"The greatest asset companies have is their people", Carlos González
29 de April de 2019
29 de April de 2019
Entitled "Leading strategic projects", the Focused Program discussed the planning and execution of successful projects, the objectives of leadership and its implementation. The session was presented by, Carlos González, the General Wholesale Director at the Dominion Group, who shared his professional insight into the retail sector with members of EAE's alumni.
The lecturer on the Master in Executive Development, Emotional Intelligence and Coaching started his presentation by emphasizing the need to set an objective based on data analysis which strives to achieve innovation and disruption. To do so, a leader needs to surround themselves with good human support (team) and build networks. We all perceive leadership as something natural and "we can all identify different leaders", although there are common factors that may lead to these leaders been seen as such by their followers.
When acting as a leader, Carlos emphasized the need for divergent and creative thinking. "You have to delegate and work as a team to be a leader". He defined a leader as "the person with the right skills for each, who uses them correctly and their actions are perceived as such by the people around them". In short, a leader is somebody who knows what to do in each situation. While the RAE defines a leader as "the person who leads or guides a group that acknowledges their authority", the EAE lecturer specified that it is a "person with the ability to convey leadership".
Leading is a matter of taking action above anything else. "They do something and, as a result, somebody perceives them as real leaders". There are four actions that cause them to be perceived as leaders: the ability to set, achieve and supervise objectives; the capacity to analyse information and take appropriate actions in response; the capacity to work as a team, building a cohesive network of collaborators and generating new options; and the ability to delegate, "generating innovation and autonomy among the collaborators". The expert distinguished between delegating and abdicating, stating that "leading empowers teams". In fact, being a leader is a question of generate networks of collaboration and delegating".
A leader has to set SMARTE objectives: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound and ecological. This last aspect was added by the leadership expert, who focused on the importance of the environment, "which is improved by achieving the objective". He also distinguished between quantitative and qualitative objectives, as well as defining a secondary list focusing on the strategic range of the objectives, depending on their trajectory and their regulatory and functional aspects. In any case, a leader "must be able to set an objective and measure the results based on KPIs", explained Carlos, adding that these indicators are essential for improving business management and decision-making. "While intuition is important, a leader has to make decisions based on objective data".
Defining the strategic units (corporate, functional and competitive) and interaction between the levels of the business are key factors in ensuring operability. Moreover, Carlos emphasized the importance of people in leadership: "In the decision-making process, to generate a leadership impact, all the decisions made by the team have to be taken into consideration". In the EAE lecturer's opinion, a good team generates synergies, more flexible and participative structures, empowerment and responsibility, as well as developing social skills and enhancing the company's adaptability to change.
Communication plays a key role in term of achieving objectives. "Communication must be effective and high-quality, with clear orders. You also have to reformulate the message to verify that it has been understood". With respect to delegating, Carlos specified that it is essential not to do so in areas related to defining how to reach the objectives, because this causes serious inefficiency that delays the goals being achieved, which generates greater organizational costs.
To bring the Focused Program to a close, the lecturer on EAE's Master in Executive Development and Coaching read an extract from chapter 42 of Don Quixote (about Quixote's advice to Sancho Panza before governing the island), in which he highlighted the importance of elements such as humility, wisdom, justice, self-awareness, active listening and fairness.