At 9 o’clock I start to golf, 10 o’clock sailing, tennis 11... And, seriously speaking, every day is different, that’s what is one of the great parts of working at Colgate, especially being a General Manager. We always work with different challenges, but normally I have one or two meetings, not too long, I discuss with my direct reports with the team about some follow-up on issues. I read a couple of reports, analysis. And, that’s pretty much it. Every day, because we’re especially in Turkey, there is always a surprise and we need a small crisis to identify. And if you join Colgate, as part of your program, you will have to spend one day with me, shattering, and then you will see the real thing, how I spend the day.
I started like many of the students, they are probably watching this video, I started as a management trainee, in the US, the General Manager of Colgate US came to the campus of my university, they presented the company, I was attracted. The General Manager now is our CEO, and so I joined, I started in Sales and moved to Marketing, and in Colgate I work for 19 years, in 8 different countries, if I remember them, US, Argentina, France, Russia, Poland, Thailand, Ukraine and Turkey. So, I can say, I’m James Bond without a gun.
What motivates me is that every day is different, and I have the power to create or dismantle things to build stuff to develop people, and the fact that every day I don’t know what’s going to happen, it is an incredible adrenaline rush. And especially when you build something, you eventually see it grow, it can be a small project, a small business or a big one, that’s a great satisfaction.
Two main challenges, the first, as the face of the organization, every single group -we are a big multinational- groups in New York and other divisions, they always start with me. So, I have lots of projects and requests flying from all over, and it is important to keep a strong sense of focus and prioritization to ensure that I don’t distract the organization by cascading them down to all of that. So, identify that what is really that drives the organization; financial results but also the organization growth, is critical and I keep my team focused on that. The second challenge is that as a general manager, I need to set example. So, if I want to drive the values of ethics, of compliance, governance, hard work, accountability, I need to be the first. And that’s not always easy, because we are human, we can make mistakes.