Last time I looked, Amazon had the book at £7.07 for the Kindle version and £36.00 for the hardcover one – you can pay £36 for couple of drinks on a Saturday night these days so just buy the book and let me know what you think of it please.
Many of the recommendations in this book fly in the face of the received wisdom coming from traditional leadership and management theorists and, in my opinion, all the better for it. It’s one of the most provocative and exciting books I have ever read on leadership; do I agree with everything in it – not quite but it is very difficult to argue with the fact that Dubai has been a phenomenal success story.
Unlike companies and organisations that we are used to, the ruling family in Dubai has absolute authority to make decisions without consultation or consensus – I can hear some of you salivating at the prospect already. This could be a recipe for heavy-handed autocracy but the aim of Dubai is to create a place where others can succeed so its own self-interest is informed by the interests of others. Tommy Weir lists the habits practised by the leaders in Dubai and together, they provide the bedrock of the success.
Leadership – Dubai Style also reflects the difference between the Dubai style of leadership and that which we are used to in most Western organisations. The author, Dr Tommy Weir was fascinated with how Dubai created a world-class city from sand and a sandy-shore, as it says on the dust-jacket. He concluded that it wasn’t from the proceeds of oil – Dubai has much lower reserves than other UAE territories – it was from leadership.
You will have your own opinion on this but it’s part of the set-up in the UAE and you need to know about it if you visit there and buy or rent a car.
An amusing – to me – incident happened whilst Mederic was parking his car in the underground car park beneath the Mall where the Home Centre offices are located. His Land Rover Discovery had been out in the desert and was covered in sand and a man came up to him and said that he would need to clean the car. If a car is dirty, a municipal inspector will issue a notice to tell the owner to clean the car and if hasn’t been cleaned within 15 days, the owner is liable for a fine of Dh500 or around £95. I think that’s brilliant – in a weird kind of way.
I was only there for a relatively short time but Mederic, who lives there, generously gave of his time to show me around the city with as much information as he could. I was therefore able to form some kind of opinion about the contrast between say, the UK and the UAE. Neither is good or bad, they are both neutral.
I’m sure many of you have visited Dubai, either as a holiday destination or on business and you will know about the culture and customs of the United Arab Emirates and appreciate that the culture is very different from that of almost all Western countries.
It is an extremely thought-provoking book written by someone who has studied leadership styles and habits in general and particularly those as practised by the rulers in Dubai.
I was given this book by Mederic Paine, CEO of Home Centre in Dubai when I recently worked with him; in fact he gave everyone on the course a copy.