Leadership is one of the most observed & leastLeadership is one of the most observed & least
understood phenomena.understood phenomena.
No social and organizational topic has been
explored more obsessively than leadership.
No behavior in the workplace has been more
analyzed, parsed, or dissected than leadership.
No role has had more expectations heaped upon
No failure earns more heated opprobrium than a
WOW !WOW !
Most of this variation stems from the fact thatMost of this variation stems from the fact that
leadership is a complex phenomenon involvingleadership is a complex phenomenon involving
the leader, the followers, and the situation.the leader, the followers, and the situation.
In spite of moreIn spite of more
than 350than 350
definitions fordefinitions for
“Leadership” in“Leadership” in
the literature,the literature,
one basicone basic
essence prevailsessence prevails
in all of them,in all of them,
Lead actually stems from an Old EnglishLead actually stems from an Old English
word and means to “go, travel or guide”.word and means to “go, travel or guide”.
“Leadership is the
directive force of
morale. Munson, 1921
“Leadership is the art of imposing one’s will upon
others, in such a manner as to command their
obedience, their confidence, their respect, and
their loyal cooperation.”
United States Military Academy, 1925
Leadership is the process by which a
person exerts influence over other people
and inspires, motivates and directs their
activities to help achieve group,
organizational, and national goals.
Leadership is the ability to influence other
people, with or without authority. Peter DeLisle
“The essence of leadership is not giving things
or even providing visions. It is offering oneself
and one’s spirit” Bolman & Deal, 2001
The only definition of a leader is someone who has
followers. Peter Drucker2
“Teaching and leading are
distinguishable occupations, but
every great leader is clearly teaching
-- and every great teacher is leading.”
Leading people means:Leading people means:
Leadership has a broad impact.
Machiavelli in The PrinceMachiavelli in The Prince
(1514): “It must be realized(1514): “It must be realized
that there is nothing morethat there is nothing more
difficult to plan, moredifficult to plan, more
uncertain of success, or moreuncertain of success, or more
dangerous to manage than thedangerous to manage than the
establishment of a new orderestablishment of a new order
of things…”of things…”
““LEADERSHIP IS THE ONLYLEADERSHIP IS THE ONLY
THING THAT DIFFERENTIATESTHING THAT DIFFERENTIATES
SOCIETIES ANDSOCIETIES AND
ORGANISATIONS FROM EACHORGANISATIONS FROM EACH
OTHER OVER THE LONG TERM”.OTHER OVER THE LONG TERM”.
““EVERYTHING RISES AND FALLSEVERYTHING RISES AND FALLS
ON LEADERSHIP”ON LEADERSHIP”
“The only safe
ship in a storm
Imam Ali (PBUH) - 600-661 AD is the most distinguishedImam Ali (PBUH) - 600-661 AD is the most distinguished
personality of Islam after Prophet Muhammad, peace andpersonality of Islam after Prophet Muhammad, peace and
blessings be on him. He was a great companion to the Prophet ofblessings be on him. He was a great companion to the Prophet of
Islam (PBUH) and dedicated himself to the advancement of Islam.Islam (PBUH) and dedicated himself to the advancement of Islam.
His entire life was devoted to righteousness and justice. He was aHis entire life was devoted to righteousness and justice. He was a
great judge, a great philanthropist and the most pious person ofgreat judge, a great philanthropist and the most pious person of
his time. Much has been written and continues to be written abouthis time. Much has been written and continues to be written about
the life, character and attributes of Imam Ali.the life, character and attributes of Imam Ali.
Although Imam Ali(PBUH) was born in Arabia, his
personality is not confined to the Muslim world.
Rather he is a universal source of wisdom,
knowledge, faithfulness, inspiration, visioning,
justice, and eloquence.
The Book of Imam Ali - Nahj-ul-Balagha
The importance of the Nahj-ul-BalaghaThe importance of the Nahj-ul-Balagha
lies in two dimensions:lies in two dimensions:
1-It speaks about the fundamentals of Islam
such as God, prophet hood, the human being,
Islamic views of humanity, and many other
aspects of Islamic Ideology.
2-It refers broadly to the social issues in
general, morality, social rights, duties of
government, problems of hypocrites, etc.
Accordingly, this book can be a source of
inspiration and prosperous living for us today.
Rule with Honesty, Fairness, and
Imam Ali (PBUH) in his period of government (Khalifate) displayed aImam Ali (PBUH) in his period of government (Khalifate) displayed a
leadership model based on social justice and real acknowledgementleadership model based on social justice and real acknowledgement
of human rights.of human rights.
Set of instructions
In his government, Imam Ali (PBUH) appointed one of hisIn his government, Imam Ali (PBUH) appointed one of his
faithful disciples as the ruler of Egypt, Maalik al-Ashtar, whofaithful disciples as the ruler of Egypt, Maalik al-Ashtar, who
was a famous companion to Imam and was specially taught thewas a famous companion to Imam and was specially taught the
principles of administration and jurisprudence by Imam.principles of administration and jurisprudence by Imam.
The following instructions in the form of a letter (letter 53 ofThe following instructions in the form of a letter (letter 53 of
Nahj-ul-Balagha) were written to him by Imam Ali when he leftNahj-ul-Balagha) were written to him by Imam Ali when he left
for Egypt. The letter is a comprehensive set of political, social,for Egypt. The letter is a comprehensive set of political, social,
economic and moral instructions for a governor to rule witheconomic and moral instructions for a governor to rule with
honesty, fairness, and equality.honesty, fairness, and equality.
As was demonstrated leadership is a very importantAs was demonstrated leadership is a very important
factor in the dynamics of family, organization andfactor in the dynamics of family, organization and
society. It deeply influences the micro and macrosociety. It deeply influences the micro and macro
environments. In all levels it has a significant impact onenvironments. In all levels it has a significant impact on
the final outcomes and extensively shapes the future ofthe final outcomes and extensively shapes the future of
the individual as well as the community. For this reasonthe individual as well as the community. For this reason
the pre-qualifications of taking the leadership roles arethe pre-qualifications of taking the leadership roles are
of great importance and should not be compromisedof great importance and should not be compromised
under any conditions. The most basic requirement inunder any conditions. The most basic requirement in
this regard is honesty, being ethical and just in day-to-this regard is honesty, being ethical and just in day-to-
day behavior and acting decently based on establishedday behavior and acting decently based on established
principles towards the people in spite of being inprinciples towards the people in spite of being in
“power”. That’s why as we will see in the next chapter“power”. That’s why as we will see in the next chapter
this platform has been emphasized by a leadershipthis platform has been emphasized by a leadership
master, Imam Ali.master, Imam Ali.
The beginning of letter 53 points out aThe beginning of letter 53 points out a
very basic platform as a standard forvery basic platform as a standard for
everyone who wants to take leadershipeveryone who wants to take leadership
roles. This platform includes all theroles. This platform includes all the
leadership essential prerequisites andleadership essential prerequisites and
will be covered in this chapter.will be covered in this chapter.
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE
BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
These are the orders issued by the creature of Allah, Ali, the
son of Abu Taalib to Maalik, the son of Ashtar when he
appointed Maalik as the Governor of Egypt to collect Zakat
(alms) - is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based
on accumulated wealth- there, to combat the enemies of
Islam and Egypt, to work for the welfare of its people and to
look after its prosperity.
Letter 53 of Nahj-ul-Balagha
I order you, Maalik, always to keep the fear of God in your
mind, to give priority to His worship and to give preference to
obeying His Commands over every other thing in life, to
carefully and faithfully follow the commandments and
interdictions as are given by the Holy Book and the traditions
of the Holy Prophet (s) because the success of a man to attain
happiness in this world and in the next depends upon these
qualities, and a failure to achieve these attributes brings
about total failure in both the worlds.
Conform to God
I order you to use your head, heart, hands and tongue to help
the people of Allah because the Almighty God holds Himself
responsible to help those who sincerely try their best to help
Love the People
Allah has further ordered you to keep your desires under
control, to keep yourself under restraint when excessive and
unreasonable yearnings and cravings try to drive you towards
vice and wickedness. Your inner 'self' tries to incite and drag
you towards disgrace and infamy unless the Merciful Lord
comes to your help.
Control Your Desires and Wishes
Let it be known to you, Maalik, that I am sending you as a
governor to a country which has seen many rulers before you.
Some of them were compassionate, sympathetic and good,
while others were tyrannical, oppressive and cruel. People
will judge your government as critically as you have judged
the activities of other regimes and they will criticize you in the
same way as you have rejected or approved other rulers.
Judge the Prior Rulers Fairly
Make your mind the source and fountain-head of good
thoughts, good intentions and good deeds. This can only be
attained by keeping a strict control on your desires and
yearnings, however much they may try to incite and coerce
you. Remember that the best way to do justice to your inner
self and to keep it out of harm is to restrain it from vice and
from things which the 'self' inordinately and irrationally desires
Keep Away from Evils
Maalik! You must create in your mind kindness, compassion
and love for your subordinates. Do not behave towards them
as if you are a insatiable and greedy beast and as if your
success lies in demolishing them