This unexpected situation has forced me to stop. I needed to understand, reflect, and think things through.
I was lost. What now? How am I going to change to get through this? How to turn this situation into an opportunity? 🤔
During that time, I was reminded of the importance of the path that has taken us to where we are. And it got me thinking.
When we are striving to reach a certain objective, we have set for ourselves, we are only focused on that winning point. Along the way, we meet many interesting people, create new partnerships, and build friendships. Learn, evolve, and grow as individuals.
But when the goal is reached, how often do we remember the path behind us, the path we have walked that got us here? What we have learned? How it has marked us? How often do we celebrate the journey? And enjoy, share the moments of personal achievements with these people while we are striving to get there?
Not often enough. I am sure many can relate. I took a mental note, I need to improve on that. 📌
And then you reach the finish line ... winner 😊🤸♂️. Happy you have achieved the goal, proud of the impact and value you have delivered.🎯 Doing the celebration dance and then what? It is only a moment in time. We should celebrate success along the way and appreciate the journey more. Nevertheless, it is the journey who is shaping us into who we are. 📌
Have you ever considered how many choices we had to make to be where we are?
As leaders, we don’t have all the answers, especially not in these times. We need to decide for ourselves, what works, and what doesn’t. We also need to personally decide what kind of person, a leader we want to be going forward.
People who know me best, know well I am always thinking not only about the first step forward but also about the one after that. Being optimistic, building on experience, and looking for solutions outside the box. Always striving to be better, looking at the world through the lenses of the opportunity. Driven by progress, better impact, and trying to make a world a better place. And now I stopped, listened better, took my time to breathe.
So, what has gotten me here? Being brought up in a family with a very traditional upbringing on one side and ambitious, modern for that time, female role model pushing me forward to strive and be my best. Born on a crossroad between Gen X and Millennials. Influenced by values and differences of both - diligence, resilience, persistence to reach the goal on one side and purpose, digital, importance to learn and grow on the other.
Certainly, when I was younger, I never imagined I would able to achieve what I have so far and there is more to come.
During the recession in 2008, I have experienced a similar situation. At the time I was stepping in very big shoes. Now looking backward may be too big and too early in the career. Taking leadership of a company just after acquisition in an industry that was hit with a 45% downturn. It was a wake-up call to turn the company around, simply to survive. With a very professional team, initially afraid of the change, we managed to execute company-wide digital transformation. We optimized portfolio, digitized the execution, and with the new customer approach managed to grow the business by 52%, against the market trend. It was hard, lots of sleepless nights. I am sure I have made many mistakes, but I have also learned a lot. I am appreciating the experience. It has highlighted the areas I needed to work on, to become a better leader.
Digital transformation in the enterprise environment became my reality from thereon. Working for a huge multinational company, that empowers others to be better through technology adoption and deployment, has shaped my passion for technology. Leading the ambitious team to embrace digitalization and transforming the organization to become a growth engine, often challenged me in ways, I never imagined. Removing the barriers to progress, sometimes felt like I was battling the windmills. Today, I am grateful for the experience. An amazing team, not afraid to test and learn, eager to try out something new, was my reward. Together we have achieved what some deemed impossible. I am sure I made mistakes there as well. Took the learning from failures and tried to improve. The team taught me so much, showed me what is possible, and made me a better person. 😀
Always between old and new, shaping new trends, translating between generations, company, and customers, building on each other's strengths. Transforming to improve performance and simplifying for a greater impact. Constantly learning, adapting, and forward-looking to seize those new opportunities.
Currently, we are all in the business of change, all in a work-in-progress mode. Nevertheless, this is only a moment in time. We have been pushed against the wall. The feeling which usually brings the best ideas to light.
A lot can be learned from the experience. The learning and the progress we are making, rather than just obsessing about the outcome, helps us grow into a better human and a better leader for today.