Shari Arison is one of Israel’s richest women and is ranked 200 on the Forbes list of wealthiest people in the world. While those facts are staggering, it is not her bank account that makes her admirable, but her vision and leadership. Having been awarded an honorary degree from George Mason University, the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) award, and the 2013 Green Globe Award, Shari is carving a name for herself by making positive changes for people, the planet and business profits. In fact, those are the three main focuses in her business model. As the successful owner of several businesses and philanthropic organizations, Shari has shown that the right and moral way of leadership, is also the effective way to lead, which yields desired results.
Shari Arison’s Leadership Qualities:
Socially responsible –
There is often a perception that success in the business world boils down to compromising morals, becoming a criminal or manipulating your way to continued financial gain; a concept depicted in the recent Golden Globe winning movie The Wolf on Wallstreet. It would be unrealistic to deny these business world traps, as corporate scandals and executive decision-making mishaps make the news nearly on a daily basis. But leaders like Shari Arison see business and work life in a different light. In a Forbes interview, Shari explains “if we want to see a better world, we together have to create a better world.” Her belief in the concept that helping others should be and can be part of the business world model has enabled her to successfully run several companies and philanthropic organizations.
Emphasizes values –
In an interview by Forbes, when asked what values the world needs to focus on, she begins by explaining that the intention to focus on values must come first. It’s not difficult at all to see Shari focusing on values as she has even created a “Doing Good” strategy for her businesses. This strategy involves implementing 13 values, some of which include vitality, fulfillment and inner peace (Forbes).
Is conservative –
The meaning of the word conservative in correlation to Shari Arison isn’t referring to a political mindset. Instead, this refers to her view on owning material objects. In her book, Birth: When the Spiritual and the Material Come Together, Shari explained “For years, I debated whether or not to sell certain items like the yacht and the jet, and when the global economic crisis hit, I felt, among many other things, a certain sense of relief. It provided me with the perfect excuse to put them up for sale, in addition to sharpening my understanding that we do not have to consume more than we really need. I saw that many people, myself included, had lost a sense of proportion, behaving as if there is no end to material desire without being fully aware of the consequences of this excessive consumption upon their soul, and upon the world.” This way of thinking enables leaders to become stronger internally, truly act with empathy and maintain a humble attitude, which causes others to follow them.
Much can be learned from the leadership qualities of Shari Arison. Leadership isn’t about who has the most wealth or who talks the biggest talk. Leaders that are remembered and revered are those who have strong spirits and allow their essence to flow freely. These people, like Shari, inspire others to be themselves and cause change in the world. Shari Arison and leaders like her fuel innovation and bring the world one step closer to becoming a socially responsible place.