food for thought.... · Leadership · Professional · Thoughts&Learning

Leading & Parenting; coaching & raising children – same purpose, make human being happy, make human being ready to decide by their own!

This week I read a very nice article in Facebook from O Globo, Brazilian newspaper.

It went about the importance of the father (I read parents….) influence on the performance of their children in the corporate world.

This made me go back to the day I decided to be mother and how much I had to plan clearly how I would do it. My children came to me “raised”, with an age which was very important to prioritize what I wanted to teach them, since I did not have time enough as other mothers. While other mothers would have 6, 7 or 9 years to build up the values and principles in their children, I had, for my eldest, only 3 years before the phantom of teenager would start to hunt, then no time, no dedication would be enough to bring up him to what I truly believe would be the path of happiness.

To do this, to start raising 3 children coming to us at ages of 6, 7 and 9 I had to go back to my leadership trainings, beliefs and all my General Manager experience (do not be scared, if you analyze, being a true GM is being parent, but the good one, the one who teaches how to fish and does not bring the fried fish…).

The solely thing I have in my soul about leading people is that I really want them to be happy, not happy funny, but happy from the soul, happy with satisfaction of doing good deeds, happy of being able to take decisions with discernment, happy of seeing that their decisions bring the expected consequences, happy of understanding that their life have a purpose, and this purpose fits with their work!

Well, here it goes – I decided to prioritize 2 things in raising my children:

  1. Discernment to understand that all decisions will have consequences will impact all around you, and it is your responsibility to know them before going further
  2. Your happiness and state of mind will depend solely on you and this will determine your future, and this will be a consequence mainly on how your will take your decisions in life

So, discernment and attitude, these are the priorities.

Interesting enough, these are EXACTLY the qualities I look in a professional when I want to hire them to help me to be better leader, to deliver results and to build an amazing team….

If this is what one looks in a person to be part of your team, why don’t we ourselves focus the education of our children on these characteristics clearly?

Well, to hire someone who had the luck to have parents to raise them correctly and then you just have to lead them and take leverage their best is easier than doing the job of raising someone yourself…

I promise – it can be done, but Gosh…., you must be very conscious since it does not matter how many times you repeat something, your children will do what you do, not what you tell them to do, your example is shout to your face when you expect the least and your children just act as you do…. So if you want perfect children, you have to be perfect yourself. …

…hmmmm but isn’t it the same for leadership???? Your team is your mirror, isn’t it??

Yes, leading and parenting is the same!

I had this so clear, but I thought it was just in my specific case, and as everything in my life, a sign came to tell that I am in the right direction, the O Globo article has opened my eyes and has reinforced my belief that I have just to coach my children, being open, honest and mainly leaving the decision of everything to them, but not letting them do what they want, but always putting all the right questions in their head so they can answer correctly and can identify all the consequences of different decisions!

Some of the tools we use;

Notebook of reflection:

Every time the kids do something wrong, instead of telling what they did wrong, we ask them to go to their notebook, write about what they have done, what the consequences are and if they would have the chance, what would they do differently – this has worked hugely, since they themselves come to us sometimes, with their reflection done and ask for our feedback. And sometimes we ask them to go back to the notebook and observe how many times they have already written about something, this works so well!

Family meeting request right:

When one of them want to share something they learnt or some of them want to ask for help of the other, they ask for the family meeting before praying and meditating at night, the person shares her/his issue and each one has one turn to tell what he/she would do in the other’s place and why. This has helped the kids to open up and to be afraid to open their doubts and mistakes, and has helped them to see feedback as a true help!

What is the impression you have given?

Many times when they do something that is not good, we call for a oral reflection and we ask them, what is the impression you have given, or, if you were the other person, how would you see yourself? Is this how you would like to be seen? If not, how should you have acted??

We do lots, lots of talk with the children, and basically we talk as adults, we do believe that they understand, and believe me, whatever you believe your children are, they will be – if you think they are brats, horrible teenager, they will act so, but if you tell them, that you believe them, that is the reason you are trusting and expect responsibly and honesty as return, you will have…

Either this is the right conclusion, or we are the luckiest parents in the world, or the best ones in the world, and I tend to believe that it is a mix of having the best children as well as doing our best to be good parents!!!!!

All in all these last 3 years I learnt to be a better leader thanks to my children and I have learned to be a better mother thanks to my team in Venezuela!! Being a leader and a mother is EXACTLY the same, the efforts, the expectations, the happiness, the return and the satisfaction, and sometimes also some stress!!!!

Leadership · Professional

Quantum leadership, Spiritual leadership, only possible in a Company with clear purpose

purpose-driven

In my recent discover of Roche’s most amazing facet, I understood why I am here.

My mother’s guidance during my early leadership times, 2003, had among other, Danah Zohar.
My mother, a quantic physics reader and curious Medical Doctor, had given me books to read as she wanted me to make a difference in the world I would live in.
She was very worried to assure that our family’s legacy; meaning, making this world a better place for everybody, would be seen wherever we decided to be part of.
The first book she gave me, when I got a leadership position in a country, Hungary, 2003, being at this time in my early 30’s, was The servant – James C Hunter, a book which guided one to be a servant leader…
After this, the readings started to involve the philosophy of having the quantic physics as basis for new society, being it economic, capital, leading, corporation.
The theory meant to say that the previous theories about society, economy, corporations, business models, were related to newtonian theories which tried to simplify everything, looking to the uniqueness of everything and studying everything separated, meaning, having an objective by its own, selfish.
On the other hand the new theories base themselves on quantum physics, where everything is connected and one, hence, one purpose – meaning that the companies and leaders who can understand that this world is only one, and that there is a greater good to fight for, will lead the future, since this will be the sustainability of the human kind, preservation of our planet and also transforming society and the planet in one, not a separated parts!
Too etheric thought, new metaphysic approach, but the reality, and the ones who understand this will be able to live their lives in harmony quicker!
I am now in the biggest period of plenitud I have never been in my life! I am happy and peaceful with all my decisions and paths chosen, and I understood my mission in life is about to be accomplished.
…and with this I mean I am completely sure that being in Roche is the right choice as a professional and as a person, a human being seeking her mission to make this world a better place!
I truly believe that what Roche is leading, in the corporate world, is what these books of Danah Zorah below describe, and if it is not fully aware of it, this is what I feel, reason why I feel so connected to whatever has been done in my 4,5 years here.
The 2 books I see myself and my company in, are the following ones:

The Quantum Leader: A Revolution in Business Thinking and Practice Danah Zohar 

Imagen integrada 2

“Drawing inspiration from quantum physics, innovative management thinker Danah Zohar offers a powerful new model for business thinking and practice. “Quantum leaders,” she says, like the systems they have to manage, are poised at “the edge of chaos.” They thrive on the potential latent in uncertainty and are adept at unleashing the creativity of self-organization. More important, they are vision- and value-led; they adapt quickly, are unafraid to play with the boundaries and reinvent the rules, and celebrate diversity.

Zohar points out that the existing, business-as-usual paradigm owes a great deal to the outdated thinking, assumptions, and values of Newtonian science, which gave rise to the Industrial Revolution. Newtonian thinking assumes that corporations and markets are like machines–predictable, stable, and controllable; they are best managed in a way that eliminates risk and assures equilibrium. Unfortunately, as the global financial collapse of 2008 demonstrated, this way of thinking is as obsolete as the steam engine.

Further developing ideas she introduced in her acclaimed Rewiring the Corporate Brain and Spiritual Capital, Zohar has written an inspirational book that will motivate leaders to tap the full potential of their employees, their businesses, and the customers they serve.”

Rewiring the Corporate Brain Danah Zohar 

Imagen integrada 1
“Corporate structures, like the physical and biological structure of the human brain, operate from one of three individually distinct but intricately interrelated systems: mental, emotional, and spiritual. The healthiest organizations, like the healthiest minds, learn to respond and adapt to external stimuli through a well integrated union of all three structures rather than a single, rigid approach. Business models, however, primarily neglect emotional and spiritual components in their operations, placing emphasis instead on efficiency, results, and other qualities readily associated with the mental structure alone. With only one-third of the corporate brain utilized, the remaining two-thirds present a vast reserve of ideas and opportunities for responding creatively to the daily demands of corporate life. Rewiring the Corporate Brain offers a new way to think about, lead, and structure organizations for fundamental transformation. It demonstrates how people must change the thinking behind their thinking – i.e., rewire the structures of the corporate brain – to operate more fully and achieve genuine fundamental organizational change. Written for managers at all levels, Rewiring the Corporate Brain takes its lead from quantum, chaos, and the latest brain sciences to offer practical, accessible, and inspiring alternatives to traditional structures in corporate design, practice, and implementation.”
I hope truly that this is the way societies, countries, and all mankind are going to, as this is the future of our following generations, and I hope to be supporting to build the corporation and society I want my kids to work on and to raise their children, my grandchildren…
In which world do you want your children and grandchildren to be raised on?
🙂 Let us build the world we want to live in!
Leadership · Professional

Leading & Parenting; coaching & raising children – same purpose, make human being happy, make human being ready to decide by their own!

This week I read a very nice article in Facebook from O Globo, Brazilian newspaper.

It went about the importance of the father (I read parents….) influence on the performance of their children in the corporate world.

This made me go back to the day I decided to be mother and how much I had to plan clearly how I would do it. My children came to me “raised”, with an age which was very important to prioritize what I wanted to teach them, since I did not have time enough as other mothers. While other mothers would have 6, 7 or 9 years to build up the values and principles in their children, I had, for my eldest, only 3 years before the phantom of teenager would start to hunt, then no time, no dedication would be enough to bring up him to what I truly believe would be the path of happiness.

To do this, to start up raising 3 children coming to us at ages of 6, 7 and 9 I had to go back to my leadership trainings, beliefs and all my General Manager experience (do not be scared, if you analyze, being a true GM is being parent, but the good one, the one who teaches how to fish and does not bring the fried fish…).

The solely thing I have in my soul about leading people is that I really want them to be happy, not happy funny, but happy from the soul, happy with satisfaction of doing good deeds, happy of being able to take decisions with discernment, happy of seeing that their decisions bring the expected consequences, happy of understanding that their life have a purpose, and this purpose fits with their work!

Well, here it goes – I decided to prioritize 2 things in raising my children:

  1. Discernment to understand that all decisions will have consequences, and it is your responsibility to know them before going further
  2. Your happiness and state of mind will depend solely on you and this will determine your future, and this will be a consequence mainly on how your will take your decisions in life

So, discernment and attitude they are, these are the priorities.

Interesting enough, these are EXACTLY the qualities I look in a professional when I want to hire them to help me to be better leader, to deliver results and to build an amazing team….

If this is what one looks in a person to be part of your team, why don’t we ourselves focus the education of our children on these characteristics clearly?

Well, to hire someone who had the luck to have parents to raise them correctly and then you just have to lead them and take their best is easier than doing the job of raising someone yourself…

I promise it can be done, but God, you must be very conscious since it does not matter how many times you repeat something, your children will do what you do, not what you tell them to do, your example is shout to your face when you expect the least and your children just act as you do…. So if you want perfect children, you have to be perfect yourself. …

…hmmmm but isn’t it the same for leadership???? Your team is your mirror, isn’t it??

Yes, leading and parenting is the same!

I had this so clear, but I thought it was just in my specific case, and as everything in my life, a sign came to tell that I am in the right direction, the O Globo article has opened my eyes and has reinforced my belief that I have just to coach my children, being open, honest and mainly leaving the decision of everything to them, but not letting them do what they want, but always putting all the right questions in their head so they can answer correctly and can identify all the consequences of different decisions! By the end they are much happier!!!

Some of the tools we use;

Notebook of reflection:

Every time the kids do something wrong, instead of telling what they did wrong, we ask them to go to their notebook, write about what they have done, what the consequences are and if they would have the chance, what would they do differently – this has worked hugely, since they themselves come to us sometimes, with their reflection done and ask for our feedback. And sometimes we ask them to go back to the notebook and observe how many times they have already written about something, this works so well!

Family meeting request right:

When one of them want to share something they learnt or some of them want to ask for help of the other, they ask for the family meeting before praying and meditating at night, the person shares her/his issue and each one has one turn to tell what he/she would do in the other’s place and why. This has helped the kids to open up and to be afraid to open their doubts and mistakes, and has helped them to see feedback as a true help!

What is the impression you have given?

Many times when they do something that is not good, we call for a oral reflection and we ask them, what is the impression you have given, or, if you were the other person, how would you see yourself? Is this how you would like to be seen? If not, how should you have acted??

We do lots, lots of talk with the children, and basically we talk as adults, we do believe that they understand, and, believe me, whatever you believe your children are, they will be – if you think they are brats, horrible teenager, they will act so, but if you tell them, that you believe them, that is the reason you are trusting and expect responsibly and honesty behaviour as return, you will have…

Either this is right conclusion, or we are the luckiest parents in the world, or the best ones in the world, and I tend to believe that it is a mix of having the best children as well as doing our best to be good parents!!!!!

All in all these last 3 years I learnt to be a better leader thanks to my children and I have learned to be a better mother thanks to my team!! Being a leader and a mother is EXACTLY the same, the efforts, the expectations, the happiness, the return and the satisfaction!!!!

The article:

(Pais influenciam o desempenho dos filhos no ambiente corporativo http://glo.bo/2bvfUk4)

food for thought.... · Leadership · venezuela

If I had the chance I would choose Venezuela again, same period, same company…

florvzlaWe always have periods of reflexion, of wondering where we are, as professionals, as persons…

I was in one of these moments, wondering what have I done of my professional life and wondering why things are happening as they are. More than this, I was trying to find answers for questions that I am sure no one has answers for, as “Why at this stage of my career I am having to face challenges like I am doing” “Is this taking me any longer in my future or is this blocking me for further steps personally?” “Is there anything that I am doing result of Karma, so if I have to learn, what is that I have to focus on?”

Well, I consider myself very lucky professionally, I had all sorts of challenges in my career.

As a leader, I had the chance to live different experiences…  Companies which were going through changes, where finding opportunities was easy and added to this, having a  good team with good strategy lead us to be seen well.  Or country which had good results, but with a fearful team, without motivation and just with the right focus working with the potential and passion of the team, believing in the team and listening to them the results were incredible!

But the questions started to raise when suddenly I takeover a great team, with great results, with noble people who has built history, a team who has put together all qualities one look in an organisation, and the results start not to come as a consequence of external elements one can not control… What to do when everyone is giving their best, everyone is fighting for each objective, everybody is so committed that one thanks God everyday for the team and still the results are not coming and finally there is no right decision to bring back results. What to do when the right decision is the less worse decision… When the real right decision is to adapt to the new reality one does not see clearly? …and by the end the right decision is to let go of people you respect and you are very glad to be honoured with their presence….

This happened to many of us companies during the last 2 years, we saw colleagues who we would give any salary in any other country to have the privilege to work with, having to leave our companies… We have faced situations in which we cried after a business review when there was no right solution to bring back the business, but there was only right answers to fundamental questions which we did not want to be answerer, or pure instinct…. But by the end, if the decision is to stay as a believer and give all our efforts to bet on the country, and in all existing potential, how to do it???  Many times the answer was not exactly as one wants, nor is the implementation…

So, why being good leaders here means doing everything one is not prepared academically to do, or more, one does not want to be psychologically  prepared to do, as this would be the opposite of what leaders sign for???

 

Some people asked me if I have ever wondered why I am here with all the difficult decisions and challenges, if I was always a good person and fought for people and always believed that what you do, you will receive back, I should be experiencing a nice Dharma, not a Karma… Why do I have to lead this period of my company and be the one to take tough decisions? Why do I have to be a leader that will be hated eventually and either bosses will see you as too emotional and employees will see you as the reason why the history is being “destroyed”???

After lots, lots of thought I had an insight, and I am so so proud and happy, everything depends always on the perspective you choose to take… Here is my choice;

I understood now, THIS is my Dharma, everything I prayed for is happening… If I see all the employees my company had when I arrived and the ones are working now, how do I see them??

I see these colleagues as brave warriors who taught me a lot, who built the company, who represent each value that had been the brick after brick which has grown up to be this Venezuelan foundation of our affiliate…

I love each of my colleagues who worked with us, I am not ashamed to say that I fought what I needed to keep this foundation, I am emotionally involved with this country and with these team, I also am not ashamed to tell that I have good guides that brought me to solid soil, reality and help me to take the right decisions at the right moment…

But the most important consideration I am making is;

I am living a Dharma, a gift and not a punishment, EXACTLY for having been good and for having taken the right decisions in the past, focused on people on goodness, with all my heart and soul I am here today… The love I have for this people from my company, brought me to this conclusion – I would not choose anyone else than myself to take the decisions and to have the right team to implement them… I know from the depth of my soul that I do everything to my people, to Venezuela, and also I know that I do love, adore my team, each one who is still in the company and who left, as well as I love this country…

I understood – I am the right person to be here…. I am proud of having done so well my work in the past, for having done so well to people and countries which I lived that I was “selected” by the universe to be here right now to lead this noble organisation and to be the one to have the chance to guide this team through this so special part of the history we are making, at any time we were part of it….

If I have to choose again, I would do everything again… I know that now I might not be recognised and I might have many bad feelings towards me, but I am sure that in 10 years, when people look back, they will understand, and everyone will understand that the attitude chosen at a given moment will dictate our futures, our destiny… I choose to stay… I choose to be the one to guide the people I love, I chose to be one to hold hands at bad or good moments, I choose to the one to be messenger of good or bad news, but I choose to stay side by side with my team… I choose to be the one here for my team! …finally they have been here for me…

With all difficult decisions, with all difficult implementations, with all the sorrow and with all the learnings.

If I had the chance, I would not change anything, I would only ask to be able to realize earlier what a gift it is to be in Venezuela with this team for the last 3 years, and be the one learning and finding the real meaning of leading a team from our souls….

I thank the universe, God to have sent me to Venezuela almost 5 years ago, I would definitely do all again…

food for thought.... · Leadership · Professional · Uncategorized

Difficulties and opportunities of being a female leader in critical situations

For years I have been struggling with the idea of being the right leader, the right co-worker, the right mother, the right wife, the right daughter, the right sister, but I have forgotten the idea of simply being me as woman, a girl, simply myself…

The expectations are all around and somewhere in this journey we just leave behind the one thing we have, that is the most powerful and the most wanted characteristic of a female – the diversity of having born a instinctive human being, with emotion, who cares….

I already lost the number of times that something made me think over my actions, decisions, and the whole path that took me to these actions, decisions – and normally there are only two situations identified – the moments that I am proud of how I did it and I do not put too much thought on it, and the moments which I do not feel comfortable, and I do feel that I am not following what is right, and normally when this happens, I know something will not work.

Perfect – …but, this “something”-will-not-work-and-I-do-know – trust me, just works for family, partners, and long time colleagues. But be careful…. this does not work in the work environment, unless there is a huge amount of trust…

…and why is this?

Doing my reflections and meditations on the topic I had a huge insight!!!

The reason is a problem, but also as my mother used to say, do not focus in the problem, but look which opportunity is there, and here I did find it!!!

My thoughts guided me to understand that there is a simple way to guide men (or some women who do not know) to get the best from the female co-workers, and also how the female co-workers can help their bosses to bring the best out of them.

Normally the biggest gender gap comes when there is a decision to take or a crisis to face, and decisions sometimes can not be taken on facts or figures, but at the same time, some decisions that are major DO NEED more basis to be taken or to be approved.

When someone is pressured to decide, if this someone is a woman, she is going to follow her instincts, and she will get the “feeling” of much more things in the air, the men will be able to capture facts and figures that will sum up to a more rational decision…

Lately, and believe me, I am becoming an expert in having to take decisions under pressure, in crisis, in difficult times and with as little information as one can have, and I do feel that the decisions have been very good, but I was doubting my ability to take decisions by myself, since I had always a push, a guide of someone.

Some of these days, after one of those conversations and brain stormings, and not being able to put on a paper my instincts, my gut feeling, and not being able to convince the other side, I saw that a suggestion was given based on clear facts that were right… and I had no solution but accept it, I had no argument other than instinct.

…and then this huge feeling of something getting wrong came to me, how is it possible that I can not share that I do feel that something might not be good, why do I fear telling about my instincts…

This was when I got back to a great book, “Women who run with wolves” from a psychiatrist and Jungian with her book translated to several languages and with several prizes for being able to decipher the archetype of the “wild women” – something that all women loses by getting mature and having to fit into society and the expectations organizations have from leaders (which normally are male models).

(http://www.clarissapinkolaestes.com/women_who_run_with_the_wolves__myths_and_stories_of_the_wild_woman_archetype_101250.htm)

The book helped to understand that things are going well because it is the second time in my entire professional life I have a boss who can be able to take the best out of me as a woman.

The first time I experienced something like this was in Europe when I was a leader in Hungary (coincidently the author of the book is a Hungarian!) and I can not recall a more successful leadership time than this one (in my own leader life), this was the result of having the team that allowed me to be myself and made me the leader I was and I had great coaching mentorship and leadership from my boss, Dr Brocks. Coming back to this time, I recall that I had a coach, Penny Sophocleous, who helped me a lot, and each time I had a feeling an instinct of something, I used to call my boss, and I do not know if consciously or not, he used to pay HUGE attention when I asked his guidance to take a decision, which I was sure I had to make, but I did not know how to present it for approval… 🙂 Best of 2 worlds – Dr Brocks trusted me 1000%, I never felt so supported and so valued, he used to ask me many things and used to coach me until I was able to have clearly the gut feeling, the instincts into a “male” translator based on facts and a business format to present and get approval, and we did receive approval for everything and this was the same time when I used to share with my team meditations and Spiritual Quotient (Dana Zohar) learnings…

The “bias” when you go higher in leadership is clear, being a woman, you are emotional and you do get involved into the situation, because you do care for people. And then when there is a crisis and there is a pressure, nobody wants to hear what is your gut feeling, your instinct, and I can really understand it, on the other side, when there are no facts and figures, you have to follow something and here this female instinct is important.

But sad enough, some people loses the opportunity, because if there is a bias that women use to get emotionally attached, then automatically the lack of facts and figures and the presentation of instincts and gut feeling are (for them) only a proof that the vision is blurred by emotions and the woman is not being able to see straight… This is the time where I identify the wise people, the ones who can see straight and just ask you – ¨why are you thinking this, are you seeing something I am not?” and then really listens to you and starts a generative conversation try to find something better out of both perspectives. And also I can identify the ones who instead of generating further,  look the other way telling – she is not getting me into this emotional BS, if she does not get straight to the point I will challenge until she does not have more arguments, but I will not help her¨.

Here I thank once again the insight I had yesterday, because it is the second time in my life that I see that I have a male boss who somehow tries to “bear” with my instincts. For me is clear now how to go forward – it is just by sharing my instincts and being completely open telling – I do not know how to put on paper, I do not have facts, I wanted you to help me to think, and wanted you to try to see through my eyes, I am sure that the decisions will be much much better and these will be the best of 2 gender worlds!

By the end everybody wins, since male and female professionals are very complementary, the point is to find clearly how each one operates and never ever judge or start a conversation with bias, or assumptions, because judgment and pre assumptions really WILL blur the analysis and will be the obstacle for the best ideas to flow…

Diversity is indeed great, but for this greatness, we must be much more mature than we are now, since we should really leave our bias and assumptions aside and instead of criticizing emotions, straight forwardness or whatever characteristic of someone who is different from you, you just have to be open enough to understand that other perspective is a window which is opening to your brain, to your mind to be able to get to another level…

I have learned, I am happy that I have another task – be more free from judgment and help people to do so!!!

…and for sure be proud that I am a woman in all senses, with my instincts, with my emotions and passion, and above all with my love for people…

 

food for thought.... · Leadership · Yoga

Why working with love, purpose brings more success than working for money, for power? Yoga Karma teachings

Since 2003 Yoga has been a strong part of my life, this might seem a contradiction – working in a multinational company and still feel myself a yogini from my soul…

I found a place for a yogini as a general manager in a multinational company, indeed, GM in 2 different companies, in 2 different continents. A Yogini proud of delivering results, increasing market share, and also proud of motivating people to love to give results and celebrating stepping up the ranking of biggest companies in the country…

meditating-business-people

It was not always like this – I have doubted thousand times if I could live the yoga life style, mainly with 4 Yamas that I admire most; Satya (pure truth), Ahimsa (Love, non violence), Asteya (not crave for wealth, power, fame or whatever that might guide you to steal or do “evil”), Aparigraha (not being “greedy”, not looking for what you do not need for live, not cumulating things you do not need…). Most of the yoguis judge multinationals and criticise the executives working with them, they judge all executives as being all opposite of being yogi, it is even worst to be in this group while working for a pharmaceutical company.

Once when I was living in Budapest, 2005, and I was the head of a Healthcare Company, I was in love with yoga, I was a vegetarian, doing 10 days fasting twice a year and I went to a yoga retreat with only raw food. I was so happy the first day, practicing yoga, meditating, eating super healthy. During the dinner, a discussion started about how much damage the pharmaceutical companies were doing to the world and how the cure of cancer was already discovered but the companies were hiding it for their own profit… Judgment, criticism, which I analyse now as pure Avidya (lack of knowledge), one of the reasons of human suffering. I was not mature, and I judged myself, even being super hyper proud of what I was doing. I gathered my stuff while everybody was sleeping and I left…

This Sunday I had a great conversation with my mother, I told her that I decided to leave my company or to ask for a sabbatical year, go to India, learn deeper the Yoga and try to help people and spread love around the world in India, Africa… My mother asked me if I thought that what I was doing was not doing good for people, and I just answered that, on the contrary, I did believe that the company was saving lives, but the image did not reflect the reality. Also that I did believe that I was touching my team’s heart, but I felt it was too difficult to be “different”, a person who talks about love in a multinational. I remembered hearing (we were by the phone, she in Brazil and I was in Hungary) her laughing and she just answered: “yes my daughter, I agree with you, it is indeed much easier to spread love and kindness in Africa and India where everybody is open to receive it, it is too much of a challenge to change the profile of a multinational and prove that what they are doing fits the values you have, it is too much of a challenge to lead a company with love…”

Well, guess what?? …here I am, 9 years later, a different GM in Venezuela who talks about working with live, and during these years I read more and more about yoga, I discover that being a yogini is not how much further you push your leg into your ear, but deeper, you have to believe that love and peace of mind guide your life. All these doubts made me understand that, if you work for the simple reason that you love what you do and you want to prove that your values are aligned with your companies, and your purpose of life is aligned with its purpose, you will work much harder, you will work to deliver the mission of the company, that mixes with your own mission and when this happens, all comes, you can inspire, you can influence, you are consistent on what you say and what you do, the results are not celebrated for the finances they bring, but for the good deed they represent.

I started to understand the pattern; always when I did not focus on the bonus itself, I did not focus on the financial results or on the image I would enjoy, but, always when I did something with passion, enjoying fully the work itself, all the results used to come so, so constantly…

I understood then the results I was always achieving by reading in Bhagavad Gita about Karma Yoga – yoga by action. “Work alone is your privilege, never the fruits thereof. Never let the fruits of action be your motive; and never cease to work. Work in the name of your purpose, a greater good, abandoning self desires. Be not affected by success or failure. This is called Yoga.”

….Yoga, thousand of years ago, taught us what experts in psychology are telling us now – find a purpose for you and your team which is aligned with your company purpose and the results will come…

…and finally the yoga tells – the one who truly work for the sake of working, for a greater good, and inspires and influence others to do the same, building a better world, shall receive more and more to be able to influence more people to do even a better universe!

I do work for a greater good, I did find a company that has it in its core, and I have a team that does believe in a purpose, we are looking for a balance, whatever it means.

…and I do believe, from the bottom of my heart and my soul that the results we are achieving are to give an example that, believing in this greater good, working with love and trusting everybody deserves respect will bring the results one desires, and then we will celebrate the fingerprint we left in a country, the seed of love planted and the gratitude for being part of something bigger!

Work to make a difference, work to do your best for your people and for the country you live in – do not bother if you might fail sometimes or succeed others, just celebrate each time you have been true to your values, your principles, your purpose!

Coisas para serem lembradas!!! · food for thought.... · Leadership · Professional

We know our friends when we need them, also our employer, our company!!

What kind of company do you want to work for when you lead a country full of challenges????

My choice is for a company with values, strong values, and which most valuable asset is people – costumer or employee.

I have learned the hard way how to value a company, while I was in interviews, for my actual company, one of the last interviews, the interviewer has given me the perfect answer, the wished answer, the dream answer for the question “How do you take decision here in the company, how do you advise me to take decision when I am in doubt”, the answer was “Always ask what is the best for the patients, and you will know the right answer….”.

This answer was key – I knew that the company was known for being decentralised, quick decision making and with great focus on patients and employees, but a company is a company, however, my hearth wanted to follow the goodness, I wanted to work following my hearth, I needed a lot to have new dreams, new hopes and new believes, so I joined them!

My expectations were high, as were my fears, I was very much afraid of disappointing the new team, the new boss, the new group, were I ready to come to such a company? I was too much “clustered”, living a centralised world where decisions were taken on your behalf, and for each decision you had more than 4 levels or superiors to align. I remember during my first 6 months, after calling my boss for many little decisions, my boss told me “Lara, feel free to take the decisions alone, and if you feel more comfortable, send me a mail for information, you are general manager of the country, you are responsible so you have the freedom to lead it as you wish I am here to support in case of doubt or a decision which you feel like to discuss…”  hmmmmm…. was it real?

Well, surprise after surprise, you get used, and it is very easy to get used to be really able to lead a country, to be trusted and to be supported, I started to understand why the executives here were so professional, so creative, so diverse, but also so so so committed.

The result of having so much freedom and being fully responsible and accountable to your business, is that it makes you also care more for the decisions, the strategy, the results, so the trust will not be broken, and you want also to make your team stronger, since you need all right information to get to the right decisions and you need them making their own decisions!

Then, when the challenges come, as a marriage, you measure the real value and the “beauty” of the relation – this comes when you have difficulties, when you have to take difficult decisions, when one of the parts is not accomplishing for some reason. …and that must be well understood and supported from the other side, and you can either be patient, tolerant, listen, support and lead the partner to find the right solutions and then help to follow with the plan, or you can simply throw the blame, judge, loose trust and get to one side deciding and imposing solutions that might not be the best ones… A company with a GM in a country in difficulties is the same, and in this right moment you see which kind of marriage you are in!

Well, in a hard way, most challenging phase of my professional life, I figured out that I have chosen the right marriage… I remembered the answer of my interviewer, a high executive – “Here in the company when there is a doubt you ask what is the best for patients, short and longer term…” And I am seeing it day after day, in all difficult decisions or complex moments I can tell that several persons from several departments from global, regional, have showed me the same approach…

It is so good to have your values reinforced when you are going through a period of doubts, I am, day after day, happier for having decided for the right path…

This week, more than once, my team and I have thanked for working in this company, we are proud of what we are trying to do, it is difficult to decide when there is no absolute right answer, it is difficult to follow a path if there is some light missing, but it is great to feel supported and backed up by a company and colleagues who are all thinking together to try to find the right way!

I needed to write to express my gratitude, and to make it completely clear that there are companies that still put people first. This is the place for the executives who trust the hearth way.

Do not accept less, if you work with your hearth, with your integrity, and you have courage – do not give up, keep looking – you will find the right marriage, there is still companies that deserve our dedication!!! :)))

 

Leadership · Professional

Diversity & Inclusion (What about both????)

For several years the companies have been trying to increase their diversity. Diversity is essential for companies being global.

How to grow in emerging markets if your headquarters is in Europe or USA? Learn how the countries live, adapt to them, think like them, right?

During today’s breakfast my father in law, a art director from publicity agency, retired and having experience in several companies had made a great comment:

“I have worked in several agencies, and the agencies ended up always being the owner’s head. The owner could change the whole group of directors, the number of times they wanted, but the agency ended up always being the owner’s head – do you know why? Because by the end, as creative people are, they want to please their bosses, they want to present projects and changes that will be easily accepted, by who? By the owners…”

🙂 For us, who are the diversity and believe in our way of working, the difficult lies on creating trust, that our leadership, as different as it can be from the europeans or americans, can work.

I ask the women and Latinos, how many times have you heard during a feed back session “you should be less emotional, you should control your temperament” At the same time you hear “what makes you the professional you are is your passion, your intensity”.

I have heard it as “you should be less woman, less Latina”, but “Being a Latina, a woman is what makes you special”.

The point is that in order to get your ideas and your objectives through the “owners of the agency” you have to think like them, know them, meaning that after a certain time, “being different” does not help when you are in the way to get closer to the “owner of the agency”.

So, what is the solution? All experts already told – more than having the diversity is working on inclusion before working on diversity, is teaching to the “owners of the agency” how the new director team work, how the diverse think, behave, to understand the environment where they work. Accepting that a Latino working in Latin America might know better how to solve problems and lead the teams, accepting that different is different and not trying to translate this to the “owners of the agency” language…

My biggest lesson learnt in my latest experience is that the Diversity is really wished, because everybody does know that this is essential for the further growth of the multinationals, but the acceptance is still not at the level we would expect. Basically because there is still people who think that “the teams should adapt to me, my reports should adapt to my style of leadership” more than respecting and listening and adapting to your co-workers…

While the owners of the agency will still be one set of individuals, it does not matter how much diversity you will have on the layers down, the result of the diversity will not be seen. This is my take away lesson.

On the other side, it means, that, from us the diverse group, also the expectation showed should be measured, and we should not go so deep into what is talked, but we should be able to see where the limits are, so the frustration will not be the result of the efforts that we make!

By the end, the emerging markets are the place to be, if you come from an emerging market, manage your expectation, but be sure that we are needed, be there to support, be there to show how we work, be there to support the grow that can be achieve in our countries with support of this investment from outside!

…But do this with lots of love, patience and … …passion!!

Coaching · Leadership · Professional

Leadership and coaching – who indeed learns during a training?

After many years without training myself the colleagues, I had the opportunity to work on a coaching training myself, I had spent a full Saturday reviewing old booklets, books, courses and the certification material of coach the coach.

I had so much fun preparing the material and putting together exercises and fundamentals of coaching that I barely slept nights before the training, imaging how the reaction of the team would be – since I did put lots of love in the coaching workshop!

Some points were so important for me to review, as the 4 abilities of a good coach:

(From my training at http://www.coachinc.com/ccu/default.asp?s=1)

1) Contextual Listening

Avoid deciding what you will say in response while the individual is still talking; Say what you heard to verify; Set aside your own agenda; avoid making quick assumptions!

(“As you listen ask yourself, am I inhibiting, contaminating, or encouraging the other’s message?” – Sherod Miller)

2) Discovery Questioning

Use neutral, non-judgmental language; know when to ask closed questions and when to ask open-ended questions; continue to listen and use silence effectively; ASK QUESTIONS TO HELP THE INDIVIDUAL DISCOVER HIS OR HER OWN ANSWERS.

3)  Messaging

Convert your message on a neutral one – with a neutral language.

Establish an environment that supports a good coaching mood.

Allow the time for the message to be fully heard and understood!

Really have an intention to move the coachee forward, do not focus on being a good coach and telling the right thing at the right moment – if you really support your coachee with love you will know!

4) Acknowledge

Focused feedback to acknowledge, celebrate or endorse positive contributions, learning and behaviors.

Be genuine and timely.

Reframe the situation with respect.

Become comfortable in being acknowledged – teach others to accept it.

Create an environment of being valued and valuing others.

This was only one part and one point, which I got inspired by the corporate coaching clinic, which I took while being coached by Penny:

http://www.corpalc.com/index.html

My conclusion of a good coach, hence, a good leader is:

The best coach does not have the answer, does not give the answer, but indeed is the one that “inspires” the coachee to find his / her own answers!!!

…and this works also for our private life!

I will share with you how the workshop went !

Leadership · Professional

Leadership – is to serve others, be there for your team, colleagues!

Among many books, readings that I have found, this book had inspired me, and, of course, was given to me by my mother, who always looked for business books which could help my work!

O Monge e o Executivo; in Portuguese – The Servant; in English – is a wonderful book about leadership, but the real one, the one that you really would like to live, mainly reflects the kind of boss that anyone of us would like to have – so, the one we should always try to be!

The difference of this book is that it brings you to think over and see other sides of being a leader, and how much does the private life influence the professional life, indeed, what we are in our private life can not be different from the professional one…

I loved to see that with this book one can be sure that being good, doing the best for the others and living a life to serve others is really the best leadership path one can choose!

I was happy to understand that my attitude to help and to serve my team, my colleagues is not a lack of ambition or a competitive disadvantage, but more a very big competitive advantage!!!

Here is the link to the book in different languages!!!

In Portuguese:

http://www.amazon.com/Monge-Executivo-História-Essência-Liderança/dp/8575421026

In English: