Q&A with Imen Bakhouche
Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Imen Bakhouche
How could you describe your career path in few words?
I would describe it as a circular path!
As a kid, I was interested in architecture, psychology and history and had pictured myself active in one of those fields as a grown-up... I ended up studying math then computer science and later on business administration then executive coaching. Today, as a leadership and strategy consultant, I often find myself in empathetic positions using people skills in a broader perspective which involves analyzing and imagining architectures in both past and future terms ie ; exactly what I would have wanted to do as a kid!
Entrepreneurship has also been a big part of my career and has shaped it into a unique and so-much personal one. I think of entrepreneurship more as an attitude m than as a venture, for if we develop it as an attitude every gesture is a venture some will flourish others will fanish and that's life!
What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset?
Shutting down a business I had created in my twenties was for me the most challenging career event. It turned me into a more risk aware and a more confident professional. As I felt I hadn't trusted my intuition taking too much risk in core business decisions.
I also learned not to completely define my being through any one position or business, work or title, as I do business work for a living, whereas I used to define myself entirely through my business. I used to be a business person. And that detachment created for me more efficiency taking things less personally and more rationally. Thank god I am still that passionate empathetic girl when working on projects I chose to care about and deliver best in that state !
When you get surprised by unusual or uncertain context, what do you think?
In an usual or uncertain context, I usually think to myself "what can this teach me/ teach u ?"
"the best is yet to come..."
"How can the organization cope with this ? What tools, capacities can we develop both as a team and as individuals?"
"there is a particular reason for this that I still have to discover"
I usually enjoy novelty. Being resilient with uncertainty made me a stronger partner and a stronger manager.
What’s the key success factor for a female entrepreneur in cross cultural context based on your experience?
First and foremost self-confidence and more precisely self-esteem coupled with perseverence are in my opinion key to success in any environment
Female entrepreneurs often suffer from the "impostor syndrome" due to cultural and social factors.
More generally, the beliefs we hold about ourselves, others, the business, money, clients, staff, learning, growth and all important matters for an entrepreneur are a major success or failure source I think. I often meet with women entrepreneurs who believe "it's wrong to make more money that a brother, father or husband.." "male workers won't respect or follow her"... such ideas prevent their believer from taking action towards financial growth or good selection while recruiting.. to name only a couple!
Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader / manager?
Value strengths and enrich her team by people better than us in their skill can be a great start. Heal from the disease to please every other person is another big step.