Discovering leadership

Updated 12 August 2013

Discovering leadership

The Unknown Leader is undoubtedly the best and most sincere and authentic self-help book written by a Saudi. Already in its second print, the book’s success is mainly due to its author, Hussein Al-Banawi, chairman and CEO of The Banawi Industrial Group, one of the leading manufacturing groups in Saudi Arabia. An inspirational leader and a man of vision, he is committed to helping the next set of entrepreneur leaders in the Arab world. All the proceeds from this book are donated to the enterprise leadership development programs sponsored by Banawi Industrial Group.
Hussein Al-Banawi’s mission is to pay tribute to the unknown leaders everywhere with the hope of inspiring some of us to become one.
In this book, Al-Banawi offers some insights and ideas for those who aspire to join the next generation of leaders in the Middle East and around the world. He also describes a new model of leadership that is not about chasing fame or glory but about contributing to a better society; not about accumulating wealth but about living a satisfying life; not about winning every contest but about venturing and taking risks in pursuit of excellence.
“So if you aspire to become a leader, I urge you not to make wealth your ultimate goal. Instead, strive to do work that is personally exciting and fascinating, and that helps to make the world a better place through the productivity and excellence of what you do,” says Al-Banawi.
We are reminded that a diploma or a college degree does not mark the end of an education but rather the beginning. Our present world is always changing and there is always something new to learn and one needs to continually develop one’s skills.
One should also immerse oneself in problem solving early in one’s career because this provides a training ground for finding solutions later on. Tackling problems early in our lives helps us recognize the opportunities hidden inside problems.
“When business challenges threaten to overwhelm you, remember: If you can manage the emotions, you can manage the issues. We are all students of life, and we hope we never graduate!” In that respect, we need to innovate and not imitate. We constantly need to look around us and see what could be done better. It is easier to imitate but imitation is a short-term solution. The author mentions his friend, Ueli Prager, a remarkable innovator and founder of the successful Movenpick Chain of Hotels and Resorts.
Ueli Prager built his business on the idea that busy travelers look forward to eat fresh and high quality food rapidly and at a reasonable price. The name of his business reflects this insight. After he saw a seagull catching a fish from the water, he decided to make it just as simple for people on the go to ‘move and pick’ delicious meals from his restaurants and therefore he named his chain, “Movenpick”.
Prager was the first restaurateur to feature sandwiches and salads on the menu. He also placed a bakery just inside the entrance of his hotels so that the aroma of freshly baked bread would lure visitors inside to the restaurants.
The digital age and its continuous and instantaneous communication have created a society in which change has become a way of life. It has also increased people’s desire for a greater say in their future and for the opportunity to exercise their talents for the benefit of all.
It is important to make sure that regulations, customs, laws and our way of thinking promote entrepreneurship and bottom-up development. Entrepreneurs remain a vital engine of growth in any society. They create innovation, sustainable employment, wealth and opportunity. But leaders are not only needed in companies and government offices, but also in factories, schools, universities, hospitals, in small shops, in offices and most importantly in the midst of our homes and families.
The characteristics of ‘unknown leaders’:
• Give more than they take
• Do not seek recognition, praise or fame, but rather the self-fulfilment that comes from the consciousness of a job well done.
• Are humble and modest, quick to praise others and to share the credit for accomplishments with all those who deserve it
• Refuse to participate in or surrender to the negativity that so many people wallow in.
• Help make our world a place of hope and high achievement
• Are needed today in greater numbers than ever!
This book touches both our heart and mind with moving and exciting stories of leading businessmen and unknown leaders. It is also an inspirational guide, which motivates us and provides us with clear advice on how each one of us can become a leader.

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Nicki Minaj shows off her quad biking skills in the UAE

Nicki Minaj recently released a new album. (AFP)
Updated 25 September 2018

Nicki Minaj shows off her quad biking skills in the UAE

  • Nicki Minaj just hit the sand dunes in Abu Dhabi
  • She was just in Milan attending Fashion Week

DUBAI: Pop superstar Nicki Minaj just hit the sand dunes in Abu Dhabi and posted a string of photos on Instagram to show off her skills.

“Ride wit Minaj (sic),” the rapper-singer captioned a snap on the social media site, showing her astride a dune buggy in the desert.

She also posted a video in which she can be seen speeding through the desert with her loose hair streaming in the wind. Earlier in the evening, she posted a video in which she runs along a beach in the UAE at night and talks in a British accent, saying she wants her fans to “see the water.”

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Ride wit Minaj

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Before her trip to the Gulf country, Minaj sat front row at the Versace show at Milan Fashion Week.

She sat alongside Leona Lewis, Rita Ora, model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, actor Luke Evans and Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni in an enormous industrial space in the modern CityLife neighborhood where the runway show was held, according to Reuters.

“I’m so proud of you @donatella_versace You’ve never missed a beat. So tiny, but so powerful,” Minaj posted after the runway show.

“Loved the show tonight. Thank you for my gorgeous flowers & for playing like 75 percent of the Queen album at the show,” she added, referencing fourth studio album, which was released in August to mixed reviews.

Minaj also took a front row seat at the Fendi show in Milan, taking a turn for fans on her way in decked out in a Fendi puffer jacket and matching leggings and cropped top.

Other front-row celebs included Ferragni with her rapper husband Fedez, leaving home their much-Instagrammed infant, Leone, but trailing television cameras as they toured backstage.

While the front-row celebrity attire was highly branded Fendi streetwear, the runway collection by Karl Lagerfeld was more elegant and subtle, the Associated Press noted.

The artist is fresh off a bout of controversy involving US rapper Cardi B, who infamously tried to attack Minaj during a scuffle at a party held on the sidelines of New York Fashion Week earlier in September.

Minaj and Cardi B were the center of attention as A-list guests reportedly huddled around their phones to watch footage of the fracas.
A person who witnessed the incident, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said Minaj was finishing up a conversation with someone when Cardi B tried to attack her, but Minaj’s security guards intervened, the Associated Press reported.
Video footage that circulated on social media at the time showed Cardi B lunging toward someone and being held back. Cardi B reportedly threw one of her shoes at Minaj.

Here’s to hoping Minaj has a more enjoyable time in the UAE.