Name: Rabia Khan
Title: Deputy Assistant Director
Organisation: National University of Technology, Islamabad Pakistan
I am Rabia Khan, an accomplished professional with a robust academic and administrative background. Holding a Master's in Computer Sciences, I've excelled in roles like Deputy Assistant Director and Department Secretary, showcasing my strong organizational and leadership skills. My dedication to educational growth is evident in my continuous learning, including 30 International and Natioanl certifications like Google IT Support. Along the way, I've earned accolades such as a Certificate of Appreciation and actively engaged in training programs. Beyond my career, I'm passionate about research work, My own dress designing, photography Volunteer work for Empowered Women and Human Rights
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Rabia's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
As a leader, I've encountered various challenges, but one that stands out is the complexity of balancing the diverse needs and expectations of team members. Ensuring that everyone is motivated, productive, and aligned with the organization's goals can be demanding. People have different work styles, strengths, and personalities, so finding the right approach to motivate and manage each team member effectively requires careful consideration and adaptability. This challenge has taught me the importance of clear communication, active listening, and empathy to create an inclusive and productive work environment where everyone can thrive.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I embarked on my journey as a leader through a combination of technical expertise and a deep passion for academia and societal contributions. It began with my pursuit of higher education, where I earned a Master's in Computer Sciences, instilling in me a strong foundation in technology and a thirst for knowledge. Somewhere in me, that I can do a lot more as a leader. My foray into academia allowed me to combine my technical background with my love for learning. I am making a meaningful impact on society through education.
Over time, my dedication to academia led to opportunities in leadership roles. I found myself taking on responsibilities that extended beyond the technical realm, such as managing teams, coordinating academic programs, and fostering an environment of growth and excellence.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I get up early morning, offer prayers and make my own breakfast. I quickly recall my days long activities.
Start work by 0900 AM and stayed at work till 0500.
In evening I try to spend time with my parents and relax. I also work in evenings after prioritizing the urgency of work. In evening after a leisure time with my parents, Nephew and Niece I start preparing the next day activates. Before sleep I try to watch a season and end my day.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
A recent and realistically grounded leadership lesson I've learned as a woman living in Pakistan is the importance of resilience and self-advocacy. In a society with unique cultural norms and gender dynamics, it's vital for women leaders to assert themselves, push past gender biases, and confidently pursue their goals. This lesson has reinforced my belief that our voices and contributions are essential, and by standing up and demonstrating competence, we can challenge and change traditional perceptions. It's a reminder to keep pushing the boundaries and inspiring other women to do the same, no matter the challenges we may face.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
In summary, the Quran and the Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad offer a rich source of guidance for leaders, emphasizing values such as service, ethics, inclusivity, empathy, and resilience. These principles can be applied in a variety of leadership contexts, both in religious and secular settings.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
My words of advice for all the young leaders is to work a little bit more than your regular goals and try to look around a bit more of activities then routine work. Work honestly and It will reward you
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
In the role of planning and coordinating various events, I've had the privilege of leading a diverse range of initiatives, from academic symposiums to charity galas. Each event presented unique challenges and opportunities, but a common thread has been the need for effective teamwork and meticulous attention to detail. Whether it was orchestrating logistics, managing marketing strategies, or ensuring the seamless execution of the event day, the key to success always lay in fostering collaboration, open communication, and unwavering commitment among the team. These experiences have reinforced the importance of adaptability, clear planning, and shared purpose in delivering memorable and impactful events.