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7 Questions on Leadership with Aisha Memon

Name: Aisha Memon

Title: Data Governance

Organisation: Cisco

Passionate leader driving strategic and innovative implementation of data democratization and data governance across Enterprise.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Aisha's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

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

Facing burnout with adverse health impacts.

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

It's almost like graduating from the school of hard knocks kind of story of balancing career advancement and family/home life and getting completely crushed; and rebuilding myself back to my highest self from the ashes.

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

Waking up to pray/meditate (before sunrise). Seriously enjoy my cup of coffee. Prioritize the most important tasks earlier in the day when I'm focused. Intermittent fasting mostly 14 - 16 hours. The course of the day progresses as tasks get completed. Dwindle my day down with a break to start transitioning to a home role (e.g. cook dinner).

Put in my best aesthetic expression into cooking to prep a meal the family will enjoy. Check in with parents. Spend quality time with kids and husband over dinner. Read a little. Self-care routine. Pray. Sleep.

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

Empathic listening requires us to extend outside of our bias, and always being aware to be the leader that we would like to have ourselves. "Treat others how you would like to be treated" goes a long way. Extend respect. We can learn from EVERYONE we encounter.

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?

Leadership Arena by Richard Spector opened my eyes to aspects of leadership that I wasn't aware of before.

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

Be authentic; be proud of who you are. Not in a narcissistic way. But accepting ourselves, with our flaws and imperfections, requires empathy.

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

Burnout is the toughest thing I have had to encounter thus far, but now, surviving and thriving after burnout, I look back and think it was the biggest blessing because it helped me grow as a leader in ways I would never have learned in a class or by reading a book. Some things have to be experienced.

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