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Eduardo Thuler took the courageous decision to leave a CEO role and take his family on almost a year-long sabbatical. How wonderful and scary at the same time! In this episode we discuss
 
  • What led to him deciding he was no longer the best person for the CEO role
  • How he managed that transition
  • What he learned about teaching kids and why he is not going to become a teacher!
  • The insights gained from visiting multiple countries
  • His experience as a new CEO and managing executives who are better than him in their functional areas
  • What he is bringing into his new role
 

Transcript

Eduardo: Thank you very much for having me.

Pod: It’s great to see you again. Now this is a, an interview at leaders about leadership and I, ain’t going to start in a very different place with you, many people dream of taking a 10 month sabbatical, but few people realize that yes, you held a CEO role when you decided to do just that.

Tell us how to someone arrive at a decision to take 10 months off and travel the world.

Eduardo: It was a very intense decision. I think the main reason to get there was the CEO drums, a very demanding job. So, from the emotional perspective, there was some tiredness that were between four and five years. From, at some point I realized that taking a break and having more time with a family would be a great way to reenergize.

Also, from the job perspective, I felt like it was probably adding less to the job. Over the years. So, helping a new person take that position would probably be the best thing for the company. So, there was some soul searching, some work with my potential successors, some discussions of the company that the investors and we got to this good plan.

So I had a somewhat long. It took me six months to get ready to go. In the meantime I started dreaming of the trip, but it was a very good experience.

Pod: Very courageous thing. You’ve just admitted there. The idea that you recognize that maybe you were adding less value and then maybe it’s time for you to vacate the role and that same time be very honest and transparent with the organization so he can get a successor in place. It seems like a very transparent conversations you had leading up to your decision to vacate.

Eduardo: I think. I read this great topic that the higher up the hierarchy chain you get, the more importantly is the self-awareness.

I think self-awareness can disrupt a lot. So this idea that you keep thinking about what are the key next steps for the company and how can you help with them or important and better understanding? Capital’s business was one of the good things I think, added to the business, but at some point the execution.

For the steps ahead was just something that I think I could help with, but it was probably not the best person.

Pod: I’m still intrigued by this because when you and I were chatting earlier, you were talking about the Italian word for Saturday and how David’s sabbatical came out of that notion. So when you and your family decided to go on sabbatical, what were you hoping to do? And then what did you actually.

Eduardo: I think the two key elements we’re looking for was to spend more time as a family. So to have more time, have your kids is now 10. The other one is eight, so they were a year and a half younger.

And I just want the truth to have time with them. But I knew that if it was to be just inside the house with probably not have great experiences. So doing this in some place that could create new conversations, that experience was key. And the other piece was actually getting to know the world, getting in a seven and nine year old to travel between countries, different languages.

Different cultures was a very energizing thing for me to help them do so I really enjoyed it. So I think those were the two key things I trying to get out of it.

Pod: And where did you guys actually get to over the time

Eduardo: we began in South Africa, we roughly spent a month per country, a little bit less or more in different countries, but we began in South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, ship ban, Hong Kong, China.

And then we came to Europe beginning with Italy. And Portugal and Spain

Pod: amazing. Now, since you’ve come back, a lot of the world has gone into lockdown and many families have had to do education at home. Whereas in your case, you took it on the road, you and your wife took on your education of your children while you were traveling.

What was that like?

Eduardo: It’s a lot harder than I expected. And I think my respect for teachers didn’t increase over time. I had this plan that I researched a little bit, the idea of homeschooling. I got some ideas out of it. And I thought that just being with them and meeting my passion should them. Cause they really liked to learn what would make it work.

Anyway, that was the part I worked was that I thought that having a few books, especially your math and Portuguese, cause they really wanted them to keep the speed with just the math mindset, being good with numbers and dealing with them and reading and writing. I thought those were key and it’s not just taking books be meaningful.

What I learned over time is that. Because I had two kids at different rates with different books, the whole notion of a group discussing the same topic never came up. So I was trying to teach to kids and different types of content and it really didn’t work out. Having frustrated kids just saying that there’s not.

That was not a nice, they will not energize by. It was very, it very

Pod: imagine kids learning away from other kids is also more difficult either. there’s the social context of kids learning together often and accelerates the learning. I would imagine.

Eduardo: Yeah, we had this ideal that we’ll get them to learn through kids.

The only place that really worked was in Italy. Where they did go to an Italian public school for about 10 days and they loved it. They still talk about that experience. It was the last 10 days before vacation. So they got to experience the feeling of leaving the last year and be happy with vacations.

Pod: When you look back now at that extraordinary family event, what’s been the best experience you took over those 10 months from a family point of view.

Eduardo: I think the shared experiences, the notion that we’re a special family, And there was this connection between us, where we can think of what it was like in Thailand, where we had this big house with a pool.

On the other hand in Vietnam, we had this very small apartment where the rats watch the round, but it’s just safe. And we went through all of them and things were well. I think it both created a strong bind and a sense that we can cross each other, that things are going to be all right. And I think during the pandemic is probably helpful for us as a family to have gone through so many things that just feel like another being experience.

Pod: Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. So when you look back now and I’ll jump back into your corporate career in a few minutes, but when you look back now, is there any insights that you’ve created or gathered or fell into over that 10 month period that is now helping you in your leadership role?

Eduardo: Yeah, I think the key, I got this idea that I would read about the kosher in each country and stop by.

So I have this book collection about the different countries, and I probably read more than half of those 10 books about Japan, about China and engage them this and try and see in the streets and in the restaurants. And they experienced rehab. How the sculpture of salt Lake, I think got me a lot more sensitive to the culture topic overall, and now moving to a different country, leading people from different countries in Portugal, but dealing with presentence Portuguese.

And there’s a merit that just coming by Argentinians being able to manage them all, both. In looking at in the lead roles and then specific needs, but also getting assessed some cultural issues in my reading affects some of the things that come by and portrait in Brazil, even though Portugal colonized Brazil, there’s a lot of difference between the two camps.

I think it’s the sensitivity to cultural issues is really helpful.

Pod: Does broaden the mind just from the experience alone. But I think what you were saying to us as you, you went through that experience very mindfully in order to make sure you were aware of different cultures, not just experienced them, but to learn, how to, how you lead through them later on, which is what you’re now doing.

Eduardo: Yep. And now I’m reading more good books on actually measuring the difference between cultures in different countries. And it does map wild idea that. Asians are very different from Westerners. And I think our mind has that, but once you get into the details, there’s a lot more nuance. Interesting.

Pod: And of course there’s a huge history of Japanese selling in Brazil. So that’s how I’ll see a culture you were familiar with. But I would imagine going there and living there for awhile would have given you a more intensive understanding of the Japanese culture.

Eduardo: And Japan is a great journey. One of the things is I think most people when gadget, Tokyo, or interesting about the cities in Japan, you get the sense of everything is so clean.

Everything’s so neat. The stuff they produce is so small and then with care, everything is so nice. I even heard this description from other Brazilian person that had the experience and said, it feels like a different society, a more evolved one, but then I got to understand more that. The importance the group has in Japan is higher.

On the other hand, that means individual have a little less leeway. They have a little less space and looking at the trade-offs was a very interesting way to see the culture.

Pod: Fantastic. Fantastic.

So let’s jump back into your role right before you left to go on that fantastic sabbatical. When I first met you, I think you had taken on the CEO role of Cathal in Brazil. And for those who don’t know, Catho is the largest marketplace in the employment sector in Brazil, similar to organizations like seek or indeed, or those kinds of organizations.

And you had joined Catto after you had been working in Google in California. So I’m interested in your first role as CEO, you came into Catho, you had a lot of product leadership experience, but now suddenly you’ve taken over a sales and marketing organization and product experience. What was that like for you stepping into that CEO role?

Because if you think back to your first couple of months, what was that like for you?

Eduardo: Is very challenging. I think there’s so many areas. I was very comfortable with tech world. I can product breezy. I think strategy was effective and I have been discussing strategy through product for awhile, but having somebody who was much stronger in strategy than me was a new thing.

And leading that person is a big challenge, but I think this stretch got much larger when you think of people overall. So the HR function. And legal and finance, 10 sales and marketing.

 I think the key challenge for in general management  is how do you manage somebody who’s usually better than you at what they do? How can you add value to your conversations? How can you help them as a leader, if they probably have a better sense of most of the things in their day to day activities. And since we’re talking about senior leaders, not only they are better, they know they’re better! So it’s not like it’s an easy conversation…

they feel like, Oh, I’m glad you’re helping me. If you don’t ask, it’s actually getting their way. They tell you to go away and. Doing that within having a force, respectful conversations and deciding how to work together. And when to say, even though, better, that’s what you’re doing. I need you to be a little less good in marketing, because from the company perspective, for example, marketing might become less important over time.

So I think. The challenge of managing senior people in different functions. I think that was the key lesson and a very challenging, I loved learning about it. I think it’s a topic I really enjoy, but it’s a big challenge.

Pod: You said two things that are really important, one is the functional technical expertise or that leader in terms of strategy or marketing or sales.

And how do you add value there? And then also, how do you get your mindset around? I’m leading someone who is. Far better than I would ever be in this function. And they know that and I am their leader. So how did you overcome that challenge or what was the transition for you as you overcame that? I think the

Eduardo: key learning is first get the right people.

On the bus. There’s a book that’s using this question. I’m loving it. Just get the right people on board. Even though you might have people who are very strong at specific function, they don’t like the mission. If they don’t think the values don’t match, if they’re just not energized by the direction you’re taking, you probably need different people.

So helping those people, self-select either helping them understand this is not the role for me or telling them that you’re going to look for somebody else so that the people selecting, I think was a key function. The second one is just culture. Even though the people function has the role of telling the company about culture and defining the, but the mission of kosher what’s the mission of this company.

What we were looking for was a joint exercise. So I had support all of those leaders in the same room and discuss until we got to agreements on this is what we’re energized you will after. So I think most finding the right people. Creating this joint sounds through culture mission, and then getting down to the financial details.

How aggressive can we be? Is this too much? Is this about right? And we had strong budget conversations every six months or so. I think those were the exercises that created more of this joint value

Pod: for the group and Eduardo. When you look back now and yet you think of that period, you were there. how long did it take you to shift from being you’re new in the role, learning the role, recognizing that these folks are far better than I am in these areas too, when you started becoming comfortable in actually, my role is not to be the expert in the area.

My role is to help guide this whole team and I feel comfortable in doing that map.

Eduardo: Oh, just take your last sentence. I think it took me about 10 years to be comfortable with a CEO role. And since there was five hasn’t happened yet, I think the CEO role was just there’s this other book that I really like, which is.

The CTO position is unnatural. Usually people who get to this position, I used to really perform well at everything they do. When you do products, you research, you read books, you experiment, you try back and forth. You do a lot of those things several times before you need to find your mission, then you make a lot of mistakes, but it never gets you to meet again with the same group.

So you have less. Repeating directions on the same topics. And the senior role has a lot of changes over time. So when some things are working well, we get close to this and you might fire a senior manager and take his position for awhile, which is great for your children. And a little bit more about that specific function, but you’re probably not going to be great at this.

And this sense that you’re doing a bad job is both intimidating and frustrating. And then you find that neither. You got more GoPro and then something else exposed and you’ll say some other problems in return again. So this continuous discomfort, I think is one of the key elements of the CEO job. Yeah.

But I think overtime and the date at the end of the first year, I was probably feeling less. Like I don’t even have an 18 year if I’m doing the right thing, probably the end of the first year felt like a change, but I think the speed of learning. Didn’t diminish for the first three years. And from my perspective, I really like learning.

So the idea of going to all those different functions, for example, taking the key sales role in one of our business units was a big challenge. I suddenly had to drive a lot of people, but instead of just helping their senior manager to decide what to do, I was actually helping figure that out with them.

Yeah. So I think the first year, the sense of. I might not be the right person for the role starts to go away or on the second year and gets back to and change experiences all over. But I think it probably 10 years, it’s still uncomfortable during this. Maybe when I get to this training,

Pod: we hope you’re enjoying this episode of the leadership diet. Feel free to hit the subscribe button on whatever podcast player you are listening to this on reviews on iTunes and Spotify. I greatly appreciate it. One of the common themes from all the interviews I’m doing for this podcast series. But indeed the last 20 years of the work I’ve been doing anyway, working with executives is the folks who are most successful most often recognize that leaning into learning is the only way to continue to be successful.

And most CEOs that I’ve ever met or worked with recognize that the day they stop learning today to become ineffective in their role. Now, as you quite rightly said, at different phases of your role, there’s different types of learning. And if someone departs from a vacancy, you got to take on their role for three or six months, suddenly you become a deep, functional expert in that area, or at least better than you did before.

But the idea I’ve got in with a learning mindset is probably one of the most, I think, important accelerators of our success in any role, but particularly CEO role. And it sounds That’s what you brought to it is, it was, how do I keep learning and learning different things over as over time as a role progressed?

Eduardo: Yeah, I think learning is key. And I think that part was probably my, the part of my DNA that really worked well with the role. The part is really hard. I think, to balance with this humble CEO. That we would admit in front of a thousand people. We’re not sure what we’re doing, but we’ll try those two or three things.

If it doesn’t work out, we’ll figure it out. We’ll let you go next. That type of the size of newness when you’re leading a large number of people just as a work. So being able to communicate what you don’t know. In a way that doesn’t create fear or gets people paralyzed. I think that’s harder. And I think that was a tougher lesson for me, because in the beginning it was natural for me to tell people from other functions like finance or legal, we don’t really know what we’re going to do, but it will work out.

And finances

you need specific members to put in budget. We need to tell investors how much revenue you’re going to have. And I’m saying, but nobody really knows those numbers. And they saying yes, but we need to come up with the best possible answer. So the learning process of both not knowing and recognizing where we don’t know.

Deciding when and how to express what we don’t know. And when to just communicate enough, she got to comfort the other company. I think that was one of the key. Key elements of the learning process. Yeah.

Pod: Yeah. Given your background before Catho, you worked at Google in product development and of course would have had a lot of experimentation as you were developing different product areas and knowing that a lot of those ideas would naturally fail.

brought that very open, transparent embracing of. Experimentation and naturally talks the organization yet, but we don’t know everything. We’ve got to have a go see what happens. And as you said, that inspires confidence in not many people. How’s the people sitting in front of you having spoken to a lot of people in the last six months, the pandemic has also brought out the exact same learning for many leaders.

How do you instill confidence into the organization about an issue that the whole world knows that we don’t know the answer to it yet? it’s a very different, difficult scenario to get. But communicating with a sense of confidence seems to be the overarching strategy that does work, which I think you said you learned over time as you.

Eduardo: Yeah. And I think, especially with the pandemic and with that experience, what you can communicate with certainty. And I think in the pandemic tele employees overall, we look at people first, but are you going to take care of our own? And that is not going to change over time, but we don’t also going to work from home from the office, but we will make it a safe environment.

I think this type of certainty helps clear things up a little bit. Because there’s a lot. We don’t know. So focusing on what is not going to change, I think helps set those apart.

Pod: You said a few seconds ago steady in front of a thousand people. I think he said to me, once that catheter had employed a thousand plus people and you and your team took a strong view of how do we develop.

Culture, not just for the sake of it, but as a strategic leverage and leverage for the organization, what you do and what were you hoping to achieve by doing that?

Eduardo: I think it has several challenges and I think one of them was the market in which the company in the past was changing deeply. The key members for the company was marketing and mass marketing.

Which is getting a lot less effective over time with both the internet and social media people watching less TV and more YouTube. So a key lever was starting to work less and less for time. And the way you do marketing is a lot of money. And a few people’s thinking. the way you do communication in the internet world is a little bit of money spread out across a lot of people.

Also the marketing, even digital marketing was less of a strong lever. So we just had to be a lot smarter, usually through. Technology development to help people find jobs and help employers find those people. And just going deeper into the topics, the needs, the conversation just required more brains, just more brains with autonomy and ability to think, and then required a big change in culture.

It was a very interesting journey in understanding that diagnosing what were the more, the deeper elements, deciding what to communicate and the process to get there. And that’s the point that became clear the key elements to change a culture. We’ll be strong leaders across the organization. So just having me talk to a thousand people that things changed won’t work.

We need their leaders in several different layers of command. I hearing that message and living that change and the culture change is this interesting process on one hand, what you’re saying really resonates with you. You really like it, but some people don’t like it. And do you need your help to make a decision between leaving the company or deciding to experiment something they initially don’t like, and then bringing more people on board to get more momentum change.

And that doesn’t really very interesting part of the journey

Pod: three-year period that you were leading that change. What did you notice and tell the organization and of aware that go from and where did it end up before you left?

Eduardo: I think some of the milestones we expected. And we had them in a nice chart, communicated this across the executive team to set expectations.

Most of the milestones happen. So the first one is people didn’t even know we were going through a cultural change and then we told them about it. At first, they didn’t believe us. So we need you to start taking actions for them to believe this. And then when they started believing something was going to change and they had to make a decision, do I adapt to this?

Or do we give up? We went through all those elements. I thought it was gonna be clearer at each element, but it was personal. Get the concepts behind it, but it’s a very gradual change. So at some point, just look back and realize that we’ve gone through that. Now that I look back every bus, for example, everybody clearly understood change had happened.

People were fighting against it, but no one was involved anymore.

And then as you look at members like churn and people leaving the company, and I started thinking, this is wrong. And you suddenly realize maybe some of those other people that were naturally inclined to leave and just fighting churn is the wrong thing to do at this time. But dealing with the loss of people who might be talented.

It’s hard. So having prepared yourself for this strong mindset of this is part of the consequences of the cultural change was a good thing.

Pod: And then as you said up front to you, you came to conclusion that the role and you are no longer suited for each other. And in sense that you believe that you had done what you could do in an hour needed someone else or a different style of leadership or background to bring it somewhere else.

How long did it take you to get to that conclusion?

Eduardo: I think it grew on me over time, so I can really put a finger on when it began. But I started realizing my energy was a bit lower slowly. I was living a little bit, a little less than what we were doing and realizing it was not adding as much energy as much insight as I used to.

And I started becoming less excited about the monster. And doing a bit more soul searching. I think the conclusion was I expected a very big change value into the market. I expected a very big rewrite of the business, and then we, Didn’t really work out. There was a great business ahead. But with lots of last spring pension, and I think the ring was mentioned is probably what I’m more passionate about.

And when it became clear that the size of the invasion was smaller and it was more about just keeping the business in a good shape and working through the financials and getting the sales or marketing people should keep executing well and probably a bit less energy on innovation technology and still some emphasis in that, but less excited about the future.

And that doesn’t mean the company is solid and has a bright future. It’s just less, as you said, me and the job, we’re less inclined about each other at this point. And then as I realized that, because it was less excited, I would be energizing people less. I would be adding less to every job candidate that I would be.

Pitching to come to the word, I would be just putting less specialists. I realize having somebody else with more of that profile was probably a good thing to do in those six months. I still think of the key elements of reinvention that would be in our future. And I think that thought process was really good for the company.

But already having the cited, the steps, I think

Pod: ordinary, open. And as I said before, courageous, answer to that question about, and I really appreciate that because I’ve seen so many times leaders staying too long in roles for a range of reasons know. Often fear-based as in, I haven’t got somewhere else to go to, or, I can still do this cause they still need me or whatever the answer is.

So for you to sit there and realize I’m not as passionate about this role as I have been, and indeed, maybe I’m no longer the right press put as role. I don’t think it’s extraordinary courageous place to come to, or importantly, the way you. Helped your successor to come on board. and then take a sabbatical is a, it’s a great place to be.

My experience is people who take sabbaticals are usually either from artistic type backgrounds, musicians, artists, et cetera, or academic type backgrounds. Leaders often don’t do this yet. Yet. It is a really great process to pause, rest, rejuvenate, and come back into the world with a fresh perspective, which is what you’ve done.

Eduardo: I’ve met a few other people doing sabbatical. And I realized there’s this idea of a long-term trip that is quite attractive to a lot of people. People tend to think that it’s very expensive. One of the interesting insights is you spend less money traveling. Like I did. Then we actually live in, so of course you’re not making money.

Then the guest flow is negative only, but I can spend less money. I think the courage for people is something that would push people for just making the most out of life, just rethinking life and making sure that. Whatever you do, you’re passionate about you really want to do it. And the sabbatical was a great way to

Pod: so you’ve come back into the world. you’ve joined a Brazilian startup organization. you’ve moved to Portugal to help expand that organization into his first country overseas. Tell us more.

Eduardo: So after 10 months or realizing. The energy out of the trip, the excitement for the new country was diminishing and we’re feeling more like we need to saddle where’s the anchor that we lower the anchor.

And then going back to Brazil was a good thing. But we had decided that not living in Brazil anymore was Charlie. We’re going to be. And then we started specing living in the country where at that time, which is Portugal, we actually stopped first thought of doing this in Italy. And then in Portsmouth, I got stronger.

And then I saw that maybe if I were to look for a job in Portugal, the country might not have as much opportunities for somebody with my profile. And then I also looked into Spain and began actually doing job interviews and networking with people through different sites and having conversations. And then I had a dinner at the house over the next boss from Google, and we just chatted about this.

And then he connected me to this startup. When I found four different colleagues from Google for investing in the startup and he just made the connection because he has been talking to them as well. And it really clicked what they wanted us to help. Sure open a tech hub, meaning an office to have tech talent to build technology for Brazil.

There isn’t. This is just the Pelham for when Brazil is the finishing. There’s just so much investment. So much people doing great stuff in tech is diminishing and then opening new talent pools is a good thing. Because for Brazilians at this point, coming to Europe is a natural green, both from the political perspective, from the economy perspective, from the violence perspective.

But a lot of people want to come here, but coming to Portugal is hard. And then having your Brazilian company. In Portugal is a great way to attract some of those talents because we really care about diversity. We don’t want to be a isolated group of Brazilians doing stuff in Portugal. So we’ve been hiring also intensely for Portuguese people, Europeans, overall.

Starting to get Indians in the fray because they also like it. Honestly, if there’s a Martian that speaks some English

Pod: is his effort hard to become a tech hub in Europe and developing a lot of incentives for companies like yours to go in and operate from Portico.

Eduardo: Yep. I think several countries have been thinking about this. I think work’s going to be a specialty. Good job. Being, working to a mechanism called tech visa will help people from that background come and work here.

And honestly, the country is great. The amount of days of sun in Portugal is almost legendary. People in Europe really understand this well. So the idea that you can come and live in a place with great weather and where the cost of living is not so high and have a very nice lifestyle and still work with something you’re passionate about.

it’s been a really easy pitch to deliver to candidates. We’re also thinking of. Side of this, which is the actual international expansion for logging. And I’m also, I think the previous CEO mindset really helps me on this because on the one hand there’s tech, but there’s also financial role in investment and a lot of people.

And if we do get to open operations here, It resembles a little bit more of the old job in balancing different functions, which I’m very comfortable with. And then the key question is can we be position in a strategic way in Europe because our strengths will keep working here in Brazil. I think helping the company answer that question is something I can really help with.

And if that works then coming to Europe and maybe other companies, something that I try.

Pod: So from a leadership perspective, Eduardo, you’re in Portugal, you’re heading up, as you said, not just the product side, but the various parts of the organization as it expands in Portugal. And then across a year from there, what are some of the leadership, learnings or insights you’re taking from your role in Catho or indeed your role in Google before Catho to bring into this role?

Eduardo: I think my own passion about. Big shingles is something that there’s the self-learning had passed away. When the speed of transformation, the managed my passion was not there. The speed log is going through is we are growing 400% a year or a year, so it’s almost sad. It’s a neck breaking speed. It’s a really strong speed.

I learned to relate to that. and I’m learning to cope with this in such a way that I can have a well balanced lifestyle and deliberate, great results within that environment. I think that is the mix between the two experiences. I think the other thing that really came from Castro and so much strategy learning is asking important questions.

And I think I’m helping the loyalty team goes through some of those. Of course, some of them are really well answered, but figuring out how do we deal with a lot of the challenges that we had? Are we positioning ourselves as a costlier? Are you going to be the fastest company delivering parcels? What role do we want the gig economy to have within us?

Is this the only approach we can take it? I think there are several strong questions running around and I think it can bring a lot of insights from those.

Pod: So for a hundred percent, a year on year, that’s a super Sonic speed growth that’s beyond scaling. How does a leader stay abreast of themselves in terms of their own ability to be ahead of the curve from a leadership point of view?

So you don’t slow down that growth. as in, don’t start down by mistake.

Eduardo: It is hard. I think there was a mix between choosing some areas and in those making sure that you help leaders in those areas think well about what they’re doing, choosing which areas are not going understanding the detail because there’s just too much going on.

And creating a good trust within the exact group so that in whatever you’re not doing, you are comfortable, somebody is doing, and this is really needed. And you’re going to hear about it. So choosing your battles, choosing where to put your energy, I think is key and focusing on people. Of course, if other people will be struggling with that speed.

Helping them specially find expectations. Especially more junior people would have an expectation of, I need to learn everything that’s going on. it hasn’t happened yet, so maybe I need to put more effort into this. It’s just a bad mindset to be in because there’ll be suppressed or dying. So helping people cope with this and getting them cleared.

Areas of scope to work with and assured them within the state, they can be great employees.

Pod: Are you planning your next sabbatical yet?

Eduardo: But when we first landed in Portugal, I had the discussion with the family that, okay, let’s do this every four years. I would just find out this new thing. And then we weren’t.

So this, and then I travel again. But I think what we were learning after renting the first house and all discuss, buying a house for us. Emotions of not having a place might not work as well when the kids are older. I think the agent’s ritual was probably especially strong, but let’s see. maybe take another break would make sense.

Pod: Fantastic. I’ve taken a sabbatical myself twice in my career, the last time being within the last 12 months. And I can absolutely verify you come back refreshed with fresh points of view each time that I’ve done it, at least so I can sit. I can certainly see Hawaii. Loved it and why you’ve benefited from it

coming to the end of our conversation. I’ve got two questions for you that I ended up all of my interviews with given the wisdom you’ve accumulated, particularly in the last 12 months year, have your sabbatical, what would you now be telling the 35 year old version of you

Eduardo: that is so hard? I think one message.

And I would like to get through, as things are gonna work out, don’t get as anxious on the other hand. I think if I were, if I identify I’ve listened to this too much, maybe it wouldn’t work as hard as, and then things would turned out badly. But I think we all have, I think, especially with the pandemic, I think our brain has this tendency to writers.

Think everything’s going to go wrong, where I go to die. Or this is just an illusion nothing’s going to happen. I think those are like flaws in the brain. And I think that is really in the big screen. So putting your energy in understanding the details and where to get things, I think this is what I’d like my twenty-five new version to do more course.

There’s some days I’m just the wrong person for the job. And I Sri myself that I could really do the job well. I seen for something. I would like to have at that point, or I heard this a few times for a few different people, but I would like to have was more depth. And this the other one is just especially thinking about capital 40 more energy in figuring out what are really the key elements for the company.

I think there was less understanding. Of what means the company be as good as it was, and even less about what were the steps I have since the market was changing so much. I think putting more energy in those questions I think would have made things improve faster and more in the right direction.

Pod: Brilliant. And I remember having dinner with you in Sao Paulo once where we ended up discussing music over red wine. What would, while I remember what you said at the time, but what is your memory now of your favorite band or your favorite song?

Eduardo: We did this great exercise in the family because birthdays were really getting hard with a, grown-up having so many people over and then it would begin this joke and reach each future birthday.

You. Which was a song and the assembling would record that. or pieces of the song. And then one of the words they give to each watch that they knew for the family. And then people usually the same nights States. And this last August, when I turned 44 and the son was a Brazilian West. So it’s a bit hard for you to relate to it, but it’s from a guy called  station.

And the key element is I’d rather be the cost of metamorphoses. Then you’ll have a very specific opinion about everything. I can really relate to that message today.

Pod: So you’d like to be in a constant metamorphosis, then stuck in one specific opinion in our point of view. Fantastic. you certainly having met him more advisees yourself are changing or evolving, adapting, whatever the right word is, going from Brazil to California, back to that, around the world and out to Portugal.

Fantastic Ivana, fantastic. To catch up with you again, it’s been far too long. I love to hear that you’ve done that sabbatical and more importantly, the end of you and the family have had a huge benefit from it. And you’re bringing that into your next role. Thank you for sharing that with us today.

can we take from that in conversation with Eduardo? For me, there’s four things that stood out that I’ve been thinking about since I spoke to him on the line to Lisbon. One is the benefit of a sabbatical. I know I mentioned in my interview with him, I’ve taken two in my own career and each time. Take the idea of taking it was one of trepidation and nervousness and coming out of it, it was one of absolute gratitude and feeling of refreshment and regeneration of ideas and indie creativity.

It is difficult when you are in a corporate life to consider taking a sabbatical yet outside of corporate life, it happens regularly, both in the artistic industry and in the academic industry. So I was certainly encourage any leader who was feeling tarred, burned out, even considering whether they’re in the right role or not to look at the idea of a sabbatical to take the family away for a while to enjoy it.

To generate new perspectives and to come back feeling refreshed and generating new opportunities for you.

The second one that struck me talking to Eduardo was the idea of learning to lead others who are technically very strong. And indeed they know they’re very strong and they know they have expertise in their function that you, as their leader may never have. So how do you as a leader offer value? the first step is to not try to over engineer reasons for you to be a good leader that rarely works.

The second step is to find out what are the leavers in their function that you need to understand? So you can ask powerful and guiding questions of them to help them decide parts of their role or parts of the function that might need your help with. The second thing with that is to look at what’s the broader culture you’re trying to co-create across your team and how do you help them in that regard?

And third, of course, which is normal for any leadership role is how do you break down barriers, open doors, or clear the way for them to be as good as they can be, or to have decisions made for them or to enable their work.

Eduardo: Okay.

Pod: the thing is communicating with confidence. Eduardo talked about his learning, having come out of Google, where his role was to experiment and move into areas that there was a lot of ambiguity about and being comfortable with that. So when he moved into his role as CEO of catheter and had over a thousand people in his building, addressing them with a sense of ambiguity didn’t work.

And so his learning was when is a time to communicate that we are now experimenting and we don’t know where we’re going first is when as a time to communicate in order to instill certainty. And indeed during times like a pandemic, when there is no certainty, what can you communicate to give certainty?

Such as jobs will be safe, or we are here to help our people or whatever information you can actually relay that will give a sense of certainty. So the question I suppose, for the leader is what is the scenario in front of me or what type of communication is needed from me in this scenario? Is it to encourage experimentation with a lack of understanding of what we might achieve or indeed is a certainty.

And how do I achieve that? Thank you for listening to another episode of the leadership diet. We hope you enjoyed it. Head over to www.thatisshoulddiet.com, where you can subscribe to the podcast, to our blogs and retrieve the show notes. From each episode, every show knows, has links to whatever resources were mentioned by our guests, including their favorite song or band.

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