Tarek Rocked the House

Tarek Saab, contestant on this season’s The Apprentice, spoke today at T.I. When I first heard that he was coming I was excited, but I didn’t know what to expect from a 1 hour speaking engagement. Would he talk just about the show? Would he talk about what he does for T.I.? Just what was he going to talk about?

Well, he ended up talking about a lot of things, but most importantly he talked about 9 things that you need to learn to succeed in a corporate world. These same 9 things are going to be in a book that is supposed to be published later this year. When asked why he was writing a book he said, “It is for young men and they need good role models.” He went on to say that he receives quite a few emails from college males asking him how he achieved so much success at an early age. He later realized the few men know how to succeed in life because our culture lacks direction and young men tend to be confused.

This took me by surprise. Here was this 27 year-old quasi-celebrity and he was talking about being a good role model for young men. He was humble and he wasn’t looking out for #1, but instead taking the time to write about his own personal experiences in order to help others. He was genuine, sincere, transparent, and genuinely funny.

He talked about how he worked at McDonalds when he was in college and in the back while making burgers they sang, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls” by TLC and how he worked hard to move up from just a bun toaster to a burger assembler.

He also credits a lot of his success to his parents and their dedication to his success. His immigrant father worked 2 jobs so he could take ballet lessons and play sports. They instilled a work ethic in him that is rarely seen in children and young adults these days.

He also talked about mistakes that he made when he was younger and even mistakes that he has made recently here at work and it made him seem more approachable and real.

All in all I was impressed. One of the best speakers I have heard in a long time. It was one of those times when you go into something with low expectations and then you come out having learned something new and having your expectations exceeded.

So when you watch Tarek on Monday nights on The Apprentice, know that he is more than just an Orlando Bloom look-alike with some serious brains – he is a real person and a really cool dude.

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