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ere at Gulf Elite our goal is to try to encourage others to have the guts to walk down the entrepreneurial road, to be different by exiting their comfort zones and gaining success beyond imagination. But lets get one thing straight: you can’t make it to the top on your own. What we fail to realize at the start line is that sometimes we will have to swallow our pride and seek out for help in order to move further. I mean, it’s a long journey, eventually you ́ll have to throw in a “hey buddy, can you help me out?” But there is nothing worse than seeking for support, asking for a helping hand and then getting a presidential speech about their “crucially overwhelming” contribution that propelled you into your current position and how you owe them one. I have a problem with cocky “good” Samaritans. There is nothing that drives us crazier than letting someone dictate your actions based on a favor or a service they provided you with in the past. You see, there is no such thing as courtesy, no such thing as a favor. Every personal necessity that is supplied by another individual will always come back and bite you in the ass, because there is no such thing as a free meal. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t repay the favor one day, of course you should, it’s common sense, you take and you give. My point is that, just because you went to the same school for five years, are friends on Facebook and attended their family dinner once, doesn’t make them an “obvious” option for a first aid kit - they won’t heal your wounds, for free. Independence is the word I’m looking for. Now yes, easier said than done, but it is the only characteristic that is so unbelievably liberating, beneficial, constructive, I can go on forever! It’s a characteristic embedded in all of us, it’s the independence and pride that allows us to avoid humiliating and demeaning situations because you had the bad luck to need something from the wrong person. It eliminates those guilty emotions and replaces them with satisfaction due to the fact that you successfully reached your goals on your own, independently! Now this might result in longer time processes anddelayed actions, but you will be damn glad you did it on your own, because it came solely out of your own pocket and out of your own sweat, blood and tears. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not encouraging a one man team, on the contrary, we praise networking and guidance, and encourage our readers to reach out to various individuals who could help you get to your next milestone. The point is that you always have to think, re-evaluate and consider the possible consequences (both positive and negative) of asking for a helping hand, whether it’s on a financial, academic or even personal level; assess the situation and the individual at all times, and ask yourself, can I afford a helping hand right now?
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Ibrahim Naji - Co-founder/Editor
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THE FIVE TRAITS YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR IN A PARTNER
henever we lay our eyes on our prey, whenever we see our potential future lover, a spark is ignited. Not an emotional spark and it sure as hell isn’t a deep sentimental spark, it’s simply a physical spark. Because unless you believe in love at first sight, the primary intention that’s going to make us attracted to that individual, is his or her physical and objective attraction, nothing else. It’s like the saying, “never judge a book by its cover”, as a book can look really great on the cover and you get that crazy urge to read it, it might as well be, in lack of better words, shit. What I’m trying to emphasize on is, before committing to a relationship, before going all in, take a look on what’s hiding behind the curtains.
essential traits you should be looking for in order to get your “happily ever after”. Someone with a plan
Imagine committing to a partner who doesn’t have a plan. No long terms goals, no short term goals, an individual who’s just floating the waves of life, taking on everything as it comes. As the whole “rebellious” act can be seen as a pretty attractive characteristic for some people, sooner or later a huge wave is going to come passing by, and by then, they’re pretty much screwed. You want to be looking for an individual you can depend on and someone who can’t only fight their own battles, but help and guide you through yours as well, We´ve all been in relationships that might I mean after all, a relationship is based on not have been the way we expected them to mutual support and compassion, not indibe. The subtle relationships, the intense and vidual struggles. physical relationships, the straight up crazy relationships, and the list just keeps on go- Someone who supports your ventures ing. But what I’ve come to realize is that, you don’t really know what you do want, before When committing to a relationship, you’re you realize what you don’t want. I mean it committing to so much more than just honestly doesn’t get simpler than that; you your love to one another. I’m talking about have to go through merciless relationships committing to personal sacrifices, fundato realize that you don’t want them, because mental promises and even affectionate until you don’t go through the bad and the expenses, in which you have to deliver in good, you wont be able to differentiate be- order to keep a sustainable relationship. tween them. With that being said, there are So to give it to you straight, if he´s not essential foundational qualities we should that interested or committed on supportbe looking for in a partner, to increase our ing you with your new entrepreneurial “chances” of a sustainable relationship. Let idea or if she´s no that “into” what you’re doing and therefore doesn’t give two me break it down to you, here are five shits about it, you’re in it for the wrong reasons. And spare yourself the excuse of GULF ELITE 4
saying “it doesn’t really matter if he or she isn’t into what I’m doing, as long as they love me”, well baby, don’t you think they would have been interested in what you were doing if they really loved you? Someone who doesn’t need their friends validation Listen, the last thing you need is an insecure partner who doesn’t know if you you’re the right one, and instead of talking to you about it, he or she “investigates” the situation by discussing your qualities with their friends. No, to hell with that, the only validation they´ll need is their own. I mean I would understand if they talked to their close friends or family about what they think, just to get general unbiased thoughts, but their thoughts are straight up indecisive opinions. Opinions that are not based on facts or knowledge, because the only one who truly knows what lies beneath the surface, is you. You want someone who can walk down the park with you at a Sunday evening with their head held up high. A woman that will introduce you to her inner circle, even though they might not like you. So if your partner doesn’t have the guts to stand up for you, based on their own personal thoughts, beliefs and emotions, you’re in for a heartbreaker. Someone who loves you Sounds a little crazy doesn’t it, I mean who would possibly commit to a serious relationship if the three most magic words haven’t been said yet, right? Now I know, due to the “modern” society that we live in today, I’ll be stamped as old fashioned, well bite me! There are so many relationships out there that are strictly not based on love,
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and more on, how do I put this, the physical attraction. The physical actions, that are so often confused with love, are one of the reasons why relationships keep on failing. Now I´m not saying you should force your partner to say the L word as soon as possible, just to make your relationship “official” or serious, It´ll come when you’re both ready, I’m simply stating that the guy who looks you deep in the eyes, till you get that fuzzy feeling in your body, and says “I love you”, he´s a keeper. I’m talking about the woman who calls you while you’re at work, just to say your name and tell you how much she cares about you, she´s a keeper. Someone who understands you It’s no surprise that you’ll have to understand each other in order to be with each other. Now I’m not talking about generally understanding what’s coming out of his or her mouth, I mean literally understanding what they´re about. We have the crazies who say something but mean the exact opposite of what they are saying, and then blame their partners for “not understanding” On the other hand we have the subtle yet emotional partner, who doesn’t say much, but has so much built up emotions inside of them, which they think we should be able to get to, through…psychological brainpower. Now I know this sounds very negative, but here comes the twist; The day your partner manages to figure out all those key words and all of the facial expressions that you make when you’re pissed off, annoyed or all of the above, is the day you’ll understand that he or she actually cared and devoted their time and effort to understand who you are and what you’re all about. They went through the tough times; they fought through the hardship in order to understand you, instead of just giving up because “you where too much work”.
RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN NAZREEN MOHAMAD
don’t care who you are or what you do, but if you tell me that you have no dreams, no ambitions, or no goals, you’re either lying to yourself or just simply nuts. You see, I truly believe that all of us have a personal picture of the life that we want to lead and have, somewhere in our hearts. We think about things that we want to achieve, things that would make us feel like life can’t possibly get any better. Yet, most of the time, we don’t do these things that would actually satisfy our imagination and better yet, our lives. Why? Because of written rules, bespoken laws and of course those regulations you keep on hearing about.
You have to be above 35 years of age to run for that CEO position. You must include percussion sounds in rap songs. It’s insisted that you have to get the absolute highest test result in order to study abroad. I really don’t like the words I’m hearing; “have to” “must” “insist”? You see ‘rules’ such as these become ingrained in our heads to the extent that we start to believe that they are actually “the truth”. Truth of the matter is, the truth is relative, and rules are merely enforced
The unspoken ‘rule’ is that only those who are really good at specific tasks should be the ones doing something. So if you’re not a natural talent or unbelievably good at something, just quit already - nothing stinks of more bullshit than this. On the contrary, because you don’t have a lot of experience, is why you should be doing it. Countless authors have cited that experience actually stifles innovation. The more of an ‘expert’ somebody becomes, the more entrenched they
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It used to be a ‘rule’ that the sun revolved around the earth, anybody who thinks that now, is straight up stupid. How arrogant are we to think that everything that we consider as the ‘truth’ today, will remain so until the end of time? On a smaller scale, it’s even more ridiculous to abide by any form of regulation or restrictions in the pursuit of your passion. I’m going to elaborate on this through three common ways these rules stop people from doing what they really want. “Only the superior and smarter individuals will make it”
are in their own set of rules, and the less able they are to make new discoveries or provide novel solutions. Moreover, how good anyone else is, should be of no concern to you. The only measure of yourself that you should have, is against your past self. Constant comparison with other people is unhealthy, and is also one of the main reasons of unhappiness. “I’m not ready enough to do it” Here, the person falls into the trap of laterlaterland. The ‘rule’ here is that you need to be up to a certain standard before attempting anything. Now of course, skill is required, however, let’s inspect why people feel unready. More often than not, it’s due to a lack of confidence in themselves and not actual inadequacies. This springs from insecurities, which might come from (again) comparison with others or simply a very
negative attitude. Stop comparing, and start believing in yourself. No matter how “not” good you think you are, there is one thing that you can’t deny: failing right now will make your success later just that much sweeter. This unhealthy attitude of postponing indefinitely is what leads to a lot of 40 year old people with mid-life crises. You will one day regret having this attitude, so change it now before it’s too late. Stop stalling and just do it. What´s the worst thing that could possibly happen? You fail. But guess what failing is better than? Doing nothing. “I´m not really that into it” This is the worst possible scenario as a result of all the ‘rules’ propagated by the masses. When you’ve been bombarded with so many assumptions of how things
should be, of how you should be, and of how things should be done, you will end up suppressing how you really feel. Instead of declaring what you want in life, you just quip that you only want it a little bit. The cynicism has even made you too afraid to tell yourself that you want something, because you just can’t ever imagine yourself being able to achieve it.
Rules are there for a reason, to ensure everything is in order. However, ‘in order’ isn’t always the best way to have things in order. And unless you haven’t noticed, the ‘order’ changes, at an even faster rate nowadays. If there is something that you want to do, but there are rules or people stopping you, don’t give up, just think about how to get around them. Is there another person you can Therefore, you bypass the fear of failgo to? Is there another place you can ing by using the emotional shortcut of flee to? For every problem, there is al‘meh, I don’t really want it’. If you are in ways a solution, so be creative and use this stage, there is still hope. Find what that thing you have called a brain. Beyou really want to do; be honest with cause look, at the end of the day, your yourself. It’s better that you die trying beliefs are what will determine how to achieve the life you want, than to die your life will turn out to be. So believe as a prisoner of the cynical opinions of in yourself and imagine the damage you others. Getting out of this stage is, of could do if you just set your mind to it. course, not easy, but it’s worth it. This is Believe there are no rules; there are no your life, live it the way you want to and barriers that can stop you, now lets do remember; rules are meant to be broken. it. So…
W H AT YOU CAN LEARN FROM THE WOLF OF WALL STREET MOHAMED AMINE BELARBI
ho said there is nothing to learn from a Hollywood blockbuster, half of which is drugs, sex and cursing? Well, if you haven’t realized this already, there is always something to be learnt from every experience in life and The Wolf of Wall Street is no exception! 1.
Work Hard, Play Hard
Life is tough, jobs are stressful, and between satisfying your woman and making sure that your next project meets the deadline, there is plenty of space to think about suicide or giving up altogether. Everyone has a breaking point, no one is invincible, and as much as you like to think of yourself as the next terminator, you’ll always hit a wall at some point in your life. And the secret to keep going in a stressful, competitive and draining environment; Spice up your life with entertainment! No matter what it is, you’ll have to let yourself go from time to time, forget about work and float the waves of life like there was no tomorrow.
You have to give yourself a break; otherwise there is no point in working hard in life if you’ll have a nervous breakdown by the age of 30. 2.
Bullshit is King
Im guessing you went through college, so you realize how true this statement is! Everything in life is run by bullshit, from finding an excuse for your late submission to convincing your boss that you’re the right guy to hire even if your resume is half the size of the guy next to you. Bullshit is what keeps life running, what keeps society working. Because lets face it, life is unfair in so many ways: your parents might not afford getting you into that expensive college, maybe you just can’t deal quite well with numbers or maybe you were born with a complication, well fear not, there is always a way when there is a will. Bullshit is the weapon that makes life a fair playground. Bullshit makes you as good as the other guy, gives you a shot in life which you know you well deserve.
They say nice guys finish last right? Well armed with bullshit, you finally can marshal enough confidence and guts to walk up to your crush and tell her not how awesome you are, but how great she is. You don’t have to be driving a Bentley or wearing a 5000 dollar suit; all you need is a functional brain and a slick tongue to play the game. Jordan Belfort knew all too well how true this was. It doesn’t matter whether you are a trillion dollar hedge fund with 50 years of existence or a firm that operates in your backyard with three employees, if you can bullshit your way through a conversation, that actually is convincing, then the sky is the limit.
Talent Can Be Learnt
There will be people who’ll tell you that you are either born great or not, and learning how to be great is just a waste of time. They will tell you you’re either born a good programmer or not, that you are either good with numbers or you’re more of the sports type. They will tell you that not everybody is born to be a king, a president or a billionaire. Let me break it down for you: it’s all BS. Everything can be learnt and acquired, talent, success and even happiness. Everyday a nobody becomes a somebody; failed students becoming great coders, janitors becoming CEOs of fortune 500 companies. There are people who start learning when Just think about it; you shouldn’t be judged they hit their late 40s and become the best for things you can’t control: your race, place at what they do in their 50s. of birth, height, religion or wealth, but in the real world you sure as hell will. Your way Today, in a world where everything is accesaround this: Bullshit! sible, you can learn anything; you just have to set your mind to it. It all starts and ends 3. Have an Exit Strategy with you: do you want to learn and achieve greatness or do you want to keep on living Ever thought why the house always wins? a miserable life, talking about how much of It’s because people get so invested in the an ass your boss is? Jordan Belfort turned game, get so greedy that they forget to a couple of losers into moneymaking maquit when they are in a winning position. chines, into stunning salesmen, who could Let me tell you something: you can live convince you of anything. All you need is your life in two ways: either as a sprint or a a script, all you need is to learn what you marathon. You can rise fast, go quick, nail it have to do and the rest follows. to the top by your mid 20s, but by then you probably have burned most of your poten- Never complain about not being able to tial, and it’s time to leave the game and en- do something because you didn’t have the joy what you´ve earned. On the other hand, chance to learn it in high school or college. we have the people who like to live life as There is something called the world wide a marathon, trying to spend their greatest web, there is something called people, moments in their late 50s or 60s, and that’s reach out to these resources and you’ll be fine. But if you are not one of the marathon able to turn your life around. Moral of the runner, and you´d like to spend big, live life story: you don’t have an excuse to be taland enjoy it to the fullest while you’re still entless. young, then you’ll have to get ready to retire while you’re at the top of your game.
Be your Own Boss
How Bad Do you want it?
No one likes to hear orders from the top, no one likes to be yelled at by his or her superior, no one enjoys to work for an asshole who takes all the credit for the great work his or her employees produced and in return all you get are insults after insults. But there are people who will swallow it and move on, and stay mediocre for the rest of their lives, and there are those who will say enough is enough, and will quit to start their own business, becoming their own boss. You are hired because you have something to give, you are paid a salary because you have a talent, so why not use that talent, those connections or that knowledge to start your own thing? If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs; be that someone who hires others to reach glory. If you are good at something, then don’t do it for free or for a crappy paycheck. Go out there and make things happen, because if you don’t take risks, then you won’t rip great returns.
There are people who like sleep more than anything else! There are people who cannot live without their cellphone but can live without a dream. There are people who think they want something, but in fact they don’t. There are people making wishes, when in fact, they should be having goals and making plans. How bad do you want to succeed? Ask yourself this question, and to be honest, think about how much you are willing to give to get it. Can you stay awake for days without sleeping? Can you sacrifice what you have for what you want to be? Are you able to forgo your friendships for the sake of becoming a better person? Can you spend painful years trying to be the best at what you do? When you start asking yourself these questions, you´ll start realizing how much you actually want to make it to the top. Don’t fool yourself, don’t pretend, if you are not honest with yourself about what you want, then you’ll stay stuck at square one.
Jordan Belfort knew that he was good, he knew how to do what he does best, so he left and started his own firm. Result: he grew into a giant when he was released from the chains of corporate or bureaucratic slavery.
People kill for success, people starve for success, people don’t sleep for success, people change their lives for success, people lie for success… get it? How bad do you want it, that’s the million-dollar question!
This is what separates the awesome from the mediocre: there are people who live on small paychecks and dream at night, and then there are people who live their dream and pay out the paychecks. Which one do you want to be?
There are endless lessons to be learnt from a movie no matter how profane it is or controversial it can be. Everything in life, every experience, every book you read: if you can’t learn something from it, then it was just a waste of time. Know how to discern the signs, know how to learn from the mistakes of others and how to capitalize on their successes. If you are able to do that, then you’ll have enough up your sleeve to become the next big thing because there is nothing you didn’t come across, nothing you didn’t fail to learn.
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YOU DON’T NEED A NEW YEAR RESOLUTION MELISSA KRIVACHEK
t’s the beginning of a New Year and many people have for many years tried to come up with New Year’s resolutions. I’m not sure what that’s about really, because we all have the opportunity to change every day and not just once a year. So in honor of not making New Year’s resolutions I wanted to share with you ways you can stop being a wossy and stop setting goals just set to fail at, lower your standards, or not reach them at all. I’m extremely passionate about getting results, but extremely irritated by the mass amounts of people that put minimal to no time, effort, or energy into getting what they truly want out of life. And, yet they still expect or are angry with those who drive expensive cars, have incredible households, are extremely successful, passionately in love, have a great careers or who simply are happy every single day. If you want it all you have to work for it There is nothing easy about being successful. Waking up early, staying up late, busting your ass off at what ever you have to do just to make it work; these are things you should do every single day. Disciplining yourself to 90-minute periods of working on one task at a time, and staying focused are habits you master and once you do, you´ll be asking yourself what you´ve been doing all this time. Connecting, building, developing, and creating relationships are GULF ELITE 15
also a must, not once in a while, or when you feel like it, but every day. Making phone calls, knocking on doors, sending e-mails, making social media posts, sharing your passion, work, and commitment to growth are not options, but absolute necessities. You can’t do nothing and expect to do have it all; you have to work for it! If you want it all you have to sacrifice it all If it was easy, everyone would have the level of love, success, and happiness they desire, but that’s not the case. There are an insane amount of sacrifices you have to give up. We´re talking about everything from emotional and mental sacrifices to materialistic sacrifices. Opportunity cost is the word I’m looking for, but slightly re-defined. To gain success and have everything you ever dreamt of you’ll have to give up personal luxuries and step out of your comfort zone. Want to have the career of your dreams? Then you´ll have to make sacrifices. There will be family events, your daughter’s concerts, soccer games, and school meetings you won’t make it to. There´ll be parties you won’t be celebrating, friends you won’t see, family you’ll have to separate yourself from, long hours, and lonely nights at the office.
There will be meetings, deadlines, conference calls, flights, business trips, investments in business overhead and coaching, events, books, journaling, and the list just keeps on going. It isn’t easy and it doesn’t come cheap! Want to have financial freedom and abundance? Then you have to give up buying shit you don’t need, need to stop investing in things that don’t bring anything in return and stop living by pay check per paycheck. Building wealth is about financially educating yourself and securing your money in assets that grow on a consistent basis over time. To build wealth you have to give up your money so it can grow. Give up your time to educate yourself on the different investment options. Devote all your effort and energy into choosing investments for your portfolio that work for what you want in life. And, in doing all of that you will learn it takes strength not to touch the money, endurance to allow for growth and faith that it will bring a return. Again, it isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap!
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Want your happily ever after? Then you have to commit. No time nor distance can separate you if you are truly committed to making it work. No sacrifice is too big or too small. You will have to give up spending time with your friends, playing video games or whatever you do to spend the time needed with your partner. And, start making major investments in learning about your partner while supporting their goals, hopes, and dreams as you pursue your own. You will learn to communicate, appreciate, and invest. You will learn to listen, trust, respect and honor different viewpoints and opinions and most importantly, you´ll learn that it isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap. If you want it all you have to be ruthless, relentless, and passionate to go after it. You will hear NO thousands of times. You´ll hear “you can’t do it, shouldn’t do it, don’t know how to, can’t afford to, aren’t willing to do it, etc…” The only person that can commit to your success is you. If you want it all, know that every excuse, reason why, temporary setback and current situation won’t stand in your way if you don’t let it. The choice is and will always be yours. The most successful people embrace three things; rawness, realness, and relevance and are always willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes to get what they want. As you sit down and plan 2014 and make resolutions, declarations, decisions, disciplines or whatever you’re calling them, I challenge you to declare GROWTH. I mean lets face it, no one sits down to plan that they will make less money than last year, have problems in their relationships, gain more weight, loose their job or any other temporary setback that we may be challenged with. GULF ELITE 17
While you should be focused on the positives there will be challenges and during those challenging times, grow, become, and be all that you were born to be I’ve had many temporary setbacks last year and I know there will be more this year BUT here’s the bottom line, COMMIT to doing whatever it takes. COMMIT to love. COMMIT to your relationships. COMMIT to growth. COMMIT to working out, eating clean, and being healthy. COMMIT! COMMIT! COMMIT! That’s the only difference between success and failure. MASSIVE COMMITMENT, MASSIVE ACTION, MASSIVE GROWTH. Here’s to your Love, Success & Happiness!
THE MENTALITY BEHIND A GREAT LEADER
f you want to become a better leader then take the FASTER Approach, not only will you become more successful but you´ll also be able to earn the respect of your peers due to your inspiring leadership. Here we go! – Focus – Accountability – Simplicity – Transparency – Empowerment – Recognition
Simplicity - Keep things as simple as possible, don’t over complicate things unnecessarily. Simplicity allows us to have better focus, because it’s impossible to have great focus on a complex solution. Challenge everything, and see whether there is a simpler way it can be done, or whether something needs to be done at all. Transparency - We need to be open and honest about where we are and the progress that we are making. We need to provide clear progress reports, which we share with our team. This will allow us to hold them accountable for what needs to be done, and to motivate them, as they see the good progress they are making. Without transparency we do not know where we are, and if we don’t know where we are, how the hell can we know the direction we need to go, to reach our goals.
Focus – Ensure that you and your team are focused on the right things. Have a clear and simple set of goals that are easy to comprihend, which are communicated early and often to your team. Ensure that they know what success looks like, and that there are small benefits along the way, which act as road signs, confirming that they are on the right route. Empowerment - If we are going to hold our team accountable then we need to empowAccountability - Hold yourself and your er them to get the tasks done. Give them team accountable. matching authority to be able to make the right decisions or the changes needed, to Now that you have a clear and well-de- ensure success. Empowerment is a great fined set of goals to follow, let people know motivator, as it shows to your team, that their role in them, and what they will be you have confidence in them. accountable for. People don’t mind being held accountable; in fact many like it and Recognition Recognize sucstrive from it, providing that there is clarity cesses no matter how small it is. in what they are being asked to do. What we recognize gets repeated, so creGULF ELITE 20
ate a culture of success by recognizing successes, no matter how tiny it may seem. You can start small and then continue to raise the bar, and if you do this, with good doses of recognition, your team will strive to achieve more and more. Recognition is the greatest motivator there is, so use it lavishly. I know many people think that you should keep recognition for special events or outstanding achievement only, but itâ€™s all a lie. Let me tell you something, in my years
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of experience, those are the same people who never recognized anything, because that special success never comes! Success needs to be nurtured, and glorifying successes comes after a series of small doses of successes.
HAMAD F. BEHZAD
new generation of entrepreneurs is emerging in the Arab world, a generation filled with aspirations for a better future and with a good plan of how to achieve that. One such entrepreneur shaping the entrepreneurial landscape of Bahrain is Hamad F. Behzad, a business visionary far from being daunted by the glorious exploits of his father and family, and determined as ever to carve a name for himself in and outside of Bahrain. Hamad F. Behzad grew in Bahrain amidst a burgeoning family of businessmen whose ventures date as far as the early 20s. The Behzad family has a well-established business record in all industries, from medicine to logistics, trade and diplomacy. It came as no surprise for Hamad to find himself taking the reigns and starting his own enterprise, this time in a field quite unorthodox: corporate sports. Hamad F. Behzad graduated from St. Christopher’s School in Bahrain in 2012, considered the 8th Best British School in the world. Soon afterwards, Hamad joined Regent’s University London from which he will be graduating this year. One might be surprised at how Hamad, although overloading and graduating in two years, manages to find time for various projects, network on a high level and successfully compete on an educational level.
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“You will always find time for what you’re passionate about. We might sometimes think that we have 24 hours a day and there is so little we can do, but if you have a goal, if you are driven by plan and are determined to make things happen no matter what, then you’ll be surprised at how much you can do. Visionaries and great icons such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and others have managed to change the world, build business empires and work on so many fronts. These people’s day was no different than ours, yet they accomplished things we thought impossible in a lifetime. They are not superhuman, they’re just individuals with a passion, and you know what’s special about people with a passion? They are instoppable!” Born into two entrepreneurial families Hamad is part of a long line of family successes and business pioneers who shaped the economic scene of the Gulf. Dr.Jassim Behzad was able to capitalize on the long-standing Indian medicinal practice and open the first hospital in Dubai in 1954 and a chain of pharmacies across the GCC. Mr.Ahmed Behzad established The Behzad group in 1973, linking the kingdom of Bahrain to global suppliers of building finishing materials and solutions, developing the country’s infrastructure and facilitating the emergence of the gulf metropolis with its numerous malls, ministries, roads and
skyscrapers. Furthermore, Hamad’s maternal uncle Mahdi Al Tajir was no less than the former UAE Ambassador to the UK (1971) and is the current owner of the famous Scottish brand “Highland Spring Water” and the well-known Sheraton Park Tower hotel in Knightsbridge, London. With such a reknown reputation in the business world, it becomes hard if not impossible to stand out and make a name for oneself. Hamad is strongly conscious about this challenge, a challenge that helps drive him forward and push him to prove himself for the Behzad family and for the world. “Being a Young entrepreneur is not easy, especially if you’re trying to make a name for yourself. I am a businessman in the making; therefore I am expected to rise to the standards set by both my families the past decades. Going into entrepreneurship is very unorthodox and risky, but risk is a core trait of who I am. I want to be known not for what my father or uncle did, but for what I accomplished as Hamad. Middle East Championships will be my first signature in Bahrain and the MENA region.
his attempt to boost the financial stature of the Arab world and became General consultant and CEO of the Arab common exchange holding company, an umbrella holding that includes the first ever Arab Exchange.
Dr. Fawzi seemed to set the bar very high, but Hamad was up for the challenge. This father-son relationship created a strong drive in Hamad. With his The Father figure strong sense of independence, Hamad owes much of his performance to his All successful people look up to a role father’s insistence to send him into model in their quest to learn from the best, and in the case of Hamad, he didn’t meetings, asking him to attend high-level reunions and taking care of business have to look too far. Hamad’s father, Dr. on his behalf. This upbringing made me Fawzi Behzad, is the founder of the who I am today, and helped me develBahrain Stock Exchange (1989) and its op a strong business penchant at a very first director, an achievement due not young age. My father has been coaching only to his genius and vision, but also me for long, and he undeniably had the to his strong belief in education as an largest impact on the way I think and empowering medium since he holds a perceive the world. I was lucky to find PhD from the University of California, in my father not only a parental figure, Berkley. Dr. Fawzi went even further in
but also a friend, supporter, mentor and business advisor.” Middle East Championships Hamad’s entrepreneurial drive is well embodied in his latest venture, a ground breaking concept in Bahrain and the larger Middle East. “What started as a passion for sports and business joined in to establish a startup that uses corporate sports as a platform for collaboration and networking amongst the various companies based in the Middle East.” Hamad explains how MEC is attempting to emulate inter-corporate bonds by bringing employees and executives alike together in an atmosphere of fun and challenge. This will boost teamwork, catalyze networking between the various industries and bridge that gap that has separated the business world across the Middle East. You can see how the tech world is thriving because employ-
ees from Google can grab a coffee with Facebook executives, play tennis with Oracle programmers or race on the Karting track with Twitter co-founders. This is what Silicon Valley does in SF, and this is why the tech world in the US is exchanging ideas, solutions and challenges. This doesn’t make the size of each tech giant’s slice smaller, it just makes the pie bigger, and everybody wins. Imagine establishing something similar, a silicon valley not through geographic conglomerates, but through corporate sports gatherings and championships. Middle East Championships will offer a much-needed solution to the Arab world, especially after the Arab spring where we started realizing how tightly linked and connected the MENA region is. The Arab world may bring its people together because of a common religion, history or political reality, but it’s time for business to catch up and establish itself as a strong bond that unites the MENA region. This will inevitably boost productivity, economic performance and corporate satisfaction in the long run all
while encouraging positive competition across all boards thanks to the championships model MEC upholds. Vision Hamad understands very well how privileged he is to live at very promising time in Bahrain. The country’s leadership is enacting various policies and investing heavily in youth related projects in an attempt to make from every Bahraini a passionate and motivated young person with grand dreams and ambitions to make the country stand out. “Bahrain is nothing without its youth, and if Bahrainis are looking forward to starting businesses, innovating in sci-
ence and technology, excelling in their academic pathways and spearheading entrepreneurial ventures, then the sky is the limit for the gulf kingdom. We live in fortunate times, times where the leadership of this nation is gearing up towards becoming a hub for innovation and excellence. I have had the chance to listen to leading royal and political figures of this country, and all of them are unanimous about the necessity to support today’s youth and their ventures not because it is an option, but because it is a necessity if we are to implement the Crown Prince’s 2030 vision for Bahrain”.
HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD LOVE YOU
oesn’t it suck that everyone in the wearing. To tame that slightly jealous world hasn’t fallen in love with you and you glans at these beautiful pair of yet? Let’s fix that. Jimmy Choos that the girl next to you is wearing. To tame that slightly jealous YOU JUDGE YOURSELF BY YOUR INTEN- emotion your feeling, you would bust your TIONS ass off to get a hold of those exact same pair, because she made you feel jealous Inside your head, you know exactly what and therefore you judged. you’re trying to do, at all times. I’m trying to make my partner happy. I’m trying That little statement packs a lot of subtleto build a better company for myself. I’m ty, so let’s unravel: trying to fix the US government. Unfortunately, no one else sees you like this. They •Appreciation. Flattery never fails, as long only see you on the outside, with your as people (a) believe it and (b) appreciclumsy, imperfect actions. The worst of ate it. People are used to compliments on which they assume you intended. their most conspicuous strength (“damn Have you ever had someone you love, not girl, your fine!”), so the best way to hit a believe a word you were saying? Have home run here is to generate a genuine you ever tried to help a kid, but had them appreciation for people and dismiss your hate you for it? They don’t know – or care most superficial impressions. Imagine: – what you intend. No, they judge others what unsung compliment could someone differently, just like you do. They judge you give you, now that would make your mind by your actions, not your intentions. explode with delight? How much would you appreciate the person who said it? WE JUDGE OTHERS BY HOW THEY MAKE Now do that to someone else. US FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES •Association. Say you follow Morgan We don’t judge people – directly at least Freeman on Twitter. You now feel fraction– by their intentions, actions, looks, age ally closer to someone famous, and that or whatever. Those are surface details. proximity feels good. One of the reasons We judge them by how they make us feel why celebrities are worshipped is because about ourselves. Lets say you’re at a café, they can make people feel better just by and you glans at these beautiful pair of letting them get close to them. Jimmy Choos that the girl next to you is
Many types of association make attractive ‘gifts’ – from looks to fame to riches – people love to feel closer to them all. If you’re lucky enough to have such gifts, share them.
•Resentment. If your strengths are used to make others feel inferior, you’ll be despised. You don’t have to take anything away from yourself; just don’t take it away from other people.
•Art. We love art that makes us see parts of ourselves in new lights; books, film, comedy and music that helps us feel connected, relieved, superior, vindicated, enlightened, resolute, euphoric. Note that art can still make the audience feel bad things – like sadness, or fear – it just shouldn’t make them feel bad about themselves. Even sad songs have a funny way of draining the pain from us. Can you create something that uniquely moves people? They’ll love you for it.
•Empowerment. If you can make people feel stronger, smarter, more confident or otherwise better about themselves they will love you for it. We all have something to give, even if it’s simply our attention. And what is love, really, if not the unbridled attention of one another?
The secret to adulation then, should you choose to pursue it, is to be clear in your intentions – but assume they will not be noticed. To pay uncommon attention to the intentions of others. But most of all: to •Negativity. If you drain the will from oth- make others feel better about themselves. ers, if you tire them, or depress them, or hurt them, or make them feel less about Now don’t blame me when the weight of themselves, you’ll have appeal only to peo- the love letters breaks your mailbox. ple of low self worth. Most people won’t suffer this for very long.
HAUTE COUTURE VISIONARY IBRAHIM NAJI
rom Gucci and Prada to Louis Vuitton and Chanel, prestigious and esteemed fashion designers have embedded their luxury trademarks into the bricks of every cosmopolitan capital in the world. Glorious establishments have dictated the paths of fashion, deciding what’s in and what’s out, what’s hot and what’s not. All the way from Paris and London to New York and Milan, there are few brands within the fashion industry that anyone can recognize regardless of where they are or what language they speak. These are designers so powerful and so essential, that they shape our personal, social and even professional life, because what you wear and how you wear it dictates whether you’ll make it on the cover of Vogue, whether you’ll get that prestigious job working for Dolce and Gabbana or whether you’ll be accepted in a certain social circle. These prestigious brands expand to such horizons that they are much more than just designer bags and custom jewels. They have incorporated their logo, their trademark into every aspect of life. We´re talking about everything from automobile and electronic accessories to pencils and even cuisine! These multibillion-dollar empires are the past, present and future and will forever remain on top of the food chain due to their rapid categorized expansion, bridging and unifying every aspect of life into one luxurious and prestigious brand that everyone wants a part of, if they can afford it. So since we´re already traveling the world of fashion, namedropping the most iconic destinations and brands, lets take a walk down the capital of Italy and introduce you
to the Italian stallion, the Italian visionary who captures each unique design and tailors it to perfection: Danny Wise. Danny Wise is no stranger to press. He is the only man in life who has made it on Vogue Magazine, first as a model and then as Designer. Even on the cover of the Los Angeles times, Danny’s genius was celebrated as the man who was able to give wealth to a city that already represents luxury as a daring reality. And the action doesn’t stop there; through his amazing work he´s also been the only Italian, together with Frank Sinatra, to have hade the privilege to accompany the voice of a sole stylist in a Hollywood blockbuster “Cool Crime” and has had the honor to receive a Medal of Merit from the former US president, Ronald Regan, due to his immense talent and contribution to the city of Los Angeles, if you ask me, it really doesn’t get better than that! “The quality of my work is what I strive for rather than quantity. For a total of three months I traveled the world, searching and penetrating different cultures and cities to find the most prestigious fabrics. For the finest tweeds, I flew to Scotland, for the optimum velvet, I traveled to Germany, for the S-120 Black Diamond, I went to Britain.” Wise uses his sixth sense of fine sensitivity and complexion in order to develop his mind-blowing designs; staggering creations that turn one glance into an extensive stare at what some people might call exquisiteness.
1992 was the year; the Danny Wise collection hit staggering results, showcasing his collection in the most exclusive and elite runways in Italy and around the world, presenting the globe with a combination of sophistication enfolded in classy enigma and sensual designs that capture the most long-sighted eye. Exclusive and luxurious creations that are designed down to the details, capturing a woman’s elegance and sophistication wrapped in the most high end material, bringing out the “immortalization in a woman when combining the soul and body together, which for a brief moment, establishes a feeling of harmony” Wise passionately explains. When first meeting Wise, he came across as very charming and compassionate. A calm and humble individual that considers his surrounding and friends with great respect and appreciation, which is greatly reflected when he delicately describes that “ it has always been my greatest pleasure to make a woman feel like she´s on top of the world, to make her feel beautiful, unforgettable and secure with the magic she is dressed in. I have the capacity and the sensitivity to make people happy and to me that is worth so much more than all the money in the world.”
It’s Wise’s admiration for natural beauty that creates the foundation for his principle motive, for his calling for fashion, intended not only to create garments to cover a woman’s elegant figure, but also to use them as an expression, as a way of thinking and being. You see, the creativity of Danny Wise turns his image of an ideal woman into a stimulating sexy creature, a touch and feeling of feminine aggression alongside with a dash of elegance shaping his imagination to life, a gospel of refined elegance. His vision, admiration and devotion to his work has made him outshine the most iconic brands, presenting his work in the most impressive events in the world such as the Academy Awards and Music Awards where stars like; Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and even the former Bond girl, Kim Basinger were dressed with his latest creations. All in all, Danny Wise is a visionary who has and still is shaping the haute couture across the globe, making a name for himself and changing the rules of the fashion game. Only the best and the most exquisite, Danny Wise never settles for average, and his dedication to elegance cannot be shaken.
FRANCESCA VEGAS A MODEL AND ROLE MODEL
MOHAMED AMINE BELARBI
e have been developing a fashion section for Gulf Elite in the few past weeks, and it is our pleasure to announce that these efforts paid of immensely. We’re not talking about finding over-sexy pictures lying around the Internet just to show off a hot figure, no, we´re simply finding the right individual with the right vision, finding the woman who can be comfortable with her looks as well as with her opinions, beliefs and achievements. Gulf Elite wants to know its writers, supporters, interviewees, so it comes as no surprise for us to build our fashion section around a character we know and appreciate. This month’s feature is Francesca Vegas, a Spanish model, TV and movie actress, TV Hostess and Angelina Jolie official Lookalike. She has received lots of recognition for her work in many countries around Europe, and you can easily catch her walking down the red carpet with Antonio Banderas or stumble upon her picture in a high-end fashion boutique. Starting at a very young age, she moved from posing for magazines to animating TV
shows and acting in fiction series and movies. Her looks attracted many jewelry, perfume and fashion brands across Europe, and soon enough Francesca became the darling of the advertisement world with her picture on print and animated media all around the world. Although you might think that this is the typical story of every model, you might want to think again. Francesca has the looks and the brains to go with it. She is highly focused on her work, always working and learning, and treating modeling and acting not as a performance, but as an art. She boasts an extensive training in martial arts, just like Angelina Jolie, and enjoys practicing various sports on a daily basis. This is the kind of woman who would kick your ass and send you rolling down the street in no time. From the pictures, you’ll quickly realize how similar Francesca’s facial features are to Angelina Jolie. Due to her amazing similarity with the American celebrity, Francesca has been invited to presentations all over the world, using her image for publicity products, as well as at-
tending movie premiers where many paparazzi would be chasing her thinking she is the real Angelina. We took the time to ask Francesca a few questions in order to give you a better outlook on who this gorgeous model is, and show you that beyond the shiny skin or the perfect curves, there is a story to be told. 1. We all have a passion in life, what´s yours? My passion is my work, I live for that and I treat what I do as a delicate art where every detail matters. Maybe some might think that a modeling session is just sitting on a couch and taking a few snaps, but in reality, there is an extensive thought process behind every frame. I am in this business because I love what I do, I wake up every morning excited to know what my next step is. Doing something that makes me comfortable and happy is my true passion in life, and as long as modeling and acting fulfills those criteria, you’ll still see me in billboards and flat screens. 2. Did you come across any obstacles in your career and how did you tackle them?
characteristic common to both Angelina Jolie and myself is that I feel very close to those in need, especially children. I love kids for the joy they bring and the pure look at life they have. It is a delight to spend time with children and just forget for an instant the tough realities that we grew to understand and deal with. 4. You truly are a stunning woman, so I have to ask, what’s the secret to your beauty? Diet, fitness, makeup? My secret for beauty? Haha, I think it’s in my parent’s genes. I practice sports regularly, but I must tell you that I don’t take care of myself when it comes to eating. You can say I´m lucky to stay skinny and in shape. As per the beauty products, I just use the basic make-up; I think less is more when it comes to personal looks, especially that coming across as natural and genuinely beautiful adds a touch of sexy to the person. Walking or posing with tons of makeup to cover your imperfections is not the way to go, embrace who you are and know that you are pretty no matter what. An eyeliner or a lipstick won’t change who you are, because if you are not in good terms with how you look like, a paint brush won’t change much about it. 5. If we look ahead a little, what are some of your goals for the future?
The acting and modeling career is kind of difficult. There are many pretty girls and some of them are talented as well. It’s hard to stand out My goals for the future? I plan to stay strong AUTHORISATION and try to make a name for yourself. I think my DOCUMENT and relevant in my career, achieving my goals formula to success is to stay positive and perand focusing on keeping up with the latest sistent, always looking ahead and searching for trends. I am very ambitious when it comes to the right opportunity to grab. work and super perfectionist so I will just keep going no matter what. I believe you have to I, LORENA STURLESE GUERRERO (photographer), with DNI 37392459W, 3. Do you have anything else in common with work hard for your dreams because nothing autorízate the photographs taken to FRANCESCA GARCÍA VEGAS, with DNI Angelina Jolie other than your looks? is given for free in life. I have a dream, I have a 35108481H, to be published in GULF ELITE MAGAZINE, always with the a Bugatti, so plan and enough passion to fuel Yes, I thinkproper I havecredits many (photographer’s things in common I’m here to stay and I can only see myself movnamewith and surname). Angelina Jolie, for example both of us have ing forward, no looking back! been models and actresses starting at a very Both Lorena Sturlese Guerrero and Francesca García Vegas are allowing the young age and we both liked and practiced photographs be published in Gulf Elite Magazine. martial arts. But what Itofeel is the strongest
Photographer Lorena Sturlese Guerrero
Model Francesca García Vegas
HAVE A TASTE OF THE CORPORATE WORLD ABDULLA BARAKJI
veryday someone comes up with the “million dollar” idea. When you come up with a business idea, chances are someone thought of it before you. There’s never a bad idea; the challenge is to turn it into a reality. Young entrepreneurs with great ideas are everywhere. The only problem is that they lack the essential expertise to run their startup. Even the best sailor uses a map to guide him. If you have no work experience, what will your decisions be based on? Pure speculation of the outcome can ruin a potentially great idea. For young entrepreneurs, like many of you reading this article, getting a taste of the corporate world is not such a bad plan. Even if it was just temporary, which it should be in your case. You can benefit in various ways from the corporate experience, because there is much to learn from established networks and strongly reviewed practices, and if you don’t have the solid background of working for a well established company, then the spontaneity of the startup life will not be enough to get you far in life.
savings is a big risk. Why not get a job that provides you with a steady cash flow? It would help a lot to have some amounts of money at the end of the month to pump some micro investments into your venture. Experience A great idea with a lot of money is not enough. If you’re a student or fresh graduate don’t fool yourself into thinking you know everything. No matter how much research you did, hands on experience beats everything. If you get a job you will witness decisions being made, mistakes getting fixed, and most importantly, you will learn how to get things done the right way. Connections
Who you know is always the most powerful asset you will own. We are now in a time that is growing so fast that you either “go big or go home” (Gulf Elite). If you want to get things done, you have to know people. In the workplace, you have to prove yourself worthy enough to gain peoples’ trust, and when you do, you will open a door of opportunities for yourself. Nothing comes easy. If you want to sucCash Flow ceed, you have to sacrifice. You’re already consuming your most valuable resource, The top reason that most startups fail is your time. Make sure it’s worth it; invest in lack of capital. Let’s face it, getting an in yourself. vestor is not easy, and putting all your life
The voice of generation Y
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STEVE JOBS BOOK REVIEW RAFAEL SCHARAN
alter Isaacson’s biography of the late Steve Jobs provides a thorough and honest insider’s view of the life of one of the most innovative business leaders and technology pioneers in modern history. Throughout the book, Isaacson makes use of countless interviews and conversations with Jobs as well as many key people who were part of his life. In fact, the biography had been commissioned by Jobs’s himself. Thanks to such extensive and cooperative contributions, an accurate and insightful picture of the man and his journey is crafted. Isaacson’s intimate portrayal of the billionaire inventor provides the reader with a glimpse into the psyche of a controversial history-maker. The man the reader comes to know turns out to be, as Bill Gates eloquently put it, “fundamentally odd and weirdly flawed as a human being.” Steve Jobs was indeed a complex character. Yet he was a leading figure among a generation of mavericks, and a close-reading of the book reveals unique qualities and habits that, albeit controversial, made him a phenomenally ground-breaking business leader and an icon of Silicon Valley. Though the book focuses on the life of Steve Jobs, the reader is exposed to history of Apple Computer, as well as Jobs other ventures: NeXT and Pixar. Throughout the narrative of Jobs’s involvement with these companies, the text conveys numerous business lessons. In recent times, Jobs has more than often been labeled as a business genius and a model of charismatic leadership. By recreating key moments in the history of Jobs’s endeavors, and by providing Jobs’s own thoughts and opinions, Isaacson delivers a unique case study to the reader. It can be easily dissected and analyzed for insight into Jobs’s management philosophy, business principles, methodologies, and overall vision for personal computing and consumer technology.
Jobs’s way, vis-à-vis mainstream practices, offers an eye-opening perspective into how the world works. Entrepreneurship Steve Jobs’s life and the genesis of Apple provide and incredibly valuable lesson on entrepreneurship. Based on Isaacson’s account, there are two key components of entrepreneurship, as exemplified by Jobs: innovation and integration. In order to add value to the world and gain market share (or even create a new market altogether), an entrepreneur must offer an innovation. Therefore, whatever it is that the entrepreneur wishes to launch, it must be innovative. Innovation can be in the form of: • New product: a better good or tool • New service: a better way of getting things done for people • New process: a better way for people to get things done themselves • New brand: a better way of convincing people they need a particular product, service, or process. In order to make the innovation a reality, the entrepreneur must be able to act and get things done. This requires the ability to integrate and leverage sources of contribution, and thus foresee and guide synergy that will accomplish the vision in the most cost-effective way. Sources of contribution include expertise, resources, or strategic positioning in particular areas. • Expertise (which I personally call “Oracles”): knowledge in engineering, marketing,
legal affairs, and public relations. These are often provided by programmers, lawyers, consultants, among other specialists. • Resources (which I call “Ingredients”): these include labor, physical capital, financial capital, and other tangible components of the production process of the good or service. Real-world examples of sources for these include factories, investment banks, and venture capitalists. • Strategic positioning (which I call “Gatekeepers”): these are those who can introduce you to an advantageous environment or point of entry into the market or production process. These can be established market players, shopping malls, ports, media, and government contacts, among others. The entrepreneurial pursuit thus requires: • For innovation: knowledge, critical-thinking, inspiration, creativity, vision, and technical skills. • For integration: pro-activity, self-discipline, self-motivation, endurance, and organizational skills. Hence the timeless quote attributed to the American inventor Thomas Edison: “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” A lot of people are capable of having great ideas, but few people have the entrepreneurial gift and drive to innovate and integrate. Isaacson describes in detail Steve Jobs’s younger years and his talent for electrical engineering. At an early age he had become prolific and passionate with electronics. Yet he never possessed the amount of technical knowledge or skill that would allow him to revolutionize the world of consumer technology. In fact, during later years Bill Gates would “look down on Jobs because he couldn’t actually program.” Jobs’s capacity for innovation was not technical. It was visionary. As Gates said, “He really never knew much about technology, but he had an amazing instinct for what works.”
Furthermore, he also had an exceptional capacity for integration. In a nutshell, he could put resources together and get things done. The early partnership between Steve Jobs and the other Steve – Wozniak, or simply “Woz” – is really the earliest and the prime example of this valuable skill. Wonziak and Jobs were in fact very different. Other than their friendship and passion for electronics, they were as different as night and day. The beautiful thing is that when they came together they complemented it other profoundly and produced a ground-breaking result. In a recent interview with the BBC, Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren, stated, ““I learned that to build a good team, you don’t choose a lot of people like yourself; you choose people with a wide range of abilities who complement each other. It’s the most valuable business lesson I’ve learned.” Steve Jobs did exactly that when building Apple. Wozniak was a phenomenal computer genius. (In fact, he pretty much single-handedly designed the Apple I and the Apple II). In addition, Wozniak was shy, risk-averse, and kind-hearted, willing to share his inventions for free, and unwilling to embark on the capitalist adventure of money-making. Jobs, on the other hand, was extremely extroverted, energetic, and relentlessly ambitious. Jobs recognized in Wozniak the ability to produce valuable technical innovation. Jobs, as a visionary, conceived of the market potentials of the new technologies Wozniak could created. Armed with a vision, enigmatic people skills, and unstoppable determination, Jobs leveraged Wozniak’s talent and combined it investments and guidance from others to create a company and deliver products. Here lie the two main entrepreneurial qualities of Steve Jobs: his worldview was one that envisioned innovation, and he had a drive and a talent for integration. Simply put, he could imagine better products and, in the end of the day, get things done.
These two qualities are fundamental for entrepreneurship. Many people have one or the other, but few have both. Then, few who have both find themselves in an environment suitable for success. Jobs had both, and as a young man in 1970s Silicon Valley, he was in the perfect setting for producing a revolution in consumer technology. Leadership Simply put, Steve Jobs’s leadership was tyrannical. He had an infamously unpredictable temper and inspired fear in many of his employees. Isaacson recounts instances where Jobs would swear at his employees and treat them with the utmost contempt and disrespect. He was perceivably unfair in his treatment of people, with a binary categorization of anyone and everyone he encountered. People where either [expletive] or geniuses. These instances were not occasional. They were habitual. Such a management philosophy is partially explained by a quote from Jobs himself: “You have to be ruthless if you want to build a team of A players. It’s too easy, as a team grows, to put up with a few B players, and they can attract a few more B players, and soon you will have some C players. The Macintosh experience taught me that A players like to work with other A players, which means you can’t indulge B players.” Regardless of how strict this management philosophy seems, the fact of the matter is, it worked. Steve Jobs would offend people, drive them insane, and even force many to quit; yet he succeeded in extracting from the best of them the most extraordinary results. He ended up with a crack team of elite engineers who could accomplish anything they were told. In order to further extract the key components of Steve Jobs’s leadership style, it is worthwhile to compare him with another extremely charismatic and successful business leader: Sir Richard Branson.
What sets Sir Richard Branson apart as one of the most noteworthy business leaders of today is his mastery of leadership qualities that lie more along the realms of sheer emotional intelligence and captivating passion for life and achievement. Unlike many leaders who drive their employees to bottom-line success through the use of militaristic relentlessness and mathematical efficiency, Branson has an innate ability to inspire and animate people to the point where, out of excited belief in the worth of a vision and unwavering confidence in their leader, employees achieve extraordinary business success. In other words, Branson is similar to Jobs by focusing more on emotional intelligence and inspiration. There are paramount differences, however. Whilst Branson makes a clear effort to bring out the best of people through positive rhetoric and encouragement, Jobs resorted to insults. And whilst Branson focuses on a passion for life, which presumably brings about better products, Jobs focused on a passion for products, often at the expense of employees’ quality of life. One of the key aspects of Branson’s leadership approach (keeping in mind that the key to the definition of leadership is the ability to “influence”) is his personality, and more evidently, his adventurous spirit, which has become famous worldwide due to his numerous world-record-breaking attempts and unconventional feats. For example, Branson has attempted to kitesurf across the English Channel, attempted to break the transatlantic mono-hull sailing record, flown around the world in a balloon, and even rappelled down from a hovering helicopter into a news conference.
Are these publicity stunts? Absolutely. Without a doubt, these exciting stunts by Virgin’s CEO contribute to the value of the Virgin brand, by portraying it as a unique and fun company which will prove much more appealing than competitors to those customers who at heart desire excitement and fun in their own lives, and who will purchase Virgin’s goods and services out of an instinctive desire to somehow be a part of Richard Branson’s world. It is marketing brilliance. Steve Jobs adopted a similar recipe with the use of the legendary 1984 Super Bowl commercial. By associating the Apple brand with the idea of freedom and anti-establishment, Jobs was inviting potential customers to be a part of such a movement through the purchase of its products. With regards to Branson’s leadership, these adventurous stunts extraordinarily highlight very important personal characteristics of a leader. These have a paramount role in gaining the trust of employees and motivating them to follow you into a bold business ventures, and thus must be clearly conveyed by the leader. These characteristics are: physical energy and stamina; self-confidence and enthusiasm; a drive to achieve and excel; and tenacity to persist even through obstacles. When a novel and risky business vision has been established, a leader must be able to influence his or her subordinates to commit their trust and dedicate their passion and energy to it. Action speaks louder than words, and nothing does that better than leading, or influencing, by example. By carrying out these daring adventures, Branson shows his employees that he has the energy, stamina, confidence, enthusiasm, persistence, and tenacity to lead them through the challenges of achievement a dream. He does gains their trust and inspires them to perform likewise. In other words, Branson seeks to model the qualities he desires for his employees. Steve Jobs, on the other hand, was more of a slave-driver who forced these qualities out of people. All of the corporate culture and customer-following of Virgin was initiated and fostered by
the personality and the life of Sir Richard, especially his highly-advertized adventures. He never metamorphosized into a clean-shaven, black-tie wearing corporate elitist which has become the stereotype of Wall Street paladins. He has remained himself, and goes around wearing smart casual clothing, a beard, and long blonde hair. In a similar way, Steve Jobs maintained a very informal and individualistic image. In his early years, he would walk around barefoot and refrained from showering. In later years, he adopted his iconic look which constituted of jeans, New Balance sneakers, and a long-sleeved black shirt. Another noteworthy business lesson from Steve Jobs is the value of a super leader visà-vis a culture of collaboration. Referring to the Macintosh, Isaacson notes: “It had been a grueling ride, and many egos had been bruised by Jobs’s obnoxious and rough management style. But neither Raskin nor Wozniak nor Scrulley nor anyone else at the company could have pulled off the creation of the Macintosh. Nor would it likely have emerged from the focus groups and committees.” Indeed, many of the most memorable achievements in human history were led not by groups of people. Rather, many of the most extraordinary feats mankind has witnessed were accomplished thanks to the leadership of a single, ruthless leader. While it took the British parliament and cabinet a couple of centuries to establish their empire, individual leaders such as Alexander the Great and Napoleon conquered entire continents in much less than a single lifetime. Indeed, there is something to say about the value of a pack that has hit the jackpot with its Alpha leader. It’s an interesting idea to consider, given the increasingly democratic and collaborative world we live in. In fact, Apple’s leadership model under Steve Jobs was a bit of a display of counterculture, vis-à-vis the contemporary business culture. In an interview to the October 2009 edition of Deloitte’s Portuguese-language publication Mundo Corporativo, futurist and former IBM executive Wolfgang Grulke predicts that the
future of management is about collaborative teams, without bosses. Grulke is likely right, and it does seem like the empowerment of team synergy is the way to go. However, that speaks about the norm, the mainstream, the average players. With regards to cases of monumental and earth-shattering success, such as Apple, it seems like these will still be the result of the dictatorial leadership of a single genius. People like Steve Jobs. Unlikeable in many, many ways, yet phenomenally successful. New Products, Market, and Marketing There are plenty of quintessential sayings out there that apply to Apple’s success. King Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun,” and Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”The adoption of the graphical user interface (or GUI) by Apple is the prime example. The GUI was pioneered by Xerox PARC, yet the company was somehow incapable of capitalizing on its potential. Steve Jobs saw its potential, and together with his vision for friendly and easyto-use computers for the masses, introduced the innovation through the Apple Lisa and the Macintosh. Steve Jobs practiced a product development strategy that, once again, runs contrary to what is taught in contemporary business textbooks. He created new products through sheer gut instinct, and did not follow the conventional and tiresome methodologies. Isaacson clearly highlights this fact: “On the day he [Jobs] unveiled the Macintosh, a reporter from Popular Science asked Jobs what type of market research he had done. Jobs responded by scoffing, ‘Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?’” Here lies a remarkable truth about the world: works of genius do not follow conventional wisdom. That is why they are works of genius. I took a marketing course at New York University’s Stern School of Business back in 2011, and our professor told us an insightful piece of truth I’ll never forget: business schools cannot teach you how to become a genius. Business schools merely teach you about what geniuses have done previously.
Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl commercial is yet another example of this truth. When Jobs screened Lee Clow’s and Ridley Scott’s advert to the board of Apple, the reception was overwhelmingly negative. “Most of them thought it was the worst commercial they had ever seen.” These board members were supposedly sages of business, and if it had been completely up to them, the advert would never have been aired. It turned out the board members were completely wrong. When the advert was aired during the Super Bowl, on January 24th, 1984, “it was a sensation. That evening all three networks and fifty local stations aired news stories about the ad, giving it a viral life unprecedented in the pre-You Tube era. It would eventually be selected by both TV Guide and Advertising Age as the greatest commercial of all time.” This is yet another instance of a grand case where the works of geniuses are initially not recognized as so by people who supposedly should know better. Thus here lies a somber business lesson: sometimes, despite conventional wisdom, one should not trust the assessment of the veterans and so-called experts.
Achieving success in business therefore looks ever the more complicated. Indeed, the search for a recipe for guaranteed, ground-breaking success is as elusive as the search for the Philosopher’s Stone - which is why Steve Jobs is one-of-a-kind. He achieved earth-shattering success repeatedly, without ever being handed a clear-cut recipe. He learned from others what he could, and then he navigated by sheer instinct, based on his own unyielding convictions of what is right for the market, with unstoppable determination. Conclusion Steve Jobs was notoriously erratic, merciless, and uncaring towards his employees during much of his life. Yet there is no doubt that this man changed the world in a positive way, introducing innovations and revolutionizing markets and lifestyles. He had an innate capacity to imagine the future and work towards accomplishing that vision. Furthermore, he had an extraordinary, albeit controversial, ability to force people to accomplish this vision. Jobs’s repeated success is an honest testament to his true genius and hard work. After being forced out of Apple, Jobs achieved innovative and enduring success through Pixar. His return to Apple, spearheading the consumer technology phenomenon that are the iPods, iPhones, and iPads, yet again proves his innate knack for business.
Steve Jobs was a truly special person, and the story of his life provides us with valuable lessons on everything from business to the deepest insights into the human condition. The book leads the reader to learn from many of his qualities: his vision, passion, focus, fearlessness, and determination. Yet one must not forget that Jobs’s was a troubled person, who was scarred by his past and consistently struggled in his relationships with people. His story is a somber reminder of the delicate nature of the human psyche, and how susceptible our environments are to our personalities – and vice-versa. Walter Isaacson’s excellent book is an encouragement for entrepreneurs and leaders to make an extra effort to look after the human side of people in management, perhaps in a way more similar to Sir Richard Branson. As with any other biographical lesson in life, one should ideally emulate the good and avoid the bad.
DURÉ COUTURE GLAMOUR AND FINESSE MOHAMED AMINE BELARBI
he firm DURÉ COUTURE is a Spanish company with a French soul , whose philosophy is to promote glamor and exclusivity, unique designs for unique women and fine and exquisite collections that match the most sophisticated tastes. DURÉ COUTURE dresses have been featured through celebrities on the red carpet, photocalls, special events and galas of high quality. The fabulous designs DURÉ COUTURE are the product of a detailed work with noble materials and textures, fabrics brought from Paris, Milan, Barcelona and London. The usage of gold and silver thread pailettes, swarovski stones and rhinestones is our commitment to make from our dresses a signature of this luxury fashion brand . The firm is headquartered in Madrid, Spain, but our creations have traveled the world through our clients who are our best ambassadors. Our cutsomers paraded with DURÉ COUTURE creations in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, Frankfurt, Marbella, Buenos Aires, Asuncion, Punta del Este and Lima among others. Our next focus is to bring DURÉ COUTURE designs to elegant and sophisticated women who live in the United Arab Emirates, and have our creations featured in the great city of Dubai. Photoshoot credits: Model: Francesca Vegas Photography: Sergio Lardiez Designer and Creative Director: Javier Duré Production: Norma Friedmann Hair: Vicente Ropero Make-Up: Silvia Dafonte Styling: Susana Calvo Location: Hotel Mercure Santo Domingo Madrid City.