Saudi GazetteRIYADH – The “Principles of Leadership” by Dr. Yusuf Bin Uthman Al-Huzaim is based on empirical research that the author has conducted over a period of two decades.
The author’s attempt is to expound the very essence of leadership qualities derived from the similarities based on Western notions and the general trends found within the Islamic culture.
The scholarly work divulges information “in the light of Islamic heritage and American experience”, as the subtitle of the book says.
Dr. Al-Huzaim, a doctorate degree holder in Economic Philosophy and emeritus professor of Saudi Economics at Yamamah College and professional trainer in leadership, has written 10 books, the most prominent of which include Fifteen Principles of Leadership of King Abdulaziz and Fundamentals of Leadership.
The first edition of the book published by Darussalam in July 2011 advocates the need for development and promotion of Arab leaders while incorporating leadership qualities based on contemporary Western and Islamic principles.
The book has been published at a right time when some Arab leaders in the region have failed to address issues concerning the general population.
The author delves into the concept of leadership as defined by several distinguished scholars. There is one chapter in the book that deals with the key elements related to the phenomenon that defines leadership as a “process”, “influence others” and “achieves goals.”
The book tries to identify leadership as an individual’s circumstantial position that shape him by time, values, information and the social norms, professional and creative approach to achieve a precise set of objectives aimed at overcoming the challenges leading to contentment of the general population.
Dr. Al Huzaim does not rely on Western philosophy to establish principles of leadership. Instead he demonstrates the vast wealth of literature on the subject with an emphasis on the Arab world that lags behind in this specialized field.
While elucidating the leadership qualities, Dr. Al-Huzaim quotes a passage from Russel H. Ewing that says, “The boss creates fear, the leader imparts confidence. The boss lays the blame, the leader rectifies wrongs. The boss knows everything, the leader asks questions. The boss makes work hard, the leader makes it enjoyable. The boss enjoys his own company, the leader enjoys the company of his people.”
The book has a special chapter on “Ways to reform leadership within Arab countries”. It cites the experiences of developing states including Singapore, Malaysia and Brazil. The author says these countries despite scarcity of resources and struggling economies represent the best examples to emulate from.
In the concluding chapter “Conclusion and recommendations”, the author tries to offer suggestions with a warning that jumping to adopt the Western experience would prove detrimental to the region.
“If it were not for the Will of Allah, leadership would be destructive to all that is good and noble, as some Arab leaders have been consumed by the eradication of everything beautiful and creative and who emotionally and institutionally suffer from depression, fear, introversion, intimidation and of inferiority complex,” said Dr. Al-Huzaim.
He further explains saying that the book has discussed all possible definition of the leadership. “We have found that there exists a vast wealth of information and material to be debated; thereby making it possible to derive tens of definitions on leadership, all of which stand correct,” he said.