As a veteran TEDx organizer, Ghiabi answers to 5 key questions of TEDxInnovations Blog.
What do you wish someone told you about managing a team before you organized a TEDx event?
Ghiabi: That it is not “management.” It takes “leadership” instead. It cannot feel in any way like an obligation.
What have you learned about managing a team from organizing your event?
Ghiabi: I learned to be transparent and communicate clearly. I try my best to keep the team fully informed of goals, priorities and important deadlines. I also learned to walk my talk. If I devote time and energy, I can expect devotion from the team.
What is something special you do for your volunteer team?
Ghiabi: I become their friend. By this, I mean I actively work to understand why they are part of the team, and if it is for the right cause, I’ll make sure they get what they came for.
If you could give a new TEDx organizer one piece of advice on managing a team, what would it be?
Ghiabi: Be professional, transparent and empathic. Be your best when you are among your team. Volunteers are there to feel good about themselves, so be someone they feel good around.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Ghiabi: When I first became the organizer of my event, it was because the previous licensee — Sara Mohammadi — passed me the torch. She trusted me, and that is inspirational to me. It is worth a million when someone trusts you with something worthy. I had some serious challenges with the team afterwards, but what kept my heart in place was a clear vision of what we were going after.
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