Saeed El-Darahali is changing the business landscape in my home province of Nova Scotia. His company, SimplyCast is a complete engagement automation platform. Yes, he of course is making an impact in all the conventional ways of entrepreneurship-creating jobs, engaging youth, growing the tech industry, keeping workers in the province and contributing to the economy. What I find most fascinating with Saeed is his unconventional approach to leadership.
Saeed possesses all the traits of a great leader but I am also struck by his humility. (Note-in the book Good To Great, author Jim Collins describes the most successful leaders as having two key traits: one is an unwavering commitment to organizational goals; the other is that they are humble.) Seriously, he’s on every senior politician’s contact list, including the premier and frequently gets called to be part of boards and committees. He does not think this is a big deal however as it’s stemming from his broad vision of community, inclusion and growth.
He has an egalitarian approach to staff. In fact, they have a say in hiring decisions. Also, when looking at potential hires credentials and experience take a back seat to passion and the willingness to learn. Leaders, CEOs, managers, take note as there’s a lot to be learned from Saeed’s management style, he has never had anybody quit on him.
In the following interview Saeed talks about where his respect for people comes from and what he thinks is the biggest downfall for CEOs.
I hope you enjoy this conversation. If you have a great idea for a story or conversation we’d love to hear it!