Leadership has always been a buzzword, and for a very important reason; It’s really hard to handle. Our club’s legacy is one with 40+ shining years, primarily because each new president who takes on this mammoth of a task, manages to add their own flavour to the mix. That being said, Ahmed Hibshi Mowlana – is no exception.
Known for his disarmingly laid-back personality and quiet determination, we managed to ask him a few questions. His answers gave us a glimpse of what lies ahead for the Rotaract Club of Colombo Mid-Town in the foreseeable future.
Starting back in 2008, Hibshi was a member of the Interact Club of Amal International School. He went on to become the President of the Interact Club in 2009. In that year, the school was highly praised and recognised; fuelling him to pursue Rotaract more seriously in the future.
He went on to charter the Rotaract Club of Colombo New Generations in 2011 before taking a brief break and re-joining the movement in PP. Insaf Ismail’s year (2018/2019)
Being Curious & Adaptable
When asked about how he saw Rotaract after a break, he said it was easy to see the significant increase in the quality of projects, the energy and optimism in Rotaract’s members. However, he also mentions how events and conferences have managed to follow the same format when we’ve found innovation in many other areas.
“A key thing I’d like to tell Rotaractors” he says “is to keep changing. Don’t simply go ahead with everything, challenge it and ask yourself if you need to do it. Flip it and ask yourself – if we stop doing it, is it a real problem?”
Certainly, a nugget of wisdom for rotaractors and non-rotaractors alike.
Hibshi also brings up the topic of adapting to the digital space around us, mainly because it falls in line with his career: Project managing at HSBC, President Hibshi has seen how COVID has changed the workplace and demands flexibility.
“If we go back to the way we used to before COVID struck it would be a mistake. This is an opportunity for us to encourage rotaractors into the movement and show the world we are capable of using the platform for leadership and personal growth”.
Striking That Balance
Rotaract is well known for its community service pillar but the other areas: Professional Development, International Service, Finance and Club Service rarely get a spot in the limelight. Pushing avenues like Professional Development and International Service will ensure that members are obtaining the proper knowledge and confidence when entering their respective workplaces.
This comes from a thoughtful consideration in the club that most of our members are just starting out in their careers and it’s natural for them to want space to find their feet. Hibshi also thinks that it would be a perfect opportunity to instil a strong foundation of work and life balance, for well-rounded individuals who then naturally can take on leadership.
A fond Rotaract memory & Personal Philosophy
We asked him about a memory that holds the spirit of Rotaract and he said it was a project we couldn’t have last year, The Rotaract Championship League. He hadn’t realized how much our Mid Towners were looking forward to it. It went beyond the awards; it was the camaraderie and jokes shared on that day that we still bring up in conversation that stood out.
Finally, to end, we wondered if he had a personal philosophy in life and he shrugged it off with a laugh, but to humour us he said,
“The first thing is you need to be happy and satisfied. You can do well with everything else. People know me for being calm but I just try to give time for family and work where it’s due.”