Sukri, thinking back to your adolescence was there a particular job you dreamed of doing when you grew up?
I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my father and join the military. I was like many other young boys who saw their fathers were their first heroes – the Mr. Know-it-All, the go-to guy, the MacGyver, Mr. Santa Claus. I would run to the front gate of our home when he came back from work and stand in attention to give the ‘salute of honor’ as he parked in our driveway. It felt great to be saluted back. It was a routine that still makes me smile to this day.
Wearing the rugged uniform also had a lot to do with it. I was sure that ‘playing’ with guns, riding in tanks and jumping off helicopters were the fun things did in the army on a daily basis and what young boy would not want to be part of G.I. Joe Team? It was obviously every boy’s dream!
There are many compelling reasons to undertake an Executive MBA Program. What is your goal for the Telfer Executive MBA Program?
My goal is to transition to the private sector. One of my goals to expand my network while in the Program and open doors for me given that I do not have a business background. An old university friend gave me a tip on business – there are two things that you need in business: money and connections – because as far as other skills are concerned, you can hire people to do the job. Being a diplomat, I believe that I have one of the two. With this Executive MBA, I hope to be able to acquire the necessary skills and business language to encourage people to invest in me.
What qualities do you admire in a mentor? Do you have someone you consider a strong mentor in your own life?
It is not easy to groom others to be great individuals. It requires skill, patience and understanding. I admire leaders who are able to produce great leaders. Letting them grow and maybe even outshine them. They know when to stand aside and provide space for others to try and maybe even fail. They also know when to step in, not only to comfort and guide, but to inspire, when times get difficult. I have worked for many bosses, few of them actually had leadership trait. My current boss and one before this have taught me to be more independent and bold, but remain grounded at the same time. I like how they delegate responsibilities, not tasks. This allows me to be creative in my approaches as long as I fulfill my responsibilities.