Thriving & Leading 2024: Insights on Powerful Leadership with Noona – Founder of Neo Noor.

Get to know the driving force behind Neo Noor, Noona Nafousi, a coaching business that empowers people in their careers! With a vision to help others discover their potential and thrive, she’s making waves in the world of personal development. Join her mission to unlock power and confidence in individuals!

UH: How did you start Neo Noor?

Noona Nafousi: Neo Noor was born from a vision of mine to empower individuals in their careers. I got made redundant during covid where I had been working that got really for 2 years where I lost my voice and my confidence. After I healed, I decided to help others to tap into their potential and show up as the best, most powerful version of themselves. What started as a commitment to personal growth has evolved into a business for transformative coaching to others and I could not be prouder of my business.

UH: What or who inspired you to take this path?

Noona Nafousi: My inspiration to personal development has always come from my dad. I grew up to him playing “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” to me on our morning car journeys to school and I’ve been obsessed with how we can use our mind to better ourselves ever since.

UH: When did you start dreaming to do what you are doing right now?

Noona Nafousi: The dream started very early in my career. I never knew then that I could open a business doing what I do now. I qualified as a Master NLP Practitioner at the age of 26 and always dreamed of opening a company where I helped people to understand how to use their brains to create dramatic changes in their lives.

UH: Who is your biggest supporter?

Noona Nafousi: My husband and my dad. They both really encouraged me when I decided to set up my business and have been my biggest cheerleaders since I have. I still call them both every time I’m in an article or win a big contract or one of my clients writes me an amazing testimonial and their joy is still as if it’s my first, even 4 years on.

UH: How do you apply what you always say to yourself to the people around you family & friends?

Noona Nafousi: I always tell my children that they have the power to change how they feel through what they are saying to themselves and the images they create in their mind. I speak to them about personal power and self-belief. They are only 7 and 9 but they get it. Kids are amazing at grasping personal development concepts as they don’t have the internal chit-chatter to tell them otherwise. I love dropping little gold nuggets to my friends and family to help them get that boost they need to change their mindset.

UH: How does it feel to make someone experience the best version of themselves?

Noona Nafousi: Honestly, nothing in this world gives me more joy. It really is what I have been put on this earth for. Seeing people transform their lives by being kinder to themselves, speaking up or finally being able to do something that gave them so much fear before is so rewarding. Seeing them finally being free from the invisible shackles of their mind, allowing them to finally get results they have been wanting for so long is the biggest gift. Having their friends and families also react to this new version of them is one of the incredible parts of my job. The ripple effect of one person doing the work in a family or a team is huge. 

UH: What do you want to do for everyone attending your session?

Noona Nafousi: For them to know that they have a choice. That change is possible. So many are not aware that they can actually change. It does not mean everyone has to change but to give people the choice that they can if they so decide is my wish for everyone. Choice gives people their freedom back and that is powerful.

UH: How do you see the best thing in every person?

Noona Nafousi: Easy. I can see the best in others because I can see the best in myself. It is impossible to give others what you don’t give yourself. I have a deep sense of compassion and empathy for others because I have learnt to do that for myself. I see people in their power because I can see the change, I have created in myself.

UH: What is important about having leadership skills?

Noona Nafousi: For me the most important thing is it allows you to lead yourself. Once you can lead yourself through tough time, through stress, through difficult situations then you can lead others. It is so powerful to have that trust in yourself that you will be OK no matter what in any given situation and in turn people want to be led by people who have that attitude.

UH: How would someone stepping into a leadership role for the first time prepare themselves?

Noona Nafousi: By embracing a growth mindset, seeking mentorship, and committing to continuous learning and self-reflection. Also learning to take radical responsivity for your own triggers and behaviours. The more you learn to deal with yourself and your own emotions the stronger you are to be able to deal with that of the people you manage.


UH: What tips can be done to make someone feel more comfortable while leading any type of group?

Noona Nafousi: Firstly, it is learning to do what you say you are going to do. When you can honour your word to yourself you become the most powerful person in the room, and you build your confidence from within. The more confident you are the more comfortable you get with leading and making tough decisions.

Secondly, it is to get really comfortable with failure. The less you make failure mean anything about you, the braver you become and the more you will encourage your team to step out of their comfort zone and take actions because that is the only way to increase productivity and in turn revenue.

UH: What do you think makes people afraid of being in a position that requires leadership?

Noona Nafousi: Fear of failure, judgment, and the responsibility of influencing others. Hence, why it is so important to work on yourself when you become a leader.

UH: What is feminine leadership to Noona?

Noona Nafousi: Feminine leadership to me is about embracing empathy, collaboration, and intuition, creating a leadership style that’s inclusive and transformative. It Is about having a deep sense of trust in yourself and others and being able to receive. By receiving I mean, receiving help, money, compliments, and appreciation.

UH: To what extent do you think feminine leading with intuition could make a difference in the corporate industry?

Noona Nafousi: Intuition is a powerful tool for understanding unspoken needs and can lead to more nuanced and innovative decision-making in the corporate world. Women at 16x more intuitive than men and it is a gift we have that, if taught, encouraged, and used properly we can make some very difficult decision with a lot of inner wisdom, power and certainty.

UH: What do you think are the problems that females face to be a leader in anything? & how to face these problems?

Noona Nafousi: Women often confront biases and societal expectations. Overcoming these requires resilience, support networks, and challenging the status quo. There are many women that hold middle management but there seems to be a decline when it comes to holding C-Suite level positions. To change this requires a change in maternity policy in the region as well as quote from companies to have a certain number of women being internally hired or promoted into these roles.

UH: What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced as a female in this position? & how did you get through it?

Noona Nafousi: I have 2 children under 2 in my late 30’s early 40’s and the challenge was on a personal level was not being able to stay late when needed. Also not always being able to be there for the kids when they started nursery and got sick a lot in the beginning. Mum guilt was a big thing too. To overcome it, I made the decision to be 100% with my kids when I was with the kids and 100% at home when I was at home.

UH: How would you define women in leadership positions in the modern day vs the old days and how do you see it in the future?

Noona Nafousi: Women today are redefining leadership with diverse styles and strengths. The future is bright, as more inclusive mindsets take root and women continue to break glass ceilings. Women are certainty much more vocal about discrimination in the workplace then they use to be and are not willing to put up with derogatory comments from the opposite gender. This definitely not the case previously.

UH: What is the most dangerous behaviour/trait that you have seen derail female leaders’ careers?

Noona Nafousi: People pleasing is a big one that comes up a lot as well as fear of using their voice and speaking out. People pleasing also can lead to burnout and stems from lack of self-worth normally.

UH: Do women in your field of work find it difficult to advance?

Noona Nafousi: Challenges can be there to persist, but the landscape is changing as awareness grows and more women support each other in climbing the ladder. I always say that for women empowerment to really take place, us women need to empower ourselves first. This is where self leadership is so important on so many fronts.

UH: What advice do you have for women looking to grow either their own business or within the company they work for?

Noona Nafousi: Believing in yourself when you have zero evidence that will work is one of the most courageous things you can do, so hold that courage for yourself. Surround yourself with people who want to see you raise, protect your energy and time like your life depends on it and work on yourself because you will have to uncover versions of yourself that you will have to hold. And finally enjoy the journey. 

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