The Middle East is historically associated with the most important world rulers and leaders, who built huge empires. With their leadership they brought prosperity, abundance and knowledge.
It is a great honor for me to introduce the man who has just published a book about the Leaders and visionaries of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Meshari Alrajah. He has been a senior adviser in the executive office of the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing. Mr Meshari Alrajah has also been a faculty member at the Institute of Entrepreneurship at the King Saud University, where he participates in strategic planning projects. He also develops training programs for startups within project management, marketing and business planning.
Le Globless: Mr Alrajah, you are a young man with a lot of experience and you have published a book about leadership based on your studies. Can you tell me more about your book?
Meshari Alrajah: My book is about leaders. It started ten years ago when I was studying at the King Saud University. I was mainly interested in business, in creating suitable conditions within the domestic market, leadership, economics and psychology. I was interested in everything from the field of economy and country management, to vision and prosperity. My knowledge, studies and observations were popular, and so I wrote for economic newspapers, magazines and journals on this subject.
I started doing training for start-up entrepreneurs and I helped professionally within the economic sector. I worked very closely with the ministries of Saudi Arabia. I was a senior adviser at the executive office of the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, so I had an overview of the overall events in the country from the point of view of the government, but also from the perspective of an individual.
,,At that time, everyone began to talk about Saudi Arabia’s huge visions, some of which sounded quite unbelievable. But when you put capable people, the best in the industry in strategic positions, and when you are a strong leader, anything is possible. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is changing right in front of our eyes and it is becoming the country of the future.“
That’s when I thought I should write a book. I worked day in and day out with future leaders, consulting entrepreneurs, and I put down on paper what I was telling them.
With the visions of KSA up until 2030, many new topics have opened up on how to support strong leaders in key positions in achieving set goals. I developed a comprehensive study that is part of the book and the chapters are divided according to key topics. So far, the book has been published only in Arabic, but soon it will also be available in English.
Was there something particular that prompted you to write this book? Who was your inspiration?
Meshari Alrajah: In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, changes are happening everywhere and I wanted to be a part of it all. The country is progressing incredibly fast, and leadership is also related to the progress.
Professors at universities are preparing for future generations to take over the leadership and to face new challenges. I was very lucky, because my professor at the King Saud University was excellent. He was a professor who, in addition to his university work and many lectures, managed to write professional literature. I admired him very much and enjoyed the time I spent with him. He was a very inspiring and wise person. I was thinking about how it was possible for him to manage such a great quantity of work and yet publishes books. It occurred to me that I could also put my knowledge and experiences from my studies into a book.
Based on your study, what are the most important qualities of leaders?
Meshari Alrajah: It is very individual, but they have some basic characteristics in common. I mainly perceive their visionary abilities. Their charisma will influence the environment and change it, and they do this completely naturally and with ease. It’s a huge force somewhere deep inside them as well as the deeply rooted values they have. It is more about their behavior and nature than about learned information.
Qualities of leaders :
Charisma / how you affect people
A force deep inside you
Le Globless: Do you think that faith has an effect on leadership?
Meshari Alrajah: I can say that faith has an effect on how a person perceives and manages various situations. But personally, I think it’s more about the environment you grow up in and the circumstances you encounter. What values surround you as well as who is your role model. It is something that is deep inside you in your DNA. It’s something in your personality, how you socialize with people and how you use the information you receive.
,,Your personality never changes. It is just a process of progress, mistakes and challenges, a system of learning and understanding and using information in everyday life. You cannot learn to be a leader, you are born and then you create yourself. You can go to a leadership course and try to understand the key qualities of leaders, which will certainly help and improve the quality of your life. However, you do not become a leader; you are born a leader. It is not just about how we understand new things, but also how you can acclimatize and convey information. It’s about creating relationships and structures. Leadership is about humility and vision as well as motivating yourself and others.”
Le Globless: Can you stimulate leadership?
Meshari Alrajah: Experiences build your personality, but leadership is something that is in your DNA. You can adopt some leadership skills, but you will not become a natural leader. It’s like sending a doctor to a course in economics and strategy. Yes, he will certainly learn something and his skills in the given area will improve. But he will not become the director of the company. It is very difficult to become a leader. Personalities never change, we can only shape them.
Le Globless: Do you also have experiences with Saudi Arabia’s female leaders?
Meshari Alrajah: Definetly. Women can be strong leaders, and I have met amazing women who were strong leaders. Even now, my superior is a great lady and I cooperate very well with her. Women have a completely different style of leadership and communication with colleagues.
,,Women always respond quickly. I think they have empathy and communication skills as well as an ability to motivate others.”
Le Globless: Is it possible to support leadership in children?
Meshari Alrajah: Children must have role models, they must be stimulated in a good way and build mutual trust. Children easily repeat the models that their parents show them.
Le Globless: Why are leaders so important for humanity and the world?
Meshari Alrajah: Someone has to create a map for organizations, for countries and people. Someone has to be at the head of the whole thing.
Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision and strategy
Le Globless : The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a huge vision for the year 2030. What is this vision?
Meshari Alrajah: The kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced in 2016 a master plan, a road map vision for 2030. Under this vision, twelve programs have strategic initiatives and projects targeting the public and private sectors, as well as non-profit organizations.
Le Globless: The extreme expansion of Saudi Arabia has an impact on the country’s surroundings and on the entire world. Is it the case that Saudi Arabia is building very strong partnerships with neighboring states and other powerful countries?
Meshari Alrajah: Yes, there are major programs and strategic partnerships with gulf countries and other G20 countries, all of them promising countries.
Le Globless: What are the goals? The stimulation of growth, development of entrepreneurship and leadership in Saudi, and growth of the economy in the country?
Meshari Alrajah: One of strategic goals of the vision is to build the capability of youth through out pioneer training and to enhance the landscape of business environments and the entrepreneurship ecosystems and to develop funding opportunities for startups.
Le Globless: Which factors have the greatest influence, and who supports the growth of the entire economy in the country?
Meshari Alrajah: Visions enable the private sector to participate in the growth of the economy, for example the PPP model (public private partnership) within government assets and facilities.
Le Globless: Do you see a strong potential in the youth?
Meshari Alrajah: Yes of course, because the youth makes up approximately 60% of the population of the nation. They can contribute to the growth of the country, which I mentioned in my book From Pioneer to Leadership.
Le Globless: What is the basic knowledge that young people ought to have to become successful entrepreneurs and leaders?
Meshari Alrajah: They should have basic knowledge such as critical thinking, designing skills, negotiation skills, team work skills, project management and time management skills.
Le Globless: Government leaders: The government of Saudi Arabia can be defined as the leader of the entire country. What important role does the government play when it comes to leadership?
Meshari Alrajah: The government has established a center for training government leaders, through which it can continue the education and development of their leadership skills.
,,Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) was the most significant, world-renowned leader. He excelled in humility, sincerity, in their absolute faith in God, and also in their leadership skills and strategic thinking. The blood of leaders and kings still circulates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is not only a cradle of history but also filled with visionaries of the future.” Ivanka Vieriková
All RIGHTS OF PICTURES AND IDEAS RESERVED. MADE BY IVANA VIERIKOVÁ.
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