A leader who puts the emphasis on good relationships
Pedro de Diego is the company’s Business Reporting Director. He told Tecpetrol Hoy about his views on leadership, access to information, teams, innovation and much more.
Pedro is currently working on a large-scale project at Tecpetrol, known as the IRIS project, which is an integrated data management model designed to be a dashboard showing all the different levels of the company and using multiple databases to enable different internal and external processes to be monitored. The end-game? To ensure that clear, accurate information reaches decision-makers in an integrated and reliable way.
Pedro, who has an MBA, is currently dedicating all his time to this project. Previously based at El Tordillo, he then went to Neuquén to work at Fortín de Piedra in 2018. Pedro’s recent decision to leave this project was prompted by the need to focus entirely on the initiative currently keeping him busy.
Find out more about this family man and team leader.
Working in Argentina
How long have you worked at Tecpetrol?
I’ve been with the company for 18 years! It was my first job, as I started as a summer intern and left when I embarked upon a two-year postgraduate degree. When I finished, I returned to work at the company. It was 2006 and I began in the Administration area. Although, in fact, my first contact with Teceptrol came much earlier; in 1998, when I was in the last year of high school, I took part in a corporate Junior Achievement program sponsored by Tecpetrol. Our class challenge was to set up a company. It was an amazing experience! That was when I went to visit El Tordillo. It was over twenty-five years ago.
In terms of your area of influence... What opportunities for innovation do you see in the industry?
We’re working on the IRIS project, which is quite groundbreaking for Tecpetrol as it involves both a technological and cultural mindshift. It’s technologically challenging because we have to adopt and incorporate new tools, and culturally new as we’re beginning to make information far more available and we have to learn to live with that. Expanding the availability of data is very important, but this approach also means that errors that were previously hidden now see the light of day. So we need to get used to the fact that finding a piece of information that we don’t like is actually an opportunity for improvement.
How do you work on diversity issues?
In our daily work, I have the same attitude to everyone. In recent years, my teams have tended to include mostly women, or at least a high proportion of them. It seems the most normal thing in the world to me. As for age, maybe at some point it was a bit challenging to lead professionals who were fifteen years younger than me, but I soon felt that this wouldn’t be a difficult barrier to overcome because of my personal work style. There is a lot of value in young people, but you have to know how to treat them and understand how they think. I've also had the opportunity to lead people fifteen years older than me, and I probably learned more than they did! We can enrich each other in all kinds of ways. You don't have to change how other people are, but rather adapt your own style to fit in with others. There is much wealth to be found in generational differences if we can find a way of working that makes us all feel comfortable.
What kind of leader do you think you are?
One’s experience in the company tends to be colored mostly by the relationship one has with one’s leader or team. If you want to maximize people’s potential, it’s essential for the workplace environment to be a productive one for everyone to develop. You have to do whatever it takes to ensure that each member of the team knows their place, so that everyone gets along. Each of us comes with a different set of values, attitudes and way of being. So, as a leader, you have to pay close attention, use active listening, make an effort to understand the other, and speak to them. If I have to get personal, be a little more direct, then that’s what I do. I always keep an eye out to see what I can do for them so that they can create more value in their work, for themselves, for the team and for Tecpetrol.
What’s your style when it comes to managing teams?
I seek to lead with respect and by example. To be transparent and set clear objectives, so my team knows where we are going or want to go, and each one can work in their own way. Finally, I make an effort to ensure communication is as smooth as possible.
Do you participate in the activities proposed by the company in relation to cultural transformation? How do you do this?
Yes, I’m very involved. For example, I was an Axis Leader: there were ten of us. My area was Culture and Organizational Leadership, and I ended up as Advisor to the Cultural Transformation Department. I talk to Julieta Delorenzi a lot as the issues we face have to do in general with out-of-the-box thinking. She always helps us out from her role, bearing in mind that there are many such situations within the framework of the IRIS project. I’m also active in +d and I’m a mentor on the Leaders in Action program.
How do you and your team organize yourselves for flexible work?
Whichever way works best! I’ve been working flexibly since even before the concept existed, largely due to circumstances, and I really don’t think that it undermines performance. I do think that it’s important for us to see each other twice a week so we can consolidate that sense of unity I so firmly believe in. But if someone tells me that for personal reasons they have to be absent for a week, it’s not a problem: if it's better for the team, it's what we do.