“BE OPEN TO LEARNING AND COACHING, BECAUSE ONE OF THE STRONGEST
INDICATORS OF SOMEONE’S FUTURE POTENTIAL IS THEIR COACHABILITY.
GO ABOVE AND BEYOND IN EVERY ROLE THAT YOU HOLD, NO MATTER
WHAT IT IS, TO LET OTHERS IMAGINE YOU IN FUTURE ROLES.”
– MILA LUCIO
What do you love about your job?
ML: Being able to positively impact the desired
outcomes of the organization. I love
being able to do that through my years of
learning as a business leader and putting
strategies and systems in place to make
things happen in our company. I feel personally
fulfilled watching people grow and
develop and reach their own individual potential,
while at the same time achieving the
goals of the organization. I also love being
able to intentionally impact culture, because
culture is a critical element of any organization’s
ability to achieve strategic outcomes.
What are the challenges you
experience in your job?
ML: There are those common challenges
that every HR person faces, combined with
the unique challenges associated with being
a social enterprise. Ultimately, my challenges
are related to delivering on our grand
mission, while nurturing innovation and
balancing our culture with our financial
sustainability. My challenge is supporting
the organization to make all of that happen
by positively impacting people, systems and
processes and optimizing talent.
What’s key to leading HR during a
difficult time for a client organization?
ML: Having an intimate understanding
of what’s important to the business, and
knowing the imperatives that the organization
needs to deliver on. Being creative
and flexible in brainstorming solutions
– thinking outside the box and not having
a pre-defined notion of what the
appropriate outcome should be based
on history. Facilitating difficult discussions
to ensure all stakeholders’ interests
are met in the best way possible is critical
to being able to move the organization
forward. Being compassionate and understanding
of the challenges people face, and
providing them with support, while still
appropriately holding them accountable
for their deliverables.
What skills are important
for success in HR?
ML: Everything stems from self-awareness.
In my experience, that’s the key differentiator
between people who are really high
achieving and those who will go far from a
leadership perspective. Having an individual
understanding of one’s strengths and
growth edge allows people to figure out
how to show up as the best version of themselves
in the workplace. This is especially
critical for HR people because they also
have to role model this for others. Apart
from the table stakes of technical expertise,
self-awareness is foundational to all of our
What tips do you have for new grads
or those in entry-level HR jobs who
want to move up the ladder?
ML: Understand what your business and
mission is all about, so you know how to
best contribute and add value in your role.
Be open to learning and coaching, because
52 ❚ OCTOBER 2016 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL