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Ahmed Aref

CEO at CorpoCure

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

I have utilized my analytical thinking for strategic decision-making in organizations with a broad experience of 23 years as an internal and external financial advisor. During this time in my career, I became aware of an inter-personal communication gap that affected corporate culture. I learned and understood the reason for this gap by gaining knowledge in executive business and coaching. Now, in the second part of my life and career, I try to address this source by assuming a leadership and business coach role. I work with leaders and their teams on a journey to discovery through relevant assessments. I strive to make my methods effective in helping them reach a point where they can visualize the beauty within them and use that realization to multiply their contributions towards aligning their spiritual values with business outcomes.

Moreover, I've discovered a novel practical roadmap in business through the (Values and Leadership) podcast by connecting with successful, purposeful business owners, executives from five continents. Those leaders want to pay it forward with their resources, time, talents, and experiences through their day-to-day work and businesses.

At this point in my work, I find myself at the intersection of business, economics, and human psychology - what I call “The Well-Being Experience.”

My Philosophy: Hope and stability are what leaders and their teams want most, and inspiring them is my motivation in work. I believe that leaders and their teams can grow together if they feel inspired. Inspirational leadership happens upon the existence of effective leadership behaviors and clear communication.

All my practice in leadership coaching, emotional intelligence, financial management, and podcasting allows me to hone hands-on experience and achieve interconnectedness between a wide range of disciplines that seem to be disconnected and find the alignment between the heart, soul, mind, and the business world.

As a leader investing just 4 hours every month as a coachee is a worthy long-term investment to create the foundation of a better business future for ourselves and our siblings. It helps achieve meaning, impact, and legacy for ourselves and our families.

Available For: Advising, Influencing, Speaking
Travels From: Riyadh
Speaking Topics: Leadership development, Corporate Culture, Team culture

Ahmed Aref Points
Academic 0
Author 109
Influencer 0
Speaker 0
Entrepreneur 30
Total 139

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Company Information

Company Type: Individual
Minimum Project Size: Undisclosed
Average Hourly Rate: Undisclosed
Number of Employees: Undisclosed
Company Founded Date: Undisclosed

Areas of Expertise

Business Strategy
Culture 31.52
Ecosystems 30.21
Entrepreneurship 30.59
Future of Work
Innovation 30.17
Leadership 32.24
Management 34.35
Mental Health
HR 32.44

Industry Experience

Oil & Gas
Professional Services


7 Article/Blogs
February 26, 2021
In Episode #22 from the Values and Leadership podcast, we've Eric Twiggs. Eric is a Consultant, Founder, Author, and Executive Coach.

What you can expect to listen to:

• Put failures in the right perspective, be gentle to yourself, journal the mistakes, and the lessons learned, and keep going as long as you have this clarity

• Success isn’t a final destination. Success is a journey towards mastery of everything you do. • Honest reflections open new paths in life

• Fulfillment is leaving a legacy and creating something that people will remember you with • The leader has limited control over what others define as success

• Leaders need FeedForward through mentoring and reflection on day-to-day conversations to grow in their careers and life

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Tags: Leadership, Culture, HR

#ONEnessofpurpose: Discover your inner power (2/2)
Ahmed Aref
February 11, 2019
Discover your inner power via the Power Matrix
I want to thank all who have tuned in to my previous article; your valuable interaction and feedback regarding the #ONEnessofpurpose have been splendid. Whether you contacted me through the survey at the bottom of the article or directly, your thoughts and opinions were priceless!

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture, Entrepreneurship

The ONEness of Purpose: A human of honor (1/2)
January 21, 2019
At some point in everyone’s life, there is a moment of deep thinking.

“Where am I now?”

“What led me to be in this situation?”

At the particular moment when these thoughts occur, memories, emotions, come from our hearts - not our minds (as we tend to believe). In this very special moment, you receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I refer to as: “The Call of the Lord.” And from His Call, a new #decisionmaking process stems.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture, HR

Workplace Policies vs The Creator’s rules
May 27, 2017
Welcome back to my previous readers, and if you’re new, thanks for tuning in!

Having discussed the needed new set of morals in the last two blogs, I thought it would be beneficial to reflect on how to apply that in our workplace whether it be in educational institutions, corporations, governments or NGO.

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Tags: Innovation, Leadership, Culture, HR

Morals and Ethics in the Workplace: Be a Wise, Satisfied Person (2/2)
May 22, 2017
Welcome back to my previous readers, and if you’re new, thanks for tuning in!

This is the second part of my previous blog post “Morals”. In the last blog post, we were discussing the interchangeability of ethics and morals and their differences. Additionally, we discussed how societies agree on a certain code of ethics, and while well intended, remain unachieved. In this blog post I’d like to stress that our choice should be “morals” rather than “ethics” going forward, as we can follow a universal consensus.

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Tags: Leadership, Culture, HR

Morals and Ethics in the Workplace (1/2): Be a Wise, Satisfied Person
May 17, 2017
Welcome back to my previous readers, and if you’re new, thanks for tuning in!

Today people use the words “ethics” and “morals” interchangeably, so let’s have a look at the real differences between them, and how they impact your personal life, as well as society.

First, let’s talk about ethics. The word ethics is used in several accounting and finance professional accreditation exams (CFA, CMA, CPA, CIA). There is an exam section called Code of Ethics, or some variation of that name, and each exam candidate must pass this section in order to graduate from their program. Most listed companies around the world

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Tags: Leadership, HR

Ahmed Aref
April 27, 2017
Do you feel satisfied with your current utilitarian lifestyle and feeling stressed from your accumulating debts, working five days a week and enjoying yourself on the weekend? Or do you want to change this lifestyle to include responsible behavior in your work days which positively affect your family members, neighborhood, and childhood friends? Life shouldn’t only be about “Me”. Wouldn’t you be more content if you changed life to be about “we”, for the ones we love and care for?

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture

3 Executives
Associate Coach - Global Leadership & Team Coaching
Global Coach Group
August 01, 2020
Leadership coaching is an essential and invaluable investment in your future whether you are a high-potential employee, mid-level manager, or executive.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture

July 01, 2020
CorpoCure launched a leadership education podcast (Values and Leadership) and invite global leaders who practice emerging leadership principles, hence achieving performance and fulfillment.

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

Executive and Team Coach
Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching
June 01, 2020
95% of the 11,000+ leaders we have worked with saw a positive and sustainable behavioral change in over 150 of the Fortune 500 to help their leaders perform at a higher level, including Ford, Best Buy, HP, Intel, Microsoft, AT&T.

As HR & Talent Management professionals, you desire to equip your leaders with the necessary skills to lead in a future that will undoubtedly bring challenge & change.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture

33 Podcasts
June 08, 2021

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture

May 27, 2021
Dr. Zach shares purposeful leadership behaviors and attitudes:

Zach demystifies pursuing success OR striving for meaning/purpose/significance in work
Successful Leaders are honest and willing to try something new.
All work was inherently purposeful before the factory line. The moment we overfocus on productivity, people start not seeing the impact of their work and its significance.
Setting financial goals without energizing people is a recipe for workplace misery. So don’t do that as a manager!
Self-transcendence when the object of your behavior is something outside of yourself. And that's what gives life meaning, that's what gives work meaning, and it exerts a pulling force and constantly pulls us forward and pulls us through difficult circumstances.
Leaders who experience long-term success are the ones who maintain the high-energy environment for their teams to achieve the bigger financial goals.
In self-management organizations, it’s not a person who is the most compelling influencer of behaviors, but it's a common purpose, a commonly believed purpose. That's the invisible thread between two people.
Managers who rely on results or pay as motivation are missing what great leaders achieve, focusing on a common purpose that constantly keeps pulling the team forward and harmonizes energy in an organization.
BONUS below is a list of powerful questions that Zach asks his clients to emphasize meaning in their lives and work:
How is what I'm going to do today going to impact others?
Are you pursuing resume virtues, or are you pursuing eulogy virtues, and how much time you spend on both?
Are you emphasizing individual achievement? OR Are you emphasizing the contribution?
How can we contribute to our customers more to get the numbers up?
Are we emphasizing our individual achievements or emphasizing the contributions that will lead us to the achievements?
What kind of emotions do you spread in your organization?
What kind of legacy are you leaving today for the people around you?
And as a company, how will the world be better because you existed?

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture

May 07, 2021
#leadership #leadershipdevelopment #innovation

In a new episode from the Values and leadership podcast, we're joined with David Burkus.

Three million people have watched David's TED talks. A multiple-best-selling author and award-winning. He's an associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University, where he was recently named one of the nation’s “Top 40 Under 40 Professors Who Inspire”. In 2017, he was named as one of the world’s top business thought leaders by Thinkers50.

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Tags: Innovation, Leadership, Culture

May 01, 2021
Welcome to a new episode from the #valuesandleadership​​ podcast!

In today's episode, we're honored to have Haroon Alvi - Operations Lead at The Ian Martin Group. Haroon is a millennial who is deeply involved with change management practices to move the organization to a self-organized/Teal business environment.

What you can expect to listen to:
• The concept of polarity and how organizations can use the best from both opposite sides. For example, consistency and innovation, profit and giving
• In Ian Martin, Employees can change their roles as long as they honor and balance between the core principle of personal freedom and corporate responsibility
• “The work adjustment” initiative that aims to include people's lives and needs.
• Decision-making process is based on advice from other colleagues and stakeholders
• Owning the decision-making feels harder, and at the same time, you feel more accountable and make a great decision that's more meaningful.
• The decision-making power in Ian martin is given to the system, not the person, and it requires confidence
• Expressing spiritual values are part of your wholeness.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, HR

April 24, 2021
What you can expect to hear:
• Al-Nahdi medical company coaching office culture aims to improve the relationship between the manager and the employees
• One of the values of the coaching culture is cooperation which is similar to Ramadan values.
• Coaching culture in ALNahdi focuses on areas of strengths in people, not their areas of improvement.
• The coaching culture prioritizes the people physiological needs before their professional development
• Ramadan spiritual values of tranquility, when introduced and applied it can help to elevate the relationships, communication, and relationships within the corporate environment.
• Ramadan values require adopting specific behaviors, and this practice can help corporate adopt behaviors that support their stated values.
• Conversations with the team are the best practice to sharpen the saw and agree on specific behaviors to enliven our shared corporate values.
• Fasting in Ramadan heightens human wellbeing. Corporations can benefit from abandoning doing some practices to ensure their people's well-being in the workplace.

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Tags: Leadership, Culture, HR

April 16, 2021
A new weekend with a new episode from the Values and Leadership podcast

With 18% ownership in the company he co-founded, Matt Hoying, a visionary engineer and the president of Choice one engineering, has developed himself and his associates through learning and finding fulfillment in day-to-day practices and decision-making processes.

What you can expect to listen to:

Matt’s executive development was a continuous journey in the past 15 years.
Matt's executive development prioritized Choice One purpose by bringing fulfillment to himself and his associates.
Matt experienced several milestones in his growth, including deploying an employee-owned structure for full-time and part-time associates.
A second milestone was conducting two development sessions per year for employees to be purpose-driven and hungry to fulfill company purpose.
The third milestone for Matt was to lead the development of the financial transparency program, which included all employees acting like owners.
The fourth milestone was caring for the associate's well-being by implementing the Book Drive principles of purpose, mastering autonomy, and giving them ownership into daily practices and decision-making processes.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, HR

April 10, 2021
Another week with a new enlightening episode for owners and business leaders to learn how to lead a profitable and values-driven business at the same time.

In today's episode, we're honored to have Rob as the author of Do Nothing – the most rewarding leadership challenge you will ever take. Rob founder/organizer of the DoNothing Leadership Silent Retreat. In addition to his book, he is a contributor to Forbes, Thrive Global. Rob is a Member of the Small Giants Journey and a past member of the Small Giants Community Board of Directors.

What can you expect to hear from Rob
• In ImageOne, the culture of leading with genuine care shapes the business model
• The decision-making is culture-dependent, as it’s characterized by collaboration, voicing up, and respect.
• One inspirational thought that shaped the founder's business mentality besides being profitable was “how cool would it be if at the end of somebody's career they were retiring or moving on? They looked back on their time with the company and said one of the best things I ever did in my life decided to go work at that place.”
• In Detroit, where unions exist and owners vs. employees mentality, it’s an inspiration for Rob to learn from the book small giants that there’s a way to grow business by being purpose-driven and placing employees before profits. This learning was very rewarding for the founders.
• The more Image one invested in our people, and it's not just dollars, but that's part of it. The more successful and fun the company was.
• The founders in ImageOne find honor and humility in opening their company financial books to their employees and teaching them about financials and personal financing.

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Tags: Leadership, Culture, HR

April 03, 2021
In today's episode, we're honored to have Eric Pliner, the YSC Consulting CEO, in New York. Eric Pliner holds MBA and has been an educator for 19 years as Senior Director, Research, Policy & Strategic Planning and Director, Organizational Talent Management & Development in the NYC Department of Education. He then joined YSC Consulting for the last ten years, where he progressively reached its CEO.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, HR

March 26, 2021
Another week with a new enlightening episode from the (Values and Leadership) podcast for Owners, entrepreneurs for being more reflective on life.

Today's guest is Charles Glassman, the CEO of a start-up technology company and CoachMD
What you can expect
• Introspection and reflection are the foundation of my life, and this's what any successful person must do. While people look around them and the problems around them. While to reach your passion and purpose, you’ve to look inside.
• Accountability should be on both the producer to focus on purpose-over-profit and on the client to choose healthy products that support their mental and physical needs
• Dr. Charles's relationship with clients is based upon Passion, purpose, perseverance, product, profit helps his clients to focus on having a vector mentality rather than a victim mentality.

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Tags: Leadership, HR

March 19, 2021
Rob is world-leading when it comes to enabling and encouraging job crafting within workplaces. He is the author of Personalization at Work, a practical and evidence-informed guide to applying job crafting published by Kogan Page in March 2020. His work, ideas, and research on how people can personalize and bring their whole and best selves to their jobs have been presented at academic and professional conferences worldwide.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, HR

March 12, 2021
Another week with a new enlightening episode on how to create your own leadership experience through emotional investment.

In Ep# 24: Emotional investment yields better business valuation and performance, we're joined by Dave Bookbinder

Dave is a Valuation Expert, Best-Selling Author, and Speaker. Dave holds MBA in Finance / Investment Management and Collaborating with CFOs, CEOs, Private Equity, and their Trusted Advisers.

Dave writes about finance, leadership, and people's value as a contributor at TLNT, CFO University, Thrive Global, and the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. He is also a former contributor to the business section of the HuffPost.

Dave is reframing the business's value as a function of how well the financial capital, intellectual capital are managed by the human capital (the people).

He introduces a new ROI (Return on Individuals)

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Tags: Management, Leadership, HR

March 05, 2021
Anthony Placek, VP at ATI Physical Therapy, is the (Values and leadership) podcast guest from the pharmaceutical sector as he brings values-based medical practice to the forefront.

Anthony achieved an Executive Certificate in Leadership and Management in 2012 from Notre-Dame University, and in 2017, he complemented that with an executive doctoral program with an emphasis in practice management.

Anthony holds several leadership positions in healthcare and leadership development VP with ATI Physical Therapy, VP/Executive Operations Ambassador with Confluent Health.

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Tags: Management, Leadership

February 21, 2021
#leadership #leadershipdevelopment #workplace
In this new episode from the #valuesandleadership podcast, we're joined by Thomas Cameron a Cloud computing technologist at Redhat and leader by choice!.
What you can expect to listen to:
• Informal Leadership is achieved when you make sure your interests are being represented while formal leaders are making decisions that would change the workplace.
• The qualities of empathetic leader
• Open decision making in Redhat includes the voice of employees
• How Thomas was seen as a thought leader and consultant and have a voice in Redhat management decisions while he was in rank and file positions
• Formal leaders acting as servant leaders, are seen as mentors by their teams

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Tags: Cloud, Leadership

February 21, 2021

In Episode 20 from the #valuesandleadership podcast, Vernon shares emotional cues with entrepreneurs that create a fun, productive work environment and life experiences:

• Vernon would share how entrepreneurs can have a daily Ritual of Care and why

• A practical principle “Feel valued to work better.”

• 2nd principle “More fun at work, means more productivity.”

• Identify the 5 things you’re amazing at to have a life more natural and abundant

• How to overcome being judgmental in work

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Tags: Leadership, Entrepreneurship

February 05, 2021
Dr. Dave Vance has an MBA and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, a Former Chief Economist, Caterpillar, and President, Caterpillar University.
A strategic consultant in the learning field on creating business plans, measurement & evaluation, he’s a publisher, adjunct professor, trustee, and executive director of the center for talent reporting, a blogger, and an Author.

What would you expect to listen to:

Dave provides a business-like approach to HR professionals to act as a business growth enabler rather than a support function.
HR and L&D professionals entered the profession out of a desire to help others learn and develop—not to measure or report. The HR and L&D frameworks help HR professionals to understand why the framework is important, to organize their thinking, and devise a language with which to talk about measures.
You’ll get to know the three types of measure efficiency, effectiveness, and outcome and transform HR into more business-like!
Dave explains the reasons to select a measure, based on the business needs, and how to be included in the right type of report, which may range from a simple scorecard to a more complex dashboard to a program evaluation report to a detailed management report like your colleagues in sales and manufacturing employ.
In the “Measurement Demystified” book, Dave and Peggy provide detailed step-by-step guidance to create your own measurement and reporting strategy, including creating the all-important plan, year-to-date results, and forecast values in advanced reports

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Tags: Leadership, HR

Episode 18: Fast-Track your new HR enabling and action competencies - Sanjeev Dixit
January 30, 2021
In episode no. 18 from the (Values and Leadership) podcast, Dr. Sanjeev Dixit, the Global President-Human Capital Management and Book Author, shares his life experience designing a corporate culture of joint ownership.

• HR is an enabling function that serves the business as their customer.
• HR understanding about what the business stands for and what’s its purpose and what the business priorities are, enabled them to co-create action plans to support the business departments
• Inter-departmental alignment, co-creating matrices, and measure the joint accountabilities and KPIs reduces the blame game.
• PlanC is about creating a culture of joint ownership. A culture of creating goals, creating your priorities. Creating a culture of performing and achieving together.
• What’s the middle line? And how does it bind the top line and bottom line to be sustainable and achievable.
• The two most powerful practices that enable Sanjeev to grow daily AND
much more …..

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Tags: Leadership, HR

Episode 17 - Answered: Your Most Burning Questions About IMPACT- Brenden Kumarasamy
January 23, 2021
In this week's episode from the Values and Leadership podcast, we have our first millennial guest, Brenden Kumarasamy. Brenden is a communication expert, A coach, and a business consultant.

Brenden wise words that you would find the episode is
The goal is not to live forever but to create something that will.
Ask yourself what is the world needs you the most to do and why, when you find that you can create something meaningful.
Communication is directly related to personal branding, it creates a persona.
People get hired for hard skills and you only get promoted for soft skills and communications
How can you be motivated to make quicker decisions with impact

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Tags: Leadership, HR

Episode 16: Cracking The HR AS A STRATEGIC PARTNER Code- Dr. Dave Ulrich
January 11, 2021
In the new episode from the Values and Leadership podcast
Dr. Dave Ulrich shares his perspectives on leadership and cracks on the “HR as a Strategic Partner Code” for transforming HR from being a service provider or cost center to co-lead with C-suite, support the leaders in achieving their business results and maximize the overall firm value contribution to their stakeholders. Abu Michael gives examples of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company (SATORP) of such organizations.

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Tags: Leadership, Culture, HR

January 05, 2021
Dr. Oleg Konovalov Has been named as “the da Vinci of Visionary Leadership” by many leading authorities of our time. Oleg Konovalov helps companies create and execute their vision, diagnose and treat organizational diseases, maintain a strong, productive corporate culture, and achieve superior business performance.

Oleg is on the Thinkers50 Radar, recognized as #1 Global Thought Leader on Culture by Thinkers 360, and is one of the #1 Global Leading Coach (Marshall Goldsmith Thinkers50).

Oleg is the author of LEADEROLOGY, CORPORATE SUPERPOWER, ORGANISATIONAL ANATOMY, and HIDDEN RUSSIA. His latest book, THE VISION CODE, is expected to be published in January 2021 by Wiley.

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Tags: Leadership, Culture

December 20, 2020
Minter Dial, a thought-leader, author, consultant, professional speaker, and former General Manager Redken worldwide, is a sub of L'oreal.

What you can expect in the episode:
• Minter Dial is sharing his leadership time while being the head of Redken Worldwide and managing to engage his employees through various innovative ways.
• Minter's mission was to “Earn a better living and live a better life,” and it was seeded in Redken activities and doing good while succeeding.
• In his coming book “You lead” Minter is addressing the pressing needs of employees who are dragging their legs to work and leaders who don’t feel fulfilled
• Learning about yourself is a life journey
• How relationships can be a guide to feel a better person and have a more fulfilled ..

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Tags: Management, Leadership

December 13, 2020
Dave Pendle, MA, is a thought Leader & Social Entrepreneur. Founder of (Generative You) developing Eco System Leaders

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Tags: Leadership, Ecosystems

December 06, 2020
Ron Carucci, co-founder and managing partner at Navalent. Ron is the best-selling author of 8 books, and a popular contributor at Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Ron is a 2-time TEDx speaker, and you can listen to his recent TEDx talk on power.
Ron is an expert on several topics, including the journey from startup to scale-up of a young business, leading a massive transformation in more mature organizations, advice on rising through an organization from middle management to executive leadership, and more. Ron led a ten-year longitudinal study on executive transition to determine why more than 50% of leaders fail within their first 18 months of appointment and uncover the four differentiating capabilities that set successful leaders apart. Those findings are highlighted in his groundbreaking Amazon #1 book Rising To Power, co-authored with Eric Hansen. HBR selected that research as one of 2016’s “Ideas that mattered most," and he recently presented it on their Live series.

Free E-book by Ron, provides a blueprint for what it takes to architect transformation and offers insight to ensure the impact you hope for is realized within leaders, between leaders, and among the entire organization.

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Tags: Management, Leadership

November 30, 2020
It's Monday, and In the eleventh episode of the "Values and Leadership" Podcast, I'm joined with Mark Graban, who is sharing how Toyota is applying lean management. Later on, Mark brilliantly connects the leadership practices regarding associates within the lean management operating model and habitually excellent organizations as practiced by the late Paul H. O’Neill, Sr.

You can reach Mark at his website:

What sets Mark Graban for me is his authenticity and deliberate learning from past mistakes, his continuous improvement, and his belief in the organization's mission, purpose, and shared values he becomes part of.

A free E-book that Mark recommends to interested leaders in learning about Paul H. O’Neill, Sr. leadership actions

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Tags: Management, Leadership

November 28, 2020
You can reach Professor Deirdre McCloskey at her website

Key Takeaways:
• Professor Deirdre is motivated with telling the truth, even if this didn’t help her in gaining the deserved scientific status and caused her to be in an unpopular position.
• The lack of purpose is what causing loss of connection, loss of meaning in life.
• Having a successful career can’t be a life purpose.
• Does having a yacht serves in answering the question, So what? • Should humans remain a means to an end?
• The average life expectancy all over the world has increased dramatically and this allows us to have longer lives in which to try new things in life, to succeed and fail and learn from the failures. • Man does seek triple perfection, of three the third is the transcendence (ALLAH, GOD, Truth).

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Tags: Management, Leadership

November 24, 2020
In the second episode with Stephen Mabbs, he continues sharing how the co-founders of Escient sought alignment with the employees' interests, ownership, and discretionary effort.

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Tags: Leadership, Culture, HR, Entrepreneurship

Thinkers360 Credentials

4 Badges


3 Article/Blogs
Leadership Coaching to achieve meaningful goals
September 08, 2021

The business context

The most frequently used words are profits, productivity, projects, tasks, results, and goals in work. The achievement or non-achievement of outcomes and goals is related to rewards such as bonuses, threats, and development plans to overcome weaknesses. Top management may use business restructure news to motivate managers to do their best to be counted on in the future. The above approach creates a threat and uncertainty in a work environment. In addition, it establishes counterproductive beliefs about the self and your perceived role in achieving results and goals to avoid delays.

The human needs in work dilemma

The result would be ongoing social threats experienced by managers, such as being omitted from an email chain, an unheard voice due to organizational politics, and emotional pressure from management. This will leave middle management to face pressure from their teams as they lose focus and disengage because of gossip, fear, and uncertainty. The Intrinsic motivators inherent inside each of us are being ignored and not built-in into the work world systems and structures. The executives, managers, and associates all function from avoiding threats, not from strength-based actions based on shared purpose, shared values, or seeking rewards and growing the pie (increasing economic and psychological welfare).

Psychological safety in the workplace

Psychological safety is where we can all start to redefine our workday such as strengths, contributions, needs, individual and shared purpose, the impact our work has on our beneficiaries/stakeholders means to each of us and collectively.

The current business challenges are task-related, but they extended to affect us negatively, such as burnout, stress, anxiety, and loss of meaning in work. The current management threats will keep pilling up more challenges. The good news is that the current difficulties can diminish when we collectively have a living purpose/intention that inspires us to work. The purpose would encourage us to utilize our innate talents, time, resources, effectively communicate and listen to each other’s needs to produce user-friendly products, services, and stakeholder’s experiences that generate enough profits to sustainably serving our communities.

The impact our services and products make the community feels and experience is paramount to know. It is as important to be communicated back to all associates through company emails. What positive difference would it make for companies to report visual customers testimonials besides the financial results? Think of that. It would add a new meaning and an amplified success.

Less conflict, meaningful work

The oversimplification of “business needs” into gaining a competitive edge, merger acquisitions, and quantitative goals achievement would make us feel good is an illusion. These business activities are not related to common human needs, and their effect doesn’t help us achieve our needs.

The redefining of new perceptions of the self and others and our roles is an emerging business thinking that is equally essential as AI. To think, feel and act according to the redefinition of what work means and how it can help achieve numerous benefits such as fulfilling our individual and common needs, will help businesses to avoid unnecessary work, rework, missing project delivery, pursue wealth/status as ultimate need, in addition to less litigation against our company from associates, suppliers, beneficiaries. This will translate into maximizing the most crucial resource of all, “Less time waste.” We’ll experience less ill-feeling during the workday and after going back home.

Companies are not just their Boards, executive team, and associates. It includes the owners/shareholders/investors, and they should care to have more virtual or in-person town halls with their associates to discuss a shared purpose in growing the pie.

The spirit of goals

Having an impact through work and growing the pie is a new perspective, as we’re not taught this way in the B schools, and it requires reflection while we’re being pressurized on daily goals achievement. It’s important for now to understand that the ever-changing business context is the product of our collective daily decisions of what we should and shouldn’t do. Those decisions result from our perceptions about self and what gains we can achieve or what threats we should avoid.

Goals can be viewed as a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, set a numerical target. On the other hand, knowing the “spirit of the goal” is essential. This means that we (investors, executives, managers, and teams) sustainably provide services and products valuable to the community and achieve the profits that ensure business continuity and avoid closing the business. The spirit purpose of the goal is to help our organization grow. Beyond just being less stressful and allowing collective, meaningful goal-setting to be more applicable, employee this is good for employee creativity. This lets them have action plans and the benefits of target-setting in a world that is messy and full of surprises. 

The excellent news is that the advancement in neuroscience, positive psychology and leadership coaching in the last decade has enabled leaders to acquire new proven perspectives, capabilities, and tools to develop new perceptions. Leaders can now develop effective behaviors, a balanced mindset (Have a vision while not ignoring the short-term) and set meaningful goals. All you need is to sharpen your sow NOW! to go further in work and achieve a fulfilled life, have a better business context, and have meaningful goals.

Ahmed Aref, currently a leadership advisor at Noble leader. A leadership and team coach with a strategic management background in BIG4 and telecoms. Ahmed’s mission as a Consultant, to help business leaders make better work decisions, prioritizing people, and purpose to achieve impact and legacy. For Thinkers360 Ahmed has covered topics related to leadership, culture, and HR.


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Tags: Leadership, Culture, HR

Emerging business Improvement opportunites
August 06, 2021

Time and relationships are crucial to business improvement

Business improvement is a continuous process. Managers are looking for ways to enhance performance and achieve better results. Managers use previous lessons/experiences, try various trial and error methods to learn what works or what doesn't work.

Whether managers currently use and achieve business improvements, two common challenges need to be addressed: time and team dynamics. Did you know time and relationships are the two most precious assets in a business?


Manager Siolism


Managers find themselves alone in delivering results, and going back to their knowledge repository doesn't help. One of the reasons is that what we learned in universities was more related to gaining business insight than learning about ours and other's needs, strengths, and ways. The human interactions, the relationship dynamics and balancing it with tasks, and their effect on execution time was not taught either. This kind of non-awareness as to the condition that leads to successful relationships and results leads managers to try the above personal ways. The non-awareness of proven and tested ways to accelerate business improvement can be another reason managers struggle. Lastly, the non-existence of a leadership readiness program before moving into the first leadership position.


Widening your vision

Managers need an external intervention to help them expand their vision to incorporate new insightful learning tailored to their needs and situation that will guide them in their work and be more aware of their leadership styles and their impact on others. Leadership Coaching is a holistic approach to achieve clarity on the issues managers face in work. It's important to differentiate between life coaching and proven leadership coaching provided by certified coaches or leadership advisory firms. Life coaching is a general coaching approach for people to gain clarity about personal matters and individual coaches perform that. Some are certified, and others may not be approved.


On the other hand, leadership coaching aims to increase leaders' behavior's effectiveness and widen their perspectives about self and others to innovate and achieve better results. Managers need to evaluate the success rate of the leadership coaching process and the value it's brought to other leaders before starting their coaching journey. Proven coaching processes help the leader to accelerate acquiring personal and interpersonal leadership skills and behaviors. In turn, these skills are transferable to the teams, and the leader will act in a coach-like approach. 


There's another alternative to improve team dynamics: team coaching/building that includes the team leader. Team coaching is a holistic approach to enhancing team relationships, improving team communication, and aligning team behaviors toward shared team values and principles. Aligning team behaviors will reduce the execution time and improve team processes and, ultimately, business results.


The financial impact of leadership development


Proven leadership coaching and the team coaching process gain credibility worldwide in big corporations such as GE, Ford, and SMEs in India. For example, Allan Mullay has turned Ford from losing company and suffering from siloism to a profitable company with a collaborative culture. Leadership Coaching can help managers overcome diverse challenges by creating an energizing and motivating team environment or improving methods by addressing inefficient systems. Let's take the former goal as an example to show how this works. 


The beauty of leadership coaching is that it can be quantified easily. Any manager can calculate its ROI following this simple methodology developed by Sal Silvester. Coaching ROI can be measured in terms of the manager goal "Create an energizing and motivating team environment." To calculate the impact of this goal, ask one question: what is the effect of improving methods on the people, the process, or business? The answer would be Reduced turnover by 20%. Secondly, to measure the financial/business impact, ask one question What were the financial and/or business results? (e.g., in terms of productivity, efficiency, revenues, retention, innovation). The answer would be hiring, onboarding, and getting a new team member productive is 1.5x their salary. For example, the salary of $40k resulted in savings of $60k. 


Thirdly, to determine the % attributed to the leadership development is by asking two questions: What factors contributed to this improvement? And What % is attributed to leadership development?


The answer would look like 75% to leadership development and 25% to manager support. Finally, multiplying 75%x 60,000 and the financial impact of leadership development would become $45,000.


Accelerated business improvement


Coaching has some costs, mainly the time investment from the manager for focused learning. Some old behaviors will need to be adjusted. On the other hand, coaching brings managers and their teams more clarity to better work to achieve faster results and live a better life. 


The ideal coaching engagement period is from nine to twelve months. Initially, this may seem to be an obstacle. In contrast, the real-time investment per month won't exceed four hours from the manager. The personal value is created throughout the process by having continued reflection on behaviors and building capabilities. The business value would be to achieve goals faster where teams collaborate more with fewer conflict relationships. Time and energy saved allow more time for creative and result-oriented work.


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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

June 10, 2021



Do you notice that successful corporations and people are constantly evolving? In this series, we are going to rethink and reimagine ourselves in our roles in work.


In some organizations, people get promoted to the next level mainly because of their competency in their current roles. However, is this the right way when promoting people to be team leaders and managers? With that said, this is what we are going to explore together in the following few lines.


Functional Thinking

At work, people think that the only development in life is a promotion from employee to manager. Later, to higher positions like the Senior Manager, General Manager, and so on. Some competent people think that they have a right to be promoted way more than others. And some believe that they ought to be given grades after a specific number of years. This mentality is due to the existence of the hierarchy. And that money and benefits are tied to position, not the people's knowledge, abilities, potential, and skills.


The corporate's main priority regarding its existence was mainly to perform a function, whether providing service or producing products, in compensation for financial returns. To achieve the above function on a scale, people must be recruited and then emerge the compensation issue. How to compensate for the time and competency of the employees? The answer was based on their productivity. On the other hand, manager's compensation is based on the coordination of their team's efforts and achieving results. Team rewards are compensated differently; in respect of its functions in generating the cash flows (Support as Administration, HR, Finance or in primaries such as Sales and Marketing).


Functional Ambiguity

The simple structure described above has dominated for centuries in the feudal and industrial economies. This practice and mindset have little focus on an employee's talents, potential, and newly acquired skills. In the early eighties, after the cold war end and the advent of the internet, knowledge started to spread faster, and the knowledge economy accelerated.  


Talents combined with learning became an asset to people and companies as a result of employment. This understanding did not fully reflect in universities, corporate policies, governing institutions such as FASB or IFRS, and other regulatory bodies, except the SEC. At the start of December 2020, the SEC recently mandated that corporate report on Human capital disclosures from the operating model to talent planning, learning, innovation, employee experience, and work environment.


The result? Graduates became employees based on older industrial economies and with concepts of time, productivity, and profits. The conventional wisdom introduced the promotion mechanism in return to their efforts and productivity or tenure as employees. The business idea is based on the employee's acquiring business skills and achieving the organization's function. Promotion is granted without considering that this employee needs to be developed holistically. His or her scope of work will change dramatically to be the coordinator or leader of a team.



The Holistic Nature of Humans

The newer reality is that team effectiveness is a function of a broader sense of business and relationship skills. Today, effective leaders have to handle all emotions, goals, cooperation, and expectation, in addition to coaching.


Our mindset was formed during our childhood and was validated during university studies. We did not learn about emotional intelligence, communication skills, or human psychology, such as purpose, meaning, values, and managing emotions. The result was that our beliefs, assumptions, and values in life, relationships, and work were formed by a tunnel vision lens, not through the expanded lens.


The result? Educated people externally look perfect, while internally, people felt void of their essential self. People suffer from burning out, pressure, disengagement, and envy.

A lot of times, we get stuck overthinking about our next steps. Should we be up the ladder? Bring it down a notch, or should I stay where I am today? This being said, it is vital to be open to new opportunities to keep learning and growing and not limit yourself on where you have to go next.


Holistic Leadership Programs

There are very beneficial executive leadership programs addressing the new reality available to senior leaders in big companies through established universities. These companies can afford to bear high costs and rarely are given to the employee-managers in small or mid-size companies, representing most businesses.


These programs are planned for leaders in a very late stage in their careers. This includes cultural and emotional intelligence, understanding differences in thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, negotiation style, and business manners. 



These leadership programs, in the knowledge economy, are a priority to business investments. The same as any capital investment, as it increases decision-making capability. This is required to expand the business focus towards the ecosystem, mutual benefits partnerships.


Leaders who saw multiple benefits in their skills, attitude, behaviors in their personal and business areas achieved a balance between action and reflection. Development in behaviors such as structuring complex decision-making, leaders expanded their focus on the emotions of others (empathy). They developed abilities to reduce conflict in the workplace, achieve greater self-confidence and productivity.


Rethinking Late Adoption of Leadership Development Programs

Imagine if these benefits have been brought forward early on in and accelerated their leadership careers? What would be the impact for team leaders before their first promotions and leading teams? Imagine if these benefits have been expanded to small and medium-sized businesses.


Career development is not achieved only by promotions or external rewards. Actual progress is achieved by working as much of your career according to a holistic research-backed development program. That elevates intrinsic motivation to be a contributor, tune in to people's emotions, develop how to treat others with respect, grow professional presence, address conflict constructively, collaborate with others, and design and link team strategy to a business strategy.


The earlier planned leadership development programs in an employee's career will serve as a journey of discovery in the workplace. And to reconnect your mind and heart and enhance well-being and effectiveness in decision-making.


Early adoption of the leadership development program is essential to our vitality and well-being. The same as air and water are vital to our existence.



With all this said, we can conclude that some corporates trouble with adaptation. However, qualifications, ideas, and concepts can level up a corporate's game in an evolving world. Employees who can think beyond their safe zone can contribute unique and helpful, out-of-the-box ideas. Thus, corporations who treasure and bring value to employees reap many benefits.


In the following article, we will discuss the business case, practical tips for the early development of leadership programs.


References: PWC article: New human capital disclosure rules


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Tags: Culture, HR, Leadership


1 Service
Authentic Leadership Model

Location: Virtual    Date Available: June 24th, 2021     Fees: 0

Submission Date: June 17th, 2021     Service Type: Service Offered

What is the ALM?
The Authentic Leadership Model is a powerful tool that helps leaders articulate their personal leadership framework guided by their personal values. These values ultimately define who we are and how we behave. Thus, the better a leader lives and leverages their unique, authentic leadership style, the more effective they can become and inspire their teams simultaneously.
The leader outcome:
ALM provides a guideline and perspective intrinsically driven to navigate through the day-to-day challenges. It serves as a constant reminder to model yourself to be more authentic as best possible.

The team outcome:
It creates an innovative team culture where the team members have clarity about expectations and work collaboratively to achieve team goals. It opens communication and how to approach the leader and to feel easy to deal in conflict and decision making; this helps productivity and performance.

You can invest one hour going through the model and articulating your Leadership brand by visiting this link and then contact me for a one-hour free coaching session at

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