WHO HAS INSPIRED ME
Priyan Fernando – LinkedIn Page
Chairman, Brandix Ltd. and Senior Advisor, Boston Consulting Group
Priyan and I were colleagues from 1996-2000 at American Express. Priyan hired me to run the Financial Services division and later the Travel Division’s Operations group in Phoenix, Arizona. During that time, we implemented major changes including building a shared services organization and consolidating centers in Europe and India.
As I reflect back, one of the major reasons for our success was Priyan’s constant focus and drive to ensure we knew the “why” behind everything we did. His passionate focus on purpose was progressive in those times, and today this approach continues to be embraced by great thought-leaders like Simon Sinek. I cannot stress enough the importance of defining your “why” and ensuring it aligns with your organization. Operating based on purpose is critical to your engagement and success.
Priyan also made a huge difference in teaching me the importance of not only achieving success but also significance. How are you mindfully defining and building the career you want while making sure it aligns with the organizations you are serving? And how are you making a difference for others along the way?
Thank you, Priyan, for allowing me to be part of your leadership team and for showing me the importance of defining my purpose and creating a legacy throughout my career.
Scott Gutz – LinkedIn Page
Chief Executive Officer, Monster.com
I was fortunate to work with Scott while at Amadeus from 2009-2018. He was first a colleague and then my supervisor in his role as regional CEO during my tenure heading up the Corporate Travel Commercial and Operations organizations.
Our business objectives were steep, including growing and serving our North America clients, penetrating the market with new products and building a scalable operation. Scott’s leadership style and competencies around empowering his people, building trust and caring for his team were spectacular and fueled our success in tripling market share. We faced critical decisions around product development and “go to market” strategies. Scott’s ability to ask the right questions, listen and support built a level of trust among employees and customers alike that was exceptional.
It is the role of every leader to build a culture of empowerment, appreciation and support to attract and retain our people. The culture that we built under his leadership made this position one of the most enjoyable and personally satisfying of my career. As a truly authentic leader, Scott masterfully built trust and relationships and supported his people in their day-to-day drive and engagement to make a difference and best serve customers.
Thank you, Scott, for the opportunity to be part of your leadership team and exemplifying the importance of being an authentic leader and empowering individuals to drive results.
Debbie Iannaci – LinkedIn Page
Global Communications & Public Relations Executive
If you haven’t authentically “connected” with your audience, you haven’t truly communicated. This was the driving focus and litmus test for success working together for 9 years with Debbie, who headed up regional Corporate Communications for Amadeus. As a leader who recognizes the critical role of effective communications and is passionate about connecting with people, I can honestly say she was a key contributor to my success.
There were two important learnings I took from our collaborations: take time and clearly determine your objectives for what you want to communicate and always put your audience at the center of everything you do. Make sure you understand and deliver from the perspective of their interests, needs and desires — not your own.
Her guidance always rang true, whether I was sending an email, delivering a speech or moderating an event. It also gave me a roadmap to ensure I stayed focused on delivering communications that resonated. Obvious yet so powerful, it really changed my style and effectiveness, whether I am communicating to an audience of one or 6,000.
Thank you, Debbie, for helping me deliver and achieve more relevant, meaningful and impactful communications that matter most to the people they are meant to serve.