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Leadership at Argos: Cultivating a Culture of People and Positivity

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Argos Multilingual

Published on

11 Jan 2023

In November and December 2022, more than 1500 corporate and government leaders gathered in Dubai for the World Corporate Summit to discuss challenges, opportunities, and ways to change the dynamics across finance, business, media, technology, and sports industries.

Our CEO, Véronique Özkaya, attended as an expert discussion leader. The seminars covered a range of areas, from life sciences to technology, regulatory affairs, and perspectives on the world economy.

Commensurate with the values at Argos, Véronique’s speech focused on intelligence and leadership. Secret to none, leadership is a critical skill to master for any company to excel in the competitive business world. At Argos, we understand the power of positive leadership. It goes beyond having a leadership team at the top of the organizational structure, but rather a culture of leadership that permeates throughout the organization.

People and Culture

The evolution of leadership styles has come a long way in the last 20 years. One main factor in maintaining good leadership is accepting that talent is more mobile today. While it’s been customary in past decades for job seekers to begin a career in one company and remain up until retirement, today, that’s rarely the case. Successful talent retention primarily includes your company’s overall culture and the ability to provide people with opportunities to evolve and grow within your company.

With eight-hour days, our jobs end up consuming 1/3 of our lives, and the values implemented and observed at a company should align with our personal goals. Since the culture of any company is created by its people, how does a good leader ensure that those values are maintained throughout an organization as it scales?

“People make the culture from the moment you bring them on board.”
Véronique Özkaya, CEO at Argos Multilingual

Véronique further suggests focusing beyond the C-Suite level and working with the middle managers as teams learn from their managers, the attitudes they portray and the values they embody.

To create a culture that fosters individual growth, Argos piloted a voluntary mentorship program last year. Following the success of the pilot, the program will become part of the development options available to employees. Helping people grow is partly understanding and respecting their individual ambitions and goals and providing the necessary tools they need to achieve them. By encouraging open communication, recognizing achievements, and promoting collaboration, Argos creates an environment where everyone can succeed.

“HR is one of our biggest investments. We asked: how do we give our people the proper training, mentorship, and coaching? Because we can’t expect people to do all the work themselves. They need to be willing to do the work, but we also need to offer a way and room for them to grow and deal with all sorts of situations as they work.” 
Véronique Özkaya, CEO at Argos Multilingual

For many small companies, HR comes as an afterthought, and even then, the focus may be on the ‘hard’ aspects of HR, including payroll, contracts, and other legal matters. Véronique recommends investing in your organization’s people and talent retention strategies to drive development and encourage people to stay.

Transparency 

Throughout the summit seminars, one trending topic was transparency. While discussions reflected different views on the matter, the consensus was evident; transparency is the way to go.

As a leader, it’s essential to be honest and open with your employees. They have put their trust in you and deserve to know what’s happening in the company. Without transparency, there can be confusion and mistrust, leading to disengaged employees and unhappy clients.

At Argos, we understand the importance of managing expectations. Our leaders strive to ensure that our employees understand what is expected of them and what they can expect of us.

As a strong leader, making yourself available for questions or concerns without hesitation breeds trust in employees and clients alike, especially in times of difficulty and uncertainty. For many industries and verticals, the war in Ukraine, the economic challenges, and supply chain disruptions have meant instability in ways that negatively affect business. During these times, transparency from the leadership is pertinent. And when you are, your team members will know that you are honest about what is happening in the company and their role in helping it succeed.

In the same vein, communicating positive emotions drives stronger engagement. As a leader, you are responsible for keeping your people focused during tough times. Maintaining a positive outlook and an enthusiastic disposition towards finding and creating solutions when the going gets tough builds confidence in your leadership throughout your organization.

Ability to Adapt Quickly

At Argos, we recognize that change is unavoidable—but it doesn’t have to be negative. Yet, when it is, it’s how we respond to those changes that make all the difference.

“If something happens, you must be able to pivot quickly—the art of being nimble. Many companies suffered during the pandemic because they had businesses in travel and hospitality. At Argos, we were lucky because we’ve had a diversified focus. It was always a conscious decision to go into Life Science because we knew it was a very secure and growing sector. And that’s what really saved us in 2020.”
Véronique Özkaya, CEO at Argos Multilingual

Pay attention to what is happening locally and globally – from economic trends and market forces to client needs and demands. With this knowledge, you can identify areas where your organization may need help or support and then proactively address them head-on. At Argos, the leadership is prepared and willing to try new things while also being prepared to fail, adapt, and then try again.

Argos’ ability to quickly adapt when something isn’t working is largely successful because of the mindset and culture of its people.

“Instead of thinking why you cannot do something, figure out how you can do it. It comes down to company culture. And it comes from the top.”
Véronique Özkaya, CEO at Argos Multilingual

Conclusion

Leadership at Argos is about cultivating a culture that prioritizes people. Ultimately, our goal is to create an environment where everyone feels supported and empowered to pursue their individual ambitions, reach their full potential, and contribute to the organization’s overall mission. Our commitment to transparency and ability to adapt to changes in the market allows us to remain competitive in the marketplace and promote a culture of innovation and excellence.

What does leadership mean to you and your company?

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