A Thanksgiving Tribute to My Team

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The American Thanksgiving holiday is always a great opportunity and reminder to step back and appreciate, and express gratitude for, all the blessings we have in our lives. In that spirit, I decided to dedicate this week’s post to expressing my gratitude to our very own team here at The Ghannad Group, by publicly acknowledging them for who they are and what they do to make it possible for us to pursue our passion as our profession. I hope you will forgive my indulgence in this one internally focused post, and I hope you will be inspired to take the time to privately and publicly acknowledge your teammates for the ways in which they contribute to your own success.

Although I have been doing leadership development and culture transformation work for decades now, we officially formed “The Ghannad Group , LLC” in August of 2015. This was initially done in anticipation of my book, The Transformative Leader, being published, but it eventually morphed into a full-time practice in December of last year. Since then, we have been abundantly blessed with opportunities to partner with and contribute to a great number of clients across various industries and regions, and we are extremely excited about our plans for 2018. We are planning to hold a public workshop in Mexico in February and we are in the advanced stages of cultivating strategic partnerships with best-in-class partners in Asia and Europe as well. Also on the horizon are a number of virtual and self-directed learning products for individuals and teams that will help us broaden our reach and carry out our mission.

I am personally the guy in front of the room and the one whose name is in the spotlight as we deliver products and services to clients, but I am abundantly clear that none of this would be possible without the support and leadership of our team members. There are three other Ghannads on our team and I’d like to briefly introduce them and, if you’ll allow me, humble-brag just a little. I am particularly proud to say that, aside from us having a blast working together as a family, we have had so many people who have seen us in action together compliment us on our ability to complement each other and work seamlessly to serve our clients.

 Naseem, enduring yet another one of my famous selfies—albeit taken by someone else—on one of our business trips together.

Naseem, enduring yet another one of my famous selfies—albeit taken by someone else—on one of our business trips together.

I’ll start with my daughter, Naseem “the Jet Engine” Ghannad. Naseem is without a doubt the primary motivating force behind the book being published and our practice getting off the ground. She is the one who, from day one, was pushing and encouraging me to make it happen, and she personally drove the process of getting the book published, and handled many of the tasks that were involved, including the cover design, editing, formatting, publishing, etc. As the chief entrepreneur in the family, having had experience with a couple of successful ventures of her own, she could see the vision and potential for our practice even before I was fully bought into it. Naseem’s background in studio arts and her Master’s Degree in Montessori education have come in handy on countless occasions, as she has brought a balance of form and function to our website and all other external communications. Her impeccability when it comes to staying organized and getting things done helps keep the rest of us on track to identify and accomplish the key tasks essential to reaching our goals. Naseem’s ability to balance her focus on the big picture and her ability to manage the execution of the details is a huge asset to our practice. I feel truly blessed and inspired to have her on the team, not leastwise because without her, our team might have never assembled at all!

 Naveed and I on one of our nature walks, aka “insight development meetings.”

Naveed and I on one of our nature walks, aka “insight development meetings.”

Next, I’d like to talk about my son, Naveed “Saffron” Ghannad. I came up with this nickname for Naveed because just like saffron, which is the most expensive spice on the planet, he brings out the true flavor and essence of everything we do. Naveed has been an avid reader and scholar of the world’s religions for at least the past ten years. He graduated from Colgate University with degrees in Religion and Asian Studies and he worked at an international Montessori school for three years before officially joining our team. I have come to rely on Naveed’s vast knowledge of the world’s religious traditions, and his deep understanding of philosophy and psychology, not only to enhance the value of my posts and the quality of my writing, but to be a partner in setting the strategy and developing content for our future offerings. Naveed also produces The Transformative Leader Podcast and executes a number of other internal processes aimed at better serving our clients. I am truly grateful for Naveed’s many contributions to our team and specifically for his wise counsel that has propelled my own personal growth and development throughout the years.

 Connie and I playing hooky and enjoying a little King of Pops and a stroll  on the beltline.

Connie and I playing hooky and enjoying a little King of Pops and a stroll  on the beltline.

Last, but most certainly not least, I’d like to talk about my lovely wife, Connie “the Rock” Ghannad, without whom the previously mentioned members, and therefore our team, would literally not exist! It’s not hard for me to see Connie’s thumbprint on literally everything good that has happened to me in my adult life, and she has been the one who has set us all on a great path in life, physically, spiritually, and mentally. For the past 35+ years, Connie’s encouragement and unconditional love has been the one thing that I could always count on to not only survive the challenges and be inspired to thrive, and to design and live an extraordinary life. Had it not been for her, I would have nothing to teach on leadership, as most of my teaching comes from having experienced a triumph over the personal and professional challenges I have experienced; without her, there would not have been many triumphs to speak of. In terms of the company, Connie takes care of the logistics involved in shipping books and impeccably executes the details that go into putting on workshops, keynotes, and other events. She also does our bookkeeping and inventory and a large number of other miscellaneous tasks that make it possible for us to focus on delivering value to our clients. Most importantly, Connie is an avid reader and is always on the hunt for new ideas that will help us improve personally and in our practice. As such, she has brought invaluable perspective that has permeated several aspects of how we do our work. We are excited about a massive transformation that we plan to execute in December because of the cutting-edge methodology that she has exposed us to in the past month. I feel abundantly blessed to not only have Connie on our team but most importantly, to have had her in my life as my partner, therapist, coach, cheerleader, and all other roles she has played to make me who I am today.

We are all most certainly grateful to all who read and interact with our posts and offer words of encouragement. We are most appreciative to those who have extended their trust to us to partner with them on their transformative journeys. Our commitment to serving our clients and making a difference for the people in our network is what motivates us to keep going every single day. Like many leaders, I know what it feels like to be uncertain of the future and of your own ability to alter that future in line with your vision for your team or organization. What keep us going is the commitment that no leader should have to struggle with these challenges in vain, to the detriment of the result and morale of those that depend on them. We are motivated by the sense of fulfillment that comes from guiding leaders and equipping them with the tools, skills, and the mindset necessary to create extraordinary cultures that deliver breakthrough results, even in the most unfavorable circumstances. We thank you for making it possible for us to do what we do best and what we enjoy doing, and we look forward to the opportunity to serve you and your team in the coming year.

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As always, have a great week! May you Boldly Declare, Courageously Pursue, and Abundantly Achieve the Extraordinary! I would love to hear about your victories and/or challenges. Please leave your comments below or send me an email at amir@theghannadgroup.com.

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