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This Time It's Personal
Episode 315th February 2021 • Privacy Pros Podcast • The King of Data Protection - Jamal Ahmed
00:00:00 00:23:25

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Ever Wondered Who the Real Jamal Ahmed is?

In this week's episode, things get really personal.

We take an intimate peek into Jamal's journey as he reveals some of his inner most life changing experiences.

We discover what drives him and how he's managed to achieve the kind of success most people can only dream of in such a short space of time.

Jamal shares his ambitious plans for the future and his Hottest Top Tips for Success.

If you want to make it as a successful Privacy Pro and take your career to a new level - You can't afford to miss out on this episode!

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Connect with Jamal on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmjahmed/

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Transcripts

Intro:

Are you ready to know what you don't know about Privacy Pros? Then you're in the right place.

Intro:

Welcome to the privacy Pros Academy podcast by Kazient Privacy Experts. The podcast to launch progress and excel your career as a privacy pro.

Intro:

Hear about the latest news and developments.

Intro:

In the world of privacy, discover fascinating insights from leading global privacy professionals, and.

Intro:

Hear real stories and top tips from the people who've been where you want to get to.

Intro:

We're an official IAPP training partner.

Intro:

We've trained people in over 137 countries and counting.

Intro:

So whether you're thinking about starting a career in data privacy or you're an experienced professional, this is the podcast for you.

Jamilla:

n with the organisation since:

Jamal:

It's my pleasure and thank you for such a kind and warm introduction.

Jamilla:

What is one fact about you that no one would guess?

Jamal:

Well, I guess nobody would guess that I'm a trained Ericksonian Hypnotist.

Jamilla:

I didn't know that about you. That's very interesting.

Jamal:

There you go.

Jamilla:

Amazing. Thank you. I think we've all just learned a bit more about you now. So today on the podcast, we really want to know a bit more about your journey into data privacy and a bit about your past. And we inspire more people from a diverse range of backgrounds to get into data privacy. To start off, could you tell us a little bit about your journey into data privacy?

Jamal:

t was the Data Protection Act:

Jamilla:

So you went through a really hard, difficult time. You went through a lot of hardship. From that, you've managed to succeed and build a successful business. So what helped you to be able to do that?

Jamal:

Honestly speaking, I think it was my faith that really helped me to get through that. Knowing that they're waiting for me for the afterlife, that inspired me. And I was in a place where I could either let it break me or I could let it make me just a little bit down the line from that. Within nine months, my wife fell pregnant again, and this time she was expecting twins. And unfortunately, again, the same thing happened. We were blessed with these beautiful children, and within a short space of time, God decided that he wanted them back. By this time, I was really on my knees and in a really difficult place, both mentally and emotionally. One of the things that I had to do was make a choice whether I'm going to let this close in on me and destroy me and look at everything negatively, or whether I'm going to take the positive from this, whether I'm going to take the positive messages from all of the mind questions that I've had and make this thing be the thing that makes me so. For me, when I'm doing data privacy, it's all about leaving a legacy. So when I meet my children in the afterlife, I've got story after story to tell them about how I've helped people and how I've made a positive impact on the world.

Jamilla:

Wow, that's amazing. You went through so much pain, unimaginable pain for most people, and you've managed to succeed from it. And you've spoken to me before about these mindsets. Is that something you cover in the mindset classes? Kind of success after hardship or difficulty.

Jamal:

I train them up and empower them with the tools that regardless of what adversity or situation they face in life, they can turn it around and view it in a positive way, take the lessons and use it as energy to drive them to live the life that they deserve to live and really fulfil their potential.

Jamilla:

So I think we're all going to face challenges often different from each other. But what are some of the challenges within the industry that you've faced and that you've had to overcome?

Jamal:

So some of the challenges I faced in the industry was first of all, I was seen as an outsider. This industry was dominated by middle class lawyers, mainly white males. And I remember early on in my career, I went to this one event. Somebody was delivering some sessions on some of the latest developments. And I went there to see what there was to learn from there and to really network with people. And as I was going into the room where the speaker was going to present, there was a gentleman who took off his coat, and he gave me his coat.

Jamilla:

Wow.

Jamal:

I'm like, hang on, what's going on here? He thought I was part of the catering staff there to cater to him because I was a young brown guy and I just didn't belong. And one of the things that I found is when I was first trying to break into this space, I would put stuff on LinkedIn and it was very clique mentality. And we've really come in and disrupted the industry where now I am one of the leading privacy consultants in this space and in this country and in fact worldwide. So one of the challenges I had was trying to break in and there was a lot of people saying, look, you don't belong, you don't fit into this club. But we've come in and disrupted it and say that actually we own this space now. We're bringing more people to the party.

Jamilla:

That's amazing. And we've talked a lot about your past and if you could go back ten years and tell yourself, give yourself a piece of advice, what would you tell yourself?

Jamal:

Great question, Jamilla. If I could go back ten years, give myself advice, I would say, you know what? Your first job is so important, it's actually something that could define the rest of your life in your career. And not many people are brave enough to make a career change. People settle down their route, they get locked in and they realize that, look, if they want to make a transition and they're going to have to start down at the bottom again and work their way back up. So what I would advise myself is when I'm thinking about my first job and when I'm thinking about what I want to achieve in life, to have a clear plan and to make sure that I understand what's important to me and not just look at the money. Because one of the things that you get from a career in data privacy is you get to do a meaningful job that actually makes a difference and means something for a lot of people, and especially myself. Being able to do that is so important. And it's important that if you are going to do a job that makes such an impact on the world, that you're rewarded handsomely for it as well. And the only way you're going to do that is by being the best and making sure that you commit to being the best. And the only way you get to commit to being the best is by continuingly investing in yourself. And a lot of people are very hesitant to invest in themselves, so I would remind myself to invest in myself. And one of the things I think I've done really well is every year I make sure that I invest in my education whether that's personal development, whether that's more privacy training, whether that's security training. I always make sure I'm constantly investing in myself so that I can be a person of value and I'm the most valuable option for businesses and individuals when they look for someone to partner up and work with.

Jamilla:

That's really great and really great piece of advice for everyone, I think. Continuous education and how important that is. Always keep learning. What is your favourite book and what are you currently reading now?

Jamal:

That's a great one. My favourite book has to be the Holy Quran. At the moment, I've got Tribe of mentors on my desk and I'm reading through that now. It's really good because it's lots of advice from some of the best leading minds in the world, and you get to deep dive into what they each have to say. So it's short life advice from the best in the world.

Jamilla:

Amazing. What do you think the future holds for Kazient?

Jamal:

Our mission in:

Jamilla:

Amazing. Big dreams for Kazient this year.

Jamal:

Big dreams, proven strategies. We just need to stick to the plan and sail the course. Like I said in, my motto is, do your best and God will do.

Jamilla:

The best, and God will do the rest. Yes. What advice would you give to aspiring privacy professionals in the sector?

Jamal:

First thing is just do a little bit of reflection on where your mindset is. Are you someone that's kind of got a fixed mindset, where you believe that intelligence is something that you're born with and that you're either creative or you're not? You're either intelligent or you're not. You either will be successful or you only. Are you holding yourself back or are you someone that's really inspired, really ambitious, and you're really thinking about being all that you can be? I would say reflect on your current mindset and I would say reflect on your goals where do you want to be in five years from now? Where do you want to be in three years from now? Where do you see yourself in a year, six months from now? Really have an honest conversation with yourself. And once you've had that conversation yourself, pick up a book and start writing. So one of the things I do, and I encourage all of the students on our program is to journal every night, really get in touch with what's going on in your mind, and really set yourself up for a win. Remind yourself about all of the things that you're grateful for. Track your biggest wins every day, and every night when you go to bed, log your three biggest wins from that day. What happens is you go to bed every night feeling like a winner. And every day you wake up because you are a winner, because you've lost your three winning streaks. So I'd say get yourself into that positive winning mindset. That's the first place. When you have that mindset that you are a winner, that you are a champion, then you suddenly open up your world to a whole load of new opportunities that you might not have otherwise come across. The next thing I would say is get yourself embedded in the right environment. And when I say the right environment, find a community of like-minded people or join the Privacy Pros Academy, where you will have a community of like-minded people who have either already achieved what you want, and there's people that are going to be on the journey that are where you are, that are six months ahead of you. One year, three years, five years. And you can really learn from their experiences and use them as a guide to inspire you as well. Surround yourself in a powerful, positive environment and join a community. For anyone that's interested, you can join our Privacy Pros academy or Facebook group. Just search for it on Facebook. The next thing I would say for anyone that's looking to become a world class privacy professional and really attract the kind of money and the kind of projects that are going to make a difference in the world and be meaningful and give you fulfilment is premium certifications. And go and attend the training. Go and network with other privacy professionals from other industries on that training. Go and learn from an expert who's been there, who's done that, who's going to spend this amount of time with you, really sharing their experiences and making data privacy come to life, which you can't do from a black and white textbook or a manual or past paper exams. So what you want to do is invest in yourself, invest in premium certifications, and the benchmark for data privacy qualifications that are universally recognized across the world are the ones from the international association of privacy professionals. You know what, we are an official training partner. We can give you the advice. So get in touch with us for no obligation call to find out where you are, what your options are, and how we can really help you. And if it's all you want to do is just have a chat with us. And you know what? We're more than happy to. What we're interested in is leaving our legacy behind and transforming people's lives. That's what we want. You watch interviews from people that have joined the program. They'll tell you when they come to us and they have that conversation with us, the first thing we say is, go and get clear on your goals. We don't try and sell them anything. You don't even make them an offer. We're like, no, look, you're not ready. This is not the right fit for you. We're going to have that discussion after we have an in depth strategy call, and that's where I decide whether the program is right for you and whether you are the right fit for the program. Only then will we talk to you about any kind of an offer and enrol you into the program. So really get clear on what you want. Make yourself the most valuable person you can by getting premium qualifications. Make sure that when you decide to make a change in your career or you decide to get certified and progress and excel in your career, you're passionate about what you do. When you go and do something that you're passionate about, it becomes effortless rather than when you're uninspired and doing the job just because it pays the bill. What I would recommend you do is get in touch with your wire. Why do you want this? Why are you doing this? And when you have a big enough goal or a powerful enough wire, all of the hows are for themselves.

Jamilla:

Wow, that's great advice. Very comprehensive. Thank you. So I asked you, if you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice ten years ago, what would it be? So now look, ten years into the future, where do you want to be professionally?

Jamal:

In a place where I've helped hundreds and thousands of people transform their lives. We've left a positive legacy in the world. And what we can see is that organizations, when they think about hiring someone for their privacy program, for their privacy requirements, they look at Kazient Privacy Experts Privacy Pros Academy, and they say, hey, we're going to put people through your academy, or we want people that have come to your academy and they're waiting to hire people. That's the vision. That's the mission we want to create, lead, and inspire positive change to help them have the life they've always dreamed about.

Jamilla:

Wow, that's amazing. Very passionate. I think your passion definitely comes through when you're speaking about data privacy, what do you love most about your work? Where does the passion come from?

Jamal:

Influence people and organizations that are collecting personal data and get them to do that in an ethical way, in a way that shows respect for their users, for their stakeholders, in a way that really respects their staff. So they’re not subjecting them to intrusive monitoring. They don't have monitors on their laptop when they're working from home, seeing what they're doing every second, monitoring their keystone. We want people to treat everyone with the respect they deserve when it comes to their data privacy. And what I love most about my work is empowering businesses, persuading them, influencing them to do the right thing by their stakeholders. What I also love most about the work that we do is the freedom that comes with it and the flexibility and the lifestyle. So there is an enormous degree of flexibility. We can work remotely. There's times when I'm working for clients all over the world on different time zones, it gives me such a great degree of flexibility that I can be set anywhere in the world and I can really take care of clients wherever they are in the world. That passion that comes with being able to do that, that sense of community that we've built, those are the things that I really love about my work and this Privacy Pros community that we've put together. I'm so excited about bringing the best minds in data privacy onto a platform. And you know what it's going to be really exciting is when you have podcasts with them and they come and share their passion and they inspire other people to be all that they can be when it comes to data privacy. And the legacy that we're going to leave behind, it is going to be so powerful. And that's what I really love about the work that we do.

Jamilla:

know, I joined at the end of:

Jamal:

The biggest highlight for me from a very selfish point of view is the credibility and the authority that we attracted in such a short space of time. Over the space of a few years, we've gone from start-up to the most credible, the most authoritative, the go to leading data privacy consultancy worldwide, where you have partners such as the International Association of Privacy Professionals wanting to work with you on a global scale. We've trained people in over a 137 countries, we've worked with clients in across six continents. When you think about those things and how you've left positive, lasting changes and made organizations better, we've helped organizations protect the personal data of coming up to over a billion people. Now, for us to be an organization that's so streamlined and to make such a positive impact in the world, for me that is the highlight.

Jamilla:

Well, so you've discussed a lot about the Privacy Pros community and the academy. What does the future look like for that?

Jamal:

What I really want to do with the Privacy Pros community is to attract more and more like minded people. What I want to do is have chapters in each continent across the world where we have dedicated chapters full of privacy professionals with the right mindset really leading those continents forward. Each country is in a different stage of maturity or each continent is in a different stage of maturity when it comes to privacy laws when it comes to privacy practices, because they have unique challenges, it makes sense for people from those continents to band together and have separate chapters that focus on the challenges and inspiring those localities. What I want to see going forward is we have a privacy pros community chapter for each continent moving forward, so we can really have a lasting legacy that touches on a very deep level, not just at a level where we're having a global perspective, but we understand local issues very well as well. And I want to bring in world class framers who have strong data privacy experience, who come and help me to train more individuals. I can only train so many people. And we've made a very conscious decision that we will only bring on trainers who have lived data privacy, who breathe data privacy, who have been there. They understand the challenges, and they're committed to our mission, vision, and purpose. And you know what I'm really excited to tell you about? I met this guy from the United States of America. He's been in privacy for over 20 years.

Jamilla:

Wow.

Jamal:

He joined the IAPP when they had 600 members. The IAPP now has over 60,000 members. He's trained the guys that put the rocket on the moon, so he's trained people that worked for NASA and other great organizations. He's retired, but last week, I had a conversation about him to bring him out of retirement to work exclusively with Kazient Privacy Experts on people that are joining us for the Certified Information Privacy Management program. And I'm so excited about that.

Jamilla:

That's really impressive and really unique to Kazient. I mean, you won't be able to get that kind of experience and insight anywhere else.

Jamal:

No, you won't get that anywhere else in the world because he will come out of retirement to work exclusively with us.

Jamilla:

And thank you, Jamal, for joining us.

Jamal:

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe, like, and share so you're notified when a new episode is released. Remember to join the Privacy Pros Academy Facebook group where we answer your questions. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you're leaving with some great things that will add value on your journey as a world class privacy pro. Please leave us a four or five star review. wink wink if you feel so inclined, and if you'd like to appear on a future episode of our podcast, or you have a suggestion for a topic you'd like to hear more about, please send an email to team@kazient.co.uk. Until next time, peace be with you.