What exactly are your tasks as CCO Europe?
Lola: Our goal is to build up strong and professional sales teams, establish proper working processes and a clear sales strategy. Together with my team, we implement systems, structures, tools and assist our Sales Development in executing these steps.
These seem to be very challenging tasks. What kind of person does it require to successfully complete the tasks and fill this position?
Lola: In the first place, a very well organized one, who communicates openly and is equipped with strong listening skills. I think the person has to be a team player with ambitions to reach the goals.
This sounds just like you! Could you tell me three adjectives to describe your character?
Lola: Very constant, a team player, open-minded.
Which challenges do you face in your daily working life?
Lola: Personally – I’m mostly not at home, participating in international organisational meetings and visiting customers. It is of course not easy to combine this with my family and personal hobbies. But it is something I can reconcile thanks to my reliable team. Shout-out to them!
What was the most fun/best moment in your working life so far?
Lola: It was some years ago, visiting an important target customer who was not satisfied with any answer I gave him. He wanted to know what we can offer in comparison to other logistics providers. He repeated his only answer over and over again: “This is nothing special. This is something that your competitors also offer.”
Once I finished with all my arguments, I saw very clearly that we would not reach an agreement at this moment. Thus, I told him that the biggest difference I could offer him and that nobody could on earth were the croquettes from my mother. There is nobody who can outdo them. He laughed so loudly and for so long: Ice was finally broken! Some weeks later, we signed a long term contract followed by many more. Today we still have a very good business relationship and he remembers our first meeting vividly. This taught me how authenticity helps, even in business.
What do you expect to be future challenges in logistics?
Lola: We have to adapt to new technologies and mind-sets constantly. We cannot expect the new generation to only focus on long days with lots of working hours, but also on personal development, training and frequent feedback. It is necessary for employers to be reliable and consistent in all their efforts.
And as such the logistics sector and its people have to change as well. The somewhat conservative feeling it has is currently changing and will do so in the future. That is at least what I believe.
In times of such change, what made you succeed in your career?
Lola: Being very constant, never giving up, expressing my opinion and defending my ideas if I’m convinced that they bring us to success. People need to know what to expect of you – what they can count on. When you stay true to yourself and are constant with your opinion, character and values one can see your honesty and trustworthiness.
What would you like to say to people who are starting their career?
Lola: I have a message for especially women who want to go on with a professional career in the transport and logistics world which is still very men driven. It’s important to never give up even though starting sometimes can be kind of complicated for us. Our way to work and our different perspective in many things definitively brings important added values and it is a matter of being constant and bringing our thoughts and ways to work throughout all the levels.
In general, a transparent way to work, good communication, being a team player and being constant and organized is the right way to get your goals.
Thank you very much, Lola, for answering all my questions!