Sammy Ibala is an Engineering Project Manager for Water Remediation Technology (WRT), a water treatment plant located just outside of Denver, Colorado.
For the first decade of his life, Ibala grew up in the state of Connecticut before his family transitioned to the Greater Denver area, a move that not only brought divine weather, but also exposure to genuine, warmhearted people.
“I don’t want to overhype Colorado,” Ibala starts, “but I will say this: even the bullies were nice when I was growing up in Colorado, if that tells you anything.”
After high school, Ibala left the comforts of Colorado and headed south to Oklahoma, where he enrolled in Tulsa University’s engineering program.
Ibala says the city of Tulsa didn’t offer the same natural wonders as Colorado did, but he still found ways to savor his time as a Golden Hurricane.
“There was not as much to do in Tulsa, but since I was an engineering student, I spent most of my time with my head in the books,” Ibala recalls.
“But it was still a nice environment with a lot of good people, and that’s ultimately what made it a memorable experience for me.”
Predictably, Ibala has spent years refining his skills in the math and science discipline, but the Littleton native also prides himself on his interpersonal skills.
For context, Ibala has been an extrovert ever since he developed a personality, but it wasn’t until recent years that he became more socially intelligent and well versed in the art of effective communication.
“I have been an extrovert for my entire life, but there was a large period of time, particularly in my youth, where I didn’t know how to be a good extrovert,” Ibala notes, adding that even though his gregarious personality enabled him to interact with a variety of people, for years he never truly fit in with any specific social groups.
In fact, it wasn’t until Ibala began studying behavioral psychology in high school that his perspective on what effective communication looked like started to evolve.
And just when he thought he understood how to form genuine friendships and relationships, Ibala graduated high school and ventured to Oklahoma, thrusting him into a part of the country where people behaved differently.
“Going to college was a culture shock,” Ibala admits.
“People in Colorado are free spirited and really chill. In Oklahoma, people are more conservative, in terms of if they don’t know you very well, they will not be super friendly, and they will keep to themselves until they feel they can trust you.”
Since graduating from Tulsa University and returning to The Centennial State, Ibala has continued to be cognizant of the way he communicates, and while his career path as an engineer has slowly begun to unfold, Ibala is still searching for ways to self-improve.
Sure, Ibala could devote all his attention to his 9-5 job and spend his evenings watching the latest series on Netflix, but Ibala shares that he has always wanted more out of life, and in order to elevate to the next level, earlier this year Ibala joined The Standard.
The Standard is a nationally recognized mastermind group where the men in the organization network and work in unison to bring value to each other.
Ibala is grateful he was able to become a member of The Standard, not only because of the opportunities generated through the organization, but more than anything, he’s finally found a class of people who are also trying to realize their potential.
“What I like about The Standard is that you are surrounded by like-minded individuals who all want to grow, evolve, and get to the next level,” Ibala says.
“When you’re surrounded by people who are zeroing in on their purpose, you are then in an environment where it is really easy to absorb things.”
One specific area in which the men of The Standard have assisted Ibala is by helping him continue to forge an identity, even though that same identity is constantly being challenged to evolve.
“Here’s a great example of what I mean by continuously evolving: I started seeing other people in The Standard wearing suits and dressing up. Part of me knew I should do the same, even though I’m not big into clothes, and then eventually I started to ask myself why I wasn’t doing that, especially because I already knew the benefits of dressing nicely and the effect that had on the way people treated me.”
“Looking back, at first it felt like there was a level of superficiality to wearing suits, in the sense that all of us in The Standard look good and we speak eloquently, but who really are we? Yet over time, when you are around these types of people, who you are and how you’re perceived changes because you’re changing how you perceive yourself. That’s just one really beautiful aspect of The Standard.”
Beyond his engineering endeavors and collaborating with the men of The Standard, in the coming years Ibala will pursue a writing career.
He is currently writing one book and has plans to author two more after the first is published.
While the actual books may never yield the enormous profits every aspiring writer yearns for, Ibala is committed to leveraging them to help in building a comprehensive financial portfolio, one that would of course afford him a superb quality of life, but also those around him.
“My financial goals are not just about making money so that I can be rich,” Ibala emphasizes.
“I see myself in a position of philanthropy. I want to use money as a tool to create opportunities for other people, but to do that there are things that must be accomplished first.”
To some, Ibala’s ambitions may seem lofty, but to those who know him best, his words are genuine, and a stark representation of a man who encourages others to be equally authentic in their life’s journey.
“A lot of us feel like we have to please somebody, but just be yourself,” Ibala advises.
“People tend to respect someone who is honest and kind, but that they disagree with, more than someone who is a liar and tells you what they think you want to hear. That’s why it’s so important to just be yourself and try to find the best way to articulate who you truly are. That takes time and practice, but once you get there you will notice that all the great people will stay, and everyone else will filter away naturally. That’s The Standard effect.” QS
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