It is said that the hottest fires forge the strongest steel. That analogy applies very appropriately to Melody Hossaini, a world-renowned social entrepreneur who is the Co-Founder and CEO of InspirEngage International, a UK-based social enterprise.
Looking at the bright, successful working mother today, it is difficult to imagine her difficult childhood. Melody was a war refugee, an immigrant to the UK, a victim of school bullying, and was raised in a single parent household of three children.
She learned to overcome these personal barriers from a young age, and molded herself to become the inspiring representation of the indomitable human spirit she is today.
Inspiring and Supporting Millions
Melody has always been driven by the desire to fulfill her potential and to create an impact in the lives of others with her abilities. InspirEngage International is simply another step to translating that vision into reality.
Established in 2009, the company already has a global reach of over a million people and is active in more than 100 countries. More than just a company, it is a team of young men and women passionate about social change.
Some InspirEngage programs help young people become work-ready, while others like ‘Startups and Stilettos’ are aimed at women, encouraging them to become economically independent by launching their own social enterprises.
One of the unique programs the company runs is the Skills Bootcamp where participants are taken through unique and thought-provoking interactive content. It is designed to sharpen their sense of personal purpose by teaching practical skills and rebooting mindsets. The company calls its approach ‘energy wave disruption’.
“On a day-to-day basis, your energy level is pretty much in the middle until something really saddens you, excites you or motivates you,” explains Melody, “It’s at those times that a window opens to create change for personal development. We create these windows in the Bootcamp using shock tactics, resulting in long-term change in the participants.”
The company boasts an impressive corporate client portfolio, having worked with organizations like Philips, The New York Times and HSBC.
Be Delusional! Be Kind. Be Emotionally Intelligent.
That statement is not just a mantra, Melody asserts. “If you believe everything the world tells you that you can’t do then you might as well not get out of bed in the morning.”
She has herself been constantly reminded of what people perceived as her disadvantages – being young, inexperienced, female and an immigrant. Melody, being her strong, driven self, always remained a little delusional about those supposed barriers.
She took others’ advice but firmly believed in her own abilities more, something which today prompts her to say, “I think a level of delusion is essential for success.”
“Disarm people with kindness,” she adds, referring to her belief that kindness is the ultimate power. “There’s a place for it in our communities and most certainly also a place for it in business.”
Lastly, Melody stresses the importance of emotional intelligence, which has become one of the most in-demand skills of the current job market. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand people better, allowing you to introspect effectively and drive mutually-beneficial behavioral outcomes.
Melody adds, “I am pleased to also be training others to develop this ability through our programs.”
Facilitating True Social Change
On the topic of social change, Melody stresses, “True social change comes from those who are genuinely passionate about people and communities. It doesn’t stop at work hours.”
She shares an incident to highlight this. While working at a local library a few years ago, Melody overheard a young girl’s conversation with her friend. She had been offered a place at university but needed to visit in person to secure her admission. However, her family could not spare the £14 she needed to make the trip.
Just before leaving the library, Melody placed that money in an envelope and left a note that read ‘Consider this a random act of kindness. Go and visit the university of your choice.’
“Just recently, I received an email from that girl saying that she gained a place at a fantastic university for law where she is doing very well and has just won a training contract. Although I don’t by any means accept any credit, I believe small acts of kindness can have a domino effect. That girl is now supporting ethnic minority women at her university to thrive in the job market,” Melody reveals.
Balancing Lives while Looking to the Future
As a mother of two young children, Melody is always performing a balancing act between her professional and personal lives.
When she isn’t working, Melody spends time with her kids, aiding their development and working with them on their inherent emotional intelligence. “It’s going well and I am learning more than ever about the true process of personal development.”
Professionally, Melody is looking forward to helping more companies address the skills gap, an unavoidable challenge as we head into the 4th Industrial Revolution. Being a Human Investor, she concludes by saying, “That’s where the true impact will lie – in the investment and development of human skills, coupled with defining personal purpose that serves as the compass.”