Leadership courses – something for Middle East leaders?

Imagine gathering the leaders of Syria, Libya, Iran and Yemen, taking them up in a helicopter, dropping them off two miles from the coast in the dark of night and giving them one order: “Swim for it”!

This is how former navy SEAL officer, Rob Roy, operates. He runs an intensive leadership training course for CEOs.

The purpose is to tell them that they can walk into any situation and come out ahead…Motivation is not leadership—real leaders inspire, guide and give hope.

Now I accept that politicians, and especially brutal autocrats, do not possess the same characteristics as business executives. However, neither group can afford to fail. And they are all leaders of complex organisations.

Roy’s programme makes for interesting reading. There is a great deal of ‘extreme’ physical content. Distractions and sub plots are thrown out at all angles. And the reason why?

  • Roy’s extreme training conditions force people to work by themselves. They are deprived the luxury of customary support systems. In contrast, CEOs (and dictators) often have other people do their dirty work for them.
  • In parallel, the course participants do have to support each other in order to survive. If you ditch somebody, you will not succeed. How often do we hear of those leaders dumping those who are considered redundant?
  • The demands of the exercise ensure that decisions are made under pressure. Filibustering, spin and delaying tactics are out of bounds. Nowhere to hide.

The article on Roy poses a challenging question: “What does this teach people?”

Military people know that if something happens to you, someone will come and get you no matter the cost. And if you want my loyalty as an employee, I have to know that no matter what, you’re going to save me. That’s what this drill is for. It’s a defining moment of loyalty and integrity. It’s not about skill, it’s about knowing that they’ll be there for me when the company goes to crap. 

And who are the people protesting in Syria, Libya, Iran and Yemen? Those various different parts of the societies, who know that their leadership does nothing and will do nothing for them.

Time for some Middle Eastern rulers to put on their swimming trunks?

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One Comment on “Leadership courses – something for Middle East leaders?”

  1. Mikele Says:

    I want to attend a leadership course

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