From a career that began in the public sector, Stefan Farrugia, CEO at data and analytics company, Eunoia, has never been one to sit in his comfort zone. Next in a series of leadership interviews with Malta’s CEOs, Stefan shares that his past experiences, successes and failures have shaped him as a person, putting him on the path he’s on today.
“My career started in the public sector, where I was moulded in structure and process. Notwithstanding, my passion and ambition made me impatient,” he says. “At the time, I was blessed to work with public administrators who instilled in me the curiosity to think outside the box.”
“The first experience that impacted my future decisions was working in Cologne, Germany. Cologne being a European, cosmopolitan, modern and thriving city, motivated me to go beyond what was my comfort zone at the time and open the doors to drastic changes,” says the CEO.
This led to him leaving the public sector and building a career around what he loves and excels at. “I have huge respect for the public sector but moving out proved to be the best decision of my life,” says Stefan.
What followed was an upward spiral of learning and growth, “both as a technologist, but more importantly in building and leading high-performance teams. I was blessed with mentors and team members who have greatly impacted who I am,” he explains, and today, “developing people and watching them leading their own teams has become my most rewarding passion.”
Stefan believes that leadership is all about drive, consistency, honesty, quality, and support. On the other hand, he is most afraid of becoming stale. “Change is essential – everything is changing constantly around us, and unless we innovate processes, technology, and thinking, we start to lose agility, dynamicity, and identity.”
The CEO also champions the paradigm shift from a time-based to a task-based workforce, which he practices in his own company. “Nonetheless, time is precious, and not managing it is a killer for leaders who need to find the time to mentor their teams, socialise, build operational momentum and deliver their KPIs, while striking a work-life balance.”
Moreover, Stefan is a big believer of working with people based on their abilities and what they can bring to the table, “meaning that age, gender, colour, ethnicity or any other connotation is irrelevant to me.”
“Moreover, being a father of two wonderful girls, I will always support feminism and a gender-neutral workforce, and look forward to seeing the technological space move further away from being male dominated.”
Sharing a few words of advice to aspiring leaders, Stefan says that people in positions of leadership are expected to deliver, “but you can only deliver through your people, so strive to find a balance between fun, delivery, and family.”
“And also – enjoy developing new leaders. We need them to change the world!”
She highlights the ‘immensely high quality of life, mixed with global work opportunities and connections’.
He emphasises the importance of ‘the right approach’ to doing business and building relationships.
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