This article is part of a series focused on bringing you insights from experienced and successful professionals about what they’ve learned and how they are adapting to the current business climate.
Mariano Legaz, MBA
Vice President, Supply Chain Services
Verizon Communications Inc
V Porfano: What characteristics, skills or abilities have you developed that help make you successful as a leader?
ML: Throughout my career, I have focused not only on developing and acquiring the right level of technical expertise relevant to my job and industry, but also concentrated on evolving leadership, communication skills and learning operational aspects of what makes large organizations successful. In addition, I get out in the field and directly interact with our team, having the opportunity to engage with front-line employees to better understand the realities and challenges of our operation. Through these actions, I’ve improved my communications skills and leadership ability to influence change and results. I’ve also acquired visibility into best-in-class organizations, and a deeper understanding of financial and operational opportunities.
V Porfano: Given that many corporations are now recovering from the economic meltdown, what leadership challenges are taking center stage today?
ML: I believe the most common themes are transformation, innovation, and leadership to drive value. It is critical for leaders to find and manage the talent in their organizations to gain competitive advantage, achieve solid and rapid execution and for flexibility to adapt.
V Porfano: What experiences in your career best positioned or prepared you for a global leadership role?
ML: Early in my career I was fortunate to be exposed to large responsibilities and worked directly with the head of our engineering and planning organization. This gave me insight into a mature, energetic, successful leader who also acted as a coach. Later when I joined Verizon, we were supporting numerous international operations with a diversity of issues and different market realities. It was a great place to see the different variables and scenarios at play. I learned to effectively work across different cultures and within each unique organization; at the same time I was blessed with the opportunity to work with some of the most talented professionals these markets had to offer. Finally, during my career, I had roles in many different organizations such as network planning, operations, customer service, finance, procurement and supply chain, both domestic and international, which provided a broad view about our company and industry.
V Porfano: Did you take risks in your career? If so, what type of risks and how did they prepare you for the unexpected?
ML: I’ve taken many calculated risks, including a move to telecom international operations with almost no previous experience in that field, a move to corporate finance after 10 years in different network roles, and assuming a procurement lead role without previous formal tenure in that group. All of these moves allowed and forced me to stretch and learn, and gave me the ability to quickly adapt. Overall the experiences made it pretty clear that growing involves changing, and that we need to be able to step out of our comfort zones.
Articles in the Experiences And Insights Series
- Experiences And Insights From Sami Miettinen
- Experiences And Insights from Cynthia Young
- Experiences And Insights from Suri Surinder
- Experiences And Insights From Cedric Thurman
- Experiences And Insights From Clara Wong
- Experiences And Insights From Mariano Legaz
Update 2/10/2013: Added Mariano Legaz’s photo