How 7 Modern Leaders Operationalized The Value of Empathy

Illustrations by Samtrez Crawley // Additional Research & Writing by Jasmine Williams

Our world could always use more kindness and compassion, especially now as we navigate our pandemic-stricken society. During the COVID-19 crisis, you’ve probably been working “as usual” while facing the stressors of an unstable workforce, escalated health and safety risks, and increased issues with work-life balance. You’ve likely also tackled those challenges while also staying informed about rapidly changing policies about general health, the pandemic, and workplace operations.

Add in an increase in mental health issues, and it’s no surprise why both employees and managers alike need an extra dose of empathy, now more than ever. This isn’t a time…


How 7 Modern Leaders Operationalized The Value of Diversity

Illustrations by Samtrez Crawley // Additional Research & Writing by Jasmine Williams

Diversity isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a strength — but far too many leaders approach diversity in simplistic ways, peppering their teams with employees from various underrepresented or marginalized groups and hoping for the best.

Embodying diversity as a value is much more complex than that. It’s about more than individual representation. It also involves systematically dismantling systems of oppression that have barred people from those groups from achieving success.

The murder of George Floyd and the ensuing protests was a watershed moment that pushed companies like Nike and Ben & Jerry’s to reexamine their diversity practices and publicly commit…


How 7 Modern Leaders Operationalized The Value of Innovation

Illustrations by Samtrez Crawley // Additional Research & Writing by Jasmine Williams

Innovation often happens when we least expect it. When Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, he was looking for ways to cure various diseases. He didn’t have much luck until he took a second look at a contaminated Petri dish, which ended up being the basis for his great discovery.

Then there’s John Hopps, inventor of the pacemaker. When he started looking at the problem of restarting a heart as a mechanical problem instead of a medical one, that mental shift led to the pacemaker’s creation.

Now innovation doesn’t only apply to inventions or Nobel Prize-worthy discoveries. It’s an essential value…


How 7 Modern Leaders Operationalized The Value of Servitude

Illustrations by Samtrez Crawley // Additional Research & Writing by Jasmine Williams

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically amplified levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in our world. Whether during this pandemic or other times of adversity, people tend to duck for cover, retreat, and turn inward. We become fiercely protective of ourselves and focus on what we can control, which are often our own personal wants and needs.

Our world might be different now, but if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t overlook the value of servitude. Rather than retreat into themselves, servant leaders, regardless of the circumstances, remain focused on serving and uplifting those around them. Helping…


Lessons from a Year of Maximizing

Seven years ago, my friend Dev Basu inspired me to compile a list of lessons learned during 365-day rotations around the Sun. My anthology includes orbits number 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31. This is 32.

1. The most infectious thing about COVID-19 is the truth.

At some level, every person on the planet is striving to transcend three primary conditions: 1) Poverty, 2) Ignorance, and 3) Vulnerability. In the B.C. (Before Coronavirus) period, you could easily choose to ignore your lack of progress in these areas. You could lie to others, and worse, you could lie to yourself. But the circumstances produced by the pandemic have compelled you…


Lessons From a Year of Abundance

Six years ago, my friend Dev Basu inspired me to compile a list of lessons learned during 365-day rotations around the Sun. My anthology includes orbits number 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30. This is 31.

1. Operate from a place of excess.

Pass the plug. Generosity is a paradox: the more you give, the more you receive. Give from your heart without any expectation of return, no matter how little you have (for now).

2. Talk yourself into it.

Thoughts become things. You generate the results in life that you think you deserve. Unfalteringly believe that you deserve all of the good things coming your way. Invite them in.

3. Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.

Don’t just…


Hamza Khan’s 2019 UTSC Convocation Address

Good afternoon, UTSC Graduating Class of 2019. I’m thrilled to be here with you, celebrating this milestone alongside your friends and family. The opportunity to address you is a tremendous honour. I want to give a shoutout to Michelle Fong, Regan Tigno, and the numerous faculty, staff, students, and volunteers who made today possible. I want to recognize Professor Wisdom Tettey, Professor William A. Gough, and the rest of my esteemed colleagues on this stage. …


Friendly advice for my cousin and other first-year students.

Today’s the first day of a new semester. It’s also the first day of a critical new chapter in your life. You’ve made the successful journey from high school to post-secondary. Congratulations! Now consider that what got you here isn’t necessarily everything that will get you to where you’re going. Over the next few months, you’ll need to begin investing heavily in generating the maximum leverage, optionality, and adaptability required to land your dream job (or whatever’s waiting for you once you step off the convocation stage). It’s not going to be easy. But then again, nothing worth doing ever…


Lessons From a Year of Foundations

Five years ago, my friend Dev Basu inspired me to compile a list of lessons learned during 365-day rotations around the sun. My anthology includes orbits numbers 26, 27, 28, and 29. This is 30.

1. You won’t master what you don’t enjoy.

If it’s not fun, you’re not going to do a lot of it. And if you don’t do a lot of it, you’ll never master it. Do what you love, and love what you do.

2. Value consistency over intensity.

If you want lasting results, do small and imperative things regularly. Consistency over time equals results. Castles are built one brick at a time.

3. Have one foot in mastery and another in exploration.

Remain open to adventure. But before…


Get The Most Out Of Your Informational Interview

Within the first five minutes of my meeting with Clarissa, I suspected that I had made a mistake. And by the ten-minute mark of this informational interview, my suspicions were confirmed; Clarissa—a recent graduate—offered to buy me coffee in exchange for picking my brain. And as usual, I was happy to oblige. We booked an hour-long chat at a nearby coffee shop and I came prepared to give her every possible insight I had into making the successful transition from post-secondary to a dream job. But when we met, for ten minutes straight, all this young lady did was talk…

Hamza Khan

Managing Director @StudentLifeNet. Author of #TheBurnoutGamble. TED & Keynote Speaker. Multi-Award Winning Marketer & Entrepreneur. hamzakhan.ca

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