Part of the joy of my job is learning. I learn so much from the clients I coach, the professionals I train and the people I interview. It’s always a humbling and insightful experience to have engaging conversations with leaders I respect. At the core of the Business Executive Network is the idea that it’s a place where leaders connect to grow. To this end, we invited Marco Civardi, former area CEO of Maersk, for a farewell interview on his lessons in leadership he had learned during his eight years as a senior executive in Vietnam.

The special event drew executives from both inside and outside the network to listen, learn and participate in a community that encourages growth. Sharing some of his defining moments as a leader, he expressed how essential it was to value engagement as equally as financial performance, and the importance of having a vision for the medium term. “Leadership is not a beauty contest, and criticism should not be taken personally, it’s feedback on the role you play,” Civardi said.

He was frank about the inevitable blindsides of leaders and the value in having a personal and professional network. Being at the top of an organization can be a lonely journey and you cannot do it alone, he cautioned. He was also generous in expressing his sincere thanks for being a part of the Business Executive Network and for the personal and professional support it provided. There was a discussion around self-renewal as both a leader and a person to optimize your performance and stay competitive in an ever changing world. “Without continual leadership and team renewal you are set to fail,” Civardi said, “and finding a way to invest in the skills of you and your team is critical in maintaining a market advantage.”

His insight on managing stress and challenges was particularly welcomed given the current situation in Vietnam. He referred to the neuroscience of stress and the idea that it’s a feeling we generate when we feel like we don’t have enough resources (both internal and external) to face the challenges at hand.

By reframing your thinking around the problem, and convincing yourself that everything we face is within our capabilities, it opens the door to possibilities, alternatives and solutions, he added.

The discussion was lively and insightful and drew upon the experience and expertise of the audience who had plenty of their own questions and insights to share. Of course, on behalf of myself and the rest of the Business Executive Network we, too, wish him the best in his new role and look forward to connecting with him again. [C]

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Tim Burrill
Membership Manager & Executive Assistant
If you would like to learn more about our events and membership, or have other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.