In the sixth session of the Leadership Legacies we discussed Pragmatic Decisiveness. This is about:
- Awareness of the wider situation (vs inconsideration)
- Deliberation over important factors (vs a rash decision)
- Focussing on the time for action (vs the time for inappropriate discussion)
There are many many examples of pragmatic decisiveness in the sunnah. One key example is the Treaty of Hudaibiya. Many close companions objected to the treaty because they saw it as a big compromise. However the Prophet (SAW) knew it was pragmatic and good in the long term. Some small short term sacrifices in the wording, and not performing umrah that year meant that it allowed the muslims to do so for generations afterwards.
Being able to carry your team through a contentious decision is part of the role of an effective leader:
“Leadership is sometimes about disappointing your own people at a rate they can absorb”.
The prophet (SAW) had this.
We can reflect on our own experiences as we see leaders make decisions on hajj and umrah with COVID-19 today, and also for us in the team with ‘virtual’ Charity Week.
Most of our decisions, don’t make much of a difference. Figure out what is important and simplify the process from there.
Simplifying doesn’t mean putting forth your opinion, it means getting every angle and thus blessing by means of shura (i.e. opinion of the people around you)
Implementing it in CW
How often do we discuss issues, that are not really important?
How often do we hold back on difficult decisions which could change the future of our regions, countries or CW as a project?
How often do we convoke a shura and listen to opinions that will improve or simplify our decision?
How often do we actually make a decision?
3 Steps to be a Pragmatic Decision Maker:
- Istishara (take shurah with reliable counsel)
- Istikhara (seek Allah swt’s advice)