Leader’s Insights: Sean Alimov

Sean Alimov

The Future interrogates -kindly- the high management floor

Welcome to the Leadership Echoes, a place where The Future, asks the simplest, yet, the most interesting questions to the executives of well-known companies, startups and innovators.

This time, under the light of the interrogation, is Sean Alimov, founder of Youth Tech Fest, an initiative aimed at promoting digital literacy and encouraging young people to engage in fields such as technology, science, and entrepreneurship. Youth Tech Fest organizes events that feature a variety of interactive activities, workshops, and masterclasses designed to ignite curiosity and passion in children and adolescents from 4 to 18 years old. The events cover areas such as robotics, gaming, XR/VR, woodworking, and more, and are led by experienced educators, engineers, scientists, and programmers​.

Alimov’s vision for Youth Tech Fest is to create an inclusive platform that offers equal opportunities for all children, regardless of their socio-economic background or gender. The festival also includes a Youth Tech Summit, where international experts and thought leaders share best practices and insights with policymakers, educators, and business representatives. This aims to foster long-term collaborative relationships and sustainable programs that inspire young people to pursue careers in ESTEAM (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) fields​.

Let’s see what Alimov has to say…

1. Do you remember your first day on the job at World Trade Group?

My first day at the World Trade Group (WTG) was quite daunting. WTG was an international provider of business-to-business events, training and online lead-generation services. There were over 100 salespeople crammed into a small building in central London. It was kind of a “boiler room” environment with everyone trying to outshout each other to make sales.

On my first day, I had to shadow sales executives in the Pharma department who were making outbound cold calls with the view to making sponsorship sales for one of the events in their portfolio. Apart from a couple of experienced guys who were rebooking, all the other 8 guys had the phones put down on them or told to stop calling them.

2. What is more difficult: being interviewed to join a team or doing the interviews yourself?

Definitely doing the interviews myself. There was a mismatch of credentials that HR and management were selecting and the personal qualities and circumstances that I was searching for. 

3. What do you most value in your employees?

Having recruited mainly for sales roles, I value most employees’ motivations and goals in their lives. The second most valuable will be personality traits and flairs especially when it comes to communication. Third is the cultural fit and the acumen – not just for internal alignment with the company’s goals and vision but also for target markets.

4. Which is a motto/quote you use in your work?

“Less is more”

5. If you were back to the start, what would you advise yourself for a great career?

I would advise myself to do exactly what I have done.

6. How do you pump up your creativity?

I try doing things I have never done (most recently I tried pottery), I research, connect and communicate with experts and thought leaders, blue sky thinking and brainstorming at work.

7. What is a talent you would like to have?

Discovering one’s true calling

8. How do you balance work and personal life?

I don’t believe in work-life balance. These two should be seen as intertwined and not in competition for your time. In my experience, important life events affected my work, and whatever happens at work often affects me and my family. My attempts to separate them resulted in misery and a lot of stress. If I need to do a school run in the morning and afternoon, I simply block my calendar. If I have to be away to see clients, I make arrangements to ensure that everything is taken care of at home. 

9. Your top five foods you like in Cyprus?

Anari and halloumi cheese, kleftiko, moussaka and for dessert loukoumades

10. Can you name your top five favourite places in Cyprus?

For sandy beaches and azure sea, it has to be Protaras, amazing mountain scenery in Kakopetria and Omodos, Larnaca for authentic and fresh seafood, and Nicosia for history.

11. Which personality, throughout history, do you admire most?

Muhammad Ali

12. Who is your favourite author/book that helped your career?

Malcolm Gladwell / Outliers

13. Where would you advise our readers to go this summer?

Cinque Terre, Italy


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