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7 Questions on Leadership with Mateo Cerezo


Name: Mateo Cerezo


Title: CEO & Co founder


Organisation: Garage Ideas Sports


Social communicator scientist from Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), as well as a certificate in Google Analytics, digital journalism, comparative religion and systematic theology. I worked for four years as head of digital content and journalist at Marketing Registrado-FOX Sports, prior to establishing Garage Ideas Sports, with a presence in more than 10 countries.


I have given training for the Ecuadorian Marketing Association and Instituto Santa Ana. I have also developed campaigns and activations together with dozens of SMEs and multinationals. I broadcast soccer for the CONMEBOL HUB and I have been a volunteer for multiple non-profit organizarions without interruption for 10 years.


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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


Guide people according to their differences. Understand each one and try to get the best out of each one based on their particularities as professionals and as people.


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


I had a good position in a multinational at a young age, but I always conceived of work as a transcendental calling closely linked to purpose. For this reason I decided to resign and establish my own company. A month after that, the COVID-19 quarantine began and together with my partners at that time we decided to separate. The road was long and hard, but the objective was always clear and that favored the growth of a company that today is part of the sports and business industrial sector.


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


I start my day with quiet time with God. I have breakfast with the family, I take a bath and I start delegating tasks. I answer my emails, I meet virtually with my employees and my partner, with clients (when I don't visit them in person). I stop for lunch, take a 30-minute break and continue a similar dynamic that in the afternoons includes the development of business strategies. I exercise, have dinner with the family, and read a little before going to sleep.


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


“Companies are people.” Many times numbers, processes and comparisons dehumanize employees. In my case, it is difficult for me to understand that someone does not work in the same way as me. But this phrase helped me understand that in diversity lies the enriching possibility of growth for everyone, both on an individual and business level.


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 Everlasting Man” by G. K. Chesterton was a book that, integrated into my previous academic training, managed to challenge many previous structures that I had not only about leadership, but also about life and my role in this life. The consideration of an eternal perspective, linked to the purpose of life beyond comfort, accumulation of money or leaving a legacy, but rather linked to a personal model from which our talents, concerns and passions emerge, allowed me to empathize. with whom I work and understand that what we do on a daily basis can have a much bigger impact than we can see.


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


Do not choose a “profitable” career or field, make what you are passionate about profitable. Do it with rigor, effort, sacrifice, perseverance but above all with a clear objective of why you do what you do. This will not only help you overcome the tough times and be prudent in the better times, but also convey your vision and passion to those who work with you. If you are not sure what your passion, calling or purpose is, stop seeking inside or outside of you, ask the One who created you.


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


Leading always means greater responsibility. When things are going well it is easy to congratulate everyone and enjoy the moment, but when they go wrong, it is difficult not to distribute blame or make hasty decisions. I remember one time an employee of mine made a big mistake with a client and he called me very angry. Not only did I accept responsibility for what happened, but I decided to give this employee a new opportunity, this time listening to her personally and directly about her objectives, challenges and complications around work, covering the amounts of this client from my own account. and learning together with her.

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