x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Being your own boss is a start

Robin Sharma answers questions on what it takes to become a successful leader in the Middle East.

Robin Sharma, the author, talks to The National about what business leaders in the Middle East need to become successful.

What leadership traits are needed for business success in this region?

I think leadership is displayed in the same way across the world. The real leadership virtues have been around for many years: passion, relationships, excellence in your work and innovation.

How has the current unrest in the Mena region changed what is needed from business leaders?

The true measure of a leader is not how you perform under ideal conditions, it's how you perform when things are falling apart. This economic time was built for leaders. I think any smart leader - any employee - needs to be the [chief executive] of their own job. They need to show adaptability, improvisational skills, commitment and focus.

What if an employee's boss doesn't like them taking a leadership role?

Be so good that they can't ignore you. If you're so good at what you do, you become indispensable.

You argue that a new leadership model has emerged. Explain what you mean.

I call it leadership 2.0. We've shifted from an egocentric type of leadership, to those who really want to create value for stakeholders and put the enterprise above their own ego's pursuits. The old model of leadership is obsolete. It said titles are important.