@Work – Coffee with the Leaders

Coffee with the leaders_picThis week I had the opportunity to attend one session @Mondelez talking about Inspiring people, and this session was targeted to the people managers.

We had our SVP of Supply Chain as a leader in the session, Alvaro Cuba, and I liked how he kicked it off, with a question, even before the people introduction…

”Where are you from?”…We were like 15 people attending and there were like 10 nationalities present. Great example of cultural Diversity, stating how important it is the Diversity in an organization like ours operating globally.

Great start…

Within our introduction we had said our expectations of the session, and everybody said they were there because they were managing a team, and wanted to learn some tips and tricks to inspire and motivate the teams.

Good…right…but it isn’t enough, we as managers and leaders need to be inspired first, and to come from the heart it is true that it is first the ME, the persona who is charge needs to believe and live the values of the team…so the first trick to inspire a team is actually BE INSPIRED!!

Then Alvaro, asked what Be a Leader means to us…and the audience were in agreement that it was someone in charge, who make decisions, who have the vision, who inspire others…and I loved the statement that to be a leader we don’t need to have a job spec, we are a leader as a profile, a leader is the person who decide to do the right thing and be a ROLE MODEL. This is the second trick to inspire a team. A good example mentioned was someone in Starbucks that picks up a cup from the floor and puts in the trash instead walking right by it. I liked it!

After this, the conversation was based on how to motivate and keep motivated people in corporate adverse environments, where the feeling doesn’t stand as people first!

And here again, a manager, a leader define the vision, give the resources to execute it, be honest and authentic regarding the blockers, and ask for help and listen to the team in the how we will go after the goal. Adapts and includes everyone, to have an accountable team. Create the ownership of the team to the goal and engage the team because the leader believes from the heart is the right thing to do…BELIEVE and FEEL IT, is the third trick to inspire others.

There is a book from Daniel Pink, Drive, that was mentioned in the session which talk about the 3 forces motivating people internally:

  • Autonomy – desire to direct our own lives
  • Mastery – desire to be better and develop ourselves
  • Purpose – be part of something bigger than ourselves

Like for example, when we work in a project in a big pressure, long hours, we would feel ok if we believe in it, and we own it. And even suddenly it is turned down, it wasn’t a waste of time as we had improved ourselves, and we had the most of it!

This was a great example to operate in adversity, as we work for us, not for them!!

Thank you

Let’s stay connected

Anna Jo

Women Leadership and Me

Women Leadership and Me


I’ve never been paying attention to this topic, as in my whole life the decision making was mostly from women…

My mother used to be the decision maker at home, at least in what was visible to me. Then at elementary school, middle school and high school was mostly women teachers. When I arrived to college, it was an engineer school, so mostly population were men, but as I was in Chemical Eng, it was mainly women again!!

Arriving to the workplace, when I started in a manufacturing environment, but as Food Industry, not sure if it’s a coincidence, there were mainly women in the leadership team!

So all these discussions, very evident that the men were in command I didn’t feel straight away. But once I started to develop my career, and started to have a bit more access to other forums in a corporate organization, actually the picture was a bit different.

I had a boss, a women boss, who gave me the book from Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In. She said to me, “please read this book, and please never give up on you!”. I didn’t understand, I thought she wasn’t giving the promotion I was asking for. But when I read it, I understand it…there are facts, there is a culture foundation on us, and what we can do is to be aware of our environment and do something about that! Like Sheryl says in her book, and what my boss wanted me to do, “if you weren’t afraid what would you do”, and sometimes we don’t even realize we are afraid…

Thank you Audrey (my boss in that time), thank you Sheryl for the book, and thank you to all the women who are following their dreams no matter what! This is an inspiration!

This journey started in 2013, when Audrey gave me the book, and last year I decided to take a certificate program of Women in Leadership by eCornell. This program is being very enlightening regarding reflexions about women in the workplace and the different personalities. I like the part we need to be comfortable in who we are and take the courage to practice…fake it until you make it!

Also there were a quote from Simon Sinek that I wanted to leave in this post, as I really don’t think the women need to act and be like a man to be succeed in life! Women Leaders: Stop Trying to Lead like a Man.

Let’s Stay connected

Anna Jo