Lessons from a Warzone

Lessons from a Warzone

How to be a Resilient Leader in Times of Crisis


One day, everything is going well; the next, disaster strikes. What do you do when every pillar is collapsing, every rule is being broken and chaos seems to be all around you?

'Pessimism be damned. This man steered his bank through four years of a hellish civil war - and the lessons he learnt will benefit us all.
' Sathnam Sanghera, author of EmpireLand

An inspiring story of resilient leadership in the toughest of times.

Louai Al Roumani was head of finance and planning at one of the largest banks in Syria when the war broke out in 2011.

In Lessons from a Warzone, Al Roumani shares his very personal account of coping with the day-to-day realities of leading an organization in dangerous and hostile conditions. His story shows how inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of places, and how a business can not only survive in chaos, but can learn to thrive - the bank became the undisputed sector leader as people's trust in its capability to protect their life-long savings strengthened.

In this book, Al Roumani distils the knowledge and skills he and his colleagues developed while steering the bank through four impossible years into ten lessons applicable to any leader facing a crisis today. His valuable and often counterintuitive advice will help anyone understand how to be resilient even in the most challenging of times.

'A compelling guide for leaders grappling with the pandemic... the lessons in resilient leadership in turbulent times that Roumani offers are universal.' Pilita Clark, Financial Times

'Contains powerful lessons about resilience that show how companies can come out of crises better and stronger if they focus on long-term opportunities, no matter how tough it gets in the short term' Ana Botín, executive chair, Banco Santander


  • A remarkable book telling business leaders what to do when disaster strikes
    The Times

About the author

Louai Al Roumani

Louai Al Roumani was the head of finance and planning at Banque Bemo Saudi Fransi (BBSF), the largest privately-owned bank in Syria when the conflict broke out in 2011. He has over 14 years' experience in various finance and strategic planning roles across the Middle East and UK. Louai studied in Beirut and Boston and now lives in London with his wife and works for UNICEF UK as Finance Business Partner.
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