Discovering leadership

Updated 12 August 2013
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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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Get swole: Merriam-Webster dictionary bulks up with new entries

Updated 23 April 2019
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Get swole: Merriam-Webster dictionary bulks up with new entries

BOSTON: Get swole, prepare a bug-out bag, grab a go-cup and maybe you’ll have a better chance of surviving the omnicide.
Translation: Hit the gym and bulk up, put a bunch of stuff essential for survival in an easy-to-carry bag, grab a drink for the road, and perhaps you’ll live through a man-made disaster that could wipe out the human race.
Swole, bug-out bag, go-cup and omnicide are just a few of the 640 additions to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary added Monday.
Deciding what gets included is a painstaking process involving the Springfield, Massachusetts-based company’s roughly two dozen lexicographers, said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor at large.
They scan online versions of newspapers, magazines, academic journals, books and even movie and television scripts until they detect what he calls “a critical mass” of usage that warrants inclusion.
The words are added to the online dictionary first, before some are later added to print updates of the company’s popular Collegiate Dictionary, which according to company spokeswoman Meghan Lunghi, has sold more than 50 million copies since 1898, making it the “best-selling hardcover book after the Bible.”
“So many people use our website as their principal dictionary and we want it to be current,” Sokolowski said. “We want to be as useful as possible.”
The latest additions include mostly new words, or phrases, but also some old words with new meanings or applications.
Take unplug and snowflake, for example. Unplug means to literally tug an electric plug from a wall socket, but now, it also has a more metaphorical meaning, as in to disconnect from social media, he said.
And yes, a snowflake is still a beautiful ice crystal that floats from the sky during winter, but it now also has a usually disparaging meaning of “someone who is overly sensitive,” according to Merriam-Webster’s definition.
Some of the words have been around for decades, but are included in the dictionary because of increased usage.
Omnicide, which means “the destruction of all life,” dates to the Cold War and was used in reference to the threat of nuclear annihilation, but lately it has been used to define the risk of other man-made disasters, primarily climate change.
Popular culture — movies, TV and sports — is a common source of new words, such as buzzy, an adjective that literally means creating a buzz, such as a “buzzy new movie.”
And then there’s EGOT, a noun that refers to an entertainer who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. Audrey Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch, Mel Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg are among the elite group.
Garbage time, those painful final minutes of a game when one team has an insurmountable lead and both teams empty their benches, has been around since 1960, but is on the latest list of new words.
With the rapid advance of science, many new words come from the fields of technology and medicine.
In the Internet age when it’s sometimes difficult to determine whether the vast amounts of information we’re exposed to is accurate, the dictionary is a rock, Sokolowski said.
“We need the dictionary more than ever now that we have information flying at us from all directions,” he said.