Interview Transcript – Interview was conducted by EmailName of Interviewee: Sheena Rodriguez
Position: Engineering Manager, Twin Pine Auto Group
Duration in Position: 2 years
Q1. How can you describe Twin Pine Auto Group?
It is an organization that mostly deals with car servicing, car repair and selling of car parts that can only be available from the manufacturer. The organization has about 40 workers all working in different areas and under different management according to their areas of specialization. I have ten employees under me.
Q2. In what ways can you describe the culture of this organization?
The culture of this organization is very customer driven which is a hallmark of the company vision and mission.
Q3. What are your responsibilities as a manager?
My responsibilities are to ensure that all engineering operations are running smoothly and the customer satisfaction is achieved. I also ensure that all workers in my department are working towards vision and mission of the organization as well as helping them in case of work related and sometimes even personal issues.
Q4. How can you describe your leadership style?
I don’t have a specific leadership style since I have come to understand and believe that leadership is never about the leader but always about those who are being led, so I use all styles that are available but specify to one depending on the problem I deal with.
Q5. How has your leadership style helped you run your office?
The combination of all leadership styles rather than specifying one to help me has seen me through all hurdles that have been thrown at me while at this position. Problems have to be uniquely solved since all of them are very unlike, in how they arise and how they need to be handled.
Q6. Describe the step(s) taken to get in your current leadership position.
There are several steps that I have taken, hard work being the uppermost that has earned me this position. Being a leader, one has to exuberate a great sense of responsibility be a good team player and an excellent listener not just a contributor. I believe I have exhibited all those characteristics, thus, I am a manager now.
Q7. What are the challenges you encountered in your rise to leadership. What has been your biggest challenge as a leader?
Some of my subordinates did not believe in my capabilities as a leader since I am a woman in a male dominated firm in terms of senior leadership positions. My competitors also tried to intimidate me with the power of numbers on their side and also my racial background.
Having everyone under me listen and work with me. It, unfortunately, happens that since am a woman engineer, and Hispanic, it has never made my work easier to have men under me.
Q8. What drives you as a leader?
My race, my uniqueness and my womanhood, these aspects inspire me to show the world that there are great possibilities for all those who are intimidated by who they are whenever they want to rise above it.
Q9. What has your position helped you discover as a woman leader.
It has helped me to know what people think of you is mostly what you make them think; therefore it is easier to generate positivity for people towards you through the actions you perform.
Q10. What is your greatest achievement as a leader?
My greatest achievement has been being able to motivate and be a mentor to people especially the young adults from my community and aspire for greatness in their lives. Earning respect from my subordinates and managers, especially men, who do not come from minority groups like I do; the work I perform is a major breakthrough for me in my career.