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182: Leaders with Heart Take Action

leaders take action asif sadiq
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In this episode, Heather interviews Asif Sadiq MBE, Head of Equity and Inclusion at WarnerMedia International. Before working at WarnerMedia, Asif has worked at numerous industry-leading companies such as Adidas, Reebok, and The Telegraph. He is also an author, LinkedIn Influencer, Board Member, and TEDx Speaker. His home country is Kenya, but he studied at university in London and currently lives there. He credits his first experience with leadership to his university years when he realized that he and his international classmates were deprived of a voice and decided to take action. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Being your authentic self leads to greater results. 
  • People don’t need a perfect leader, they need a human leader.
  • Everyone needs a voice. 
  • Be a voice for those who don’t have one. 
  • Vulnerability builds relationships. 
  • No leader knows it all, and that’s okay. 

Asif is the Senior Vice President at WarnerMedia for Equity and Inclusion, International, he was previously the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at adidas and has a long and rich career in the diversity and inclusion space with senior executive roles at The Telegraph Media Group, EY Financial Services and the City of London Police. He is a board member for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and a member of the board of advisors for Hedley May. Over his 20-year career he has worked in Europe, North America, South America, Middle East, Africa and Asia.  


Asif has been credited with impactful global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion activities and programs across organizations, that have created a strong sense of belonging for all and resulted in truly diverse workplaces. He has been key in building synergies between internal and external D&I efforts within organizations, ensuring diversity and inclusion is embedded in all elements of a business, resulting in innovative, creative and inclusive products and services.   


He is a Multi-Award Winning Diversity and Inclusion expert with a proven track record in D&I, Sustainability and Social Impact, being listed as one of the most influential Global D&I Leaders by Hive Learning, the CIPD’s Top 20 Power list and a LinkedIn Influencer. He is winner of numerous awards including the highly commended Head of Diversity Award at the European Diversity Awards and was honoured with an MBE in 2017 by the Queen and granted the freedom of the City of London in 2016. 

Companies recognize you for who you are not for how well you can adapt to their organization. – Asif Sadiq #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Be Authentic

In college and in all the leadership courses that we’ve been taught it’s always been about being a strong leader who knew all the answers. Honestly, that just doesn’t work anymore. It’s not what people want or need. I don’t think it’s what anyone has ever wanted or needed. This is something I’m focusing more on myself. Really being authentic and my whole self at work has been so much more rewarding because people can really appreciate me for who I am. At the end of the day, a company or organization hires you because of what you can contribute to their goals – so be you. 

Leaders take action podcast

My “Why” for Leadership

I grew up in Kenya and then later on went to university in the U.K. where I quickly realized that the international students were basically ignored. We had no voice. It wasn’t just students from Kenya either, it was from all over Africa and the whole world. The university was happy to take our money but our concerns weren’t heard. So I decided to change that and since then have worked in the DEI space. I think a lot of people’s “why” in leadership comes from situations like mine, where I felt that we had no voice and wanted to create one. It’s something we need to continue to work on because there are still so many voices that aren’t heard. 

The environments in your head that create doubt need to be challenged. – Asif Sadiq #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet


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