December 3, 2023

‘Be clear about values, purpose in life’ experts tell leaders, CEOs of digital age’

DUBAI – “The only way to successfully manage C-suite pressures particularly in this fast moving digital age is to develop deep clarity about one’s values and purpose in life,” said Rajeev Peshawaria, CEO of the Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre, addressing an audience of high profile leaders and decision makers from the private and public sectors.

Peshawaria was one of the international leadership experts headlining a thought session titled ‘Overcoming Senior Leadership Challenges’ at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), a research and teaching institution focusing on public policy in the Arab world. The session started with an introduction by Dr. Bassem Yunis, Director of Business Development at MBRSG. In his address, Dr Yunis highlighted Dubai’s significant role as a leading center for theoretical and practical knowledge in the UAE and the wider region.

In his presentation, Peshawaria, author of ‘Too Many Bosses, Too Few Leaders’, highlighted the challenges faced by senior leaders and shared insights on how best to develop the art of leadership to successfully manage the challenges.

Focusing on the constant pressure today’s leaders face to have the answers ready, fix what is wrong, and produce financial results in a highly competitive and fast-changing environment, Peshawaria said: “It is indeed lonely at the top. In fact, it is even lonelier for bosses with low self-awareness. You are going to have to make tough calls, deal with its consequences, set the pace and strategy and ensure that everything gets done in time, while keeping people together.”

Nabil El-Hage, a former Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, took the stage next to debate the relative merits of having the CEO assume membership of the Board of Directors, and when it is appropriate to do so.

Describing the responsibilities and implications of board membership, El-Hage said: “The Board of Directors has the ultimate responsibility for overseeing the affairs of the company. However, success in daily execution depends on a strong and respected leader – the Chief Executive Officer. The single most important function of the Board of Directors is to attract, retain, motivate, and develop the right Chief Executive Officer for the company, and as long as he is performing, ensure he is given clear and visible support. Very often, awarding the CEO a full voting seat on the Board of Directors may be the most effective way to demonstrate the Board’s support.”

draliDr Ali Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President, MBRSG, said: “Leaders are under constant pressure to drive results, solve problems, and always make the right decision in a timely manner. Through such collaborative sessions with industry experts, MBRSG aims to shed the light on leadership challenges and offer leaders of public and private sector organizations insights into best industry practices applied in tackling leadership issues.”

The event was attended by H.E. Tariq Hilal Lootah Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs and member of the Board of Trustees of MBRSG and His Excellency Dato Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin Consul General of Malaysia in Dubai.

Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government is committed to promoting good governance through enhancing the region’s capacity for effective public policy. The School uses a four-pronged approach, which includes applied research in public policy and management, academic programs in public policy and administration, executive education programs and knowledge forums for scholars and policy makers.

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