Reaching Saudi Vision 2030: The effects of corporate leaders’ personalities on economic development in Saudi Arabia

A logo for Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 introduces a blog post about how Saudi leaders manage stress based on the results of a survey of more than 7,000 leaders in Saudi Arabia.

The typical stress management method of Saudi corporate leaders can hurt rather than help the corporation, a Saudi Arabia-focused survey by Hogan Assessments reveals. The survey examined the personalities and values of 7,000 corporate leaders in Saudi Arabia.

According to Hogan Managing Director Zsolt Fehér, leaders in the countries neighboring Saudi Arabia tend to create corporate cultures of oppression, risky behavior, and confrontation under stress. This may lead to failure in a difficult economic situation. Comparatively, leaders in Saudi Arabia build on strategic thinking, employee motivation, and loss minimization. Saudi leaders successfully increase the efficiency of their enterprises and contribute to the strategy of the country on a macro level.

In everyday life managers and top leaders in Saudi Arabia show exemplary leadership skills and appear determined, balanced, goal oriented and cooperative. But Hogan’s experts found that, in crises or periods of overload, managers and senior leaders may make the wrong decisions from an economic perspective.

“The main downside we discovered is that Saudi managers are inclined to put their own needs first and, at the same time, to suppress others’. Furthermore, they take on too much risk or pile up unfinished ideas and ignore the suggestions of others. When faced with long-lasting periods of stress and critical choices, the result is a series of conflicts which can lead to derailing the leader,” said Fehér. “Sadly, this is not the worst-case scenario. The situation generated by the condition of stressed-out leaders and the lack of a supportive atmosphere can make it impossible for whole teams or business units to work properly, and the impact of such executive-level damage can ruin the whole company.”

The results also show that Saudi leaders are ambitious, which means they are competitive, determined, and results oriented. But the most unique feature of Saudi business leaders is an above-average inquisitiveness. They avoid getting stuck in small problems and instead focus on the future and reaching goals. The assessments also found these leaders possess an affinity for building on the strengths of others.

“It is important to highlight that Saudi leaders are highly profit oriented, metrics driven, and altruistic. While their own remuneration is of key importance to them, they can strongly represent their companies’ financial interest while supporting their peers,” said Fehér, summing up the national results. “Consequently, they will have done their jobs well—and this is exponentially true in critical situations—if there is a stress-relieving, supportive background and if they are motivated financially as well. Based on all this information, we have learned that a skilled Saudi leader can add value to a corporation by growing productivity that can be considered a regional competitive advantage for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”