Name: Adriana garcia-ortega
Title: CEO- DIRECTOR
Organisation: WISE LEARNING SYSTEM
I am the founder and CEO of Wise Learning System, a Colombian company specialized in providing services in foreign languages, including classes, translations, interpreters, and overseas study advisory.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Adriana's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
"The most significant challenge I have faced as a leader is learning to be an empathetic leader and successfully coordinating cultures and different nationalities. I genuinely believe that my greatest skill is forming functional teams that are transnational."
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I studied business administration, and after working at two of the largest companies in my country at a very young age, I decided I wanted to see more of the world. What was initially planned as a 2-month trip turned into 6 years of living in England. While there, I made the decision to study English Language Teaching. Due to personal reasons, I returned to Colombia, where I founded Wise Learning System in 2003. Since then, I have grown as a leader, entrepreneur, and, most importantly, as a teacher, which is my true passion
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
It's absolutely crazy; one day, I might have a meeting or a class at 5 am and work until 8 pm without stopping. But on other days, I can treat myself to go dancing at the gym at 8 am and enjoy a nice coffee with my Friends afterwards
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
The best leadership lesson is always to lead by example. I cannot ask my fellow teachers to do things right if I, myself, do not set an example and follow the rules
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?
Titles like 'Losing My Virginity' by Richard Branson, and believe it or not, the biography of Geri Halliwell, famously known as 'The Ginger Spice,' have taught me the significance of persistence and resilience
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Emulating Richard Branson once again, never decline a business opportunity just because you lack knowledge. If it's a promising opportunity, seize it and learn along the way
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Two decades ago, I embarked on this journey alone. Today, we comprise a team of 35 professionals from 11 different nationalities, including translators, and offer a diverse range of services to our clients. We have catered to hundreds of students and yet, we have barely covered one-fifth of our path