My Coaching journey – Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou

I am publishing today with great amusement. One, because today we reach the 150th posts milestone and also because it is the first leadership journey I publish and from someone I really admire as a professional.

Despina and I met a couple of years ago when I was leading a project related to fleet monitoring. I was very impressed by her passion about the business, knowledge and also her leadership skills and gravitas very evident in every interaction we had. On a personal level, me being the father of a young lady (and I related this to my previous post – (Dreams I Dream for my Daughter. A Successful Business Woman). who aspires to be a business woman, Despina also became famous in my place because of her drive on topics related to Diversity and Inclusion and to empower women in shipping – historically a predominately male-dominated business. She’s someone who my daughter looks up to as role model.

I am glad women like Despina has taken such discussions and I can honestly see things changing in the world. This gives me peace of mind thinking that that when my lovely daughter enters in the labour market, she will be a professional measured, get paid and promoted based on her education, skills and most importantly, performance and professionalism, without gender being in any way a factor.

Continue reading “My Coaching journey – Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou”

Words Matter. It Is Not What But How We Say It.

It’s been a while but today I am gladly resuming my publications. Today I will share something about feedback and how the selection of our words is important.

I once read somewhere that around 250k people die in the US every year as result of medical mistakes. Investigations found that more than a third of these fatalities could have been avoided if doctor’s assistants had spoken when noticing that something in the procedure was incorrect. The fact, apparently, was that most of these assistants don’t speak because of the negative reaction (even aggressive) from doctors.

Have you ever experience a situation in which you were in doubt whether you should speak or remain quiet afraid of being shut by someone who believe to ‘know-it-better’?

Continue reading “Words Matter. It Is Not What But How We Say It.”

Opportunity To Do What You Do Best!

It is being a while since I published my last post. I am under job transition and this subject came up during one of my sessions as part of getting to know my stakeholders – and I thought it worth sharing with you.

Sometimes people don’t do their best not because they don’t want but because condition for that to happen is not being created – mostly by the leader.

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Because We Believe – ‘Mi Panama’

Today’s post is about a project being initiated in Panama.

Inspired by Simon Sinek, I will start this short post with my ‘WHY’. Why am I writing about it? It is simple, ‘Because I Believe! in it’

_I believe in this great project; It is a great cause.

_I believe in helping others to achieve their dreams;

_I believe that learning takes people out of poverty;

_And most important, I believe that learning can change lives and the world as a whole! (make right choices, educated decisions and vote consciously)

_ Another reason why I am sharing this article – I know Robert and that he conducts his business with his heart and this is a wonderful opportunity to help our kids in Panama.

What is this project about: Give the opportunity for less privileged students to learn English, develop themselves and increase their value & opportunity when entering to the job market. Continue reading “Because We Believe – ‘Mi Panama’”

Eight Things To Put In Practice In 2018

In a couple of days, 2017 will be part of the past and everything that happened during that, history. On today’s article, I want to share eight points for us to think about and maybe put in practice in 2018.

They are not mine. They were shared by a great leader who I had the privilege to work for and who became a mentor and reference to me – an inspiration in many ways but mainly because he lives and masters below.

  1. Winning Mentality. No matter what people say then it is just much more fun to win! You will need to deliver results, you need to clear bottlenecks preventing your team to lift their performance and you need to be result driven. Stay pragmatic while doing so as we will always face trade-offs which need to be managed carefully.

  2. Effectiveness. Everyone in your organization should look at you and be amazed on how much you get done at work. It’s not about being hard working and putting in long hours – but how you use the available time.

  3. Stakeholder Management. Don’t ever take that off your agenda…! Great stakeholder management will facilitate your work and make sure it is just easier to achieve results. Know your stakeholders and how important they are for you – and then manage accordingly.

  4. About Communication. Clear, short and to-the-point communication. This is about getting through to people with power and make yourself easily understood. You need to be able to tell a good story to make people buy into your key messages. You need to be able to adapt to the audience – and always remember that no matter which audience it is a privilege that they give you their time to listen to you.

  5. Cross Functional Working. Always be ready to assist cross functionally and raise your hand for new projects. Accept that far from all will fit into your KPIs and we have things we need to deliver as a leadership team. Assist and engage with your peers – both ways.

  6. Develop People. Get them promoted. Increase their market value. Make them feel that they grow with you. Provide frequent feedback and make sure to follow up via development plans. Invest in them – both your own time but also in learning when they can benefit from external support.

  7. Resource Utilization. Always be one step ahead to optimize your organization for the future. Take the right tough decisions to adjust. Move resources between teams if this is what is required to deliver the best possible results.

  8. Network. Create and develop a network. Nurture it and invest in it. Be a mentor to younger / less experienced colleagues.

The list carries on but I identified these 8 points as very strong and easy to remember/follow. Have you identified anything you could change and start doing in 2018?


Picture: I received this picture via whatsapp from a friend. Don’t know the source.

Many Reasons To Get Off The Bed – LEGACY

For some time now I have adopted the habit of working out early in the morning – usually around 5:00 am. This year and motivated by a close friend, I resumed running and it is impressive how it boosts your energy for the day and the myriad of ideas sparking in one’s mind with working out – there is a scientific reason for that but will not get into details here.

Chewing the fat with this same friend (who encouraged me to resume running) a few weeks ago, he mentioned that the Vicar of our local church and who was an avid runner himself, had prematurely passed away during one of his run earlier that week – heart attack while out running. On the Sunday after that, I went to this church with my son – aiming to participate the sermon but also expecting to hear his eulogy – something I came to know living abroad as it is not common in Brazil.

It was amazing. Whole community was there and his family too. In sum, the Curate conducting Sunday morning sermon said that he was

‘An example in many ways. A great and respected leader, head of family and a trustworthy friend who anyone could rely on for advice and support. A sporty man who loved run and occasionally spent time in the jazz club. A great reference to anyone he interacted with.’

His legacy! And, I believe, building his legacy was (consciously or not) what took him out of the bed every day!

Continue reading “Many Reasons To Get Off The Bed – LEGACY”

Employment Engagement – A Vicious or Virtuous Cycle?

Employee Engagement – how do you go about it? Is it an annual event or integrated part of your culture?

Gallup recently published a report stating that only 15% of the global workforce is engaged.

 ‘Worldwide, the percentage of adults who work full time for an employer and are engaged at work — they are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace — is just 15%. Though engagement levels vary considerably by country and region, in no country does the proportion of the employed residents who are engaged in their job exceed about four in 10.’

It is undoubtedly a very alarming finding. So, who is responsible to raise Employee Engagement? The common answer is the manager. I do, however, agree about it partially. To me, it is a team effort. Everyone holds responsibility in it and following are my reasons.

Continue reading “Employment Engagement – A Vicious or Virtuous Cycle?”

7 Opportunities To Be The Talent Your Organization Is Looking For!

We very often see and publish articles about leadership and what is expected from us in such roles. Less common are the articles about individual contributors and what is expected from them (us) in general. Do you consider yourself being a good Individual contributor?

Being an individual contributor doesn’t mean that we should act individually. It is empirically proved that we achieve greater results when we peer up and collaborate. Basis on that, we never stop being an individual contributor. Being a leader of others or leaders of leaders, we will still have peers. And, as member of a management team, we need to collaborate with them so our teams can deliver results which will support the overall business strategy. Yes, leaders are individual contributors.

So, what is expected from an outstanding ‘individual contributor’?

Continue reading “7 Opportunities To Be The Talent Your Organization Is Looking For!”

Commitment Pays Off!

I like to share stories in my posts and on today’s post I start by telling a short one about a constructor called Lucas.

Lucas worked for several years on a company specialized into building houses. After a decade within the organization he reached management level. In different dialogues with the owner of the business, he expressed his desire to grow, earn more and to take higher responsibility.

Different opportunities appeared and he was not selected. The owner explained that he was not ready for some of them and that took a toll on him. Lucas didn’t cope well with setback. At some point, disappointed, Lucas decided to leave the company and explore new pastures.

Lucas then approached the owner and resigned.  Continue reading “Commitment Pays Off!”

Those (negative) thoughts…

Imagine you are driving your car on a road for hours and haven’t seen any car for hours and your GPS, or whatever app you use, shows the nearest gas station is several driving hours far in any direction – you are literally in the middle of nowhere. Then you get a flat Tyre. You stop and open your trunk. You don’t have a jack.

Sunset is approaching quickly, you lock your car and start walking. After around 2 hours, you spot a house. Walking towards the house you start thinking – how should I approach the house? do they have a hostile dog? What if the people living there are not friendly? Will they help me or attack me? All those doubts and negative thoughts keep hammering your head; you feel uneasy and scared, but you carry on.

You get to the house, knock on the door. Someone opens the door with a surprising but very sweet smile. You explain what happened and the person not only has a jack but invite you for a bowl of soup, drives you back, helps you changing the tyre and you follow your journey…

Does it resonate with you? These are the negative thoughts which come to drain confidence, create doubts and prevent you from reaching your goals!

Continue reading “Those (negative) thoughts…”