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7 Questions on Leadership with Zelalem Dessie

Name: Zelalem Dessie

Title: Public health professional specialist

Organisation: St Peter Specialized Hospital

Zelalem Dessie is a public health professional with a master's degree in human nutrition from Debre Markos University. He is passionate about improving health quality, especially in the area of nutrition. He is a strong leader and has a proven track record of success in developing and implementing nutrition programs. He is also a skilled communicator and enjoys working with people from all walks of life.

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

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


Jonno White

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

The most founded challenged ladder in the health area is the one for women. Women still face many challenges in the workplace, including:

Gender discrimination: Women are often paid less than men for doing the same work. They are also less likely to be promoted to leadership positions.

Unconscious bias: Women's ideas are often dismissed or ignored, and they are less likely to be given opportunities to take on challenging projects.

Lack of mentorship: Women often lack mentors who can help them navigate the workplace and advance their careers.

Work-life balance: Women are still expected to take on the majority of childcare and household responsibilities, which can make it difficult to balance work and family life.

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

Here are some things I can do to become a leader:

Be confident and assertive. Leaders need to be able to stand up for themselves and their ideas. They also need to be able to make decisions and take charge.

Be a good communicator. Leaders need to be able to communicate effectively with their team members. They need to be able to clearly articulate their vision and ideas, and they need to be able to listen to and understand the needs of their team members.

Be a good motivator. Leaders need to be able to motivate their team members to achieve their goals. They need to be able to inspire and excite their team members, and they need to be able to create a positive and supportive work environment.

Be a good role model. Leaders need to set a good example for their team members. They need to be honest, ethical, and hardworking.

Be willing to learn and grow. The world is constantly changing, and leaders need to be willing to learn and grow along with it. They need to be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.

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

"I typically structure my working days by following a consistent routine from waking up to sleeping. Here's a general breakdown of how I organize my day:

Morning Routine:

I wake up at [specific time] and start my day with some light stretching or exercise to energize myself.

I dedicate some time for personal hygiene, including brushing my teeth, showering, and getting dressed for the day.

I enjoy a healthy breakfast to fuel myself for the day ahead.

Before diving into work, I like to allocate a few minutes for mindfulness exercises or journaling to set a positive and focused mindset.

Work Schedule:

I start my workday at [specific time] by checking and responding to emails and messages.

I prioritize tasks and create a to-do list for the day, ensuring that the most important tasks are tackled first.

I allocate specific blocks of time for focused work on individual projects or tasks.

Throughout the day, I take short breaks to stretch, grab a healthy snack, or engage in quick relaxation techniques to maintain productivity and avoid burnout.

I schedule and participate in any necessary meetings, collaborative work, or client calls.

I make sure to allocate time for strategic planning, reviewing progress, and adjusting priorities if needed.

Afternoon and Evening:

I generally have lunch around [specific time], taking a break from my work to enjoy a nutritious meal.

In the afternoon, I continue working on outstanding tasks, addressing any urgent matters, or collaborating with colleagues as needed.

I try to incorporate short periods of physical activity, such as taking a walk or doing some stretches, to refresh my mind and maintain focus.

As the evening approaches, I aim to wrap up my workday by completing any pending items, reviewing my to-do list, and organizing files for the next day.

I end my workday at [specific time] to transition into personal time and relaxation.

Evening Routine:

After finishing work, I allocate time for personal activities such as hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing self-development through reading or online courses.

I have a balanced dinner and engage in activities that help me unwind and disconnect from work.

As bedtime approaches, I dedicate time to wind down, which may include reading a book, practicing relaxation techniques, or listening to calming music.

I establish a regular sleep schedule, aiming to get [specific number of] hours of restful sleep each night.

It's important to note that the specifics of my routine may vary depending on the day's demands or any special circumstances. Flexibility and adaptability are key to effectively manage my working days and maintain a healthy work-life balance."

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

Project Management

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 power of the secret

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

Be calm, hopeful and creative

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

We were amusing response for COVI-19 pandemic disease within a challenging situation

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