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7 Questions with Andrea Tedone
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Andrea Tedone
Name: Andrea Tedone
Current title: Chief Transformation Officer
Current organisation: BNP Paribas Securities Services Luxembourg
Certified professional with substantial experience leading overall facets of delivering executive-level IT and transformation management leadership.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Main challenge of large organizations is the organizational complexity: matrix of roles and responsibilities, locally and globally, is typically slowing down the decision process and increase the need for trade-offs, negotiations and politics. On the other hand, working in large global organizations provides plenty of opportunities for career growth, enabling the discovery of different countries, lines of business and cultures.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I actually achieved an executive roles twice in my career, first as a Chief Operating Officer in Central Europe in the insurance line of business of my group, and more recently as Chief Transformation Officer in Luxembourg in the institutional banking. In between, I have enjoyed having “hands on” on a M&A in The Netherlands. In both cases, I have achieved those leadership positions leveraging my personal relationship with my managers, after having demonstrated by potential and my strengths.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Commuting every week from Italy to Luxembourg, my days are not always the same. But in general, I wake up pretty early in the morning, I read news, blogs and articles while on public transports, then I spend my days trying to maximize as much as possible the interactions with my colleagues, mainly listening and coaching, sometimes also mentoring. Then, of course, meetings, calls and leadership communication, to drive and energize the teams. When possible, I try to practice some sport in the early evening, before dinner. In the course of the day, when facing some stressful moments, I take a little walk - 10-15 mins - with no digital devices to have a mindful moment for myself.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
In the last year and a half in Luxembourg, I have realized how important - for the overall motivation and morale of staff - is to have a predominant leadership style that is either coaching or visionary. It’s only focusing on people’s growth and purpose while at work, that we can unleash the true potential of everyone and motivate people. Other fair styles are the affiliative and democratic ones, which are probably not increasing the level of engagement but not even diminishing it. What should be really avoided - or limited to the strict necessary in case or emergencies - is a leadership style that is either directive or pacesetting, respectively focusing on obedience and getting things done.
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?
I will mention two: “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman and “And Now Discover Your Strengths” by Markus Buckingham. Both of them based on neuroscience and understanding how our brain works. From Goleman, I have learnt a framework which is extremely useful at work, but also at home: how to understand our emotions and the emotions of others, in order to manage our reactions and our relationships with others. From Buckingham, I discovered the value of leveraging and focusing on our natural talents, to become the best version of ourselves and find joy and happiness in what we do.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
With patience and leading by example. The really key element here is trust: only in presence of phycological safety, people will take initiative, experiment and risk - sometimes being successful, sometimes failing but at least learning. And a premium role is played by all the managers, therefore leadership capacity should start from there - through empathy, authenticity, active listening and humbleness - in order to be inherited by the rest of the organization.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
Some months ago in my office, someone approached me asking “Is everything ok?”. Once getting this question, I realized that due to some work issues and constraints, my body language was not open and positive as usual, but was rather transmitting some negative messages. I then reflected on how much it is important for a person in a leadership position to be always aware of her/his emotional state, because it can influence significantly those around. The day after, while walking in the cantine towards my breakfast, when crossing a cleaning lady with a hungry expression in the face, I told her “Bonjour!” with a huge smile, and suddenly she smiled in return, changing completely face expression. Our way of acting and behaving is contagious, therefore it’s up to us to decide what kind of impact we want to have on the people around us.