Featured article - Cultivating a mindset for the future by Easa F. Al Gurg
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Founding Father, stated that “a country’s greatest investment lies in building generations of educated and knowledgeable youth.”
With the recent landmark announcement regarding ‘Projects of the 50’, the strategic masterplan designed to usher a new era of economic and social development, our leadership has shown its ongoing commitment to invest in the country’s talent. This is a key component to the framework for economic diversification and continued growth of our progressive, young country.
The roadmap includes a new AED 24 billion ($ 6.53 bn) strategy to bring 75,000 Emiratis into the private sector. For businesses operating in the UAE, there is a huge opportunity to continue the country’s forward-thinking efforts in empowerment. While the private sector can support the government’s goal by providing opportunities and a positive environment for our youth, finding and developing future leaders should be a collaborative effort between public and private sectors.
It is important to note that within a business, taking action and embracing the now; will help young professionals to achieve, sometimes fail, but ultimately succeed, in their chosen fields. A true leader will understand that experience and insights are critical to handling responsibilities as part of any managerial position. Each small step, brings knowledge and progress. Instead of waiting for someone else to open the door, our own efforts and actions should propel us forward in our career paths. This attitude is also the perfect way to lead by example.
Hard work is the only way one can truly learn, grow and comprehend all facets of a business. This was the path I walked in my own career — learning about the bigger picture by experiencing each component, one stage at a time.
I was lucky to learn from one of the best. My grandfather, HE Easa Saleh Al Gurg KCVO, CBE taught me the importance of personal involvement for true understanding. He also advised that honesty and humility are important attributes for any leader — it is easier to learn when you have an open mind. One should also remember the world is changing fast. We can’t just rely on learning on the job — we must also keep up with emerging trends and innovation, and embrace change in our chosen fields.
At ESAG, we have long been proponents of empowerment, accountability and capacity building to encourage the next generation of leaders and foster a sense of ownership among our employees. Our six-month mentorship program, enables us to identify emerging talents within the Group and pair them with experienced team members, providing growth opportunities through knowledge transfer, constructive conversations and a supportive infrastructure.
In a year in which we celebrate 50 years of achievements for the UAE and look towards the next 50; the private sector must continue to take ownership in the development and retention of UAE’s talent pool. By enabling professionals and empowering them to turn ideas into reality, we will deliver value to organizations and society as a whole, and sow the seeds of future success.