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Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with

Zebunisso Alimova

helps you in your leadership.

Zebunisso Alimova

Zebunisso Alimova

Name: Zebunisso Alimova

Title: Managing Director

Organisation: Alimova Finances Ltd

Born in Soviet Union, finished school and then Uni in New Zealand, been in the financial services for over a decade. Over the past 5 years have been working as self employed Mortgage/Insurance advisor and a business owner of multiple businesses, mother of 5 kids, 1 dog and 1 cat. Multi award winner and have been awarded top 30 Female in the Financial Industry in New Zealand as well as a Franchise of the 2022 year.

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

The time that needs to be juggled between sorting kids, sorting out clients, providers and the team of people. The most interesting part is that every single one of those groups want time from me and allocating the time appropriately is the most challenging part as if you would neglect any sides they would get upset as you do not "care"

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

It is a mythical component that the people are either born a leader or they are made leader, when I look back at myself, I would say that I am the hybrid combination of both, back in my school days I was always leading someone or in something while currently in the business I try my best in everything that I do and do what is right. Therefore in this case I would proudly say that I did not just become a leader over night but through the hard work and perseverance in achieving the highest standards

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

When you own multiple business and also being a Mother, there is no such a thing as "sleep" time, maybe more of a napping here and there...

The structure of work is a little bit chaotic and I focus on completing "tasks" as they come, there is a saying, if you would want to finish something quickly, give it to the most busiest person and they will make sure that it is done. So as my case, everyone relies on me to do the work and therefore I do make sure that it is done. Therefore, there is no a set schedule as such as each day is not the same day...

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

The constant reminder is that need to take care of health to be mentally strong, therefore I got into Tae-Kwon-Do, in the past few weeks I finally got to 2 stripes in Red Belt and its giving more confidence in going for the black belt there after.

The lesson here is that in the chaotic days, we need to take care of ourselves, whether it is going for a walk or joining some sort of activities, in my case, since the whole family is doing TKD, its naturally easier to unwind all of the stress and chaos during the training and aiming at achieving bigger goals (like getting a black belt). I often see people in my industry that they are so stuck with their work that they forget to exercise and therefore they see that everything around them is negative or so... I often suggest to them to get into a movement and encourage my team members to train in whatever they want to train in... this is a lesson from the leaders, lead by example!

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

The little prince, it is an interesting story from all sides and when I think back about the loneliness that the Little Prince was going through on his own planet and that this flower that gave the hope for the next day is the reminder that we can all look for something bigger the next day that encourages us to do better for what is right.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Do what is right (as long as it is legal) by yourself, your customer or whatever that you are trying to achieve. Do not forget to eat properly, drink plenty of water and exercise, these habits should stay with you and encourage others to do the same, lead by example.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

Recently there was a story of one of my clients whereby they nearly lost a house, a business and the investment property due to the changes in the Economic/Financial industry in New Zealand, all of my peers and colleagues have recommended to drop this case and move on to other clients, where I found this as injustice as not being the customers fault and have fought to the end and escalated all the way to the CEO of a major lending company to provide an exception, after months of deliberation, the exception has been accepted on the mutually beneficial terms and the clients have managed to save their money, their family home, business and the investment property, they are more than grateful to what I have done for them and I am really proud that I have made the wrong as right! If I listened to everyone around me then the outcome unfortunately would have created a complete disaster to this family with unknown consequences and being the stubborn leader that I am I have made sure that the positive outcome has come the right way at the wrong time

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