Journeying Through International and Organizational Cultures, with Hamsa Daher

Mar 18, 2020


With an MBA and 14+ years of unique professional experiences, Hamsa Daher leveraged her authentic passions to shape her career and skill set. Focusing on equal parts people, process and growth, Hamsa’s brand of leadership transforms a vision into reality and ensures that the journey there is as effective as it is fun.

Hamsa moved to the U.S. 24 years ago and learned English as a second language. After earning her MBA, she joined the team at Walsh College as a leader for International Students & New Markets. There, she worked to implement and improve procedures and policies for international students, exceeding enrollment goals and improving retention.

Shortly after, Hamsa served as Director of Walsh College’s Novi Campus, managing student services and partnering with key community organizations to maximize awareness. After nine successful years with Walsh College, a new opportunity arrived at Mango Languages: a leading provider of online language-learning in North America. An energized company with a start-up vibe, a company like Mango was a great match for Hamsa’s business sensibility. As Mango’s HR Director and later COO, she created and implemented structure company-wide, recruiting top talent and designing best teams.

During her tenure as COO, the company broke records. Mango experienced a 20% jump in sales and revenue in just two years, reached a landmark customer retention rate of 92%, and achieved its most profitable year in company history in 2014. Hamsa’s brand of business leadership is a cocktail of fierce vision, authentic compassion, and skillful execution which delivers outcomes that transform a company from good to great, bringing out the very best in employees and leadership.

Today, Hamsa serves as the Executive Director of Small Giants, a community focused on purpose-driven leaders. Small Giants identifies, connects, and develops members through thought leadership, training and development opportunities, and an annual gathering.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How Hamsa first connected with the Small Giants organization after her time at Mango Languages, and what type of leader makes a great member of Small Giants
  • How the Small Giants community expanded beyond business founders and CEOs to leaders throughout organizations with their Leadership Academy and what the academy offers
  • Why Hamsa defines the purpose and meaning of her work to be helping others grow and develop their leadership skills and organizations
  • How Hamsa immigrated from Iraq at twelve years old, what challenges she faced learning English and adjusting to the culture, and how she managed that transition
  • What key differences Hamsa recognizes between her time in Iraq and the United States, and how she works to celebrate and honor her culture and heritage
  • How Hamsa realized she was no longer passionate about her work at her previous job, and why she decided to make a change to return her life to balance
  • What mental, physical, and spiritual practices Hamsa follows to help maintain balance and clarity of purpose
  • What challenges and opportunities Hamsa faces in her role, and what challenges Small Giants members often face as leaders
  • What advice Hamsa would offer to Millennials who want to feel like they have a voice and role in their company’s culture
  • How to get involved with the Small Giants community, and details about the Small Giants Summit in Detroit from April 27-29


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