Religion is a theory of everything that matters.
Theodore Roosevelt, when serving as president of the United States used a single equation that assisted, eased, and simplified his decisions. He used this equation every time he had to take an important decision or solve a baffling problem. He used to gaze at a large painting of Abraham Lincoln that hung in his office and he used to ask himself “What would Lincoln do if he were in my shoes? How would he solve the problem?” Scientists have been working tirelessly for centuries on a single theory, equation, and formula that can explain and decode every aspect and facet of physics. A single calculation that solves every mystery and question, which is the basic notion behind the theory of everything.
Religion has been playing the role of theory of everything ever since the birth of mankind and has made our life simple by providing solutions to every facet. Everything is solved, we just have to act on it. From the simple question of how to live, right on up through more complex queries about trade, knowledge, and ethics; from character building all the way down into matters pertaining specifically to rulership, leadership and, managing people, we just have to ask ourselves a single question that will act as a solution for every matter, we just have to ask “what would our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) do in such a situation”. We have to question just like Theodore Roosevelt used to question Abraham Lincoln, who was his theory of everything.
“To know the reality, we should not be bound by the sciences which run on the pillars of refutation and evolution. Instead, we should be bound by our experience of life,” says Khurram Ellahi. And as my Master, Sir Faiez H.Seyal says: “I believe that any worldly field of knowledge or discipline will always become old as the time passes. But it does not mean that there is nothing to fall back on. There surely is something that will pass the test of time.”
“The practices, principles, and traits as listed in Quran are evergreen” he further adds in his management science handbook ’30 Second Manager’, a discipline that we will briefly explore in this write.
30 Second Manager contains a collection of the global best management and leadership practices. Every practice, principle, and trait is supported by the divine laws of nature either in the form of a Quranic Āyah or by the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
An article from Harvard Business Review titled ‘How to Ask for a Promotion’ by Rebecca Knight mentions key elements that shed light on the importance of strategy in achieving promotion. Let’s take a look at what the article had to say about doing effective homework and research before asking for a promotion.
“It’s smart to gather outside intelligence too, says Nawaz. “The more senior you get, the more likely it is that your promotion is not the sole decision of your manager,” she notes. “Your manager’s peers have input as well.” She recommends, “soliciting feedback from a personal board of directors” on your strengths and weaknesses, and speaking to peers to try to “gauge your institutional reputation.” Also, ask your colleagues how they perceive your promotion readiness.
Remember: when it comes to granting your request, “it’s not just the business results [that matter.] You have to be someone that people are willing to follow.”
The last three lines of the above excerpt reminded me of a similar lesson that I went through in 30 Second Managers. The author Faiez H. Seyal says: “Never ask for any position or promotion. If you are given it on your demand, your colleagues will not like you. However, if others choose you, they would help you succeed.”
The author further strengthens his grounds by adding a reference to a Hadith:
Do not ask for rulership for if you are given it as a result of asking, you will be left to deal with it yourself, but if you are given it without asking, you will be helped in undertaking it. (Mishkat)
Let’s now analyze some of the leading management literature of the 21st century after going through the sayings above and deciphering the true lessons.
- An article from Forbes highlights how a single move from the decision-makers of an organization can result in a negative atmosphere throughout the organization. The writer Kathy Caprino writes: “A promotion doesn’t just affect you it impacts the entire ecosystem. It will be important that you understand and share your insights on how this promotion will affect the organization as a whole, and also demonstrate a clear grasp on the alliances you’ll need to form (or smooth over) in order to be successful in your new role.”
- Morgan McKinley a global professional services recruitment consultancy also shares insights on the traits that an individual must possess in order to achieve a promotion. “Showing that you help colleagues and boost the performance of an entire team rather than just focusing on your personal performance is something leaders and management frequently look out for when considering eligible promotion candidates.”
Capitalism has defined humans in small, medium and, large only, this world wasn’t created on the ‘one size fits all idea. The corporate culture also promotes a single personality type that will always get the job done and that will have high chances of getting a position/promotion, and that is extroversion. But, let’s analyze what the wife of-the business superstar-Jack Welch has to say. CNBC Make It covered the leading management thinking with Suzy Welch, this is what the show covered: ‘In the long run, Welch says, “talent almost always wins.” That means, “if you’re on the anti-social side but you’re good really, really good eventually organizations take notice.’
The theories have kept changing and will keep changing; what won’t change are the laws of nature. The laws of nature do not change, they are deterministic laws and are not affected by our libertarian free will instead, it is ‘WE’ the humans who are affected by the wrong understanding and perception of the laws. In the era of confusion and excess of information, it is time we take a step back and dive into the world of ultimate truth. It is time we unlearn and relearn, and undefined and redefine the truth.
It is time we fall back on our Theory of Everything, ask for the truth and, act accordingly.