Manager in the Online & CST business unit, Yassin Bangy has been in the front-row of international projects for the last 16 years. At Celfocus since the foundation of the company in 2000, Yassin shares his experience leading teams and handling the day-by-day of work under a «light» motto.
c – Do all projects have to be lived as a “light at the end of the tunnel”? Why?
yb – I believe that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. No matter what comes our way, we will have the people and the energy to reach the point where light is visible to the naked eye. Working at Celfocus for the past 20 years has taught me that.
From the moment you believe in that, the pressure of failure goes away. For me, it gives me the mental availability to focus on what I can do to complete a project. At Celfocus, we like to challenge ourselves in every project we take on, and sometimes it takes months of believing to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
c – How do you deal with something that for you is crystal clear, but others are far from understanding?
yb – Nowadays, I challenge myself not to push my way of doing things onto others. When I believe that I should not impose my way, I try to ask the best questions I can find to lead them to the same conclusions through their own process.
I understand that I cannot solve everything, so sometimes I wait. Some situations have a purpose in life, and others, in fast-paced projects like ours, tend to turn into a reality on their own, quickly. Sometimes, I make an error of judgement, and then I have a situation to solve.
c – When you need inspiration, do you look for it through the night or do you prefer the mornings? Why?
yb – I find inspiration in times of need and there’s isn’t a schedule, just like in challenges.
For me, it is easier to be open to a different mindset if I’m in a more relaxed environment like at a nice restaurant or bar, getting ready for work, among others. For me, while at the office, with multiple demands from different stakeholders, it is harder to call for inspiration.
For me, it is not about focusing 100% on the challenge, but allowing it to flow around while I am doing something different and relaxing.
c – Using light as a metaphor, how would you describe your most difficult moments at work?
yb – The belief of a Light at the end of the tunnel (People, Energy and Faith).
Light is one of the key elements shooting reality through our eyes, which is then filtered by our believes, experiences and misconceptions to create our own reality. Therefore, when facing very difficult situations, basic instincts are triggered and people will fiercely protect their reality.
People will protect their reality, but when it gets really hard, people will strip out from their social and professional layers to go back to what separates us from the rest of the species – a built-in need to cooperate, to improve and prosper.
My experience is that people will create connections, even if temporary, to overcome hardship. Experience tells me that they never fully return to the previous status quo.
For me, this is a people business, and because we have a common interest, we deliver kick-ass solutions. The light is when you get a group of people who can challenge themselves, can see the situation for what it is, are resilient and make sure to have some fun while doing it. It is far from easy, and it takes a lot of effort until we see the light.
I have seen this happen time over time in different geographies and with companies with completely different working cultures.
The feeling of accomplishment when we complete a hard and complex journey is a wonderful one. But the best thing is when you click, and you really start to understand how it impacted you as a person and as a professional. By the way, it may take months and sometimes years for this light to turn ON.
c – For you, what is a brilliant idea? How can that make a difference in your work?
yb – A Simple idea is a Brilliant idea.
When a Simple idea is presented, everyone understands, accepts and supports it. A simple idea saves me a huge amount of effort when compared to selling a complex one, and the frustration when people do not understand the idea I am trying to convey; this is true not only for the Customer but also for our internal teams.
In complex programs, where we have many teams with their agendas and different cultures be it corporate or nationality, a simple idea will bring teams closer to a common ground. It provides a stable platform to work from.
It is very hard for us to come up with Simple ideas. We are complex machines, especially our minds, and we tend to complicate anything we can put our hands on. Most of us can have an intelligent idea to make things more complex or complicated, but a brilliant idea is a Simple one.
A Good and Simple idea tells us a story we can connect to. And we are all more willing to follow a story we believe in.