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Mon 22 Oct 2007 03:12 PM

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My first CEO: Bishoy Azmy

"A CEO should never shirk responsibility for what his or her team has done."

"A CEO should never shirk responsibility for what his or her team has done."

Bishoy Azmy
Length of time in position:N/A

Who was your first, or most influential, CEO or mentor?

For as far back as my memory takes me, my mentor and role model has been my father. He has been at the helm of ASGC for the last 19 years, and I strongly believe that I have a lot still to learn to reach him.

What three things did they teach you?

Not to be afraid of thinking outside the box; to insist on ideas being implemented with the same spirit down to the last detail; and to use ‘persona' as a key leadership tool.

How have you applied this to how you work today?

Working in the construction sector in Dubai today is arguably one of the most exhilarating experiences anyone could find, with huge potential for development and growth, both in volume and in scope. In my current role, I try to closely adhere to those principles that have led to our success so far; integrity, straightforwardness, simplicity and reliability - modifying only the husks of our policies to suit the changing times.

Name an example of when you have made a difference to your business?

I think people are judged mainly on results. Achieving targets set months or years ago is a challenge which needs a whole plethora of qualities in the leader tasked with the job. A good CEO is one who delivers. There could be many different approaches to doing that and I will not attempt to explain the one best way, simply because I do not think there is such a thing.

What makes a good CEO?

Well, for a start a CEO must have a global perspective of the company he or she is running, they must be able to look at the organisation from outside and be above the fray of day-to-day operations. Secondly, the CEO must have a strong knowledge and intricate understanding of whatever the organisation he or she manages actually does. Thirdly, a CEO should have charisma, it is not absolutely necessary but it definitely gives the CEO a much easier, and faster route to managing.

What three things should a CEO never do?

A CEO should never fall into the trap of taking things personally; that ruins professional relations. Also, a CEO should never shirk responsibility for what his or her team has done; that puts their leadership position in jeopardy. And lastly a CEO should never forget that motivation is the key to managing.

In a few words, what advice would you give an aspiring CEO?

Think big. Do not think one step ahead; think thirty or forty steps ahead. Even if the vision you have seems like an audacious, or even implausible one, if you believe in yourself and strive for it you will achieve it.

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