illimity’s recipe for a good boss

October 1, 2019

Corrado Passera's editorial

CEO in illimity

A week has passed since illimity's top management gathered for its first off-site meeting. This was an experiment that turned out to be an informal, but constructive moment in which all points of view were given equal weight and importance.
It opened up a lively discussion about the underlying values of our project, with quite a lot of focus on the diffused leadership that we want in the company. So, we tried to outline the traits of a good leader or boss that we aim to personify. We started from the idea that there is no single right way to be a positive model and provide effective support. We also had to assume that people already had the necessary skills, integrity, responsibility, dedication and attention to execution.
Apart from these, we also found that we agreed on various essential attitudes for anyone who wants to be at the helm of an innovative startup like illimity. A good leader is someone who all illimiters can look up to because he or she has a vision and makes a concrete contribution. Such people:
·     have an overall view of the entire organisation and are able to explain to the people around them in the company not only what to do, but why it needs to be done that way in order to make as big a contribution to the organisation as possible and to give meaning to the role of each and every person.
·    take the field, rather than sit in the bleachers. It might be necessary to be tough with people, but at the same time a good leader deals with everyone individually. Getting the most out of people is really the most important task of such a boss. A good boss doesn't have to be able to play every instrument in the orchestra, but he or she can make them all play together in harmony.
·     love what is new and diverse, appreciating entrepreneurship and accepting a natural degree of failure. These are fundamental conditions for a company built on innovation. The only people to use as benchmarks are those people who show continuous improvement.
·     are brave. Above all, a good leader must be brave enough to make decisions and tackle problems without putting them off or sweeping them under the carpet. He or she must be able to spot problems, face them and resolve them or, if this proves impossible alone, be prepared to ask for help. It is also necessary to be brave enough to always uphold the principles of meritocracy - even for oneself, surrounding oneself with better and brighter people.
·     work to ensure the company achieves the returns it has promised, but also to make sure our company returns something to its community. Both types of returns are possible and essential. Social responsibility and sustainability are not marketing gimmicks, but the proven marks of leadership.
·     learn from others and teach others, avoiding being soloists. A good leader feels like he or she is part of the team and follows the rules and - to touch on what we said before - shares the team's values. But a good boss also knows that he or she has one extra responsibility: to provide an example.
These are the ingredients in the illimity recipe for a good boss, and what the top management committed to at the off-site meeting. A commitment first and foremost to all illimiters, but also to the country as a whole. We'll do everything possible, and then go beyond that, to become examples of sustainable leadership for an informed and useful business.