It was 1975 when the Baghai family fled Iran seeking religious freedom in Toronto, Canada. Mehrdad, their 9 year old son, landed in an English speaking classroom having learned English grammar and vocabulary but not slang.
He was tricked into addressing his teacher by saying, “F*** you Miss.”
Before his first hour in class ended, 9 year old Mehrdad Baghai landed in detention.
When I asked, Mehrdad couldn’t identify any specific tipping points in his rich life. I waited and listened as he talked around tipping points until he landed on, “All the shaping events of my life center around injustice.” Specifically, he’s troubled by humanities inability to unify around positive goals.
Fast forward 34 years. It’s 2009. 43 year old Mehrdad is coauthoring a book with one of the world’s most powerful CEO’s, James Quigley. Jim is CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a global company with 170,000 professional employees.
Jump two years, its 2011 and their book, “As One” is done. Seasoned leader, “young” Mehrdad is pursuing his passions.
He had difficulty explaining his “career.” After circling the topic, he landed on, “I’m a silo breaker.”
Mehrdad loves helping high level leaders like Jim Quigley enhance their organizational impact. I asked him what, in specific, he offers leaders. It was obvious he’d already clarified his approach because he seamlessly outlined a methodology centered around three high level questions. He said, “I ask…”
- What are you doing to make people feel like they belong?
- What are you doing to help people realize they matter?
- How are you helping people work together?
Nine year old Mehrdad has come of age and is shaping a world reflecting the image of his inner values. Values formed around the crucible of injustice.
Answer his questions, you’ll change the world!
Click here to read my review of “As One.”
What can leaders do to make people feel they belong, realize they matter, and help them work together?