Home > Free Essays > History > Historical Figures > Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan: The Great Man
7 min
Cite This

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan: The Great Man Research Paper


Executive summary

Leadership refers to the act of mobilizing people to pursue a mutual goal. Kouzes and Posner devised five practices that define an excellent leader. According to them, an excellent leader sets the way for his or her employees.

Besides, the leader encourages employees to pursue a common goal, challenges organizational processes, empowers the employees, and inspires them to pursue the set goals. Sheikh Zayed is an exemplary leader who many people admire.

During his tenure as the leader of the Eastern region of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates president, he mobilized people to improve the economic status of the Emirates. Sheikh Zayed went to the extent of sacrificing a number of privileges that his family enjoyed encouraging people to participate in developmental projects.

Leadership assessment

Competition in the business world is prompting organizations to conduct leadership assessment as a way of identifying and nurturing their future executives.

As the majority of the baby boomers retire, organizations are turning to identifying various talents in their employees and working to prepare the employees to assume future leadership of the organization (Day, 2000).

Organizations use different leadership assessment models based on the nature of the organization and the leaders they require.

One of such leadership assessment models is MICEE, which is an abbreviation for Model, Inspire, Challenge, Enable, and Encourage.

According to the model, an effective leader identifies the business strategies, inspires employees to pursue the strategies, challenges the employees, and gives them the capacity to work in their different areas (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). Furthermore, the model asserts that an effective leader encourages employees to continue working hard.

This paper will use MICEE model of leadership assessment to evaluate Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s leadership. The main reason why the paper uses this model is that it is easy to remember and remarkably comprehensive.

The model identifies leadership qualities that are easy to remember when evaluating a leader. Besides, the identified qualities comprise of the factors that contribute to organizational growth. Hence, if a leader possesses all these qualities, his or her organization is sure of succeeding.

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

Sheikh Zayed was born in 1918 and assumed his grandfather’s name. In 1966, he was elected to rule the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This marked the beginning of his leadership, which culminated with him becoming the president of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. He held this position until his death in 2004.

His experience in the desert with the bedu tribesmen led to him initiating an afforestation program, which helped to stop desertification. Besides, he worked hard to ensure that his people have access to quality education, health, and social services.

During his tenure as the president, UAE made significant development in oil, communication, and non-oil industries (Kechichian, 2010). He achieved this by encouraging people to work towards reviving economy of their country. Other achievements included building indoor skiing city in the desert and building the highest tower in the world.

Sheikh Zayed was influential not only in UAE but also in the entire world. Through his leadership, UAE became popular and respected internationally. Messages of condolences delivered by numerous international figures displayed his influence.

His political policies were entrenched in Islamic religion and he maintained that people had a voice in steering leadership of the country. To establish strong ties with other nations, Zayed made sure that UAE played a role in humanitarian aids across the globe.

The use of national revenue to lay infrastructural development demonstrated his determination to change the country from a desert to an economic hub. Besides, he encouraged all people to participate in environment conservation programs.

Despite his success, Sheikh Zayed encountered numerous challenges such as changing the global perception that majority of the terrorists came from UAE (Kechichian, 2010). Below are photos of Sheikh Zayed and the UAE.

Sheikh Zayed Photo 1 Sheikh Zayed Photo 2 UAE Photo 1 UAE Photo 2

Assessment of Sheikh Nahyan leadership

According to Kouzes and Posner (2011), a leader is effective if he or she is capable of setting the pace for others to follow, mobilizing his or her staff to pursuing a common vision, and challenging the processes that an organization follows.

Moreover, an effective leader is capable of equipping staff with requisite skills to pursue organizational goals. For Zayed to be an effective leader, he ought to meet all the qualities set out in IMCEE model.

Sheikh Zayed and MICEE


Kouzes and Posner (2007) posit that an effective leader models the way for his or her subject to follow. A leader can hardly model the way without confirming his or her values. The leader then strives to inculcate these values in the minds of employees.

To marshal support from the workforce, the values ought to be in line with organizational goals and vision (Valda, 2003). Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan gained popularity because of his ability to model the way and to marshal his people to help in economic development of their country.

Determination to help the people of the United Arab Emirates started while Sheikh Nahyan was still young. He accompanied the bedu tribesmen to the desert to study how his people live and environmental factors that inhibit their ability to develop economically.

The time he spent in the desert made him understand the importance of conserving the environment and promoting economic diversification (Kechichian, 2010). During his reign as president, he worked towards helping the UAE establish other sources of revenue rather than depending entirely on oil and gas.


A leader cannot succeed without drawing all people towards a common vision. Bommer, Rubin and Baldwin posit, “To inspire a shared vision, a leader requires envisioning the future by imagining and believing in an exciting, highly attractive future for the organization” (2004, p. 197).

Leaders need to be certain that they have the capacity to make the envisioned future a reality. Once leaders identify the latent future of their countries, they need to recruit their followers into a mutual vision that would help to make the future a reality.

Leaders have to do it a manner that makes their followers realize that they are conscious of their interests (Dorfman & Howell, 1997). The main reason why Sheikh Zayed managed to help UAE gain its glory was his capacity to mobilize people behind a common vision.

After assuming leadership of the Eastern region of Abu Dhabi, he abolished confrontation in decision making and installed a system that promoted consensus and consultation (Kechichian, 2010). Sheikh Zayed positioned himself as a person that had an unambiguous vision for his people and led them in pursuing the vision.

One of the remarkable initiatives that he started in Al Ain was to revive the agricultural economy. He helped to clean water channels and, at one point, he participated in construction of new water channels without considering the exhaustive labor (Kechichian, 2010).


Leaders require challenging the existing processes to make significant progress (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). No leader can achieve organizational growth by maintaining the status quo. Leaders need to look for possible innovation, improvement, and growth to challenge the existing processes.

One can achieve this by paying attention to customer feedback, taking heed to advices from clients, and accommodating employee opinions (Druskat & Wheeler, 2003). In addition, leaders need to monitor their environment to identify novel processes, products, and services.

Taking a risk to implement the identified processes would go a long way towards helping the organization increase its revenue. Sheikh Zayed sought to challenge the existing process by reviewing the region’s water ownership rights.

According to Sheikh Zayed, equal supply of water would help increase acreage of cultivation in the region. To set an example, he relinquished the family’s rights. The initiative contributed to increase in revenue for people living in Al Ain (Kechichian, 2010).

Eventually, the city became a dominant market for the whole of the United Arab Emirates. Apart from reviewing the water ownership rights, Sheikh Zayed also conducted a tree planting campaign in the region. Kechichian states, “Today, Al Ain is the greenest city in Arabia” (2010, para. 6).


Organizational success depends on teamwork. Hence, organizational leaders ought to enable other staffs to act on organizational goals (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). They attain this by promoting teamwork and building trust.

Moreover, coming up with modalities that help employees to pursue organizational goals would aid in achieving the goals (Snow, 2001). As the UAE president, Sheikh Zayed believed in human capital as the ultimate source of economic empowerment.

Hence, he used the Emirate’s resources to develop human capital. He believed that people were the main source of wealth and, therefore, both men and women required getting educated. Indeed, he helped women in the country to acquire leadership positions (Kechichian, 2010).


Once a leader lays down strategies that empower cohorts to pursue organizational goals, he, or she acts in ways that inspire the cohorts (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). For instance, the leader ought to acknowledge contributions that the employees make and to reward them according to their performance.

Moreover, a leader may encourage the followers by establishing a system that promotes public recognition of employees that perform. This would encourage all employees to work in line with the established organizational values (Riggio & Reichard, 2008).

Sheikh Zayed encouraged the young generation to assume leadership positions in the country to continue witnessing the development their parents initiated. To set an example, he encouraged his sons to assume leadership in government institutions.

Besides, when young men complained about unemployment in the country, Sheikh Zayed gave them jobs in the agricultural sector, “so that they might learn the dignity of work” (Kechichian, 2010, para. 9).


Based on research, communication plays a significant role in promoting organizational growth (Druskat & Wheeler, 2003). Besides what Sheikh Zayed did to succeed in improving the economic status of UAE, one would require embracing communication.

Through communication, a leader would identify challenges affecting employees and organization in general; therefore, address them before they become severe.

One would recommend other business people to set standards for their employees. Setting a standard for each employee encourages a healthy competition among the employees. In return, it promotes organizational growth since employees strive to meet their targets.


Kouzes and Posner posit that an effective leader models the way for his or her staff, inspires the staff to pursue a common vision, and challenges organizational processes. Moreover, they argue that an effective leader enables and inspires staff to work towards realization of organizational goals.

Sheikh Zayed helped the United Arab Emirates achieve significant economic growth during his reign as the leader of the Eastern region of Abu Dhabi and the president.

He led by setting examples and encouraging his people to participate in projects that promote economic development. Besides, he made sure that people gain adequate skills to help them assume leadership positions in the country.


Bommer, W., Rubin, R. & Baldwin, T. (2004). Setting the stage for effectively leadership: Antecedents of transformational leadership behavior. Leadership Quarterly, 15(2), 195-210.

Day, C. (2000). Effective leadership and reflective practice. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 1(1), 113-127.

Dorfman, P. & Howell, J. (1997). Leadership in Western and Asian countries: Commonalities and differences in effective leadership processes across cultures. The Leadership Quarterly, 8(3), 233-274.

Druskat, V. & Wheeler, J. (2003). Managing from the boundary: The effective leadership of self-managing work teams. The Academy of Management Journal, 46(4), 435-457.

Kechichian, J. (2010). . Web.

Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2007). The Leadership Challenges (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2011). The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership (2nd ed.). New York: Pfeiffer.

Riggio, R. & Reichard, R. (2008). The emotional and social intelligences of effective leadership: An emotional and social skill approach. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 23(2), 169-185.

Snow, J. (2001). Looking beyond nursing for clues to effective leadership. Journal of Nursing Administration, 31(9), 440-443.

Valda, U. (2003). What constitutes effective leadership?: Perceptions of magnet and nonmagnet nurse leaders. Journal of Nursing Administration, 33(9), 456-467.

This research paper on Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan: The Great Man was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Research Paper sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper

Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2019, July 8). Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan: The Great Man. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/sheikh-zayed-bin-sultan-al-nahyan-the-great-man/

Work Cited

"Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan: The Great Man." IvyPanda, 8 July 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/sheikh-zayed-bin-sultan-al-nahyan-the-great-man/.

1. IvyPanda. "Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan: The Great Man." July 8, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sheikh-zayed-bin-sultan-al-nahyan-the-great-man/.


IvyPanda. "Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan: The Great Man." July 8, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sheikh-zayed-bin-sultan-al-nahyan-the-great-man/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan: The Great Man." July 8, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sheikh-zayed-bin-sultan-al-nahyan-the-great-man/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan: The Great Man'. 8 July.

More related papers
Psst... Stuck with your
assignment? 😱
Psst... Stuck with your assignment? 😱
Do you need an essay to be done?
What type of assignment 📝 do you need?
How many pages (words) do you need? Let's see if we can help you!