Employee Spotlight: Ali Cheikh

Ali Cheikh

Ali is a talented Sales Engineer with over 14 years of experience in the field. Originally from Djibouti, he's traveled and worked worldwide supporting governments, multinational companies, and Fortune 500 companies. After settling in Seattle, Washington, Ali eventually found his way to runZero as our first-ever Sales Engineer in 2021! Ali has an appreciation for the sales flow process and loves making connections. The human element is what draws Ali in.

Ali speaks 4 languages, is passionate about lifelong learning, and loves football ⚽. His greatest joy, however, is being a hands-on father of 2 and loves spending as much time with his kids as possible. “Working from home, one of the benefits of runZero, is being able to be very close to them. It helps me be involved with their day-to-day upbringing.”

Learn more about what Ali had to say about working for runZero and our culture!

Q&A #

Tell us something about your professional development journey?

My upbringing has given me a unique perspective on different cultures and traditions. My first 2 jobs were post-sales and presales at the same time. I was covering the Middle East and Africa, and because of the languages I speak + my tech background, I was given the opportunity to travel to over 25 countries where I learned the whole sales flow. I was selling and implementing products with different governments and multinational companies.

It’s unique because it taught me that I actually don’t know anything. All of the different people I’ve met throughout my career have given me the skill of listening. I try to learn about people before assuming what they are going to say or want to learn. It’s an honor to have had the chance to travel to these places personally and professionally.

Ali Cheikh
Which company values resonate with you the most?

“We are Kind and Fair” aligns very well with my personal values, specifically assuming good intentions. A lot of the time when someone makes a decision, it’s good to pause and try to see the full picture.

Now more than ever we need to be aware of the challenges a person might be going through with everything going on in the world. It’s important to take a step back and put that into the equation. The lines between work and personal life are blurred right now. It’s important to understand what a person is going through before making a decision.

I’ve been proven wrong so many times. But just genuinely asking the question “Why did you do that”? It’s okay to have a little bit of pushback and ask questions instead of assuming you know why they did what they did.

How do you build genuine relationships?

I truly believe that every single person has a unique background, a unique story, and something to share. It’s being genuinely interested in knowing the person. That is automatically going to build genuine relationships. It’s worked for me through different cultures and different countries. It’s asking questions, appropriate questions. I’ve learned that if I get to know people on a personal level, the work part takes care of itself. It actually becomes much easier to work with that person.

What is your favorite quote?

“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know” - Albert Einstein

Contact Ali

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Written by Maya Church

Maya Church is a Senior Recruiter at runZero, and a dedicated member of the People Team, who consistently works to foster strong team connections and promote diversity within an organization. Her enthusiasm for startup environments drives her to excel in crafting high performing teams, creating processes from the ground up, and working cross collaboratively.
More about Maya Church
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