Values and attitude for growth
Interview with the Paula Țibre, General Manager of Betfair Romania Development
PART 2: The attitude, mentality and values that bring sustainable growth to a business in a dynamic environment like the sports betting and gaming industry.
Question: What is it that we’ve done right to be in a leading position within the industry?
I think it’s that we’ve never settled; we’ve always pushed forward, doing things better, creating better products and taking responsibility for where we are. But at the same time, I think we were very structured and disciplined and these two together usually create a tension. But it’s a good tension in my view. You can be very creative without knowing how to deliver or you could know how to deliver but if the things you are delivering are not the right ones there is no point in doing so. Therefore, what drives the results that we have is that balance between ensuring that we think differently with regards to the way we achieve an outcome, the fact that have a very clear outcome, and we also think about the customer.
Question: And do you think that giving people responsibility as well as trust, empowering them has helped with that?
It’s funny talking about trust because we are all grownups here and I think trust is mandatory. In reality, it’s easier said than done. And yes, we do give people a lot of trust. But sometimes people understand trust through “I can do whatever I want”. That’s not really it, trust means believing that people will do the best they can, and they will challenge themselves to achieve the set outcome. At the same time, they will ask for support when they need to, and they will embrace that support to reach the outcome. So, we do give people a lot of trust and a lot of support to get where they want, and we show them a very clear goal as to where they should be for their career and for the business. I think you need to have a lot of clarity with regards to the boundaries that people can operate within, while giving them trust and empowerment. I think empowerment is stronger than trust.
Question: Can people learn creativity or discipline? Can you build that in the organization and help people grow?
I think you can, I think you already have those qualities. You just need to find the environment to express it. Everyone is creative, right? It just matters where they put their creativity. For example, someone that is highly technical is very creative with regards to the technical solution that they find. They might not be creative in other ways, but I think everyone has this potential and expresses their creativity in different ways. Similarly, you may think someone is very creative but lacks the discipline – really what those people do is they are disciplined where they find their passions and where they want to.
We are playing on people’s strengths, that’s obvious. We have unlimited capabilities that we still need to tap into. To conclude, I think it’s these two aspects that sustain growth.
Question: And how do you make sure – as much as you can – that people are in the right place, a place from which they can grow? I’m thinking of the learning plan and of the possibility of mentorship or Job Swing that we have in the company…
Indeed, we do have multiple programs to develop people’s abilities and help them get where they want to be. Programs are there to support us in a very disciplined way. But what makes it even more important is the openness to really have that conversation and to decide together where you would like to be in terms of your career. What I have found here is that while we have a very structured way of doing things and high standards of implementing certain programs like Job Swing – where we can go and shadow someone else or learn from someone else in a different role related to where our passion sits – at the same time what matters most is that the company has that openness to allow you to actually experience these things. A very clear example is that there are people in this company that had multiple roles in multiple departments which are not even similar. I think the company trusting people to learn is more important than any structured program that you can put in place to support that. And these structured programs have come because of those experimentations that people wanted to do in different roles and departments. So, at the end of day they have come from people. That’s very important. Everything we have here has come through what people really wanted.
Question: If success comes from people, how they’re doing the job, what mentality they have, what qualities do you think somebody who wants to work here, to contribute, should have besides technical knowledge?
You know we say that we work with the best. That’s why I think everyone that wants to work here should know where their best is and where they excel. The industry we work in is very dynamic and people coming in should be always wanting to achieve more, to deliver more, to be better every single day and to learn from others. I think that’s the most important thing. And to be very adaptable and very dynamic because there are so many ways of doing things and the industry changes so often that the way we have done something a year ago might not be the way we do it now. That flexibility and open-mindedness is extremely important. We also rely on people to do what they said they’d do. It means we’re taking responsibility for doing what we said we would do and pushing ourselves to do even more. I think that’s important as well. Ensuring that we have the outcomes that are really needed for our teams, for our business units, and always wanting to learn more learn about the customer, the trends in the industry, the new technologies and ensuring that we’re always up to speed with what’s going on. That’s how you can make the best decisions and the best proposals both in the world that we operate in but also in our internal environment [that mirrors that external environment].
At the same time, there isn’t a place where you could feel more satisfaction if you manage to be dynamic and to have results – it comes with a lot of rewards.
Interested in the first part of the interview with Paula, focused on what creates innovation in a sustainable business? You can find it here.