People First! with Andrea Petrone


By Morag Barrett

Andrea Petrone is an executive coach, and strategic advisor, facilitator, and speaker. He helps CEOs and other C-suite leaders in the mid-market to drive growth and performance by leading change, building transformational teams, and designing winning strategies. Prior to launching his firm, Andrea held C-suite executive roles for more than 20 years at the international level. He’s worked in six countries and on three continents, primarily in the oil and energy industrial and consulting sectors. He also hosts the podcast “The World Class Leaders Show” where he interviews his guests and deconstructs the success of high performance leaders, shares their stories, and teaches the most effective strategies to move from average to greatness. 

How It All Began
If you can believe it, all of this leadership success began as a dream of becoming… a Pope! As Andrea grew up, he eventually found his way to geology, studying volcanoes and engineering. These experiences in different sectors and different parts of the world helped him to truly understand culture, why it matters and how we can understand it better in the workplace. Understanding people and the places they come from has directly informed his work as an executive coach and consultant. 

Relationships Matter
Having a very international career in various challenging contexts highlighted the importance of relationships along his career journey (you know that’s music to my ears!). Andrea’s career was very fast-tracked and he had the opportunity to take on executive roles early on. The resulting lack of mentorship and leadership left him feeling unprepared for the role. Luckily for him, Andrea had some amazing colleagues who helped him to find success, which encouraged him to help others looking for greater support along their leadership journey too. 

An Aha! Moment
As he found great and fast success, Andrea began to feel complacent, believing he could achieve whatever it was that he was after. At a pivotal moment, Andrea was confronted with the reality that his life wasn’t quite what he expected. The journey no longer felt like his own, and he wasn’t becoming who he wanted to be as a person. This realization led him to hire his own coach (even though he thought it might have been a sign of weakness). Wow, are we all glad he did because that experience transformed his understanding of himself and his path, which led him to helping others find themselves and their path. Afterall, work is a team sport, and we are never alone on our journeys. Sometimes we just need someone to come alongside us and encourage us to keep learning about ourselves, the world and the people around us. 

Curiosity is the Number One Skill
Learning leads to winning. The more curious you are, the more you create wins in your career, and most importantly, in your life! As Andrea puts it, curiosity is a crucial skill for leaders now, especially as we come out of the pandemic. Change is inevitable, and it has been accelerated in the last few years. Leaders must cultivate curiosity in order to lead and build trust with our teams throughout these changes. 

Back to Basics
In his work, Andrea shows us that we can remain connected even when working with teams online, as long as we return to our basics. First, we must make sure we really know the people on our teams in a deeper way. What is going on in their world and how can we have transparent conversations about those things? Second, we must return again and again to the “why.” Why do you do all the work that you do? When you’re able to bring your team back to that core, everything changes. This improves that trust factor and when there is trust and psychological safety, the team can really begin to work together like magic! 

Eager to listen to the rest of our conversation? Join us!

Watch away: Here!
Treat your earbuds: Here!

Resources:
Website
The World Class Leaders Show


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