A genuine inclination towards the advancement of humanity can prove advantageous for many Baltimore-area technology leaders.

(Photo Courtesy of Francois Locoh-Donou)

(Photo Courtesy of Francois Locoh-Donou)

Francois Locoh-Donou is a senior vice president at Ciena, an influential software solutions corporation. Originally from Togo in western Africa, where he escaped the clutches of tyrannical leadership, Locoh-Donou knew that if he were someday in a position of power, he would always “lead from the heart”.

Where did you receive you higher education? In what discipline?

“My first higher education degree was a Diplome d’Ingenieur in physics engineering from the National Institute of Physics in Marseille, France. I then went on to earn a master’s in optical telecommunications from the National Institute of Telecommunications of Paris, and an M.B.A from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.”

How important is community service to leadership?

“I have seen how important community service is through my own philanthropic work in the country of Togo, where I was born and raised and worked to open the first cashew processing factory. The factory and its approach to giving back, through both creating jobs and using profits in the community; is a way to provide self-worth to employees and to empower them to employ this same compassion in other endeavors in their life and community. This project has shown me how pairing smart leadership ideas and heartfelt motivations can create greater success than either attribute can alone.”

What wisdom would you like to impart on others who are interested in leading a similar life path?

“A successful leader is someone who has genuine relationships with people from the bottom of an organization to the top and is willing to build a meaningful connection to their work and employees. By doing this, your efforts will go a long way in empowering people and developing trust and respect among all parties.”

Keisha Oduor is a professional writer and entrepreneur who resides in Baltimore, Maryland. She has a degree in Communications and French from New York University with work experience in publishing, nonprofits, healthcare administration and program management. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.


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