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7 Questions on Leadership with Lawrence Teixeira

Name: Lawrence Teixeira

Title: Chief Transformation Office

Organisation: Licks Attorneys

MBA Degree in Artificial Intelligence in Strategic Administration. Graduated in Information Systems and Technology in Data Processing. Lawrence is a senior technology delivery lead with over 17 years of experience as a CTO and CIO in intellectual property companies. He has experience in both Agile and Waterfall development methodologies. He has a solid technical background in IT and excellent management skills with over 25 years in the area, delivering advanced systems projects and data analytics. Lawrence has hands-on experience building and deploying intellectual property systems, business intelligence, data warehousing, and building bots for RPA and data collection. He knows PMP, Agile, Scrum, DevOps, ITIL, CMMI, and ISO/IEC 27001.

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

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


Jonno White

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

The most challenging aspect of my leadership journey was transitioning from a technical to a management role. This shift required a fundamental change in my mindset and the development of new skills, such as strategic thinking, effective communication, and team management. Adapting to the role of a leader meant moving away from hands-on technical tasks to focus on broader strategic goals, learning to trust and delegate to my team, and balancing my technical knowledge with my new managerial responsibilities. This transition was about acquiring new skills and redefining my role and impact within the organization.

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

I became a leader overnight. As a systems analyst, I was responsible for the technical aspects of the technology area. The CIO at the time was fired for ethical reasons, and there was someone else on our team, a developer who, interestingly enough, had been recommended by me and even lived in my apartment while getting settled. What surprised me was this person's reaction to becoming the deputy of the position. He tried everything, repeatedly going to the CEO's office to prove his capabilities. One day, he said, 'From now on, let's do everything together. We'll co-sign everything we deliver,' but behind the scenes, he tried to undermine me. However, the CEO noticed his behavior and appointed me as the IT Manager, considering my experience at the company. In 2004, even the CIO doubted my ability to transition from technical to team management. But the subsequent years proved to everyone my capability to lead, a role I continue to learn and grow in every day.

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

I wake up at 7 in the morning to start work at 8. When I finish at 6 in the evening, I head to the gym to work out, which I do at least three times a week. After returning home, I like to unwind by watching TV series entirely in English to improve my listening skills. Following that, I dedicate one to two hours to learning something new, usually by watching YouTube videos related to my field. I typically go to bed between 11 PM and 12 AM.

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

I need to be mindful of my words during team meetings. Being goal-oriented, I can sometimes come across as cold in my decisions, unintentionally upsetting someone with my choice of words. I always strive to improve my relationship with the team. I am very flexible and easy to work with.

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?

The Art of War by Sun Tzu has profoundly influenced my leadership style, particularly in strategic thinking and adaptability. Its teachings about understanding oneself and the competition have been crucial in my decision-making process. The book emphasizes the importance of preparation, foresight, and efficient resource use, which has guided me in managing teams and projects more effectively. This ancient text has been a strategic guide and a philosophical mentor, teaching me to be observant, flexible, and thoughtful as a leader.

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

You always have to focus on the people. Embrace active listening and empathy in your leadership approach. Genuinely listening to your team members, understanding their perspectives, and acknowledging their concerns build trust and respect. This fosters a positive and collaborative work environment and encourages diverse ideas and approaches, which are invaluable for innovation and problem-solving. Remember, effective leadership is as much about supporting and empowering others as it is about guiding them.

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

During my tenure as a leader, one incident was particularly impactful. Our team was tasked with a challenging project that required innovative solutions and tight deadlines. Despite our efforts, we hit a significant roadblock. Instead of pushing harder, I held a team meeting where everyone could voice their concerns and suggestions. During this meeting, a typically quiet junior member proposed a unique approach that we hadn't considered. Initially, I was skeptical, but after further discussion, we decided to try it. This decision led to the project's success and taught me a valuable lesson: great ideas can come from anyone, regardless of their experience or position. From that point on, I prioritized cultivating an environment where every voice is heard and valued, which has led to more innovative and collaborative problem-solving in our team.

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