Emirates NBD, the largest banking group in the Middle East Effective leaders care not only about whether they win or lose, but also about how they play the game. In the end, the personal choice that we must make about whether to engage the mindset of authority or that of leadership can define our own future as well as the future of those around us, according to Sheikh Hussein Al-Banawi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Banawi Industrial Group.
The comments came at Al-Banawi’s lecture on ’Leadership in Motion: An Epic Journey’ at the Dubai School of Government (DSG), the region’s premier institute for research and public policy. Held on 18 March, the talk saw the leading industrialist underlining the difference between the “authoritative” and “nurturing” leadership styles as the “hard” and ”soft” components of management.
Explaining his personal understanding of leadership, he said: “True leaders subscribe to an ongoing examination of exploring and delving into the subject as a prerequisite to making decisions. They thrive on a decision making process though a skillful exercise of combining analysis and comprehension of the matters at hand and beyond. They question the norm.
“Leaders understand challenges but they will not turn challenges into fears. They understand opportunity but will not turn opportunity into adventure. They have a total grasp of the delicate balance of risk and reward as they push ahead towards progress and prosperity.”
As the Chairman and CEO of Al-Banawi Industrial Group, Sheikh Hussein Al-Banawi is at the helm of companies that range from specialty chemicals to packaging and food flavours, spanning the broader Middle East and Africa. Regarded a role model for effective leadership, he is also a member of the Board of Trustees, Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee, and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the World Waqf Foundation of the Islamic Development Bank.
Dr. Tarik Yousef, Dean of Dubai School of Government, said: “We are honoured to have the views of Sheikh Al-Banawi on leadership. His expertise has benefited many organizations, including the Al-Banawi Industrial Group and its diverse portfolio of companies. Despite the magnitude of his experience, he kept today’s talk relevant to us, sharing the underlining philosophy that has guided his successful leadership style. We hope to incorporate what we have learnt from his insights today into our own leadership roles.”
Sheikh Al-Banawi is a founding member of the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo, and a member of the board of trustees of a number of charitable organizations. He is also affiliated to key educational institutes and enjoys sharing his business experience with other corporate leaders at individual interactions or group forums.
Established in 2005 in cooperation with the Harvard Kennedy School, the Dubai School of Government is committed to the creation of knowledge and the dissemination of global best practices in the Arab world. The institution conducts various programmes that seek to enhance the region’s capacity for effective public policies.
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