A recent study assessing effectiveness of Executive Education programs revealed a 68% dissatisfaction of the GCC region with Leadership Development programs delivered by reputed international bodies to leaders in this region!
Truth is, we are not surprised!
As Leadership Development professionals from this region, we clearly see the mismatch that exists between development needs of local leaders and the development offerings extended to them.
There are five key elements that leadership development programs targeting the region’s leaders lack:
Richness, in the sense that such teachings do not incorporate the rich and profound leadership lessons found throughout Islamic history and which form the greatest leadership examples mankind ever witnessed.
Relativeness, in the sense that such teachings are far from relevant to local culture, local environment, local politics, and the local mind-set. All of which form key aspects important for any leader to be advised around and for teachings to take into consideration. And where they are not, such is due to surely backfire on a leader causing him to endure a never-ending struggle.
Applicability, in the sense that even if they are relevant, they might not be applicable given the various facts around the level of understanding and knowledge of people in an organization, the fact that not many people in this culture read, the fact that power and authority in local organizations is often centralized, and fact that people have been used to certain ways of working for so long where a more patient and concentrated change management effort with a local mentality would be required to drive any change.
Practicality, in the sense they can be easily implemented and are not merely theoretical. To ensure such, it becomes important that these are easy to understand, easy to implement and easy to follow-through and sustain.
Joyfulness, in the sense that teachings delivered lack a sense of joy and entertainment, making these just another painful chore a leadership has to endure or merely an obligatory task he or she is asked to check off. We simply believe that leadership development needs to be a joyful activity that a leader craves to receive more of.