Insight from a Board Member: Pocket of Excellence

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Insight from a Board Member

We are pleased to announce a new series entitled Insight from a Board Member. Alhamdulillah we were able to reach out to a board member from a masjid that has successfully broken the mold of the typical operational models we find. This guest series is written by a current masjid board member and contains his personal reflections on trying to run a successful masjid. -Editorial Team 

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious Most Merciful, 

After serving our community for the past five years, I have come away with certain lessons. We have gone through our fair share of challenges, and we have been blessed with our fair share of success by Allah (swt). The next few essays are my personal opinion on what worked for us and what I suggest may work for you. Again, its just an opinion.

Any good that is from it is from Allah swt, and any defect in it is from my own shortcoming. Take that which is helpful.

Starting with the Pocket of Excellence (POE)

Step by step. This is the starting point of the journey. The first step in a series of steps. The series of steps that over time, Inshallah, will lead to success. Hopefully, when you look back someday, you can see the fruits of your labor, God willing. But for now, be content with the very second in which you live. So let us start with the POE.

Many of you will be familiar with this term. If you are not, the concept of a Pocket of Excellence is like that of the offensive line on a football team. At this very moment, you cannot affect the results of the entire team. You cannot personally control whether the team will win or lose, if it will hire the right coach, or start the right Quarterback. Because you cannot affect these decisions, you should focus on the task at hand and what you can control. You must be the best lineman you can be, and affect those immediately around you – your fellow lineman – to be the best they can be. Even though you are on a losing team, you can strive to make the offensive line one of the best in the country, and be a pocket of excellence on a mediocre team.

The pocket of excellence is the idea that even though you cannot instantly cause revolutionary change throughout a large organization or system, you can initiate evolutionary change by focusing very narrowly on the area you are working on. Your results should cause others to take notice. It may result in imitation. It may become contagious.

So, in this first step on your journey towards a well run Muslim organization, start by being the best in your area. That may mean giving khutbas, being the bookkeeper/treasurer, cleaning/maintaining the masjid, running social events or weekend Islamic school. Focus. Prepare. Execute. Do this at a very high level in whatever task or event you have been given or chosen to undertake. Don’t worry about others or the organization at large or all the decisions you cannot control. Don’t get frustrated. This is a very long journey and not for the faint of heart. Don’t make excuses for yourself and blame others. Right now, do your best. This is the first step. Be the change you want to see in your community.

Series NavigationInsight from a Board Member: Death of the Committee >>
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