Bianca Geambasu, Stanleybet: ‘Nothing beats the working environment, the team, the people power’
Talking to Bianca Geambasu was a real thrill as she’s an energetic leader, extremely passionate about her work and her team. A great believer in people and in ‘keep the door open for your people’ approach in business, find out what Bianca has to say:
OA: Who is Bianca Geambasu, in a nutshell? Please state the most important stops in your career so far.
BG: Woman, happy wife and mother, leader, talents discoverer and nurturer, sports addict, books lover, very critical and demanding but loyal friend, sometimes temperamental character.
The first important stop in my career was definitely in 2002, when I decided to leave my home town and move to Bucharest, seeking the so promised opportunities.
I’ve been in customer servicing my entire working experience, which started 16 years ago with – of course – a customer representative role! That did not last too long, as in that ‘era’, opportunities were at the knock of a door, so I quickly got to escalate the hierarchy ladder. After 3 months, I already received my first challenge and got a management role for the Telesales teams within the company where I worked for the next 2 years. Another important stop, and I dare say the most important in my career, was back in 2005. I applied for a role in an Outsourcing company, I was found to be of great potential, and the person who was to become my first role model in business, and my mentor for over 8 years, decided to give me a key role in his own organisation. That was how, aged 24, I got my first upper management role, and how my purpose of always overcoming difficulties and overachieving got me moving forward. During all those years, I moved across different areas such as: Contact Centre processes, Sales, Relationship Management, BPO. I developed my leadership abilities, as well as entrepreneurial skills and got to discover every side of the business. In the end, I specialised in People Management. Having ‘graduated’ that school, I felt that it was time for me to move on. And that is how almost 5 years ago I decided to take over the challenge of an in-house support team, which needed a fresh start, from the grass. I am currently leading various teams, for different countries, within various processes, like: B2B and B2C support, both Retail and Online, Technical escalations, Accounting, Admin processes related to Retail shops openings, etc.
OA: You are currently managing a team of 70+, how do you make sure you keep the talent in the team?
BG: To us this might be the easiest thing to do. I ask a lot of questions, I listen even more. The most important thing that my experience as an employee and employer has taught me, is that nothing beats the working environment, the team, the PEOPLE power. It might sound like a cliché, but this is the truth and the sooner we understand and accept it, the more successful we will be in keeping the talent in! As I mentioned above, I am a talent discoverer. I do have the precious ability to find the right skills and ambitions in people and connect them with the right role in my organisation to efficiently and successfully serve both the business and the needs of the individual. And that is how I make sure we keep the talent in the team, by giving the people what they need, I make sure they give the business what they have best to offer! Also, you need to understand when to let go and why not, even support one to chase their dreams, although if that means losing talent over your people personal wellbeing.
OA: Working in an international environment with virtual teams can have its challenges – what’s your key to success?
BG: As previously stated, I ask a lot of questions and listen even more. To begin with, communication is an important contributor, keeping your ‘door’ always open for the people abroad so they do not feel abandoned. Having the right person in between myself and the teams, straightforward expectations and rules for everyone involved, a clear vision and consistent objectives, as well as a precise set of processes and procedures, so that everyone has the same mindset. Managing the performance, through different KPIs is also required, to end with. Sometimes we also need to overcome cultural differences, but if we always keep in mind that every person is unique, has different needs and reactions, it gets easier. I also find that a great cooperation between departments makes the ‘engine’ go smoother.
OA: What role do you think a leadership team plays in creating a healthy business culture in an organisation?
BG: This is a very nice question, I like that you make me think of this. Although I sense this, everyday coming to work, it’s difficult to express it in words. We all have objectives, right? Which the business sets up for us. At the same time, we expand that into objectives for the people we lead. How do we make sure we reach those objectives, by creating a healthy cultural organisation? I think the answer lies in the questions, in fact. Leadership teams, you say. Leading. Team. People need to be lead, and at the same time feel they are part of a team. We have the need to feel useful and worthy, to be trusted and praised for our work. The need to be valued and the conviction we are valuable to those objectives, to the team and to the business. This is our role: creating a team of value and leading it.
OA: Being part of a highly customer oriented company, would you say that today ‘customer is king’?
BG: This is an old age mantra. It doesn’t mean it’s outdated. I like to think of the customer more as partner, rather than king. They do still dictate, but in a more collaborative manner. They tell us what works for them, what needs to improve, they tell us what they like and they forgive us when sometimes we’re wrong. I remember reading an article, where a guy debates if the customer is king or not. We do wait in line so many times to get the coffee we love so much, we wait months to get appointments to the best doctors in town, we pay huge fees to get our kids to the best schools and spend a lot to have a meal that’s been cooked by a Michelin awarded chef. Conclusion was, customer is not the king, but product is! This is the business you want to be in, where customers would do all that to benefit from your product. And we thrive to develop the best product there is, and by this the best service as well, considering our customer’s needs and expectations.
OA: Finally, do you think career is something that happens or something that one builds?
BG: It’s definitely something that one builds, but it cannot be done without the opportunity. Sometimes you create that opportunity, but some other times it simply shows itself to you, without any particular reason. It’s then when you have the possibility to start or continue to build your career. Or not. It’s simply up to us to recognise the opportunity, take advantage of it constructively and therefore create around us the career we want or envision we’ll pursue one day. In the end, it might just be hopping on the right train and choosing the right stops for yourself. I like to think I did make the right choices for myself and the people that depend on those. Of course, as you can imagine, I could not have done it without being lead myself when I needed it.