Friday, July 25, 2008

Rules for Managers to be Leaders

Rules for Managers to become Leaders :Major ®Khalid Nasr

1. Relentlessly upgrade your team, using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach and build self-confidence.

2. Make sure people not only see the vision, they live and breathe it.

3. Get into everyone’s skin, exuding positive energy and optimism.

4. Establish trust with candour, transparency and credit.

5. Have the courage to take unpopular decisions and gut calls.

6. Probe and push with curiosity that borders on skepticism, making sure that action follows orders.

7. Inspire risk taking and learning by setting examples.

8. Celebrate …… it creates an atmosphere of recognition and positive energy.

Effective Leadership Skills

Effective Leadership skills

· Organizational Leadership is at a premium today and there is a clear recognition of the fact that in most situations the enthusiasm & motivation aroused in people by powerful & positive leadership is the most potent strategic weapon that provides sustained competitive advantage.
· Today, management is defined as, “The process of getting things done though others”; whereas leadership is defined as “The process of getting things done willingly through others”. The difference between the two definitions is one word but that word willingness and the degree of willingness aroused determine the effectiveness of the leader. Positive and powerful leader has an extraordinary ability to arouse such degrees of willingness & motivation in people that the impossible seems to become possible. The willingness aroused by a leader in organizational situations translates into achievement & excellence.
Three major ingredients of effective leadership
1. The ability to develop a climate that is conducive for motivation through personal example.
2. A leader’s ability & confidence to inspire.
3. The ability to comprehend human behaviour and apply this knowledge to people & situation.
The various roles played by Effective Leaders of today are identified as follows:
1. Envisioner
2. Role Model
3. Motivator
4. Goal Setter
5. Initiator
6. Decision Maker
7. Informer
8. Conflict Resolver
9. Controller
10. Team Builder
11. Spokesman
12. Crises Manager
major characteristics of effective leader
intellectual Characteristics
1. Originality
2. Far-sightedness
3. Receptiveness
4. Decisiveness
5. Sense of Timing
6. Intelligence
Personality Characteristics
1. Personal Integrity
2. Self-confidence
3. Emotional Balance & Control
4. Adaptability
5. Assertiveness
6. Tough Mindedness
7. Resourcefulness
8. Tolerance of Stress
9. Perceptual Objectivity
10. High Need for Achievement
Task Related Characteristics
1. Task Knowledge & Expertise
2. Administrative Ability
3. Responsibility Acceptance
4. Deadline & Schedule Orientation
5. Team Management Ability
6. Proactive Orientation
7. Ability to identify and Focus on Key Issues
8. Decision Making & problem Solving
Socially Related Characteristics
1. Humanison & Empathy
2. Personal Impact / charm
3. Socio-cultural Sensitivity
4. Interpersonal and Social Networking
5. Social Participation & Friendliness
6. Tact & Diplomacy
Ø A leader must have some basic skills to perform his duties effectively. A list of suggested leadership skills critical to success in the global economy includes the following:
Cultural awareness and sensitivity _______ recognize and celebrate the value of diversity in their organizations.
2. communication skills
Written, verbal, body language & listening skills.
3. hrd skills
Development of the human resources _____ training career counseling, job evaluation.
4. creativity
Problem solving, innovation, setting goals and assisting subordinates to be creative.
5. Self management of learning
Learning is a continuous process ______ learning new methods, skills and technology ______ must be self-learner.
6. Managing time & stress.
7. Delegating
8. motivating & influencing others
9. team building
10. managing conflicts

skills & abilities for effective leadership
Social Objectivity: Ability to act free of racial, ethnic, gender or other biases.
Inner work Standards: Ability to set & meet highly personal work goals.
Self-Understanding: Ability to recognize one’s strengths & weaknesses.
Introspection: Ability to learn from experience & self-study.
Vision: Ability to imagine a different & better situation and ways to achieve it.
Entrepreneurism: Ability to spot & take advantage of opportunities.
Empowerment: Ability to share influence & control with others.

effective leadership traits
Intelligence & Analytical Ability
Energy & Personal Drive
Self- Confidence
Dominance & Assertiveness
Desire to Lead
Honesty & Integrity
Knowledge & Expertise
Need for Achievement
Creativity & Intuition

various types of behaviour displayed by effective leaders
1. Consideration: It is the extent to which a leader is approachable and shows personal concern for subordinates.
2. Initiating Structure: The degree to which a leader concentrates on groups’ goal attainment.
3. Reward Behaviour: The extent to which a leader provides his subordinates with compliments, tangible benefits and desired specific treatment.
4. Punishment Behaviour: The leader’s use of reprimands or unfavourable tasks assignments and active with holding of rewards.

Managing our Anger & Worries

Managing Our Anger & Worries: Major ® Khalid Nasr
1. Managing Anger :Those having a tough time in controlling their anger, an anger management plan might help. Try these self-help anger management tips:
Ask yourself: 'Is my anger necessary enough and is the issue worth it?' Chances are, you will see things from a calmer perspective.
'What is the worst consequence of the object of my anger?' If someone cut in front of you at the bookstore checkout, you will probably find that three minutes is not such a big deal.
'Is it going to help me or others in any way?' The anger is going to affect you physically as well as your relationship with others who get affected by the anger.
Imagine yourself doing the same thing. Admit that you sometimes cut in front of another driver, too, sometimes by accident. Do you get angry at yourself?
Ask yourself: 'Did that person do this to me on purpose?' In many cases, you will see that they were just careless or in a rush, and really did not mean you any harm.
Try counting to 10 before saying anything. This may not address the anger directly, but it can minimise the damage you will do while angry.
Try some 'new and improved' variations of counting to 10. For instance, try counting to 10 with a deep slow breath in between each number. Deep breathing helps people relax.
Ask yourself about the anger-inducing issue/situation/event: Is there any alternate way to look at it? You may be looking from an angle that makes you feel angry about the situation. If you look at it from some other angle you may be able to understand or you won't get angry at all.
Visualise a relaxing experience: Close your eyes, and travel there in your mind. Make it your stress-free oasis.
2.Techniques to eliminate worries
Write down what you are worried about. Do your best to carefully think of what you are really worried about. There is said to be only a few dozen or so general fears. No one seems to agree what a 'general' fear is, and if you could overcome your general fears, you could eliminate worry completely. For example, about job demands, about the future, about family or social responsibilities.
Get all the facts related to the problem and don't allow yourself to be misled by any false information and to even more worry.
Analyse the facts. Once you have enough information to help you face the worry, make some sense out of the data. What does it all mean, if anything, at this point?
Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen. At this point, you can make a more realistic assessment of what the worst-case scenario would be.
Accept the worst. Acceptance is almost always an instant cure for worry. Acceptance, however, is not easy and often takes time. By accepting the worst, you are in a situation where things can only improve.
Improve on the worst. Here is where you consider the law of averages. What are the chances the worst will actually come to pass? Is it really worth worrying about?
Decide what you can do about it. Brainstorm. List everything that comes to mind that you can do about improving the situation. Spend as much time as needed on this part.
Act on the decision. If there is any point to worry, it is about taking action toward making positive changes. From your list of possible actions, decide what you are going to do and take action right away. Do not procrastinate. The longer you let your worries build inside, the more emotional and physical damage you are doing to yourself. It is probable that through this process you will end up eliminating the worry before you complete all the steps.
That is fine. The point of the exercise is to eliminate the worry, not to complete all the steps of the process.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Layman's vision on Pakistan

In a democratic society, political parties are expected to play a significant role in articulating citizen's aspirations, but unfortunately, our political leaders have no personal vision or agenda to improve the condition of a common man and to face the challenges in the geo-political environment. An individual’s death takes place when his soul leaves his body; which is unavoidable whereas; a nation dies when there is a leadership crises and no effective leader is on board to take over. The history of Pakistan is full of incidents when our political leadership invited army to intervene in state affairs. Starting from Ghulam Mohammad to Musharraf, the opposition and common men of Pakistan always welcomed take over by the army. There is a general misconception in an Army general's mind that the civilian leadership is corrupt and incompetent. To some extent this conception is right also. We can take examples of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Now the people of Pakistan want a change towards a civilian led democracy. Pakistan has seen enough traumas in her life and needs a respite. Our Sohni Dharti is too precious to be left to opportunists and carpet braggers. Election campaign has already begun; however, the main crisis a common man faces is a regime that is not delivering what the people want: they want rule of law and improvement in the life of a common man, while preserving the citizens’ basic human rights. The country is chock full of political parties but not a single one of them has the vision and strategy to change the miserable condition of a common man, and to handle the issues that Pakistan is confronting. A deal between Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto runs afoul of the two basic fault lines that will determine the future of democracy in Pakistan. These require a balance between the: Civil -Military relations in governance of the country; and The moderate------- extremist division in the society. The next two to three months are very crucial for redesigning Pakistan’s foreign policy. Pakistan will have to take a firm stand regarding her relations with U.S.A. After the so called restoration of democracy in Pakistan, things would not be all that easy for Gen.Musharraf. As a civilian president, Gen.Musharraf will be having more power and public trust in certain areas; but would also be facing some pressures regarding the foreign policy issues. The relations with USA, China and Iran will take a positive turn from Pakistan’s perspective. US interference in Pakistan's internal affairs and the violation of international boundary laws on our Western border would be strictly dealt with. Let us hope that in the coming scenario the "Troika” comprising, the President , the Prime Minister and the Army Chief will work under mutual trust, respect and coordination to bring Pakistan out of its current crises and be able to face the global challenges. PAKISTAN HAD BEEN MANIPULATED BY THE OPPORTUNISTS & CARPET BRAGGERS.REPEATED TAKE OVERS BY ARMY WAS BASICALLY DUE TO FAULT-LINE IN MIND-SET OF OUR POLITICIANS. THEY HAD ALWAYS BEEN DEPENDENT ON ARMY FOR THE SOLUTION OF THEIR PROBLEMS. CONSIDERING THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF BHARAT ( I WOULD PREFER TO USE THE WORLD BHARAT RATHER THAN INDIA FOR OBVIOUS REASONS), WE FIND NOT A SINGLE OCCASION WHEN THE POLITICIANS LOOKED UPON THEIR ARMY FOR THE SOLUTION OF THEIR POLITICAL ISSUES. I PERSONALLY FEEL THE NEED OF A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE MIND- SET OF OUR POLITICIANS. THEY SHOULD BE MORE FLEXIBLE IN THEIR THINKING,THEY SHOULD ALLOW MORE SPACE TO THEIR OPPONENTS .In fact the nature of this political malady is twofold in as much as Muslim Leadership (except for the Quaid) were not prepared for Independence; and quaid didn't make any bones out of this when he admitted' I find nothing but counterfeit coins when I search my right & left pockets'. He further went on to say,'I and my typewriter made Pakistan'. On the other hand, Mr Abdul Aziz Malwada warned in his letter addressed to the Quaid,'Muslims are backward financially, intellectually, economically, and socio-politically, whereas Indian National Congress has taken them to the position where they are standing with their back to the wall after LUCKNOW PACT. Under the circumstances, Muslims would be left with no other option, but to ask for a separate homeland. For running its day-to-day affairs, they would be finding themselves helpless in the absence of political institutions, but for Army wherein they are present in size able number. Hence the affairs of this country per force would be run by Army. It is also a fact, that Muslims were represented by Army Officers in the Boundary Commission & Muslim troops were awaited badly to save Muslims from the massacre in East Punjab etc. Whereas Quaid was given the lease of life just for one year (due to being in advanced stage of Tuberculosis)after partition, the political leadership was found wanting in intellectual acumen & moral fibre.Consequently the high-handedness of Ghulam Muhammad as Governor-General and the notorious Tamiz-ud-din case by Justice Munir laying down the law of necessity; which ultimately was to result in secession of East Pakistan. General Muhammad Ayub Khan (assuming the title of Field Marshal against internationally accepted standards for this rank)indulged in all kinds of irregularities including the ones for which Captain (Retired)Gauhar Ayub was well-known in the context of his connections with GANDHARA INDUSTRIES and his firing on Karachi mob,and the High-handedness shown against Miss Fatima Jinnah (sister of the Father of Nation)were by no means a credit to the country. Miss Jinnah's death in mysterious circumstances was also not a very happy reflection to the country. Thus started a trail of unfortunate events with Military Rule coupled with political incompetence of the Leadership, which was never allowed to grow. History is full of the names of Military Leaders like Ayub Khan,Zia-ul-Haq, and Yahya Khan who was held finally responsible along with Z. A. Bhutto (starting the legacy of the so called Martial Law Administrators) who was hanged by General Zia-ul-Haq for the murder of late Mr Qasuri. Hence Pakistan became a political arena for adventurers both from the Civil and the Army. Society being the same, both sides excelled each other in political adventurism & gravest possible irregularities at the cost of national interests. Ourproblems have been many fold, first we never took our ideology as the guidance source. Ideolgoy was flouted and made a political slogan toderive political mileage out of it. What we never understood is the difference between rule of law and rule of justice. Islam has always emphasised on establishing justice and not law. Man made laws are as corrupt as man himself hence the rule of law would take us no where. NRO is the latest example of a corrupt law but justice would never tolerate it. Henceforth, the legal fraternity and the civil society or the silent majority should demand establishment of Justice and not Law. If we don't do that, we shall keep witnessing one corrupt leader after the other with many waiting in the wings.


Role of Private Institutions in the promotion of Educationby Major (R) Khalid Nasr Education plays a pivotal role in the development of our younger generation to lead a successful life in this world of global competition. There are many dimensions of education in the development of human personality. It gives us professional knowledge. It teaches us human skills. It puts our mind on creative thinking. It builds our confidence and self-esteem. Now the question is: are the private institutions playing their role for the promotion of education?We can see a mushroom of private schools and colleges in Lahore but the parents and students are still in a state of bewilderment which institution to join for quality education. First of all, the tuition fee and admission charges of leading institutions in private sector are very high. Secondly, there is no standard criteria for getting admission in these renowned institutions. Back door techniques are used to get admission where the merit is lacking for open competition. It is very difficult for a competent student from a middle class family to get admission in leading institutions on merit.Now, we see the condition in middle class educational institutions. There is no quality of education in the so-called average educational institutions. The teaching environment and the faculty is not up to the mark. The standard of graduate & postgraduate level is so poor that some institutions are even selling their transcripts & degrees. The government is taking action against these institutions in private sector. The University of the Punjab and Higher Education Commission have set a standard for the operation of these institutions and award affiliations & charters to only those private institutions who qualify the required criteria. Everyday, we see the sign boards of a school or college removed by the concerned authorities but again we see a new entrant in the education sector with a very poor standard of teaching environment and faculty. The tuition culture is also a black spot on our prevailing educational environment in private institutions. Many daytime colleges & schools are converted into tuition centers in the evening. There are some private institutions that have not been awarded charter by Higher Education Commission or affiliation with Punjab University but they are miss-leading or rather cheating the students by putting false statements on their signboards and brochures. The curriculum offered in most of the educational institutes does not fit in the requirements of the job. Due attention is not given to the professional programs to enable a student to face competitive & professional requirements of the job opportunities in the market. Education does not merely mean academic qualification. What we have to do is to mobilize our people and build up the character of our future generations. In this world of global competition, success of a business is dependent upon the quality of management, which comes through the quality of education.There are two basic roles of education :1.Itmakes for our living and 2. It makes our life .The second role is more important for building a nation.The basic role of the educational institutions in the private sector is to educate, train and develop the young generation for the successful leadership roles in the practical realms of life. It is not just the degree from a college, which ensures the highest standards of excellence & growth. The basic purpose of training programs should not be to transmit knowledge from books but to impart learning & training to effect changes in behaviours & skills.The point to note here is whether our educational institutions in private sector are providing an opportunity to explore human capabilities which are not addressed in main stream education and are they willing to modify their curricle's to meet the demands of global competition in the job market. Due to high merit and limited seats in government institutions, the majority of the students join private educational institutions. So the demand of the day is that private institutions should provide quality education at affordable price to fulfill their social responsibility. Disintegrated nations can be transformed into uncanny force by bringing revolutionary changes in their stagnant thinking. We want our younger generation to be flexible, creative and assertive enough to make out dreams true about a progressive, liberal and strong Pakistan.Education without purpose & direction is a mere waste of time & resources that results in unemployment & frustration. The educational institutions in the private sector should feel their responsibility to provide quality education at affordable price. All of us do not have equal talents, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop out talents to have a competitive edge in the global market.The government has its own role to play which includes monitoring the activities of the educational institutions in the private sector, encouraging those institutions which are playing a positive role in providing quality education at affordable price and taking action against those who are a black spot in the field of education. It seems the infrastructure existing at the time of Independence was pushed back; and requirements of objectivity were totally ignored. Consequently a value-oriented approach neither acceptable internationally nor of any tangible national interest had been eating away our valuable time & financial resources. In the process, students were not exposed to the basics of scientific research with the obvious results. This was happening because of the uneducated illiterate legislators formulating education policies.
Apart from the utility of such an education provided by the public sector, people naturally were inclined towards the private sector; but the cost of this improved quality was beyond the reach of public living more or less on sustenance level & sometimes below the poverty line. It is hightime that cost is cut down & educational expenses are brought within the reach of a common man in order to boost up & sharpen the quality of human resource which would be of interminable economic benefits for the society.

A Religion Stressing Peace

The religion stressing peace :Major(R)Khalid Nasr
Islam has been derived from salamti i.e peace. Perhaps it is the only religionhaving its origin in the concept of peace. For example, Muslims are under obligation to wish peace whenever they see each other during the day or at night. The conventional way of wishing in Islam is As-Salaam-o-Aleikum i.e may Allah bestow peace & his protection on you; which in turn is responded as Wa-Aleikum-us-Salaam ie. may you also live & prospper under divine protection. It is a simple & straight relifion emphasising the role of peace in human & animal life.It has been enjoined upon all Muslims not to render any physical/bodily harm to any human being; unless he/she has harmed others physically/bodily. This is strictly in accordance with the modern theory of deterrence from crime while dealing with the system of Crime & Punishment in a given Society. Recognising the freedom of conscience, Islam has given liberty to all human being living within the territorial limits of a Muslim State to adopt practise and follow the religion of their own choice without accepting any external pressure.
Similarly Jihad is obligatory under circumstances of an armed aggression to life & property. The right of self-defence has all along been universally accepted, and Islam is no exception in this case either.All the Wars during the lifetime of Holy Prophet were defensive in nature without allowing aggression in any case.
It has also been preached forcefully that one' belief in Islam is doubtful, unless his existence is acknowledged as unharmful to others----no discrimination between Muslims & non-Muslims has been made. We all know and Christian powers in Europe recognise that Muslim defenders were humane, whereas so many atrocities are attributed to crusaders who didn't spare their other christian brethren & sisters. One could easily allude to the notorious chastity belts for women when crusaders left for the so called crusades.
One also knows that Renaissance started after the fall of Constantinople, when Muslim knowledge of Science & Technology was discovered by Europe through sheer accident. Islam was the fountain of knowledge, when Christians in Europe were walking on their fours.
Today Islam is being blamed for terrorism, when Muslims are engaged in defending their own life & property against the Western aggression on false pretexts of terrorism whereas it is they who are committing unparallelled & unequalled atrocities even on Muslim Women & Children throughout the World (even in Chichniya in Europe despite the fact that chichniyans belong to their own white race).
In addition to above, they would be well-advised to remember that that all human are fallible; and muslims are not an exception to this universally acknowledged human trait. Whereas Islam is a religion providing a code of conduct for Muslim, the latter are fallible human beings not essentially coming upto the islamic ideals. So the two are to ben seen separately; and failing of Muslims, if any, are not to be attributed to Islam as a religion. This is the message for today.

About Us

The Thinkers of Pakistan is a forum of like-minded people to promote a positive & proactive approach towards all issues in the arena.Let us develop a culture of peace & harmony . We should be assertive in putting across our point of view but at the same time we must show empathy & understanding towards other's point of view.Islam teaches us patience & tolerrence and we should be the torch-bearers of this commandment.