Joining a Dawah Organization Level 4 – People Development

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This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Joining a Dawah Organization: Leadership Levels

The best superstars in the sports world are commonly described as those who make their teammates better. A great leader in an organization is no different. Maxwell says,

A leader is great, not because of his or her power, but because of his or her ability to empower others

This is the key to establishing loyalty. Maxwell ties the levels together by stating,

Note the progression: at level 2, the follower loves the leader; at level 3, the follower admires the leader; at level 4, the follower is loyal to the leader. Why? You with people’s hearts by helping them grow personally.

Realize that people are your most valuable asset.

Continuing upon the sports analogy, the MVP (Most Valuable Player) is usually not the best player in the league. The award is mostly given to the best player on the best team. The individual success is not achieved without a strong supporting cast. Leading a successful organization means that you must seek out people to help you. You must recruit them, and work with them. At this stage, you have already served the previous levels through acts such as volunteering. You have shown that you are able to achieve results. Now is the time that you begin teaching others how to do it and mentoring them. Develop them to be able to do what you can do.

Many Islamic organizations suffer because those in leadership positions do not want to give them up. They do not develop or train others to replace them. This creates a severe gap in succession planning and the organization suffers greatly any time there is a transition from one person to another. Mentoring and empowering others allows the vision and objective of the organization to be communicated down and carried out smoothly. This is a practical way of making sure the individual does not become greater than the cause.

This attitude will actually further solidify your reputation as a strong and positive leader with other leaders flourishing around you.

One negative consequence to watch out for is to make sure that you do not become comfortable with the good group of people around you. You must not only be on the look out for other leaders, but you have to make sure that you connect at a personal level with everyone. A good example of this is an imām or community leader that always goes out of his way to meet new community members. Never consider yourself above the level of the common person no matter how high your leadership level.

Be a model for others to follow.

What qualities attracted you to your first teachers and mentors? Emulate those behaviors and be a role model to others. It is especially the case in Islamic organizations that you will receive additional scrutiny in a leadership position. Make sure you are setting a good example.

Expose key leaders to growth opportunities.

Leadership at this level is indicated by having a loyal team. The way to retain and reward that team is by caring about them. One way of doing this is by taking the initiative to look for opportunities that will benefit them. Take the initiative to help them grow whether that is professionally, personally, or spiritually.

Be able to attract other winners/producers to the common goal.

A good leader also needs a good cause. A popular and successful MSA president can only go so far if the MSA itself is not servicing the needs of Muslim students. Stay focused on the goal and use it as the recruiting tool to find other top performers to be involved .

Surround yourself with an inner core that complements your leadership.

One of the most difficult challenges of leadership in Islamic organizations is the inability to find people who can give you good advice. Some people will see the success and overlook any points of constructive criticism. Others will be extremely negative no matter what you do. Sustaining success means having a close group of people who complement you. This does not just mean that they complement your skills within the organization. It also entails having people who can give you constructive advice. They can freely point out issues that need to be corrected without you taking offense. More importantly, as a leader, you have to take the initiative of making sure that you establish an environment where such discussion can flow freely.

Series Navigation<< Joining a Dawah Organization: Level 3 – Production/Results
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Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters, Qalam Institute, Muslim Strategic Initiative, and Debt Free Muslims. He is a regular khateeb and has served in different administrative capacities in various national and local Islamic organizations. He works full time in the corporate field, is a PMP, and certified Leadership Trainer through the John Maxwell Team. You can follow him on on Twitter @ibnabeeomar, and check out his latest project - The Fiqh of Social Media.

Omar UsmanJoining a Dawah Organization Level 4 – People Development

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