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7 August 2013
The Unknown Leader is undoubtedly the best and most sincere and authentic self-help book written by a Saudi. Already in its second print, the book’s success is mainly due to its author, Hussein Al-Banawi, chairman and CEO of The Banawi Industrial Group, one of the leading manufacturing groups in Saudi Arabia. An inspirational leader and a man of vision, he is committed to helping the next set of entrepreneur leaders in the Arab world. All the proceeds from this book are donated to the enterprise leadership development programs sponsored by Banawi Industrial Group.
Hussein Al-Banawi’s mission is to pay tribute to the unknown leaders everywhere with the hope of inspiring some of us to become one.
In this book, Al-Banawi offers some insights and ideas for those who aspire to join the next generation of leaders in the Middle East and around the world. He also describes a new model of leadership that is not about chasing fame or glory but about contributing to a better society; not about accumulating wealth but about living a satisfying life; not about winning every contest but about venturing and taking risks in pursuit of excellence.
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8 July 2013
“Sheikh Hussein A. Al-Banawi captures timeless leadership principles and provides practical examples of how these principles can be implemented across cultures and countries. What makes this book credible is that Sheikh Hussein has implemented these principles in his companies and in his home; he leads from the front by example. This book should be required reading for anyone who wants to sharpen their leadership abilities.”
25 June 2013,
A Brilliant work from a true visionary on an international level
I have read many of the available books on the topic of leadership; however, I have never read one so packed with such excellent, practical ideas and insights to benefit the reader. In fact, there is so much good information that the author could have written multiple volumes, and it would not surprise me to see sequels that drill down even deeper into his ideas and insights. I look forward to those sequels.
The author lists what he believes to be the six attributes that capture the crucial characteristics of a leader. His sixth and final attribute is "committed to excellence in execution." Many have ideas, and ideas are important, but it is the deep commitment to excellence in execution that defines true and successful leaders.
The author is Chairman and CEO of one of the leading manufacturing groups in Saudi Arabia, a country that has enjoyed tremendous oil wealth, and he addresses the challenges of preparing for a post-petroleum world. The author believes that countries who rely on oil wealth as a significant portion of their economies will need to build more diverse industrial and business bases.
He further adds that promoting and supporting entrepreneurship is a key to this kind of economic development. The author states, "Entrepreneurs are the engine of growth in any society - the creators of innovation, sustainable employment, wealth and opportunity."
The author also emphasizes the importance and benefits of cross-cultural learning, and also discusses the tremendous historical contributions of women as leaders in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region, and how the continuing emergence of female leaders will benefit this region.
This is a go-to book for any leader or aspiring leader, especially those on an international level.
28 May 2013 - Unknown Leaders: Is there a model?
With all the leadership studies, why are there no complete solutions we can apply?
Article by Dave Crisp
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About Dave Crisp
Dave Crisp is a Toronto-based consultant with a wealth of experience, including 14 years leading HR at Hudson Bay Co. where he took the 70,000-employee retailer to “best company to work for” status. For more information, visit http://www.balance-and-results.com
I always wonder at how people from different parts of the world say the same things and even use the same language. In the Unknown Leader Hussein Al-Banawi talks of leadership as a journey and that each one of us can express leadership. It is the same message I wrote with colleagues in The Leadership Manual that was published in 2004. There is without a doubt a ‘movement’ across the world for the non-positional leader.
In The Unknown Leader Hussein uses his own life experiences and those of friends to explain how each one of us can step up and use our leadership in many situations. I was particularly pleased by the female examples in a part of the world that is now recognising the talent of women.
He then describes what he believes are the main areas to develop. This is where he parts from more academic studies to practical users. It could be the weakness of the book as those of us who have made understanding leadership a life’s work will ask where is integrity? Where is courage? Where is trust? I’m sure it’s there but not on the list and this is the problem with a list – there is no perfect one. However, what is so perfect are the real life stories bound into the book.
This is a book for graduates and those starting out on their careers. It will inspire them to know what others have done to use their leadership and how to find it within themselves. It is encouraging and written by a talented, humble person who recognises that none of us get things right every time but that by reflecting and learning we can achieve whatever we set out to achieve. I recommend this to every person starting their careers in whatever field because it is leadership that will enable them to be successful.
About Hilarie Owen;
For two years Hilarie Owen studied world -class teams including the RAF Red Arrows that resulted in her first book. She went on to work with boards and top teams of companies worldwide. Her seven books on leadership have sold globally. She has worked throughout Europe, the US, S Africa and the Middle East at board level with global organisations. Hilarie has taught at Cranfield, Ashridge and Manchester Business School. Her most recent books are The Complete Guide to Mentoring Pub Kogan Page 2011, New Thinking on Leadership: A Global Perspective Pub Kogan Page 2012
1 April 2013, Page 12
In a nutshell Al-Banawi states that there are many obvious leaders in the world, from captains of industry to chief executives, but argues that we also depend on the leaders whose work is usually not so visible. Here he celebrates those leaders who are performing crucial roles at every level of society and in all kinds of communities, to make the world a better place.
What’s right? His narrative is very readable and he uses interesting examples as case studies. The book is usefully split into two sections, going on to show the reader how to put examples into practice.
What’s wrong? The introduction leaps back and forth between Al-Banawi’s own experiences and the stories of three unknown leaders, which could make it difficult for skimmers.
Verdict The Unknown Leader is full of lots of practical advice and many compelling examples, making it a good guide to an alternative philosophy on effective leadership.
21 September 2012,
Hussein Al Banawi discusses the lives of some exemplary leaders, including his own. In an easy-to-read, conversational style, he tells of friends and acquaintances who have made changes in their own lives and those of many others. Along the way he provides pointers for the reader, ways in which ordinary people can become leaders in a small way, every day, or on a major scale, with lasting social impact. A strong spokesman for cross-cultural learning and gender equality, Mr Al Banawi speaks from a Middle Eastern perspective to readers everywhere.