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7 Questions on Leadership with Amir Atef

Name: Amir Atef

Title: School Vice Principal

Organisation: Taaleem

A School Vice Principal and an educational consultant at Study sync, the international E-learning platform based in the USA. My 20-year journey as an educator has been celebrated by featuring as Teacher of Dubai by KHDA in 2020.

A school leader and a teacher trainer with Master’s degree in education and B.A. in Literature and Translation, I have published research papers in international peer-reviewed journals like the UK based Journal of Language Teaching and Research, the Journal of Education and Practice. I have delivered teachers’ training in many venues like Vrije Universiteit in Amestrdam , The American University of Sharjah , The University of Sharjah , The British University and many schools across the UAE.

I have also worked as an adjunct instructor in some colleges based in UAE in addition to being a language trainer in AMIDEAST Dubai. I have passion for teaching, learning, and improving students’ behavior ,literacy and communication skills.

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

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


Jonno White

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

The most challenging aspect of leadership is to unite all teams to peruse in the organization to one goal and work hard to achieve it despite all obstacles and challenges.

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

The realization that leaders have the greatest impacts on individuals, organizations and even countries made me decide to assume a leadership role. Having great records as a teacher supported my application for the role as The impact I had on my students will be now applied at a larger scale. So, it started from a realization, then moved to an application that ended with acceptance

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

If you fail to plan ,you plan to ,the first thing is to jot down your daily goals every morning. You need also to put them down on weekly or monthly basis if you have the capacity to get this Goals Calendar.

The daily tasks should flow ,but you need to be aware of the three categories or levels you are working at : Business As Usual



Eventually you will learn that your task is under one of the three.

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

Every one you meet has a unique lesson to teach you even you are the most experienced person in the place.We are the wanderers and explorers in missions and we need to be open to all ideas ,one of which is to accept any lesson taught by any person regardless of the person's background or qualification.

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?

Ironically it is a novel "Animal Farm" which has some political symbolic meaning and can also be read as a fable.

The way animal leaders used to deceive and manipulate their citizens was very obvious and that taught me that transparency is the best leadership quality and honesty is the best policy. The impact it had on me was great even after more than twenty five years of reading it; I'm always transparent and open to constructive feedback from staff. I like to share my thoughts with my team before decision making and this increased my credibility and fairness among all staff members in my organizations.

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

Search for your unique characteristics as a leader and work on them all, improve them all, and use them all to be the best.

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

There was once a staff member who was not performing as per the school expectations and it has been decided by teh board to terminate that staff member. I took the initiative to work as a mentor with that staff to help improve his/her performance.Coaching was one applroach I used and after some time the teacher started to find his/her feet and gradually became a good teache. I have never lost faith in that person and decised to give him/her a chance to improve/ I believe that we all deserve a chance and that we can change our live. The value of our lives depend on how many lives we change and specifically on how many chances we give to others to change their lives.

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