Interfaith Peacebuilding


May 2020
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Interfaith Programs

Toronto Interfaith Forum: On Leadership

Toronto, Canada - Dr. Hoossen Auckberaullee welcomed attendees to the August 6 meeting of UPF-Toronto. Being the month of Ramado’an, not many from the Muslim community attended, but the number of people attended was sufficient to start the program. Dr. R. Thillairajan offered an invocation, and Rev. Earl Smith presented a talk on the topic of the Rise and Fall of Inadequate Leaders, which was the last of the series of talks on that topic given during the past months.

Rev. Smith thanked the attendees for this opportunity to reflect on leadership, with a final point on where do we go from here. He said that the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, made some critical points about leadership.

In a policy letter on October 29, 1971 to all executives, he wrote: "The first test any follower of a leader requires the leader to meet is competence. Does the leader know what he is doing? A common denominator of all good executives is the ability to communicate, to have affinity for their area and their people, and to be able to make real achievements under existing circumstances. All this adds up to understanding. An executive who lacks these qualities or abilities is not likely to be very successful."

Understanding, added to competence, is probably the ideal character of an executive. The ability to lead can also be compounded with forcefulness and insistence, and these two qualities are often seen to stand out in leadership without regard to competence. Although it may be acceptable to juniors to the degree that they will obey, these two qualities alone do not guarantee an executive's long-term supremacy. While they are often part of a successful executive's personality, they are not a substitute for other qualities and will not see him through. He must truly understand what he is doing and demonstrate competence on a long-term basis in order to achieve distinction and respect.

In all leaders, there is an unmistakable purpose and intensity. In addition, a certain amount of courage is required in a leader.

A person who merely wants to be liked will never be a leader. People follow those who have the courage to get things done, even though they may say they follow those they like. A broad examination of history shows clearly that people follow those whom they respect. Respect is a recognition of inspiration, purpose, and competence.

Thus when we examine more recent history, particularly when one reads the autobiography of Rev. Moon, one sees these attributes of leadership: inspiration, purpose and competence. We see it in religious leaders such as the Dalai Lama, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Theresa. Looking into the past, we see that the great religious leaders had these qualities: Gandhi, Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him), Jesus, Moses, Lord Krishna, Buddha, and many others too numerous to mention. In addition to those qualities, I believe that a great leader is great because he or she has great love for all humankind.

Mr. Hubbard said in his essay on "What Is Greatness?" that to love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And this may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.

One final point on leadership and in making any group successful is this, according to L. Ron Hubbard: Good leadership doesn't work on unpopular programs, it issues positive orders, and it obtains or enforces compliance.

The question has been raised as to where UPF-Toronto should go from here: what should we do in the future as an organization? I think we must examine first the programs we are operating. Are we in agreement with them? This requires more discussion.

In my association with UPF, I very much enjoy the opportunity to meet others of different faiths, to exchange views, and to promote peace and understanding where possible. In that regard, UPF has the Ambassador for Peace award/program. This is something to build on. Continuing to build peace in the Middle East is another. We also have taken the time to examine world events and to find ways to bring more peace and understanding, for example, in the situation in Sri Lanka.

There is the annual spring festival and conference. These are all excellent programs, and we should continue with them and create with them. Therefore, this leads to how do we create more and interest more people in Universal Peace Federation. We will likely need a few meetings for that question. Let us take the time to be sure that whatever we do we are in agreement with one another and in good affinity and reality with one another and thus a greater understanding with one another.

I truly love what UPF is doing. I admire what everyone is doing, and I am willing to continue to be a partner and work together with you.

There were questions and answers on the topic, and it was decided that the speakers have spoken very well on the topic for the last few meetings and it is time to reflect on what has been suggested. Dr. Auckberaullee encouraged everyone present to follow the advice given and work harder to improve their leadership for the benefit and unity of diverse communities.

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