Duke Launching Dubai Leadership Workshop

New Duke/Dubai initiative to help with leadership changes


Duke University's Fuqua School of Business is launching the Dubai Duke Leadership Workshop Dec. 13-15 to help individuals in the region with their current or anticipated leadership challenges. 

The workshop is an adapted version of the Duke Leadership Program, a long-time offering within Fuqua's executive education open program portfolio. It marks the first time the program will be held outside the United States.

The workshop will be run by Sim B. Sitkin, professor of management, founding faculty director of Fuqua's Center on Leadership and Ethics and founding partner of Delta Leadership Inc. He is also the director of the Duke Leadership Program held at Fuqua's campus in Durham, N.C.

"Leaders in the Middle East, like those elsewhere in the world, are facing significant leadership challenges in these rapidly changing times," Sitkin said. "There are effective leadership lessons that can be tailored to local culture and industries. Our workshop highlights this local perspective to better prepare leaders within the region."

The workshop offers a comprehensive approach to leadership, drawing on research from many fields, including organizational behavior, sociology, psychology and political science. Sitkin uses his unique six domains of leadership framework to help workshop participants systemize their intuitive leadership skills in an intensive, supportive environment.

The leadership framework, structured in a pyramid, emphasizes personal (credibility), relational (trust) and community (contextual) as the foundational domains. The inspirational and supportive domains, which reflect aspiration and initiative respectively, make up the middle tier of the leadership pyramid. At the top of the pyramid is responsibility, a domain that focuses on modeling ethics and balance."

"By focusing on specific leadership behaviors and their corresponding effects, the Six Domains approach provides a concrete and comprehensive framework for understanding and improving leadership skills and effectiveness," Sitkin said.

The program includes a 360-degree assessment tool in which participants receive feedback from across the organization. They also write a Leadership Action Design for meeting a current or upcoming leadership challenge."

"In our uncertain times we need leaders to depend not only on fellow senior executives, but on their supervisor, peers and even subordinates to drive optimal performance," Sitkin noted. "Leaders, regardless of who they are managing, need to serve as a source of optimism and enthusiasm while eliciting excellence and innovation. They need to demonstrate understanding of and concern for others; build coherence by clarifying roles, rules and processes; infuse responsible behavior and ethical actions; and foster balance. These are among the desired learning outcomes of the Dubai Duke Leadership Workshop."

The workshop further supports Fuqua's activities in the Middle East. Every year Fuqua welcomes many students from the Middle East to its various program offerings. Back in 2008, the school announced the UAE as one of five locations where it would establish an actual presence due to the region's significance in shaping the global business landscape.

Since then, students from Fuqua's Cross Continent and Global Executive MBA programs have taken part in residencies in the UAE, where they have met with local leaders and visited organizations to gain a deeper understanding of the regional dynamics. The school also has formal partnerships in place with the DIFC Centre of Excellence, Young Arab Leaders (YAL), and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Programme for Leadership Development (MBRPLD).