H.E. the Minister of Labor Eng. Adel Fakieh was the guest of honour at a seminar organized by SEDCO Holding at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry headquarters.
Entitled "Love Leadership" the seminar was presented by Mr. John Hope Bryant, a philanthropic entrepreneur, thought leader, businessman and one of the main leadership coaches in the USA. He is also Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, a non-profit empowering others with financial dignity.
The seminar, attended by a select group of Saudi businessmen, was organized by SEDCO Holding to raise awareness about innovative leadership techniques and to emphasize the need to unite passion with goodwill to achieve institutional and personal goals.
Mr. Bryant passionately proposed a new way to lead in a fear based world that seems obsessed with money, a topic summarized in his book "Love Leadership" that places him among the 25 best-selling business authors in the USA.
Focusing on the importance of the small and medium enterprises sector, he pointed out that in the United States, the world's largest economy with $19 trillion GDP (gross domestic product), around 90% of American companies employ less than 500 employees while only 967 companies employed more than 10,000 staff.
Turning his attention to the Middle East and North Africa, Mr. Bryant noted that MENA will need to create 100 million new job opportunities by the year 2020 and that Saudi Arabia, where 60% of the population in the Kingdom is under the age of 25, will have to continue creating employment opportunities for young job seekers.
Stating that the percentage of national spending allocated to the education sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is higher than that the United States, he emphasized the development of human resources is essential for any economy and that creating new generations of young entrepreneurs is an important factor in economic growth.
Mr. Bryant stressed the importance of dedication to work, noting that Saudi Arabia enjoys a considerable number of ambitious human resources who can devote their efforts and creativity to serving various sectors in the Kingdom, especially in the SMEs sector.
He observed that Saudi youth are distinguished and innovative because they have a deep commitment to achieving success, and went on to emphasize the importance of empowering and educating youth with financial knowledge that enables to attain a desirable standard of living.
Mr. Bryant also shared some of his personal experiences, including setbacks. He described how he learned to overcome difficulties, explaining that facing up to challenges is what makes leaders and that the only consequence of fear is defeatism.
Expressing his appreciation of the Minister of Labour's attendance, Dr. Adnan Soufi, CEO of SEDCO Holding Group, said that the Minister's participation added distinction and contributed to the overall excellence of the seminar.
He went on to thank Mr. Bryant for his presentation and coaching in leadership skills, noting that the leadership seminar stems from SEDCO's belief in sharing knowledge as part of the continuous education process.
"Wise leadership and team spirit are required for an enterprise to succeed, as they guarantee successful achievement of its objectives," said Dr. Soufi. "In a constantly changing world, we at SEDCO realize that leading the Group and maintaining its entrepreneurial role requires the constant pursuit of innovation, consideration of market developments, along with sharing of ideas and best practices. This enables us to ensure sustainable success for the SEDCO Group."
Dr. Soufi added, "SEDCO is recognized for its experience in corporate governance and applying the highest standards that are in full compliance with Islamic Sharia. Strengthened by this, we believe in our ability to lead the Group towards greater financial success. Through our extensive experience, that spans over 35 years, we have come to know that sincerity, firmness and innovation are the basis of creating a productive and healthy work environment in which the Group will continue to prosper."
He went on to state that all social responsibility initiatives offered by SEDCO are dedicated to serving the community. These programs are based on a commitment to supporting all aspects of growth and development of Saudi society, a belief that was instilled by SEDCO's, the late Sheikh Salim bin Mahfouz, over 35 years ago.
"At SEDCO, our social responsibility initiatives focus on education and empowerment. We aim to ensure our programs are sustainable and impactful," he added.
Dr. Soufi concluded by saying, "I believe this seminar has enhanced our collective knowledge in the field of leadership, which is especially valuable at a time of unsteady market situations that can affect Saudi companies. Knowledge exchange is an important tool towards achieving business objectives for any organization and overcoming obstacles. We firmly believe it plays a major role in the development of SEDCO's overall performance and our peer group of companies."
John Hope Bryant is one of the most active figures in the fight against poverty. As the Founder, Executive Director and Head of Operation Hope he has won the appreciation and trust of the last five U.S. presidents and was appointed as consultant for economic and justice issues by the last three U.S. presidents. He has received more than 500 awards including the Oprah Winfrey Use Your Life Award and was nominated by People Magazine to receive the Community Champion Award on the tenth anniversary of the King riots. In addition he is named in list of the Top 50 Promising Leaders in America published by the Time Magazine in 1994.