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7 Questions on Leadership with Rana Khan

Name: Rana Khan

Title: Academic Chair, School of Foundation and General Education

Organisation: Canadian College Kuwait

Rana Khan is a doctoral candidate in Education at the University of Bath, UK and holds a master’s degree in English Literature and Business Administration, besides a certificate in CELTA and IELTS (TTT). Rana has extensive experience in teaching and curriculum design. She is a frequent presenter and keynote speaker at international conferences. She served as Secretary, and Conference Chair to TESOL Kuwait, in 2017. Additionally, she has hosted two consecutive international conventions in Denver (2020), and in Houston (2021), as Chair, Conferences Professional Council, TESOL International Association, one of the world’s largest English teachers’ associations.

Rana took the initiative of establishing TEFL Kuwait, the first IATEFL Associate in Kuwait and is currently serving as President, TEFL Kuwait. Rana is the Academic Coordinator to the Intensive English Program and Business Management & Entrepreneurship at Algonquin College. She believes in lifelong learning and has several research papers to her credit.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Rana's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Leadership is all about walking with others and guiding them to change. For me the most challenging aspect has been to convince people for the essentiality of that change. Second most challenging thing for me has been to set goals and objectives that align with my vision as well my team members.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

The best way to engage and involve team members is to delegate responsibility to them. This is how I got involved as a leader. As a member of an organization, I felt bored and disengaged. I was considering leaving the organization. However, I was assigned a challenging role with a serious responsibility. Unsure about the role but with my willingness to learn and accept challenges, I accepted the role. There has been no looking back. It taught me an important lesson that the best way to engage people is to delegate responsibilities and empower them with necessary authority to take decisions.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Time is always a scarcity in my life. However, with time management, you can organize your life and achieve the goals you set for yourself. The key lies in prioritizing your tasks according to their importance. I schedule my day on notes and reminders with deadlines and try to accomplish them within the set deadlines. It is really rewarding, as you tick them off as accomplished.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

The best lesson I have learned recently is that leadership is not a role that can be assigned to someone. Leaders are created as situations demand and challenges that persuade people to assume leadership roles on their own. Leaders rise to accept those challenges. We just have to be aware of those leaders and empower them to accomplish those objectives and goals.

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?

There might be many books we can name for inspiring leadership in people. I have been impressed by the biography of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) as a leader. A book by Martin Lings - "Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources" has had a deep impact on me as aleader. His humility and modest behaviour led thousands and millions in believing in his ideology over centuries and continues to do so. His ideology of leading by example and modest behavior has impacted me immensely. I believe that as leaders, we have to be role models if we want our team members to follow us. Additionally, delegation and empowerment is the key which can only arise from a humble and modest personality that believes in leading by example.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Invest in building yourself through constructive ways. Ignore the negative environment by devoting all your energies in building yourself. The best way of negating any toxicity around you is to keep moving forward and investing your time in building yourself. Moving forward and not looking back is the best and only way to a successful leadership to me.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

As a leader, one of the most meaningful stories I want to share is empowering my students to speak up on how they wish to be taught. As educators, we constantly strive to improve ourselves, but we never ask the students on how they perceive education. I entrusted students to share their perspective on education during an educational event, a major conference, I hosted in Kuwait. Students felt empowered in being provided a platform to speak. It. boosted their confidence. We created history, as students shared an educational platform side by side educators in sharing their vision for education. This empowered them and inspired them to think and act responsibly. This to me is what we should do as leaders, set new boundaries as we navigate new education frontiers.

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