The Leader in Me


Greetings, my fellow thinkers and ponderers!🌼

Shabana Mukhtar here. Today, I want to dive into a question that’s been today’s daily prompt.

Do I see myself as a leader?

Like all good answers, this answer starts with “it depends”. It’s one of those queries that doesn’t come with a simple yes or no answer. So, let’s embark on this introspective journey, shall we?

The Reluctant Leader

First things first, I don’t naturally see myself as a leader. In fact, the very idea of taking charge and guiding others sends shivers down my spine. I’m not one of those charismatic individuals who effortlessly inspire people. Honestly, I’m not even particularly fond of talking to people, let alone leading them. It’s just not in my nature. The idea alone of being a “leader” is freaking me out.

It’s essential to acknowledge our limitations, and for me, the role of a traditional leader is a square peg in a round hole. I’m a firm believer that leadership doesn’t always involve taking the spotlight. Sometimes, it’s about playing to one’s strengths in other ways.

The Unintentional “Fixer”

Interestingly, while I might not see myself as a leader, others seem to have a different perspective. They perceive leadership qualities in me, and they rely on me to get things done. In my family, I’m known as the “fixer.” When a situation arises, I’m the first and often the only one to roll up my sleeves, make phone calls, and do whatever it takes to smooth things over.

This unintentional leadership role showcases that leadership can manifest in various forms. It’s not always about being at the forefront but about having the ability to step up and make a difference when needed.

Neither a Leader nor a Follower

Now, you might wonder if I see myself as a follower. Well, that’s a bit of a conundrum too. I can’t quite place myself in the category of a follower either. I’m not particularly social, and I often prefer solitude over company. I’m a living embodiment of:

ḳhizr-e-manzil apnā huuñ apnī raah chaltā huuñ.

mere haal par duniyā kyā samajh ke hañstī hai

which is essentially saying:

I’d rather walk alone than follow a crowd.

Interestingly, I blogged about this verse more than four years ago here. Funny how things link up, huh?

I guess what I’m trying to say is: my stance on leadership is about the complexity of human nature. Not everyone fits neatly into the boxes of leader or follower. Some of us navigate the world with a unique blend of independence and occasional leadership when circumstances demand it.

So, do I see myself as a leader? It’s a question without a straightforward answer. Like many aspects of life, it depends on the context. I may not be the traditional, take-charge leader, but I’ve learned that leadership can manifest in unexpected ways. Whether it’s quietly supporting from the shadows or taking the reins when necessary, we all have our roles to play in the grand tapestry of life. Until next time, keep pondering, my fellow thinkers!


Assalam Alaikum and Allah Hafiz!

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Shabana Mukhtar

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