Name: Omar Taymes
Company: Legg Mason Global Asset Management
Headquarters: Baltimore, Maryland
Number of Employees: 3,000
Education: BBA, Pace University
What I’m Reading: The Book of Enoch
My Philosophy: There are no obstacles in life that I cannot overcome.
Away from Work, I: Enjoy traveling and learning about new cultures.
How My Heritage Helped Influence My Success: Education, respect, and discipline are the major values of my heritage. Born and raised in Panama, my brothers and I were taught these values by my mother, who was a single parent. They have proven to be the key to our success. We believed in these values, put them in practice, and have been able to see positive results.
Growing up in a poor household, we were taught that the solution for our poverty was to obtain a good education. We were reminded every day to work hard to earn the best grades possible. As a result, three of five siblings were valedictorians of their classes. Currently, three of four have graduated college and become professionals.
In order to be able to study and at the same time have a normal childhood, our days were structured with time set for different tasks. We were given time for studying, playing, cleaning, and many other activities. Having a structured schedule gave us the discipline to accomplish not only the things we had to do, but also the things we wanted to do. We learned that we could accomplish much more in a structured environment that helped us prioritize and focus on the most important things.
We also learned that respect for others was important. We were taught that in order to be respected we needed to respect others. We were to treat every person the same regardless of their race, color, gender, age, etc. Because of this, I can proudly say that I have met people from different parts of the world and learned a lot from them.
Living in the United States of America has presented many obstacles, such as language and cultural barriers, as well as many opportunities The values I learned as a child helped me overcome the obstacles and be a successful professional without renouncing my Hispanic heritage.
The Best Career Advice I’ve Received and the Advice I Offer Others: During my career, I have been influenced by people within, as well as outside the company. They gave me the courage to face difficult situations and have contributed to my success. The best advice that I received from a mentor in the company was “maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.”
Throughout my career, I have been given the opportunity to lead various teams. Each opportunity has been exciting and challenging at the same time. I’ve applied my managerial and people skills, which are among my strengths, to get the teams up and running smoothly. When I was asked to manage a team for which I was not the subject expert (clearly a weakness), I was able to learn the business with the assistance of the members of the team. I can proudly say that this was the best advice I have ever received.
I strive for great relationships with my employees, many of whom ask me how they can advance in their careers. I tell them that they have to overcome the obstacles they will face. Many people will give up as soon as they experience any interference and will never achieve their goals. However, there are those who will try many times until they achieve their desired results. As an example, I cite athletes or mathematicians who spend hours, weeks, and years practicing to be the best or working to solve a problem. They never stop in face of obstacles, but work harder to develop the skill set necessary to accomplish their goals.
I can proudly say that some of the employees who asked me for career advice have moved to new roles within the company. They are satisfied and grateful for the support and advice that I provided.