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7 Questions with Enrico Purgato
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Enrico Purgato
Name: Enrico Purgato
Current title: CEO
Current organisation: The ID Factory Srl Società Benefit
I am 34 years old and I have a wonderful 2 years old daughter and also a wonderful partner.
I graduated in Business Economics .
I like sports in general but principally soccer, activity that I started to practice since I was 5 years old and that helped me very much in personal and character growth: it taught me that nothing happens by chance, that it is important to set goals and then work hard and make sacrifices to achieve them. It might happen not to reach them, because maybe you make mistakes (as it's not possible to win always because it also can happen to lose) but the important thing is to get up, learn from mistakes and improve. In my free time I like to travel, cook, taste new foods and, in recent years, also read: I don't read short stories or novels, but I prefer biographies or books that deal with business or management or psychological topics. Just reading a book brought me closer to mindfulness, an activity that I now practice constantly every morning when I wake up and makes me start the day with good energy and mood..
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
In my case i am the CEO of a small company (at least for now) and I have had this role since the company’s foundation in 2015, when actually it was a start up. There are two aspects that I find most challenging: the first is the responsibility of making decisions on which the rapid growth of the company depends (for a start-up there is no alternative otherwise it dies); the second is to have the clarity and balance to deal with very different topics and business aspects every day (going from a presentation with a potential customer to a cost analysis for example)
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
When I finished high school I decided to go to university, and I enrolled at Economics and business management because the role of manager has always fascinated me. Once graduated, in 2011, the job opportunities for young people in Italy were few because my country went through a period of economic crisis from 2008 to 2014 and therefore there was little job offer and with short-term contracts tendentially. Anyway, I found immediately a job (also if with very low pay) and worked for a big financial company; after 6 months finally I got confirmation from my manager for an 18 month employment contract and regular pay, but the day before the contract was signed the board of directors of the company group blocked all new hires.
That experience and the economical context pushed me to look for a job in which earnings and career depended only on me and not on others; for this reason I started to be an insurance agent and I did this business for 3 years with good and sometimes also excellent results. But inside I felt that I was not doing what I desired and that my dream had always been to become a manager so in early 2015 I resigned without having another job yet. In fact, I was confident that I would find something more aligned to my professional goals, given that in Italy the economic situation was improving and the crisis was over. During the next weeks I had a dinner with one of the persons that, few months later would have founded together with other 3 partners, The ID Factory: he talked me about the project they had and that they were looking for someone with both economic and managerial skills and a commercial attitude (because all 4 founders already had other companies), and willing to accept the challenge of a startup. I was immediately struck and intrigued and…this is how I became the CEO of the company. And it was the right decision because also my way of being is very in tune with the company: for example I am a data driven person who analyzes situations and makes decisions based on data mainly as well as our platform that supports fashion brands in their analysis and in taking strategic decisions based on their supply chain data
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
At the moment I follow the general management with a focus on the operations. Our company works a lot with far-east companies so the first thing that I do in the morning is look at the email and smartphone if there are some emergencies happening during the night. For this reason I usually don’t schedule any meeting in my agenda before 9.30. After that I look at my daily agenda where I already have all meetings scheduled and all other activities to be done listed based on priority. Usually I finish my job day having a look to the day after the agenda and in case revising the list of activities still to be done based on priority.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
If you are sincere, transparent with people, you give and transmit trust to them, and above all you behave in a coherent way, people follow you more and voluntarily so they really follow you, they choose to follow you ... and this is true leadership.
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?
“Reinventing organizations” by Frederic Laloux. It describes a new organization model called Teal and reports about ten company cases in which this organizational model has been adopted, with concrete examples.
The key concept is that there should not be a hierarchy in the strict sense and that all decision-making processes are top down; all the people of the company must be informed in a transparent way, empowered and involved. In this way, people feel much more valued and feel great trust in them, in other words they do not feel they are mere executors; this, data in hand, increases staff loyalty and productivity, as well as making the employee feel better.
In “The ID Factory Società Benefit” we have started to adopt this organizational model and since true leadership is the ability to be followed as an example and not because it is imposed, here in a Teal-type organization the actions, attitudes and behaviors of the CEO become even more important as these elements determine leadership and not the hierarchical position.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
As said above, adopting a Teal approach and paying close attention to my actions, behaviors, words because as mentioned above, the example assumes an even more relevant importance. And then, learning to listen.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
As I said above we started to implement the Teal model organization and one of the principles is that all the people of the company must be informed in a transparent way, empowered and involved. Two months ago we opened a job position and after an initial screening of the candidates, those who came to the interview (by web call given the covid emergency period) did not find themselves in front of one person but a large part of the team. Immediately people were a little surprised but then, once explained that we in the company share everything transparently and therefore also the choice of new colleagues, they were positively impressed.