There is so much richness within each person to be discovered. It is the role of effective leaders to nurture this richness. Effective leaders engage, empower and energize their teams.

It is true that some leaders can be charismatic. However, many leaders are effective through their attitude and authenticity. As my friend and co-author of Life Balance the Sufi Way,
Dr. Nido Qubein says, “it is authenticity, not charisma that counts.”

Effective leaders are role models, approachable, value diversity, work well with others and remain focused on creating impact.

The biggest limiting factor impacting the effectiveness of a leader is their desire to get credit. The paradox is the least the desire for credit, the bigger the impact!

One minute video from Azim


If you look at your family or your team at work or in a voluntary organization, you will notice that we don’t all think the same way.

This difference can be frustrating when you try to get people to think the way you think. However, this is precisely where synergy begins. No difference, no synergy.

Since synergy is defined as the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts, the difference is good! It requires the mentality of working together.

Synergy may slow you down in the beginning, but makes you speed up in the end!

One minute video from Azim

Effective Leaders

We are all leaders in some areas of our life – as parents, employers, MDs, CEOs, COOs, supervisors, mid-managers.

Our children are sometimes deaf to what we say to them. However, they observe and absorb what they see. Our teams learn from example and what they see as much as from being coached and mentored. To be a great leader, you want to lead by example and inspiration as much as by mentoring and coaching.

There is so much richness within each person to be discovered. Until it is discovered, it will forever be absent. It is the role of effective leaders to nurture this richness.

Watch Azim’s video message on the topic

The Respect you Garner!

Mid adult multiethnic man and woman sitting in Namaste position on exercise mats with eyes closed and hands at heart center.

The respect you garner from others is determined by the respect you have for yourself. It is hard to imagine that someone else will have higher respect for you than
you have for yourself.

Begin by looking at all your good qualities and express gratitude. Next, respect others and expect respect back. If others show disrespect to you choose not to associate with them. When you show respect for yourself, others will follow too.

The respect you garner from others is a reflection of self-respect. The higher your self-respect, the higher the respect that you will receive from others.

Watch Azim’s video message on the topic

Influence & Inspire!

Design Team Collaborating On Project Together

If you want to get results from your team there are two ways to do it. One, push and demand your team to deliver. Two, encouragingly influence and inspire your team so they respond positively and deliver.

Some leaders mistake influence and inspiration as a passive and ineffective approach. They consider the demand and push approach to work better. However, for long-term results, the influence and inspire approach is not only sustainable but also leads to empowerment and growth of the team.

Inspiring and influencing your team includes:

⁃ Involving your team in setting goals.
⁃ Discussing the roadmap of how to go from where they are to where they need to reach.
⁃ Setting the team up for success by being a servant leader.  In other words, being there for the team to provide mentoring, coaching, guidance.
⁃ Praising good work with specific and sincere compliments.
⁃ When teams mess up to understand the rationale of their approach. Then, offer what could have been done differently and how they can approach a similar situation in the future.
⁃ Encouraging collaboration and teamwork.
⁃ Allowing a buffer so that corrections can be made before the deadline.

Influencing and inspiring the team makes the team step up their game and deliver superior results.

Push and demand requires continuous policing from leaders and may bring results in the short term, but is not a good long-term strategy.

Power Squad!

Young adult Asian Filipino female standing on beach in Maui Hawaii.

You can set your goals using your own innate gift. However, you will need the support of others to realize your dreams. They constitute your power squad, your core team.

It is usually a team effort that achieves great success. Engaging others enables everyone to feel valued while contributing effectively, both in your work and personal life. The more engaged people are, the more they will understand, contribute and tap into their creativity and innovation. You can then expect them to take initiative and share “outside the box” ideas. If you fail to engage them, they will be passive staff waiting for instructions before they commit to anything.

One of the things I have noticed across the world in different corporations is the lack of
alignment between top management, middle management, and the “floor staff.” For example, I had two full-day sessions with the top management of a reputable bank. It was great—they were enthusiastic, energetic and buoyant. I was impressed. At the end of the two days, I had a dinner meeting with another client from a different business. The client shared with me an incident involving poor customer service that had happened to her that day in the bank I had just finished my sessions with. I was surprised that the negative encounter had taken place with a teller, but as I reflected on the previous two days’ sessions, it was clear to me that while the bank’s top management was doing great, morale on the floor was low. This was costing the client in terms of reputation and credibility. Alignment of all levels is crucial for achieving success.

Aligning personal, family and corporate values also enhance your ability to implement your gift as well as inspiring others around to do the same. Encouraging your family members to find their gifts by creating an environment in which they get a chance to find their passion is a wonderful gift you can give to them.

One of our clients hired us to help him and his family articulate their values. After a few meetings with the couple and their two children, they came up with the following values:

Our family displays unconditional love and trust.

TRUST was an acronym they came up with:

T: Trusting that all four of us mean well and wish the family to be a place of love and growth.
R: Respect one another at all times no matter what.
U: Understanding to each other’s needs.
S: Supporting one another at all times.
T: Time management so that we can achieve optimum use of our limited time.

It was an exhilarating exercise, and the children felt empowered and important to be part of it. Their problems did not just evaporate after the exercise. That would be too good to be true. However, the family was better equipped to deal with the problems since they had clear values they wanted to operate their life around.

Finally, as you engage your power squad, be grounded in principles. Without a compass for truth and towards our authentic self, the external success is short-lived and it is hard to win the trust of the team.

High Potential Employee

Businesspeople Around Boardroom Table Applaud Presentation

The war for talent is heating up globally. Talent, especially in emerging economies, is scarce, expensive, and hard to retain. It is no surprise then that high potential employees are in high demand.

High potential employees constitute approx. 3-5% of the top level in every organization and receive special training and developmental opportunities. Plus they form an inevitable part of succession planning. So what is it that makes these employees so sought after?

1. A well-etched personal mission statement – High potential individuals possess remarkable clarity about their life purpose and goals. For example, Oprah Winfrey’s mission statement is “To be a teacher and to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”

2. Thrive on change – Uncertainty and ambiguity remain the number one challenge of our times. High potential individuals are highly adaptable to this and prepare both themselves and the organization for future roles. This is because they see the world in terms of possibilities. And change often presents the biggest opportunities for growth.

3. Avid learners – They are adept at quickly assembling and interpreting information and drawing insights to create innovative work ideas. They focus on constantly acquiring or upgrading their skills, and are keen to go beyond their immediate roles to create value that helps the entire organization.

4. Powerful communicators – High potential individuals have both strong written and spoken communication skills. They are adept at articulating their observations, needs, suggestions and have the ability to persuade and inspire different groups of people. They also pay close attention to their thoughts, choosing to ignore disempowering or negative thoughts and focusing on what strengthens and supports them.

5. Inclusive – High potential leaders make people a part of their success. As a result, they are generally liked and respected. They are usually good at drawing out talent and developing talent in the organization. Being high-performance workers themselves, they believe in their ability and usually expect the same in others. Hence they are good at coaching others as well.

6. Deep expertise and business acumen – Being curious and open to learning, they gain a deep understanding of how the business works and the technical issues that are fundamental to success.

7. Role models – They usually display a high level of integrity and inspire the team with their positive approach and consistent performance.

8. Willingness to innovate and take risks – They are usually led by their passion for the subject, including a desire to learn and excel, rather than pure financial incentives. Hence they are not scared to take risks and try out new ideas.

9.  High degree of self-awareness – High-performance employees are usually more inner-directed. They spend considerable time in identifying and honing their skills as well as working on their weaknesses. They view themselves as a work in progress and as such welcome feedback on how they can improve. They are also sensitive to the environment around them and know how best to deal with others in challenging situations.

10. Good at developing key relationships and networking – They know how to engage and network with diverse groups of people with a focus on collaboration rather than manipulation. They seek out ideas, opinions, and support from people and publicly acknowledge their contribution.

11. Confident yet humble – While they are confident about their skills, they are not arrogant or dismissive of others. They look at the larger picture and focus on the greater purpose rather than on short-term posturing or manipulation tactics to pull down others.