Ask a CEO: Pedro Rodrigues | How to Grow a High-Performing Team
Hear from Pedro Rodrigues, CEO of Collab & WDS Mobile, on the Importance of Trust and Engagement in Business
Pedro has held his current position as CEO of Collab for the past 8 years, and prior to CEO, was COO for nearly 5 years. Recently, Lumine sister companies Collab and WDS Mobile announced a go-to-market integration, and with this, Pedro also became CEO of WDS.
Throughout this conversation, Pedro focused on the importance of clear and consistent communications, as well as demonstrating respect and earning trust to ensure a high-performing team environment.Building Trust Within Your Team
Pedro began by explaining the trust that drives his team is due to several factors – a strong management team, respect between peers, individually-driven continuous improvement, and consistency in actions.
According to Pedro, “Collab is fortunate to have a management team with extensive market experience, who have known each other for many years. The trust between peers is not something that formed recently – it has grown over the years because of high mutual respect.”
Pedro takes great pride in leading his team as an equal member, not at the top of a formal hierarchy. He further explained, “In my opinion, one of the greatest secrets for the success of a CEO is to build a management team that is very strong due to its expertise, and in which peers complement and respect themselves.”
To ensure success, his management team defines achievable goals and ensures the owners of the goals are aligned. This is to ensure all parties feel the goals are realistic to avoid miscommunication and burnout.
Next, Pedro explained for his entire team to be successful, everyone must focus on their own individual improvement. He elaborated, “If each one of us tries to continuously work on our best version, the whole will be better.”
Lastly, Pedro focused on the importance of following through. “In terms of employees, this management group always makes happen what it says,” said Pedro. “A goal is defined, a path is followed, and the goal is reached.” It is not enough to make great promises, but in order to build trust within teams, make sure you follow through.
This is also important for Pedro when interacting with partners and customers. “When we announce a new feature, or if we need to implement a project or a required upgrade, the given deadlines are accurate, they are not changed in the middle of the process,” said Pedro. “Changing the rules in the middle of a process leads to a breach of trust. That’s why we never sell what cannot be done.”
Inspiring an Engaging Remote Work Environment
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, work environments have shifted from in-person to virtual. As a result, Collab's management group came to understand that leadership could be demonstrated in different ways.
“Pre-pandemic, one of Collab's greatest strengths was the company culture, the spirit of union and daily living in an office environment,” said Pedro. “With the pandemic and the shift to a virtual work-from-home environment, we were worried this would be lost. As a result, we launched tools that reflect and support these new ways of communicating.”
The aim of the following tools is to ensure that the spirit of cohesion and group that existed in the office is replicated in this new way of living and working from home.Work-from-home support tools:
- Onboarding portal for staff, where employees can “feel” the spirit of Collab. Staff will have the ability to watch videos and meet colleagues virtually in an interactive way to engage about professional growth opportunities and personal hobbies.
- Onboarding e-learning tools, which will allow employees to learn more about the different Collab products, related to their roles & working areas.
To ensure an engaging virtual work environment, Pedro stressed the importance of clear and consistent communications. To achieve this, his management team implemented the following:
- Quarterly all-hands meetings that allow all teams to present quarterly goals and accomplishments, as well as the best practices implemented to achieve success.
- Monthly management and departmental meetings, where employees and teams are encouraged to share any problems or suggestions for organizational improvement.
- Regular 1:1 employee meetings with managers to check-in on personal and professional growth.
According to Pedro, collective improvement processes are of fundamental importance to inspire and engage with employees, especially in this new virtual world. “Ultimately, it’s a continuously improving process,” said Pedro, “where a great company inspires people, and an inspired employee will also contribute to a better company.”
Through this conversation, we learned the importance of building trust throughout a team by demonstrating respect and consistency, as well as the importance of clear and consistent communications to ensure team members feel engaged and inspired to contribute.