Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

The mountaineering IT leader

Jack Loo | Aug. 2, 2013
Marcelo De Santis of Mondelez is scaling Mount Everest in support of UNICEF.

During work, whenever you deal with large infrastructure outages affecting your business operations, it is important to get the team focused on restoring the operations as fast as possible. Then set out to clearly understand the root causes and learn how to avoid a similar incident in the future. In other words, manage the crisis first and debrief and document the lessons learnt to improve internal processes.

When we were dealing with the avalanche situation in the Himalayas, I had to make sure that we were actually looking to focus on the most critical things.

It did not matter at that time what was going to happen to the equipment that we located in the higher camps, or the weather forecast had not been well analysed. It only mattered to make a safe, fast descent to base camp due to the danger of additional avalanches. I helped the team to identify what was the right conversation at that moment; sort out the facts, emotions, realities and possibilities to put our attention in the right place.

7) In your opinion, how can sports help an IT leader in his management experience and skills?

Adventure sports and specifically mountaineering, put yourself in challenging situations and test the speed of your decision making skills. You need right and fast decisions while balancing the impact on yourself, your team, your family and the goal you are trying to achieve. In order to do that, you need to be aware of what you are good at, what you are not good at and learn from each of your colleagues.

The combination of individual strengths and your ability to learn from each other is what will make you summit. Nobody can summit a mountain like Everest by himself or herself. Even Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay worked as a team to conquer the summit for the first time.

Life and business are interlinked, they are not separate events and they are integrated. They are both dynamic, fast paced, filled with challenges and opportunities. But each of us has a choice: to explore, learn and conquer new heights. You will never know what are you capable of if you do not try and when you have a great team by your side, the journey offers significant rewards for everybody.

Marcelo De Santis on mountain side

Currently, I am exercising my choice of living this Everest Expedition to meet and learn from great people, to experience the challenges of a large mountain, to spread the word that a better world is needed for our children and help UNICEF fulfill its global mission. 


Previous Page  1  2  3  4 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.