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7 Questions on Leadership with S M Mayeen Ahmed

Name: S M Mayeen Ahmed

Title: Founder Trustee

Organisation: NM Trust

S.M. Mayeen Ahmed has in-depth knowledge in and excellent understanding of social development and rights issues through work in the fields of Disability (survey, community-based rehabilitation, inclusive development, mainstreaming, resource centre development); Land reform; Media (development journalism, media pluralism, press freedom); Public Health (AIDS, Leprosy, Rickets, TB); involving photography and audio-visuals.

With about three dacades’ work experience with national and international development organisations as well as business enterprises, in mid to senior level management and leadership roles, the hands-on experience is supplemented by extensive issue-specific study and research along with grassroots level field work, involving diverse work on mainstreaming disability equality issues.

Accomplishment of design and execution of time bound programmes and projects from scratches to ground breaking results, including monitoring and evaluation, ensured. Researches into and training on issues like base-line census survey (disability), organisational capacity, programme impact, communication and participation were accomplished.

All through his career, besides jobs in Drik, Panos, IPI, and DRPI (Canada-Bangladesh),he has worked with the disadvantaged communities like people with disability and children, in various capacities, and dealt with diversity and equality in the context of human rights, leading groups of development professionals and experts.

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

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


Jonno White

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

Educated and affluent people are more concerned about their benefits that they take for granted in whatever situations.

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

I don't consider myself a leader. However, I started a number of initiatives that general people find benefitting their causes and needs. At least two times, in my employer organisations, a business house and a non-profit, enacted a rule of same festival bonus for all staff.

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

Early morning, prayer, quran and day plan; business meetings and visits by late afternoon; household or domestic/family chores; reading writing in evening; journal of expenses and events before sleep.

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

I have been reading online stuff and books about ways to fight procrastination; OD leadership for organisations of/for persons with disability (OPD) and ran such a process for 13 OPDs in Dec 2022.

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?

A poem by tagore, 'samanno khoti' (insignificant loss). it gives me an understanding of leadership as 'leaders need to serve justice and practice equality, since my childhood, when at grade five, we had to read and explain this poem.

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

Be ready to serve people the most, and do no harm.

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

Engage fellow people with a clear depiction of the scenario how their roles are going to make the difference towards the broader objectives; having them jointly explore the bigger picture.

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