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#28 Male heroes for diversity - How to make a difference with Ali Mahlodji

Those of you who know me well will know that I’ve been on what feels like an eternal search for a role-model. It may even have been one of my motivations for founding MyCollective… And yep - you’ve guessed it - that perfect role model doesn’t exist. It’s in the hundreds of stories lived by so many of you who constantly give me cause to stop and think and re-evaluate my choices. But speaking to Ali Mahlodji for this week’s podcast I have to say - if you’re looking for a role model, especially a male role-model - I think we’ve found him 😊 Ali works with school-age children, corporate managers and NGOs to improve diversity everywhere from schools to businesses. So being a role-model is kind of what he does for a living. But his whole life story is a role-model for overcoming adversity and achieving success: after his parents fled Iran when he was a baby, he grew up as a refugee, had a stutter and didn’t graduate high school. Today he’s a member of the Forbes Business Council, an EU youth ambassador and a UNCEF ambassador; he runs his own business, has authored five books, given thousands of keynote speeches around the world and won dozens of awards, including the UN World Summit Award and Innovator of the Year. We agreed that everyone can be a role-model, a hero for diversity. If you don’t have a community of like-minded people in your place of work, start one yourself. “You will see that maybe in the beginning you are only two people or three,” Ali says. “But then it grows. Don’t try to be the lone wolf. Try to do everything you can do in the best way, talk about it, and find other men where you can learn from them and connect with each other, and then you will see you are not alone. Then there is a community of men who want to do it better than the people before them.” We talked about how our workplaces have been transformed in the past couple of decades, driven not just by those change-makers, but also by the internet, financial crises and huge global shifts. We, as individuals, have an important part to play too - especially after big life events like parenthood. "When people take time off - and it can be traveling around the world, having kids, whatever it is - when you're not your role for some time and you see yourself from outside, you’re like, I’m not going back that way!” he told me. “One day when you die and people are talking about your life, you don’t want them saying, he was the guy who raised the share price by 4%. You want to be the person who was able to touch other people, change something. Think about how the last months of your life should look like - this is the end of your story. Always start with the end. Then you know what to do now.” 🎧 You can listen to our full conversation here: Spotify:

Youtube: Did being a parent at work change your idea of a role model - and have you tried to be a change-maker for others yourself? I would love to hear your stories! Speaker: Ali Mahlodji, founder @whatchado and @futureOne, author, investor, keynote speaker. Interviewer: Dr. Ricarda Engelmeier - Founder @MyCollective Music: sponsored by @Michaelkadelbach Picture: @Stefan Joham / Ali Mahlodji Graphic & Production: MyCollective #getinspired #podcast #inspiration #MyCollective #diversity #changemakers #menfordiversity #leadership #equality #getinspiredpodcast #ImpulseSessions #parenthood #superpower #workingparents #parentalleave #elternzeit

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