Wednesday Blog: Six secrets of success

We dip into the knowledge bank of a logistics industry veteran.
Logistics, BLOGS, NEWS


The Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel could not have been a more apt venue to conduct an interview with Syed Mustafa. Like the legendary 13th century explorer and jurist whose name the hotel borrows, the Almajdouie Logistics CEO is brimming with industry knowledge garnered through the incredible journey of transformation that he has led the firm through for the past 37 years.

That interview can be read in the next edition of Logistics Middle East Magazine. But for the sake of a teaser I am posting some of the insights he shared with me below.

I have titled it Syed’s Secrets.

 1. Speaking from my experience, sales-people too readily over-commit. The customer might be happy at the time, but a few months later they may be upset about something or other, and will not want to see the salesperson again. When sales-people over-commit, they hurt themselves and hurt the company's reputation. So my advice is to make a commitment that is realistic.

 2. When it comes to management: You have to respect everybody, whether he is your number two or a worker in the warehouse. If I am visiting a warehouse facility and go and shake hands with the labourers, they will become happy and motivated. This will be better for the company, rather than me thinking that my hands will become dirty. So: treat everyone with respect.

3. There is no short-cut for rising up in the ranks. If somebody thinks that in a short period of time, he can become the CEO, then that will not work for long-term success. I have seen many people in my time that have moved up very fast, but within a short time they were fired or released, because they didn't have the correct capabilities. They had no idea about the market. So: don't think short-term; don't try to take short-cuts.

4. Many times I've heard both my own people and other company's employees say: “I am working very hard, but my boss is not seeing it my work; he is too high up and doesn't observe what I am doing... so I have no chance for growth”. To this I reply: The moon, even when covered by the clouds, can still be felt.. You might not see it, but you can feel there is a light in that area. Very rarely does it disappear and even thick cloud cannot hide it completely. If you are a good worker and you’re working hard and increasing your own knowledge and expertise, it will be like the moon which cannot be covered. So even if your capabilities are hidden now, this won't be forever. Recognition may only happen later, but you will get the chance.

5. Look for personal growth, but don't think that you have to throw out or displace this man or woman and take his/her position. Rather, think that in order to be placed higher on the ladder than this or that person, I have to work harder and do better overall than them. But never try to build some conspiracy on someone.

6. Most importantly, whether it's your own business or you’re working with or for someone else, you have to work hard and honestly. Be honest with yourself, and honest with the company.


My full interview with Syed Mustafa can be read in the upcoming edition of Logistics Middle East magazine, coming out on September 1.

Ahmad Lala is the editor of Logistics Middle East magazine.


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