What kind of company do you want to work for when you lead a country full of challenges????
My choice is for a company with values, strong values, and which most valuable asset is people – costumer or employee.
I have learned the hard way how to value a company, while I was in interviews, for my actual company, one of the last interviews, the interviewer has given me the perfect answer, the wished answer, the dream answer for the question “How do you take decision here in the company, how do you advise me to take decision when I am in doubt”, the answer was “Always ask what is the best for the patients, and you will know the right answer….”.
This answer was key – I knew that the company was known for being decentralised, quick decision making and with great focus on patients and employees, but a company is a company, however, my hearth wanted to follow the goodness, I wanted to work following my hearth, I needed a lot to have new dreams, new hopes and new believes, so I joined them!
My expectations were high, as were my fears, I was very much afraid of disappointing the new team, the new boss, the new group, were I ready to come to such a company? I was too much “clustered”, living a centralised world where decisions were taken on your behalf, and for each decision you had more than 4 levels or superiors to align. I remember during my first 6 months, after calling my boss for many little decisions, my boss told me “Lara, feel free to take the decisions alone, and if you feel more comfortable, send me a mail for information, you are general manager of the country, you are responsible so you have the freedom to lead it as you wish I am here to support in case of doubt or a decision which you feel like to discuss…” hmmmmm…. was it real?
Well, surprise after surprise, you get used, and it is very easy to get used to be really able to lead a country, to be trusted and to be supported, I started to understand why the executives here were so professional, so creative, so diverse, but also so so so committed.
The result of having so much freedom and being fully responsible and accountable to your business, is that it makes you also care more for the decisions, the strategy, the results, so the trust will not be broken, and you want also to make your team stronger, since you need all right information to get to the right decisions and you need them making their own decisions!
Then, when the challenges come, as a marriage, you measure the real value and the “beauty” of the relation – this comes when you have difficulties, when you have to take difficult decisions, when one of the parts is not accomplishing for some reason. …and that must be well understood and supported from the other side, and you can either be patient, tolerant, listen, support and lead the partner to find the right solutions and then help to follow with the plan, or you can simply throw the blame, judge, loose trust and get to one side deciding and imposing solutions that might not be the best ones… A company with a GM in a country in difficulties is the same, and in this right moment you see which kind of marriage you are in!
Well, in a hard way, most challenging phase of my professional life, I figured out that I have chosen the right marriage… I remembered the answer of my interviewer, a high executive – “Here in the company when there is a doubt you ask what is the best for patients, short and longer term…” And I am seeing it day after day, in all difficult decisions or complex moments I can tell that several persons from several departments from global, regional, have showed me the same approach…
It is so good to have your values reinforced when you are going through a period of doubts, I am, day after day, happier for having decided for the right path…
This week, more than once, my team and I have thanked for working in this company, we are proud of what we are trying to do, it is difficult to decide when there is no absolute right answer, it is difficult to follow a path if there is some light missing, but it is great to feel supported and backed up by a company and colleagues who are all thinking together to try to find the right way!
I needed to write to express my gratitude, and to make it completely clear that there are companies that still put people first. This is the place for the executives who trust the hearth way.
Do not accept less, if you work with your hearth, with your integrity, and you have courage – do not give up, keep looking – you will find the right marriage, there is still companies that deserve our dedication!!! :)))