What I learnt from the World Cup

There's a lot to learn from the World Cup
There’s a lot to learn from the World Cup

Ever since childhood I’ve been somewhat of a football fan. It’s not that I must watch every single game that is being broadcasted on TV but when it comes to major tournaments like the World Cup my heart gets set on that screen and I start feeling the football fever. This is exactly what happened this year too and I’m grateful to say that this time I’m not only being entertained by the game, I’m also learning. You see there’s a lot more to the World Cup to gather than just pure entertainment.

1. It brings on solidarity
The whole world agrees that it’s a festival and a celebration. Many families and friends get together to watch the games in one place. People will look for means and solutions to ensure that they can witness each match. This proves one thing. There can be a cause where people are united to achieve a single objective (watch the game, cheer their favorite team, etc).

2. It shows loyalty
People start watching the World Cup with a team that they’re cheering for. Whether it’s their national team or one of the top world teams does not matter as much as the fact that their loyalty for that team will remain despite its performance. The support will continue during high times and during low times and that’s mainly due to loyalty.

3. It teaches proper teamwork
Watching those men on the field makes you realize how much team work it takes to win a game. I was very inspired by the Columbian team in 2014 during one game where the midfielder may have had a shot at scoring but instead passed the ball to the striker who had a clearer shot. The result was a winning goal. That team member put the objectives of the team ahead of his own glory and objectives, and you can never go wrong if that’s your way of thought.

4. It identifies pure talent
Many players get their debut to star in the World Cup by representing their country and not the club that hired them and other high performing players. This way these players get a chance to shine and perform properly. Their talent becomes more and more apparent as they become driven to win.

Somehow I find that if these qualities were replicated in organizations we could be looking at better performance from employees. If more organizations sought out to learn about driving performance from events like the World Cup, then a lot can be achieved. That’s what’s drawing me into looking further for more hints from these professionals who spend their early lives doing what they love – football. I think they are worth to watch, what do you think?

Layla Alqassab, CPCC ACC

Choosing a career path

Your career path is yours to determine
Your career path is yours to determine









At a very young age I remember playing different roles (teacher, business woman, dentist, and housewife) with my school friends, and although each of us played a different role every time we met, I really believe that the roles we held during playtime are a significant element in highlighting our dream jobs or career aspirations. We may have found ourselves acting as the doctor treating pretend sick playmates or the school teacher controlling the class of mischievous children in the past but the values held during play time show a great deal about what was important for us in a career during childhood. A career for us at that time was more of a dream that resembled the lives of those who we knew and admired.

As we grew up the definition of a career became more and more related to academic subjects. We may have found that we enjoyed chemistry as a subject in school and hence sought out a career path that incorporated chemistry e.g. pharmaceutical studies. Whether we enjoyed chemistry because we were good at it or because we liked the teacher has little relevance as the end result would still be that a field related to chemistry would determine our career path.

For some people however, a career path was chosen for them by their parents, family or society. They may have become doctors because their fathers had that dream for them or engineers because of their mothers’ wishes. They may have chosen a business major so that they may join their family business when their hearts were truly in art and architecture. Gradually they may have found a passion hidden in what was chosen for them or they would have discovered what would be their true passion along the way. Whether or not they take action on pursuing this new passion requires courage and strength. This is very true when so many barriers are put in place against such decision such as a family member, money, prestige, society expectations etc. Therefore not many end up taking that courageous step of stepping into the unknown and following their passion. Only those who find the strength to take that step may find fulfillment at work.

The main thing to point out is that whichever way a career path is chosen; it could change at any given time during our lives as our priorities change or as our interests change. There is nothing wrong with wanting this change if it will serve our life purpose and will place us more in line with our passions but it is necessary to be in a place of no regrets before embarking into anything new. It is necessary to take the learning from every decision we take and the experience it gives us. It is also necessary to hold on to a chosen career path if it fulfills us and helps us grow. It is necessary to be brave and fight for what we want and it starts now regardless of our age.

To sum up, careers are chosen because of:

1. Passion –knowing the impact we want to have on this world and choosing a career that will honor that.

2. Inspiration – looking at a role model (e.g. father, sibling, famous artist) and deciding to replicate their lives into ours.

3. Experience – picking a career based on the accumulated experiences we gain during our early lives.

These choices shape up a major part of our lives and who we are. How did you choose your career path?

Layla Alqassab, CPCC ACC

An act of kindness

Even the smallest of things can make a difference if done kindly
Even the smallest of things can make a difference if done kindly









A while ago my husband fell sick and as a treat I promised to buy him his favorite pasta for dinner. The place that makes the pasta actually allows you to pick the ingredients of your pasta by telling the chef as he cooks what to add. Therefore it all depends on what you pick and how cooperative the chef is.

As I queued in line to order the pasta I noticed the man in front of me having a hard time ordering his pasta because it seemed the chef was really uncooperative with him. He asked for a number of additions to his pasta and the chef just seemed not to give him what he asked for. So at the first glance I assumed the chef was being nasty but as I closely observed the man was actually making horrible remarks to the chef and was still insisting on adding more ingredients to the pasta despite his unkind behavior.

Initially I assumed that the chef would treat me unkindly too since it clearly seemed he was not in a good mood and that I would end up with a lousy pasta. Then I shifted my mindset. I put myself in his shoes and imagined if I were him. The chef may have been going through a bad day, his job my not have been giving him what he needs, maybe even he was going through some family problems. On top of that a customer was being unkind to him. Why would he go the extra mile for someone like that. I did not know the man but for all I knew he was the one in need of kindness and I wanted the perfect pasta for my husband.

As I started the order, I asked the chef how he was doing. I asked and asked kindly about the way the ingredients were prepared and praised the chef for ensuring its freshness. I ensured the man had a smile on his face before I began my order. The chef just went over and above the expected when it came to preparing the pasta I was ordering. That pasta was one of the best pastas we ever tasted and my husband really did get a good treat.

So what I realized is the following:
– Sometimes we expect certain results based on appearances but we can be wrong
– An act of kindness – even a smile – can go a long way
– People are nice but they need to be treated with respect before they show respect
– We can get a lot more if we only thought a little bit more about what others needed

Layla Alqassab, CPCC ACC

Are you a Perfectionist?

Being perfect is a cherished value
Being perfect is a cherished value for some people









On so many occasions I meet people who would tell me that their weakness is that they are perfectionists. I honestly find that many people agonize over this so-called weakness and they try to pin every hardship they go through in life on that one thing – perfectionism.

Well, I believe that perfectionism can be an advantage if used correctly. In so many ways I admire perfectionists because they care about everything they do all the way to the tiny details. They put so much effort into ensuring every single aspect of their work comes out spotless. That is a value that many carry and would be unhappy if they do not honor in their lives. I know that because I care about the things I do and I want them to be perfect – who doesn’t?

So for all those who believe perfectionism is a weakness, I would like to ask you if you have considered thinking of what makes being perfect a burden. Have you ever noticed that it’s mostly worry that creates the agony? The problem is not that we want things to be perfect but that we worry that they won’t turn out perfect. We worry about the outcome before we even embark on a project. We worry about what people will think. We worry about what we will get if we make it or what we will lose if we don’t.

That is sad. We are compromising the quality of life by worrying about it. Rather than celebrate perfectionism for what it can create in our lives we dismiss its advantages by labeling it as a weakness and all because we worry about an uncertain outcome in the future.

Let us then set things right. I invite you to celebrate perfectionism without worry. I wonder what beauty may come out of this.

Layla Alqassab, CPCC ACC

What it takes to be a leader

Are you a leader?
Are you a leader?









I got picked to be Captain. Wait, but I’m not a good runner and I never win during sports day, so why did they pick me? That was the question I had in my mind when I was in year 6. What made the teacher pick me as captain of the yellow team? Why me? I really was a slow runner and sack race was my worst nightmare. Don’t get me wrong I like sports, just not the ones that did not involve chasing a ball like football or basketball. I knew my capabilities and what I was good at but I didn’t know what my teacher knew. Of course me being me, I asked the teacher because I needed to know. Her answer just left me even more confused. Only several years later did I understand what she meant but at the age of 11, I did not get it when she said “you have what it takes”.

She was right!! Being captain is about leading a team. The responsibility was not to personally win a race but more of ensuring the entire team achieves the best results. The captain was responsible for motivating the team, choosing who gets to run during the relay race i.e. resourcing and standing in front of everyone to accept the victory or defeat of the team. It was about ownership and character. That’s why she picked me. It was not because I can run the best but because I can motivate the best runner to run even harder. That teacher knew the traits of a leader and I think she taught me well.

To have what it takes to be a leader, you must:
1. Put yourself in your team’s shoes.
2. Empathize.
3. Take ownership but give credit.
4. Motivate and encourage potential.
5. Believe in yourself and in your team.

And so with this in mind I leave you with a simple question, do you have what it takes?

Layla Alqassab, CPCC ACC

The passion that drives us

Passion is the key to success in everything.
Passion is the key to success in everything.

When I first started the course with CTI Dubai I wasn’t sure what to expect. All that I knew was that I was following my heart. I hardly stopped to think twice about joining. I rather went ahead and planned my trip so that I can be there for that course on time. I still remember the first time I heard about the course and how I couldn’t wait to share the details with my husband, family and friends. At the time I really did not know much about what the course entails other than what was there on their website but I went anyways. It changed my life.

The first day was like a dream. It was like I had finally found myself. I was in the right place. It was not an easy day but the feeling was right.

Towards the end of the first course I felt that I was a changed person and I could tell the difference in my behavior. I made up my mind that I should continue with the program and that I was destined to fulfill this dream.

Within the next couple of months I registered for the next course. I was convinced more and more now that this was the right thing to do and I found myself embarking on this journey non-stop.

I started meeting clients after the second course and I couldn’t stop enjoying the feeling of being able to help people. It was fascinating to meet and get to know so many different personalities and very self-enriching. It was along the journeys of my client’s self-discoveries that I began to discover a lot about myself as well. That’s when I began to really appreciate what I was doing.

Then I started wondering why could that have happened now? And why did I not feel like this before with any of my other jobs? What was that ingredient that was missing in my past years?

The answer was staring me in the face. It was passion. I had finally found something I was passionate about. Something that made me feel like I was alive while practicing it. Something that reminded me of my nature as a human being and which allowed me to live in accordance with my personal values.

Indeed it is passion that drives us to enjoy the ride. It is that same passion that makes us continue on a journey or change it completely. Once it is found, our lives begin to have a meaning. Our life purpose begins to get defined. Life will always include difficulties but these hardships become sweeter when we are passionate about what we are doing. When we know where we are heading and we actually want to go there, we will get there happier.

Layla Alqassab, CPCC ACC