Nowadays, CEOs depend upon their intuition and western business models to take decisions and run their businesses. However, none of these models used for running business are perfect. As a result, you see a lot of CEOs ultimately failing and businesses crumbling. Have you ever thought of using any business model that is not based on the teachings of western philosophers and still offers you complete and effective guidelines to run your business without any real hassle?
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is not only a religious teacher but he led Muslims wonderfully well in all areas of life whether it is a battle ground or running his own business. So, have you ever wondered how he did his business as an exemplary CEO?
Greed of Today’s CEOs and their Ultimate Derailment:
Everyday in modern business environment, a new CEO scandal hits the limelight and as a result, the whole organization working under that CEO suffers. Similarly, there have been heated debates about the wages and compensation of CEOs both in United Kingdom and North America. Even those people who are considered as role models sometimes get under the cloud due to lack of morality, typical examples being Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton.
Most of the modern chief executives, no matter how successful they are, struggle to become a real role model for their contemporaries, colleagues and subordinates. There are many reasons behind this “failure” such as complete abandonment of religion from their lives, no respect at all for social and moral values, dishonesty and most importantly, the insatiable greed to earn as much money as possible.
What Prophet (PBUH) Did?
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) achieved remarkable success as a CEO and become a revered role model for the entire world, especially for the Muslims. The reason of his unprecedented success in all fields of life is that he removed duality both from his private life and public role. Each and every moment of his life is recorded and therefore, we know that he was known as straight and honest even before Allah Almighty appointed him as a Prophet.
Secondly, he was content with whatever he got and never wished of becoming super rich. He was more concerned about the welfare and betterment of his companions rather than making more money for himself. This is the point which modern CEOS also need to remember while asking for huge salaries and compensations if they want to be really loved by their co-workers.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as CEO:
Now we come to the actual topic of our discussion that is Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a CEO. There are three levels at which we can see and understand his model of leadership and each of these levels is explained one by one in the following lines.
As discussed above, he was straight and honest both in his personal and public dealings. He was known as Sadiq and Amin and we can translate these terms as credibility and reputation management in modern words. He always used to keep his words and never lied to anybody in his entire life. He was self disciplined and always used his time properly. There are many examples when he was the first person to arrive when some important issue had to be resolved.
He was a true leader and there are many dimension of his leadership some of which are discussed below.
He never treated himself different or special from others and his communication was always non-hierarchal. He used to sit even with his servants and they would eat on the same table. He was light hearted and had a good sense of humour as well. He used to listen to the suggestions and ideas of his companions and also implemented them if they sounded good enough.
He just like any other good leader used to motivate his followers but his style of motivation was transformational, not transactional. People believed in his mission so much that they worked for free and often sacrificed their lives to accomplish that mission.
• Leader without a Title:
Although, he had been the leader of his people all through his life yet he never used this title for himself. He also used to accept dissent and never imposed his own ideas on others especially when he was running the state of Madinah. Again, there are many examples when he expressed his true leadership skills such as Sulah Hadibiya.
• Emotional Quotient:
One of the greatest characteristics of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was that he was consistent and never lost hope even in the most adverse circumstances. He never cursed people who tortured him when he used to preach teachings of Islam. Similarly, he also forgave all of his enemies after the conquest of Mecca. He believed in gradual self regulation and introduced rules and values in a gradual manner with the help of divine guidance.
Just like the public leadership, the task leadership of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also have many dimensions.
• Problems Solving:
First of all Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) always adopted a problems solving approach while managing various tasks. He used wise acts and proper timings to avoid controversies. He let people use their own ways in worldly matters and only acted as a guide on numerous occasions.
• Consultative Decision Making:
He was not a despotic ruler but he believed in consultative decision making. He used to council with wise people and let his companions to participate in decision making process. Sometimes, he would also endorse their suggestions and implement them as in the case of Khandaq Battle when he ordered Muslims to dig a mot around the city of Madinah to protect it from attackers on the advice of Hazrat Suleiman Farsi (R.A.)
• Allocating Work:
He believed in strength based assigning and always assigned jobs based on the capability and preference of the person. That is why he succeeded to build a team in mere 23 years that spread Islam in all part of the world.
Similarly, he never appraised or penalised anyone for minor mistakes, delegated his powers whenever possible and finally, trained four caliphs that would run the Muslim state in succession after him. It is important to note that there is nothing superhuman about everything he did. All these acts are doable and very much practical in modern world. Muslim and non-Muslim CEOs can take guidance from the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) alike to improve their personal and professional lives.