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Leyla Surkhayzade

Class of 2020

ACC Career & Life Coach

Leyla is a dynamic and accomplished professional, 32 years old, hailing from Azerbaijan, and currently residing and thriving in Turkey. As an ICF & Erickson Certified Professional Coach and Entrepreneur with a remarkable track record of over 10 years, Leyla has emerged as a true catalyst for personal and organizational growth. With a diverse background in HR, encompassing Career Advising, Recruitment, Training, and Coaching, alongside Sales experience in startups, public and private sectors, Leyla has honed a unique skill set that blends strategic acumen with empathetic leadership.

Having served as the Co-founder and Chief of Staff in the successful VC-backed dating and entertainment app, Mevzu, Leyla exhibited exceptional visionary leadership, driving the app's growth and strategic development. Leyla also demonstrated remarkable prowess in fundraising from angel investors, securing crucial resources to propel Mevzu to new heights.

In a freelance capacity, Leyla made a remarkable impact by recruiting 30 top-notch professionals for Benefit Systems International across Sales, Marketing, Administration, and IT domains in the last two years, cementing Leyla’s reputation as a highly skilled and effective recruiter/headhunter.

Adding to her impactful journey, Leyla co-founded the GR8 personal and professional development club in Azerbaijan, pioneering revolutionary training programs in English to empower individuals with transformative skills and knowledge.

Throughout her career, Leyla has exemplified dedication to social impact. She began her career as a Project Coordinator & Trainer at UNDP, training selected individuals using SYSLAB methodology to enhance their employability.

A graduate of the prestigious Do School's Entrepreneurship for Good Program, Apprenticeship Challenge, Leyla has demonstrated her commitment to creating positive change. Additionally, she was recognized as a John Smith Trust Fellow, embarking on an intensive four-week program in the UK to explore issues of good governance, social justice, and the rule of law.

With a rich tapestry of experiences, Leyla continues to embody resilience and visionary leadership. She is driven by a passion to empower individuals, organizations, and societies to achieve their fullest potential

Get to know  Leyla Surkhayzade

What are you most proud of from the past 20 years?

Over the past two decades, I have embarked on a journey of continuous learning, rapid personal development, and transformative shifts that fill me with immense pride. During this time, I came to fully grasp the profound impact of coaching and its potential to change lives, including my own. Living in Azerbaijan, I witnessed a period when coaching was scarce, and even the profession of psychology only began to flourish in the last decade. Having been one of the pioneers in my country, I take great pride in becoming one of the first ICF accredited ACC coaches and holding the distinction of being the youngest coach. This accomplishment fuels my passion to continue making a meaningful difference by empowering individuals through the transformative power of coaching.

What does transformation mean to you and what role do you feel coaching plays in the transformation of society? 

Transformation, to me, signifies a profound and positive evolution that encompasses personal growth and societal change. It involves breaking through barriers, embracing new perspectives, and striving for continuous improvement. As a 32-year-old from Azerbaijan, currently residing and working in Turkey, I have witnessed the significance of transformation both at an individual level and on a broader societal scale. As an ICF & Erickson Certified Professional Coach and Entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience in HR, Career Advising, Recruitment, Training, and Coaching, along with a successful track record in Sales across various sectors, I firmly believe that coaching plays a pivotal role in driving transformation within society. Through my diverse experiences, such as being a Co-founder and Chief of Staff in the dating and entertainment app Mevzu, I have seen how coaching empowers individuals and organizations alike. As I co-founded a personal and professional development club in Azerbaijan with innovative training programs in English, I observed the transformative impact coaching has on fostering a growth mindset, nurturing leadership skills, and promoting inclusivity. Coaching serves as a catalyst for inspiring leaders and changemakers to effect systemic shifts by creating more equitable and compassionate environments.

 What role has Erickson played in your transformation in the past 20 years?

As a graduate of Erickson Coaching International's Solution-Focused The Art & Science of Coaching program in 2020, I can attest to the profound role it has played in my transformation over the past two decades. The legacy of Marilyn Atkinson and her dedication to empowering individuals through the solution-focused coaching model has been truly transformative in my personal and professional life. The program provided me with a comprehensive understanding of Erickson's techniques and neuroscientific principles, equipping me with the skills to inspire personal growth and positive transformation in others. Erickson's global community and training opportunities have allowed me to connect with like-minded individuals from around the world, fostering a diverse and supportive network that continues to enrich my coaching journey. The impact of Erickson Coaching International on my life has been immeasurable, and I am deeply grateful for the continuous inspiration and relentless dedication to human transformation that Marilyn Atkinson embodies, inspiring us all, one conversation at a time.