There are different types of leadership styles of which there are three main ones. There is the laissez faire where the leader spends little time supervising or paying much attention to what the people he is leading are doing. The second one is the autocratic leadership where the leader dictates when to and allows little or no room for other people’s views. The leader only wants his way done. This has fallen out of popularity in many countries although a few leaders in some countries are still practicing it. The third foam of leadership style is the participative leadership style where it is the middle ground of the laissez and the autocratic types of leadership styles. In this case, the leader allows the people to give their views but is at the same time in control and puts his/her stand where need be. This is the type of leadership most countries have adopted. Other types of leadership might come out as we move on.
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King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz was the king of Saudi Arabia from the 13th of June the year 1982 to the 1st of August the year 2005 although he stopped performing his full duties in November 1995 after suffering from a stroke. He was born on the 16th of March in the year 1921 and died on the 1st of August 2005. His parents were Amir Abdul Aziz who was the father and Hessa Bint Ahmed Alsudairy as the mother. He was the tent child out of the 45 children born by the 22 wives. King Fahd was also the custodian of the two holy mosques.
King Fahd is known for having improved the living standards of the Saudis. He brought a lot of improvement in education especially to the girl child. He was a man who believed in balancing all aspects of life i.e. spiritual, physical, mental, and psychological. He served as a prince and a king to the Saudis (http://www.kingfahdbinabdulaziz.com/).
His management theory and concepts
King Fahd’s type of leadership can probably be categorized as the participative leadership. He ensured that Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure was improved, brought about more industries, made his state to be more modern, brought fairness to the ones who were being treated unfairly, defended the weak and feeble against the ones who were mighty and ruthless and much more. King Fahd was known to be generous for he provided aid and assistance where needed (Northouse, 2009).
As a leader, he ensured that he put the interests of the people he led first. Saudis are Muslims and so he fully demonstrated that Islam is a religion that can be practiced all the time and by anybody as long as they wished to join Islam. He would listen to the people and establish what their problems, weaknesses; difficulties, wants and needs were (Winkler, 2009).
It was not all easy in his leadership period. Putting up national educational system was a very demanding mission. Most pest people were hardly literate except for the religious scholars. To make this mission complete, he combined the vision he had that all the children would be able to access a good education and the determination he had to make that work although he was not highly experienced at the time. Saudi Arabia’s revenue grew and so this made it easier for him as there was no limitation of finances. He presented good leadership qualities as some leaders used the increment of finances to enrich their selves or even mismanaged the finances putting the country at a disadvantage later. Though some people, especially those who were nomadic and those who practiced agriculture were reluctant at first, they later came to accept education and thus Saudi Arabia has greatly developed (http://www.ameinfo.com/king_fahd_bin_abdul_aziz_al_saud/).
King Fahd is also remembered for his great contribution to health matters. He brought free health services to the Saudis. This service was given to those inside and outside the kingdom. This was quite an achievement and a good show of leadership skills as most countries did not offer this service free. This contributed many losses of lives especially to those who were not able to access this service.
Hospitals were expanded and more built in order to cater for the growing number of the Saudis. Apart from expanding and building more hospitals, he ensured that the medical practitioners were adequate in order to facilitate the free medical services. The hospitals and health centers were also equipped which was overseen by the health ministry. Some leaders provided free medical services for citizens in a country but fail to provide enough health facilities like hospitals, health centers, medical practitioners, medical equipment etc. making the free service end not being free as intended. This was a great achievement on King Fahd’s part.
King Fahd provided social services that were made to cater for the imbalances raise the living standards among the Saudis and cater for any other deficiency in the population. He provided social activities that enabled the citizens to rely on themselves. This would ease the load on the government to take care of all its citizens. He made the citizens realize that they could cater for their daily needs by practicing agriculture using irrigation, do art for those who were talented in that area etc. instead of waiting for the government to employ each and every individual.
Saudi Arabia, there are 173 benevolent societies. 20 of these societies belong to women of which the king highly supported. The king’s government supported these societies by ensuring that they were given subsidies. The societies helped the less fortunate, physically and mentally challenged, the widows etc. the king also introduced a compulsory medical scheme which catered for the medical and retirement of the employees. This scheme was known as the General Organization for Social Insurance.
The General Presidency for Youth Welfare has been active in the growth of sport in the kingdom. It was and is still responsible for the building and maintenance of sport arenas, youth hostels, sport medical hospitals, sport clubs, an international stadium etc. he greatly supported the involvement of youth in sports and was even a member of the Olympic movement themselves. This showed his love for the growth of the young people unlike other leaders who only exploited the young people and never gave them their dues. This greatly discouraged and ‘killed’ the young people morale and talent. These young people either ended up in drugs, theft and burglary or hopeless.
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Most people see as if the Muslim woman is less regarded or looked down upon but this is not so. The Koran allows the woman to inherit or own property before and after marriage. In 1960, the government introduced a programme for the education of girls and by the mid 1970s; half of the girls in Saudi Arabia were going to school. When King Fahd was on the throne, his government highly encouraged more girls to go to school which enabled them to be competitive with their peer boys. Under his reign, the woman has been encouraged to take careers that were previously dominated by men like medicine, teaching, engineering, piloting, broadcasting, etc. This was a great achievement as most countries were experiencing such challenges.
The King also played a major role in the development of Saudi’s economy. Saudi Arabia is well known for its rich oil reserves. It holds 25% of the oil reserves in the world. The king’s government attempted to control the oil market in order to make sure the producer and the consumer of the oil were balanced and there was no one oppressing the other.
The improvement of agriculture has greatly improved Saudi’s economy. The cultivation areas almost doubled during King Fahd’s reign. The citizens were highly encouraged to do more cultivation although Saudi is quite a dry land. The government offered and still offers interest free loans, financial help to farming projects and other foams of assistance just to help the farmers and make farming much easier. Agriculture played and still plays a great role in the Saudi’s economy (Bush, 2003).
Saudi Arabia does not have a lot of water sources like many countries as it is located in the Middle East which is a dry area. King Fahd ensured that the water supply was kept constant by having water desalination, dams and reservoirs put up, and even recycling of sewage to make pure and clean water. This water was also used for irrigation of which many countries which experienced frequent rainy seasons were unable to do and therefore experienced drought when rain failed to pour as expected in a certain season.
King Fahd was not entirely perfect. He had his weaknesses as a leader and as a person. Due to his strict belief in Islam, no single Christian church or Jewish synagogue was allowed on the Saudi soil. The Saudis were expected to follow the Muslim way of life both at home and abroad. This was not fair as it denied the citizens the freedom of worship. The Abdul Aziz kingdom was only restricted to the northern and eastern parts of Arabia (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Fahd.html).
Though he was hard-working, he would sometimes suddenly take caravans and go for a luxurious holiday for weeks or even keep important people both locally and abroad waiting for hours because he had stayed up too late the previous night. He did not learn enough English in his lifetime so he had to use an interpreter to communicate in international meetings or where Arabic was not known by everyone.
King Fahd was a good leader that other leaders should emulate. He greatly contributed to the current Saudi Arabia status. He tried to fulfill most of the promises he made bring Saudi up in competition with the rest of the world. Despite his weaknesses, he was a great leader. He possesses a challenge to other countries that are advantaged in regard to rainfall due to the country’s agricultural development.
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