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7 Questions on Leadership with FISNIK BEHXHETI


Name:  FISNIK BEHXHETI


Title: Head Of Banking Operations


Organisation: PriBank Kosovo


Fisnik Behxheti:


Pioneering Leadership in Finance and Operations


Born and raised in Kosovo, Fisnik Behxheti's journey epitomizes a trailblazing career in financial services, banking operations, and leadership.


From his early days as a member of the U.S. Embassy Kosovo, Fisnik demonstrated a commitment to security and administrative excellence. His innate leadership qualities and thirst for knowledge propelled him to pursue a career in the banking sector.


Fisnik's pivotal roles at Raiffeisen Bank Kosova and TEB BNP Paribas saw him spearhead the implementation of groundbreaking projects in cards and alternative distribution channels. His expertise in Visa and MasterCard regulations and his passion for innovation paved the way for significant advancements in banking operations.


However, it was his pioneering roles as a founding member of several prominent organizations that defined his career trajectory. As one of the initial employees at TEB Financial Institution, SPAR Kosovo, and DEPPO retail chain, Fisnik played a pivotal role in establishing the foundation and operational framework for these entities.


His leadership reached its pinnacle at Pribank, where he assumed the role of Head of Operations. Here, Fisnik directed the development of the bank's products and services, emphasizing compliance, efficiency, and growth.


Beyond his professional achievements, Fisnik's dedication to mentorship and knowledge-sharing shines through. His passion for lecturing, mentoring, and providing guidance in various procedures and sales techniques underscore his commitment to nurturing future leaders.


Fisnik Behxheti's story is one of resilience, innovation, and leadership excellence. His relentless pursuit of operational excellence and his unwavering commitment to nurturing talent continue to inspire leaders globally.


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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


One of the most challenging aspects of leadership is fostering a harmonious balance between steering a team towards a shared vision while also attending to individual aspirations and needs. As a leader, navigating this delicate equilibrium entails recognizing and embracing diverse perspectives, motivations, and strengths within the team. It's a continual effort to align collective goals with personal ambitions, ensuring that each team member feels valued, motivated, and aligned with the overarching mission. Striking this balance requires adept communication, empathy, and the ability to inspire and guide, all while maintaining cohesion and direction within the team.


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


My journey to leadership began with a blend of passion, dedication, and a commitment to continuous growth. Starting in entry-level roles, I embraced every opportunity to learn, excel, and contribute beyond expectations. I seized chances to lead small projects, showcase initiative, and support my colleagues.


Through perseverance and a thirst for knowledge, I earned recognition for my dedication and results. I actively sought mentors, absorbed insights from seasoned leaders, and consistently honed my skills. Every challenge I encountered was an opportunity to develop resilience, strategic thinking, and empathy.


My path to leadership evolved through a journey marked by diverse experiences, resilience, and an unyielding commitment to growth. Beginning as a Security Guard at the US Embassy, I learned the value of vigilance, precision, and teamwork. My tenure there instilled in me a strong sense of responsibility and a dedication to safeguarding others, qualities foundational to leadership.


Driven by an unwavering determination to progress, I sought avenues for development within the financial and banking sectors. Transitioning from security, I embraced roles in retail banking, specializing in operations at various esteemed institutions. In these positions, I fostered a deep understanding of operational excellence, employee development, and strategic planning, shaping my leadership ethos.


My pivotal role as a Cards and Alternative Distribution Channels Manager at TEB BNP Paribas broadened my horizons. Managing the implementation of significant projects and training initiatives, I developed a profound expertise in banking operations and honed my leadership skills.


With an unrelenting pursuit of growth, I ventured into executive positions, starting with Chief Executive Officer roles at SPAR International and Finova Payments Albania Fintech. These opportunities empowered me to shape organizational visions, implement growth strategies, and cultivate high-performing teams. I led by example, fostering innovation and a customer-centric approach, all while embracing the nuances of leadership in different industries.


My progression culminated in my current role as Head of Banking Operations at Pribank, where I orchestrate comprehensive operational strategies and oversee multifaceted business functions. From my humble beginnings as a Security Guard to my current executive position, my leadership journey embodies a commitment to continuous learning, adaptability, and a steadfast dedication to empowering individuals and organizations toward success.


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


As a leader, structuring my workday from waking up to going to sleep revolves around a balance between strategic planning, focused execution, fostering team collaboration, and personal growth. Here's a breakdown of my typical day:


6:15 AM - Rise and Personal Routine: I start my day early to engage in personal routines such as meditation, exercise, and reading. This time allows me to center myself, gather thoughts, and prepare for the day ahead.


7:00 AM - Review and Planning: I dedicate the early morning to reviewing my schedule, responding to priority emails, and setting objectives for the day. I outline key priorities, aligning them with overarching goals and strategies.


8:00 AM - Team Alignment and Meetings: Mornings often entail team sync-ups, where we discuss ongoing projects, address challenges, and ensure everyone is aligned with our collective objectives. I prioritize open communication and encourage collaboration during these sessions.


10:00 AM - Focus on Execution: Mid-morning is when I delve into the most critical tasks that require my undivided attention. This time is reserved for strategic planning, decision-making, or any high-priority initiatives that demand concentrated focus.


12:00 PM - Networking and Learning: Lunchtime often involves networking meetings, industry-related webinars, or discussions with mentors. I believe in continuous learning and expanding my network, as it contributes significantly to my leadership development.


2:00 PM - Employee Engagement and Development: Afternoons are dedicated to supporting my team members, addressing their concerns, providing guidance, and fostering their growth. I believe in empowering employees by listening to their ideas and providing mentorship.


4:00 PM - Strategic Review and Preparation: As the day progresses, I take time for a strategic review. I assess progress against goals, make necessary adjustments, and plan for upcoming projects or challenges.


6:00 PM - Wrap-Up and Reflection: I wrap up the workday by tying loose ends, responding to urgent emails, and delegating tasks for the next day. I spend time reflecting on the day's achievements and areas for improvement, noting lessons learned and celebrating successes.


7:00 PM - Personal Time and Relaxation: Evenings are reserved for personal activities, spending quality time with family, hobbies, or engaging in activities that recharge and rejuvenate me. Disconnecting from work is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.


10:00 PM - Preparation for the Next Day: Before bedtime, I review my schedule for the next day, ensuring preparedness and clarity of objectives. I prioritize adequate rest to maintain productivity and mental clarity.


This structure allows me to blend strategic thinking, execution, team engagement, personal growth, and relaxation, fostering a well-rounded approach to leadership and productivity.


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


Leadership is an ongoing journey of learning, and one of the recent lessons that resonated deeply with me was the significance of empathetic leadership in fostering a resilient and engaged team.


The reminder came during a period of significant change within our organization. Amidst the transformations, I recognized the importance of empathetic leadership in navigating uncertainty and supporting my team through transitions.


I realized that while strategic direction and clear communication are vital, empathy is the cornerstone of effective leadership, especially during challenging times. Being attuned to the emotions, concerns, and needs of my team members created a sense of psychological safety, allowing them to voice their apprehensions and seek support when required.


The lesson emphasized that empathy isn't merely acknowledging others' feelings but actively listening, understanding their perspectives, and demonstrating genuine care. It's about creating an environment where team members feel valued, understood, and supported, fostering trust and collaboration.


This experience reinforced the belief that empathetic leadership isn't a soft skill but a fundamental aspect of effective leadership. It contributes significantly to team morale, resilience, and the ability to navigate change, ultimately leading to a more engaged and cohesive workforce.


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?


Certainly! One book that has profoundly influenced my leadership journey is "Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek. This insightful book provided a paradigm shift in my approach to leadership, emphasizing the essence of selfless and empathetic leadership styles.


Sinek's book artfully draws parallels between the leadership principles observed in the military and their applicability in organizational leadership. The core concept of the book revolves around the notion that great leaders prioritize the well-being of their team members above all else, just as officers in the military ensure the safety and security of their troops before themselves.


The book delves deep into the biological and psychological underpinnings of trust, cooperation, and camaraderie within teams. It profoundly resonated with me, reinforcing the importance of fostering a culture of trust, where individuals feel psychologically safe and supported.


It shifted my perspective on leadership, emphasizing the significance of servant leadership, where leaders prioritize the needs of their team, create a sense of belonging, and establish an environment conducive to growth and collaboration. This concept deeply impacted my leadership style, prompting me to adopt a more people-centric approach and focus on building a supportive and inclusive work culture.


"Leaders Eat Last" profoundly influenced how I approach team dynamics, inspiring me to lead with empathy, integrity, and a genuine commitment to the well-being of those I lead. This book served as a compass, guiding me towards creating a more cohesive and empowered team environment, fostering trust, and encouraging a collective sense of purpose among team members.


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


Embrace the journey of learning and self-discovery. Stay open to new perspectives, seek mentorship, and never underestimate the power of continuous growth. Remember, leadership isn't solely about knowing the answers; it's about asking the right questions, listening intently, and learning from both successes and failures. Cultivate resilience, adaptability, and an unwavering commitment to personal development. Above all, lead with empathy, authenticity, and a genuine desire to positively impact others' lives. Your willingness to learn and evolve will shape not only your leadership journey but also the lives of those you lead.


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


During a challenging period in our organization, we faced an unexpected setback that significantly impacted team morale. Amidst the uncertainty, I witnessed the transformative power of transparent communication and empathetic leadership. I gathered the team, openly acknowledging the situation's gravity, while expressing my unwavering belief in our collective ability to overcome it.


Together, we navigated through the adversity, fostering an environment of trust and collaboration. Witnessing the team's resilience and unwavering commitment to supporting one another, even in the face of adversity, remains a testament to the incredible strength derived from unity and shared purpose.

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