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Leadership Spotlight: Leading with Transparency

We’re excited to announce that after appearing on Episode #15 of the Elevate Business Podcast, Riaz Sidi has been selected for the Intuity Performance Leadership Spotlight series.


Riaz Sidi who is the president of Sidi.io, a boutique demand generation agency specializing in lead generation for B2B tech companies. As a dynamic sales leader, Riaz has experience training over 500 advertising professionals and brings this experience leading his team at Sidi.io which has grown from 3 employees to 13 in just the past 8 months.


Here are the top 3 insights he shared with the community.


1. How do you guide the culture at Sidi.io?

It's a good question. So we have guiding principles printed out in my office here, but we also have a soft copy in Google Drive that anyone can access. These are very simple, standard one-liners in terms of our ethics, our principles, how we operate and essentially define what our goal is. And so, it's always about reiterating and reminding the team of these values and being very open and transparent.


You want to tread the line between your belief system or politics, if you will, into the workplace and make sure that we're embracing the team’s diversity. I've been acutely aware of ensuring that there's a gender balance in our organization and that there's a diversity balance.


And when you close your eyes and open your ears to what people are saying, it's interesting how many smart people are out there when we look past some of the preconceived biases and notions we have about people that are not like.


2. What has been your biggest learning, seeing your team double in size more than once this past year?


I think the biggest ah-ha moment has been, I probably waited too long to hire people. I don't regret it, but I also recognize that if I maybe had invested in people earlier, we could have possibly scaled a little differently. I know a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners; they get into the “I know everything kind of mentality,” and I think I was there where I didn’t feel like anyone was going to do it as well as me.


You know, I've gotten to this point where we were making X amount of revenue per month, and it's like no one else is doing that. So I must be like the greatest thing ever. But I think I realized that I don't know everything and that if I could leverage others' expertise in, for example, Facebook ads, Finance, HR and other functions of the business, I’d make better use of my time.


So I think that the learnings have really been investing in the right people, recognizing that I’m not arrogant or obnoxious, thinking that you know everything, and then making sure that I pay a good salary to my people.


3. How do you create a safe to fail environment for your employees to thrive?


Yeah, like in terms of how receptive people are going to be open, ultimately, the goal is for them to feel as open, as comfortable as they want. There's no obligation to wear their heart on their sleeve. But I think ultimately, we just want the team to know that there is a channel for them to vent if they need to, and we don't want to feel obligated to take me up on that.


But I think people have chosen to kind of be open because they tend to trust me, and they trust the team. The way to keep people accountable is to hire people you can trust, passionate about the mission, and conveying a vision.


If people don't know what success looks like, how will they describe that or get excited about that? People know that we're growing, and so whenever we have a new client, everyone hears about it, and we celebrate it as a team. So getting people involved in the bigger picture in all of those things will help drive engagement. It'll drive passion because at the end of the day, yeah, it might be like my name and my hair over there on the logo, but ultimately we're a team. We are living and dying by our collective response and the way that we work together to help clients.



If you’re interested in learning more from our Spotlight Leadership, check out Jesse Perreault's post on Building Team Relationships.