MBR: What are the key initiatives that have made you such a leader in your area (change management/innovation)?
RP: I believe I gained most of my experience and insights as relates to change management and innovation during the period I was in charge of Six Sigma and Operational Innovation for Starwood Hotels and Resorts in Europe, Africa and Middle East. Since launching my own business I have remained an Associate with Strategy Regeneration which is an international company focussed on innovation. I am a person who believes that we never stop learning and am always looking for opportunities to further develop my expertise in these areas.
MBR: What are, from your perspective, the biggest challenges for women in leadership roles?
RP: Of course there is the obvious challenge being the one where we need to balance all the balls relating to family, husband, career and self however, this can be the same for our male colleagues as well. Sometimes I feel that we as women create issues for ourselves – the best person for a job should be “the best person for that job” whether male or woman. I would never like to think I was given any preference because I am a woman. I have made many sacrifices to achieve success in my career over the years as have had my male colleagues, so I think it is up to each individual to consider their goals and ambitions, and decide what is required for success. Then it becomes a decision as to the choices to be made to achieve success and sometimes these are dificult decisions to make.
MBR: How would you qualify the progress made to date with regards to how women are being perceived as an authoritative figure?
RP: I believe significant progress is being made in this aspect – I am at present a Mentor for NCPE Mentoring Program to assist in the development of women for future leadership roles in Malta and I feel that with initiatives such as this and more support for woman taking on leadership roles at both corporate and government level, we will definitely see an increase in woman in leadership in the future.
MBR: Do you think that female leaders use an authoritative leadership style more o en than male leaders as a mean to impose their authority?
RP: No I don’t. I feel that leaders irrespective of their gender use the style applicable to them and their situation.
MBR: What did you learn about leadership qualities, values and virtues from your experience of developing into owners of your own business and managing the business - Any thoughts on the skill sets?
RP: I have gained many insights and learnings when moving from a corporate position to my own business. It can be lonely at times and you need to motivate yourself to push forward, especially during those challenging times when there is so much to do and nobody to delegate to. I think the key lesson for me that I have gained relatively lately is that successful organisations have a strong sense of “why” (purpose) before anything else. If you don’t have a clear understanding of “why” you are doing what you do it can becomes difficult at times to see the wood for the trees. Set your Vision and Goals in relation to your Purpose and everything else seems to then fall into place. MBR
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