We're creating A Fun & Affordable Mental Fitness Gym for IT Leaders & their Teams

We help you recharge, refocus, and get stronger so that you can Lead your Team with Ease & Flow

We’ve been there – We get IT – We’ve got your back, even when others don’t.

We stand by you when things get tough when your goals seem out of reach when you need someone to talk to so that you can stand tall, calm, balanced, clear-headed, and confident in your power – in any leadership role & situation.

Founded by Ali Farahani, a former CIO/CTO & Leadership Coach, and Lucie Tesarova, a PQ Mental Fitness Trainer, our mission is to create a fun, affordable, science-based & technology-backed Mental Fitness Gym for IT leaders & their teams so that they can improve their performance, wellbeing, and relationship with ease & flow.

Victorious warriors win first in their minds, and then go to war. Defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. 

Sun Tzu, Author of the Art of War (544 BCE - 496 BCE)
  • Does going to work feel like waging a daily war at times?
  • Feeling like the attacks are coming from all possible angles?
  • Do you wish that work instead of war would feel like a play?

If you are

  • Tired of being attacked – by your outer or inner enemies of judgments, doubts, and disempowering thoughts,
  • Feeling isolated, lacking support
  • Wishing for a more positive circle of peers & mentors
  • Ready and motivated to turn the war into a game with our support

… then join us! 

Allow yourself to be supported so that you can support and lead powerfully your teams and organization.

With us, you can become victorious. And turn the war into a play.

Start with your inner game first. 

  • We train you.
  • We guide you.
  • We support you.

So then you can go, and lead powerfully from within – no matter in what environment you happen to be.

With us, you are not in the fight alone. 

We have your back.

And we make you win and transform not just your inner game, but also the cultural game in your company.

Ready for your inner game training to begin? 


One Simple Way Not to Fail as a new CIO

One Simple Way Not to Fail as a new CIO

Begin challenging your assumptions. Your assumptions are the windows to the world. Scrub them off every once in a while or the light won’t come in.

Alan Alda

At any given time, we’re faced with two choices: to assume what we know is the truth or to seek out the truth. While we can argue that not all of our assumptions are false or harmful, they don’t bring us closer to reality. To be successful in life, one must be in touch with reality. 

Often young IT managers’ version of reality is not in sync with outside reality. This disconnect causes shadowy gaps in their perception, gaps that get filled with assumptions, reduces their effectiveness as leaders. The following case study demonstrates the destructive effect of assumptions on new CIOs ‘ career development and how they can transform their leadership style by applying the power tool of inquiry.  

Case 1: A Case Full of Assumptions

Samantha was the youngest IT manager in an International Organization. One day, to her surprise, the board selected her as the new Chief Information Officer. Motivated but confused, she assumed that there must be a reason they have chosen her over other more senior managers. She thought: “What is the catch? I’m not senior enough to be a CIO.” Next, she heard a rumor that she was not the board’s first choice, and some managers and members of the previous CIO’s team were against her nomination. She assumed they didn’t like her or believe in her. Consumed by her dark thoughts, she decided not to trust the new team as they may be in cahoots with opposing managers. She decided to trust herself and prove that she was the correct woman for the job.

In the following months, she defined a comprehensive digital transformation plan and attended multiple CIO leadership workshops. She spent most of her time working on ways to improve IT’s image. But to her dissatisfaction, nothing worked as she planned. The board didn’t sign off on her initiatives, the opposing directors’ attacks took all her energy, and IT quality got worse. Her team couldn’t follow her instructions and didn’t support her when she needed them most.

Assuming that her employees are not the best in their job, she recruited new talents. Still, the quality didn’t improve, and managers kept sabotaging her initiatives until the board canceled them. She concluded that the CIO role is too big for her, but the admission will be a sign of weakness, so she blamed others.

Naturally, she focused her attention on the opposition. She assumed the board’s disapproval of her initiatives is due to the opposing managers’ false picture. Thinking that they see her as a weak leader, she answered fire with fire. Consumed by political fights, she lost her objectivity. Things got escalated, and people started to quit. All the whole organization suffered from indecision and inaction. As a last resort, assuming that the organization needs her, she threatened the board with her resignation. To her surprise, they happily accepted.

While reading Tanja’s story, what pattern keeps popping up? Yes, she made most of her decisions based on assumptions. She lost a fantastic opportunity and affected other people’s lives.

Case 2: A Case for Inquiry

But what if Samantha would not have assumed anything? Let’s explore:

She meets with the board and inquires about circumstances leading to her assignment. They tell her that she is a knowledgeable manager with the necessary grit for leading the organization to a new digital era. She asks whether she was their first choice. They might tell her that few managers were unsure if other IT managers would follow her leadership as she is young and less experienced. But the board decided to trust their intuition and give her a chance. Trusted by upper management and confident that her performance and skills made her the only viable choice, she realizes that the opposing managers’ objection provides her with a unique opportunity. By leveraging her knowledge, she can gain their support and use their experience and influence to become more effective.

This time, Samantha has no dark assumption about hidden agendas. She meets with her new team and asks their opinion towards her assignment, the state of IT, and improvements in a confident way. Her self-esteem resonates with employees. They feel encouraged and inspired by their new boss. She knows now that she can count on her team. Samantha does not feel the urge to prove herself, and no enemies are waiting for her to make mistakes. Focused, she moves her attention to the big picture: the organization’s mission. Together with other senior managers, Samantha hosts workshops with the stakeholders to understand their priorities and ways to benefit from digital technology. Well-informed and supported by her team, her well-crafted initiatives receive the board’s approval.

Following several complaints from some senior management, she assumes nothing. She trusts her team, and they trust her. She asks for objective inquiry into the matter. Firm and factual, she demonstrates the fallacy of their complaints and questions their intentions. Samantha’s correct posture makes her a formidable leader who worth strong alliance.

Which Samantha are you? What are your similar experiences? I would love to hear your story! Schedule a free call with me here.

Ali Farahani

Ali Farahani (AlFa) is a Mental Fitness Trainer, IT Veteran, and a Certified Professional Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Academy & with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and a former CIO/CTO. When he's not supporting his clients in their leadership role, and with their teams, he delivers experiential & powerful weekly group trainings & coaching programs for IT leaders & their teams. He has held keynotes on the subjects, such as IT Leadership and The Changing Role of CIOs in the digital era at MDM Media, and IDC events.

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