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7 Questions with Flaminia Fazi
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7 Questions with Flaminia Fazi
Name: Flaminia Fazi
Current title: CEO
Current organisation: U2COACH and The Performance Solution
Flaminia, started the first coaching company in Italy in late 1999, U2COACH, which she runs since as CEO, and since April 2018 sha has taken over also The Performance Solution, a UK based company which has branches in Middle East, Australia, Kenya, and several countries in Europe with a world wide capability.
She is an executive coach, leadership and talent developer, trainer and speaker . She has significant experience in working with senior executives on leadership development initiatives in a variety of areas including developing strategic approach, managing change, designing organizational systems and facilitating critical teamwork.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
I believe that the constant attention to numbers, strategy and people requires a lot of internal balance and resilience in order to be able to attend the whole of the business with presence and efficacy at any time. I am an introvert and attending to loads of inputs requires a lot of energy for me so I train myself to be available when it's needed even when I would prefer to reduce the interactions with others.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have always been attracted to the business system, and I have built knowledge and understanding of all aspects of it, from quality systems to marketing and people development, finance and product development. This has made me interesting and aligned for executive roles and for sure my capacity of building solid relationships and my high ethics have made the rest. From a consultancy role I have become interested in corporates for a CEO role.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I work on how and to what I place my time twice a year, to understand when I can optimize what I do and to discover if there is anything I might delegate or do differently. Then I revise every three months, to be sure the plan works, and every week, I have my agenda and to do a list intertwined. I have the support of my assistants for all meetings with people and I manage my work building collaboration with all stakeholders in order to be able to respect all business deadlines and commitments.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
That the most relevant thing to make a business react rapidly to any event that may occur is to build a culture of learning throughout the whole company. Leaders need to work on building skills of resilience, learning attitude, focus on quality and responsibility, accountability and self-motivation. This is what really makes a business grow efficiently in any condition: openness and long term vision need good people skills
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?
The book is "Great by Choice" by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen.
I have always got insights and good inputs by Jim Collins books, which design leadership models through research, and this last one has given me examples and stories to reflect even when we face challenges.
When the business doesn't perform as expected , analyzing where in the process we can spot mistakes or misaligned trends and reorganizing to get back on track and not lose more precious time and energy. This is why I consider key people skills, as when you have a solid learning culture in the company, when these things happen you can trust people will not start hiding situations, trying to protect themselves which often happens when people do not have a good relationship with failure and mistakes. So when we face unforeseen events we are quicker and more efficient in responding and readjusting to stay on track. And of course it's a set of lessons very applicable nowadays with what we are managing as effects of the Covid19 pandemia
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
First pillar is the quality of the career paths supported by the HR team, and I generally work with them to make sure that they get the needs of the business right and also the right process to monitor the key skills I want leaders to embody throughout the whole company. I like execution and people skills, dance in balance together and I want leaders to be the first "learners'' in the company, and be an example for people. Continuous development and accountability have to be the key driver for everyone. For what regards myself, I make sure I am the first example for all. I believe that the efficacy of the processes, the culture of work within the company and building consensus on the strategies are a success factor, and HR people are business partners to make all this happen. Their professionality is key, and their service to the whole company is strategic to achieve results
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 do not hold memories of specific moments as I consider life and business go in the flow and all moments are part of it, a byproduct of something that has happened because of the pressure of what you want to make happen. For sure, anytime I can build collaboration in tough moments around decisions that will have a temporary disliked impact on some BU for the good of the whole corporate, in a way that than all the other BU make sure that it rebalances the quickest possible, proofing that we are all ONE, these moments I consider success and I go home with a fulfilled heart