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7 Questions on Leadership with Anis Louhichi

Name: Anis Louhichi

Title: Sales Director

Organisation: Food Products Company Tunisia

Expert in banking, marketing, FMCG Sales with 20 years of experience between banking activity at ARAB BANK & BNP PARIBAS; and sales & mkg at POULINA GROUP HOLDING, SAH LILAS, MOULIN D’OR & SMPA DAILY’N in TUNISIA and North Africa.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Anis's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Having the desire to carry my vision, and feeling capable of it. It’s a choice, a risk that I’m taking. It seems difficult to me to make this choice in a credible way without being consistent with myself. No one can achieve their aspirations if they do not know themselves.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

After graduating from university, I worked as a marketing assistant in charge of market analysis and research. In each presentation, I present an action plan and corrective advice, our General Manager therefore appreci-ated my ability to persuade as well as my influence on the team and offered me the position of Retail Sales Manager I did a lot of my best, made a lot of mistakes at the beginning, but I never gave up. I was able to develop my skills and increase our turnover, strengthen my team with talented and mo-tivated young people and the workforce has been developed and expanded.

There is no doubt that I have grown and developed with them, learning from their experience and literally treating them like family. After this role, and in all the other roles I played, it became easier for me to act as a leader.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Structuring my days and formalizing certain benchmarks is my way of sav-ing time, efficiency and availability, not only for myself, but also for my col-leagues.

my availability begins before opening and after closing our office I am avail-able 24/7.

Always early; I take 15 minutes a day to review the day in the morning and look ahead to tomorrow.

8:00 a.m.: I start my day at my desk, and of course with a cup of coffee. The first thing I do is consult my to-do list from the day before to organize the day ahead. I also respond to emails sent to me during the night by our part-ners

9 a.m.: I then organize the visits I plan to make during the week to our cur-rent or potential partners and also confirm the one planned for this after-noon.

10:00 a.m.: It is also important that I support my field team. They may also need answers from me to plan their day.

I am often in contact with our Logistics, Finance and Marketing teams to gather the information and resources that my team and our partners need. I also spend time speaking with our general manager. We share updates throughout the day via WhatsApp.

11:30 a.m.: It’s time for the weekly sales meeting via Zoom. This is led by the Group Business Development Director and our Central Marketing Director.

We share feedback from last week and discuss what we plan to do. The ob-jective is to improve our knowledge to guarantee the best possible service. Even though many of us have years of experience in the food industry, it's great to continue learning and improving your skills is the key to success.

1:30 p.m.: Finally, at lunchtime, I grab something at the local café before starting my afternoon of meetings.

2:00 p.m.: This afternoon I visit one of our existing partners in their show-room. It's really important that I visit them face to face to build our relation-ship. We talk about their current orders and if they want to order more. We also discuss their future plans. I also make sure they have the marketing ma-terials they need in the showroom or if they want something else.

4 p.m.: My next meeting is with a prospect partner in their showroom. I tell them about our range which is proving very popular. I tell them about the different flagship brands available from us, the prices and of course the ad-vantages of working with us.

6 p.m.: I go home. I eat dinner around 7 p.m., then check my emails and get ready for tomorrow before finally going to bed. Sometimes I ride my bike af-ter work to relax.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Only God is perfect, Admitting sin is a virtue But not defaming the perpetra-tor is better for the group

Recently, a salesperson in my team received a complaint from a partner re-garding the quality of our products, our client has a lot of confidence in us like other clients, so my subordinate responded directly that it is impossible to have this type of problem and that our experts are always on standby and our equipment is equipped with 4.0 technology etc. without keeping me in-formed in time in order to return to the production and technical depart-ment. only a note in his report that I received it at night.

the next day I received an email from our industrial director informing us of a damaged batch bearing the same number which was the subject of a com-plaint from our customer.

I called the client in person and asked for forgiveness and invited the team to a meeting.

During this meeting I said that, before, when I was a salesperson, I had re-ceived a complaint from one of our clients and told the story that I was the person not my subordinate, and that this type of Hot response can be costly to our business and affect our reputation and credibility.

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?

Leaders Eat Last Book by Simon Sinek

this book, I gave it as a gift to my CEO, and which was an influencer on his behavior towards the directors of the company which gave us the hand to inspire and aspire

Simon takes us to a new level of understanding in this book about why some organizations are more successful than others by detailing all the elements of the leadership challenge. For a company to be successful, its leaders must understand the true purpose of their organization and use that purpose as a guiding star not only in how they conduct themselves as a company, but al-so in how they take care of those for whom they are responsible.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Always have a desire to learn and value this quality in others

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

Compassion, integrity, empathy, adaptability, the ability to communicate effectively, visionary thinking, and the ability to inspire and motivate others are qualities people look for and respect in a good leader.

In the personal annals of my own leadership journey, I found myself at the helm of an important transformation: the digitalization of the sales force.

Access to information appears to be a major issue for improving company activity at all levels. Indeed, pooling customer data and information on the state of activity allows all teams to be aware of current actions and possible measures to take to increase efficiency.

The big challenge is to change the culture of sellers who have been working for more than twenty years using the traditional method and using the pencil and the pen.

As a manager, I am called upon by the board of directors to apply our strategy without hesitation, but as a leader, I am obliged to convince my team before taking action.

I supported members of the sales force individually and talked about the benefits of digitalization as they need to have up-to-date information and key performance indicators. Simple and rapid access to customer and market information will allow sales forces to better manage their activity and be proactive by proposing action plans adapted to each problem.

Also the easy and quick use which allows you to save time and visit a higher number of customers in their daily routing and increase their income.

The most important lesson I learned is that you need to convince your team and take advantage of their trust and involve them in decision making and we can transform an organization not just a department.

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