Souad believes that humanity should be at the heart of every interaction, whether it be brand and customer, business and employee, or client and agency. As Managing Director at HERO Sydney, Souad partners senior executives to plan and deliver regional and global marketing initiatives at scale.
She has worked with the likes of Mastercard, Meta (formerly Facebook), Google, Adyen, ANZ Bank and Telstra, and has lived and worked in the UK, Australia and most recently, Singapore, where she oversaw the Asia region for world-leading brand experience agency, Jack Morton Worldwide. Early in her career she was recognised as a finalist in B&T’s 30 Under 30 Awards for Sales & Account Management.
Souad believes in business as a force for good. She is a passionate DEI advocate and is a consultant on Rare with Google’s Leadership Accelerator for underrepresented talent. An active contributor to her company culture, Souad has proactively developed diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. In fact, as a genuine people lover; Souad is a go-to for consultation and advice. She is governed by the belief that if we start working, investing and knowing ourselves earlier in our adult lives then we can make the right choices (and the wrong ones) for ourselves, sooner rather than later.
It is this unwavering belief that led her to create Lost x Found, a newsletter and coaching practice that aims to make personal development more accessible, relevant, and engaging to a younger audience. She's appeared in B&T, Future Women and Grazia and has presented, delivered workshops, and coached clients across the world.
Born to immigrant parents in London, Souad has always been curious about different cultures. Since she was 9 years old, she has aspired to travel and live in other countries and has spent almost all her adult life overseas. So far, she has lived in Australia and Singapore and has no plans to return to the UK.
Career & Background
What inspired you to do what you are doing now?
Could you tell us a bit about your professional background and where you are headed in your career right now?
Your favourite food for thought
My book recommendations would depend on the individual and the specifics of their circumstances. However, I always recommend focusing on the root cause. And I believe that crossroads, whether career, love or otherwise, are best tackled by focusing on building greater self-awareness. Here’s some of my favourite books to read to help with cultivating self-awareness.
- Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl. A must-read for everyone to provide context to the human experience, and to understand the power of meaning and purpose in one’s existence.
- The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg. A much more robust and comprehensive version of the popular Atomic Habits. This is a very good insight into understanding what is driving your daily behaviours.
- The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking – Oliver Burkeman. We all think we need to do what will make us ‘happiest’, and this book helps unpack what that means so we can better understand the concept.
Podcasts / Thought Leaders
- Podcast: Steven Bartlett – Diary of a CEO. A terrific selection of guests and stories.
- Newsletter: James Clear – 321 newsletter. Bite-sized wisdom.
- Thought Leader: Oprah (cliché but for good reason! Icon)
What drives and inspires you
What are your core values?
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I am inspired by people who have overcome adversity to achieve incredible things, and remained true to themselves in the process. I also am particularly inspired by those who have lived non-linear life paths and have experienced many different versions of themselves and of life. I love reading and listening to these stories in memoirs and podcasts, but I also am fortunate enough to be able to look closer to home for such inspiration.
My Mother is a disabled Polish woman who transformed her life from a pregnant and homeless immigrant to self-employed solicitor acting on behalf of those who have been discriminated against on the grounds of gender, race or disability. She did this whilst raising 2 young children and fighting for her own equal opportunities throughout her career. She is undoubtedly the biggest inspiration I have.
You as a Mentor
Why have you decided to become a mentor?I have mentored the next generation since I was at school. Mentoring and coaching has been critical in helping me to develop myself personally and professionally, especially as a young, ambitious woman of colour.
I believe that to be successful future leaders, we need to start investing in ourselves sooner. We must begin cultivating self-awareness and emotional maturity much earlier in our adult lives, so that we can make the right (and wrong) choices sooner, rather than later. When I think about being young, that’s what it’s all about – improving ourselves merely for the sake of improving. It’s making shifts today, not in ten years when we wake up and realise we’ve spent the best part of our life working towards something that would never make us happy.
I am consistently seeking to find opportunities to support future leaders, especially those that are not from the dominant culture. Diversity is the pathway to future innovation and creativity, and I would love to play any role in helping to create more opportunities for underrepresented talent, whilst helping others live more fulfilling lives.
What are the top skills or qualities you bring to mentoring?
- Asking powerful questions
- Willing to be vulnerable