Genesis of New American Leadership: A Muslim Commentary
Welcome to Genesis of New American Leadership – the Blog
Genesis of New American Leadership is the text used to help conceive, design and structure the CWSC and was written by our second executive director, Mukhtar Muhammad who succeeded founder Imam Thomas Abdul Salaam (R).
In addition to reading the text and the blog, you’re invited to tune in weekly to the national discussion, Building the Community Life (BTCLS) live podcast on AM360.org. And now we share with you words from CWSC executive director emeritus Mukhtar Muhammad about this important dialogue; and while the current events may change, one can easily see the timeless fundamentals that remain. The dialogue now continues via the BTCLS podcast:
“For man to be prepared for [global excellence] he has to be universal in his heart, in his thinking, and in his aspirations…He has to include everybody in his dreams—not only in his works, but also in his dreams. Allah (SWT) included everybody in the dream (future) for Muslims. He said, You are one community brought out for the good of all people.”—Imam Dr. W. Deen Mohammed (R)
As-Salaamu-Alaikum (Peace be with you). Thank you for sharing in this Blog.
In the following paragraphs, I’ll share the specific purpose and goals of this extended discussion on some selected topics from Genesis of New American Leadership.
Let me begin first by sharing the concluding statement from Genesis that is also a quote from the Noble Qur’an: “Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: they are the ones to attain felicity (Sura Al-i’-Imran, Ayat 104).” Just before that verse appear the words “Left open for further thought and research…” from the esteemed Dr. William Worral Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic. I found the Dr.’s words aptly captured how I felt when I placed the final period on the manuscript. I felt more like I had opened a door, rather than closed the final chapter.
Dr. Mayo’s words have long pressed upon my conscience; his words were forcing me to think about how to engage the group intellect, to open the door wider and embark upon this journey along the path of leadership. Perhaps the first question that arises is, “is leadership a journey or destination?” We don’t have to answer the question now.
Fortunately, new tools of communication have emerged since publishing the manuscript…most notably for our purposes, the blog and podcast, which greatly aids in continuing where Genesis of New American Leadership left off. For this blog, Genesis is a point of departure and the blog will be for us a vehicle to help continue on that journey that began when the ink dried and the pages were lifted on A Muslim Commentary. Like my original work, the blog will depend on the group intellect to help inform, debate, reason and arrive at conclusions on a topic that has become for the whole world now, either an issue of contention or one of collaboration. From the recent protests against Russia’s Vladamir Putin, to the so-called Arab Uprising, to the homegrown 99% Occupy Movement, leadership is on the front burner.
While leadership is the centerpiece of this Blog, I hope to offer a forum for discussion and shared advice on issues of stewardship & governance, shuraa, operations management, strategic planning, and many other related topics that institutions have grappled with over the years. I am personally aware of a yearning around the country for more discourse on the operational side of non-profit management. Due to my current schedule, I have not had the time to travel to institutions as I have in the past. I pray that by this Blog I can help more institutions who have asked for my assistance.
Through this miracle of technology that G-d has blessed us with, we can now leverage our effort by collapsing the time and distance barriers and G-d Willing, we can facilitate something I mentioned in the very beginning of Genesis: Find case studies on how masajid conceived and implemented innovative solutions to internal governmental problems or solutions for improving their local community and share such knowledge and experience for the mutual benefit of the whole community …to share experiences for the purpose of helping other masajid tackle management issues in their area.
As it was applicable for Genesis, the following is true for this Blog: “as we strive to become the most beneficial contributors to American society and the world, let us search within the model of the Prophet’s (S) character and wisdom and the example of those who supported him…let us use comparative study and the current management technology as our Islamic predecessors have done to seek the best solutions for our circumstances today.” I invite you to come with me and others on this journey to continue discovering the best principles and how to apply those principles to the task of achieving the mission and realizing the vision through effective systems management.
This journey will be for both Muslims and non-Muslims and for anyone concerned with how to get something done to the best level of excellence, particularly when it involves more than a single person. Yes, I just implied that leadership is needed even when I am doing a task alone. My better self shall have to lead me and keep me focused, and far away as possible from distraction and procrastination. Indeed the only difference between the self and the group is the size and composition of the intellect. The dynamics and complexity of the intellect changes with the size and composition of the group. But the complexity is there even with the individual’s id and ego, as students of western psychology might phrase it. We’ll talk about that later too. Like the individual, the group can be focused, efficient and goal oriented, or it can be terribly misguided.
The most important purpose of this blog shall be to enhance our thinking and ability in order that we may do something. Leadership for me is not theory, it is a practical matter of application. Furthermore, the “something” that personally drives me to learn more and more about leadership is a mission that I and many others were tasked with decades ago…it is to Remake the World–a proclamation and charge given to the American Muslim Community by the late Imam Dr. W. Deen Mohammed (may G-d grant him the highest station in Paradise). So we have our points of departure. We have a road map. We have a grand vision. Now all we need is you and me. Come along on this journey of the group intellect to continue this genesis of new American leadership. Together we can remake the world!
Peace until next time.
Sincerely & respectfully,
Mukhtar Muhammad (May 2012)
About the author…Mukhtar Muhammad is author of the critically acclaimed Genesis of New American Leadership: A Muslim Commentary…the first socio-political and religious commentary on the tenets of effective leadership based on the principles of Islam, the commentary of contemporary religious scholars and American management philosophy. The recipient of numerous academic, professional, and military achievement awards, the former enlisted & commissioned naval officer is the product of a visionary leadership that recognizes the “Muslim American dream” is deeply rooted in the American Dream of not only “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” but also “one nation under G-d indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” The company vice president, national speaker and management consultant, and former executive director for CWSC holds bachelors and masters degrees in four business concentrations including systems management, marketing, business management and human resources development, and has served at the highest levels of leadership for the American Muslim Community in association with the leadership of Imam Dr. W. Deen Mohammed (R). Read more about the author here.
Transition from Charismatic Personality-Based Leadership: The End of a Messianic Era – Part 1… One of Imam W. Deen Mohammed’s (R) primary leadership goals was to help us evolve from an initially critical and fundamental, yet immature charismatic or personality-based leadership to an institutional leadership based on a system of Islamic government and respect for the group intellect This is Part 1 of a four-part series on charismatic, personality-based leadership vis-a-vis institutional leadership.
Transition from Charismatic Personality Based Leadership: The End of a Messianic Era – Part 2… Can a charismatic, personality-based leadership and particularly a messianic one, really transition supporters, followers, helpers, etc. to “effective” institutional leadership while the charismatic, messianic-based leader is yet alive amongst them. (Pt. 2)?
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Transition from Charismatic Personality Based Leadership: The End of a Messianic Era – Part 4… Can we learn something particular about ourselves from the Palestinian and South African examples? There are some striking similarities between the Palestinians and their Israeli subjugators and the 16 million South African blacks that were subjugated by the 4 million Afrikaners (Pt. 4)?
Respecting and Trusting the Group Intellect: Essential Foundations in Islamic and American Democracy – Part 1… A three-part presentation delivered April 2004 before visiting dignitaries and leaders from Afghanistan as part of an official U.S. State Department visit (Pt. 1).
Respecting and Trusting the Group Intellect: A Critical Component of Faith – Part 2… A three-part presentation delivered April 2004 before visiting dignitaries and leaders from Afghanistan as part of an official U.S. State Department visit (Pt. 2).
Respecting and Trusting the Group Intellect: Integration of the Group – Part 3… A three-part presentation delivered April 2004 before visiting dignitaries and leaders from Afghanistan as part of an official U.S. State Department visit (Pt. 3).
The Case for Expanding Shuraa Practically as a Mercy to the Office of Imam the Majlis Ash Shura and the General Body of a Masjid… Enhancing cohesiveness, structural integrity, operational effectiveness and efficiency in the ability of a masjid’s group intellect to plan, direct, manage, and execute actions and properly allocate its resources under Shuraa Baynahum.
Freedom of Speech in the Context of Human Relations and the Body Politic… As an American citizenry, we have some homework to do with respect to enhancing our democracy and its capacity to integrate and balance free speech with responsible speech.
Protecting your Community’s DNA from Foreign Incursion… On a certain type of risk that slowly attacks the very identity of your organization—the risk of foreign influence.
Model Communities Are Built First Upon Model Citizenship… Is there more than one way to build a model community? The answer is likely yes, since there is usually more than one acceptable way to accomplish the same desired outcome. This week we examine how model citizenship can be a fundamental strategy and an interim step to building a model community.
Improving Your Institution Involves Asking the Right Questions… Leaders must be willing to and capable of asking the right questions to arrive at an accurate assessment of where your organization is and where it wants to be.
Dying to Learn…Malala Yousafzai’s Cause and Afghanistan: A Fard Kifaya for the Ummah – Part 1… An international focus on a threat facing a group intellect and the implications for the world (Part 1).
Dying to Learn…Malala Yousafzai’s Cause and Afghanistan: A Fard Kifaya for the Ummah – Part 2… When the group recognizes that its strength and viability are dependent upon the intellectual development of all its members, then it will place a premium upon and devote resources for the protection and utilization of its entire intelligentsia of where your.
Dying to Learn…Malala Yousafzai’s Cause and Afghanistan: A Fard Kifaya for the Ummah – Part 3… When the group recognizes that its strength and viability are dependent upon the intellectual development of all its members, then it will place a premium upon and devote resources for the protection and utilization of its entire intelligentsia of where your.