Terp Writer’s Corner: Abrar Ansari '92
Terp Writer’s Corner: Abrar Ansari '92
By Megan Masterson
University of Maryland graduate Abrar Ansari ‘92 believes in the power of intentional leadership and brings forth his ideas in his most recent book, Management by INTENT, The 5 Principles. As Corporate America comes under intense scrutiny from stakeholders who demand a change to the single-minded focus on shareholder profitability, an increasing number of business leaders are beginning to search for more equitable and fair company practices. Management by Intent (MBI) offers a unique solution to business leaders who are seeking holistic transformations.
Describe your book.
Given the challenges we face today, our capitalistic rules of engagement need to change. My book provides a blueprint for sustainable course correction for people seeking holistic transformations.
What, or who was your inspiration?
My inspiration are people who shape intellects, mold characters, and uplift our spirits; stewards of knowledge who selflessly impart their wisdom to all who seek it, without judgment or agenda. These are the people who have made me who I am today. Without them as guideposts and beacons, I would not have been where I am today.
What is the #1 item you want people to take away from your story?
Every time I am asked for my story, I begin to ponder my life’s journey. The one thing that gets reinforced each time is that I was never in control of my destiny. Frankly speaking, I can confidently say that, no one really is! For the most part, we get to where we are randomly floating on our own circumstances and riding the waves of events as they unfold in front of us. On this journey, life has a funny way of putting us in situations that often demand action. It is not what we do in the heat of the moment that charts our trajectory; it is what our perspective was, as we reacted to a situation. These individualized perspectives and reactions are what define each voyage.
Our journey doesn’t have to be tied to a specific destination either. In fact, the more places we stop along the way the more diversified our outlook in life becomes. This diversity allows us the ability to examine, evaluate and course correct, helping us to attain wisdom. The process starts with introspection. It requires acute awareness of not just why we are doing something and what’s in it for us, but also how it is going to impact others around us.
We are impactful beings. What we do in life matters. Our actions have consequences, regardless of how small the impact is. It is like throwing a small pebble in still water. The effect of the ripples is far-reaching, isn’t it?
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Understanding the repercussions of our actions on ourselves, on others and on our environment, demands emotional intelligence, empathy, and compassion. Knowing ourselves, our psyche, how we think and make decisions then becomes a necessary first step in becoming impactful writers.
Given the current state of affairs of human society, there is a dire need for writers who have the ability to take people on a deeper journey of self-reflection. We are where we are today, not because we lack resources. We are where we are today because of lack of balanced intellectual thought; one that induces compassion and rationality, not fear and uncertainty.
What book is on your nightstand right now?
Al-Ghazali's Path to Sufism (his, Deliverance from Error)
What is your favorite book?
Thinking in Systems, by Dana Meadows
What do you do in your non-writing free time?
Mentor, Consult, & DIY Home Improvement Projects.
What is your favorite alumni event or experience?
I was at a social event few years ago where I ran into a young lady. Upon talking to her I came to know that she was a UMCP graduate. I was thrilled to find that out! So naturally, I inquired when was it that she graduated. I had a bit of a senior moment when she told me that her graduation date was 2017. That's like 25 years after I graduated. While it reminded me of the fleeting nature of time, it also reminded me of the long-lasting impact our university has had on many many generations.
As a student, what was your favorite spot on campus?
Mckeldin Library steps overlooking the mall.
What's your Fearless Idea?
It is the character of an individual that shapes the value system of their circle of influence; be it a principle of a school, a parent in a household, a politician who represents their constituents, a CEO of any organization and so forth. When people that lead us embody individualism and amplify self interest, the norms and the commitments that are perpetuated are void of compassion and respect of dignity for others. As a result we see the rise in polarization of ideas, extreme inequity, resource mismanagement, corruption, waste and pollution, destruction of ecosystems, and the loss of trust and respect of each other.
My fearless idea, is to be an inflection point for the genesis of an intent-driven system for transformative change.
Just like to truly transform the desert into an oasis, water is needed. Having the wind blow around and shape the dunes, doesn’t cut it. Because the essence of the dune, in spite been reshaped by the wind, still remains the same, sand. What water is to desert, intent is to character. I believe it is only through sincere self-reflection that we are able to recalibrate our own psyche, to attain the right wisdom, courage, and temperance to deal with some fundamental challenges of life, of individuals or groups, including organizations, big and small.
Publication of this article does not imply an endorsement by the Alumni Association. The Alumni Blog connects you with the latest at UMD. Check out articles on advancing your personal and professional goals, elevating your UMD pride, and celebrating Terp traditions, legacies and accomplishments. For even more content, follow the Alumni Association on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.