AUB business school lecture suggests' authentic leadership' lacking in Lebanon

BEIRUT: Timothy Dorman, managing director of the Authentic Leadership Institute, gave a lecture at the University of Beirut entitled "Authentic Leadership: If Ever There was a Time," in which he laid out his ideas to change the leadership of governments, corporations and nonprofits, which he said brought the struggling economy to where it is today.

The lecture, hosted by the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, also touched on many issues facing Lebanese voters in the parliamentary elections just  11 days away.

Speaking to an audience of about 50 people at the Bathish Auditorium in West Hall, Dorman stressed "authentic leadership" which he said is a different way of doing business that is based on responsibility and ethics rather than numbers and profits. He also emphasized the need to choose new leaders in the upcoming elections.

"We need leaders who demonstrate character over charisma, integrity over image, substance over style, service over self interest, long-term over short-term, courage over convenience and the focus on we over the focus on I," Dorman said,

"Who in the upcoming elections here in Lebanon, regardless of political persuasion or religious affiliation, manifests these leadership characteristics in their daily lives?" he asked.

The lecture also addressed other leadership issues, including difficulties that create strong leaders, helping others help themselves, and how schools of business could teach new students "authentic leadership."

The overall theme of the lecture was selflessness and ethics, emphasizing things like family over business and empowering those around you.

Dorman laid out the factors that had driven the need for change in leadership, things he called "challenges of leadership" which he said included the recession, globalization as well as the accelerated change of technology.

At the end of his lecture Dorman returned to the topic of the elections and what makes a good Middle East leader. He said his message was one that needed to be modified for the Middle East and "it needs to be shared broadly with leaders and prospective leaders throughout the region."

Dorman then concluded his lecture with a list of open ended questions that directly addressed leadership in the upcoming elections. "Who are the effective leaders in the Middle East right now? What are their stories? How do we get them involved?" Dorman asked. "How can each of us lead with more authenticity, and when do we get started?"

The lecture was the annual event for the Kamal Shair Strategic Executive Leadership Program. The program was endowed by Kamal Shair, a businessman and AUB Board of Trustees member before he passed away in 2008.





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