future into consideration with every decision they made in the present.

He found that the longer the period of time a person took into consideration while planning and acting, the more likely it was that he/she would achieve greatly. The essential key to success in setting priorities is having a long time perspective. You can tell how important something is today by measuring its potential future impact on your life. For example, if you come home from work at night and choose to play with your children or spend time with your spouse, rather than watch TV or read the paper, you have a long time perspective. You know that investing time in the health and happiness of your children and your spouse is a very valuable, high-priority use of time. Thus, the key word to keep in mind when you’re setting priorities is sacrifice. Setting priorities usually requires sacrificing present enjoyment for future enjoyment. It requires giving up a short-term pleasure in the present in order to enjoy a far greater and more substantial pleasure in the future.

Another example of a long time perspective is the common habit of upper class families in England to register their children at Oxford or Cambridge as soon as the children are born, even though the youngsters will not be attending for 18 or 19 years. This long-term thinking is what causes parents to open savings accounts for their young children to assure that they will be able to attend good colleges when they graduate from high school. Having and planning for the future is long time perspective in action. The young couple who begins putting $50 a month aside in an education fund so that their newborn child can go to the college or university of his or her choice is a couple with long time perspective. They are willing to sacrifice in the short term to assure better results and outcomes in the long term. People with long time perspectives almost invariably move up economically in the course of their lifetimes.


The Current Problem of Leadership June 14, 2006

Posted by humairah in General.

I really liked this article by Abu Bakr Karolia, written about 4 years ago. This simple article explains the leadership problem in the Ummah today, and urges Muslims to rise up to the challenge. Hope you find it a good read too!

The Current Problematic of Leadership


AbuBakr Karolia

South Africa, March, 2002

In the modern era the institution of leadership is symbolized as the speculation of power and the capacity to manage and control the desires and emotions of mankind. Another explanation of leadership is to be a leader of a country or group that upholds the scope of power of an ideology or a way of life.

This ideology reflects a particular way of life in the current debate e.g. in the linear contemporary politics, the world is controlled by economic principles and wealth accumulation.

This particular ideology subtlety controls through economic power and political systems, which are designed to be seen as fair and just. Developed wealthy countries exert influence through the control of world markets and vast sums of financial capital movement. Minds are controlled through usurious economic systems, which perpetuate the concerns and oppression of ordinary people making a living.

The control of capital resources manipulates humanity through the modern free markets and purchase of cheap labor and ultimately political power. This cheap labor is the engine of the world, which is nourished by the vast sums of capital made available by the developed wealthier countries. This modern definition of leadership is broadly accepted as sophisticated tyranny but majority of mankind is unable to recognize this subtle oppression. Because it looks goods it is deceptive and you do not see the dragon that is about to pounce.

This process of material acquirement and consumerism becomes a way of life. This way of life is responsible for the protection of many ideas as nationalism, liberalism, democracy and free markets. This way of life due to its unjust individualism propounds characteristics of anxiety, depression, hatred, racism, and ethnic cleansing, class and gender inequality. This material way of life is to protect the accumulation of wealth, material goods and economic power.

In the context of a modern democratic dispensation the leadership maintains a stable government and must show open responsibility to a certain world opinion. Those that lead these forums e.g. the World Economic Forum (WEF) advocate the theory of stable and responsible government. These developing poorer countries are expected to be subservient to the economic world order, which then ensures possible access to resources and technology by developed wealthier countries.

Availability of technology and global resources are not for the benefit of the world but for an elite few. This is the modern leadership, the leadership of neo-colonialism, which ensures and upholds that the wealthy countries reap the benefit of their systems and schemes at work. Those countries that are independent or say things that do not suit the agenda of these schemes will be attacked through the propaganda of the media or brought to the knees through the currency markets. These people are generally not concerned about the alleviation of poverty, ignorance and disease. They are interested in protecting their way of life and if you are not with them then they are against you.

A further definition of world leadership is through globalization and capitalism the ‘mother’ of wealth creation, material accumulation and power.


Through the concept of globalization the power of control and leadership are nourished for the benefit of corporations and multinationals. Globalization is the birth child of colonialism and imperialism. Through this process the G8 countries with the help of the techno-usurious monetary system, banking institution such as the World Bank and the IMF has gripped the world economy and humanity, which has resulted in bewilderment, poverty and uncertainty.

Let us consider the Muslim world: Currently there are 56 countries, members of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). These countries are loosely linked and many of them do not officially accept Islam as their state religion. These countries do not cohesively pose a threat to other civilization or can be classified as developed. Almost all are lagging behind in knowledge, technological advancement and skills including effective and just governments.

Muslims make up over 1.2 billion of the world population who are divided by many of their own loyalties and difference of interpretation of Islam. The principle of Unity is in shock where Muslims are to busy fighting each other and therefore the commitment to their faith is apparently suffering. Poverty, ignorance and instability have become a common feature in the Muslim world that is dependent on the process of globalization, as instituted by the G8 countries. Affective visions and strategy for advancement is elusive and Muslim leadership grapple with critical thinking and in the lap of apathy and comfort. The issues of social justice and brotherhood are murdered in the echelons of corruption and dictatorships.

Many of these rulers have become lap dogs waiting to be thrown a few tits bits in this worldview of wealthy and militaristically powerful nations. Most of these leaders and rulers in the Muslim lands have not been democratically chosen at the ballot box. (more…)

Accepting criticism June 13, 2006

Posted by humairah in Expression.

"O people! You have selected me as your leader although I am not the best among you. If I do right support me; if I am wrong set me right. Obey me as I obey God and His Messenger. If I go against the injunction of God and His Prophet, then no obedience is due from you."

The first Caliph Abu Bakr in his famous inaugural speech

Synergy- Why do geese fly in a V formation? June 10, 2006

Posted by humairah in General, Laws of nature, Management.

As the geese take flight from the Canadian shoreline, they lift off from the water in squawking discourse. Yet, in a matter of seconds, a line begins to emerge from the mass of brown feathers. This line straightens, arches slightly, and then, as on cue, bends sharply to form a perfect V shape. Canada geese fly in V formation for a very pragmatic reason: a flock of geese flying in formation can move faster and maintain flight longer than any one goose flying alone. Synergy is a law of nature.

What is synergy? How does it relate to leadership?

We have a lot to learn from these geese.

  • By flying in "V " formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
    =>People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
  • Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
    =>If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are heading in the same as we are.
  • When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
    => It pays to take turns doing hard jobs, with people or with flying geese.
  • These geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. 
    => We need to be careful what we say when we honk from behind.
  • Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation until they catch up with their group. 
    => If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other, protect one another and sometimes make new friends who seem to be going in our direction.

Synergy is best explained as, 'One plus one equals more than two'. Today's world requires a critical mass of transformational leaders who will commit to creating a synergy of energy within their circle of influence so new level of social, economic, organizational and spiritual success can be reached. Synergy helps you realise the value of others, and secondly, encourages you to find the right people. Synergy is a dynamic form of leverage. Avoid using it, and end up working four times as hard for half the results. Use it and watch the results expand exponentially!

In an upcoming article, I will talk about the 7 principles of transformational leadership.

Personal Ownership is Freedom June 6, 2006

Posted by humairah in Expression.
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Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie
Which we ascribe to heaven; the fated sky
Gives us free scope; and only backward pulls
Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.

How much I could do if I only tried.


Kids can Free the Children- Leadership Quiz June 6, 2006

Posted by humairah in Activities, For Children.
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Many times, simplicity is the key. Instead of reading books upon books, attending skills development workshops, talking to mentors and what not, a simple self-evaluation can go a long way in helping you realise what you need to improve on. Once you've identified it, the 'how' just follows.

Kids can Free the Children is an organisation that I believe every kid should be a part of. Started by Marc and Craig Kielburger at the age of 12 back in 1995 with their school friends, and today it has grown to an organisation that has done incredible things.

In Toronto, the 'Adopt a Village' advertisement all over the TTC subway stations and on TV is quite impressive, and this is one of their programs. 

Today, Marc is a Harvard grad and Rhodes Scholar with a law degree from Oxford University and Craig is a Peace and Conflict Studies student at the University of Toronto.

FTC proves that kids can achieve wonderful feats if they are driven by their energy, passion, dedication and complete integrity. And these are the principles that all the volunteers, staff and founders of this organisation are committed to, to this day. Their leadership skills, combined with others have led them to help many children around the world live better lives. What could be a better thing to do?

Take this simple leadership quiz online.

> FTC Leadership Quiz

The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith June 3, 2006

Posted by humairah in General.
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Dean Smith coached basketball @ the University of North Carolina for 36 years, willing a major-college record of 879 games as well as the admiration, friendship, and respect of his players, and peers.

David Chadwick, one of his students, wrote a book, 'The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith' selecting the core values of Dean Smith and answering the 'how' he did it in 'it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game".

David Chadwick is currently a pastor in a large church, and he draws examples from the experiences of many famous basketball players and coaches.

I will go over each of these principles in separate posts. Definitely the most important values in a leader are the most basic ones, such as honesty, integrity, responsibility and so on, and writing about them in the light of basketball should help exemplify their practical aspect.

Unfortunately though, I haven't learnt much about basketball through this book!

Make your life extraordinary June 1, 2006

Posted by humairah in Expression.

"Most of us will never do great things. But we can do small things in a great way"

Maren Mouritsen, Educator

Goals in Action June 1, 2006

Posted by humairah in Expression.
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"Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, the hand of man can achieve."

Napolean Hill

Turning weaknesses into strengths June 1, 2006

Posted by humairah in Expression.
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The tree that never had to fight

For sun and sky and air and light,

But stood out in the open rain

And always got its share and rain,

Never became a forest king

But lived and died a scrubby thing…

Good timber does not grow with ease,

The stronger wind, the stronger trees.

Douglas Malloch