CEO Today - Middle East Awards 2023

disenfranchised, fail to work together, or are not guided by the bigger picture, they will not reach their full potential. A successful CEO should be able to energize the team to deliver to the very limits of their potential and to feel both a part of and essential to the success of the team. The second quality for a successful CEO both enables and improves your ability to motivate – listening. If you fail to hear the concerns or challenges being faced by your staff or recognize a good idea and work to implement it, you will not be able to get the most out of your team’s skills or motivate them to perform. To be a successful CEO then, you must be a great motivator and an even better listener. How do you communicate the vision and goals of the company to your team and stakeholders and ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards the same objectives? When a company or project has many staff and multiple divisions or areas of work, clear, consistent, and planned communication is essential. In my view, maintaining ongoing communications with the employees keeps the company up-to-date and cognizant of progress and target areas of improvement. This leads to greater collaboration, team-member “buy-in” and a cohesive approach to delivery. This must of course be combined with senior leadership meetings, strategy sessions, and careful planning of announcements, communications, and the launch of initiatives to optimize resources and meet (and hopefully exceed) your targets. The key: don’t think of communication as an afterthought – bring the team with you, then they will be by your side when you need them. We have a saying “There’s only one Diriyah” This means each individual is critical to our success we are one family in our triumphs and challenges we are passionate and united by one vision of 2030. How do you foster a culture of innovation and creativity within the organization and encourage employees to think outside the box? Innovation is progress. From optimizing a process to reducing the resources required to pioneering a revolutionary new best practice that sets the new industry standard, innovation is essential to success. I have never been afraid to change and improve. Who determines that the existing way is best? Who can claim that there is no better way? The answer to both is no one. We all innovate, no two people are the same and they do not work in the same way either. I encourage everyone to work together and learn from each other – that is how you foster a culture of innovation and creativity. Learn from your neighbor, listen, watch, and try it out. So, the answer is simple – work together and learn together. Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring CEOs just starting out in their careers? Build relationships, be assertive, and try everything. Experience counts; no experience is a bad experience. I spent 50 years working in all areas of the hospitality industry to get to where I am today. I have worked at almost every level and have a breadth and depth of experience that means I can understand the challenges of those around me…because I have been there! So, build relationships, be assertive, try everything, learn as many skills as you can and build a repertoire that will prepare you for as much as possible. Being willing to learn is the key – you can never learn everything, but you can also never know enough and on top of it all work and live your life with service and gratitude. “We have only just begun to unlock the wonders of Diriyah, and we are immensely proud of our exciting future agenda and to have attracted such iconic brands and partners to be a part of our development journey.” CEO Today Middle East Awards 2023 - SAUDI ARABIA - - 12 -

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