I am self-indulgent; I think I am the ideal executive although my bosses are not. It is not a question of false modesty, but I know I am with the winner team.

I am deeply optimistic about the crisis; I do not know why we have to worry so much. I admit that I feel optimistic when my company goes well and I feel pessimistic when my company goes badly. I could be a man or a woman and / or work for a big or a small one and I am sure my opinion would not change. I like to work for a company which lets me make decisions and, although the money is not the most important thing, if I am not well paid, I get demotivated. Most of the times, I believe that changes which are produced in my company are not properly planned and are badly communicated and that is why I spend a long time encouraging my team when I am not encouraged and I spend little time doing so when I feel my bosses are motivating me.

When I feel integrated in my company, despite the fact that I usually travel more, I get better results and I feel less tired. But when I feel stressed, very busy, when I do long hours or when I take work home, I get worse results and I am in a very bad mood, although I am aware that, in order to achieve my goals, I have to lengthen my working day. I am concerned about the fact that we meet too often and we sometimes meet unnecessarily. At least, when meeting are called on by me, I start and finish on time, because when I am called for a meeting, timetables are never respected and I do not understand why.

What can I say about the relationships with my colleagues? These are just excellent. I have many close friends amongst my peers and keep our friendship both in and outside office hours: I really do not know what I would do without them. I will be frank to you; as I have been going up and have been promoted to higher positions, I have had more and more problems with other executives, although with the experience I have gained along the years, I have been able to manage that situation better than I did when I was a younger executive. I cheer myself up when I think that my company is doing what it needs to keep me happy and I feel comfortable when I see that my boss knows how to communicate and provides us with the resources we need to manage our businesses, even though usually I do not get any feedback about my work.

Lastly, I must admit that half the times, the results I have got as an executive did not depend on me.

Wow… some things do sound familiar, don’t they? Nonetheless, I just want to point out that the aforementioned description is actually fiction and has been carried out making out some details according to the research published in “The Way Spanish Executives think” –El Modo de Pensar de los Directivos Españoles, 2009-10 written by Iñaki de Miguel and Gonzalo Martínez de Miguel, which compiles the opinions of 800 executives regarding the day-to-day activity implied with the executive responsibility. I reckon that anybody who has to manage companies or teams should read this issue published by Infova. It will allow you to get to know the particularities of our Spanish executives and it will give you a good insight into the way they think. www.infova.es/infova-ediciones/infova-ediciones-publicaciones.html

After reading it, I think that the exercise to do is not to try and identify oneself with our friend Juan, but to spot the areas we can improve as executives.

The average profile for the Spanish executive has many good elements but what I am mostly surprised at is the fact that the answers, in some cases, show the lack of self-responsibility –as if being an executive would not imply a certain amount of responsibility, especially when one of the most valued skills for an executive is the one referring to making decisions. This is seen as a catharsis: this means that when we know that something is not properly managed, we look for external excuses which can allow us keeping on managing, when what we should do is actually stop managing that way or resign…

With this idea, I would like to go back to the two principles stated in the book “The Naked Leader”, by David Taylor www.nakedleader.com:

Know where you want to go, where you are, what you must do and do it.

It all depends on you; on nobody else

Felipe Santiago



JOHN MANAGER. Confessions of a Spanish executive.

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