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7 Questions on Leadership with Giacomo Coppola

Name: Giacomo Coppola

Title: Sales Territory Manager

Organisation: Oracle

Giacomo Coppola is a young enthusiastic leader working in tech sales and personally devoted to making an impact on all the people he meets and befriends.

Having lived in 4 countries, Giacomo has repeatedly pushed himself to get out of his comfort zone, moving to new cities, starting new projects and bringing together the people he loved.

Passionate of guitar and sailing, Giacomo races for the Chicago Yacht Club.

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

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


Jonno White

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

One quote that has always stuck with me from years ago is: 'Bosses tell, leaders inspire.' Leaders, however, aren't confined to the workplace; they can be found in various social settings.

I've discovered that the most powerful form of leadership is the kind that motivates people to take action without needing to ask them to do so. This can be achieved through setting an example, possessing charisma, forming personal connections, or holding a position of authority. At times, a simple smile and genuine intent can be your most significant assets. Other times, going the extra mile and showing kindness to others can yield substantial dividends. And, of course, demonstrating to your audience that a particular outcome is achievable by first achieving it yourself is incredibly powerful.

Therefore, in my opinion, the number one trait of a leader should be the ability to inspire their team.

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

If I were to call myself a leader, I wouldn't truly be one. However, I do recognize that throughout my life, I've had numerous opportunities to lead friends, colleagues, or even strangers toward common goals.

For instance, during my time at Oracle, I had the privilege of leading sales efforts in several U.S. states, working alongside a team of seasoned professionals and experts. Together, we're driving a revolution in the pharmaceutical industry by promoting Oracle technology.

In my personal life, I often find myself organizing large social events and parties, which usually result in moments of happiness, unforgettable memories, and meaningful connections.

I would say that, regardless of the situation, what has consistently fueled my growth is my unrelenting desire for success and my personal philosophy: 'Nofate.' I coined this term during high school, and it means that no one else but you is responsible for defining your own destiny. Therefore, you should always give 100% in everything you do. The ultimate life goal is to look back with zero regrets!

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

I know that most successful people wake up extra early, but I am not like them. And I'll tell you why. If you follow my philosophy, you will want to give 100% of yourself to your career and personal growth, but you will also want to give 100% of yourself to having fun and living amazing experiences.

If you need 7.5 hours of sleep to fully rest, and you wake up at 5 am, that means you'd need to go to bed at 9:30 pm. Are you really living at 100% if you go to bed at 9:30 pm?

Therefore, I usually follow the schedule below:

7 am: Wake up

7-8 am: 1 hour of exercise

8-8:30 am: Cook my own breakfast

8:30-9:30 am: Focus on key tasks and goals. Ideally, start with yearly goals, then monthly, weekly, and finally daily goals.

9:30 am - 1 pm: Work for Oracle

1-2 pm: Cook my own lunch and take a 20-minute power nap

2-6 pm: Work for Oracle

6-7 pm: Work on personal goals

After that, I usually spend time with friends, my girlfriend, or family. I typically do something with the people I love every day of the week, leaving one day (usually Monday) for myself to recharge both mentally, physically and financially.

A few key points to highlight in my schedule:

Working out is the first thing I do in the morning; it wakes me up mentally and physically.

I cook my own meals; I've learned (and proven!) that cooking your own meals makes you enjoy your food more and is also therapeutic.

Never forget your own goals; always dedicate some time to your personal goals.

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

When I was in college, I worked for a summer internship at Tabasco (the hot sauce company). The internship was in marketing, but interestingly enough, they made me start by working in the factory. So, for the first month, I had to go into the warehouse every day, use a hammer, and wear eye protection (trust me, you do not want Tabasco sauce in your eyes!) to fill hundreds of barrels.

I was lucky enough to meet the CEO of the company, who explained to me that everybody, including himself, started their career in the hard-working factory before moving into leadership roles. No one was excluded.

The reason he wants his employees to follow this path is that by doing so, people get humbled, learn the ins and outs of the company, and eventually appreciate their final roles even more.

And I absolutely loved this concept!

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?

I will go with 'Megadeal Secrets' by Jamal Reimer. This book is about a personal experience from a former Oracle colleague who was able to close multi-million-dollar deals during his time at the company. Even though the book primarily focuses on sales, I really appreciate how he was able to lead several people within the organization toward a common goal. The most interesting aspect was that he could lead his own managers, up to the Vice President level, to work with him for the sake of the company.

What this taught me was that to be a leader, you do not necessarily need to be hierarchically at the top. Jamal was indeed able to motivate and coordinate leadership within the organization towards his agenda, using interpersonal skills.

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

I would tell him/her: don’t be afraid to try; dream big! Most people don’t succeed simply because... they don’t try. Some for fear, others for laziness. But in reality, often success can be achieved simply by trying. And since you are going to try, you might as well aim for a big goal… because it will take the same amount of effort regardless of the size of the objective!

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

One of my favorite moments was the ending of my chapter living in Ireland, where I met lifelong friends and made unforgettable memories.

After living there for 1 year, I was promoted to Sales Territory Manager and had to move to Spain, leaving behind friends and the beautiful city of Dublin. Besides me, in my close group of friends, many others were going to leave - some to the US, some to Portugal to start a new business. I remember preparing for weeks a meaningful and impactful speech, which I delivered at the end of our last dinner and that incredibly touched all of my friends. I made sure to highlight what I learned from each one of them and how they individually made my life better, inspiring me to be the best I can. This had a tremendous impact on my friends and motivated them to keep working on themselves and enjoy friendships and every moment as if it were the last one!

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