I attended a session on Leadership & Change today held arranged by a member of the senior management who introduced us to Carly Fiorina.
Carly was the businesswomen who showed new heights to giants like Lucent (which crashed after she left) and as CEO brought HP back in the market with a bang that made Dell and IBM fall to their knees. This inspirational woman after recovering from a fight with cancer is now standing for the Senate in the US
One of her videos being shared then had a recording of her session on the same subject held on 26 September 2001 in Minneapolis, came to me as a pleasant surprise when Carly as an example of leadership and changing the entire world quoted ISLAM.
Islam, as what it genuinely is. Of the change Muslims had brought to this world in the last century. Their contributions duly accredited. This is what Muslims have actually given to the world and this heritage and legacy is what both Muslims and non Muslims need to remember.
In the wake of the events that have occurred recently with religious and secular differences taking a rise and also being exploited by external parties, this is truly inspirational especially when coming from a non-Muslim American!
An exact from her speech is shared below (Original Source)
In praise of Islamic civilization
Extract from a speech by Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett-Packard
“There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world.
It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean, and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins.
One of its languages became the universal language of much of the world, the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilization’s commerce extended from Latin America to China, and everywhere in between.
And this civilization was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration.
Its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things.
When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.
While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent.
Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership.
And perhaps we can learn a lesson from his example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population–that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions.
This kind of enlightened leadership — leadership that nurtured culture, sustainability, diversity and courage — led to 800 years of invention and prosperity.
In dark and serious times like this, we must affirm our commitment to building societies and institutions that aspire to this kind of greatness. More than ever, we must focus on the importance of leadership– bold acts of leadership and decidedly personal acts of leadership”