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7 Questions with Federico P Demarin
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Federico P Demarin
Name: Federico P Demarin
Current title: Senior Vice President HR
Current organisation: 3Sixty Duty Free
Human Resources executive with +20 years of HR experience in renowned global companies such as Thomson-Reuters and Swarovski, where he occupied local, regional and global roles.
Currently the Senior Vice President Human Resources for 3Sixty Duty Free, Travel Retail company specialized in helping consumers and businesses access the enticing world of Duty Free and travel retail. He is the global HR leader reporting to the company’s Vice-Chairman, and accountable for HR strategy, execution and employee experience.
Professional Coach and Certified EQ Practitioner, providing professional consulting services to organizations and Educational Institutions around topics such as Organizational Development, HR Startups, Employee Value Proposition, Leadership, Team Building, retail and luxury. He is also an MBA professor for ESDEN Institute of Spain in Mexico & Colombia; and SKEMA Executive Education institute in France & China.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Maintaining vision, mission and culture as a beacon for performance through hard times.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I grew through the ranks of HR, moving from local to regional roles, and then global. I also experienced specialized functions as well as generalist, obtained from companies in different industries.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Look into my "to-do's" the night before, so I do not stress in the morning. I start my day with covering urgencies and priorities as I navigate through calls and virtual meetings, always meeting or chatting with my team, every day. I also walk to the office and grab a coffee at the general cafeteria, so I can chat with people from other departments. I try to push for lunch out every day, it is a break that helps me decompress, reading or listening to an audiobook.
I try to clear anything urgent before going back home, so I can focus on my family and disconnect completely during evenings.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Leading is about "playing the game", not chasing result after result. You need to choose the path you want to walk every day and be clear and transparent about it, trying to explain the common good for those you want to follow. Simon Sinek, "The Endless Game"
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?
Many, although the latest one would be Simon Sinek's "The Endless Game". It helped me get my mind around self-realization and enjoying the process of leading, instead of investing so much energy into renewing goals as fixed things to achieve. This is also easier to communicate to your team and engage them so they can find their own paths.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
You need to start somewhere! there is no perfect plan. Top to bottom or bottom up, the most important is to start and not get caught on endless planning. Also, top leaders should set the example. This doesn't mean perfect leaders, be transparent with your journey and humanity, so people can relate to you and aspire together. You also need consistency, do not start something to change it next year, trust and practice in developing leaders, create great leadership pipelines.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
I helped the regional VP of a large function to recruit a managing director for a country, which took us quite some time. One month down the road, the local team was on tiers complaining about his rough style and manners, which we tried to manage with coaching with no results. We faced the decision to replace him even though we knew it would make us look bad from a recruitment point of you, yet we went together and made the right thing.
Years after that, the people on that team recognized and thanked us for the commitment to our values, emphasizing the fact that actions value much more than posters.
It confirmed in mind the commitment a leader should have on the values that communicates, even when it could potentially damage your image or reputation.