A True Leadership Story: Between Cultural Restrictions and Finding your own Path

Rasha Oudeh told us her story to become a leader which turned into a standing ovation. Born and raised in Jordan, Rasha grew up in a humbled family as the oldest with seven siblings. With the parents not educated at all, Rasha’s youth was characterised by a lot of responsibilities.

Fight to Survive

She attended a community college paid by her aunt, teaching Windows 95 and 97, largely contributing to family finances when her father retired. When at 27 being offered a job in the pharma industry, she fought one of the most significant fights with herself.

”I cannot think I’m smart.”

Rasha’s background and the voice of her father implanted in her head fought against her ambition. In the end, her courage won.

”It needs a transformation surgeon to transform your mind.”

Working in two distinct cultures – Germany and the Middle East – she especially had to fight in the Middle East against the stereotype of a secretary, fighting income, sexual and social pressures.

This unimaginable environment did not discourage her. After years of choosing from what is given, Rasha decided to choose what she wants, definitely defeating the ”avoid” mindset her father has equipped her with. From that point on, she stopped evaluating the world in terms of what is forbidden.

Find your Path

Even though it has been hard, she reflects upon that time and draws out key lessons for ones still on that path to finding the confidence in themselves:


Fear is something that only you can see, and that affects you a lot.


You need sustainable human relations to function properly.


Be focused! Focus is the margin between fail and success.


Enjoy giving back your experience and competence.


Go out of your comfort zone.

This story proved that leadership is not an inborn, genetically predicted skill but a learnt mindset that can be fostered with education and coaching – it is all in your mind.

What do you think – is leadership genetic or subject to mindset?

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9 thoughts on “A True Leadership Story: Between Cultural Restrictions and Finding your own Path

  1. Such an inspiring article, this motivates me to try even harder to reach my goals, if Rasha can do it, so can I 🙂

  2. As an arab woman myself, I am proud that she managed to achieve so much in life. Will follow her tips, thanks Rasha for sharing your story with us. 🙂

  3. The event felt like a life achievement and it wasn’t an easy feat for me to talk about the difficult life I have had at such a huge and important event. While I was unsure about how the response would be, I was extremely pleased with the standing ovation I received. Thank you all

  4. A truly inspiring success story to everyone; especially women in the beginning of our careers. My heartiest congratulations on your well-earned success and many years of great achievements ahead!

  5. A truly inspiring success story; especially for women in the beginning of our careers looking for an achieving figure to look up to! My heartiest congratulations on your well-earned success and many years of great achievements ahead.

  6. A true inspirational speech delivered by a true leader that shall be considered as a role model. The Jordanian entrepreneur Ms. Rasha Oudeh deserves praise because of not only her success, but because of
    her positive influence on everyone;Thank you for an enlightening and stimulating presentation.
    To conclude, I think that leadership is definitely a learnt mindset.

  7. Thank you Mrs. Oudeh for sharing your amazing story! It’s truly inspiring. I have translated it in french and share it with all my women friends and relatives to take advantage of your story to build their own. Cinema producers should make a movie of your life story to help women in general to take care of their own life. After reading your story, my wife have decided to to stop working for others (road construction company) and start her own business as wedding planner, the job she was always willing to do by herself… Thanks again for the incredible inspiration you brought to women. Keep it up! Cheers.

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