I have been getting a lot of confused and puzzled looks lately from people I speak to about the month of Ramadhan. That’s because instead of agreeing with the common narrative that “business is going to be slow this month”, or “we plan to leave the country because no one really works in Ramadhan”, or the popular “nothing really happens in Ramadhan”; I tell people that the month of Ramadhan is probably the most important month of the year for me and my business. And it’s not like I run a tailor shop, or an ‘Iftar Buffet’ as a business (both are known to achieve their highest sales during the month, besides bottles of ‘Vimto’ drinks of course). In fact, as a consultant winning business or even getting a decision from clients during this month can for many be a challenging feat.
Yet, I believe that the month of Ramadhan can be transformative for business leaders. Provided we stick to the core essence of the holy month. What could this be? I couldn’t find a better description of the essence of Ramadhan than this piece written by Taha Ghayyur, and Taha Ghaznavi and published on a website called Islamicity: “Fasting is to discipline our soul and moral behavior, and to develop sympathy for the less fortunate, it is a multi-functional and a comprehensive tool of change in various spheres of our lives, including: social and economic, intellectual and humanitarian, spiritual and physical, private and public, personal and common, inner and outer —all in one!
Let me put this in a more modern day corporate language; what Ramadhan really is a 30-day transformative and leadership ‘Boot-Camp’. I’ve grown to believe that the month CAN have a powerful and positive impact on your business, and that is by refocusing on your business’ number one and most crucial asset, YOU and your employees.
So, let me get straight in to it and share with you 4 ways you can make the best use of this month and possibly grow a more successful business, and most importantly a more successful you
Ramadhan is a time to re-focus your priorities
Ramadhan is a great catalyst to master the art of priority and time management. For me Ramadhan is a great time to focus on what I would consider more ‘creative’ and strategic work, rather than the mundane day to day tasks. Obviously, this means managing a shorter ‘to-do list’ so that you can make time for family and worship.
Ramadhan is a time to re-connect with your clients on a more personal and less formal level
I often here people complain about how difficult it is to reach clients and arrange meetings during the month. They opt instead to take a vacation or leave the country losing out on a great opportunity to reach out to clients in a more personal manner. You will be surprised by how your clients would welcome that, but even more by how much you’ve reinforced your relationship with your client
Ramadhan is a good time to further nurture inclusion and cultural integration in your workplace
The Gulf workplace is known to be one of the most diverse with people from different nationalities, cultures and religions. In normal days, we all go to work ‘punch in’ and get on with it regardless of where we come from. The month is a great opportunity for corporations to exercise cultural integration towards developing a more productive and happy workforce. I like some of the habits I’ve seen from some of the organisations during the month such as ‘Iftar gatherings’ or non-muslims joining the muslims in their fast.
Ramadhan is a good time for reflection, personal growth and mindfulness
The feeling of hunger is one of the most powerful a human-being can experience. Combined with the spiritual demands of the month, Ramadhan is an opportunity for you to grow as a person through reflection. Some of the habits that are encouraged during the month happen to be increasingly popular in the modern workplace; mindfulness and gratitude