SYED HUSSAIN, FOUNDER / MANAGING PARTNER, WESTLIFE CONSULTANTS & ADVISORS
Author Frank J. Taylor’s book ‘High Horizons’ includes the following quote from Pat Patterson, President of United Airlines (1934-1966), “In the air transport business, more than any other, the human element is everything. That big plane in front of the hangar is only as good as the (person) who flies it, and (that person) is only as good as the people on the ground who work with (him or her).” In other words, nothing moves safely or effectively in a vacuum or without other people.
As businesses across the globe grapple with the challenges of globalization, disruptive technologies, and fraud, there is an increasing need for strategic and tactical advice from trustworthy coaches that know how to fly in the crosswinds of change. Westlife Consultants & Advisors International, is a national and global network of independent, multilingual business consultants, coaches, and turnaround specialists, with associate partners in Canada, the United States of America, the Middle East, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and South America. Since its inception in the early ‘90s, the firm has helped thousands of high performing entrepreneurs soar above the clouds – and the competition.
The firm helps entrepreneurs and business owners improve their leadership capabilities and personal performance through, among other things, leadership coaching, business coaching and organizational development coaching. As Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a strategy, innovation and leadership for change professor at Harvard Business School once said, “To stay ahead, you must have your next idea waiting in the wings.”
In addition to helping individuals and teams keep their eyes on the horizon, Westlife Consultants & Advisors also provide much-needed “thinking space” and act as an impartial sounding board. This helps clients to identify and think through challenges and act upon opportunities and to put their own stamp on things. “Throughout my career I have had the honour and privilege of coaching diverse groups of national and international executives and leaders. After nearly five decades of doing this important work, I can confidently say that I know why some leaders excel and others crash and burn,” Syed Hussain, the firm’s founder and managing partner says.
Syed Hussain is an international banker, strategic management coach and financial intelligence analyst. He was trained on internal audit, forensics, anti-money laundering, and off-shore tax havens at The London International Management Development Center in the United Kingdom (he later worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies while one of his associates ran the day-to-day activities of the company).
When he was stationed at Brussels as the Country Head Trade Representative of a large international bank, Syed promoted and facilitated trade finance, gathered economic intelligence, and conducted financial analysis to mitigate potential risks in financial transactions. He became interested in terrorism / counterterrorism studies when he was in the Benelux countries, and further consolidated his studies at two American universities and with the Canadian Securities Institute.
Wealth acquired through dishonesty, exploitation, bribery, or other illegal means such as money laundering, insider trading or fraud affects the whole society. Today’s organizations must be vigilant. “I believe my hands-on experience gives me the insight and the credibility to, for example, identify fraud that is being committed by others and to provide proven, practical and pragmatic advice on how to prevent these types of financial crimes from happening in the future,” Syed says.
Prior to embarking upon his professional career, Syed graduated from an elite Air Force Academy where he trained to be a fighter pilot. It was during his military training that he learned how to think quickly, and to identify and act upon opportunities. He also discovered that combining the tactical and the strategic can make the difference between success and failure and that it is vital to assume nothing, and to investigate everything.
“I always keep this perspective on my radar when I formulate actionable plans for myself and for my clients. Just because one solution works well in one market or with one client does not necessarily mean it will work the same way or better in another market or with another client. Like that first, great North American aviator Wilbur Wright, I believe that without knowledge, skills and aptitude, there can be no success,” Syed adds.
His heart-centred philosophy is evident in three foundational values:
(1) having an open mind, a learning attitude and practicing active listening; (2) being prepared to respectfully challenge the status quo, and any preconceived ideas about everything; and (3) at some point you have to be willing to take action.
Just like Patterson, Syed believes that no one, no matter how smart or how talented he or she is, succeeds entirely on their own. A good business coach makes the tactical and strategic difference.
Generally speaking, a good business coach will have across-the-board life and business experiences that his or her clients may not necessarily possess. “In searching for a good coach, it is important to look for experience, attitude, and a willingness to share knowledge and relationship network connections in the coach’s repertoire. Because the coach understands the big picture he can effectively and efficiently coach ,mentor or guide a client who is struggling to reinvent themselves or who is even failing to take flight,” Syed says.
Syed believes coaching is personal and requires empathy, trust, and compassion. Through a dynamic coaching relationship, everyone begins to understand that we are all imperfect in some way and that we are all going through a struggle of our own. A good coach will lift people higher and help them go farther.
In helping his clients reach their personal and professional goals, Syed demonstrates experience, a heart-centred attitude, and a willingness to share the depth and breadth of his insight, knowledge, and experience. Where warranted, he will also provide helpful network connections.
After nearly five decades of managing and being managed by the best executives in a variety of industries, Syed knows what it takes to successfully lead in a disruptive marketplace with compassion, character, and integrity. His clients describe him as trustworthy, dependable and skilled at building, nurturing and managing relationships with all internal and external stakeholders. He is frequently acknowledged for his active listening skills.
“We grow by managing others, and being managed by them. If we want to be extraordinary, we have to be willing to question conventional wisdom, to reinvent ourselves, to set a new course, and to have the courage to walk away from any behaviors that no longer serve us. I show people different ways to do just that,” Syed says. “Every day, our interactions with others provide moments of magic or moments of misery. Both of these are required to thrive,” he adds.
Syed has experienced a 360-degree circle in life - from being an international banker to an insolvency advisor to helping the poor and coaching other decent struggling souls on how to get rid of their debt. He has now come full circle, and is actively back to consulting with the firm he originally founded. “All of my functional experience in a variety of critical disciplines helps me help my clients ‘brush the treetops with the birds (Charles Lindbergh), and to deliver top quality, holistic advice, coaching and mentoring to new and old entrepreneurs and business owners alike,” Syed concludes with a smile.
Suzen Fromstein is the author of Suits and Ladders, Ten Proven Ways to Keep Your Job Safe - with a few jokes thrown in. Suits and Ladders was an Amazon Best Selling Book in the Career Guides Category
Associate Consultants, Affiliate & Partner Offices in Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Central Asia, Brazil, Europe, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and the United States
Syed N. Hussain, Ph.D, CAMC, CBA
President & CEO
4-1500 Robert Speck Parkway, Mississauga, ON. L4Z 1B1
2-5715 Coopers Avenue, Mississauga, ON L4Z 2C7