By Qasim Ali Shah – Well-renowned teacher, inspirational speaker and leader, a success coach and a practical educationist of Pakistan.
A successful tycoon, also an inspiration for me, told me his story. For the benefit of all, I am sharing it here with his permission.
In 1988, I used to work for a trader on a monthly salary of Rs. 1500. My employer was a prosperous merchant from Bhooraywallah. Once, before Eid, an old man came to visit his office near closing time. I took the hint from my employer’s attitude that he was reluctant to meet this old man. Just to pass time, I started a conversation. “Where do you come from?” I asked casually, and the old man gave a detailed answer: “I was a postman in your employer’s hometown, and I am in severe need of help, as my son has been wrongly convicted. Eid is close and we have no money for his bail.” I was earning only Rs. 1500, but the man’s condition melted my heart.
At that moment, my boss called me in his office and asked me to get rid of the old man. My heart was broken to see the old man’s situation. Poor man needed help according to his status, which was nothing as compared to my employer’s high stature. Reluctantly, I followed my boss’s orders and arranged for my boss to leave the building without telling the old man. When I told him that the boss is gone for Iftar, the poor old man was filled with sorrow and disappointment, as he had travelled a long distance, hoping to find a little bit of help.
What I did was that I took the old man for Iftar to my one room apartment in Ichra, Lahore, which I had rented for my family. As soon as we entered, both my toddlers, Junaid and Waleed rushed with wide open arms to greet us. I told them: “Leave your father – look, your grandfather has come to meet us today.” Both kids hugged the old postman with the same zeal and enthusiasm. I told them to arrange for Iftar for their grandfather. When they turned towards the kitchen, I turned around to see the old man, who was in Sajdah on the bare floor, crying and praying to Allah (swt): “Ya Allah, bless this man and his family.”
Today Malik Sahab (the man who narrated this story) is a very rich distributer in Punjab. Allah (swt) has blessed him immensely with Rizq, and he is running unlimited welfare projects. He has recently donated ten million rupees to Farooqabad, his local area, for Riba free home business loans.
My inspirational relationship with Malik Shahab is twenty years old now. He says: “That was the time to take Duas, which my boss did not reach out for, so I took the opportunity. Instead of my Rs. 1500 job, I became a billionaire; as for my boss, well, he (unfortunately) sank to lower levels.”
Always remember to encourage your team for excellent performances but also remember to encourage them to pray for you – make Duas for you.
What do we do when it is time to help someone? We shy away from eye contact, fearing to be asked! I will share with you the secret of becoming a successful entrepreneur: look for and seek people in need of help – step forward to help them, even before they ask for it! Care for the poor and respectable who do not ask openly.
When it is time for holiday vacations and they need to go home, let them go. No maid or servant in our house has ever committed robbery, as we care for them. Care does not mean inspections with hidden cameras; care means understanding their problems. Our servants say that there is no place like ours, where the employers are caring and kind. Servants get fresh food and new clothes. It is all about the heart – if hearts are generous, then whatever we do becomes big automatically. With stingy hearts we can never achieve anything big. So learn to care.
What is Deen? Deen is forgiving your employees seventy times, when they commit any sin. So forgive and forget.
Have you ever heard of unconditional love? What is unconditional love? Consider humans as human beings like yourself. Your employees have kids and families just like you do. They have problems just like you. What is the big deal, if Allah (swt) has made you Malik over them? If Allah (swt) has blessed you, then be grateful for it through your actions, not just lip service. If you have a team of people working under you, then considering them worthy and respectful is your gratitude in front of Allah (swt).
Being a team leader, always remember that when you care less about someone, they care less about you, and when you care more about someone, they care more about you. This is the concept of a team.
Whenever an entrepreneur comes to me, complaining about the lack of care from his team, I know instantly that the problem is with this person, not with the team. I have observed that whenever a team is pressurized, filled with fear and loss of hope, killing time waiting for another opportunity – remember there is no inspiration in such team, because big achievements do not come from rules; rather, success comes from inspiration! Get your team inspired for stronger performance. Care for your team – solve problems of team members, while considering them human beings. Understand what makes your team happy and what makes them sad.
Once my wife called to tell me that our driver had a son, so I called him to congratulate him instantly. We need to realize that congratulations of everyone in the world cannot compare to the boss’s congrats. When we delay our care, it converts into pain. So, love to care! When you actually put yourself in the footsteps of your team and look at their problem, they are very small and solvable. Become the shoulder your team can cry on. Every person is facing some sort of problems, but not all of them have solutions.
Distribute the problems of your team into categories:
- You can solve the problem: please do not wait – solve them as soon as possible. You will lose your team member, while you are waiting for the right time. Hearts will be distanced.
- You cannot solve the problem but you can encourage your team member. Care by telling him that you can feel his pain and that you are there to support them. Tell them that sometimes life is hard and remind them to trust in Allah (swt). Encourage them to go forward and assure that all difficulties come to pass. Make Dua for them.
If your team members make Dua for you, then you have achieved success! But if you get the work done with threats, insults, disgrace and abuse, then they will make Dua against you – you surely will be among the losers!