It’s attitude that matters

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Suliman Ali Al Ofi, Manager-Service Excellence, Bank Dhofar, believes that with the right attitude one can overcome any business problem or difficult situation at work

Suliman Ali Al Ofi, one of the five finalists at NTI BIzPro Awards 2018, started off his career at the age of 18 as a call centre agent with Qatar Airways. He climbed up the career ladder at the company so rapidly that he became a lead agent and subsequently a team leader within a short span of five years. He spent the next two years at Qatar Airways as a trainer tasked with designing and conducting trainings. This role gave him the opportunity to travel to different countries such as China, Poland, and Bahrain, to name a few, and conduct trainings to different audiences. For further progression in his career, Sulaiman had to move to Doha, the hub of the airliner. But after consulting with his wife, he decided not to leave Oman. As a result, he quit his career in aviation and training, although he was very passionate about it, and joined the banking sector.

For the last three years, he has worked in NBO and BankDhofar in different customer experience roles. His areas of specialty center around performance monitoring, applying different qualitative and quantitative methods from NPS scores to advance measurements methods combining different KPIs.

Sulaiman who completed his HND in business management is looking to pursue his MBA at Leicester University. Although he started his career at a very young age due to circumstances beyond his control, he continued to study and add to his academic qualifications. He is a certified EQ practitioner and assessor from 6seconds, a world leader in the area of emotional intelligence. He is currently pursuing green belt lean six sigma certification in the area of process improvement.

Sulaiman believes that with the right attitude one can overcome any business problem or difficult situation at work. “Having the right attitude to apply myself has been the key to my success. Over the years, I have learned that one needs to create unique selling points for oneself or clear differentiators from others. Mine are: ‘Never allow yourself to be outworked; people can be smarter but not more hardworking than you. Ensure anything you deliver is beyond reproach because that represents you; every work you deliver is a vindication of you as a person. When it comes to feedback, be patient with those to whom you are supplying but be careful to those you buy from; be open for feedback but ensure it’s the right sincere feedback before you apply it. Respect everyone and be sincere and authentic.’ Those are the principles I live by, in addition to the on-job competencies gained from my experience. Everyone can have the competency; but having
the right attitude is what got me here today.”

Take the best from everyone

Sulaiman says he does not consider any particular person as a role model, as no one is infallible. “Be a hybrid and take the best from everyone, and even in the worst of people there are positive things you can learn,” he sums up his philosophy. “Therefore, all the people I have come across have influenced me, like the famous saying, ‘I wanted to know the evil not to practice it but to avoid it’. While the bad bosses or people I came across showed me what I should not emulate, those good ones have influenced how I should be.”

BankDhofar has really been amazing workplace for Sulaiman. He says that he works in a great team. He loves the challenge of transformation, learning and exploring new things.

Asked about his experience with BizPro Awards 2018, Sulaiman says, “To be honest, I did not have any expectations to begin with and so I took it very easy. But after the semifinals, it was very tense, waiting to know if I made it to the next round. It was constantly on my mind and the voting concept brought a lot of attention so everyone was asking me about it so I could not escape it .Overall, it was an amazing experience and the assessments really do bring out the best of you. I wouldn’t be human if I said I wasn’t a tad bit disappointed when I didn’t win. Despite the disappointment, it made me realise that it’s the people who I love who tend to be more affected by my success or failure. But I am grateful for the opportunity and would definitely recommend others to participate.”

Sulaiman advises young Omanis not to be too selective in the beginning of their career. “Just start anywhere and you can work yourself up. The most precious commodity in life is time, time wasted waiting for the right job could have been experience gained. In the cutthroat corporate world, I would say one has to always dream big and if you already are dreaming big then dream bigger, however success gained in the right way is much sweeter than shortcuts. Spend time reflecting so you can understand yourself and your patterns, so you can manage and regulate yourself better in order to give the best of yourself professionally as well as in your personal life. This specifically stems from EQ and advice young Omani to embrace emotional intelligence to be better professionals.”

Suliaman who loves football very much is a fan Manchester United. He loves history and reads a lot of history books. He also finds time to play PS$ with his son. However, being a family man, his hobbies center around spending time with his dear ones as much as he can.

When it comes to his future plans, Sulaiman’s frist priority is to complete his MBA, and continue to grow both vertically by scaling new heights in his career and horizontally by improving his skills and competences. He is passionate about helping out young Omanis and bridge the gap between the skills of fresh graduates and the requirements in the job market. He is looking to set up a career guidance center to help employees with interview skills and job training. He believes that with proper guidance, the younger generation can be moulded into better leaders for the future.

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