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PMI’s International Development CoP Member Spotlight – Afif Tabsh, PMP, CBAP

April 26, 2013 3 comments

Dear Friends,

I’m glad to share with you the below interview/article written about me and published in Project Management Institute (PMI’s) International Development Community of Practice. Link to the official article on PMI’s website for PMI Members is here.

Enjoy the below and let me know what you think,

Afif

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International Development CoP Member Spotlight

Afif Tabsh, PMP, CBAP
Consultant & Trainer at CMCS ‚Äď Cofounder & President at Aie Serve
Lebanon

About Afif
As a management consultant and trainer at CMCS Lebanon I assist corporations and NGOs in Strategic Planning, Process Improvement, Human Capital Management, Project & Program Management and Leadership. 

I’m especially interested in the fields of Youth Empowerment, Diversity & Acceptance, Leadership, NGO & SME Management, Social Entrepreneurship, Coaching & Consultancy, and Training Techniques.

I’ve participated, organized, trained and was a guest speaker in numerous conferences, camps, workshops, conventions and seminars under Aie Serve, PMI, UNDP, UNESCO, Rotary, Youth Economic Forum, AUB Alumni Council, Arab Economic Form, LAU Peace & Justice Institute among others.

What Does International Development Mean to You?
With our growing interconnected world, global diversity is becoming a key topic on discussion panels as people from all walks of life are becoming interconnected with each other, do business together, volunteer for similar causes, even though they might be thousands of miles away.

Thus respecting differences and accepting the other has become a crucial factor of successful projects, programs and organizations at large, worldwide.

What Are You Most Passionate About?
I’m very passionate about professional volunteering, this has been reflected through the NGOs and clubs I have founded and others that I’m engaged in at the Board level.

Who Is Your Hero & Why?
My biggest hero so far has been my father who was able to balance a very busy life as a doctor with his passion for serving the community and promoting active citizenship along with taking care of his family and private life.

What Is One Strategy for Inclusion that You Can Share?
One of my best strategies is believing in the potential of individuals and focusing on respecting the differences, accepting the other and loving them for their humanity. Every person has a lot of potential to give, it’s just a matter of taking your time to understand them and see things from their perspective, know what they are good at and put it to work. When working in teams, it proves to be the best tool to really utilize the full potential of the team, as you don’t point fingers at them or have a prejudgment that they are incapable, but rather start from the preposition that they have the potential and you’re just there to uncover it.

What Exciting Projects, Programs or Portfolios Are Your Working On? 
I’m currently working on 4 very exciting programs in the volunteer youth NGO I’m leading called Aie Serve (www.AieServe.org Рhttp://www.Facebook.com/AieServe). The programs are:

  • Aie Power – Platform for Youth to Transfer Project Ideas into Reality
  • Aie Consult – Incubator & Consultancy Program for Youth Led NGOs
  • Aie Skills ‚Äď Training Program to Empower Youth with Soft, Life and Managerial skills
  • Aie Clubs – Network of Youth Lead Clubs in Universities and Local Areas that do Community Development, Service and Awareness Activities

What Is Your Favorite Book & Author?
I have 3 favorite books:

  • Who Moved My Cheese
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us¬†

What Have You Done to Change the World? What Will Your Legacy Be?
One of my proudest achievements is Aie Serve, I cannot say enough about it. I co-founded the organization 6 years ago with a group of friends from all walks of life, different countries, different majors, different ethnicity and different interests but with a shared vision: Serving The Community. From there it grew from a group of friends, to a team and an organization.

The true value of Aie Serve is not just what it does, but the fact that it is run completely by volunteers and the way it is managed internally. The core values of the organization drive it, and drive its programs and way of work. Those core values are simple, yet powerful as they make the way to move forward simple and straight forward.

Our values are: Respect, Acceptance & Love. 

Respecting others’ point of views and beliefs no matter what, accepting differences and considering them the seeds of diversity and finally, loving others for who they are, and not for their background, ethnicity, beliefs, colour or economic status.

If You¬†Weren’t¬†In Project Management, What Would You Be Doing?
If I¬†wasn’t¬†in project management I would be in the field of talent or human capital management. I believe working with, developing, empowering, and supporting people is absolutely crucial for everything we do in this world. Human potential is infinite, thus those who know how to tap into it, grow it and sustain it, will lead success.

My Addiction: Volunteerism

May 16, 2011 6 comments


Day in day out I find myself more and more indulged in volunteer work. For years now I’ve volunteered in numerous organizations, clubs, campaigns and on some personal initiatives. Yet I wonder sometimes: What makes me volunteer? What makes so many people around me volunteer as well? And how come so many others don’t even find sense and logic in why we volunteer‚Ķ

At 12 years old, I started my first¬†volunteering role in a student based organization at my school called “Student Life Organization” (SLO). I took the first step in my life-long volunteering journey but never knew that it will a life changing experience back then.

During my school years, I took several roles in the “SLO”, joined clubs and a varsity team‚Ķbut I never really thought I will go this far from university and on.

University too was full of “extra curricular activities” and so I joined clubs, committees, groups, organizations and didn’t stop there‚ĶI launched even more clubs and organizations myself‚Ķand I still serve in them day after day.

Some ask me why do I put so much time and effort? How come I don’t get bored of all those meetings, activities, workshops and projects? How come all those trainings and activities are for free and we even all pay to do them?

My answer is simple, it’s an addiction. It‚Äôs both a hobby and a conviction.

Moreover I believe it abides by Newton’s Laws of Motion (I know it isn’t meant for humans but humor me here). According to Newton‚Äôs First Law of Motion, an object at rest tends to stay at rest. Without force acting on an object, nothing will change. So if I may compare, a person at rest tends to stay at rest so we could say that all people need then is a little push, some ‚Äúforce‚ÄĚ, to get them going. And once in motion, people tend to stay in motion.

That is exactly why I constantly try to motivate or “push” people to volunteer, to do something, to join me or others in some organization/activity/campaign. You never know when this small thing you volunteer in becomes a life changing experience.

The beauty of it is that unlike regular work or chores, it’s not tiring but rather refreshing and invigorating. It fills you up with so much happiness and energy to know that you have helped someone, served your community or saved something in the environment. For me it has been the sole source of optimism and motivation to do everything else in my life.

If so many millions around the world volunteer everyday …and they keep doing it..then there should be something to it.

On a final note, I believe if you haven’t volunteered in something yet..take the first step and do something and do it now! ūüėÄ

International Clubs: Rotary

June 19, 2010 Leave a comment
Name of Organization: Rotary International

Date of Origin:
February 23,1905 AD

Founder:
Attorney Paul P. Harris

Motto:
Service Above Self

Origin:
Businessmen where invited to join to both serve each other and capture the goodwill spirit amongst the club members. The habit of rotating meeting venue in offices of members gave the organization its name “Rotary”.

Work
: Rotary members had a big role in Europe since the WWII in relief and humanitarian aid, and had an impact on the initiation of the UN.  Post WWII, Rotaray called for a conference to promote education adn cultural exchange which inspired the fouding of UNESCO. Many UN committees and departments till this day have Rotary observers present in their meetings.A major campaign they worked on was Polio+. Most clubs now work on local service projects and on sponsoring Rotaract Clubs to do similar projects and campaigns.

Sub-categories:
Rotary Clubs, Rotary Fellows, InnerWheel Clubs, Rotary Scholarship Grants, Rotaract Clubs, Interact Clubs.

Succeeding First…

April 11, 2010 6 comments

I felt like sharing some thoughts about success and one’s journey in life‚Ķso here it goes‚Ķ

Many of the people around me, especially from the civil society entourage, have that savior complex, or the martyr complex for the sake of human kind, world peace, environment, human rights, justice…etc but I believe they are forgetting one basic thing before getting to all that….and its succeeding first.

I mean succeeding in one’s life, whether academic, career-wise, family, social life..etc before being able to save the world or save anyone or anything for that matter. If one cant stand on his own feet, he wont be of much help to anyone‚Ķbecause he’ll probably be unstable and dependent on others and thus will in turn need someone to support and “save” them beforehand.

Yes I feel I have that moral obligation towards my community and my environment to assist it, to serve, to change things in a positive way….but I don’t put that before my own self…

Perhaps some people share that moral obligation, others simply work for the community or environment to enrich their resume, others for the financial income they might get…but never the less…its counter productive for anyone to start dreaming of saving anything in this world before having his/her feet strongly rooted in the ground or else the sheer weight of the responsibility will throw him/her off balance….crumbling under the endless initiatives/program/project/campaigns needed to achieve any tangible change…any sustainable endeavors.

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