Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
helps you in your leadership.
Name: Mirasol Floren
Organisation: Elro Retail Corporation
More than 18 years of experience in corporate finance, wealth management, external audit, and operations management. Exposure in the financial statement preparation and analysis for different industries such as retail, service, real estate, investment, hospitality, and holding companies. A modern COO/CFO that helps management interpret the quantitative and qualitative factors of business and operations for decision making purposes.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
What I found most challenging us a leader is meeting my own expectations from myself. Because a lot of people depend on me, I oftentimes set the highest expectations from myself.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
During childhood, I was trained to be independent. There was never an instance that my parents helped me finish a project, study or assignment and my mom was a working mom. That home training led me to believe that I have to stand on my own and always do my best, and not depend on anybody to survive. I brought that outlook from grade school to college up to the workplace. At work, I started at the bottom and was never choosy in the work or role given to me. I had the belief that if I am good, I would excel no matter my position is. True enough, leaders in my organizations noticed my efforts and skills. I rose from the ranks through hard work, perseverance, great colleagues, and mentors. My first work was an Executive Secretary, exactly 2 days after my college graduation, although I graduated with honors with a degree of Bachelor in Accountancy, to now a COO of a medium sized company in my country.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I wake up very early around 4:30-5 am to meditate and reflect on what happened the day before. It is crucial for me to have this meditation in the morning so I can calm myself and be productive in the day ahead of me. Things that need to be done per department are written with specific timelines. I handle multiple departments so I ensure communication lines are open and that silos are eliminated. It is important for me that my team is aligned and know our common goal so no one gets lost doing their own thing. I work more than 14 hours a day so yes I am a workaholic. I try to get at least 6 hours of sleep daily though I’m lucky to have 4-5 hours. I swear I’m trying to discipline myself better to exercise, and sleep better but as of this writing, I have not succeeded in that.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
A recent leadership lesson I have learned is that you cannot be too kind as a leader. People perceive kindness as a weakness. This is unfortunate but it is the reality of this world. When people see you as too kind, they lose respect in you and ignore you. For me kindness and compassion at the workplace is necessary but to be seen as a good leader and for people to respect you, you must be firm and kind at the same time. It is hard for me to describe how it is done but this is how I lead my teams.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
There is this book entitled “Emotional Business” by Ravi Rao. It is my favorite leadership by far. In today’s knowledge-driven and service-centered economy, emotional excellence isn’t idealism. It is practical necessity for growth and retaining superior talent. All these revolutionary technological advancements may aid us on being productive with our work quantity and quality wise, but it can never be denied that human involvement is far from being eliminated altogether. So when you deal with humans, you deal with emotions and connections. Human relationships play significant role n business growth and partnerships.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
They say no one is an island. Although this is true in life generally, you must focus on yourself and your own improvement. This way, you would be able to brush off unsolicited advices, toxic comments, and behaviours from others. No matter what you do, no matter how good or kind you are, there would always be someone who will say bad things about you. It is what it is, it’s normal behaviour and you must be resilient enough to ignore anything that could ruin your self-confidence and integrity. Just be yourself and always give your best in everything you do without hurting anyone or stepping on somebody else, you will be alright. Surround yourself with people who support you and your dreams. Their presence is priceless and you must learn to appreciate your genuine cheerleaders.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I have a few bosses and couple of them has told me, “We are running an organization, not a charitable institution.” I have always kept this in mind.