We had the good fortune of connecting with Hind Farag and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hind, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I had somehow always been attracted to the idea of building my own business to partner with people and organizations on crafting and navigating their transformational journeys. It had never felt like it was time until three years ago, when I was working as VP of Global Commodity Analytics with Wood Mackenzie, a global energy research and advisory firm. At that point, going through the day-to-day operational responsibilities of my senior leadership role was starting to feel mundane. In contrast, I felt so invigorated when I was developing, mentoring, and/or coaching leaders or partnering with executives to develop long-term visions and strategic roadmaps. I started aching to do more of this not only for my employer, and colleagues but also for other growing businesses and aspiring leaders. More specifically, the inspiration came from my desire to promote a culture of compassionate and visionary leadership that would empower people to drive the kind of transformation they want to bring to their lives, families, communities, and businesses. For me, leadership had become about making a positive impact on others in ways that would bring your most aspirational vision to life. Outside of work, I also noticed that I was gravitating toward conversations about defining and realizing our most aspirational visions. I now wanted to inspire others to build their leadership muscle to do just that. It was then that I was ready to leave my “9 to 5” job and explore alternative paths for my own transformational journey before I could help others craft and navigate theirs!
What should our readers know about your business?
As an executive coach and a leader, I am differentiated by a few things including my vastly diverse experiences. I lived, studied, and worked in four continents and I continue to be exposed to a number of different cultures. After being born in Sudan to Sudanese parents, I spent my childhood and early youth years between Sudan, England, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Kuwait. I moved to the US over 20 years ago where I spent most of my adult life in this melting pot of diverse cultures. As a third culture person, I have been equipped with the versatility that’s needed to create and develop strong team, highly capable of meeting and exceeding their growth goals. I work with leaders to establish alignment across their teams based on the foundation of unifying values and visions, while leveraging the diversity in capabilities, backgrounds, and mindsets to achieve exceptional results. I also partner with them to develop organizational structures, leaders, and strategies that capitalize on diversity but ensure alignment. Also, I am proudly a single mother of an economics senior at UT Arlington. Together, Akram (my son) and I have gone through major shocking life changes. We survived a few big moves, a problematic divorce and devastating family member losses. As partners in crime, we keep challenging each other to grow (rather than just go) through trials and tribulations. Most recently, I have gone through the confusion of a mid-career crisis through which I transitioned into establishing my own coaching and consulting practice. I have learned from my own experiences that adversity is typically here to bring opportunities for taking our fulfillment and impact to unimaginable new levels. So while I am able to empathize with most (if not all) of my clients’ personal situations in a variety of ways, I am also able to challenge them not to let a good crisis go to waste. Also, my professional experiences have familiarized me with a variety of disciplines including: leadership, business & nonprofit management, diversity and inclusion, energy & environmental markets, energy transitions, data analytics, and the B2B syndicated research and advisory industry. Throughout my career, I have consistently been successful at growing my personal and professional depth and breadth despite being challenged by the systematic biases that would face a black, muslim woman working her way up to senior leadership in the West and the Middle East. My unique balance of IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence) has been a solid enabler for me as a leader to the point that biases sometimes became irrelevant. I leverage my multi-disciplinary expertise and well balanced capabilities to partner with energy industry executives on their journeys to elevate their leadership impact and envision and drive successful transformations for their organizations. The energy industry is facing unique challenges related to energy transitions, sustainability, D&I, and digitalization. All I see is opportunity here and I love to help my clients get excited about it and capitalize on it!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Like me, Houston has evolved to this third culture city, that may seem traditional in a few ways. When my friends visit, I typically want them to enjoy this ‘not in your face’ cultural experience that Houston offers. I love the Houston Museum District and my favorite is the Museum of Fine Arts. I would also drive them around the galleria area, Montrose, Greenway Plaza, the Texas Medical Center, Downtown Houston, and the Energy Corridor. I like how the concept of downtown has evolved in Houston into a several diverse city centers with varying degrees of hustle and bustle. I would definitely make stops at some of the new European-style coffee shops for drinks and dessert. I would also make sure to take them to one of the small beaches around the city. I love the serenity of Sylvan Beach and the vibe of Kemah. And it would be great to spend an afternoon or evening the at Memorial Hermann Park and enjoy the variety of outdoor experiences it offers and the energy of its visitors. But I would probably devote a full day for the NASA Space Center. And last but not least, there are a few dining experiences that I wouldn’t want my guests to miss. During the weekend, it would be great to have a traditional English Afternoon Tea at Hotel Granduca Houston. A new discovery for me is Soltan Restaurant with live Arabic music Thursday through Saturday. And after a nice afternoon stroll through Rice Village it would be nice to have an early dinner at Pasha Turkish Restaurant. And when we feel like staying in Sugar Land and walking around the Sugar Land Town Center, Benihana Sushi and Japanese Steakhouse is where we would have lunch.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to Anne Keller, a friend and an ex-colleague from my energy analytics career. When I left my full-time job, Anne gifted me a truly inspiring book, the Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris. Through very short life advice from some of the most successful in the world I got much of the motivation and reassurance I needed to take a leap of faith and embark on my transformational journey.