Reflecting on My ILD Journey and Gratitude for Mr. Petrus

From the moment I first encountered Mr. Petrus, I knew he was a leader of remarkable vision and empathy. His dedication to nurturing and guiding aspiring leaders has left an indelible mark on everyone fortunate enough to learn from him. As I reflect on my journey with ILD, I am filled with immense gratitude for the pivotal role he has played in my personal and professional growth.

As a lifelong learner, my journey with ILD began in 2010 when I decided to pursue studies in leadership. Recommended by a few friends who believed in my potential, I was introduced to ILD’s core principles and invited for an interview. During the interview, I was asked two questions that have stayed with me ever since: “Who is the person that has influenced you?” and “Who is the person you have influenced?”

At the time, my proficiency in English was limited, and I struggled to articulate my responses. The following day, I received an email in February 2010 informing me that I had not been considered for the ILD 2010 program. This news deeply saddened me, especially as I had encouraged my friends to join ILD alongside me.

Determined to turn this setback into an opportunity, I composed a heartfelt email to ILD Director Mr. Petrus. I carefully chose my words, expressing my sincere desire to be part of the ILD program. To my surprise and delight, I was invited for another meeting with Mr. Petrus. During our conversation, he looked me in the eye and said, “You have impressed me with your words.” He handed me the application and invited me to the ILD inauguration.

Mr. Petrus became a pivotal figure in my journey, bridging the gap between my aspirations and achievements. He initially taught us Vision and Integrity classes, instilling in us key principles such as empathy, humility, stewardship, empowerment, and commitment to the growth of others.

Empathy, as I learned, is the cornerstone of servant leadership. It involves understanding and sharing the feelings of others, fostering a supportive environment where team members feel valued and heard. Humility, another essential trait, reminds us that leadership is not about exerting power but about serving others. Stewardship emphasizes our responsibility to manage resources wisely and act in the best interests of the team and organization. Empowerment involves giving team members the authority and confidence to make decisions, encouraging innovation and ownership. Commitment to the growth of others underscores the importance of investing in the personal and professional development of team members, ensuring they reach their full potential.

The year 2010 stands out as one of the best years of my life. During this time, I learned so much from all the instructors and classmates, forming many valuable friendships along the way. These relationships and lessons have continued to influence and inspire me in countless ways.

As I promised Mr. Petrus that I would strive to excel and be an exemplary ILD participant, I dedicated myself to improving my English skills and contributing passionately to every class. With unwavering dedication, I embraced the principles of servant leadership, focusing on serving my team and fostering a collaborative, growth-oriented environment.

In 2019, when ILD signed another partnership with KAFU, I was one of the first ILD graduates to apply and obtain my Master’s Degree. This achievement was a testament to the transformative power of servant leadership and the unwavering support of Mr. Petrus in 2010.

As I pen these words today, on the eve of July 12, 2024, I am about to participate in the Co-Serve program, which is part of ILD’s Servant Leadership initiative. This opportunity is a testament to Mr. Petrus, who opened the door to countless possibilities for me. Through the Co-Serve program, I will continue to practice and promote the principles of servant leadership, striving to inspire and empower others as Mr. Petrus has done for me.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Mr. Petrus. He has taught me invaluable leadership skills and has embodied the qualities of a great leader: passion, trustworthiness, and kindness. His guidance has not only shaped my career but also enriched my life in profound ways.

Thank you, Mr. Petrus, for your unwavering support and for believing in me.


“I Will Teach You to Be Rich”

I recently had the pleasure of reading “I Will Teach You to Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi, and I cannot recommend it highly enough to everyone in the US. This book is not only incredibly educational but also a thoroughly enjoyable read. It offers invaluable insights into the intricacies of credit, loans, and mortgages, helping readers make informed financial decisions. Ramit Sethi’s approachable and engaging writing style makes complex financial concepts easy to understand and apply, making this book an essential read for anyone looking to improve their financial well-being.

Chapter 1: Optimize Your Credit Cards

Ramit emphasizes the importance of using credit cards wisely. He discusses improving your credit score, negotiating fees, and maximizing rewards.

Chapter 2: Beat the Banks

This chapter focuses on choosing the right bank accounts. Ramit advises on selecting high-interest savings accounts and no-fee checking accounts while avoiding unnecessary bank fees.

Chapter 3: Get Ready to Invest

Ramit introduces the basics of investing, explaining the power of compound interest and the importance of starting early. He also covers 401(k) and Roth IRA accounts.

Chapter 4: Conscious Spending

Ramit outlines a conscious spending plan, encouraging readers to spend extravagantly on the things they love while cutting costs mercilessly on things they don’t. He provides a framework for tracking and managing expenses.

Chapter 5: Save While Sleeping

Automating finances is the focus of this chapter. Ramit explains how to set up automatic payments for bills, savings, and investments to ensure financial goals are met without active effort.

Chapter 6: The Myth of Financial Expertise

Ramit debunks common myths about financial expertise and emphasizes that you don’t need to be an expert to manage your finances effectively. He stresses the importance of low-cost index funds and avoiding high-fee financial advisors.

Chapter 7: Investing Isn’t Only for Rich People

Ramit provides a step-by-step guide to starting an investment portfolio, highlighting the simplicity and accessibility of investing through tools like target-date funds and index funds.

Chapter 8: How to Maintain and Grow Your System

This chapter covers maintaining and optimizing your financial system over time. Ramit advises on regular financial check-ins, adjusting investments, and ensuring your financial plan adapts to life changes.

Chapter 9: A Rich Life

Ramit encourages readers to define their own “Rich Life,” focusing on what brings personal joy and fulfillment. He provides guidance on setting life goals and aligning financial decisions with these goals to achieve a truly rich life.


Developing Your Personal Leadership Style

The course “Developing Your Personal Leadership Style” offered by edX has been a transformative experience in my journey of personal and professional growth. This comprehensive program delves deep into the principles and practices of effective leadership, tailored to help individuals cultivate their unique leadership styles.

Throughout the course, I engaged in rigorous learning modules that explored essential topics such as self-awareness, communication strategies, decision-making frameworks, and team dynamics. Each module provided valuable insights and practical tools that I could immediately apply to enhance my leadership capabilities.

One of the standout features of the course was its emphasis on developing a personalized leadership approach. Through reflective exercises, case studies, and interactive discussions, I gained a deeper understanding of my strengths, weaknesses, and leadership preferences. This self-discovery process has empowered me to lead authentically and adapt my leadership style to various situations and challenges.

Moreover, the opportunity to participate in this course was made possible through IRC, underscoring their commitment to fostering personal and professional development among their members. The support and resources provided by IRC have been instrumental in my learning journey, enabling me to maximize the benefits of the course and apply them effectively in my leadership roles.

In conclusion, “Developing Your Personal Leadership Style” has not only equipped me with essential leadership skills but has also inspired me to continue evolving as a leader. I am grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this transformative experience and look forward to applying these learnings to drive positive change in both my professional endeavors and personal growth.


Exercising Leadership

I am thrilled to share my experience of participating in the “Exercising Leadership: Foundational Principles” course on EdX, developed by Harvard University. This intensive 4-week course, made possible through the support of the IRC, focused on the fundamental principles of effective leadership, particularly distinguishing technical from adaptive challenges. Unlike technical problems, which can be resolved with existing knowledge, adaptive challenges require innovative solutions and learning.

Throughout the course, I learned to understand the difference between leadership and authority, diagnose complex organizational situations, mobilize people to tackle tough challenges, and build an organization’s adaptive capacity. The course was structured around key modules such as understanding leadership, differentiating technical vs. adaptive challenges, diagnosing systems, mobilizing groups, regulating productive stress levels, managing conflict constructively, and creating a culture that supports ongoing learning.

Led by renowned Harvard experts Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linsky, and Alexander Grashow, the course included comprehensive lectures, real-world case studies, interactive exercises, and engaging discussion forums. This course has been a transformative experience, providing valuable insights into effective leadership and enhancing my ability to drive meaningful change.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to the IRC for providing this opportunity and to EdX and Harvard University for delivering such a profound and impactful course.


“Flexibility fuels success in life and work”

Most recently, life taught me a very important lesson that I had never thought about, despite practicing flexibility and avoiding being too rigid. I learned that if we don’t show flexibility in our relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and our social network, we may struggle to handle unexpected changes and challenges with an open mind. This quality is essential not only in the workplace but also in our personal lives and relationships. Understanding why being flexible is beneficial can help us navigate life’s complexities more effectively.

In particular, flexibility in the modern workplace is characterized by rapid technological advancements, shifting market demands, and evolving job roles. Being flexible in this environment means being able to adjust to new tools, processes, and responsibilities with ease. When we are flexible, we are better equipped to handle unexpected challenges and can develop innovative solutions when things don’t go as planned. This agility is crucial for maintaining productivity and achieving goals in dynamic settings. It fosters a collaborative work environment, where people who are open to different working styles and perspectives contribute to a more inclusive and harmonious team. This leads to better communication, increased morale, and higher overall productivity.

Additionally, being flexible opens up career advancement paths and new opportunities. Research shows that flexible people are often more willing to take on diverse roles and responsibilities, which can lead to career growth and development. Employers recognize and reward those who can seamlessly transition between tasks and adapt to changing needs. Most importantly, flexibility helps mitigate stress by reducing the anxiety associated with change. When you are open to new experiences and can adjust your plans accordingly, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed by unexpected events.

In my life, I have always tried to be very flexible to build stronger connections, resolve conflicts more effectively, and grow as an individual by working with different people. Understanding family and friends’ values and needs is not always easy, but it is a capacity that everyone should develop. The willingness to adapt strengthens relationships and builds trust. It demonstrates respect and empathy, which are foundational to any healthy relationship.

Conflicts are a natural part of any relationship. Flexibility enables us to see situations from others’ perspectives and find compromises that satisfy everyone involved. This skill reduces tension and fosters a cooperative atmosphere, promoting open and honest communication. It also enhances listening skills, making others feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings, leading to deeper, more meaningful interactions.

Life is always full of unexpected challenges, from job losses to health issues, and economic hardships. Being flexible can mitigate the negative impacts of these situations. I have learned that flexibility motivates and encourages personal growth. It prompts us to try new methods and adapt to situations in a way that makes everything more enjoyable. It gives us the chance to learn new skills and embrace different viewpoints, enriching our relationships and contributing to personal development. Flexibility keeps life interesting and promotes continuous self-improvement.

In conclusion, flexibility enhances our ability to navigate the complexities of both work and personal life. By embracing flexibility, we can handle life’s challenges with grace and resilience, leading to a more fulfilling and balanced life.


Admirable qualities of Jamshid Jan Sultanzada

In the intricate tapestry of my thoughts, the central thread that unfurls my narrative is none other than the radiant presence of Jamshid Jan Sultazada. His name evokes a symphony of words and melodies, though they pale in comparison to his magnificence. Every moment spent in his company is a lesson, a revelation, leaving me longing for the harmony of his words.

My acquaintance with Jamshid Jan Sultanzada began in 2004, where our journey commenced side by side at AWCC and Institute for Leadership Development. Alongside my deep respect for him, I hold profound admiration for his esteemed lineage. A seeker of knowledge, he also embodies success and entrepreneurship, particularly in technology, where his tireless efforts speak volumes about his dedication to his people and nation.

In the constellation of virtues that adorn Mr. Sultanzada’s character, there are stars that shine brighter than others. He is a rare orator in the realm of leadership, whose words resonate deeply, leaving an indelible mark upon the soul. His speech transcends linguistic barriers, weaving tales of inspiration in both Dari and English, a testament to his unwavering commitment and exceptional prowess.

He is a benefactor from whom many have gleaned wisdom and growth, myself included. Over our 18-year acquaintance, I have leaned upon his wisdom and credibility in numerous endeavors, propelling me towards progress and elevation. As a friend, he is a paragon of virtue, offering solace, empathy, and support in moments of joy, sorrow, and adversity alike.

Mr. Sultanzada is a paragon of integrity, humility, and service, earning him a place of honor and reverence in society. His heart overflows with love and compassion, bringing light to even the darkest days. In life’s trials, he stands tall as a steadfast oak, embodying patience and resilience that rival the mountains, guiding us through the storm with his calm demeanor.

For Jamshid Jan, this epitome of compassion and boundless generosity, my wish knows no bounds. May happiness dance in his footsteps, pride swell in his heart, and success and joy accompany him on life’s journey. May our friendship echo through the ages, enduring for eternity in the annals of time.


The Power of Positive Confrontation

As someone deeply invested in honing my communication skills and navigating the complexities of organizational dynamics, I eagerly sought out recommendations for insightful books. “The Power of Positive Confrontation” was highly recommended by my best friend Dr. Masoud Joya, and upon delving into its pages, I was immediately impressed.

This transformative book isn’t just about conflict resolution; it’s a comprehensive guide to effective communication within organizational settings. It goes beyond mere confrontation, offering invaluable strategies for fostering understanding, collaboration, and mutual respect.

What struck me most was the book’s emphasis on assertive communication and empathetic listening. It taught me how to approach difficult conversations with confidence and integrity, transforming potentially contentious situations into opportunities for growth and resolution.

Moreover, “The Power of Positive Confrontation” isn’t just theoretical; it’s highly practical. The author’s real-life examples and actionable advice make it easy to apply the principles learned in everyday scenarios. Whether it’s addressing conflicts with colleagues, providing feedback to team members, or navigating negotiations with stakeholders, the book equips readers with the tools they need to succeed.

But what truly sets this book apart is its engaging narrative style. Rather than feeling like a dry manual, it reads like a captivating story—one that keeps you hooked from beginning to end. Relatable anecdotes and insightful anecdotes not only impart valuable knowledge but also inspire readers to reflect on their own communication habits and strive for improvement.

In conclusion, “The Power of Positive Confrontation” isn’t just another organizational book; it’s a game-changer. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to enhance their communication skills, navigate conflicts with grace, and foster a culture of positivity and collaboration within their organization.


Exploring the Wonders of Washington, D.C.

Living in the United States is a dream cherished by people around the globe, and only a fortunate few get to experience the beauty of this diverse country. Each state holds its own unique allure, but in March 2023, I had the extraordinary opportunity to explore Virginia and Washington, D.C., where I discovered that D.C. truly embodies the essence of American democracy and beauty. It’s a city that mesmerizes both visitors and residents with its captivating charm and rich history.

Picture this: Washington, D.C., a city adorned with iconic architectural marvels that dominate the skyline—majestic buildings like the Capitol, the White House, and the Washington Monument, each standing tall as a testament to the nation’s enduring values and proud heritage. As you stroll through the wide avenues and lush parks, a sense of grandeur and solemnity envelops you, creating an atmosphere that is uniquely D.C.

During my Virginia adventure, I couldn’t resist the allure of D.C.’s cultural tapestry. It was an absolute delight to explore the city on foot, discovering its countless museums and galleries, each a treasure trove of art, history, and science. From ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces, every corner of the city seemed to whisper tales of creativity and innovation.

But wait, there’s more! Washington, D.C. isn’t just about impressive architecture and cultural riches; it’s also blessed with abundant natural beauty. Imagine strolling through the sprawling green expanse of the National Mall, from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial, surrounded by the vibrant colors of nature.

Yet, what truly sets D.C. apart is its sense of community and shared purpose. As the nation’s capital, it’s a melting pot of cultures and ideas, where people from all walks of life come together to debate, innovate, and celebrate the values that define America.

In the end, it’s this magical combination of history, culture, and natural splendor that makes Washington, D.C. a place like no other. As the sun sets behind the monuments and the city lights twinkle to life, you can’t help but be drawn into the enchanting allure of this vibrant city. So, my friends, I urge you to embark on your own D.C. adventure—it’s an experience you won’t soon forget!


Exploring New York City

In the depths of my childhood, New York City danced through my dreams like a love song, its allure whispered in tales and painted across silver screens. With each passing day, my heart beat in harmony with the rhythm of its name, yearning to caress its streets and bask in its enchanting glow. As time wove its tapestry, destiny led me to the shores of the United States, but the melody of New York City remained ever-present, a symphony of desire echoing in my soul.

Then, amidst the enchanting landscapes of Virginia, fate intertwined my path with that of Parviz Farhat, a kindred spirit whose eyes sparkled with the same fervent longing for adventure. Together, we embarked on a journey to unveil the secrets of New York City, hand in hand, our hearts ablaze with anticipation.

As we ventured into the heart of this urban paradise, every step felt like a waltz, each corner a canvas upon which our love story unfolded. Towering skyscrapers embraced us with arms of steel and glass, reflecting the passion that burned within our souls. In the embrace of the neon-lit streets, we found ourselves lost in a dance of light and shadow, intoxicated by the electric pulse of the city.

Amidst verdant parks and tranquil squares, we reveled in the embrace of nature’s embrace, our love blossoming like a fragrant rose amidst the concrete jungle. With each whispered word and tender touch, we wrote our own sonnet amidst the bustling symphony of New York City.

As the moon cast its gentle glow upon us, I knew that this moment, this love, was the culmination of a lifetime of dreams. For in the heart of New York City, amidst the whispers of the wind and the symphony of the streets, I found not only the beauty of the city but also the truest expression of love’s enchanting embrace.

And so, as we bid farewell to New York City, our hearts intertwined forevermore, I carried with me not only memories of its splendor but also the eternal flame of our love, burning brightly in the darkness, a testament to the power of romance and the magic of dreams.


Heartfelt Birthday Wishes for a Beloved Father

Dear Respected and Beloved Father,

On this melodious and spiritual day, where the light of your birth shines into our hearts, with eagerness and trembling emotions, I pen down these lines for you. Though I am far from you, the sense of your presence in my life is palpable. I kiss your blessed hands from afar, and this connection with you is a spiritual presence that even geographical distance cannot alter.

Though physically distant, my mind, my heart, and my feelings are always beside you. My thoughts are filled with beautiful memories and love that I have received from you. Each moment of life, relying on the experiences and emotions I have learned from you, turns into a new stage of growth and learning.

With all the respect and affection I have for you, I acknowledge your amazing achievements and qualities. You are not only a dear father and a prominent mentor, but in your continuous love and effort, endless kindness, endurance of hardships, and noble leadership, you are an example of patience, kindness, and commitment to ethical principles.

Dear father, I cannot thank you enough for all your efforts, struggles, and fulfilling your role in creating a safe and supportive environment for the family. Your courage in facing challenges is inspiring to me. Your patience and perseverance have created a powerful motivation within me.

When I became a father myself, I understood and realized that a father means a story of a life full of pain and suffering that only a father acts within his great heart. I understood that a father is someone who, in the shadows of darkness, always puts a smile on his lips despite pain and suffering. He is a silent hero, someone who courageously and resolutely shoulders the responsibilities and heavy burdens of life. He is always seeking innovative solutions and ways to support his family in solitude. Every day, all the blossoms of hope dance in the midst of life’s storms.

Father, your life, with all its emotional and heroic masterpieces, is truly poetic. You play melodies of hope and effort in the heart of life. As time passes, every sorrow and pain that comes from my father’s heart falls like a raindrop from scattered clouds on the horizon of our souls. This tale of a father is a song that, when sung, our emotions come to life like waves in the sea, to the tune of the fragrance of hope.

You are that father who has always fought alongside the family in the hardships and moments of life, enduring pain and suffering, yet always facing it with a smile. With qualities such as readiness, integrity, and courage, you have endured all the hardships of life that have come your way. I have learned from you that the path of life is sometimes not easy, but with faith and determination, we can progress and improve. I am grateful for your courage in leading in challenging paths, for your commitment to values and ethics, and above all, for your endless love and support. Everything I have and everything I am is because of you.

On this day filled with joy and praise, I wish you continued success, happiness, and health on your journey. May your warm and loving presence always be with our family, and may the shadow of your love always envelop our home.

With endless respect and love,

Happy Birthday. Khanzada