In the West, we tend to think about how leadership drives higher performance and greater efficiency – it’s all about reaching targets and then stretching beyond those targets but leadership in Pakistan means something quite different. (Click here to read more.) In Pakistan, leadership focuses on security and survival, the practicalities of achieving a peaceful co-existence with neighbours and alleviating basic poverty. Leadership in other words, exisits on a much more fundamental, practical level, rather than the relatively more luxurious level of driving higher performance.

As I reflected on this fundamental difference, it occurred to me that the Pakistani government has effectively distilled their leadership model into three main areas:

(1) Clarity of Vision and Mission – the government and military leaders are completely clear on what they need to achieve and ensure that everyone surrounding them receives this clarity of message. The takeaway from this is that leadership is more effective with clear purpose, and this starts from the very top. Good leaders are clear in themselves, before being clear with others.

(2) Focus only on what really matters – in Pakistan, where security is paramount, everything to do with governing is distilled to focusing on what is truly important. Anything not ranked in this top tier, will not take central stage and this also reinforces the message on clarity. Good leaders are able to focus on what really matters and use this ability of discernment to lead effectively.

(3) Discipline is non-negotiable. I saw first hand how results are achieved by following a disciplined, regimented approach. The takeaway from this is that achievement comes with commitment to purpose, regardless of circumstances.  Good leaders exercise non-negotiable discipline in themselves first, in order to effectively lead others and get the job done

My stay in Pakistan was a great reminder of how great leadership comes back to solid building blocks, so my challenge to you is:

  • Are you clear on your vision and what you want to set out to achieve?
  • Are you totally focused on what matters and able to set aside distractions that will impede you from achieving your vision?
  • Do you have non-negotiable self-discipline?

At MyPhy, we have developed a series of practical tools and techniques that show you how to achieve clarity, focus and discipline. We can help you become the type of effective leader you always wanted to be, faster, better and smarted. If this resonates with you, get in touch at

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