Margarita Mayo, a profesor at Spain’s IE Business School, offers a unique and authentic take on leadership. Her forthcoming book, Renew: How authentic leaders reinvent themselves to change the world, will bring her ideas to new audiences. She took a break from book writing to tackle our questions.
What book are you currently reading?
Re-reading a classic – The Tipping Point, by Malcom Gladwell, the magic of spreading ideas.
How do you describe what you do?
I´m a researcher, a writer and a speaker.
Envisioning a better place for people to work and live.
Writing and speaking to help develop leaders´ authenticity.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
I´m not inspired by ‘super’ heroes, but by ‘unsung’ heroes.
People who re-invent themselves to deal with every day life challenges.
What does success look like?
Creating happiness – close and far from me.
My happy and well-educated children.
Executives and students who become better world leaders.
A more just society with equal opportunities regardless of class.
What is your competitive advantage?
Discipline and persistence are the seeds of creativity.
Future focus and priorities give me a flexible mindset.
Then, add sense of humor and positive outlook.
How do you keep your thinking fresh?
Asking questions and listening to those who are rarely asked.
How much time do you spend travelling?
I had a live-changing journey from small town Segovia in Spain to Boston.
Now I take short trips, every month I go to Berlin or Paris.
What is the secret of a great presentation?
Not a secret format, but having something to say that you believe in.
Even better, a story that you live in.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Be authentic – find your inner passion rooted in your life story.
Learn something new every day from someone.
Build a context for others to grow.
What is your next goal?
Reach out to more people, with new ideas and stories, to inspire them to renew themselves, and change the world.
That´s what I aspire to with my upcoming book.
Describe yourself in three words.
If I may, three words with nuances: