In 2019 I was in Barcelona and phoned with my wife exhausted with a crying six-months old baby girl and another little girl screaming in the background. She was on the front line of a family crisis. And she was alone.

I was about to start an executive program at IESE and I learnt many and good things about business, leadership, people and crisis. Julia had to learn many of those things by herself and the hard way.

Finishing her second maternity leave, when we were updating her CV for the job comeback, we thought of functions and responsibilities she exercised in those 3 years of “vacuum”: P&L responsible, director of operations, head of purchasing, people manager. A real CFO aka Chief Family Officer.

She came back to work on March 16th 2020. On the first day of the first lockdown. Right on spot for dealing with the craziness of an info point that the Comercial Chamber had established for helping companies to go through the crisis. With two girls at home and a husband fully absorbed in his own crisis.

Today she is being promoted. While being full-time CFO.

My admiration to you Julia. As wife and mother, coach and bookkeeper, jurist and team leader. You are an inspiration for our family. And for many women that decide for the full experience in family and do not refuse to leave a positive mark in the professional world.

Trust-based homeoffice and Zoom fatigue

Best practices in a hybrid work environment

On March 4th, I had the pleasure to facilitate the roundtable Leadership best practices in a hybrid work environment among cross-industry senior managers from European leading companies. In spite of the incredible positive aspects of the «new normal», the depth and duration of the pandemic is bringing also increasingly side effects that were not really foreseeable. Leadership traits and styles have to be therefore constantly calibrated. These were the main takeaways from our discussion:

Sigue leyendo Trust-based homeoffice and Zoom fatigue

Servus! Servant, Servire

Austrian German has two delicious forms for saying hello. The formal one talks about God –Grüß Gott– and the friendly one about service –Servus-. The origin of the later is also very baroque, meaning an offer of service by the person who greets. In other languages there were similar expressions, unfortunately lost over time.

Saying Servus! as introduction is a wonderful way to position our footsteps in the direction to serve. Also and foremost in the profesional life. Because serving is nothing else than looking after the others. Whoever they are. Sometimes clients, other times employees, commonly superiors, always persons. Persons that have interests, yes, but have much more than that. And the distance between the bare interest and the myriad of expectations, needs, wishes and fears which defines every individual, can only be run by service. That is what servant leadership means. Putting the person in the middle of every undertaking. Person before being someone defined by a role, by a function, by a company or even worse, by fame, power or money.

If we learn how to lead by serving, we are not only connecting with the very nature of our fellows, but we will reach outcomes that we can’t even imagine. It is not a mere management tool, it is the only way to sustain a humble, authentic and ambitious leadership.

Corona in (business) life. And still a hoping future

There are enough bad forecasts on the effects of the pandemic throughout the world. Some days ago I provided some analysis on the positive side of this crisis, as well as on the challenges already visible in the horizon and some proposals for politicians, social and business leaders.

Sigue leyendo Corona in (business) life. And still a hoping future

Your calling is yours

Last week, I shared with students of CEU University Cardenal Herrera in Valencia some thoughts on seeking purpose, driving your life, answering your personal calling. During the talk, we went deeper on the relationship between purpose and career. And the later addressed through definitions of success, performance and ambition. I tried to answer them referring Gospel’s scenes:

Sigue leyendo Your calling is yours

LaaS: learning as a service

Almost at the end of IESE’s Program for Management Development in Munich, the topic of learning as a non-stop undertaking comes often to my mind. At different ages and at different life’s stages. Because education -even in the executive framework- implies the recognition of a gap. Those gaps are in every person, everywhere, every time. No one possesses the whole, even if we long for the whole. That is the key of staying on the way to learn. Because that longing keeps us hungry of something new. Even if it costs. Sometimes a lot. Sigue leyendo LaaS: learning as a service

Agile. To humanism through software

Some days ago, I published a new article about the agile method beyond the software-development context. Being agile is much more than creating good code. It is about putting the person in the middle. And connecting people with other people towards a shared objective: interacting, suffering and improving together. The result of such a dynamic, can only be excellent.

Full article in (in Spanish)

2019: my 3-to-do’s

Looking for this year’s purposes, I pay attention to the gaps rather to the wishes. In my case, the gaps are those things that are not really new, but well-known stuff that is commonly little exercised or perhaps even forgotten.

The more I learn, the more convinced I am that the knowledge is circular. It goes and comes. However with new clothes and different names. Just reading Cicero or Aristotle is enough to understand that the cornerstones of a humanistic management were set thousands of years time. We need just to find the right words for our days. However, this apparent accessibility to the classic sapience at the same time is the biggest temptation. If you think you already have it, it might cancel your hunger for learning, your passion and even your humility. Therefore my three to-do’s for 2019 are old-new things that I want to bring back to the frontline: Sigue leyendo 2019: my 3-to-do’s

It is not a project, it is a water wheel

In London it is an Eye. And in Vienna, the Riesenrad. Most of the European cities have iconic Ferris wheels as attraction or reclam.

Fernando Martín-Sánchez used to compare the water wheel to the team work. All buckets are attached to the same rim, moving solidarian and harmonic to each other. Some of them are shining on the top while others are hidden below the water while making a huge effort. At certain point, the roles will change. Very much depending on the speed and size. By then, the buckets filled with fresh water will emerge to the air and spill in a productive move.

Sigue leyendo It is not a project, it is a water wheel