Saitia Faaifo -- On The Move!
Growing up as a youth on one of the most beautiful islands in the world is when Saitia Faaifo says he learned the "true" meaning of respect for others, and loving his family. The Hawaiian native -- every bit as handsome as he is charismatic -- says: "There is greatness in all of us. All we have to do is tap into our true potential."
In 1987 when he was 19 years old, Saitia moved from Hawaii to the San Francisco Bay Area (USA). He quickly climbed career ladders and received promotions in every organization he was affiliated with. During this time, Saitia joined the professional speaking group, Toastmasters International and developed into the highly sought after, motivational speaker he is today.
Saitia Faaifo has over 20 years of leadership, management, and team-building experience (he's a Senior Manager with Comcast Cable Communications and oversees 130 employees). And, this year he became a first-time author of the book, "The Riches of Respect."
eMediaCampaigns! sat down with the "Motivator from Hawaii," Saitia Faaifo and interviewed this dynamic "wave breaker" as part of the OnTheMove Interview series. We talked about his new book, "The Riches of Respect," his philosophy for management, and his vision for his future.
eMediaCampaigns!: Good evening, Saitia. Thank you for joining us and congratulations on the release of your new book. Would you tell us a little more about your background?
Saitia Faaifo: You're welcome, thank you, and Aloha, Fran! Let's see, well I grew up in beautiful Hawaii for the first 19 years of my life. Then I moved to Northern California at the age of 19. However, I will always be an "Island Boy" at heart. But, I grew to love the beauty that California has to offer. In terms of my career, I have always been a leader from a very young age. I love working with people. I always say that in terms of our industries and economic development, people "do the magic." It's a wonderful thing to experience and see ordinary people achieving extraordinary things.
EMC!: Your new book, The Riches of Respect is receiving exceptionally favorable reviews. What prompted you to write it?
SF: I wanted to leave a powerful legacy for the communities in diversity; for the multi-cultured society in our current generation, as well as the ones to come. I knew that even though I perform speaking engagements, I usually can impact the lives in my audiences with my book. I am hoping I will be able to leave my legacy and generate a huge impact for all those who read it.
"I strive to help people fulfill both individual and team goals...they must deploy, display and demonstrate the highest degree of respect for each other."
EMC!: Is there a particular audience or group you wrote The Riches of Respect for?
SF: Yes, I wanted to make a positive impact on my culture. I grew up in Hawaii so naturally, I wanted to get their attention in realizing that if an "Island Boy" can come to California and become a leadership figure in the community and at work, then the next generation of children with diversity backgrounds can become astronauts, and entrepreneurs. You see, I am just a building block for others to go beyond what I have accomplished, and reach their own unlimited potential in living their dreams.
EMC!: Could you give us a brief review of your book?
SF: Well, the book includes real life stories of my youth and my adult life as a leader in the community and work. I talk about my Mother's incredible work ethic and my Dad's perseverance. It is filled with stories of how to use respect in your every day life. It shows that respect -- if used right and honestly -- can make you unstoppable in your career and in life.
"Saitia has both the personality and character to make a positive impact in the personal and professional development industry."
-Brian Tracy, World-famous Author/Speaker/Personal Development Expert
EMC!: What first piqued your interest in the personal development industry?
SF: Les Brown. 14 years ago I saw Les on Public Television. Ever since then, I knew I needed to do my part in helping others achieve there greatness ... I wanted to dedicate my life to empowering other people to reach their true potential.
EMC!: Describe your philosophy about senior management interventions in the workplace? How is it more effective than others?
SF: Respect, is my language at work. Far too many times I see other managers and leaders in business walking around as if to say, "Look at me, I am the boss." They totally forget about how they got there. My philosophy is that all great leaders achieve great things through the power of respecting their team members, and then generating excitement about them achieving their goals. It's like what John C. Maxwell once said: "If you ever see a turtle on the fence, that turtle did not get there by himself, his people put him there."
EMC!: Where does the position of a senior manager end, and a motivational speaker's begin? Or, are they all encompassing?
SF: Great, question. Yes, they compliment one another. I love being a leader for a huge communications company. Everyday, I make it a point to learn something new about the people who work with me. I love being a speaker because I can take my passion of motivating people and put it in overdrive. There is nothing like seeing the lights go on in the eyes of children and adults as I connect with them. Reminds me of a wonderful quote: "Happiness is like perfume; you can't put it on others, without having a few drops on yourself."
EMC!: Saitia, you use the word "impact" when describing the affect you have on your audiences. What exactly does that look like?
SF: Great question. Well, when I am speaking, all eyes are fixated on me. Every empowering word I use seems to make my audience want to jump out of their seats and go chase down their dreams. On one occasion, when I did a speech at a local school here in the Bay Area, one child in particular was so fascinated with my speech that her teacher asked me to come back and speak to that child after my presentation. So my speech to that child has made a lasting impact in her life.
EMC!: What's working with Saitia Faaifo like?
SF: Fun! Fun! Fun! I always have fun at work. My entire staff knows that we all need to accomplish our objectives, but we're gonna have a whole lot fun getting there.
"Saitia is amazing, he has a gift, when he speaks, he hits you right in the heart!"
-Micky Souza, President, Toastmasters International, "Top of the Hill" District 57
EMC!: Wow, Saitia, it is self-evident that your energy is through the roof. I get a charge with every word. So tell us, what's behind all that energy?
SF: "(Because) I have seen my mother and father work hard for 25 years, I knew in my heart that there must be a better way. And so, in respect to my parents, I do all I can in honor of them. I try not to let any negative influences get to me. Another great quote I like to use, is, "God's gift to us is life, and how we choose to live our life, is our gift to God."
EMC!: You've been referred to as "The Motivator from Hawaii." How did that come about?
SF: Well, there is no other "Motivator from Hawaii." So, I got labeled that. And I'm excited to be the first motivational speaker from "Paradise." But I certainly hope I am not the last. In other words, I will pave my own path and leave a trail for others to follow. So I recommend that you hold on to your seat belt
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