Meet Santa Yañez the CEO of SAIP Soluciones, an innovative engineering services provider company with 12+ years in Mexican market and 6+ years working for Argentinean and American enterprises. Santa Yañez has the pleasure of being Ambassador of the Recognition Don Lorenzo Servitje 2020 and this year she was elected President of USEM chapter Veracruz, Mexico.
SAIP Soluciones are into project development for big steel industries infrastructure renewal. Santa included the engineering services company with strategies such as hiring training services in languages, soft skills among others, psychological intervention by a psychiatrist specialist in stress at work. The CEO has established Fridays as the days where the collaborators learn soft skills such as time management, leadership, self-awareness, critical thinking among others; and hard skills just like a second language, BIM design and essay writing among others.
‘’Knowledge already acquired and in progress to obtain was the main bridge to achieve the effective and efficient home office work that the company needed to balance and compensate the radical change in working. ‘’ Santa Yañez
Santa’s personal interests has always been the people development. As a true leader and majored as a chemical engineer in Instituto Tecnológico de Veracruz, Santa truly enjoys helping people grow by themselves, giving them the necessary tools to maximize their strengths and talents.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 pandemic, like many other sectors of the market, the steel industries closed down or reduced production worldwide. How did you manage to keep everything in order during this time as SAIPCEO?
More than a year after this prolonged quarantine, I can tell you that it has been a challenge to keep the operation “stable”. In the end, much remains to be done, but the key to our combined strategy was to shift social leadership through the common benefit across all our stakeholders, the proper supervision of our KPI’s in operational processes, reducing the direct costs as much as possible. As well as using the “accelerated” digital transformation as a way to improve effective communication along the value chain. Moreover, we implemented comprehensive health programs (ranging from mental, emotional, and physical health) at the same time. Our conviction to give our collaborators empowering skills is such that we are currently ending a soft skills development program.
What lessons can you learn from the pandemic for the future?
Nothing is written, from one moment to another your life can change, that the most important thing is to stay strong with yourself, be clear about the goals we want to achieve and consider that planning will probably suffer some deviations, which translate into problems to solve and that is not bad at all. On the contrary, if we learn to face them directly and effectively, we can obtain results full of greater value and learning.
Leadership is not easy in this drastic change of environment. What has been yourapproach?
Personally, I consider leadership to be like a muscle that must be worked on every day. My main focus has been to put the person at the center of all decisions, something I call social or humanistic leadership, which is to ensure that the entire value chain is treated with dignity, respect, empathy but supported by responsibility, rights, and obligations of all of us who participate in it.
You have a super team in the workplace, how do you make sure you have the support of theteam?
Providing day-to-day leadership that serves as an example. We generally say we want to have high-performing work teams but, what are we doing to get it? In my case, I consider that our work teams are a clear projection of our leadership, for instance, if I want a disciplined team focused on results, my leadership should promote the development of these skills with my actions and those of my team. I try to empower my team and make them owners of their processes so that through conviction they can act safely on a day-to-day basis.
Growth is often accompanied by some awkward stumbles. What sort of mistakes have you made during SAIP grown?
This is a great question because, throughout the almost 13 years that we have been in the market, we have lived through many situations that have shaped our growth, but I am satisfied with the setbacks we have experienced because we have managed to capitalize on them, turning them into experiences. Some decisions that took us away from the goal, the lack of definition of processes and procedures, the making of difficult decisions accompanied by a strong internal restructuring, to name a few situations, have triggered a catharsis in my person and therefore it has been reflected in my growth and strengthening our company.
What are the qualities you most admire from other successfull leaders?
I greatly admire human abilities, those that are unique to each one of us and that make a difference by showing us unique and special; skills such as honesty, authenticity, empathy, effective communication, focus on results, adaptability to mention a few that have been of great influence on me.
What do you least like about being a leader?
There is nothing that I dislike, on the contrary, I love, and I am passionate about this leadership position that I have achieved organically in my life because I consider that as we advance in our journey, overcoming situations, it is our responsibility to share with those who have walked behind us to present them a range of possibilities in solving problems because it is our commitment to society.
What are your current goals?
To transmit through actions and the achievement of results the possibility of building highly productive, fully human, and socially responsible enterprises. This is through humanistic leadership that is focused on the importance of people in the entire value chain.
What have you learned most from leadership in SAIP?
I have learned to know myself as a person, to dignify my value, to identify my abilities as well as to enhance my strengths, but also to know that my weaknesses do not define me, on the contrary, they motivate me to continue growing as a person.
If you could go back ten years, what would be some of the top tips you would give your audience?
May we always follow our childhood dreams, those that made us vibrate with joy, those that made us smile innocently and made us fly. There is the trigger for the motivation to achieve everything we set out to do. Remember that everything we believe is possible we can create through conscious actions focused on that result. In addition to these childhood dreams are the ones that remind us why we are here, in those days when we need to feel sustained, and it is difficult to find support in others.
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