Written By : Bakhtiar Hakeem

t was some where in 1992-93 when as editor of a professional magazine, I
used the expression of 2+2=5 for an article on synergy. A decade and a half ahead I develop this article for exploring creativity and synergy to lead onto leadership. Do you remember the old Urdu adage one and one makes eleven. Covey found it easy to say,”Whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
Who are you, a student, a faculty member, a soldier, a lawyer or a
policeperson? I do not mind if you are a business executive, a housewife, and a chef in PC or a medical superintendent in a hospital. I am very comfortable in addressing you all. If you are already a leader you will find many of your life long principles and practices being eulogized here. You will find vindication of your convictions. And you may find a tip or two to polish further. You may find a fresh suggestion to yet knock at a new window, or turning one heap of bricks around you into a pavement or a flight of stairs. If you are on a path to grow then; a greater pleasure for both of us. You are on your way to neutralize and defeat your fears; you are on your way to discover and on your way to look for new possibilities. You will find new combinations, new ways to assert and be effective objectively. Through this article I stand with you shoulder to shoulder in your brave pursuit. Sometimes you will find me behind you, pushing you forward on your road to leadership. Sometimes you will find me beneath your feet providing a strong platform to stand upon, providing stronger and wider canvas to explore and reach out farther, deeper and higher. And if you are a student in early twenties to early thirties still nagged by huge expectations of father and mother, ever pinching demands of various subject teachers; I welcome you whole heartedly. You need this article to reduce your apprehensions. It will show you the way to be independent and set course for you to be interdependent in due course of time. It will point finger towards your petty prejudices which you might be in love with, as your personal preferences. I may help you wear a smiling face, stand upon confident legs and speak with a brave tongue to say, sorry, let us do it this way or sure here is a way out ; or ‘I have another option’.

I  am sure you will be benefited by having greater number of friends in

next three months. You will be able to join isolated dots and islands of

your life to make greater sense and achieving higher and better results.

You will find connections amongst your diversified subjects like

sociology and Pakistan studies, like linear algebra and critical

thinking. You will enjoy both body building and organizing college

debates. You will be able to listen to a road-side beggar and an admin

officer with greater interest. You will find commonality in their psyche

and diversification in approach. You might lessen your disgust and hate

for your mother-in-law. Soon you may find the way how much she actually

needed you or how much pun she can create by her winding stories. Soon

you may find the added value in the role you were already playing as

class-representative or as a chief cashier. And who will need it more

than a CEO; if you are one right now. The enhanced ability to relatively

discover more than others and the enhanced ability to find relations and

connections to get closer to pre-determined goals will help make you a

leader. And a better leader, a leader others would envy.
y dear friend let me show you why you are the finest of His products and

how easily you can discover to lead your way to new heights.

1.  “We have indeed created man in the best of moulds”

  Quran 95:5       

Abdullah Yusaf Ali
2. “Allah has subjected to you the sea, that ships may sail through

it by His  command, that ye may seek of His, bounty, and that ye

may be grateful.  And He has subjected to you, as from him all

that is in the heavens and all  that is in the earth; it is all as a

favour and  kindness from Him. Verily, in it are  signs for a

people who think deeply.”
Quran 45:12-13     Dr. Muhammad Mohsin,
Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali
Stage is set now to have a precise and deeper peep into creativity then

synergy and into the resulting leadership at the end.
reativity. Some simply describe creativity as ‘capacity to discover’.

Yes it is so, but a little more than that. However, let me first present

an assorted collection of views and comments on creativity:
a. To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
– Joseph Chilton Pearce
b. Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist

once grown up.   – Pablo Picasso
c. Creativity comes by breaking the rules, by saying you’re in love

with the anarchist.                                                     

                             – Anita Roddick
d. Creativity can be described as the letting go of certainty.     

      – Gail Sheehy
e. The life of a creative person is lead, directed and controlled

by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.     

– Saul Stoppard
f. True creativity often starts where language ends                

   – Arthur Koestler
g. Creativity is not far from freedom. To be creative is to know

who we are ... 
                    – Garth Aldrich
How do you conclude, reading through all these explanations of various

scholars? Ponder over these.
Now heads down on two sub-topics of creativity. One, how to improve or

boost creativity and second what blocks creativity. Then I will move

over to synergy.
How to Boost Creativity?  None, including me will be able to give you a

hundred percent solution for your individual needs. Yes, my

recommendations could be as potent or as useful as eighty or ninety

percent. From where to find the rest? You will fill up the gap. Sure,

you will do it, after you have finished will this article; have inferred

your conclusions and start application of your understanding. Here are

some valuable recommendations to ponder and follow.
a.  Do not be Your Own God.  Sorry to say, you do not know

yourself. You are His product. He is flawless, boundless, the Creator,

Doer and the Giver. “So God Created man in his (own) image, in the image

of…. (Bible 1:27). Please do not under estimate yourself. This is what

you do, whenever you do self evaluation. You can do much more than what

you think  you can do. Let Him know the destination. Let Him unfold

results for you. Your job is to explore, make right selection and then

to step out on the chosen path. And to struggle with full faith in Him.

So set out and step out with Allah’s immeasurable mercy for you. Keep

exploring your potentials and possibilities around you. These are

b.  Keep a Paper and a Pencil.  Always carry some writing

material on you. It could be diary or a journal which could serve you,

as a record; say for a year or so. Make use of it for anything but give

priority to following. Write down what you wish to do, your desires,

your goals and objectives. And for defining your problems.
c. Define Your Problems.  Correct definition and a right statement

of problem is the start point to solve the problem effectively. Many

problems simply need a respectful treatment. Find solitude and a safe

corner. Open your diary and try to give words to your problems. Make an

effort to prioritize; your problems as a first step. If more than one,

as these would be almost as a rule; segregate the problems under the

subheads of urgent and important ones. Try to define the problems in

measurable terms. And it is equally important to lay down goals and

objectives in operational terms.
d.  Put the Brain to Task.  Do not let the brains be idle.

Things not used become useless. Doing routine chores, do not put the

required stress on the brain. Do a little bit of brain-storming now and

then. How? Do one simple exercise today. Write down maximum possible

uses of water. Listing fifty different uses in eight to ten minutes

would be a good start.
e. Read.  Read as much and as varied as you can. Learn to scan and

differentiate it from deep reading. Learn speed reading. Undertake

comprehension tests as well. Making brief notes at the end of a chapter

or a book in your diary would go a long way to enrich and empower you.
f. Listen to Original Music.  Both enjoy and ponder on the

creativity of composer. How come there are innumerable tunes. What makes

some tunes ever green.  How wonderful would it be if you can compose a

new tune!
g. Reduce TV Time.  Be watchful of number of hours you spend in

front of the TV. Reduce it. Be selective about the channels and minimize

indulgence in channel browsing.
h. Drugs.  No drug please. There is no pill on God’s earth which

can help promote creativity or synergy.
What Blocks Creativity.  There have to be a double pincer approach to

tie up all loose ends. While you are doing everything to boost the

creativity, it would be equally important to know what blocks

creativity. It will help you to avoid blocks and not only that, you will

learn not to create blocks for others.
a. Lack of Recognition.  Recognition, appreciation, a pat or a nod,

all help a great deal to reinforce the desired behaviors. Recognition is

in fact a force multiplier, with both positive and negative algebraic

b. Mania for Efficiency and Control.  Developing strait jackets for

you, your organisation and others will dry up creativity. Providing

standing operating procedures and laying down strict channels of

communication and functioning impede creativity. It stifles creativity.

All such structures which are aimed at zero error help destroy

creativity. Use the rules; do not be used by the rules. Do not be the

slave of rules. Keep the focus on goals and objectives. See over the

fence of dos & do nots. Make a road where there is none. Tracks already

used are easiest to trace and tread. Those who want to offer you

stepping stones or beaten tracks are not the friends of creativity. Use

others experience as one input. Principles, generalizations, adage and

idioms are good. Remember they are never the complete solutions.

Generate your own solutions, when you are dealing with the new issues

and a new problem.
c. Roles & Functions.  There are such roles in life where people

are bound to lose creativity. Some times roles are forced upon but

sometimes people find an escape route in defensive roles. Some roles and

functions contained there in are too mechanical for a good vibrant human

being to live in and grow. Avoid such roles; if forced upon; try to

wriggle out as early as possible lest you become inert mentally. Shake

out and follow the dictates of a creative mind.
d. The Right Socialization.  A lot can be said and read on

socialization and anti-socialization with reference to creativity and

initiation of ideas. I will recommend a right kind of socialization. It

implies spending time and energies which are focused on exploring and

not on repetition. Look at these two simple social practices. A person

moves out every Sunday with same friends to eat same food (Harrisa) from

same shop, sitting on same table next to same window. A person plans to

eat different food, prepared by himself or different friends or a

different cook at a new place on every outing. Some people enjoy playing

luddo whole their life in their spare time. Others may end up knowing

thirty different games by the time they are seventy. Initiation or lack

of initiation of ideas has to do a lot with the socialization.
e. Status Level and New Ideas.  If you are a young man, I am sure

you will be least plagued by the ills of status level. Why should social

standing, pay scale or the size of car under use should impede your

creativity and leadership. If you have all these material signs protect

them through creative synergy to lead your way and grow farther. And if

you do not have such stilts and artifacts, you can buy, create,

manipulate and arrange by learning creativity and synergy.
hat is synergy? Syn–ergo (Gr) all it means working together. And putting

things together so as to create a total effect which fulfills the

desired results. Though St. Paul used it to indicate man’s, god and

cosmic cooperation, I will unfold it to make five out of two plus two

the least and eleven out of simply two ones, if our synergy can strike

well. A brief explanation of the term first: -
a. A mutually advantageous conjunction where the whole is greater

than the (mathematical) sum of its parts.
b. A dynamic state where in combined action is favored over the sum

of the actions of its components.
c. What comes out of the system (team or a group) rather than the

potentials of its members?
No more theories let us observe, learn, assimilate, understand and start

a. Look at a set of two beggars one is blind and walk behind the

one who is deaf and dumb but has good eyes. Deaf and dumb, lead and

shows the way to client while blind sings the appeal in most melodious

rhyme. Both earn for more than each could do separately.
b. A hotel owner meets a garage owner. The hotel was mid-way at

Sibi between Quetta and Sukkur. Soon the business bloomed for they had

set up a Motel. None out of two could have earned separately as a hotel

owner and as a garage owner.
c. Sheikh Inayat Ullah and Sons was a large size departmental store

in Anarkali Lahore. They would allow petty hawkers and mobile stalls in

front of their store on week days but not on week ends. On week days

both were beneficiaries, while on weekends only one.
d. Sugar mills need considerable amount of energy, especially in

the form of heat. Bagasse is burnt to fire the boilers. Boilers produce

steam to run the whole of sugar mill. Approximately 33% of total weight

of sugar cane crushed turns into bagasse.  And it is more than enough to

provide for the energy requirements of the mills. One of the Sugar Mill

at Badin sold more than 5,000 tons of bagasse, to chip board industry,

since it exceeded their energy needs.
ne can go on, explaining how brave people create a linkage and a

functional bondage to explore for better and superior results. All it is

required to interact congruently. And you are likely to do wonderfully

well if you were creative as well. And finally look at this yet another

kind of synergy. Cement manufacturing plants use colossal energy. It may

range from 18 to 25 MW. The heat lost from the pre-heaters and clinker

kiln is recaptured. The process is simple. Exhaust is harnessed to

convey the heat to boilers. Boilers produce steam which in turn runs the

turbines generating electricity. The heat thus recaptured can produce 5

to 6 MW of power.
 I am sure a lot has been unfolded and revealed on synergy.  At the same

time, there must be scores of questions; especially how to go about. You

are not yet satisfied; good. This is what I look forward to; stay

dissatisfied. Stay hungry. Remember this is what Steve Jobs, of Apple

Computers said.
haring some thoughts on Leadership, towards the end. I have a little to

wrestle with, after the above exploration, giving all these examples and

drawing some lessons on creativity and synergy. Leadership is taking

charge of the situation. It is inspiring others to do singularly or

collectively, what you want to accomplish. It is the battle for the

hearts and minds of the people. One can describe leadership in more than

dozen ways. One can also trace the classic sources of leadership but to

find creativity and synergy. Creativity and synergy should act as

additional sources of leadership for current times. These two

disciplines should help you looking at new options, new possibilities,

and generating new hopes knowing no bounds.
My efforts would remain deficient and unfinished if I do not seek the

help of that great Muslim, great scholar and a great philosopher, Dr.

Allama Muhammad Iqbal:



Brief Translation:
Only he can over power and lead the universe, who can generate and

produce eternity and everlasting values from every breath and every moment.



Brief Translation:
Beyond the heavens lies the destination of a Muslim. You are a dynamic

force par excellence. Go and go beyond all these…..even stars are just

the dust on your path way.
The understanding of these two ingredients, followed by the objective

application, will catapult you to the position of leadership. Share the

vision of Iqbal. 
Enjoy soaring. I wish you Godspeed.