Our March Member Of The Month, Souad Christina Saied, is a Strategic Account Director for Jack Morton Worldwide. A big-picture thinker, people-lover and stickler for detail, she was also one of B&T’s 30 Under 30 finalists in 2018.
When she’s not busy working with clients to deliver creative solutions and producing unforgettable brand experiences that connect with people on an emotional level, you can find her over at TEDx Sydney, working as part of their management team to create memorable audience experiences at every event.
Souad joins us today for a Q&A that will leave you with valuable points to reflect upon and inspired to invest in your own personal development.
What are you reading at the moment? If you’re more of a podcaster, what are you listening to? I am a little obsessed with women’s memoirs at the moment. I am currently reading ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama with ‘Any Ordinary Day’ by Leigh Sales next on the list. And I am listening to lots of The Goop podcast. My recent favourite is ‘Why Love Starts With Loneliness’ with Alain de Botton.
What is your favourite TED talk and why? I have so many! There’s the obvious ones like Brené Brown, but I also love Sarah Kay’s ‘If I Should Have A Daughter’ and Joshua Prager’s ‘In Search Of The Man Who Broke My Neck’. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations is producing some great talks too. Glennon Doyle Melton’s ‘First the Pain, Then the Rising’ is a favourite I shared with friends on IWD last year.
What is a quote/motto you live by? “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” – Viktor Frankl.
Who is the most remarkable woman you’ve ever met and why? A disabled Polish woman who at 19 years old was a pregnant and homeless immigrant in London. She battled depression and as her children were finishing school, she enrolled in university to study law. She fought for equal opportunities throughout her career, winning a discrimination case against a former employer. Today she runs her own successful firm acting in service of those who have been discriminated against on the grounds of gender, race or disability. I am lucky to call her my Mother!
Why did you join Future Women? I love to support women, but I especially love to support young, ambitious women. Emily Brooks is a friend and a career role-model for me, and I love the perspective she brings to Future Women. I will support her in any endeavour.
“The most important meeting I have each week is with myself.”
You’ve written previously about the importance of shared values in the workplace. What are your key values? Passion, respect and optimalism are amongst my core values. That’s why I commit wholeheartedly to every project, consistently exceed expectations, and remain positive in the face of challenges and constraints, always aspiring to do more with less.
What do you believe are the biggest challenges for women in the workplace? Apathy. Whilst the women’s movement has gained considerable momentum in recent years, the biggest challenge is keeping everyone’s attention on the conversation, not least in the workplace.
What are your top tips for building a successful brand? You measure your brand success by the experience you deliver, and not the promise you make. It’s one thing to create a brand with a strong visual or tonal identity, however to truly connect with customers, employees or the public you need to deliver an experience that connects with people on an emotional level. That’s what we focus on at Jack Morton.
Creative industries can be both rewarding and stressful. How do you incorporate self-care into your weekly routine to ensure you can deliver the creative solutions your clients need? The most important meeting I have each week is with myself. Every Friday I take myself out for breakfast, and follow with a personal reflection practice. The practice involves journaling against a defined set of questions that help me to understand the (often overlooked) moments that contribute to my success and joy. I have shared the template with many women, and truly believe this is the single greatest contributor to my sanity and success!
You have one piece of advice for ambitious young women. What is it? Cultivate self-awareness. Don’t rely on others to tell you who you are, or who you’re not. Know yourself. You will act with greater courage, conviction and purpose and you will never be derailed by other people’s opinions of you. As Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”.
If you weren’t an Account Director for Jack Morton, what would you be doing? Inspiring young people to spend time working on themselves by making personal development more accessible, relevant and engaging to a younger audience. Our twenties and thirties are formative decades that define our future and the pressure to make the “right” choices and create the best life for ourselves is immense. During this time we compare ourselves with others, and we feel lost about how to navigate our personal and professional lives. I have just started Lost x Found to share content, tools and strategies with 20 and 30-somethings in mind. In the future, I’d love to work with individuals and businesses to help young people find greater fulfillment in their early adulthood.
The future for women is… NOW. We’ve got the talking stick, let’s not miss the opportunity.
We can lift each other up… By collaborating, not competing.
I’m most fulfilled when… I am helping others realise their full potential.