One of the positive effects of the harsh Coronovirus crisis is the greater visibility and social recognition of some companies and managers.
Organizations and people who already did their job excellently, but with a lower profile in the eyes of the public opinion.
Pablo Isla is one of the most striking cases. A leader who already deserved applause for his vision, courage, ability to inspire teams and achieve good results at Inditex.
Although these attributes are very important it seems even more remarkable to me how he assumed his social responsibility beyond his executive role in the toughest months of the pandemic.
It is well known that he acted with great agility, determination and success to put his resources and contacts at the service of Spain. A couple of examples are the transport of millions of medical equipment and the resignation of an ERTE that would have impacted the already battered Spanish public coffers.
Actions that cost hundreds of millions to the company in addition to a lower commercial activity, that has caused significant losses. Decisions that he has made with full awareness of what to do.
And if this were not enough, his leadership has been the key to join many of the most important Spanish executives at the historic CEOE Summit in June 2020. In it, a hundred senior executives from different industries shared their vision of the country’s recovery. A good collective exercise of proactivity and participation in the public debate on the economic direction of the coming years.
Pablo Isla already had a magnificent managerial career. He did not lack recognitions and workload. As a sample he was recognized with the Best CEO in the world award in 2017 by Harvard Business Review. At that time, the prestigious publication highlighted his financial performance at the head of the company, as well as his involvement in the environmental and sustainability aspects.
This Covid year, with a step forward in such difficult times, he added new nuances to his leadership that was already powerful and effective, but more discreet, showing his most genuine personality.
People is the most important thing in an organization
“People is the most important thing in an organization,” he said recently at a conference. Many of us appreciate also how he understand leadership as humanism and social responsibility (especially in such difficult times) working to leave us a positive legacy beyond good management in his company.
An especially valuable attitude, especially knowing that there would be plenty of internal work. Managing the crisis in a very affected sector such as textiles must have been tremendously complex and stressful.
His ideas and decisions reinforce the image and work of so many good managers and entrepreneurs. Men and women who, often in the shadows, generate wealth, employment and, as a consequence, improve the quality of life in the communities where they operate.
I wish we had more Pablos Islands in the world to collaborate in the reconstruction of countries, working as a team and changing mentalities. Now we need more than ever companies where good private business initiative is valued more. And where the necessary aid for companies and people is combined with the culture of self-responsibility and effort.
Today we need leaders with the ability to draw and re-hope many citizens with examples of common sense, effectiveness, courage and generosity like him.