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Here's Why Business Leaders Today Need To Have An Agile Mindset One of the critical traits of an agile leader is to be aware of what's in the hearts and minds of their colleagues, and how they can unify, align, and inspire action.

By Oweis Zahran Edited by Aby Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


I am increasingly finding that in today's rapidly evolving business landscape, agility has become a crucial trait for organizations to navigate through uncertainty and drive innovation. However, the responsibility for fostering agility doesn't solely lie with the organization itself; it rests heavily on the shoulders of its leaders.

Agile leadership is different from traditional leadership in the sense that agile leaders have the "willingness to expand capacity and extend capabilities," while traditional leaders go through the "motions of just doing agile because of some wider directive." A leader equipped with an agile mindset becomes a catalyst for change, which shows in their actions. He/she is capable of adapting to dynamic situations, embracing ambiguity, and inspiring the teams to thrive in an ever-changing environment. The leader has to take the initiative to streamline any transformational decisions, and ensure that everyone from top-down understands the vision. One of the critical traits of an agile leader is to be aware of what's in the hearts and minds of their colleagues, and how they can unify, align, and inspire action.

So, what is an agile mindset? It refers to a set of attitudes and beliefs that allow leaders, like us, to approach challenges and opportunities with adaptability, resilience, and openness. It means embracing change, promoting collaboration, valuing experimentation, while continuously learning from both successes and failures. It sounds simple. But the most important fact is that leaders with an agile mindset recognize that agility is not just a methodology, but a mindset shift that permeates every aspect of an organization's culture and operations.

In today's volatile and unpredictable business environment, leaders need to steer their organizations through a lot of uncertainty and unpredictable times. An agile mindset enables us to anticipate changes, quickly respond to disruptions, and make informed and time-sensitive decisions despite some incomplete information. By fostering a culture of experimentation and learning, leaders can encourage their teams to embrace this uncertainty as an opportunity for growth and innovation, rather than a threat to stability.

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Change is inevitable in any business, and as they say, ''the only constant in life is change." I have personally experienced massive shifts in most of my companies over the past five years alone. However, when I look back, I can safely say that having an agile mindset has allowed me to excel in adapting to change and driving successful transformations. I've been able to understand the importance of being nimble and responsive to evolving market dynamics, open to suggestions from anywhere in the organization, understand customer needs and technological advancements. There is a culture of flexibility within my companies, and it has allowed us to empower our teams to embrace change proactively, explore new ideas, and iterate quickly to stay ahead of the competition, whilst not being afraid to come forward with brand-new, possibly "out there" ideas.

An agile mindset also encourages leaders to foster collaboration. By promoting cross-functional collaboration, leaders break down rigid systems, and create an environment where diverse perspectives can be leveraged to drive innovation. Agile leaders empower their teams by providing them with autonomy, giving them the right tools to make decisions while taking responsibility for their work. This creates a sense of ownership and accountability, increasing engagement and productivity, across the whole company.

One of the most crucial reasons why I believe a good leader must have an agile mindset is because it breeds continuous learning, which can never be a bad thing. Agile leaders are committed to their personal growth and development, and encourage their teams to do the same. They believe in creating a culture of emotional and mental safety, where experimentation, learning from failures, and sharing knowledge are celebrated, where growth mindset is given a priority, and nothing is off limits. By upholding a learning culture, leaders create an environment that encourages creativity, fosters innovation, and enables the organization to adapt and thrive in the face of challenges. This not only helps in the transformation process, but also encourages teams to pivot seamlessly.

Overall, I truly believe that in today's dynamic business landscape, leaders must embrace an agile mindset to drive organizational success. An agile mindset allows leaders to navigate uncertainty, adapt to change, promote empowerment of employees who can drive the change, while promoting a learning culture within the organization. By cultivating an agile mindset, leaders not only enable their organizations to thrive in the face of disruption, but also create a competitive advantage by fostering innovation and resilience.

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Oweis Zahran


As a dynamic entrepreneur in both the automotive industry and in the VC space, Oweis Zahran is a hands-on CEO with expertise in business development, operations, innovation and diversification. Through his strategic foresight, drive and determination, he has built multiple businesses and a strong foundation including his successful multi-million-dollar company OWS Automotive and the ever growing OWS Capital.

As an American, Oweis has been spending his time in the Middle East region since he was a teenager and dabbled early on in the business world. Once he graduated from the University Of Maryland, he moved to the UAE to launch his automotive venture. He has been the force behind launching multiple innovative solutions in the automotive world and as a born leader and visionary, Oweis’s hands-on experience prepared him to seamlessly embrace a leadership role, which helped in the evolution, expansion and success of scaling his business from the MENA region to globally.

From setting up the largest end to end transportation management companies, OWS Automotive, in the UAE and expanding it to seven countries to developing exclusive auto solutions to launching a joint venture with the governments of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman, Oweis Zahran achieved a lot before he even celebrated his 30 th birthday. Oweis’s ability to build high-performance teams, including his strategically selected executive management staff, has served as a growth catalyst and infused productive energy to his businesses with massive expansion plans being rolled out for OWS Automotive into Saudi Arabia as well as South East Asia including Brunei, Philippines and Malaysia. In 2020, OWS Capital was launched with a series of partnerships and verticals that came into being under its umbrella.

One of them is MELT ME, a joint partnership with Hollywood icon Steve Harvey, who are already working alongside government bodies such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai tourism to bring unique IPs to the country. In 2021, one such event under MELT ME was the first annual Steve Harvey Golf Tournament which was a resounding success. Primarily focused on bridging the gap between the Middle East and Western cultures, with a mandate to create synergy between the two regions whilst breaking down barriers and showcasing what each region represents, MELT ME will be redefining the celebrity events landscape in the Middle East region. Under OWS Capital, cutting-edge health and wellness gym brand Platform Health Club was launched in 2022 across the UAE with an aim to deliver unique and personalized quality service. From celebrity trainers to high-tech and top-of-range equipment, the gyms will cater to health-conscious audiences in the country. The vision for 2022 and beyond for OWS Capital is to bring unique experiences and cutting-edge businesses in the fitness and entertainment verticals to the region with ambitious expansion plans already in the works.

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