Q&A with Rhogene Dadashzadeh, Forty Under 40 Winner 2021, Associate director, business banking market development, commercial banking, Scotiabank, Age 38
Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?
My family, especially my mum, dad and sister.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Romantic comedies. I am a sucker for a predictable happily ever after.
What is the best book you would recommend?
Anything by Simon Sinek, but especially The Infinite Game. Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink was everything I needed to hear in my mid-twenties to trust my gut and to take the path less travelled.
Now that you are (or are close to) entering your forties, what goals have you set for yourself?
So many goals left to achieve, and right at the top is learning to be more present in the moment.
What was your childhood career dream?
Pilot — as a little kid I thought they brought the world together and that, to me, was just perfection.
Name your happiest place.
Near a body of water (beach, lake, river, hot spring).
What was your toughest business or professional decision?
Working up the courage to jump from one career and industry to another. It has really helped my professional breadth, depth and network, but it has been a tough decision every time.
Advice you would give your 20-year-old self?
Build a diverse network! Ask for and listen to their advice, let their perspectives inform you, take the time to understand what truly matters to you, then always go with your gut.
What is your best habit?
I try to call my mum every day regardless of where we both are, usually on my drive home.
Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.
I am an introvert (I know, shocking!). As Simon Sinek describes it: extroverts gain energy from social interactions, where introverts need to recharge afterwards.
Best piece of advice ever received?
From my dad, when I got my first job: “Never ever compromise your values or ethics; no deal, promotion, gain or job is worth that. Even if it means resigning on the spot, do the right thing — then come home and we will figure it out.”
Biggest learning (about life or business) during the pandemic?
A reminder of how interconnected we all are and the importance of being kind, understanding and generous with your time, talent, resources, and care.
What career highlight are you most proud of?
I will forever look back at my time at Telus with incredible pride and gratitude. I am very excited for my current mandates and grateful to my leadership at Scotiabank for their trust.