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7 Questions on Leadership with Idaly Martinez

Name: Idaly Martinez

Title: Head of Ops

Organisation: Opal Group

Highly accomplished MBA with experience in a wide range of industries, with a focus on accounting, operations, and strategic business development. I have a strong background in management, marketing, sales, finance, and people management. I have a track record of delivering creative solutions that boost efficiency, reduce mistakes, and increase revenue significantly. I have a strong history of guiding organizations to success during my 18 years of experience in various cross-functional roles, including marketing, operations, sales, and finance. With a forward-thinking CEO attitude, I use my analytical skills to turn obstacles into opportunities, spearhead new projects, and guide teams to achieve company goals with ease.

My colleagues define me as the mega-mind commander that gets the job done.

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

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


Jonno White

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

My biggest challenge as an experienced leader has been twofold: First and foremost, there is a huge obstacle in the way of turning shareholder vision into practical strategies. Building cohesive and inclusive teams to achieve a shared goal is an intricate and challenging endeavor for a young Hispanic leader in the United States. Secondly, smart leadership is required to orchestrate seamless synergy in the midst of fast expansion. Preserving the original innovative spirit while scaling operations is of utmost importance. In addition, our multicultural workforce necessitates the skillful application of project management tools to transparently execute all stages of our strategic plans, which is essential for establishing the desired culture and ensuring revenue. Constantly adjusting strategies and initiatives is required to adapt quickly to changing market landscapes while maintaining a dynamic company culture.

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

Since I was a little girl, I've wanted to be a leader because I have a strong aptitude for guiding others and thrive in collaborative settings. My aspiration to assume leadership roles was driven by my fascination with innovation and the pursuit of continuous improvement in diverse functional domains. I was able to demonstrate my leadership abilities through the execution of quality and growth plans. My journey has been built upon my inherent leadership potential and my passion for innovation. Every experience, project, and team effort has helped shape me into the flexible and driven leader I am today.

Being the unofficial head of the class in kindergarten was a rite of passage for me as a leader.

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

It's all about planning.

My daily routine centers around growth and concentration. Here’s a glimpse into how I structure my day:

4:30 AM - My day commences with a positive mindset, engaging in meditation, breathing exercises, qigong, and cardio, culminating in an invigorating finish with an iced bath and vapor routine.

6:00 AM - I invest time in introspection, jotting down my thoughts, goals, and daily expectations. I indulge in 30 minutes of reading from a book that piques my current interest. This period is dedicated to practicing various pragmatic tools and philosophies to gear up for the day’s work.

8:00 AM - I immerse myself in high-level discussions with my leadership team, aligning strategies and tackling challenges head-on. Post-meeting, I engage with podcasts or playlists to explore fresh perspectives or new cultural insights.

10:00 AM - The next phase involves hands-on involvement in the three departments under my purview, diligently addressing tasks spanning revenue analysis, performance, finance, accounting, and people ops, including HR compliance and reporting.

12:30 PM - During lunch, I prioritize serenity, utilizing pragmatic tools to ease stress. Sharing a peaceful meal with a family member is a ritual, accompanied by brief breathing exercises and personal networking.

2:00 PM - I persist in completing tasks while striving for progress.

5:00 PM - I update my to-do list for the upcoming day, express gratitude to my colleagues, and conclude work for the day.

6:00 PM - Personal endeavors take the forefront, currently focusing on finishing an Innovation certification that aligns with implementing advanced management systems aided by AI. I also dedicate time to practicing musical instruments and learning new languages.

8:00 PM - Engaging in reading, articles, or seminars becomes integral to staying updated on emerging trends and refining my leadership skills.

9:30 PM - I reflect on the day’s achievements, areas for improvement, and behavioral adjustments. Further application of pragmatic tools and some stretching sessions precede my skincare routine while reviewing networking communications.

10:00 PM - I prepare for restorative sleep, incorporating red lights, meditation, or relaxation sounds to ensure a rejuvenated performance for the following day. Remaining adaptable is key, as the primary responsibilities sometimes demand more time and attention.

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

Of course! In the middle of the AI innovation tsunami, one leadership lesson that sticks out is the importance of empathy in creating corporate success. Learning about and building relationships with the people on my team is more important than ever before, even in this age of automation and technical progress. A more trusting environment, more opportunities for open conversation, and a better grasp of people's unique experiences and viewpoints are all outcomes of an empathic mindset. Team morale, cooperation, and performance have all taken a significant upturn since we started recognizing and appreciating the human experience alongside technology progress. This is a sobering reminder that even with the most advanced technologies, compassionate leadership is still crucial for long-term prosperity.

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?

Reading Jim Collins's work is, in my opinion, a must for any aspiring leader. When you have a background that shows how you've grown and changed, it's much easier to incorporate the life lessons into your career. Finding a happy medium between one's personality, one's personal life, the pursuit of concrete goals, and the cultivation of an optimistic outlook is something the author stresses. Warren Buffett is the living embodiment of financial success and prosperity, and I look up to him to provide results. In addition, I read about my own beliefs and take advantage of them.

True leadership, however, is about more than just making money; it's about standing firm for what you believe in. Humility, compassion, and swift action are hallmarks of an effective leader, all of which are abundant in this combination.

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

My motto:

Everything in this life is about coding; be the AI in your life.

*Code what makes you happy; create the AI of the version you want to become.

*Code constant networking activities.

*Code learning, set examples, code training.

*Code resilience, innovation, communication, and teamwork.

*Return the job done with greater results.

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

When our startup encountered a major obstacle as a result of an unforeseen change in the market, it was one of the most formative experiences of my leadership journey. Everyone on the squad was going through a tough patch, and morale was really low because of all the unknowns.

I rallied the team and told them a tale about my humble beginnings as an entrepreneur rather than giving in to the challenge. In my story, I described a similar crisis that befell an enterprise in which I had great faith. We came out stronger from that challenge because of our resiliency, flexibility, and teamwork, which I remembered clearly.

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