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February 20, 2012

Leadership from Within

In his first book, Elias Aractingi ’82 offers leadership lessons honed through a career in finance spanning six continents.

Topics: Leadership

Elias Aractingi ’82 first had the idea for his book in Egypt — one of many stops in a career that has taken the Lebanon-born financial executive around the globe. Aractingi was overseeing the purchase and transition of a subsidiary in Egypt for BLOM Bank, Lebanon’s second largest bank.

“I noticed that some people did much better than others, especially during the change in culture and structure,” Aractingi says. “We are programmed to think that if you have the right IQ, education, experience, social skills, and opportunities, then there’s nothing more you need to succeed. But I could see other internal dimensions that separated the people who were thriving from those who weren’t. A lot of it was in the way they subconsciously thought about themselves, their team, and their customers.”

Words of Wisdom: “You don’t create if you aren’t challenged.”

That experience planted the seeds for Aractingi’s first book, the self-published Boosting You: The Book that Helps You Become a More Successful Executive, in which he shares firsthand knowledge gained from work on six continents. He is now deputy general manager in charge of organization, planning, and retail banking at BLOM Bank, which has branches and subsidiaries throughout France, the Middle East, Romania, and the UK. Aractingi has also worked as an intern in Switzerland, Germany, and Lebanon before business school. After earning his Columbia MBA, he worked for six years in New York banks before taking a position as a consultant in Asia with Booz Allen Hamilton. He left Booz as a principal in 1995 to join BLOM Bank in Lebanon.

Aractingi’s main advice for business leaders is to pay attention to gut instincts and ride the tide of success, wherever it may come from. “Use the energy that is available — the energy within you, and the energy that your team and customers are generating.”

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