Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Luca Collina, C-level Growth Methodologist
How would you describe your career path in a few words?
Let’s start considering my mindset. It has been influenced by cycles similar to those of an industry or a product. Having reached maturity, the recognition of the beginning and the end of these cycles pushed me to become a pathfinder, anticipating trends and starting again
My career spans from Chartered accountant to financial and business analyst roles, reaching the management consultant in Supply Chain and ERP implementations. After a few years as a project manager in the UK, I went back to consulting related to business and digital transformation with advisory and support implementations overseas (China, Tunisia, Russia, and Indonesia). In the meantime, in 2021, I achieved my MBA in Consulting with distinction and was awarded the Business Postgraduate Programme Prize at 57 yo. The different cycles in my career path were and are always supported by different purposes. I recognize that it is up to me only to create opportunities and let them match my work and purposes.
What was your most challenging experience, and how has it changed your mindset?
The experience that comes to my mind was the one that, when hired for a Business and Financial position, found me taking the leap of faith, proposing myself as a “fixer” of a dramatic financial and organizational situation that was raising many red flags heading to bankruptcy. The following three years involved my self-declared responsibility for a restructuring strategy and plan.
What I learned was priceless in terms of skills, self-confidence, resilience, and purpose. Starting from the latter, my motivation was based on saving 193 workers from losing their work. I learned by doing, applying, and expanding my previous knowledge and experience, with the advantage of not being a specialist but getting a mindset with a holistic approach to analyzing and solving problems. The resilience boosted by the purpose gave me a defined level of maturity which leveled up my self-confidence. I was 33 years old.
What do you think when you are surprised by unusual or uncertain contexts?
Career choices and lessons learned taught me that much of what lies ahead in life remains uncertain. And I recall the life cycles that drove my career changes
Thoughts? “Where are we now?” Why is this happening?” The first thought that crosses my mind is how I can manage the impacts of the new situation and reduce ambiguity while managing negative impacts. The second one is what and how to communicate to the other stakeholders. Another phase is based on reflection: “could I have estimated or predicted what is happening now”? It combines a sense of responsibility and risk management while quickly consolidating the lesson just learned.
Once managed possible emergencies, I always think about what can be done to preview similar situations and check if other areas could be the object of uncertainty involving them as protagonists of any risk reduction activity.
Based on your experience, what’s the critical success factor for a thought leader?
Authenticity is the first criterion for me. Personality and identity do not have to be sacrificed for others’ requests or forces to behave differently. You can motivate yourself, as in my case, but you must transfer a purposeful approach too, to your clients, peers, and readers.
Being an authentic person with a purpose can make your and clients’ success achievable.
Your ability to be self-reliant and thus to come up with ideas and make significant decisions enables you to identify and take advantage of opportunities in critical situations and solve problems. Developing a can-do attitude and appreciating complex challenges is excellent training for your mindset.
Adapting is a clear expression of flexibility. It requires managing your and others’ emotions, and your behaviour, without losing focus on listening and collecting ideas and opinions from others, with the aim to act as a thought leader and transformational advisor.
It is an act of flexibility to adapt to your surroundings, the emotions of others, and your behaviour without forgetting to listen and collect ideas and opinions from others, to act as an advisor and thought leader.
Furthermore, the ability to think holistically, follow and anticipate trends, give food for thought and offer valuable solutions and find a way to translate and disseminate them make a person recognised as a thought leader.