Success through collaboration in a diverse environment

I often get asked on how I envision the leader of the future and what are the fundamental skills people need to develop to succeed in today’s ever-changing world. This allows me to reflect multiple times on my own experience and in the different perspectives I have been confronted with over my career. I would like to share some of those insights with you.

I have learned that differences are a great input to innovation. One cannot really innovate without challenging the status quo and that requires people to think differently. During my career, I had the opportunity to work with diverse cultures and personalities. During my junior years, I found that very exhausting and at times, a waste of time, because decisions were much slower and conflicts were frequent. I have learned over time that by accepting these different perspectives as inputs and building on ideas, we could achieve much better results.

As a leader, I have always strived to have diverse teams. This meant sometimes I would hire someone that I personally might dislike, but recognizing that person adds a perspective that lacks within the group.

Today and even more in the future, we will have to rely in individuals to contribute with more perspectives. The world is changing fast and it will be impossible for an individual to understand all facets of a certain problem or situation. Because of this, I strongly believe that collaboration and the ability to establish links between people and ideas is a fundamental skill to master.

My most recent experience in Brazil, provided me with the real life examples on how that can be powerful. I arrived with many preconceived ideas on how Brazil culture operates (many of them not really positive) and I had to quickly adapt to: firstly, understand these differences in more detail; secondly to identify how to use them in addition to my own strengths, allowing me and my teams to perform better.

I adopted a transparent leadership model, empowering people to decide and push for their own ideas, while collectively discussing vision and strategy and aligning on major goals. The result was a faster delivery time and increased satisfaction at work.

In conclusion:

There is no single solution for all problems, but, for sure, collaboration in a diverse environment is an important pillar to strive in current environment.

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