food for thought.... · venezuela

Venezuela – land of example, moral and ethics (…no, I am not crazy)

q arrecho ser vnzol

Many of you might think that I got crazy… How Venezuela can be a land of example, moral and ethics???

Today I heard somebody saying that it is easy to have moral, values and ethics being born in a rich country where you still are rich, no business is on the edge, and no ethical dilemmas are presented.

It is relatively easy to keep compliance and rules in a country where the laws are clear, where justice is transparent.

Let us come to Venezuela…. Actual laws do not favor the private business, some of them “guide” us to sell at a price level that can not cover our own costs. Adding to this legal situation, the hyperinflation is knocking at the door of the country.

Sometimes the term “justice” means more than compliance, but depending on the circumstances, justice is nothing close to compliance.

Then, how to lead a multinational where you want justice and compliance at the same time and both can be perceived differently? And more, how to explain this to the headquarters?

Before I was transferred to Venezuela, I had thousands interviews with high level executives of my previous company and all interviews went to the same direction – are you sure you can do business and assure good results in countries where it seems necessary to have different set of rules, where the level of compliance can be different from the required by our company?

I was so so sure that it was not only possible, but also that this was a competitive advantage!

Being in Venezuela, working in multinational has allowed me to prove this though right. We can find many situations where the outcome might have finished wrongly, if it were not for me being working in a multinational. Working in a multinational, european in this case, just leaves us an advantage that is the historical strictness of the companies from this part of the world.

I have never had a situation in which I had to use my discernment regarding compliance, simply it is clear what kind of business we do, and I have found so many partners to do business as this. And in Venezuela right now, there are much more people that are looking for good business and very strict partners to show how honest one is. Right now the ethics and example of honesty is ery much valued.

One would be surprised to see how many honest people we can find. One would be even more surprised to see that the historic record of honesty and compliance can open doors and favour one so much, as this can be the only true and the only sureness business partners want to look for.

The one very nice point for us to see is that human beings are human beings, and independently of parts, parties, nations, beliefs, having a common ground always shows us the way, always shows us that we can always do business if the purpose is clear and this purpose can be shared by everyone.

From my 5 years experience in Venezuela, it did not matter which was the client or the partner I had talked to,  always when I started to talk about our concern about the patients and wanted to find a solution together, NEVER, EVER have I received a different answer than a willigness to be part of the solution or to work for patients…

More than everything – the Venezuelans are very very much honest and example of honor… In the middle of all the situation we are living, I am a living proof of how many admirable Venezuelans are still in Venezuela, I have met so many Venezuelans, enterprenueurs, second, third generation of Venezuelans who has built the history of this country, and want, more than ever prove that you can do business as one expects here in Venezuela.

Probable, because of all this situation, the honor and honesty is crucial for many Venezuelans, the word is very important and sometimes is what really sustains relationship between client and supplier.

So, if you ask if the “easy” way is the best way and quicker way, I answer yes, if you ask if it would be much easier to take the short cut, my answer would be even a stronger yes… And, because all the detours and easier ways are so easy and not frequently condemned, but rewarded, that I admire so much the Venezuelan business people…

The Venezuelans who are facing so many challenges to stay in their country and fight for their businesses are honorable and I owe them all my respect – I am learnign a lot from them and I am being able to use so many people as example to my children…

Yes, this is also, looking on a different perspective, very good to educate children!!! Here the examples and contrast are so clear that parents can show clearly what is correct and how you wish your children to behave and who to follow!

Thanks to Venezuela I can teach my children clearly what is to be honest, what is to be perseverant, what is to stand to your values and to your principles. Thanks to Venezuela I am b eing able to teach my children, from their childhood how tempting is the easy way, but how much better is the feeling to get somethiung with your effort, honesty and perseverance!!!!

Yes, Venezuela is the land of opportunities, values, honor and ethics!! This is the reason I believe so much on this country!!!!!





food for thought.... · venezuela

Hope, ethical dilemmas and learning – blessings only available in Venezuela

vnzla p toda la vida

I am getting thousand of answers to my philosophical questions the last months….

As much as the situation of Venezuela worsens and the challenges increase, as much as the decisions get more difficult and more critical, and as much as I get questioned about the situation I am living in, and as much as I myself doubt my decisions, the more I thank the Universe for having brought me to Venezuela at this right moment…

Each day that ends and I even if I finish it crying, I get more convinced that my mother was right.

The real learning I will have depends on how I will face the greatest challenge and difficulties of my life…

Well, I was simply blessed with the biggest opportunity a person might have of becoming wise, very wise in one life-time…

I have taken the decision to change completely the perspective of my life right now.

I decided neither to cry nor to be sorry for everything that I cannot change; I decided that there is nothing NOTHING that I can not change…

I just got the message….

  • What I will feel in 10 years looking back in time and how I will feel about myself when recalling everything I lived in Venezuela during the biggest challenge of my life will depend on the decisions and attitude I will have right now….
  • How my children will talk about me, which kind of human beings they will be, depend solely on how I will do business and how I face my private life this year and the years left for me in Venezuela….

The destiny simply opened, ahead of me, the door for my soul construction, and it is presenting 2 ways, and I simply have to pick one…

But this choice will change completely myself and everything and everybody who is around me.

How do I want to be remembered????

I want to be remembered as a person who has never given up, a person that even facing the toughest decisions has kept the head up and smiled to life and supported any person who needed. A person who, definitely has chosen the positive way. From the 2 choices, do things crying, complaining, or do things smiling looking for the bright, positive side, I chose to smile to life…

By the end, the life time experience and test is happening right now, do I wanted good MBA which would give me lifetime experiences???

Well – I have signed up to a Master in Life Administration….. …and nobody has told me, I have just noticed…

No place is a better place to learn how to be resilient, know how to lead by example, learn how to lead in transparency and really to test any leadership style, here if one style is correct, it will show, if not, oh… it will also show and help us God, the consequences of a bad leadership here are extreme…

At the same time, no place is better to teach your children how to apply discernment, how to take decisions based on minimum data, but still doing it. If you have to decide how to teach your children, Venezuela leaves you no option – you have to choose the positive way, the “values based” way, the “love the simple” way, and you teach and learn that happiness one finds within and we do not depend on anything external to be happy, but ourselves and our choices will dictate how much happiness you will live with!

Finally Venezuela teaches you that decisions have to be taken even when you are not sure that you are taking them correctly, because not deciding will have a simple consequence, decisions will be taken for you, and be clear, you want to have the decisions on your hands. The final hope is – time will show if you had made the right ones, and you, yourself, will pay in case not, this finally is the ultimate proof of Karma – you can be sure that your actions will have a consequence in this life, and in this country. Be them good or not you will be sure if you were right or not.

My conclusion right now of my professional and personal situation is that I would not choose to be in any other place than Venezuela – and this will be seen in my soul forever, thanks God! Forever Venezuela

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…

Coisas para serem lembradas!!! · venezuela

What Venezuela is teaching us – lessons for eternity…

san francisco prayer i-love-venezuela-v-neck_design

Lately there is one question repeating itself, which makes us more and more meditative….

“Do you still like living in Venezuela?”

There is something interesting in the answer, and it is not simple, neither complex, it is indeed deeper, and really “spiritual” reflection.

Each day that we spend more in Venezuela, our beliefs, principles and values are stronger. The difficulties make us see huge opportunities for our family. The San Francisco Prayer means more right now (see above in yellow card)…


In any other circumstances, our family would never be so united.

In any other circumstances, our family would never need to be so strong in our faith and in our self judgment.

We are learning to value small things; one Saturday night watching movies, in our living room, with pop corn, cola and sweets is great! One breakfast together cooking and having fun, is better!! Even better is singing together any Brazilian music and teaching the kids Portuguese!

The kids ask a lot, doubt a lot, and see things that no other children will do, is it bad? No, this is a huge opportunity, depending on how you handle and “juggle” with the subject – we learn to be better parents, to answer more adequately, to give the right attention to their questions.

We finally are really being vegetarian!!! The good food is the one that we are able to cook with the magic ingredients we are able to have in our shelves, we have never valued good food as now…

Also we are able to find good in anything, we finally really understand the meaning of “look the positive side”, and really see how important it is for you to build resilience.

Paradigms – we are breaking them… we are learning that being flexible, but knowing your values is something that sometimes seems impossible (being flexible with your principles and keep values?), then we have a challenge, a real one, a REAL one, not what normal people have, and then we learn that, to be able to be flexible and keep our values, we have to look for the greater good, looking for the results in long term, but not leaving the short term, otherwise you will have no short, neither long term… Ambiguity? Complexity? This is our daily learning!!! Who would ask for something else?

Our family is learning what is to have unconditional love, but really unconditional… if you say you love – then take this… Bummm something happens that makes you look again to everything and then you have to look deep inside yourself and your hearth and ask – is this the size of sacrifice I would do for what I love – AHA…. Didn’t you tell that you had unconditional love????

Yes, unconditional love, unconditional commitment – this has been the biggest learning I think I will take forever. This is the kind of love you tell you have for your kids, but is it really unconditional??? Just one question – would you ever be able to be alive if any of your kids would tell that he/she loves someone else more than they love you – and not a partner, not their children… If you have a love for your children that is jealous, that is possessive, then it is not unconditional love… The really unconditional love for your children is loving them despite of any choices they have, despite of any love they have for someone else, any decisions they make – the real unconditional love, is the kind of love, that you do not ask anything back, you, indeed, do not expect anything, you simply do everything that you really think is the best for them, not protecting them, but making them independent and being ready to live one day without you, because believe me, they will have to do so…

On this same logic – what is then unconditional love for a country??????? Would you do whatever you could to make it improve, without any expectation? Without any judgment, helping and supporting whatever is needed, keeping your beliefs and simply looking for what will make this nation stronger? Would you be able to leave some battles that seem to be important, but they are not adding up for the future of your country? Are you able to see what will make you leave a legacy? Are you able to do something without any expectation, and simply for the sake of seeing your country having a future?

Yes, I love being in Venezuela, with and despite everything – my secret – I really believe that these years here in Venezuela will finally build the human being I will be, the “old lady” I will, Venezuela will end up building the greater part of the picture I will be when I die. …and I want to take each second, each lesson from these period and build a better human being from myself and all my family, learning to be happy from inside, not needing anything else, and knowing that when you love something, you just live for it, and do never forget who you are and what is your mission here in this life…

Yes, I do know I have to be here right now and I do not regret one second being here, indeed I thank God for placing me here right now! Venezuela is already part of me, Venezuela gave me my family…