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Me, as CEO | Cypress Semiconductor

Me, as CEO

You have made it to the last blog in the #KnowOurCEO series. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my journey and were able to pick up a few tips on how to navigate your own journey. You can catch up on the four earlier blogs in this series here.

"Curiosity led to passion, passion led to learning, and learning led to a career."

What is that old saying, hindsight is 20/20? It is easy to look back at various situations or experiences and say we never would have done one thing or another if we knew then what we know now. I used to throw those phrases around frequently. Then you get to a point in your life where you become introspective and elevate your understanding of those same situations.

I can definitively say that I am the person I am today because of every situation, experience and decision I have been faced with. I am the person I am today because of the influence I was able to recognize in the people that have come in and out of my life. I have been present in my own life and have spent the last 39-years being observant; not taking anything or anyone for granted.

I’m not going to lie, getting to this point has been gut-wrenching at times. When we are young, we think we are invincible and the smartest person in the room – any room. Getting put in your place by a teacher, parent, mentor, hero or peer can be one of the hardest experiences to overcome. It may seem like your world is imploding all around you; you feel your dreams are being threatened because you start to second guess your path to becoming the person you are meant to be. Figuring out what makes you tick; what drives you to continue moving forward is the ultimate lesson you can learn.

It may not necessarily seem like it from the parts of my path you have heard about so far, but I have been incredibly blessed to have learned this lesson early enough that it became the thread that can be found in absolutely every aspect of my life.

Why did I walk long distances to catch a bus to go to a store to buy PC and engineering catalogs at a young age?

Why did I dismantle all of my electronic toys and presents to repurpose them?

Why did I take and excel in every engineering and science course available to me?

Why did I not fall prey to the trappings of a new environment when I moved to the U.S. right out of high school?

Why has my career been heavily influenced by all things automotive technology and innovation?

The answer was simple once I actually took the time to look for it…Passion.

I wasn’t motivated to become a lawyer or doctor (sorry Mom 😊). Maybe it all started with me being somewhat selfish and wanting to do what made me happy. Maybe it was the image of a young Hassane watching Steve McQueen in Bullitt that is still so vivid decades later. The truth of the matter is that it was all of those things and so many more.

Regardless of where you are located in the world, life is difficult; the “difficulties” just vary from person to person, location to location, age to age. The only thing to make life even harder is trying to live the life someone else wants for you or living up to an image someone else has painted for you; doing what someone else is passionate about – but not you. Spending day in, day out doing something or living the life not meant for you is ultimately destructive to your ability to become the absolute best you possible.

Am I the best Hassane possible; the best father, son, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, mentor, peer, employee? I would say that I am - to this point in my life - but I am not even close to being done with growing, learning and pushing myself to new heights. As I fulfill one dream, three more take its place.

I want to be great at everything I do. In order for that to happen, I need to give great first.

 

On that note, I want to challenge each of you. This was never my path to become a CEO. This was just my path of learning to be resilient, focused, loyal, genuine and passionate as I become a better version of myself with every success and failure.

My challenge to you is – always give great! Learn from every experience – good and bad. Take the world by storm by staying true to your own passion. Be respectful and understanding of the differences you see around you. Recognize that every individual you meet has arrived to that specific spot in life changed and influenced by their own experiences. Their station in life has absolutely nothing to do with the lessons you can learn if you open yourself up enough to see it.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me.

As I finish this chapter of my blog series, I am filled with anticipation for the next chapter. What new lessons will I learn as I embark on the next challenge I face; what new knowledge will I gain through the new people I will meet?

Interested in learning more about an aspect of my experiences I touched on in this series or how I have dealt with various situations, challenges or adversity in my life? Send an email to CypressCEO@cypress.com and I will share my thoughts in future blogs.

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