I am very excited to share my first interview as part of the Enlightened leader series. I will share these interviews monthly to shine a light on enlightened leaders around the world. My questions help uncover leadership styles and strategies and how this impacts the employee experience.
When I refer to “Enlightened leader”, I am referring to a leader who is emotionally intelligent as it relates to their team members, one who understands their shortcomings and works to improve them, and one who looks at the power of TEAM and harnesses that to achieve business results and lift others up.
In this article, you will hear from Ibrahim Al-Haidos, founder of Fursan, a global luxury handbag brand, who hails from Qatar. Enjoy what I found out about his leadership style and what he considers his key areas for improvement and main leadership focus.
Can you tell us a little bit about your business?
I am the founder of Fursan, a global luxury handbag brand.
Fursan is emblematic of strength and gallantry. It embodies the cultural notion that women are the nation’s jewel. We at Fursan believe that our work encapsulates this tradition while showing women the world over our appreciation through offering Dazzah. Its goal is to allow every woman to feel as exceptional as a bride stepping into a new world of splendor and fortune.
Our designs are imbibed with creativity, and yet are well structured to meet the desires of a refined woman. The collection is a distinctive blend of modernity and elegance and is impeccable for all occasions. The material for each piece has been handpicked to bring out the light and mystique of a Fursan woman, who stands out in the crowd.
A single artisan works on a single piece of merchandise, thus ensuring the uniformity of design. The final result is a handbag with timeless charm, an indispensable accessory that turns each woman into an icon of elegance and style while showcasing a cultural heritage that is unique to the Arabian Gulf.
2) What are your leadership values?
First and foremost, I want to lead by example. A great leader realizes that the employees are watching his/her every move. The employees will emulate the behaviors of the leader.
Next, I think is critical to show your employees and customers respect. Nobody ever deserves to be put down, belittled, or insulted when they make a mistake. I look at mistakes as a chance to learn, not an opportunity to make someone feel bad about their job.
Great leaders make each employee feel empowered in their position. Treat your employees as experts for the position they’re in.
Last, I always try to show appreciation. Nobody ever wants to work in a thankless environment where their hard work goes unnoticed day in and day out. These employees will eventually leave and go work somewhere else where they feel they have a voice and their work is appreciated.
I like my employees to feel that they belong to the company, and the company is part of them, make them love it and feel like it’s theirs, and not treat them as transit passengers who will come and go and can be easily replaced.
3) What do you do to continually improve your leadership skills?
In 2016, I completed an MBA of “Specialized Master in Business Unit Management” at HEC Paris. One of the focuses of the program was developing leadership skills. I received some very high-level leadership training there that has helped define my leadership style.
However, that was two years ago now. I believe in lifetime learning, and that certainly extends to evolving as a leader. I continue to work with mentors who are impressive leaders themselves. I also consume a lot of content from thought leaders, and one of the topics I like to follow is leadership. I read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch videos from other prominent leaders in business and entrepreneurship.
As an entrepreneur, I have a tendency to want to move too fast. I want to get it done and move on to what’s next. However, when you’re a leader of a team, you can’t expect everyone to work at the same pace as you. You must learn to be flexible with the way your team works best, and that isn’t always necessarily with the accelerator pressed to the floor.
I want to continue to empower more women by creating additional job opportunities for them at Fursan. We believe that women are the crowning jewel of every society, and we make our products for them. So, it only makes sense that we have as many women working for us as possible.
To empower them, I must be able to inspire them. So I am constantly working on my communication skills. I’ve seen so many leaders talk to their employees in ways that tear them down and make them feel insignificant. I always strive to communicate with my employees in a way that inspires them and builds them up.
As you can see, Ibrahim is definitely in the Enlightened Leader category. He focuses much of his time on improving his own leadership skills so that he can be better for the team that looks to him for such leadership. He used words like communication, empowerment, inspire, appreciation to demonstrate why his team members might follow him.
Enlightened leaders are in all corners of the globe. Let’s all take Ibrahim’s lead!
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Cheers to Enlightened Leadership!!:)