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7 Questions with Daniel Flavius Lucica
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Daniel Flavius Lucica
Name: Daniel Flavius Lucica
Current title: CTO
Current organisation: Arringo
Visionary leader, digital expert, technology innovator, author and public speaker with over 20 years of experience, building and managing large creative teams (300+) and taking software design and development for products and services (SaaS) to a whole new level of efficiency. Expert in Digital Banking, Fintech, Payments, PSD2, Open Banking.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
The most challenging aspect is accountability. Accountability for the people be it employees and stakeholders. Providing a mission & vision, growing the people and the company value. Finding new ways to constantly reinvent oneself and keep the fire burning. As the late Steve Jobs put it: "Stay hungry. Stay foolish."
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
It was the "overnight success" after 20 years of beating on my craft. It happened fast. I had changed 2 jobs in a few months. The best way to explain it is this: when someone important wants you, everybody wants you. This was a very important lesson in grit (passion and perseverance) for me. Be the best, do the best and be patient. Once it starts happening it will blow your mind. Most people however give up way before that happens. Have faith in your abilities, have trust in the process. Give it your best and let it go, expect nothing in return. As I am writing this another quote by Franz Kafka comes to mind: “You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Structure and discipline sit at the foundation of every successful individual. The key to success is flow or balance, not getting stuck. I wake up early and do some exercise followed by meditation. This step is critical in prepping the mind and body. This is followed by some specific breathing techniques and a cold shower. I skip breakfast, since I am intermittent fasting. This keeps my mind sharp. Once I get into the flow, I start with the daily plan review. Then I just execute and go with the flow. I do my best to time-box everything and stick to it. I am forced to usually multi-task, even if I do strive to maintain focus on one task at hand. I balance meetings, interviews with creative and technical work. The workflow is very important to me. Lunch at the office is always with the team. After work I have dinner with my family and usually go out for a walk alongside the Marina. That helps clear the mind clutter.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
As a leader I try to always speak last. This not only ensures that I actively listen, however also encourages others to speak up and contribute in an uninfluenced manner. There's a lot of value in this and gives me time to create a bespoke strategy that is unique to each particular situation.
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?
Good to Great by Jim Collins. This book comes after very thorough research into what causes some companies to make the leap to greatness while others don't. There are many valuable lessons in this book however I will focus briefly on one. “A company should limit its growth based on its ability to attract enough of the right people.” - Jim Collins. This taught me that corporate culture and people quality are paramount when growing a company, especially in the initial stages. This sits at the foundation on which growth happens and will determine the upper limit of the possible growth. And because of this, I am personally involved in every hiring process in the technical department and make sure that we only get the right people on-board.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
As a servant leader my top priority is to serve the people that serve our customers. Second, I carefully choose the right people and trust them to do the right job. Third I create a culture that fosters failing fast and learning fast. All this creates the trust ecosystem necessary to build the needed leadership capacity. It's all team work and leading by example.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
We've all been challenged lately with a global pandemic. Everything had to change almost overnight, things that normally took time, now had to be executed yesterday. There was no time to spare. As an involved observer I could see that every individual reacted unpredictably, spanning the two extremes from thriving in the middle of the chaos to walking on the brink of despair. In those valuable two years I observed first-hand the illusion of control and the power of humanity. It has been a humbling experience that taught me to be a better leader. Thank you and live inspired!