x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Leadership project graduates first class

Aisha al Zaabi and 24 others pass the first course in the capital in the Leadership Excellence Applied Diploma programme.

ABU DHABI // Aisha al Zaabi used to be the shy girl at work. But then the 28-year-old, who manages a call centre at the Emirates Identity Authority, enrolled in the Leadership Excellence Applied Diplomas (Lead) programme. 

"I learnt how to be assertive and how to share my ideas," she said at a graduation ceremony for the course's first batch of students last week. "I have learnt how to lead and encourage my employees and get the best out of them."

She was one of the 25 men and women who marched onto the stage on Wednesday to receive their diplomas at the Yas Hotel in front of a crowd of friends and family. The year-long programme, associated with the Judge Business School, which is part of Cambridge University in the UK, selects young professionals for their potential. The courses then attempt to educated them in the skills necessary to become the future leaders of industry.

"The objective is to develop leadership capacity among Abu Dhabi youth," said Dr Mohan Guruswamy, the director of Lead. "We need good people to implement the long-term plans for the UAE." Sayed al Amiri, a 31-year-old employee of the Al Ain municipality, was full of praise for the programme. "[Our professors] taught us how to talk to people, how to plan. "Most people don't even know the meaning of leadership. We already see the fruits of what we learnt at work," he said.

Ms al Zaabi now has bigger ambitions. The young Emirati has a plan to make her fortune. "I want to sell perfumes and creams that I make myself. I already make some at home, but now I want to form my own company." smclain@thenational.ae