By Matt Trenchard - posted on September 26, 2016

Why Leaders in Middle East and Africa are Playing Catch-up

This region we call Middle East and Africa, or MEA in corporate-speak, is growing. But the rate of growth is slowing. We're seeing this here in Dubai. Business is happening, malls are expanding and theme parks are opening, but many companies are still shedding workforce and it is the people themselves who suffer.

So what gives? Why is this happening? A friend in finance recently made the comment that the region is not in a recession, it’s in a maturation phase. A phase of growing up. A season where we realise that the things that used to work, are no longer working. We can no longer just place an order book in front of a client and expect them to purchase. We can no longer manage and lead our people in the ways that we used to and expect it still to work.

As the market matures only those operating at world-class standards will survive.


The International Coach Federation (ICF) recently published a great piece of research that interviewed managers and leaders globally on their use of coaching. The survey found that whilst 33% of those surveyed in North America and 27% in Europe – what we can refer to as mature markets - use coaching skills as part of their leadership repertoire, only 7% said the same in our region.

Being coached, instead of being told what to do, has been shown to boost the performance and morale of members of staff and encourage self-directive behaviour. Learning to coach has the benefit of growth in empathy and self-knowledge.

Do you need high performing, self-motivated and happy people in your organisation? Do you need to use coaching to lead your organisation?

I know I need to do so in mine.

So well done ICF for shining the light on this. Leaders and managers in MEA, let’s up our game and operate on the world platform.

Strength on the journey,

Matt Trenchard

Co-Founder of North Point Academy