Working Geek: Ossia CEO Mario Obeidat Takes Organizational Cues From His Kids

Orginally posted on GeekWire by Monica Nickelsburg

It’s been a little over two months since Mario Obeidat took over as CEO of wireless charging company Ossia. He took the position to help Ossia commercialize its technology, which allows devices to charge without connecting to any cables or pads.

“For me, leading Ossia is a natural extension of things I’ve done over the past 20 years: lead technology organizations on a commercialization path,” Obeidat told GeekWire at the time.

Obeidat brought with him experience working in leadership roles for Pendrell Corporation and Intellectual Ventures.

He’s since settled into his role at Ossia, working to license the company’s “Cota” technology into smartphones, connected devices, and wearables.

“My job is to build a culture with great chemistry between colleagues and create cool business opportunities,” he said.

We caught up with Obeidat for this Working Geek, a regular GeekWire feature. Continue reading for his answers to our questionnaire.

Current Location: “I live on Mercer Island, and work about a 15-minute commute away in Bellevue, WA.”

Computer types: “I currently own and use two PC’s and two Mac’s.”

Mobile devices: “My iPhone. My pride and joy!”

Favorite apps, cloud services and software tools: “I spend a lot of time on my phone. First and foremost, the cloud service I cannot live without is email. As for apps: Yelp, Uber, Zillow, and Google Maps.”

Describe your workspace. Why does it work for you? “I have an average-size office, with lots of windows and natural light. Natural light, especially in the winter in Seattle, is critical. My office needs to have a big whiteboard for constant brainstorming and a round meeting table. I’m a very social being — I want people to come in my office, stay for a while and discuss great ideas.”

Obeidat at the Ossia office.

Your best advice for managing everyday work and life? “Number one importance: work-life Balance.  It is a must have but not always easy to achieve. I achieve it by staying disciplined to my personal and work commitments.”

Your preferred social network? How do you use it for business/work? “LinkedIn. LinkedIn is professionally valuable to keep track of my contacts and business relationships to constantly find synergies and new opportunities to work together.”

Current number of unanswered emails in your inbox? “150 unanswered as of 4:30 p.m. today.”

Number of appointments/meetings on your calendar this week? “21 meetings varying between 30 minutes and two hours each.”

How do you run meetings? “Attendance is on an as-needed basis. I am conscious of everyone’s time. If you have something to contribute to the meeting, show up on time, but manage your own priorities. All my meetings have a goal to stay very efficient and run a clear agenda.”

Everyday work uniform? “Jeans and a button down. ”

Obeidat and his wife, Arwa Obeidat, enjoy some time out on their boat.

How do you make time for family? “Put it on my calendar and stay true to those commitments. I make up work time late in the evening after I have prioritized my family.”

Best stress reliever? How do you unplug? “Watching mindless shows. In particular, I’m a mad sports fan. Right now I’m seriously into March Madness.”

What are you listening to? “U2 gets me going in the morning.”

Daily reads? Favorite sites and newsletters? “WSJ, ESPN, CNN.”

Book on your nightstand (or e-reader)? “I love history and one of my favorites is an ebook called The Founding Fathers.”

Night owl or early riser? What are your sleep patterns? “Down at midnight and up at 6 a.m. Religiously, if possible.

Where do you get your best ideas? “In the shower.”

Whose work style would you want to learn more about or emulate? “I don’t try to emulate a work style per say, I try to learn work habits from different people. To be honest, most recently, I learned some amazing organization skills from my kids. My three daughters run a tight ship!”