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Mada Lakiss’ tenacious journey as a leader was celebrated by Passion Vista

Eminent luxury, lifestyle and business magazine Passion Vista celebrates the glittering and illustrious careers of stalwart personalities from across the globe. Their charisma, diligence, goodwill, cascading influence and work ethos make them a resounding success. The much-awaited “Global Icons 2023” issue is carefully curated with stories of such individuals who have prestigiously ranked above everyone else and have shared their passion journeys.

Mada Lakiss, a name well known in the hospitality industry, didn’t yearn for an easy life. Her desire for challenges began in childhood, encouraged by her parents’ unfailing trust and unconditional support, they instilled in her the belief that success and fulfillment doesn’t come effortlessly. This early encouragement strengthened her confidence, daring her to challenge societal limitations generally applied to women, especially those who want a career.

After graduating, Mada jumped headfirst into the hospitality industry as a front desk receptionist of a leading 5-star property in her own country, thus taking her initial steps into a professional career. Driven to succeed, she set herself a goal to be a Department Head in 5 years and through hard work and achievement, she attained this milestone in the stated time, with a responsibility for managing a team of 30. She subsequently had opportunity in the United Arab Emirates, leading a much larger team of mixed nationalities in the flagship hotel of the same international company. Though not every day was sunshine, it made her realize that the traits required of great leadership never impact integrity, courage, respect or empathy, all characteristics you learn on the job from an engaged team, one that she helped shape.

With over 17 years of senior managerial experience in Hotels, Mada has already been recognized with several accolades, one of them endorsing her in stellar company as one of Asia’s Top 100 most powerful women. Aside from these industry achievements, Mada is also a certified “Women in Leadership” facilitator as is currently undertaking qualifications to become an ICF Leadership coach.

For Mada, leadership extends far beyond mere influence; it embraces ideas contained within emotional intelligence, guiding others towards achieving goals and set targets while navigating through various barriers without being discouraged. She believes that effective leadership encompasses using emotional intelligence to shape the commitment and conduct of a team, by inspiring them to achieve these goals for the benefit of all stakeholders. It is her philosophy and in part the leadership style she developed by experience, that self-discipline is as important as discipline, like having an iron fist inside a velvet glove. Mada contends that while intellect and technical skill is important, they don’t alone materialize into exceptional leadership. True leadership, as she believes, transcends merely identifying problems; it includes seizing opportunities, fostering genuineness, shouldering responsibility for decisions, and communicating effectively. For Mada, the hallmark of great leaders, lay in the strength of their emotional intelligence, that ability to comprehend and connect with those under their leadership.

Mada’s conviction in nurturing leaders over followers stems from her innate understanding of the differences between individuals who excel in their roles but lack the inclination or desire to assume leadership responsibilities to those with lesser abilities but who have the drive or focus and aspiration to excel. Recognizing that not all talented individuals aspire to lead, some opting to prioritize personal lives over professional advancement, she believes that genuine leaders should empower potential leaders within their ranks. According to her, it is the duty of a true leader to equip and support aspiring leaders, providing them with the tools and guidance needed to excel in leadership roles. Her absolute belief lay in the responsibility of authentic leaders to cultivate a new generation of successful leaders, acknowledging that while followers are ample, genuine and accomplished leaders are rare, much like diamonds in their scarceness and value.

Mada reflects on the foundations she built from the adversities she encountered since joining this demanding business. To all women pursuing their professional endeavors, her resounding advice is never to relinquish their inner-strength and self-belief and craft out opportunities even if none appear to present themselves. Addressing CEOs and decision-makers in the hospitality industry, she urges reevaluating value criteria beyond appearance and superficial vanity, emphasizing the multifaceted skill set required for roles such as reception and service roles that often women are limited to as entry points to the industry. To know more about Mada, check https://bit.ly/4aL6GKZ or to nominate, email, [email protected]

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