Paper at the Leadership Enhancement Program of the Institute of Medicine, Universiti Brunei Darussalam held at Empire Hotel and Resort on October 1, 2005



1.1 Leadership:

Definition of Leadership, Leadership in Qur’an and Sunnat, Good and Bad Leadership, Leadership Power, Importance of Leadership

1.2 Leaders:

The Concept of Imaam in the Qur’an & Sunnat, Everybody Undertakes Leadership Functions, Process of Leadership,  Types & Styles of Leaders, Functions & Activities of Leaders


Attributes of Followers, Followers Part of Leadership Situation, Duties of Followers Towards the Leader, Reliance on Followers,  Praise and Personality Cult:

1.4 Functions and Activities of Leaders:

Overview, Communication, Getting the Work Done, Time Management, Public and Private Spheres

1.5 Failure of Leadership:

Causes of Leadership Failure, Responsibility and Accountability, Results/Bottom Line, Causes of Leader Hatred, Consequences of Hatred by Followers:



2.1 Attributes and Skills of Leaders

Model Leaders, Types of Attributes and Skills, Learning from the Environment

2.2 Personal Attributes of Leaders

Leadership Values and Attitudes, Drive, Energy, Self-Motivation; Personality; Simple Life, Honesty and Financial Integrity:

2.3 Conceptual Skills of Leaders

Vision, Setting Goals, Caution and Prudence, Knowledge, Commitment:

2.4 Practical Skills of Leaders

Communication:, Decision-Making, Planning and Execution, Leading Teams, People Skills:

2.5 Human Skills of Leaders

Respecting and Understanding Followers, Humane Behaviour, Representing Followers, love by Followers



3.1 Background of Leadership Diseases

Human Imperfections, Socialization, Diseases, Deviant Personality, Deviant Values:


Pride and Vanity, Petty-Mindedness, Uncompensated Weaknesses, Ignorance, Lack of Creativity:

3.4 Diseases that Manifest in Dealing with Followers

Seeking Excessive Veneration, Oppression and Injustice, Manipulation, Dishonesty and Seeking False Reputation, Abandoning Followers:

3.5 Diseases of Followers:

Hypocrisy, Insincerity, Bad Advice for Leaders, Disloyalty, Flattery






Leadership is the process of influencing people and making them do certain things. It is both an art and a science. It may be formal and legalistic or informal. It has rational, emotional, intuitive and instinctive dimensions. Leadership involves moving followers in a certain direction mostly by non-coercive methods. A few leadership skills are innate but most are acquired by experience and education.


Successful leaders get voluntary cooperation from followers. Good leaders persuade and do not command. Fear and authority are not leadership. Leaders who depend only on authority and coercion do not go very far. Poor leaders manipulate their followers. Manipulation is getting a person to do what they are not aware of or do not want to do.


There is a dynamic interaction between the leader, the followers, and the situation. A leader of one group of followers may not be able to lead a different group. A leader in one situation may fail in another one. Roles of leaders and followers can be interchanged. A leader may be a follower of a more powerful leader. A good leader must therefore also be a good follower.



There are many verses of the Qur’an and hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) with a direct bearing on leadership. The Qur’an reported that Ibrahim was given leadership after undergoing trial[i]. A good leader wants good followers[ii]. It is necessary and obligatory to have leaders[iii]. Knowledge is the basis for selection of leaders[iv]. Personal ambition for leadership is discouraged[v]. A leader has responsibility[vi]. Everybody exercises leadership responsibility[vii]. Incompetent leaders are condemned[viii]. Leadership authority in incompetent hands is a sign of doom[ix]. One of the signs of the approach of the Last Day will be the disappearance of honesty and when authority is given to those who do not deserve it[x]. Leadership power is necessary for success for example Sulaiman was a powerful knowledgeable leader[xi] who used his power to do good. The leader must be gradual in obtaining compliance[xii]. Allah's gives guidance to good leaders[xiii]. Justice, objectivity, and honesty are needed in Leadership[xiv].


The personality of the leader must have strength and patience[xv]. Musa was very patient with the Banu Israil[xvi]. The leader must avoid any appearance of impropriety[xvii]. The leader must have empathy and respect for followers[xviii]. He must have leniency, good treatment, and forgiveness[xix]. He must have consideration for the followers[xx]. He is a protector[xxi]. He comforts followers in times of despair[xxii]. He must maintain public moral standards[xxiii]. He should not be cruel[xxiv]. Leaders learn from mistakes and do not repeat them[xxv]. Good leaders admit ignorance and accept correction[xxvi].


The leader must be liked by followers[xxvii]. Love by people is indication leader is good[xxviii]. The leader must be accessible[xxix]. However the leader must be given some privacy[xxx].


For success of leadership, the followers must have certain qualities. Bad followers lead to bad leadership. Good followers lead to good leadership. "kama takuunu yuwalla alaikum". The duties of followers include obedience of the leaders[xxxi]. Followers must give sincere advice to the leaders[xxxii] Good advisors help a leader succeed[xxxiii]. A good leader encourages followers to correct him[xxxiv]. Followers may be disobedient as were Banu Israil with Musa[xxxv]. Respect for authority is necessary for success of society[xxxvi]. Leaders must be obeyed[xxxvii]. There are however limits to this obedience. Leaders can not be obeyed if they violate the Law[xxxviii].


Leaders may suffer from certain diseases and weaknesses. Ignorant leaders misguide[xxxix]. Oppression and petty-mindedness are condemned[xl]. Oppressors will be finally punished[xli]. Bad leaders deceive their followers[xlii]. They may spend time searching for follower faults[xliii]. They torment followers for no genuine reason[xliv]. The Qur’an described some cruel leaders such as Pharaoh[xlv] and Dhu Nuwas[xlvi]. Pharaoh was arrogant[xlvii]. Bad leaders take bribes[xlviii].



True leadership is more service than domination. The leader is the servant, sayyid al qawm khadimuhum. Good and effective leadership is a source of greatness. ‘abqariyyah. Great movements and changes in history are always associated with great leaders. Intended here is real, genuine, moral, and competent leadership based on character and integrity and not the phoney leadership that thrives on propaganda, deceit, and manipulation. Bad leaders are motivated by power alone. They just like the exercise of power. Good leaders have higher motivation. They want to use leadership power to improve and make a change.


There is no leadership without followership. The quality of the followers determines the quality of the leaders. A good leader may fail with bad followers. An average leader may succeed if he has good followers. In the long run it is follower quality that determines the nature of a particular leadership situation. "The way you are is the way of your leaders". Followers get the leaders they deserve. Incongruence between followers and leaders is usually temporary.


Successful leadership requires that followers obey the leader. There are, however, limitations and conditions for that obedience as will be discussed later.


Good leaders teach leadership, they pull and do not push. Good leadership involves empowering followers by coaching them and then sharing leadership power with them through delegation. Followers must be given real authority, information and resources but must be held accountable for what they do. Empowered followers have heightened self-efficacy and self-confidence. They will have higher performance, exhibit more cooperation, achieve higher personal growth, and in the end all ensure the survival of the organization.




Leaders and followers are better defined by what they do than what they are or what they say. Actions cannot deceive over time; reputation and nice words often do. Every leader has to expose himself through his actions since there is no leadership without activity.



Power is capability or potential to get something done. Influence is exercise of power to get something done. Authority is formal power that a leader has as a virtue of the position. Power and leadership are interdependent but are not interchangeable. A leader needs power to succeed and influence others but power alone does not make an effective leader.



There are 2 types of leadership power: personal and positional. Both are used in varying proportions depending on the leadership situation. Personal power is based on character, expertise, charisma, and personal relations. Positional power is based on formal authority that includes decision-making, reward, punishment, and control of information and organizational resources.



The leader has to make a correct judgement of which source of power to use in a particular leadership situation. Influence is exercise of leadership power. Powerful leaders have more influence. They have credibility and can get more compliance from their followers. Leaders can get follower compliance by rational persuasion, appeal, pressure, promise of rewards, negotiations (win-win, compromise). Leader get followers to do things either by making small demands followed by big ones, or by starting with big demands followed by small ones of the big ones are not possible



A leader gains more power and influence by building credibility. Credibility is based on competence (experience, knowledge, and skills), character (honesty, kindness, and sympathy), self-confidence, activity and drive, boldness and assertiveness. The followers must trust the leader if he is to lead them well. Building credibility starts with self-assessment to know your strengths and use them, to identify your weaknesses and compensate for them. You have to listen to and learn from the followers. Keeping promises and being predictable are very important for credibility.



Leadership is a pre-condition for civilized existence. Absence of recognized leadership means chaos to the detriment of all. Any group of 3 or more must have a leader. Leadership is the single most important determinant of organizational success. Good leadership leads to success; bad leadership leads to frustration and failure. If the leaders are upright, the ummat will be upright, istiqamat amr al naas idha istaqamat al aimmat[xlix]. All members, supporters, and sympathizers of the organization are stakeholders who are concerned about success and failure of leadership.





The Qur’an and sunnat use the term imaam to refer to leaders in the following verses and hadiths. Ibrahim prayed that leaders be appointed from his progeny[l]. Even the suppressed can become leaders, al mustadhi’afiin aimmat[li]. Each group of people will be identified by their leader, kullu unaas bi imaamihim[lii]. Good leaders prefer leading righteous people, imaam al muttaqiin[liii]. The Qur’an described good leaders as the guided ones, aimmat mahdiyiin[liv]. Bad leaders call people towards evil and hell, aimmat yadi’uuna ila al naar[lv]. Effective leadership is achieved after trials, imaamat ba’ada al ibtilaa[lvi].



Leadership is a function exercised by almost everybody each in his or her own sphere; you are at least leaders of yourself or leader of your family. The prophet taught that everybody is responsible and that everybody is accountable, kullukum raa’i wa kullu raa’i mas’uulu ‘an ra’iyatihi[lvii]. Leadership can be in the community, the work place, and in public organizations. Since everybody has some leadership roles, each one can become a more effective leader by formal training or gaining experience on the job. Not everyone wants to be a public leader. There are many people who are just not prepared to invest the energy necessary to shoulder the responsibilities of public leadership.


Leadership involves the following specific functions: setting and communicating visions, goals, and objectives; representing followers; directing, coordinating, and integrating; influencing, mobilizing, motivating, creating enthusiasm and optimism; providing services and making a difference.




Successful public leadership is always directly or indirectly dependent on the consent of the followers. Good selection of leaders requires participation of the followers. Leaders cannot be imposed. Imposition of leaders can work for only a short time or is associated with unsuccessful leader-follower situations. The exact method of expressing the follower's view varies according to the circumstances, culture, history, and traditions of each group. Follower input whatever its nature cannot be ignored. There is no correct answer to the question how long should one individual stay in leadership? It is better to leave this matter open and decide according to circumstances. Staying too long discourages the emergence of younger leaders and infusing new blood and new ideas into the organization. It may also result into inefficiency as the leader loses effectiveness with time. Frequent changes of leaders may on the other hand result in lack of continuity and instability. There are situations in which one long-serving leader is the only one with the skills and charisma to hold the organization together. In such a case you should not insist on change for the sake of change.



Leaders experience problems. Being at the top can be lonely. They take responsibility for failures. Followers may be disloyal to the leaders or the organization. Subordinates may have poor values that the leaders can not stand. There may be dissent. The leaders may be ahead of the followers in vision and thinking. External threats are always looming on the horizon. A leader is a public figure and has to accept more invasion of his privacy than an ordinary person. The leader can not close his door in front of people who have a need to see him[lviii]. It is important that people know enough about leaders' private life to be assured that they are not involved in any activity that is incompatible with their leadership position. The leader must be accessible at all times and cannot claim privacy as a reason for not carrying out leadership functions. The followers must however have some consideration for the leader and his family. They must give him some privacy so that he can lead an ordinary life



Leaders, being human, are not always perfect. They have strengths and weaknesses. A correct assessment of a particular leadership situation requires looking at both strengths and weaknesses. Expectations generate a power and a momentum of their own and are a very powerful motivator. A leader who effectively communicates expectations gets what he expects. Only self-confident leaders can communicate expectations effectively. Practical life tests leaders in various ways; the strongest emerge successful from the tests.


A leader must be able to stand up to emotional and psychological pressures. He must maintain his calm and objectivity in face of personal insults and abuse directed at him or what he stands for and loves. He must be able to deal fairly with people he is not emotionally comfortable with such as opponents, those who abuse, and disparage him.




Leadership is highly individualized and is very specific for the situation and the type of followers. Each circumstance calls for different skills and style of leadership. The only constant un-varying dimension is that whatever style or skills are employed, they must conform to the leader's basic personality, values, and attitudes otherwise there will be inconsistencies that will eventually lead to leadership failure.


Several types of leaders and styles of leadership can be described: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire. Leaders can be transactional, transformational, or charismatic. Some leaders are task oriented whilst others are people-oriented. Choice of type or style must be flexible. The choice is determined by: the situation, leader personality, follower personality, type of organization, and type of work carried out. Some situations call for use of a combination of leadership styles.



Leaders can be autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire: Autocratic leaders are dictatorial. They set goals, make all the decisions and just give followers orders to carry out. They personally direct tasks. There is very little follower feed back. Democratic leaders on the other hand involve followers in decision-making, listen to them, and give them a chance to participate. There is feed back from both the leaders and the followers. Laisser-faire leaders neglect their role. They have little interaction with the followers. They do not care about what the followers do. The followers are free to do what they want, how and when they want. Laisser-faire leaders exercise hands-off management.



Leadership may be task-oriented or people-oriented. A good leader has the right mixture of the two for the particular leadership situation he may find himself in. The correct synthesis is to concentrate first on the people, make them believe in themselves, trust, train, and nurture them and then let them produce superior results. Task-oriented leaders are mainly interested in production and results. They often have poor interpersonal skills. Some leaders perform well with structured tasks whereas others are best with unstructured tasks. People-oriented leaders are interested in the welfare of the followers and try to make them happy and contented. This, if taken to the extreme, affects productivity, quality, and results.



Transformational leaders empower, inspire, innovate, and raise passions. They have a vision and communicate it effectively. They raise followers to higher levels of motivation and morality. They give their followers a feeling of well being and imbue new confidence and blow a new spirit in them. There is an emotional bond between the leaders and the followers. The power of transformational leaders is person-centered. Transactional leaders fulfill the followers' current material and psychological needs in return for performance. Their outlook is managerial.



Charismatic leaders arise in certain circumstances and are not selected. They are characterized by their values, enthusiasm, and energy. They have person-centered authority which ends with their exit from the stage. They are revered and followers are devoted to them. They are invariably dynamic public speakers. They evoke strong emotions, display self-confidence and competence, serve as role models, communicate high expectations with transcendental goals, and embody in their person the hopes, aspirations, and frustrations of the followers. Positive charismatic leaders use their authority to improve society. Negative charismatic leaders use that authority for their own self-aggrandizement. Charismatic leaders have a tendency to think of themselves as indispensable and to know all. They may develop egoistic and dictatorial tendencies. They can easily misuse their great authority and power. They usually do not prepare others to take their place. When they disappear from the stage they leave behind a void and instability.



Leadership calls for different skills from management. Managers are not necessarily leaders. The reverse is also true. An organization may be well led but poorly managed and vice versa. In practice, management and leadership functions overlap. An individual can exercises both leadership and management functions in varying proportions. You have to know when to lead and when to manage.


Leaders are concerned with effectiveness; they are intuitive and visionary; they like change, innovation, challenging the status quo, and development; they are original; they focus on vision and its importance; they have a long-term view and inspire others to achieve and excel.


Managers are rational problem-solvers whose concern is efficiency, process, and mechanics of achieving objectives. They administer for maintenance of stability, harmony, and the status quo. They follow and do not innovate. Their view is generally short-term.




Attributes of followers closely parallel those of their leaders if the leadership situation lasts a fairly long time. Followers may be lazy or hardworking. Some followers accept and take responsibility; others shun it. Some followers are sheep and are 'yes people' they will follow whatever is moving. Some are survivors who will do whatever is necessary to stay out of trouble. Other followers are alienated and do not care about what is going on around them. Some followers are obedient others are not. Many will not obey until they are promised a reward or are threatened with punishment. Followers differ in intelligence, education, experience, honesty, respect for leaders, and gratitude



Each leader has followers. The Qur’an talked about followers of the prophet, atbaa’u al rasuul[lix], followers of Isa, atbaa’u Isa[lx], and followers of Ibrahim, atbaa’u Ibrahim[lxi]. Followers play an important function in a leadership situation. It is a mistake to consider them passive spectators. It is unfortunate that books of history record only what the leaders did and ignore the more important contributions of the followers. The people close to the leader, bitaanat al imaam, can guide or misguide him[lxii].




Leaders must be obeyed otherwise there is no point in leadership. It is better to replace a leader than to disobey his commands. Obedicnce of leaders and those in authority is enjoined by the Law. The Law enjoins obeying the leader, wujuub taa’at al imaam[lxiii],  and those in authority, taa’at uulu al amr[lxiv]. Obedience extends to officials who work under the leader[lxv]. Each leader is obeyed in his or her own unique way such as  obedience of the prophet, taa’at al rasuul[lxvi], obedience by the wife, taa’at al zawjat[lxvii], and obedience of the parents, taa’at al waalidayn[lxviii].


There are limits and conditions to the obedience. Obedience is enjoined as long as there is no disobedience of Allah, al samau wa al taa’at fi ghayr ma’asiyat[lxix]. The leader cannot compel followers to do evil. The followers cannot withhold obedience to a just order just because they have a different opinion.





The leader must be shown respect because his person represents the group. If the leader is not respected, the whole group loses respect and dignity. Respect for leaders on earth is a reason for getting respect in the hereafter[lxx].



Followers must advise and correct the leader, munaasahat al imaam[lxxi]. It is incumbent on the leader to listen and accept advice. Advice from followers is facilitated by creating an atmosphere devoid of fear. The leader must give the followers license to question. This enhances their creativity.



Good, genuine and continuous feed-back is required of both leaders and followers. The following are characteristics of good effective feed-back: direct, specific, descriptive, timely, and flexible. Feed-back should include both the negative and the positive. Neither the leader nor the follower should use feed-back for blaming or embarrassing others.



Follower loyalty is very important for success of leadership. This is loyalty to the position and not the person of the leader. The leader must reciprocate this loyalty by being committed to the followers and not abandoning them or exposing them to danger.



The leader must rely on and use staff work. The staff must know they are trusted and that their work is valued.



Followers may make false praise. A good leader sees through this and avoids it. He discourages praise and development of a personality cult.




A leader must lead. The leadership function cannot be 100% delegated. The leader should not turn into a follower of the followers, that would be abdicating responsibility.

  1. Depending on the situation a leader may play one of the following roles/functions:
  2. Clarification of vision, goals, objectives for the organization and the followers
  3. Making decisions without which there is no movement
  4. Strategic and tactical Planning
  5. Training
  6. Solving problems so that they do not remain as a time-bomb
  7. Coordinating and integration to ensure unity of command, of purpose, and of direction
  8. Representation of the organization and followers outside and protecting their interests
  9. Managing and resolving conflicts so that the group may hold together
  10. Motivation of followers to be productive (j) Tasking by determining who will do what when and how
  11. Maintaining positive and smooth working relationships with peers, superiors, and followers
  12. Participation and not being aloof
  13. Evaluation of self and of followers so that renewal and correction may be possible
  14. Forming groups, coaching them and delegating responsibility to them
  15. Communication, the most important function of leadership.



Communication of the leader with followers:

Communication competence is an essential leadership skill because leadership is human interaction. Leaders must have the capacity to use symbols to create reality. These symbols are necessary to move followers to strive toward a vision, reach goals and purposes. The leader must have an agenda to lead well. Parts of the agenda must be communicated whereas some should be kept confidential. Since leaders are by definition able to see visions further than followers, they must have the twin ability to communicate those visions effectively to motivate the followers. The vision communicated outside must be the same as that communicated internally. A leader could communicate a baseline of low expectations at the start. This will enhance the impact of later achievements. Care must be taken not to make the expectations so low that there is demotivation. Leader communication must be sincere and high on the moral scale. Communicating false images and boosting the leader's ego are not acceptable. It is better for the leader to produce quality work before trying to get media attention.


Communication with the public:

The leader should use the mass media to get goodwill for the organization. All credit should be for the organization and not the leader. The leader should be humble but should not confuse his personal humility with that of the organization. The organization should have a high profile. In dealing with the media, a decision should be made whether a high or a low profile will be maintained. Each has advantages and disadvantages. A leader may have to be silent sometimes in order to buy time and get the chance to reconsider issues. As a leader you may also want to let the heat of the moment pass before committing yourself. You should be a good and motivating public speaker. If too busy use a speech-writer. Choose speaking opportunities actively and initiate the invitation process. Do not wait to be invited. Whenever you speak make sure there is solid content.


Intra-organisational communication:

A leader can hold a group together as long as intra-group communication is efficient. There should ideally exist no communication gap between the top leadership and the rank-and file. Group failure starts with communication failure. Communication problems are complicated in a decentralized organization.  An efficient communication system must be set up. The leader must read widely to be able to know what is going on inside and outside the organization. He must be able to identify micro and mega trends as well as understand how they impact on his organisation. He must know what followers know and what they are thinking about.


Communication technology:

Modern communication technology has placed new challenges on leaders. There is too much information and it is transmitted too rapidly. Information overload is a real problem. An effective leader will rise above the information clutter. He knows how to reach the people he wants despite the clutter. Clutter can be made use of when the leader deliberately wants to be vague. It is however unethical for the leader to create such clutter. He can only benefit from it when it exists. Communication technology has greatly increased the speed of events by compressing time. If you do not handle your communication well, efficiently and effectively, you will be overtaken by events. One way to manage is to be pro-active. Get your message out quickly. Control the information agenda. Have contingency plans. The leader's communication competence is put to a severe test in a crisis. A crisis presents both a danger and an opportunity as far as communication is concerned. The atmosphere of heightened tension increases receptivity of messages. Swift response and giving information builds credibility and demonstrates mastery over the situation. On the other hand hesitation and giving incomplete information destroy credibility.




You should be able to identify and resolve organizational problems. Look at each situation from different vantage points. A management solution may contradict an equally valid leadership solution. Reconciliation between the two requires much understanding and wisdom.



Effective leaders motivate followers to excel. Motivation reduces the need for close control and supervision. Motivation in a decentralized organization requires special and advanced communication skills. Positive motivation is more effective than negative one. The leader will motivate his followers if he treats them equally. He should not show any favoritism.


Delegation and coaching:

Effective leaders delegate work to others. They will motivate, coach and monitor because delegation is not abdication. Leaders who want to do all by themselves are preparing to fail.



Effective leaders know how to form work-teams and coordinate their activities for maximum productivity. They will anticipate and resolve intra-group and inter-group conflicts.


Time management:

The leader must manage time well. He should focus on issues. He must balance commitments taking into account the long-term and short term interests of the organization. Time management must be flexible. Always leave flex time as a blank in your calendar.


Public and private spheres:

A leader in the exercise of his functions must distinguish between the personal and official roles. Acting in the official role may involve doing things contrary to what you would do in private and vice versa. However no immoral acts can be accepted on the excuse that they are required by the official position. It is better in such a case to resign than compromise your values.




Leadership failure is a consequence of a series of mistakes. An organization can survive a few leadership mistakes. When the mistakes are consecutive and cumulative, the death certificate for the organization is sealed.

Leadership failure has several often inter-related causes:

  1. Refusal to admit mistakes and blaming them on others
  2. Belief of the leader that he is indispensable and behaving as a dictator
  3. Fear for position and neglecting training or developing replacements
  4. Disloyalty to superiors, peers, followers and the organization
  5. Lack of creativity: hating new ideas, persisting in unproductive but tested ways, and being too bureaucratic
  6. Lack of common sense, being away from reality and being theoretical
  7. Lack of human skills and handling followers well and equitably
  8. Lack of a sense of bottom-line that you have to produce results
  9. Failure to lead and following the crowd
  10. Condoning or tolerating incompetence
  11. Failure to recognize and reward good work
  12. Followers hating the leader.



A leader is accountable for all what goes on. He should have the courage to admit his mistakes so that he may correct them. He must also take ultimate responsibility for mistakes committed by subordinates although he is not personally directly culpable. He was supposed to select only the best and most competent, train them, and supervise them so that they make no mistakes.


Bad leaders do not take personal responsibilities. They are not accountable for mistakes in their organization. They look for excuses (even valid ones) or shift responsibility to others. It is a sign of personal weakness and emotional immaturity for a leader to pretend to be all-knowing and perfect all the time.



A leader is judged by results. Lack of a sense of a bottom line is a sure way to leadership failure. Such leaders may tolerate or even condone incompetence in the organization because success and results do not matter to them. They will fail to recognize and reward good work. A leader must achieve results. If he fails, even if he worked hard and sincerely and even if he has valid excuses, he is considered to have failed and he must accept responsibility. Accepting responsibility is the first positive step toward looking for a solution.




A leader who does not respect followers is soon hated. The causes of hatred are: impersonal behavior, not listening to followers, being self importance, wrong decisions, claiming credit for followers' work, blaming followers for the leader's mistakes, being secretive, withholding information, failure to protect followers from external attacks, public criticism of followers, not consulting followers, and over-working followers.



When a leader starts thinking that he is special and that there is nobody else who can be in his position he is already on the way to being lost. He will soon become a dictator and will suppress all dissent and refuse to listen to advice. He will not develop his followers. Shaitan will encourage him to become increasingly arrogant until he eventually fails. An insecure leader fears for his position and tries to oppress or suppress people with leadership ability in the organization. This is an insincere person who should not have been a leader in the first place. A mark of a good leader is not coveting positions.



 Poor leaders, actually leaders by default, put down people and are only manifesting their own lack of self-confidence and a feeling of low self-worth. They assume that everybody else must be like them. Such leaders either do not last long or continue leading failing organizations.



A bad leader does not trust others and is not trusted. He will be disloyal to his superiors, his peers, and his subordinates. He will even betray the organization in pursuit of his selfish interests.



A leader who is not accessible soon loses touch with realities in the organizations. He can not know what is going on at the grass-roots level. He lives in an ivory tower and his decisions and actions lack the common sense that is expected.  It is forbidden for the leader to close his door in front of those with needs[lxxii].



Poor leaders are poor in human relations. They demotivate followers, harass them and make them loathe the organization. Many followers will leave at the first opportunity. Some leaders develop this people incompetence into an art. They are aware of their inadequacy and inability to change so they make sure no follower stays too long with them. They know the follower will eventually get fed up with them and may confront them one day. They make sure he leaves before that breaking point. High turnover thus becomes a normal way with dire consequences for the organization.



Some leaders abdicate their responsibilities. They fail to lead and follow the crowd. Some could justify this by saying that they are 'listening' to their followers. The main motivation for this is to be loved by the followers. Some leaders just do not want to confront the practical realities and difficulties of leadership and are content only with the pomp and material benefits of leadership.



No person should insist on continuing in a leadership position if he/she is hated by the followers. Leadership can not succeed if there is no good relation between the leader and the followers. Confrontations and divisions will sooner or later occur in the organization. If a leader is in position for the good of the organization and not personal interest, he will rather resign than expose the organization to the risk of failure.

Go to Part II

[i] (Qur'an 2:124)

[ii] (Qur'an 25:74)

[iii] (Abu Daud 2:721, Chapter 933, hadith # 2602)

[iv] (Bukhari 1:82, hadith # 16,  Muslim 1: 389, Chapter 288, Hadith # 1780, Abu Daud 1:155, hadith # 587)

[v] (Abu Daud 2:827, Chapter 1090, hadith # 2923)

[vi] (Abu Daud 1:136, Hadith # 517)

[vii] (Abu Daud 2:827, Chapter 1089, hadith # 2922, Muslim 3: 1017, Chapter 758, Hadith # 4496)

[viii] (Muslim 1: 82, Chapter 44, Hadith # 264)

[ix] (Bukhari 1;50-51, hadith # 56)

[x] (Bukhari 8:332, hadith # 503)

[xi] (Qur'an 27:15-44)

[xii] (Bukhari)

[xiii] (Qur'an 21:78-79, Bukhari 9:194-195, hadith # 260', Muslim 3: 1014, Chapter 756, Hadith # 4487)

[xiv] (Qur'an 38:26, Bukhari 9:206, Bukhari 9:197 (hadith # 264-265),

[xv] (Muslim 3: 1015-1016, Chapter 758, Hadith # 4491)

[xvi]  (Bukhari 8:78, hadith #122)

[xvii] (Muslim 2: 517, Chapter 400, Hadith # 2339, Muslim 2:518-519, Chapter 401, Hadith # 2347

[xviii] (Qur'an 5:88, Qur'an 26:215, Qur'an 9:128, Abu Daud 2:731-732, Chapter 952, Hadith # 2641)

[xix]  (Muslim 3: 944, Chapter 706, Hadith # 4300, Abu Daud 2:685, Chapter 848, Hadith # 2471,)

[xx] (Bukhari 1:379, hadith # 670, Bukhari 5:443, hadith # 632, Bukhari 1:380, hadith # 673)

[xxi] (Bukhari 4:128-129, hadith # 204)

[xxii] (Tabari 11:194)

[xxiii] (Hayat al Sahabat 2:721)

[xxiv] (Muslim 3:1018, Chapter 759, Hadith # 4504) (Muslim 3:1018, Chapter 759, Hadith # 4504)

[xxv] (Muslim 4: 1541, Chapter 1238, Hadith # 7137)

[xxvi] (Bukhari 3:158-159, hadith #277, Bukhari 1;238-239, hadith # 394)

[xxvii] (Abu Daud 1:156, Hadith #593)

[xxviii]  (Muslim 4: 1386, Chapter 1097, Hadith # 6375)

[xxix] (Abu Daud 2:832-833, Chapter 1101, hadith # 2942)

[xxx] (Qur'an 33:53)

[xxxi] (Muslim 3:1023, Chapter 761, Hadith # 4538, Muslim 3: 1040, Chapter 775, Hadith # 4604)

[xxxii] (Bukhari 1:48, chapter 43)

[xxxiii] (Bukhari 9:235, hadith # 306)

[xxxiv] (Abu Daud 1:231, Chapter 315, Hadith # 907)

[xxxv] (Qur'an 2:51-61, 5:22-29, 7:148-156, 7:159-162)

[xxxvi] (Riyadh al Salihiin 1:371, hadith # 673)

[xxxvii] (Qur'an 4:59, Qur'an 3:32, Qur'an 3:132, Qur'an 4:59, Bukhari 1:375, hadith #662,)

[xxxviii] (Bukhari 4:128, hadith # 203, Abu Daud 2:726 Chapter 942, Hadith # 2619, Muslim 3:1022, Chapter 761, Hadith # 4536, Bukhari 5:441, hadith # 629)

[xxxix]  (Bukhari 1:80, hadith # 100)

[xl] (Muslim 4: 1366, Chapter 1065, Hadith # 6248)

[xli]  (Bukhari 6:171, hadith # 208)

[xlii] (Bukhari 9:197, hadith # 265)

[xliii] (Abu Daud 3:1362, Chapter 1752, Hadith # 4870)

[xliv] (Muslim 3: 1378, Chapter 1083, Hadith # 6328)

[xlv] (Qur:an 2:49), 21:66-70)

[xlvi] (Qur’an 85: 1-8)

[xlvii] (Qur'an 28:38-39, 79:21-24)

[xlviii] (Muwatta 33:321, hadith # 1)

[xlix]  (Darimi Intr B22)

[l] (Qur’an 2:124)

[li] (Qur’an 28:5)

[lii] (Qur’an 17:71)

[liii] (Qur’an 25:73)

[liv] (Qur’an 21:73; p148 32:24)

[lv] (Qur’an 28:41)

[lvi] (Qur'an 2:124)

[lvii] (Bukhari K93 B1, Bukhari K93 B8, Muslim K33 H20, Muslim K33 H44, Abudaud K19 B1,)

[lviii] (Tirmidhi K13 B6)

[lix] (Qur’an 2:143, 3:20, 3:31, 3:53, p 222 6:153, 7:157-159, 9:117)

[lx] (Qur’an 3:55)

[lxi] (Qur’an 3:95, 4:125, 12:38, 16:123)

[lxii] (Nisai K39 B33, Ahmad 3:39, Ahmad 3:87)

[lxiii] (Muslim K15 B312, Muslim K33 H31, Muslim K33 H34, Muslim K33 H35, Muslim K33 H35,)

[lxiv] (Qur’an 4:59)

[lxv] (Bukhari K93 B1, Muslim K33 H32,33, Nisai K309 B28)

[lxvi] (Qur’an 3:32, 71:3)

[lxvii] (Qur’an 4:3)

[lxviii] (Qur’an 29:8, 31:15, 37:101-102)

[lxix] (Bukhari K56 B108, Bukhari K56 B109, Bukhari K56 B111, Bukhari K64 B59,)

[lxx] (Ahmad 5:42, Ahmad 5:48)

[lxxi] (Ahmad 3:225, Ahmad 5:83)

[lxxii] (Tirmidhi K13 B6)

ęCopyright Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr October 2005