Adel Jawhary was far from your average student during his university days. 

Adel Jawhary (Source: LinkedIn)

While many students take on part-time jobs, Adel was busy starting an immensely successful business. Over the past five years, the Owner and Executive Director of Rydel Roofing grew his yearly company revenues from $500,000 to over $6 million and counting.

This exponential growth led Rydel Roofing to become one of the top 50-75 fastest growing companies in the country, and Adel started his business while he was in school. 

Impressed? So were we! Adel, a Student Works Management Program alumni, told Chris Thomson on our Leaders of Tomorrow podcast that his time in our program was the pivotal catalyst that enabled him to unlock his potential. 

So what does it take to become a formidable leader that is constantly setting the bar higher for themselves and others? Adel shared his top leadership tips, and you won’t want to miss them:

Set an Example

While it’s all fun and games to let the water cooler conversation veer into the personal from time to time, it’s imperative that leaders don’t get carried away and forget their influence on their company by acting unprofessional. 

“You’re trying to be somebody that, especially when you’re growing a company of this size, you’re going to have people that are twice your age [working for you] and you have to think of yourself as somebody who always wants to set an example,” Adel shared. 

At the end of the day, your team has to view you as a mentor or guide. When you’re a leader that respects themselves and their team by maintaining professional decorum, your team will return the favour. 

Stay Ambitious

As we always say at Student Works, success isn’t lucky and it isn’t born, it’s made. Adel is a shining example of this idiom in action. 

“Being a leader is really tough. It has a lot of challenges. It’s not always this pretty thing that’s advertised. So you have to have [a very strong sense of] ambition to push through it” he warned.

The easiest way to maintain your ambition while rolling with the inevitable punches that come along with running a business? Love what you do. 

“What really drove me [toward] running a business … is that it’s just extremely exciting. On a day to day basis you’re just always doing different things, you’re always thinking, you’re always problem solving,” Adel shared. 

In fact, he identifies his work as “more of a lifestyle” than a job. 

Overcome your Fears

Before Adel started Rydel Roofing, fear of the endless unknown nearly paralyzed him.

“Any opportunity, when it first comes about, you’re super excited about it and it seems great. But then you start to think about it and a week later [all these] negative thoughts start coming into place. And then you start doubting yourself. Am I able to do this? Am I able to fit things in? Can I afford to do this?” he confessed. 

However, instead of cowering away from his dreams, Adel charged head first into the mystifying risks that always loom ahead on the path toward a brighter future. 

“[Nowadays,] I put myself into this state where I remove choice from being an option, where it’s like, I have to make it happen.” he said.

And the rest is history! 

Are you a student looking to further your development as a leader and enter the exciting world of entrepreneurship? Check out more stories from Student Works participants and alumni on our Leaders of Tomorrow Podcast!