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7 Questions with Tatiane Vita dos Santos
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Tatiane Vita dos Santos
Name: Tatiane Vita dos Santos
Current title: Global CMO
Current organisation: Millenium Bioenergy
Over 12 years working in the management of Global Business Development and Marketing in multinational companies in 8 countries; business mentor for startups selected by Startupbootcamp Fashiontech Milan - Italy; journalist and guest writer for Arianna Huffington, one of the 100 most influential women in the world by Forbes, contributing content to her New York based company Thrive Global, and keynote speaker at international conferences - such as the Society for Business and Global Economic Development (SGBED).
• Best Internationalization strategy - Chilli Beans - by the Brazilian Franchise Association - ABF (2020).
• Young Inspirers Award - Veja and Estudar Foundation - by Jorge Paulo Lemann (2013).
• Best Marketing and Career Blog - Implementing Marketing - TopBlog Brazil (2011, 2012, 2015).
Only 3.8% of women lead Fortune 500 companies. The female presence in the top management of companies is negligible. I’ve decided to work to change that. Follow my articles/posts on Thrive Global, Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram @tatiane.vita to learn more.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Managing time and leveraging relationships I find are the two most difficult things to do once I become an executive.
Trying to overcome that, I've seen myself even more strict and disciplined in regards to my agenda, trying at all costs to make time to have lunch and carry on small talk with the largest number of people from different areas of the company.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was working for my previous company for almost a decade. There I was promoted 5 times in 6 years, so I was challenged and happy about that. However, once becoming the head of Global Business after three years I chose to have a baby. I left on maternity leave and was told when I came back that I would be promoted again, this time to Country Manager and I should move to Dubai this year. In other times I would be very happy about all that, but not immediately after having a baby and right in the middle of a pandemic. As I knew being away from the office would make me vulnerable, I prepared myself. I went digital, repositioned my personal brand online and got seen daily on Linkedin with strategic and engaging content. The CEO of my current company saw my profile and invited me to take charge of Global Business, Marketing and Corporate Communications at his Bioenergy company. I found it fit with my long term goal of working directly with sustainable companies and made the move as soon as I got back to the office. That was not expected of a recent mother, making that steep of a career movement. So I feel proud about this!
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Now that I have a baby, sleeping is challenging. My husband tries to share the work so it is not too much for each of us, but it still is.
Nonetheless, I wake up at around 5am, meditate and read my yearly goals, then I have breakfast and revise my day's agenda (previously set on Sunday or Monday morning). I wouk in various projects so I make sure I schedule time to make progress in all of them over the week.
After work, generally at 6 or 7pm I spend time with the baby before he sleeps, then after he sleeps I go for a workout.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I have learned after a breakdown that if you are not in agreement with your boss regarding work values you should leave as quickly as possible. Do not try to please them, this will hurt your work ethic, make you feel bad and doubt yourself.
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?
Kiss, bow or shake hands. As a Global Business leader I have learned the impact culture has on various teams around the globe and that this should be a subject all leaders who work in multinationals spend time learning.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Day by day from watching and observing but also keeping up to date with training and materials from outside the company that challenge the status quo and drive you to make important changes.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
Building relationships with people from all around the world is beautiful but challenging. I remember going to Portugal for the first time and I earned a plant as a gift at the airport given by a portuguese head of business over there. I took close attention to the plant and took good care of it. It flourished when I left and I gave it back to him to have it in his office until I was back. He looked surprised as such plants do not live normally for more than two days. When I went back to Portugal one year later he was happy to show me it lived through and it did so for many years to come. Such a beautiful and touching experience!