Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mayor Tofozzul Hussain: "A true leader works to unite people"

Emdad Rahman

Mayor Tofozzul Hussain is the Municipality Mayor for Beani Bazar in Sylhet. He is a popular leader in the region and his family have served Bangladesh with distinction. During Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence Mayor Hussain lost his father and older brother during the horrific genocide perpetrated by occupying forces.

Those who gave up their lives for an independent and free motherland have in Mayor Hussain a beautiful legacy of success and empowerment of a nation’s people.

Mayor Hussain feels that Bangladeshis are at the forefront when it comes to serving their communities: “I have been so impressed with the level of interest shown by all aspects of the community, be it to improving and contributing to life in the UK, or for the benefit of Bangladesh.

Mayor Hussain has just finished a short visit to London and has enjoyed witnessing the civic engagement of Londoners; “London is indeed a great city, which is home to such diverse communities. I’m really proud at how Bangladeshis have made an important and rich contribution to life in the UK in areas such as catering, education, political office, charity and media. I met Rushanara Ali MP and was so impressed at how she has not only made a success of her career and life, but also how she has inspired millions of people, and especially women to be active in society.”

I took the opportunity to interview Mayor Hussain on aspects of leadership which would prove beneficial to readers; “I’m glad that people have taken advantage of the great opportunities that they have in the UK and advise them to use their skills and knowledge to benefit all people, races and communities. If you do, then you can truly make something of yourself. If you work hard there are no restrictions to you achieving your potential.”

Mayor Tofozzul is a big advocate of advancing communities: “We live for a very short time. Blink and it’s over, and this is why it’s so essential that we get along with one another – A true leader works to unite people despite their differences. We are all humans, and although our value systems are not totally identical there must be total respect between one another and in this regard there should be zero percent compromise.

“The world is a much smaller and tight knit community with the advancement of the internet and social media and it is important that we all live as one, side by side with one another and collectively work to improve life for our future generations. It has been immense meeting Londoners and I take some very special memories back to Bangladesh.

Mayor Tofozzul has bought a brand of leadership that has helped to promote Beani Bazar and Bangladesh and it is the reason why I wanted to tap into his psyche and advice on leadership. “Leadership is all about taking responsibility and delivering to those who you assume responsibility for. I’m not just the Mayor for my family, friends or village. The people have placed faith in me to represent the whole municipality. I’m grateful for the opportunity.

“All leaders should be grateful. They are selected – not born into such a lofty position. They owe their privilege and rank to those who have placed faith in them and I for one remind myself of this every single day.

“A leader does not dwell on what ifs – She or he grasps an opportunity and uses the resources at their disposal to do something tangible in people’s lives.

“Through leadership I too have learned that it is important to create positive momentum in whatever field one may be involved in.”

“The actions of leaders inculcate good habits. Actions are far more important big long speeches and attractive sound bites. I always advise potential leaders to be far seeing and look beyond their remits. Look, learn and make notes of the qualities and examples of the great leaders in our society. Take the best parts and implement them into your own approach.

People want to be dazzled, they expect quick results – They want positive change.”

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