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7 Questions with Patricia Vaz
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7 Questions with Patricia Vaz
Name: Patricia Vaz
Current title: General Manager Corporate Services
Current organisation: Community Housing Ltd
Patricia is currently the General Manager for Corporate Services at Community Housing Ltd with over 15 years of specialised experience in growing, collaborating and improving businesses services across Australia and internationally. She has extensive experience in the NFP sector delivering a broad range of services within organisational and legislative frameworks. Patricia is passionate about working with organisations with a real purpose, managing change, optimising operations and improving leadership, creativity and innovation capabilities.
Patricia is tertiary qualified and has an MBA in – International Management. She is also qualified in Change Management, Agile, Prince2 certified and highly adept at collaborating with Senior Executives and Boards.
She is also a Member of the CEO Institute (Awarded Certified CEO provisional (CCEO Prov.) status in Oct/19), was awarded Scholarship for Advanced Leadership Program - Women in Leadership AUS (2019) and for Executive Leadership Program with McKinsey Academy (2020).
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Ensure you are delivering value to the customer, creating a culture that values staff and their contribution whilst responding to the external factors you can't control, e.g. pandemic and the different pace on how people adapt and respond to changes. Specially in the last year was pivoting the business model to prioritize the human interactions and connections rather than profit.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Many years of hard work, learning with mistakes, putting myself out there for the challenges and opportunities available. Creating opportunities when not available and sometimes not knowing how I would deliver on the role but always confident I would find a way. More importantly of all, treating people with respect along the way and developing global networks with like minded people that always supported me, alongside my family, when I had a big change coming. This included changes in cities, countries and positions.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I organise my day in sections: what I need to do, what I would like to do and have a bit of a buffer for what I don't know that might come my way on the day. In short, meditation, sports, work, social interactions, more work and family time.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
It is important to be in a good state of mind to be able to lead others. So first it is about leading self, then leading your people so you can lead the organisation.
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?
In recent times, 'The Mind of the Leader' from Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter (Harvard Business Review Press). I chose this one as it made me fundamentally change my leadership style to human centric approach. The first part of the book, which refers to lead self, was of bigger impact for me as it made me reflect on my leadership style and what needed to be adjusted to align to leaders into the 21st century. It has had a profound effect on how I show up as a leader and it was the start of a big internal change which reflected (I believe) positively on my leadership.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Empowering and coaching people. Supporting and developing your direct reports. Providing tools, resources and guidance, embracing diversity, being inclusive, listening to people's ideas, delegating actions and giving them space to perform and to deliver in their roles according to the company's values and policies.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
The most rewarding and fulfilling part of my role is to be able to participate and influence staff's personal and professional development, to see them grow, develop new capabilities and for them to pursue their own unique purpose in this world. So I have staff that worked for me and are now my peers or have their own companies. I love hearing their journeys and learning with them. I love to see smart people flourish.