March 09, 2013

The most influential personality in the entire mankind

While reading about leadership theories and effective leaders, I came through a book named “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History” (1978) by Michael H. Hart. The author put the prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) on the top of the rank, as the book mentioned “the most influential personality in the entire human history”. Talking from leadership view, why?! So what was his style in leading his followers, why are there still millions of people who follow him?! Was he only affecting the emotional side with no professional leadership skills? To answer all of these questions I read more to find out what was the leadership style Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and understand why it was so effective. I found out that in a passage in the Quran, Allah enjoined and guide his prophet about leadership as the following:

“So by the Grace of Allah, [O Muhammad], you were soft and gentle with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and seek protection for them andconsult themin the matter. And whenyou have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].” [Al-Quran 3:159]

It was basically explaining the “Consultative Leadership Style” + more about behaviours towards the followers as well. The type of “Consultative Leadership” was to consult the followers concerning public matters and therefore the judgment is to be taken by the Prophet (s.a.w.) himself in the final stage. Also traits mentioned were the following:

(1) Being soft and gentle with them

(2) Never to be impolite and rude

(3) Emotional side has to be involved

(4) Neglect minor faults and forgive,

(5) Look after their protection and security.

It wassohisconsultativesort ofleadershipalongsidesomewonderfultraits that he becamethe foremost powerfulhuman everwithin thehistory ofhumanity.

What I learnt from this??, Although this kind of information are more than 1400 years old, but from my point of view it is for sure valid for today’s leadership. It helps in both urgent and trivial situations that the leader still has the authority to control the speech with getting suggestions from people. Also ideas generated from consulting the others lead to more innovative and creative decisions. Building the self confident in followers is very easy using this style that they feel their importance and involvement in situations. It helps in getting closer to followers in a family phase considering their emotions and turns a blind eye in minor silly problems. All these pros makes me really considering prioritizing this kind of leadership in all of my situations in future since I believe that it is the most robust one to use.


- 3 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Great blog Waddah,
    There are so many leadership lessons one can learn from following the example of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). For instance, scholars have mentioned how “he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope’s pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue; if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports.”- Rev. Bosworth Smith.
    This indicates that leadership is not headship, it’s much more than that..you cannot become a leader if you are simply placed in a position of authority or power.

    Moreover, Gandhi spoke about how Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was “intensely devoted to his followers”. This suggests that leaders should be supportive.

    Other scholars have also mentioned how he was “the sweetest and most agreeable in conversation. Those who saw him were suddenly filled with reverence; those who came near him loved him; they who described him would say, ‘I have never seen his like either before or after.’ He was of great taciturnity, but when he spoke it was with emphasis and deliberation, and no one could forget what he said…” This indicates a charismatic leadership style.

    Considering all this, it’s no wonder why George Bernard Shaw said the following about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):
    “I believe if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring much needed peace and happiness.”

    Reference: http://www.gainpeace.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63:what-non-muslim-scholars-said-about-prophet-muhammed-peace-be-upon-him&catid=41&Itemid=105

    09 Mar 2013, 21:44

  2. Waddah Alharthi

    Thanks Hasan for commenting and adding more valuable info to the topic.

    10 Mar 2013, 01:37

  3. Paul Roberts

    A good blog Waddah. I believe that this goes a long way to answering your blog dated 6 March about getting teamwork to work.

    02 Apr 2013, 15:51


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