What is your life CHI style?

Photo by Thao Le Hoang on Unsplash

“Overnight success takes 10 years.”

Rainer Figalo

I was having a discussion with a colleague in Airbus, Rainer Figalo. We were talking about the challenges to build long, lasting impact within our company in particular and in the world in general.

This is when he shared with me the above quote that he was inspired by.

Rainer is a friend at work, I like to call him my buddy, and especially my HugBuddy. We met thanks to our internal social platform called the Hub.

We are Hubbuddies, meaning employees called hubbuddy who support other colleagues on the platform.

He’s based in Hamburg, Germany and me in Toulouse, France. So most of our exchanges were virtual conversations, behind the screen.

Then we met IRL (In Real Life) for one internal event that was hosted in Toulouse.

Have you ever discussed with people in dating apps and then met IRL?

Often it’s kind of awkward, nobody knows what to say.

For Rainer and me, it was totally different. He came directly to see me and said: “Hey Mad, this is the Rainer, the Hubbudy.” And there was the start of our bromance!

My nickname is Mad, one that was given to me by a friend when in engineering school, a derivative form ahMADou.

Mad is the name that I first gave to my wife, when we met for the first time at a party. Indeed when I meet new people at parties, I always tell them that my name is Mad.

In 2018, I started vlogging in Airbus. I created an interview series that I called Chillaxing with…, you guessed it, Mad.

It’s a monthly release in our internal social platform where I choose and interview people that inspire me.

So Rainer was one of my guests in the first season in 2018. And I recall during the interview Rainer sharing that he practices Tai-Chi every day and it helps him be more present and grounded.

During our exchange, I could feel that I was inspired by Rainer as a leader.

Then I asked myself, among all things, what can make each of us a leader, not necessarily a natural born leader?

Inspired by the practice of Tai Chi by Rainer, I derived the key daily exercise to perform daily to be a great leader.

I called it the life CHI style:


As a leader, I always strive to learn new things to be more skilled. I believe that as leaders, we should move from “know it all” to “learn it all”. I like to see my skills as colors. The more colors I have in my palette, the more vivid and colorful paintings I can bring into life.

For me, competence as a leader, means to develop the skills to help oneself and to support others. It also means to develop emotional intelligence and to be able to inspire others.


As a leader, I believe humility is key to be grounded into reality. Being humble for me is to remember that I am mortal on one side and that I will fade away no matter how much power I think I have. On the other side, it means being able to be open minded and to be a student of life. It means that I know that there is something that each person I meet can teach me.

As my GranPa used to say: “Between life and death, no one can close a book.


Integrity for le means to do the right thing even if nobody is watching. It also means to be myself at home and also at work. I believe that we need to integrate our whole being in our life. For me Bruce Lee is the example of being our whole self everywhere.

I encourage you to watch the TED talk: What Bruce Lee can teach us about living fully, by her daughter Shannon Lee.

Only when we integrate the person in front of the mirror that we can operate at our full potential.

This is my Life CHI style that I apply every day because: “Consistency beats intensity, always.

What is your Life CHI style? What kind of leaders inspired you?

Leave a comment below.

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You can read my previous article on Airbus Africa Community Forum 2019: The Beats of Africa! (Medium)

Photo by Thao Le Hoang on Unsplash



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Ahmadou Diallo ✪

🤎 Afropean 📖 Griot 🧙🏿‍♂️Mentor 💪🏿 Entrepreneur