"Leadership is taking responsibility of the clear aim you and your people want for the betterment of their cause, and society as a whole will flourish." Dr. Yaseen Tomhe, esteemed Cardiovascular Surgeon, Treasurer of the Annur Foundation of Maryland, and 4-time President of the Islamic Society of Baltimore
As my Grandfather Dr. Tomhe would always say, “My beloved Khalid, leadership is a gift.”
And it truly is.
Leadership is a gift inside all of us, but the only ones who open the gift are those who realize it is inside them.
Wherever you are in the world, whichever cultural or religious background you come from, you and I see leadership as a grand title. It’s no secret to the world that those we look up to have leadership qualities, and the effect they have on us are nothing short of a seemingly divine aura.
We see leaders as people divinely touched; as if they are a selected few among us. They have qualities all of us subconsciously desire to be a part of our character. Their aura or vibe, whichever you wish to call it, inspires us to become better.
I would argue that they indirectly represent what each and every one of us can become. We all can become those selected few who inspire others and take responsibility, but the question remains. Who is willing to open the gift of leadership?
To answer this question, I'll give you a little background information on my Grandfather.
Yaseen Ahmed Tomhe was born in 1947 in Damascus, Syria. He came from a poor family whose father was an illiterate man and owned a butcher shop. No one would even think for a moment that Yaseen would become what he is today, a Syrian immigrant to the United States who inspires almost anyone he comes across.
While my Grandfather was growing up, he would watch kids in his neighborhood play around and neglect "their duties" as he'd always say. He would either be learning from his Spiritual Mentor (who was the Grand Mufti of Syria), helping his father out in the butcher shop, or studying to become a physician. You could say that my Grandfather was a nerd, and I completely agree with you on that (sorry Gido when you read this).
You may be thinking though, what does any of this have to do with leadership? Well, all of it. The only way to realize authentically that you have the gift of leadership running through your veins is by cultivating your own character's foundation, a foundation you believe to be one of virtue, honor, and integrity.
Regardless of your situation, you can build for yourself a foundation to rely on. My grandfather came from what you could argue a poverty-stricken background, but that didn't stop him from his dreams.
You see, in order to inspire people to become someone with virtuous character, we must first and foremost be virtuous ourselves. We must be what we say we want to be. Our character must adhere to our greatest beliefs and virtues. As the saying goes, "actions speak louder than words".
When we cultivate our character with virtue, we then improve ourselves so greatly to the point where we are indirectly responsible for everyone behind us on the path to improved character. This is where responsibility comes into the picture.
Let's face it. There are people better than you and I in something, and that's completely fine. What isn't however, is when those who are better than us keep their knowledge tucked inside their pockets unwilling to share it with the world. We see too many individuals like that nowadays, and that is not leadership.
As Dr. Tomhe proclaimed, leadership is taking responsibility. If you want to open up the gift of leadership inside you, it is necessary to look around you and ask yourself "Who requires my attention? Who is around me that I am capable of healing, supporting, or mentoring?" What am I able to confidently give to people, knowing they will benefit from it?". Once you answer those questions, it will be automatic. Your vibe will transform from a follower-type aura into a divine leadership-type aura.
Trust me, once you answer these questions you will be able to be like the leaders throughout history you look up to and aspire to be. Heck, you start taking responsibility now, little by little acquiring more knowledge giving you a larger reach and responsibility, you will become one of the major leaders of the Modern World.
But it all starts with taking responsibility. Own your actions. Meditate on the indisputable fact that people are always watching what you do. You have the power to either have them be positively crafted and influenced by your good character and virtue, or mold and die out from your lack of responsibility and self-accountability. It's all up to you.
So start today. Start now. Do your "duties" you've been procrastinating on. There's homework to be done, papers to be filled out, laundry to be folded, and a mind yet to be enriched with knowledge. The world is waiting to be led by you.
"And that there is not for a man except that (good) which he strives for". - 53:39