When he found his true calling, he went against the grain to pursue his passion and inspire others. Arham Faraaz, a former software engineer, discovered his talent for motivating others during his stint at a leading multinational company. “I was appointed the project lead in spite of there being seniors. I was told they gave me the post because they noticed my ability to inspire others. I mentored a team of 60 in the development forum and that’s when I discovered my passion for motivational speaking,” says Arham.

The 30-year-old always had a penchant for teaching. “I loved Maths when I was in school. I used to teach my friends and it gave me a lot of joy.”

Arham’s initiative L.E.A.D—Learn. Excel. Achieve. Drive won an all-India level competition, held by sparktherise.com. Early this year, he quit his job and established the Arham Faraaz Leadership Academy. “The institute focuses on corporate leadership development and student leadership development.” He has trained students of various disciplines, from engineering to MBA graduates.

Arham has a list of achievements to his name, including a speaking event at Bidar to a gathering of close to 700 students. His most important milestone to date is being one of the co-authors of Against The Grain by the motivational speaker and author, Brian Tracy. “I have not written a self-help essay. It’s a story of a boy and his personal development.”

Arham got in touch with Brian through his Facebook fan page. “I was approached by Nick Nanton, the founder-director of CelebrityPress publication, to write for Against The Grain,” says Arham.

Arham doesn’t say things like “be positive” or “believe in your dream”, he suggests practical, even simple tips to achieve what you would like to. If you want to start something of your own, but are confused about what you are good at, Arham says: “Get feedback from your friends and family about your strengths and weaknesses, and then start building on it.”

Arham says leadership is about connecting with people, and has got nothing to do with positions and titles. In fact, he believes in succeeding without a title. “People think the day they get a position will they succeed. But I believe if you ignore your title or position and focus on your personal development, you can be successful. You start getting more responsibilities as a result of you adding value. And that’s why I believe any person can succeed without a title.”

The key requirements of being a successful leader, Arham says, are: “Start with a smile, stand up and greet others with respect. Develop good listening skills, be competent and focus on personal development, if you grow yourself, you will inspire others to grow. Consistency is very important and that comes with self-discipline, which you have to impose on yourself. Discipline, punctuality and efficiency are important. Do something consistently for 40 days to develop a good habit.”

To those burdened by financial constraints and personal responsibilities, but still nurture a dream, Arham advises: “Start with a positive attitude. One of my colleagues used to tell me as long as I am physically fit and can think, I can achieve what I set my mind to.”

Arham says the significance of one makes a difference. And he concludes by quoting a popular saying: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Against The Grain, a CelebrityPress publication is available on amazon.com.

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