How to Identify Leaders with Montse Passolas of Rimmel at Coty
January 29, 2018 By Lauren Stiebing
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Montse Passolas is a highly qualified Global Marketing and Branding board level executive with over 18 years of experience in marketing and communications, digital, new product development, retail, PR and business development strategy within leading brands and companies. Montse is a true international profile with experience working in Spain, France UK, US, and with an emphasis on the beauty and luxury markets with a proven ability to adapt and work efficiently in fast-paced organizations. She is a marketer with strong commercial acumen, online discipline and consumer focus; excellent leadership, charisma and communication abilities.
In this podcast we discuss:
The shift from a boss to an inspirational leader
The qualities which some of the best leaders portray
Camillo Pane and Barack Obama – Why Montse believes in their leadership skills?
Some of the learning platforms she uses to brush up on her leadership skills
Empowerment, guidance, inspiration and recognition – Montse’s secrets to supporting leaders
Hi I’m Lauren Stiebing and on this episode of the career success podcast we will be discussing how to identify leaders with Montse Passolas. Montse is a highly qualified Global Marketing and Branding board level executive with over 18 years of experience in marketing and communications, digital, new product development, retail, PR and business development strategy within leading brands and companies.
Montse is a true international profile with experience working in Spain, France UK, US, Australia and an emphasis on the beauty and luxury markets with a proven ability to adapt and work efficiently in fast-paced organizations. She is a marketer with strong commercial acumen, online discipline and consumer focus; excellent leadership, charisma and communication abilities. She has demonstrated capability in motivating and managing large teams with all levels of experience and she speaks four languages proficiently. Welcome Montse.
Hi Lauren. Hi, thank you very much for having me. Thank you to LSI international, it’s a pleasure to be with you guys.
Great! So as I mentioned in the introduction, the topic of today's podcast will be how to identify leaders and since you’ve held multiple leadership roles, I thought you'd be a great person to share with us some of your ideas and opinions. So, my first question is how has the idea of a leader change since the start of your career?
I started my career almost twenty years ago and in beauty, is a sector that I still love. The main change is that I've seen from many days ago to now, I think before you used to be a boss, maybe they tell you very much what to do. There was very little inspiration and nowadays possibly because we are managing millennials and generational Z, we have moved to a very inspiring role, where you have to of course, guide them in their professional development, but also nourish them in their curiosity, an in the way they relate to the world and to their peers and to their families and to the work life environment. It is a very nourishing, in a certain way, or at least that’s how I see it that the people who are now… truly does not… not… not only incredible on their vision or their role itself but also they are truly inspiring people who understand the needs of the millennials, the gen Z. That … And in the way they see the world nowadays in terms of authenticity. In terms of how they relate to social causes; And at that rate that they are also entrepreneurial, you know young people, the young generation they don't find something that they will do themselves.
They will have a way to have it, right? And that immediacy in reactions before you know, remember when I started working, email was in it’s infancy.
Though that immediacy…. immediate information was not as a highly requirement as it is today. So, the leader has not only to adapt to the way your relationship is relating with the younger generation and inspiring them and embracing their way of thinking but also that immediate reaction; the immediacy need of fulfillment.
And you have to adapt in this way of technological progress because they are born with it, mainly gen Z.
They are the first generation that know about internet. So, the new leaders had to adapt to that way… there way of thinking and the way they relate to technology and speed.
So, those leaders are truly inspiring because they have quickly adapted they learn and they embrace them.
When you are identifying leaders this can be done you know internally at your company or externally when you are hiring or even you know at congresses or events or in your everyday life. What processes do you undergo to identify leaders?
It's the way they…. I think it’s the way they portray themselves. The confidence, they trust they also inspire in others because I think trust is a very important feature; reliability. You can identify leaders… even my hair dresser, everywhere.
And because the way they portrayed in talking with conviction, with confidence and inspiring trust to the others.
And that person who recognizes their weaknesses and at a conference with people who say I'm not better for the subject and this… this and then you want to listen to them.
You do want to listen to them. So, I think for me the leaders after the whole had this conviction, self-confidence without being cocky, and creation of trust. Reliability.
And can you give some examples of great leaders, well they can be people you know or people you don't and you know, why you believe in their leadership skills.
I mean me… I had been very…. very blessed working in great companies like L'oreal.
And I’m currently at Coty. I would say my current CEO, Camillo Pane, is incredible and I truly admire him because he's passionate for what he does, incredibly clear in visionary, talks with conviction but at the same time has humbleness; that makes him so approachable where at the same time inspiring. He's a truly there for me, motivating change and empowering people to be their own entrepreneurs.
He’s giving recognition when needed, when needed and when awarded. I think for me my current CEO; I truly admire him, he’s transforming the way we’re operating in beauty. So, that will be for me one peer one and as a world, I think that Obama
Because he was true to his values and he motivated change and open minded.
Not only the US but in the rest of the world. He made possible the first chance of having a black president and he took the whole world with his convictions and he's inspiring rhetoric. So, I think I will highlight those two for a moment.
Okay thanks and for those of us who wish to build on… on these skills what would you suggest that we do?
I think that reading… reading not only book's but reading magazines and interacting with other people, networking, online and off line. I see… I love listening to Ted; I love listening to speeches of women. There are so many inspiring women nowadays. I really … am… is a topic that I'm absolutely passionate about, the most fascinating women. But listening to them to what they have to say, and children; there are very inspiring children like Malalah, like super genius Rahul who is the most down to earth boy and he's incredibly clever. So, I think a listening, radio podcast programs; it’s very interesting because you capture ideas, the way they … not only the way they think but that way they also say it.
For me sometimes content is important as the forums when you're trying to have those inspiring and authentic ways of portraying yourself.
And for you, when you identify a leader in your team, what actions do you take to get the most out of their abilities?
First is empowering them … empowering them to take their positions and come up with solutions when the problem arises. Let them drive it, guide them when necessary and certainty … certainly recognizing their value.
And not only recognizing their value only in a one to one, or in the formal of feedback day. It is even the small thing to the big, big presentation. To the small email that it was like change the way someone relates to a project or a launch to you know a big project that they have led. So, it is as important recognition and the value they bring into the team; it is very important, I think. So, empowerment, guidance, inspirations and recognition.
Well, Montse thank you so much for joining us today on our career success podcast. I'm sure our listeners have definitely enjoyed and probably you've given them some ideas as well to take with them
Well, I hope so too and thank you very much again for having me; take care.
A purpose-led organization and its benefits
Leadership gurus affirm that the single most important responsibility of a leader is to define their organization’s “purpose”. And having done so, they must ensure that stakeholders understand that purpose and are empowered to act in ways that help achieve that purpose.
But what is “purpose”? It is essentially the raison d'être. Maximizing profits has for long been seen as the reason why businesses exist. However, in recent years this belief has begun to change, and “purpose” is now being defined in ways that go beyond profit maximization. This shift is the result of the growing realization that for any business, sustained growth and profitability depends on people- whether they are employees, customers, prospective customers or business partners.
Especially in the face of rapid change, a clear organizational purpose acts as a beacon to decision-making and as a rallying point. It also helps the organization make better decisions around whom to hire, how to retain talent, what products/services to offer, how to market/sell them etc. It also motivates people to do their best- and stretch. In turn, that drives higher levels of innovation, customer service and commitment to the organization.
How you, as a leader, create a purpose-led organization?
The theory, as always, is simple. As Prof. Dan Cable says in an HBR article (Source), leaders must trigger employees’ “seeking systems”. Let’s now look at some specific actions leaders can take to create and nurture a purpose-led organization.
The implementation of the theory must clearly begin with defining an organizational purpose that is both authentic and aligned to the business model. But the real task lies in personalizing this purpose to individuals and teams within the organization. Leaders must recognize that individuals are motivated when they have the freedom to express themselves. This means giving them more opportunities to do what they are good at, so they can shine. This means assigning people roles that leverage their strengths- in practice, this could well include facilitating transfers and role reassignments based on perceived or assessed strengths and not just qualifications or experience. It could also mean allowing employees the time, budgets and space to experiment with ideas. Of course, to the extent possible, all such experimentation must be aligned with the organization’s strategic priorities, so that the outcomes will help further the organization’s legitimate interests. The payoffs are potentially huge, though, as people working on what they like doing will almost always be better performers.
Research also shows that people tend to be more engaged with their work if they can see how their role/work contributes to larger organizational goals. To facilitate this, leaders must break down corporate strategy and departmental plans into smaller components and explain them to the relevant departments and teams. This allows people in individual departments to formulate their goals and KPIs in ways that are clearly aligned with the larger purpose. Many leaders and managers do not deconstruct and personalize the organization’s purpose and strategy; this results in employees feeling disconnected or like they are in a black box, not knowing the value of what they contribute.
Periodically (say at the end of each quarter), managers must show each department how it has made a difference. This may mean going beyond the standard performance dashboard or evaluation metrics- and this is what Purpose-driven leaders are willing to take the time and effort to do. For example, leaders at Novant Health encouraged employees to create their own job titles; this prompted people to highlight their unique contributions to their teams, and over time, caused a marked improvement in morale and performance.
Leaders must remember also that keeping the organization purpose-led is not a one-time exercise. As the business grows, new people join, and some people retire or otherwise separate from the organization. Regulations change, as do technologies. Collectively, these shape operating conditions. In response, company managements will take actions from time to time that may also impact employee morale and motivation. It is at such times that reaffirming the purpose and painting a clear picture helps. It may also need a new purpose to be defined. It would be a big bonus if As Peter Hall, President of Consumer Brands at New York-based Dean & DeLuca says, “The most motivating thing I think as a leader is to paint an exciting vision (for the team). And then secondarily, define team members’ part in the plan… then you’ve gone some way to fulfilling your leadership obligations and to motivating your executives.”
“Leaders are the ones who run headfirst into the unknown.They rush toward the danger.They put their own interests aside to protect us or to pull us into the future.Leaders would sooner sacrifice what is theirs to save what is ours.And they would never sacrifice what is ours to save what is theirs.This is what it means to be a leader.It means they choose to go first into danger, headfirst toward the unknown.And when we feel sure they will keep us safe,we will march behind them and work tirelessly to see their visionscome to life and proudly call ourselves their followers“
Do you know what leadership is? What do you perceive when you talk about leadership?
Upper beautiful part from one of Simon Sinek's books is describing what leadership is.
I would even enhance the last sentence and instead of "followers" use "leaders". The main task of every great leader is to develop new leaders, not followers. Great leaders need to establish leader-leader approach that is simply better than leader-follower approach.
Nobody can force you towards leadership.
Leadership is choice. Your choice. Only your choice.
What are the main things every great leader needs to have? I am sharing with you my view of 6 Things Every Great Leader Should Have.
What is harder for you - to talk or to listen?
Do you listen? When was the last time that you listened?
Listening is essential skill for every great leader. Moreover, it is the one of hardest ones to have. In today's world we are used to talking, we are used to giving advice and we are used to expressing ourselves. However, do we really know how to listen? Do we listen or we are listening and preparing our counter response?
What we can differentiate are three main types of listening.
Level 1 is internal listening based on your own agenda. Meaning you listen, but you do not care what other person is saying. You are already preparing your own answer. Level 1 is only about you.
Level 2 is focused listening. We are focusing on the other person. We can hear what the other person is saying. We are listening without our own agenda.
Where are you as a listener? Are you in Level 1 or Level 2? What do you think?
Level 3 is the deepest global listening. The listening that differentiates great leaders from good leaders. It is not listening only about words, it is about change of tone, it is about body language and it is about hearing what kind of words are being used. Level 3 listening is listening without judgments and without evaluation. You are fully there - you are present. You listen - you really listen.
How often have you been in Level 3 listening? This is ultimate goal of every great leader.
In addition, not only listening to others, but also listening to you. When was the last time that you manage to hear your heartbeat? You do not remember, ha?
If you want to ask questions then you need to know how to listen.
Moreover, do not forget LISTEN has the same letters as SILENT.
Empower.“It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Steve Jobs
The ultimate goal of every great leader is to delegate authority where information is. Information is on the “first line” and we need to empower our people to develop leaders there. We need leader-leader approach - everywhere.
What are companies usually doing?
Not empowering people and they are establishing endless reporting. Reporting has the goal to bring information from bottom to the top where authority is sitting. Then the decision is done at the top and it is being cascaded down. Instead that “top” has focus on the vision and leads companies towards long-term success, “top” is swimming in information overload. That is example of Leader-follower approach that is short-term oriented approach.
Leader-leader is a long-term oriented approach. Not many companies are cherishing leader-leader as pressure towards results is on a daily basis. Great leaders need to resist temptation and need to balance long-term and short-term orientation. Leader-leader approach is more sustainable and more long-term approach. The main challenge is that it is an approach of delayed gratification. Results are not visible immediately and in today's world of instant gratification, this can be a challenge. That is why great leaders are here - to solve that kind of challenges.
Not empowering people, we are creating followers who are not developing and who are not unleashing their own potential. If we have 1.000 people in the company and just 5 are deciding, do we need then other 995 people? If we have 15 people in the meeting and they all think the same as 1 big boss, then do we need other people? Here comes the HIPPO challenge. Do not be a HIPPO. HIPPO means HIghest Paid Person’s Opinion. In many companies, HIPPO is talking and others are just nodding or saying “Yes, great idea!” That is leader-follower approach. Remember to Listen. Remember to be Silent. Remember to Empower. Then you can avoid being a HIPPO.
“We kill all the caterpillars, then complain there are no butterflies“ - this is the core of no empowerment.
Empower and stipulate diversity in opinion.
Stipulate ownership and stipulate accountability.
This is what great leaders do - they create new great leaders via empowerment.
Help others.“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don't want to.” Richard Branson
You, as a great leader, have personal responsibility to develop others. When you go to the library, you can find section called Self-Help, but where is the section for Help Others?
When someone is not doing well in the job, do you know the reason? Do you listen enough to understand? Do you ask powerful questions? Do you even want to understand what is happening?
On the other hand, you just do not care and you look at the numbers? You then wait for feedback, talk to give negative feedback and you try to use the stick-and-carrot approach? Do you use fear leadership to improve the performance of others?
How much of your time do you use to develop your team? Think about it. When you imagine your working day, what is percentage of your time you use for reading and answering endless emails? What is percentage of your time you use for meetings? The most important is, what is percentage of your time that you use to develop your people? Reflect.
What are you doing for your consumers? What are you doing for your colleagues? What are you doing for your community?
Great leaders care. Great leaders empathize. Great leaders help others - help others to unleash their own potential.
Lead by Example.“Be the change you want to see in the world”; Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi's quote is one of the most beautiful quotes that I have ever read. Ten words are sufficient - you as a great leader, need to be a role model. People are looking at you - do not forget that.
Have a Vision.“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks”; Winston Churchill
Where do you want to be in 10 years in your business life?
Where do you want to be in 10 years in your private life?
If you know the answers on those questions then you are already on the way towards great leader.
Great leaders know where they are going. You are the creator of your destiny - nobody else. You decide what will happen to you. Do not blame others, do not justify yourself, you and only you are responsible for your life. Do not be a victim.
So have a vision.
Go fast forward 20 years from now. Where are you? Who is around you? Who are YOU? What do you notice?
Now look back to your life. What have you achieved? Are you satisfied? Would you do it differently? What would you do differently?
Live life. Hey, you have only one life!
Do not use it on worthless things and worthless moments.
Enjoy time with your family, enjoy time with your friends, travel, be outside, simply enjoy!
Before I close with 30 second speech of Coca Cola's ex-CEO, I would like that you take a moment, check two pictures below and reflect.
What do you notice? What do you think about it.
Bryan Dyson - former CEO of Coca Cola“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. They are Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you are keeping all of there in the air.You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. However, the other four balls - Family, Health, Friends and Spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it“6 Things Every Great Leader Should Have
Lead by Example
Have a Vision
Marko Mintas is Erickson Professional Coach, lifelong learner, sales and marketing leader with successful track record and experience in sales, trade marketing and marketing management of multinational blue-chip company in Fast Moving Consumer Goods. Marko is passionate about coaching, people leadership and supporting other people to unleash their own potential. He cherishes entrepreneurial mindset through challenging status quo, searching, finding and creating new ways to establish additional value, achieve exceptional business results and consistently deliver strong top and bottom line results.
Marko is Master of Business Economics at University of Zagreb with having numerous additional educations incl. Harvard Business School and IESE. He has been working in three different countries and is currently living and working in Vienna, Austria.
There is no doubt that the gender pay gap exists around the world. At around 15%, it is perhaps lowest in Nordic countries; in the UK it is 18.4%, while it is 21% and 27% respectively in the US and Japan. The World Economic Forum estimates the global average gap to be around 32%.
The gender pay gap refers to the difference that exists in the average pay of men and women per hour worked, regardless of their level or function. It is thus distinct from the legal requirement for companies to pay their male and female employees the same if they perform the same (or largely similar) roles in the organization. The gender pay gap exists despite legal and other efforts to narrow it. Iceland recently raised the bar by shifting the onus from employees to prove that they have been paid less to employers to prove that they are paying workers the same irrespective of gender. Further, this law makes it a criminal offence if employers do not take action in cases of unequal pay. Given that several factors contribute to creating the gender pay gap, it is perhaps too early to gauge how successful this law will be in further narrowing the gap.
Causes of the gender pay gap
Various research studies have sought to identify factors that cause this gap. Based on data from Denmark (a country that has very strong maternity benefits and other gender disparity laws), Princeton University economist Henrik Kleven concludes that the gender gap is effectively a “penalty for bearing children”. During the 1-2 years of maternity leave, female employees fall behind their male counterparts (what happens if there are no salary raises in those 2 years for the men?). Over the span of a 20-year career, this grows to almost 20%. The same study also noted that there was hardly any gap between men with and without kids. There are of course instances where mothers re-enter the workforce and in a matter of a couple of years, are able to erase the gap. But exceptions do not make the rule.
Harvard University economist Claudia Goldin’s US-based study found that gender pay gap is widest for women in their 30s, which correlates well with their prime childbearing age. Marianne Bertrand from the University of Chicago led a study of Business School graduates and reported that while the average starting salary differential between male and female graduates was about 13% (and attributable to differences in prior experience), the gap grew to 60% nine years into their careers.
The time women take off work to raise kids is clearly an important factor but cannot be the only one that contributes to gender pay gap. There are behavioural differences as well that play a role. For example, the Kleven study also found that in Denmark, although both parents were eligible for childcare leave, almost 90% of the leaves were taken by the mothers. This begs the question whether such behaviours are the result of societal norms and expectations or individual decisions. The answer, as is often the case in such matters, is probably “a bit of both”.
Both in the US and Denmark, public opinion tends to support the view that women with young children should not hold full-time jobs. It is also generally accepted that mothers are more committed to providing care and nurture for their children. As a result of such factors (which are not employer related), many women change jobs after motherhood, choosing roles that involve less travel or more predictable work hours.
Evidence that behaviour is a strong determinant of gender pay gap also comes from a study of Uber drivers in Chicago, 30% of whom were women. Allocation of drivers is based on location of the car and the passenger; considerations such as the driver’s gender are extraneous. Even in such a situation, a 7% pay gap was revealed. Deeper analysis revealed that this may be the result of behavioural factors such as the following:
Male drivers tend to target the more lucrative routes (e.g. airport trips), while women drivers preferred local drives and Sunday afternoons (relatively quiet periods)
Women drive slower than males- so over a long period of time, make fewer trips than their male counterparts.
Males have an average tenure of two years; for women, it is a few months- and Uber’s remuneration is linked with tenure
The average male driver drove 50% more trips per week than women drivers did
In the UK, companies with more than 250 employees have till April 6, 2018, to disclose gender pay data. As of mid-January, 527 companies had reported their data- and there was a 10.7% gap favouring men. The difference in mean hourly wages of men and women ranged from 0% (The British Museum) to 64.8% (women’s fashion chain Phase Eight). It was also interesting to note that organizations such as mattress retailer Sweet Dreams, the average hourly wage for women was 46.4% higher than the figure for men. Another such example was Yellow Dot, which runs 12 nurseries in Hampshire. Its team was "predominantly female", with males mainly employed in "the lower skill areas of childcare". This indicates that skill-based pay differences too exist, with women being preferred for certain roles.
What can companies and individual executives do to reduce the gap?
Ms. Helena Peerheentupa, Mattel’s Head of Licensing for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and Nordics, offers some sage advice, when she says “… look for people that love to meet expectations you set for yourself rather than people (who set expectations) of you. By default, if you look at something that you really enjoy, you will be better at it and you will be better equipped” (for senior positions in the company where wage levels are higher).
In a talent-starved world, it is criminal to lose women employees with relevant skills. In today’s technology-driven world, both companies and individuals can take steps to reduce the gender gap. Here are some ideas for your consideration:
Sensitize school children about the role of men in raising children so that over a decade or so, mindsets about the role of men in raising children will change.
Encourage moms-to-be to get exposure and training for new roles six months before they go on maternity leave and allow them greater flex-working opportunities when they return. These could include roles as Mentors/Coaches (subject to experience/competence levels)
Do not consider previous compensation levels during the hiring/selection process for women looking to re-enter the workforce.
To keep themselves “in touch” with their professional fields when they are on maternity leave, women executives can explore freelancing opportunities.
Explore the possibility of doing projects that use their expertise but can be done from home or with minimal travel (e.g. how to incorporate Design Thinking into business processes) that are important to the organization.