October 2018

Is Leadership for You?

These five H’s can help you decide.

Toastmaster Speakers

Are you a true leader? “It’s the collective understanding of what leadership is that will answer the question for you,” explains Mohammed Murad, past international president and an entrepreneur who manages four companies.

At the International Convention in August, Murad took an interactive audience through the five H’s of leadership—essentially, the main elements that make up an effective leader, according to him. Are you balancing the five he outlines below?

  1. Head
  2. The first criterion of leadership is the head, but that has two aspects, the first of which is a working brain that takes in knowledge. “But whenever we talk about knowledge, people think education, and this has nothing to do with a master’s or PhD. It’s knowledge of life and life has people in it; your knowledge gained from people is what will make your head strong.”

    The other aspect of the head is balance. “Because we have ears in our heads and the inner ear’s job is to balance you.” Having a balance of knowledge in different fields is part of his leadership equation.

  3. Heart
  4. Heart is courage, heart is what makes you get up and talk to people with whom you do not like to talk to. It’s taking some chances. “Taking risks will make you a better leader, but make sure they’re calculated risks.”

    Another aspect of heart is empathy. “Taking risks is strong, so you need to balance it with empathy. Leaders need to have feelings and respect them and believe in them.”

  5. Health
  6. If there is anyone preaching leadership without highlighting the importance of health, they are not giving you the full spectrum. “Health comes with strength and if you have strength in certain parts of your body, you can avoid many [unhealthy] things that can happen to you.”

    At the convention, Murad prompted the audience to try a small test to understand if they were healthy enough to lead. He had people come into the aisles, cross their legs and go all the way down to the floor in a seated position. “After you do that, stand up,” he instructed.

    Laughter followed as many in the audience struggled with the exercise. He encouraged the crowd of leaders to keep practicing this at home, along with other healthy practices, to eventually see progress. “Testing whether you have coordination, whether all the muscles in your body are strong enough and whether you have balance” is part of leadership. After all, “health is what protects the head and the heart.”

  7. Humility
  8. If you include humility in your leadership style then you are going all the way, according to Murad, who recognizes that is it often an overlooked part of leadership. “It encompasses the health which protects the head and the heart.”

    Another “H” that is a part of humility is honesty. “And these two together make a world of difference in how people perceive you.”

  9. Happiness
  10. The first four H’s of Leadership make up the fifth one: happiness. “There is no way you can have happiness without head, heart, health and humility; And that’s the ultimate goal of leadership.”

    Murad also describes happiness as the absence of unhappiness. He advises leaders to push through the unhappiness that inevitably creeps up in work and home life by intentionally seeking happiness. “How many times have you had to make a split-second decision in asking for happiness? There are many instances in our lives when this occurs, but we don’t bother to seek happiness.”

    Is leadership truly for you? It could be—and should be—if head, heart, health, humility and happiness are in your balance.


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