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Fireside chat with Mutaaf Aziz, Senior Engineering Manager

Mutaaf Aziz is striving to enhance his abilities as a force multiplying leader. As a Senior Engineering Manager he firmly believes that leadership is an exponential equation. The best leaders have a force multiplying impact on their team/organization by developing difference makers into great leaders. This proliferation of leadership throughout the organization drives improved performance, which is the exponential effect of a force multiplying leader.

Combining leadership with tangible skills is key, which is why being a results-driven engineer with demonstrated success in the design, development and deployment of large-scale enterprise applications for the autonomous vehicle, financial, energy, health care and airline industries gives me the ability to gain a deeper understanding of any organization end to end.

More about Mutaaf and his experience can be found below:

Tell us more about your role in Motorola Solutions?

My job at Motorola Solutions is to create and execute to a compelling vision of a digitally powered future for MSI’s Video Security and Analytics organization. This can mean different things on different days, some days its fostering conversations so that people, on and around my team, can understand the vision and what it means for them, other days, it’s solutionizing innovative ways to clean up legacy situations with minimal customer impact. In summary, my job is to create a capability to transform within teams, not just a set of transformation projects. When that happens, digital transformation never stops. Instead, it becomes an ongoing process in which employees and their leaders continually identify new ways to change the company for the better.

What is the most difficult part of your job? But the most rewarding one?

For me the answer to both of these is one in the same, coaching and mentoring. As a former athlete on multiple team sports, it is a part of my DNA to iterate and grow ie. ‘Practice makes perfect’, however, as an engineer the planning and upfront complex thinking it takes to iterate towards a goal is not something that’s inherent. This skill needs to be grown and matured. That’s where, for me, it is the most difficult and rewarding. The ability to be patient and coach a team while driving urgency and accountability in the same individuals to meet a goal for the customer and business at large is never the same for any feature or product. 

Is there anything that you would change about your professional path?

This is probably a cliche way to look at it, but I wouldn’t want to change anything about my path to this point in my career. I’m a firm believer in everything happening for a reason and also being ready to take advantage of transitions in your life, professional or personal.

What’s your key strategy for the development of your company?

The key strategy for my teams is developing a ‘growth mindset’ within all individuals. Dr. Carol Dweck has a great book called ‘Mindset’ which is a great tool that I’ve used to help cultivate that through my teams. The basic premise is, that all humans can either have a ‘fixed’ or ‘growth’ mindset. Through a series of cognitive tests on children and professionals its been proven that those with a ‘growth’ mindset have the capacity to achieve the most success in life due to the constant thirst for knowledge and growth.

What do you think about the next period of time, keeping in mind the pandemic and the new business climate? How will your industry be affected?

The future is going to be quite interesting, I think as a society we will have to take on a more proactive approach to prevent/limit future pandemics from occurring. There is a marriage of technology and medicine that has never been possible before; with GPUs and CPUs so cheap these days even the most cash-strapped companies can build insights on the data they collect daily. 

What books do you have on your nightstand?

I have a few books that are constants on my ‘virtual’ nightstand:

  • Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella
  • Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck
  • The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
  • Drive by Dan Pink
  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson 

Our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss about their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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