A mentor is someone who allows you to see hope inside yourself. – Oprah Winfrey
To change bad habits, we must study the habits of successful role models. – Jack Canfield
The faults of people are countless and embarrassing. I chose, but to look at what I have learnt from them, because when I counted my faults the grains of sand were finite. – Abdullah Sujee
Who is your Mentor? Have you got one?
Among the manifest beauties of human beings is the adoration of the refinement of character and speech. It is such that they embellish your thoughts and punctuate the conversations you have with yourself in the pathway to achieving life goals with greater fortitude. There are moments in your life that you can attribute to mentors and role models because in many ways they are vagaries. These defining inexplicable changes in your behaviour were truly unexpected and they made you act and think differently in a positive way which adorned your life goals with the certainty of achievement. In the progress to achieve your life goals, you can be raffish which aligns you with congenial people and you suddenly separate yourself from the dreamers and join the doers. Although this move becomes a commitment, because of the mentoring, you realise that there is no guarantee for success but, the journey itself is the greater accomplishment. This, for me, is the best satisfaction because the glory of holding up the trophy before thousands of fans is transient in comparison to the journey towards victory which in all cases fills pages of books gives you effusive media attention and vaunted accolades to an enduring legacy.
Legacies inspire and when you see it unfold in front of you, it is never jaded. The year 1987 when I met Edrees Khamisa for the first time I was in grade 12 and he made the arrangement with my goal-driven brother-in-law, Shiraz Patel, to take me to Rustenburg for a Winter School. It was the turning point in my life to fructify it with chasing dreams and making moments count. In 1983 my beloved father died tragically in an accident and one never overcomes the loss except that you learn coping skills. In my father, the loss was of a remarkable dad, as I learned from those who knew him or characterised his behaviour. Edrees was one of them. On the journey, I recall how he made me laugh and talk about my life as I experienced it then as a boy who became introverted after his father’s death. Edrees has this infectious personality with a deeply empathetic nature that attracts you to him with great trust and you open up to him.
Edrees in his jovial yet firm and encouraging disposition made me his interviewer on his reading of To Kill a Mockingbird. It was the first time that I had to interview a person in front of fifty-odd people I did not know or meet before. It was impromptu and I recall how it was that moment of truth that sparked something in me to become more the man. By the passing of time, Edrees and I became close in many ways and he would mentor me on teaching, management and personal growth. His investment in me was and is immeasurable. There are just so many instances and hundred moments of truth that leveraged my leadership. The defining moment was the trip to the UK in 2015 when the BOG sent me to Essa Academy to learn how the Apple Eco system works. When we arrived, I was astounded to learn just how well connected Edrees was.
We walked into Muslim schools unannounced and we were welcomed like celebrities. He was given this amazing importance which made me realise how far credibility takes you and how well it connects you. From the Yusuf Islam Muslim School to a public school in the city that was not Muslim but had a Muslim in a senior position, he was given the stage to imbue them with some of his wisdom, share his experiences and to guide them on holistic school matters including leadership, administration and management. The skill of running a workshop over three days or less and the means to put one together were taught to me by actual experience in that I became part of his presentations over the years. Yes, the demand on time was there and preparation too was an absolute necessity. Furthermore, the fine art of audience control, audience awareness, interpersonal skills, group dynamics and management of seminar/s workshops were lessons I learnt through practice with him. This was further enhanced by meeting the savants, professionals, sages, teachers, doctors, lawyers and inspirational people that he knew. These meetings opened my mind to the world of opportunities people create for themselves all because they are munificent with their knowledge, their learning curves that brought them success and their lessons from failures too. He was filling my mind with these skills within a practical domain allowing me to network with various people of differing backgrounds, persuasions, world views and mindsets. This is so needed in the world because it opens the doors of collaboration, enhances working across professions, embellishes the cross-pollination of ideas and makes you test, benchmark and compare yourself with a larger contingent of people who have congeniality.
Salman Rushdie made headlines in this era and it did not come without a challenge on me. My English major required vast reading and Salman Rushdie’s Midnight Children was one of the mandatory readings. I did not know that my life would change one ‘midnight’ because it established in me the courage to speak out. One man inflamed the dormant, docile heart to heave, to rise and to speak. I did not know that one night with a man gave me the courage to speak out. The man, late Uncle Ebrahim Vawda, at whose home I boarded in my first two years of study, is someone to acknowledge. That night I was studying in the dining room and unknown to me, Uncle Ebrahim Vawda went into the bedroom that I shared with one of his sons and picked up the book, Midnight’s Children. The night was suddenly disturbed with a very loud intellectual opinion on the book by Uncle Ebrahim Vawda. He asked whose book it was, and I sheepishly said it was mine and it was my set work for the study. The house was quiet save the voice of Uncle Ebrahim Vawda whose awe of presence captured all. He looked at me and said the following which I paraphrased to capture the mood, “Abdullah you will stand up in your lecture tomorrow and give your opinion on Salman Rushdie and tell your lecturer about his blasphemy on our beloved Prophets (Peace upon them all), Islam and Muslims. You cannot and I mean, you cannot be quiet on this matter…I will ask you about this tomorrow evening…” That was a midnight I will never forget. I did not sleep well. I was on the spot to act.
The next day I went to University with fear and hope. Fear that I would not speak up on what I believed and hoped that I would because I am a student at a university. I recalled some of the blasphemy and unpalatable statements made by Salman Rushdie and the one regarding Isa (Jesus) (Peace be upon him) was just too much to handle. In the lecture hall that was packed as normal, the stunned students were silenced when I stood up and said to Mrs. Hickman that I am utterly disappointed with Salman Rushdie’s statements on all Prophets (Peace be upon them all) and Islam. I could not believe the exuberance of my verbosity and it raised such debate that my lecturer appreciated my firmness of belief. What a feeling! That night I waited for Uncle Ebrahim Vawda to tell him of my stint of bravery. His infectious smile and words of appreciation had forever forged in me the ability to voice an opinion on that which needed rebuttal. Furthermore, he was the man that made you feel that every problem had a solution. As a man who was a sales representative, he had such tremendous influence in so many sectors of society that his opinion mattered with leaders. His nature of dealing with family matters had the impressive halo effect. I recall that at one time a decision I took on a sensitive family matter hurt him because it was unexpected of me. The effects of the decision made then changed things for me that lingered on for years but, Uncle Ebrahim’s understanding will forever be a lesson on maintaining family ties. However, he made me understand the difficulty of adulthood and the decisions that come with it and taught me that one cannot get upset because someone differs from you or, makes a decision against the wishes of another. Our discussion was brief, but the learning remains a lifelong teaching point. Here was a man not qualified in the realms of universities but had the attention of scholars, Imams (religious leaders), businessmen, teachers and more. He passed away in my very early years of teaching. I attended the funeral and the lessons of faith for me on that day was that I was in the company of a saintly man who refused to judge me on decisions I made, but he made me grow to learn life. I found that a common trait in all of his brothers and sisters too.
It is said that the Holy Prophet Ebrahim (Abraham PBUH) was a nation on his own because of the stature he carried. I am drawn to believe that ‘Ebrahims’ have been part of my life to make me harness a host of skills. My long working holidays in Malelane, a small town in Mpumalanga, is where I became close to my dear Uncle Rashid’s son-in-law, the late Ebrahim Limbada. He was this handsome man, a blend of Clint Eastwood and James Dean at least that is what I thought. He was married to my beautiful cousin Shera Banoo who made me fall in love with reading because she had this mesmerising style of recounting a storyline from a book she read. The images she painted were so vivid and soon I realised why. Her late husband was an avid reader and spoke and wrote several languages. He spoke English, Afrikaans, Gujarati, Portuguese and more than four indigenous South African languages fluently and in an accent too. He had me spellbound when he served customers in the men’s section of the huge store that I worked in beside him. He would switch from one African language to another, and the clicks and twists of the tongue swished with intonations of words I did not understand made me gape in wonder. The customers were left utterly convinced and they would buy whatever Ebrahim put on to match the one original item. I loved his company because he would teach me how to read deeply into things and coax me to ask questions. He taught me how to dress like a gentleman, he made me think of careers, played tennis with me, he made me write things and so much more. In fact, with my cousins Ismaeel and Zunaid he was my tennis partner and he was just the best fun guy to play with, especially when we won a point. His part of my life, I believe, was to enhance my oratory skills, sharpen my intelligence to make me think on my feet and stand tall in every situation. His life was tough, but his resilience has become a teaching point for me. Ebrahim Limbada did not have millions of Rands, but he had millions of stories, anecdotes and skills that he gave to all whom he interacted with. They became richer in wisdom and content at heart. Old age became hard on him and his departure from the world was like the loss of a man who took me like a son. Handsome Ebrahim Limbada and beautiful Shera Banoo did not have children and you can imagine our bond. Mentors, role models and heroes are not in comic books, TV screens and the likes. They are in fact around you especially those who imitated ‘The Men Around the Messenger’, to borrow the title of Khalid Muhammad Khalid’s celebrated book on the beloved companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s).
Benchmarking is one aspect of metrics I learnt from Mirza Yawar Baig in 2004 when I first met him at a luncheon styled talk in Fordsburg. Fordsburg now is a bustling area of various nationalities and its complexion has evolved from a clean and well-maintained area to one that reeks of neglect putting it on the slippery slope of becoming an area less attractive to the finer pleasures of life, safety and security. Sadly, this is becoming the norm of most towns and suburbs that were once vibrant centres of good clean living, bustling business centres and safe environments. Homes and flats in these towns resemble prisons because of the overwhelming burglar doors, gates, alarms and security that emblazon them with an eerie presence of crime and punishment. Nevertheless, the time I met with Mirza Yawar Baig was well-timed because I was just getting into the groove of understanding the Muslim School phenomenon and trying to find my way on who I wanted to be as a growing professional in the field of education. In a short space of time Yawar Baig and I began communicating and sharing ideas. Amongst the hundreds of moments of truths and cusps of realisation I narrate a few anecdotes and incidents to illustrate how mentoring gives you the grit to overcome what seems or appears as insuperable.
My book in Exclusive Books. It is an amazing feeling but, it makes you realise just how many books are out there!
Not long in our communication, my involvement with the Association of Muslim Schools’ Principals’ Forum and Executive Committee was provided with a remarkable and effusive flow of opportunities and tasks that challenged my resolve which made me realise how little I knew and how much more there is to learn. I use the analogy of the star gazers who say that the known universe to us is best compared to a grain of sand on your fingertip and what it covers is the unknown vastness of space which in comparison to the infinity behind is also likened to a grain of sand in the desert. To explain it more I have a feeling of hors de combat in that I cannot continue describing more because, of an injurious sensation in my brain to find the words to explain a vastness of what I touched to be a tiny bit but, felt it was larger than life. The AMS Executive organised a national teachers’ conference in Tshwane (Pretoria) at the Tshwane Muslim School and Mirza Yawar Baig was our keynote speaker. It was at the conference that I took the decision that Yawar Baig will be my role model and mentor because he was modelling the life goal I had in my mind which to a large extent was not defined in words.
Words define the reality and what Yawar Baig did for me was to concretise the idea of self-development in what I later understood to be the action-research meaning of strategy. Strategy as a concept meant for me the very deliberate and specific organising of your own resources and talents consistently to achieve the daily goals you set and in the main, your results that pull you towards your life goal vision. The one anecdote amongst many is the one-time Yawar Baig did the presentation on THE POWER OF ONE at the conference and it shook the core of my being. I requested from him to use the presentation for my teaching. He agreed and I used it for years and continue to do so. However, the incident enlightened me on how to appreciate the effort and this became a new standard for me. The thing I did was change one, yes one slide on his presentation. The change was the addition of a video of boys riding their four-wheeler motorbikes aimlessly and it was captioned. I emailed it to Yawar Baig and he emailed it back with a comment and thanking me for taking the time to make the change and to continue to use the presentation. It appears insignificant but, the time to inspire me for just one addition made me realise the importance he gave me in his busy and high-profiled life. This made me revisit how I acknowledged pupils’ efforts and how that must change. What I did do was that I took more time writing comments on pupils’ work and thanked them more publicly and personally too. The result was nothing short of fabulous because it fructified relationships.
Relationships grow because there is a communication from both sides. Yawar Baig’s Standard Bearers Academy concept is rooted in research, practical experience and global vision which I identified with and believed in from the start. I would offer opinions and comments on the SBA model and concept and use it in class and as the Deputy Principal only to see its positive result, but it is based on hard work done consistently every time. The discussion with the team was where to start the SBA. I suggested to Yawar Baig that it must start in South Africa and I would gladly join and I began my little research on the International Baccalaureate Teaching degree and decided that I am going to do it. Yawar Baig’s executive team decided to start the SBA in Australia. Wow! This was just an amazing time because the excitement was on a never-ending crescendo from concept to reality. The purchase of the property is a story of its own and its setting injected exultation in well-wishers, donors and like-minded enthusiasts the world over. It was Yawar Baig’s FAJR REMINDER, still an ongoing podcast, that the triumphs of the SBA were highlighted within the framework of the deeper messages of the FR. Eventually, like all projects, there is a dip into the valley of death which you have to climb out of to test your grit. Here my confidence grew because I saw the results of how to face the brutal facts head-on without being gauche or asinine. Yawar Baig made the decision based on the fact that the SBA would not be able to start because of lack of funds and a personal friend of mine, who is even more close to Yawar Baig from a business perspective, mentioned how he and all other investors were given every cent back because there was a clear sense of the project not succeeding in Australia at the time. However, Yawar Baig continued then and now to teach and motivate the SBA concept such that it has become the mindset of so many people worldwide on issues of teaching and school leadership as a case in point. When all this happened, I recall sending an email to him stating that he and I are the stones in the foundation that would never adorn the facade of walls that rise above and he responded to the best effect that it is the best place to be because you have a standard that will live beyond your time on earth. These interactions shaped the power of setting extraordinary goals and how it launches you into a realm of great action where you actually see that learning is the creation of relationships.
When you look after relationships, you fill your life with mirth which establishes acquiescence in acknowledging each other’s achievements and successes. Yawar Baig requested me on more than one occasion to write a review on a book or article and it gave me such a boost of confidence. He has published forty books to date which are available on Amazon therefore, the opportunity that he gave me alerted me to my responsibility and opened my mind to reflect more intently on my life goals. This unselfish teaching by experience and acknowledging my talents showed me what I had to do with people to grow in significance, value and credibility. The result is long term positive growth with the clear and genuine understanding that our limitations are our obstacles which can be conquerable with the right mentor, role model and friend. To date, we share opinions and comment on matters that interest us. It is truly intellectually stimulating to have these discussions because it embellishes character development.
Character development is not something obtainable at the nearest patisserie where the choice of exotic French pastry is broad but is not expansive and definitely not infinite. Character is learnt through consistent interaction with people in varying circumstances especially from those older than you. There came into my life an aficionado in the person of Mohammad Bhai Docrat, the then national chairperson of the Association of Muslim Schools. At the time I was really new to the workings of the Principals’ Forum, the AMS national conferences and the work done voluntarily that I felt like a peon at the anvil of the blacksmith. The word ‘Bhai’ is a Gujarati word indicating seniority especially denoting deep respect and reverence. Mohammad Bhai has this knowledge of business, education, welfare, social outreach, literature and much more garnished with refined speech dotted with wonderful vocabulary. He took me under his wing almost immediately and recommended that I be co-opted onto the AMS regional executive committee. In a very short while he gave me tasks to do that took me out of my comfort zone so that I could pique myself within the realm of education, networking and crossing the Rubicon. For Mohammad Bhai there must be a win-win and every opponent must see his unwavering resolve but never cower under popular opinion or desire for fame. He would read official documents with attention to fine detail and made notes that many on the Executive would not see. Furthermore, in the most difficult situations with people and members, he never behaved with any sign of prejudice or gauche therefore, making him have a delightful and warm presence.
What Mohammad Bhai did was that he would involve me in all matters, made me speak on behalf AMS National, make decisions on seminars and conferences, chair meetings, nominated me to be secretary of AMS National and organise/ conduct workshops/ training for Executive members and be the keynote speaker at certain functions. In giving me all these opportunities and remaining the mentor with a stochastic presence over me each thing I did was observed independently because he saw each outcome as unique. For him, it was important to track and note the probability of having the same success each time or improving each time. This is so valuable and can never be underestimated because it makes a huge difference in your growth and you begin to eke out a life aligned to bigger goals. In following Mohammad Bhai and learning from him I have come to realise the power of grit, perseverance and passion. At age 70 he is an honorary member of AMS National and has the sharpness of mind to be discerning on so many matters and not shy to speak his mind. Lessons for life and the numerous anecdotes would fill a book. They are part of my treasure chest.
We fill a treasure chest all the time and newfound gifts are often on the top. Coming ahead in my life was a person who was with me in school but ahead in years who proved to be a remarkable man in business, spirituality, character and organisational unity. I made it my duty to observe him, take notes, work with his ideas and continue to mark things against his standards. Ziyaad Dadabhay met me when I became principal of Roshnee Islamic School and more as a school mate I guess than as a BOG member, he advised me on the qualities of a leader. In an email to me he listed the character traits of a leader from the perspective of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He then invited me to his extremely organised, well established, superb store which at every turn personifies excellence to discuss the personal qualities of a leader. It was a real eye-opener because here was a businessman with a refined sense of leadership, organisation, the courage of conviction, determination and rightful behaviour ready to give his time to mentor and advise. The few days that I met him on my own was to learn the CHECKLIST method of keeping an eye on things which establishes a database on common red herrings and that would eventually lead to a systemised set of actions that would become a norm of daily business routine. It worked and today, while the CHECKLIST management system is not in place it has established a system of checks and balances that we have become so used to that we identify red herrings and work through them. The most significant learning curve was how he chaired the disciplinary committee of the school. Moulana Abdullah Hafeejee would refine the system on a digital platform together with preparing cases for the DC and preliminary meetings with defendants made it all the more credible and acclaimed. In the many DC hearings, I observed how Ziyaad would go through details and handle each case with the pupil and parent such that dignity and integrity prevailed as the constant overarching standard to ensure that fairness and justice prevailed. In every case, Ziyaad would ensure that Islamic concepts must permeate therefore, it was a marvel to see how the most intricate and complex matter was resolved because Ziyaad looked first to err on the side of caution than retribution. This approach always saw the DC coming to the fairest resolution in such a way that the parents and pupils admired the process and commended the findings with no issues.
These experiences made me realise the importance of integrity and the keen sense of listening to people intently as a means of gaining trust and making judgments with acute discernment based on careful filtering processes of mind, language and belief known to psychologists as NLP – Neuro Linguistic Program. NLP stems from understanding thinking processes that are illustrated in communication and actioned in behaviour that rests on belief systems. So, when I recall the DC hearings now, it was like the enactment of viewing how people use their RAS – Reticular Activating System. RAS is that part of the brain where you focus. It is like a cup you will use with information and in the most general sense it is calibrated to the average chatter, conversation and dialogues you have or are part of daily. In a setting the DC Hearing for example, the RAS will kick into focus on what is really being said in context and because it is calibrated it will filter information for judgement clearly on what you need, because it is drawing from a wealth of excellent conversations. Now the average person calibrating his/her RAS with hopeless chatter, useless conversation, discussions of mundane and unworthy issues cannot focus on a deeper and refined way to make an accurate judgement. The learning continues especially when I attend his profound and well-prepared talks on living a meaningful life. His lesson of faith attracts many people from different persuasions who show great obeisance to what he says and most importantly how he behaves and acts. Learning to emulate his example has given me leverage in many instances where I would have failed miserably if I acted in my own way. Ziyaad then epitomises for me how to be eudaemonic without being presumptuous.
There was a time in my life that everyone I met epitomised a person I wanted to be and when I felt the awe of presence, the decision to learn from them became my own compulsory work. As a young man of twenty-five and just married the weight of decisions always got me under immense stress. It was a time that I decided to work abroad and whilst my jovial, good, sincere and dignified father-in-law, the late Ahmed Bham offered me great support and sound advice; it was his younger brother, Yussuf Bham, who would become a role model all because of the unbiased interest he took in my life. I felt so because I was married to his beautiful niece and he, in fulfilling his fatherly duty upon his brother’s death, looked after our wellbeing and gave us the concrete reinforcement that, as a couple who could not have children, still have a great deal to offer the world. The emphasis of his role modelling with me was based on the maxim, “There is no right way to do something wrong and there is no wrong way to do something right,” became the point of departure to solve problems. Now how does a businessman become a life coach as such and leads you to change is a question to consider. Yusuf Bham opened my eyes to read the depth of character in people, to discern the speech of people in context, to be bold enough to speak one’s mind with dignity and to establish the fortitude of resilience so that one must not cower to people and power.
In the business world, I found Yusuf Bham highly competitive and extremely ethical and honest which made me realise that one has to lead at the edge. The phrase, leading at the edge, is taken from the book I found how to recognize your own Achille’s heel, and it is used here to illustrate how doing business in a metropolis like the city of Johannesburg is vastly different from a smaller city or town. The detail here on the observation of Yusuf Bham made me see how an aficionado exhibits behaviours that can be imitated and used in context with remarkable results. In the book, Leading from the Edge, Dennis N. T. Perkins shows how the extraordinary leadership of Ernest Shackleton’s voyage of exploration in 1915 of the unexplored Antarctic continents saved his crew from death and despair. Death and despair were the results of a failed voyage of exploration to the unexplored Antarctic continent by Vilhjalmur Stefansson in 1913. At a time when I witnessed family businesses crumble under the challenges of family feuds or begin failing as a result of entropy, I saw Carpet and Decor go off at a tangent into new horizons. Younger family members became very senior and they took over with the seniors advising them from the back. It is a story on its own and the point made here is that you learn from people who look beyond the scope of the present time. Taking this man’s acumen into my life has given me the edge to read character well and move on in such a way that you do not overwhelm yourself with the lives of other people’s shortcomings and lack of passion to be your best.
The best always comes out when there is pressure and I did not know this until life delivered a new parcel. We are all in awe of parcels, especially when it appears as a gift but, every gift is not packaged as something to marvel about. It is given in a way to unpack gifts you already have such that you now use them to package the gift you just received to inspire. Strange but true, it all comes down to reaction, response and life goal planning.
- Look around your immediate circle and workspace to find people that are role models of some sort that would embellish your life goal plan. We constantly look far beyond and realise that the people we want to follow are so famous, wealthy and contextually out of our league. This overwhelms us and we become despondent. Therefore, look at who is teaching you things that are substantial and begin to take note of what they do and how they do what they do. Write it down and begin inculcating those in your life. My late father-in-law, Ahmed Bham, taught me to strive against difficulties. When he was unemployed in his 50s he completed a Travel & Tourism course. He got going as AT&T and his gregarious personality together with his jovial character attracted many clients. He made me understand how to rise up after every fall and still be a loving family man. Roles models are within your immediate circle. Find them.
- Learn how to use other professionals’ work with acknowledgement. This is a gateway to realise where your talents are refining or where your other potentials exist. It is necessary therefore to forge professional relationships with colleagues in your workspace and beyond too. This makes you realise that the world is huge and that making an impression for all good intents and purposes, opens your world to new boundaries that did not exist.
- Learn from everyone and broaden your circle of concern. Do not bog yourself in your own work-life to the exclusion of everything else. In the workspaces beyond what you do for a living are people who have such a wealth of life experiences that hold the keys to self-development, growth and above all, a realization for your self-worth in the eyes of people who have impacted their societies and communities. In this exploration when you then read books on leadership and motivation; you will put a name and a face of a person you interacted with that role-modelled that action.
Gallery of pictures. Amongst all the last picture is the wife of late Legend Mohammed Ali.
- Take public speaking as a serious skill and shadow those around you who are confident enough to talk in front of people or, who speak up in staff meetings as cases in point. Make notes on what they say rather than how they say it. This first step will get you into their minds and realise that they have given themselves a voice. The EIGHTH HABIT, Giving the Voice, is what you actually see in practice. Begin to lead yourself by taking a course in public speaking. A good way to start is through the Toastmasters course because its main focus is public speaking. Practise public speaking by writing your speech and saying it to yourself. This will help you tremendously with your interpersonal relationships on the professional side of things because people are genuinely attracted to eloquent people. When this is matched with a refinement of thought and action, people open up to you and give you from the depth of the experiences and involve you in activities and things you would not get off the shelf.
- Read biographies of people or autobiographies because you will realise the need to document your life and see what it tells you about your life. The reading of this genre creates a deep desire in you to find and search for people with a track record that is above the average of what you see every day. Take the lead by actually befriending such people and share in their interests because it strengthens trust. Today, with social media you can follow anybody and there is satisfaction in claiming to be on someone’s social media page. It is your significant comments and or feedback that will make you stand out. Practise talking about what you read about in the biographies and autobiographies because it will take you above the average person in the staff room who is in that main talk about other people’s lives that is either backbiting or slander. Once people realise that your speech is different and that it invokes thinking they begin to alter their mannerisms too. In this way, without you knowing people are imitating you.
- Lead by practising qualities and values you have learnt from people in power or from those who have impressed you. Yawar Baig is, in my view, the most punctual person. In the meetings that he had with pupils at the school at 3:30 pm, he was not late. Yes, with children too and in attendance were less than ten. He addressed those children with such passion like he would do everywhere else. This quality of punctuality and the value of passion is something you should practise on with everything you do. When you lead others on these two aspects as examples, you begin to brand yourself. The branding you create for yourself is the loyalty you will get from those around you. What you should be observing is that the aim is to make you the leader with authentic experience in your bag. These are not out of world activities rather; they are simple activities mastered over time such that it becomes a routine of your daily life.