In 2018 Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou was listed the 9th most influential women in shipping. Domingos Silva interviews her about her personal coaching journey.
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.
I want to give you hope so you can get right back up and achieve it, what is that? GENUINE SUCCESS!
“If the success you achieve has been at the expense of your health, your family or a negative change in your personality or character, is not really a success”
I DECIDED that: “No matter how high I grew in my professional life, I would always pray to remain as truthful to myself as I’ve always been. I don’t want to change to the extent of losing myself, forgetting who I am and where I come from”. My decision has a lot to do with the upbringing I received from my parents and is based on the respect for all, without distinction.
In my youngsters days I felt uncomfortable when someone told me one of these five phrases. I’ve now learned how to act upon them.
In my youngsters days, at some point, I felt uncomfortable when someone told me one of these phrases, and even though I’ve learned how to act upon them, these for me are the top 5 things no one enjoys listening to and I want to share them with you. I’m pretty sure you will even agree with me on the reasons why.
We follow the fortunes of a senior leader in the shipping industry in China over a five year period as she learns and applies her coaching skills in progressively more senior job roles. She changes companies and ends up Head of Commercial for mainland China and Hong Kong.
I started working with the Top Team at Maersk Line East China Cluster (PRE) in Shanghai when I visited them in April 2011 to kick off the Coaching Master Class program. Cynthia Li was Customer Service General Manager and starting out on her coaching journey.
Here she reflects on that five year journey. In 2013 Cynthia was promoted and moved from Customer Service to sales as Key Client General Sales Manager. In 2016 Cynthia jumped ship (pun intended) and joined Swire Shipping in Shanghai as Head of Commercial for mainland China and Hong Kong. What has Cynthia learned from her broad experience as a senior leader in the shipping industry? What can we learn from her coaching journey?
Leadership is a contact sport. In 2017, more than ever before, as leaders let’s invest in our people through the time we spend with them and the effectiveness of that time we spend together.
I came across the statement forming the title of this post towards the end of 2016. It is attributed to Marshall Goldsmith, who is an American leadership coach. I have paired it with another quotation, which was made by President Eisenhower, “You don’t lead people by hitting them over the head. That is assault, not leadership.”
We follow the fortunes of a senior leader in China over a four year period as she learns and applies her coaching skills in three different and progressively more senior job roles and ends up Managing Director of a significant business unit with full P&L responsibility.
I first started working with the Top Team at Maersk Line East China Cluster (PRE) in Shanghai when I visited them in April 2011 to kick off the Coaching Master Class program. Caroline Wu was a member of the senior management team and starting out on her coaching journey.
I was very fortunate to be working with Caroline at that time. She translated my facilitator guide into Mandarin for the train-the-train roll out of the program. She also co-facilitated the program with me the following year for the North China Cluster (PRN) in Qingdao.
Here she reflects on that journey four years on. Caroline has been promoted twice in that period. I was lucky enough to capture her thoughts on her coaching journey at each stage. What has she learned along the way? What can we learn from her experiences?