Saiyyidah Zaidi (pronounced say-ee-dah, meaning female leader) is an experienced coach, facilitator, and supervisor working internationally and across sectors. She qualified as an Architect at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow and went on to have a successful career in local government where she was director of a £300m regeneration and construction project before she left. A passionate learner, Saiyyidah graduated in 2011 from The Meyler Campbell Mastered programme in 2011 and qualified as a Certified High Performance Coach with the High Performance Institute in 2014.
Saiyyidah is a firm believer that ‘words create worlds’ and that by considering the language of conversations in the DEI space we are able to use connection as the departure point rather than difference. The simplicity of this approach and Saiyyidah’s methodology has been able to create tangible behaviour —and perspective—change for individuals and organisations in a way that is unprecedented
She is a passionate and consummate learner with two Masters degrees with distinctions including one in Applied Positive Psychology and is currently in the final stages of her doctorate in identity and intersectionality, where issues of power, inclusion, diversity, belonging and understanding are critically analysed.
Saiyyidah is motivated by knowing that with the right strategies, tools, and coaching the ability to seize untapped potential exists, and the ability to do extraordinary things is available to anyone. She believes coaching is a partnership where she is the guide enabling individuals and organisations to gain a deeper understanding of themselves, and to use that as the foundation to achieve in alignment with their values.
Saiyyidah has travelled the world with her husband and two children before returning to live in her native North London.
Saiyyidah is a Fellow of the Association for Project Management, the only non-Christian Trustee and Committee Member of the British and Irish Association for Practical Theology, and a Tutor and Faculty Member with Meyler Campbell.
Get To Know Me Better...
0-10 The First Decade
I was born in London. Got my first passport when I was a week old (you can see the picture on the right). My dad took me my mum and me to Saudi to perform Hajj (the pilgrimage), and we came back by land via Turkey. Obviously I don't remember anything about the trip but wish I could repeat it!
Before I was 10 I had my first business (a lemonade stall with my younger sisters as my team!). When people would ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up I said 'I want to be happy.' I came back to this question 30 years later when I started to study positive psychology and the science of wellbeing.
11-20 The Teenage Years
I got my first job when I was 11 years old working in a playscheme. Started secondary school and you know, the teenage years full of care free life. Also the stress of exams. Passed my driving test when I was 17 (failed the first one for speeding!).
Managed to persuade Mr Trafford to let me study Design Technology at A level despite my inexperience. That was my first major lesson in persuasion and influence. I got an A in the exam and made a friend for life.
I moved to Glasgow when I was 18 to study Architecture at the Mackintosh, Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow University. That was where I grew up.
21-30 University, Growing Up, and Getting Married.
In my early 20's I used to run half marathons, do all nighters, and cook for 20 university friends for £20!
I finished my first degree just as the 1990's recession was hitting the economy. I applied for 600 jobs and thankfully the one job where I got an interview was the one job I was offered!
In 1998 I qualified as an Architect. I also had a car accident that wrote my car off, and almost wrote me off. This resulted in a major change in my approach to life. I moved back to London and completely reassessed everything.
When I was 29 years old I decided I wanted to get married. Once I decided I pretty much asked anyone if they knew anyone suitable for me (if we met, yes I would have asked you too!). Two months later I met my husband, we decided to get married a month after that, and three months later we were married. At the same time I was completing my Masters in Construction Economics and Management and changing jobs. This was the time I moved into project management.
I recovered from the car accident sufficiently to get a job as the Deputy Head of PPP and was second in charge of procurement of £200m regeneration and schools refurbishment.
31-40 Buying A House, Having Kids, Becoming A Director, Quitting My J-O-B.
I set an intention to alway change jobs or get promoted every 3 years. This served me well- I became an Assistant Director. I hired my first coach who helped me to become the youngest Director for BSF in the country.
My husband and I had two children and had some really rich learnings and growth! I also discovered another layer to the art of negotiation (persuading a 5 year old to go to school is harder than discussing the details of a £300 million construction deal with lawyers!).
I learned how to become a better leader thanks to my children who were my teachers as well as other more formal teachers from UCL, MollerPSF, Ashridge, and Cambridge. I started to earmark others who had potential and started to coach them so that they could progress faster (some of them are now Directors in significant professional service firms).
I left the Director role, leaving from security and safety is an eye opening experience, but one of the best decisions I ever made. I then retrained as a Certified Business Coach with Meyler Campbell. I also did a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, and studied Positive Psychology Coaching with Dr Robert Biswas-Diener. I danced with some of the negative/positive aspects of imposter syndrome and became a super student with 7 coaching certificates, and 3 psychometric assessments, post graduate certificates, and several Masters degrees!
This decade was also when I started to learn about running your own business not as a hobby or side hustle. I received my first email from Brendon Burchard in 2012 and attended the only Experts Academy outside the UK in 2013. I am still Brendons student and have been in his mastermind for the last few years.
41+ Traveling The World, Doctorate, Covid...
One day I woke up and decided I wanted to travel. We had a rich discussion about it in our family and then took 6 weeks out as an experiment. Got back to the UK and everyone was in agreement so we decided to take the kids out of school and live like nomads for a short while. We were able to have some amazing experiences (swim in the Indian ocean, see the whales on the West coast of America, drive the Route 66, eat Chinese food in China amongst other things).
After years of thinking I'd like to do a doctorate I made it a reality and started my research into interculturality, belonging/identity, and intersectionality.
We stopped traveling for a variety of reasons. Then 2 years later covid happened, and I went from traveling every month or so to not even being able to go and get a coffee around the corner!
This was the decade I became a Faculty Member at Meyler Campbell, became an Xchange Facilitator, and wrote RESULTS The Art and Science of Getting It Done. I joined Brendon Burchard's mastermind (my husband gave me the nudge to do it!), and studied with amazing teachers throughout the world.
When the pandemic hit I re-evaluated everything and started all over again. Whilst I have been using Zoom and Skype for coaching since 2011 I knew it was going to be different. I had days in bed under the duvet, and I also had days of focused work being able to make more progress in my business and doctorate studies in 2020 than I did before.
2020 was the year I became very aware of my impact and how I am able to support others through discussions and training in unconscious bias, intersectionality, and belonging.