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How I got here: Ahmed Sousa, regional manager, MEA & Turkey, Polycom

How I got here: Ahmed Sousa, regional manager, MEA & Turkey, Polycom

Ahmed Sousa details his career journey to date and the lessons he has learned on the way

Education

Education is a continuous journey. After my bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications from Cairo University in Egypt, I took my MBA in IT management from Capella University in the US, which was a great way to explore both the technical and business side of the industry. Throughout my career I have been able to gather lots of knowledge from various training programmes in different formats such as lectures, boot camps and workshops. Those trainings schemes were not only focusing on developing my technical skills but also my soft skills, which is equally important for developing my career.

My start

Some 20 years ago I started my career in the unified communication (UC) industry. At that time UC was just starting as an industry. My focus was around voice, video and content communication and how that can boost workforce productivity. It was essential to learn skills in both networking and audio-visual fields. Along the journey there was a lot to learn and experience. From the start, my career has been always customer-centric, with steps from support to presales to leading an enthusiastic solution architect team in my current role at Polycom.

Highs and lows

Highs and lows are part of any career journey. I experienced lows when the results didn’t come after putting in all the right effort. I realised later that effort does pay off, but not always right away. Patience and confidence in what you are doing is important to avoid the impact of those lows. I have experienced highs as well when my work is under control. During that time, I had the opportunity to plan better and take more informed decisions. Time management helps to stay in control and keep the highs going.

Approach

Leadership is an art and I love it. Throughout my career I have developed a positive approach that motivates my team members and drives them to always be innovative. That approach shifts the attention from the ‘problem’ to the ‘solution’, which is always required for any successful organisation. Leading a team across a large geography in the Middle East and Africa region during my career is an enriching experience and always interesting with different cultures. Spending time to understand those cultures is the best way to remove any barriers.

Dos and don’ts

Progressing in a career comes through patience and persistence. Through experience, I learned that rushing to conclusions could be a fatal mistake. I do spend time understanding and analysing situations, as it is key to making the right decision. Also, time management skills are very important to be successful. Doing what we like can be tempting but equality dangerous. I do give priority to important and critical tasks and I apply the 80/20 rule where 80 per cent of my outcomes come from 20 per cent of my inputs. So focusing on the 20 per cent is key for success.

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