Dr. Assegid Habtewold, known as “AZ,” is an international leadership expert who is committed to raising world-class leaders of the 21st Century. His own leadership journey began in Ethiopia as a youth and then student leader in the early ’90s. Though he was born and raised in one of the poorest villages in Ethiopia, his passion was becoming a leadership author, coach, speaker, and facilitator. For the past more than 10 years, Dr. AZ has been writing books, inspiring, equipping, and empowering leaders from diverse industries and cultures to become world-class, the best in what they do.

On top of documenting his own leadership journey for more than two decades, he has been studying successful leaders and organizations, and have been providing effective leadership programs for emerging, middle, and executive-level leaders both in the US and Ethiopia. Dr. AZ believes that everyone is a candidate to become a world-class leader. And, the journey toward becoming world-class should begin by first leading self, bringing changes in one’s life, organization, community, and cultural ultimately cultural transformations. Dr. AZ’s leadership programs aim at raising New Breed Leaders, Change Agents, and Transformers of the 21st C:

  1. Emerging Leaders

The journey to becoming world-class should begin while your leaders are emerging. They should adopt the right mind set, the necessary skill set, and character set that set them to become world-class in what they do.

2. Middle Leaders

Middle leaders need to influence their superiors and inspire direct reports to achieve world-class results. They need empowering programs at this critical leadership spot to bring true changes in their organization and community.

3. Senior Leaders

Attaining world-class is a protracted and twisted journey. Senior leaders need the right psychology, skills and character to bring organizational and societal cultural transformations to take their organizations world-class.


From humble beginnings, Dr. AZ grew up in one of the poorest villages in Ethiopia. He was the 1st in his family to graduate from college. His mother never went to school, and his dad didn’t graduate from high school. They didn’t have an indoor toilet as they grew up. They had to use an outdoor toilet and take a shower once per week in the kitchen. Nonetheless, abject poverty didn’t stop him from dreaming big, becoming the best in what he does. 

AZ moved to the United States in 2005 and began his leadership journey as an immigrant struggling to adapt to the new culture and system. The mind set, skills set,      and character set he had been developing since the early 90s as a youth and student leader, and manager of a research team while working for an international research institute in the early 2000 while still in Ethiopia enabled his to quickly overcome the cultural shock and other challenges he faced as a stranger in the new culture.           

The leadership attributes he had developed also empowered him to make successful professional shifts. AZ earned his first degree in Veterinary Medicine in Ethiopia. He did his Master’s in Computer Science once  he came to the US, and ultimately capped his formal education with Doctor of Strategic Leadership. Making a shift from a science background into a totally different field- Strategic Leadership, was tough, to say the least. Because of the psychology he had developed, he could make a successful transition. He now serves leaders in  world-class organizations both in the US and Ethiopia.

AZ became a sought after leadership speaker, coach, and   trainer continuing to this day to provide leadership  programs for some government agencies, major  corporations, and community organizations. He has dedicated his life to helping leaders become world-class by continually inventing new models, creating powerful tools, coming up with practical strategies and tactics.

Though everybody desires to succeed and pursue their passion, many  don’t believe that leadership is their birthright. Even among those who believe that they have what it takes to lead their glorious destiny, team, and organization, only some consciously and proactively develop the necessary leadership psychology, skills, and character necessary to achieve what they desire. Few organizations and communities are intentional to develop their organizational and leadership capacities to become world-class in this highly integrated and competitive world of the 21st C.

Very few understand that, in this century, their  organizations, communities, and leaders aren’t just competing locally. They realized that they must produce world-class products and services. To compete globally and remain the best, they invest in raising world-class leaders throughout their organizations by empowering them at the three leadership stages.

Dr. AZ finds it unfortunate to witness individuals with great potential unable to step up and those who stepped out settle for average. He believes that this unnecessary tragedy created only by a lack of understanding of what it takes to go from follower to leader, and from ordinary to world-class. Those few who became world-class leaders were like everyone else, ordinary, before starting their rewarding journey toward becoming great leaders with undeniable impacts. They also left plenty of footprints that allowed them to experience a major transformation during their lifetime, from a local champion to undisputed world heavyweight champion.

Dr. AZ, also known as the “Transformation Strategist,” has made it simple and easy for anyone who desires to architect a step-by-step plan to become world-class. AZ is the author of five books and produces 2 TV shows centered around the topics of leadership and greatness, namely Pick Yourself Up, and the Dr. AZ Show. His shows provide the perfect vehicle to empower leaders from diverse industries in the US and around the world.

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