- Programme: Accelerated Development Programme
- Nationality: Brazilian
- Job Post-programme: Managing Director, Founder of Armonia Investment
In 2005 Enrico founded Armonia Investments, a privately held international property company with a global portfolio of beach properties, historical estates and private islands.
A global view
I didn’t develop my career in a corporate system; I started out as an entrepreneur. Then, in 2005, after setting up an investment company buying properties in Brazil, the Bahamas, Panama and other locations, I found myself having to take on new aspects of business – accounting, finances, marketing and management. While I had excellent experience in the field, my lack of a corporate background meant I didn’t always have a well-rounded perspective. I wanted a programme that would help me plug some of my knowledge gaps and give me a more global view of all aspects of business.
A different way of learning
I’m curious by nature, I’ve travelled widely, had many different experiences and met lots of different people– but even so, the programme really surprised and challenged me. It was a short, but intense programme, in which your time is maximised to the fullest. Everything was superbly organised, right down to the last detail. I found the structured teaching refreshing, especially the accounting, finance and marketing segments. I also learned a lot from my peers – we spent so much time together, and in some ways the time we spent outside the classroom was just as important as the time in class. It was fantastic to get the opportunity to grow with such a diverse group of people, each one opening up new ways of thinking.
One important area for me was the amount of self reflection that the programme allowed. Most of us don’t have much time to think about ourselves – we’re so busy meeting our goals and achieving our results that we don’t stop to consider what we want from our careers and our lives. We don’t often get to experience ourselves from other people’s perspectives. When working in our small groups it was so useful to have the opportunity not only to listen but also to participate and to share. The programme really confirmed the value of personal growth and how it has a positive effect on your business. The programme also highlighted how important it is to dedicate time to your physical and mental well-being. I wasn’t expecting to learn about the value of good nutrition, rest and exercise on a business programme, but it was incredibly valuable!
A broader approach
The programme definitely changed the way I look at my work. I’m more conscious of taking care of all the areas of my business, not just focusing on a few areas. I can sit down with a CEO of any company and although we may come from different backgrounds I know we are speaking the same language. I’m able to communicate effectively and I’m more open to other people’s points of view. I have an enhanced skills set that allows me to approach and negotiate with people more effectively when I want to buy a property. I still tackle things my way, but I’m more measured, with a broader vision.
I’m currently incorporating a new company, and I regularly consider the things I learnt on the programme. In some ways it’s going back to basics – establishing from the outset what decisions I should be making. But I now also think about business in a deeper way. So often what happens, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, is that you fall in love with an idea and you believe it will work simply because you love it. I learned that actually there are some very defined parameters that any business should have. I’m able to step back a little, and apply more long-term strategic thinking – I can now use both my head and my heart.