after hearing everything our team had to say about the “new back to normal”, we realized how important it is to discuss the answers we got with our Senior Partner, Camil El Khoury. We also decided to ask him a few specific questions about his journey and how he was able to keep a certain sense of stability within the company. 

ighcc: What was it like for you to lead the team in the past couple of years?

Camil: ighcc was launched into the consulting and learning world in 2007 and saw its peak in 2008. A couple of years later, the economic crisis that shook the world found its way to us. This was a lesson that built my resilience. The VUCA Model is the best way to describe that time and as a result, at the start of 2020 I was quick to adapt and understand that the end goal was to help this ship reach the shore. What I did was start researching and asking professionals to understand what the possibilities for the future can be. I was not focused on the how and the why but rather the what.

I knew that everything needed to move online and the goal was no longer growth but rather sustainability for the business and the team members. I mobilized the team into groups and gave them a direction. Every group was responsible to find online alternatives for every service ighcc provides. In a way, the pandemic was a catalyst for change and implementation of Agility. 

ighcc: 66% of the team prefers working in th Hybrid mode. Do you believe that this is the future?

Camil: I believe that the next step is Hybrid whether it is in offering services or the work environment. Yet, I believe that no size fits all. I understand that for some people like myself, working strictly from home is not the best option for different reasons. But I also understand that some people found their safe haven in their nest. The hybrid model requires discipline to be able to balance. It also requires trust. I need to trust that my team is working. I need to ensure that every team member has the environment required to be productive. Finally, I need to make sure that we all have some work-life balance. 

ighcc: In terms of habits, did you build any new habits and routines during that phase?

Camil: Yes, I started changing my mindset and dressing up every day even if I am working from home, as this helped me with my performance. I even asked the team to try and build this habit as well.

ighcc: What would you keep from the past couple of years?

Camil: I would keep discipline. I believe that working from home pushes you to find your corner, it also pushes you to set boundaries and rules within the household. I believe that the increase of discipline increases in its turn productivity. This discipline I had gained made me reinforce the work-life balance I had. I was also able to spend more time with my family which is something I would also like to keep.

ighcc: As a leader, what are the skills you feel you needed the most during ever since the start of the pandemic?

Camil: First and foremost, the skill I needed the most was organization. With the large scope of our lives getting condensed into a smaller space, I believe that organization is the key to success. On the other hand, I believe that remote social skills and virtual social activities are skills most of us need to develop. From my end, internally, I made sure to have one on one conversations with each of the team members. 

Another set of skills I deemed to be crucial in those times were Executive Maturity and Data Empathy. On one hand, executive maturity, as you have discussed in one of our previous blog posts, is a hugely needed skill within managers and leaders. Without it, it would have been very difficult to keep the team afloat. Even more, through executive maturity, you acknowledge people’s fears and encourage them to resolve it through modeling. On the other end, there is data empathy. A skill through which not only you learn to take in data, but understand its context, values and intentions around it; something I believe is very much needed in the corporate world. 

The pandemic along with different crises, has challenged managers and leaders like never before. It took the world by surprise and has affected the lives of many as well as businesses and their stakeholders. According to an article written in Harvard Business Review, “Real Leaders are forged in Crisis”. You are not born a leader. In fact, what makes you a real leader is having an adaptive personality. Consequently, you will be a highly motivated person with an increased self-efficacy level during a crisis. Eventually, once your resilience is built, you reach a point where you look at a crisis as a challenge and throw yourself into finding ways to adapt and overcome. 

after hearing everything our team had to say about the “new back to normal”, we realized how important it is to discuss the answers we got with our Senior Partner, Camil El Khoury. We also decided to ask him a few specific questions about his journey and how he was able to keep a certain sense of stability within the company. 

ighcc: What was it like for you to lead the team in the past couple of years?

Camil: ighcc was launched into the consulting and learning world in 2007 and saw its peak in 2008. A couple of years later, the economic crisis that shook the world found its way to us. This was a lesson that built my resilience. The VUCA Model is the best way to describe that time and as a result, at the start of 2020 I was quick to adapt and understand that the end goal was to help this ship reach the shore. What I did was start researching and asking professionals to understand what the possibilities for the future can be. I was not focused on the how and the why but rather the what.

I knew that everything needed to move online and the goal was no longer growth but rather sustainability for the business and the team members. I mobilized the team into groups and gave them a direction. Every group was responsible to find online alternatives for every service ighcc provides. In a way, the pandemic was a catalyst for change and implementation of Agility. 

ighcc: 66% of the team prefers working in th Hybrid mode. Do you believe that this is the future?

Camil: I believe that the next step is Hybrid whether it is in offering services or the work environment. Yet, I believe that no size fits all. I understand that for some people like myself, working strictly from home is not the best option for different reasons. But I also understand that some people found their safe haven in their nest. The hybrid model requires discipline to be able to balance. It also requires trust. I need to trust that my team is working. I need to ensure that every team member has the environment required to be productive. Finally, I need to make sure that we all have some work-life balance. 

ighcc: In terms of habits, did you build any new habits and routines during that phase?

Camil: Yes, I started changing my mindset and dressing up every day even if I am working from home, as this helped me with my performance. I even asked the team to try and build this habit as well.

ighcc: What would you keep from the past couple of years?

Camil: I would keep discipline. I believe that working from home pushes you to find your corner, it also pushes you to set boundaries and rules within the household. I believe that the increase of discipline increases in its turn productivity. This discipline I had gained made me reinforce the work-life balance I had. I was also able to spend more time with my family which is something I would also like to keep.

ighcc: As a leader, what are the skills you feel you needed the most during ever since the start of the pandemic?

Camil: First and foremost, the skill I needed the most was organization. With the large scope of our lives getting condensed into a smaller space, I believe that organization is the key to success. On the other hand, I believe that remote social skills and virtual social activities are skills most of us need to develop. From my end, internally, I made sure to have one on one conversations with each of the team members. 

Another set of skills I deemed to be crucial in those times were Executive Maturity and Data Empathy. On one hand, executive maturity, as you have discussed in one of our previous blog posts, is a hugely needed skill within managers and leaders. Without it, it would have been very difficult to keep the team afloat. Even more, through executive maturity, you acknowledge people’s fears and encourage them to resolve it through modeling. On the other end, there is data empathy. A skill through which not only you learn to take in data, but understand its context, values and intentions around it; something I believe is very much needed in the corporate world. 


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