Management Paper on Leadership Concept and Leadership Styles

Introduction

The concept of leadership is based on command and control where the subordinates follow the command of the leader. Leadership is a social influence process in which the leader seeks the voluntary participation of subordinates to reach organizational goals. It is important for a leader to have the required traits that a particular situation demands. For example, a university lecture hall with bored students demands a lecturer who is creative and inspiring. A good leader should possess the agility and flexibility of incorporating various leadership styles in the right way at the right time to fit the context. On the other hand, leadership style can be defined as the ability of a leader to influence people. Every leader has a specific style which is observed certain principles and beliefs. Conversely, each leader, position, and situation requires a specific approach and style.

Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, one of the richest men in Saudi Arabia, was born in March 1955. Not only is he a member of the Saudi royal family and businessman but also the most successful investor in the Middle East. Prince Waleed is the chairman and owner of Kingdom Holdings, which is one of the most successful, internationally renowned investment holding companies. Kingdom Holdings utilizes a comprehensive selection criterion to identify optimum opportunities to invest and realize value from undervalued or underachieving assets both locally and globally. This paper discusses the business leadership skills of Al Waleed bin Talal, the prince of Saudi Arabia.

The Background of Prince Waleed’s and How he Developed the Skills to be a Business Leader

Before becoming a business leader, Prince Al Waleed bin Talahad sought to gain knowledge. He attended Menlo College, which is located in California and upon completing his studies; he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

He later proceeded to Syracuse University where he obtained a master’s degree with honors in social science. In 1979, Prince Waleed made his return to Saudi Arabia from Menlo College, which is located in California. He immersed himself in the world of business, and from there he has grown to become one of the leading business leaders in Saudi Arabia. A business leader can be defined as a person who delegates or influencing others to act to carry out specified objectives (Nanjundeswaraswamy 1). Moreover, leadership can be described as a trait. According to Northouse, an individual inherits various distinguishing traits (3). Being the son of a King, Prince Al Waleed inherited leadership traits from his father. During the period of his return to Saudi Arabia, the country was experiencing the oil boom of 1974-1985 and established Kingdom Holdings in 1980. He did this while working in a small, four-roomed cabin in Riyadh. Two years later, the Prince brokered a deal with a South Korean construction company which earned him a lot of revenue. Additionally, the commissions he earned from that venture were plowed back into his real estate projects. Prince Al Waleed plowed back the money he obtained from partnering with the south Korean Construction Company into real estate and in the stock market, consequently making a profit from those investments.

Two-thirds of Al-Waleed’s wealth is tied up in Kingdom Holding Company, an investment vehicle (Henderson 1). Prince Al Waleed started with $15,000, which was given to him by his father, and initially grew his wealth by representing South Korean construction companies (Henderson 1). Prince Al Waleed is a powerful and highly influential voice within the Saudi and regional business communities. Even though he is a prince, Al Waleed prefers to be labeled as a self-made man, who used a $15,000 loan from his father to start a business venture, which, in turn, grew and became a business empire valued at around $23 billion (Henderson 2) Additionally, his drive, hardworking mentality, and entrepreneurial skills are reputable, as is his hectic and royal lifestyle. Prince Al Waleed bin Talal has steered clear of the Saudi political sphere and is not in line to take over the throne because he prefers and focuses on his business ventures. Consequently, financial might has not only accorded him a certain say in the political spheres of Saudi Arabia but also on economic and social matters.

The Background of Muna AbuSulayman and How she Developed the Skills to be a Business Leader

Muna Abusulayman is an influential Arab personality whose works and projects have earned her recognition and numerous awards such as being named the Honoree for excellence in media. Not only is she a talk show host but also the founding Secretary General of one of the most renowned and operational Philanthropic Foundations. Muna Abusulayman obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from George Mason University in 1995 before proceeding to do her masters in the same discipline. AbuSulayman went on to become a lecturer at King Saud University in the English department. In 2004, she graduated with a Ph.D. in English literature from King Saud University, which is in Saudi Arabia. She was then thrust into the world of business as the executive manager of strategic studies at kingdom holdings where she learned how to become a business leader. Later, she joined Alwaleed foundations where she was tasked with the responsibility of implementing not only the mission and vision of the foundation but also the business undertakings of the foundation; both local and global. She excelled at that position. As a business leader, she has spoken on several sensitive issues such as women empowerment, community development, and the role of media in the society. Additionally, her status as a bold female personality has endeared her to many women since she advocates for the inclusion of women in social and political scenes.

Components of a Business Leader

As a business leader, the most important aspect is to protect one’s assets. Assets include account receivables, pieces of equipment, and cash. The assets power not only business sales but also profits and growths. Moreover, it is important to develop a culture in a company that is based on expectations and rewarding those who meet or exceed those expectations (McBean 9). Besides, a good business leader ensures that such employees are not only recognized but also financially rewarded as this kind of positive reinforcement helps focus the entire company on the aspects that matter most in business (McBean 9). According to McBean, one of the most important factors in every business person’s success is their competitive instincts and knowing what it takes to win consistently (10). Prince Al Waleedbin Talal is an example of a transformational business leader who has competitive instincts and an eye for spotting good investing opportunities. Not only do transformational leaders challenge the status quo but they also encourage innovation and creativity among followers by encouraging them to explore new opportunities and develop from them.

Based on the above components of a good leader, I am of the opinion that I can make a good business leader in the future since I possess some of the qualities that make a transformational business leader. Moreover, I can develop transformational leadership skills by studying transformational business leaders such as Prince Al Waleed bin Talal and Muna AbuSalayman.

Conclusion

To succeed in the world of business, entrepreneurs and business persons need to possess certain qualities such as leadership skills, the ability to maintain control, and protecting company assets, planning, effective marketing skills, and a warrior mentality. The concept of leadership is based on command and control where the subordinates follow the command of the leader. It is important for a transformational business leader to possess the required traits that a particular situation demands. What is more, Prince Al Waleed and Muna AbuSalayman have cultivated a culture of winning, which is hard to create and maintain on a consistent level. It requires determination, grit, the desire to succeed, and good leadership skills to cultivate and maintain a winning culture. A winning culture not only entails setting the right goals, meeting forecasted numbers, and pushing towards achieving the set objectives but is also about evaluating performance, learning from errors, and holding every stakeholder accountable.

 

 

References

Northouse, P. G. (2014). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice. Sage.

Nanjundeswaraswamy, T. S., & Swamy, D. R. (2014). Leadership styles. Advances in management, 7(2), 57.

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Metcalfe, B. D., & Mimouni, F. (2011). Leadership development in the Middle East.

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McBean, B. (2012). The facts of business life: What every successful business owner knows that you don’t. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Henderson, S. (2010). The billionaire prince. The Washington Institute.

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