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  • Writer's pictureTaka

Passing on lessons shared by Hernan Saenz

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

As we see a resurgence in COVID cases in Europe, my first message is: please stay safe, follow guidelines provided by your local authorities, and do everything you can to prioritize your physical and mental well being!!

As part of my masters program at London Business School, I am taking a course on Personal & Professional Growth where the objective is to build self awareness and further understand how I can leverage my strengths in my personal and professional life moving forward.

As part of the course, we were fortunate to have Hernan Saenz, the Global Head of Bain & Company's Performance Improvement Practice as a guest speaker where he shared insightful life advice for early career professionals like us. Bain & Company is a global management consulting firm that provides strategic advice to large public, private, and non-profit organizations.

Today, I want to share 3 key points Hernan mentioned during the session:

  1. Every decision should be made looking "outside in" and "inside out"

  2. Your career won't be linear so keep your doors open!

  3. You are a supercomputer capable of loading/unloading software into!

Every decision should be made looking "outside in" and "inside out"

Hernan made a very interesting point that when we seek jobs, a lot of us are good at considering external factors ("outside in") such as the company, location, job role etc. However, we aren't the best at understanding who we are, what gives us energy, and the environment that we strive in ("inside out"). Therefore, he strongly advised to take the time for self-reflection and think deeply about our core strengths and weaknesses rather than following the "trend". I am guilty of not thinking "inside out" enough and what has helped me was to ask my friends, family, and significant other on who I am, and what they perceive my strengths & weaknesses to be. Shout out to everyone that took the time to give me feedback! I highly recommend you try this in your own time as well :)

Your career won't be linear so keep your doors open!

I have heard this phrase many times from successful individuals and it was reassuring to hear this from Hernan as well. The best thing we can do in our early years is to be flexible and open-minded to any opportunities that come by. One thing that Hernan emphasized was when in doubt, always have a "two-way door". Ending things on good terms is one example of establishing a two-way door. Another interesting point he brought up was to treat every interaction you have in life as a chance for you to "gain or lose value". Building your personal brand is a marathon and the baby steps you take every day will compound over the long run! Karol Blasinski and I discuss about knowing your worth in a separate video so have a dig if you're interested.

You are a supercomputer capable of loading/unloading software into!

This was a powerful analogy that Hernan used which I loved in sharing the importance of life long learning. He shared with us how he loaded his supercomputer as a consultant with the art of problem solving, crisp communication skills, and relationship building to name a few. I would add to his point that although loading software is a necessity to grow as individuals, having the humility to unload and be willing to learn from scratch is also something we should strive for. With technology evolving rapidly and general knowledge becoming a commodity, being nimble and having the ability to learn quickly will be critical moving forward.

Taka's Tip Top Tips

Try bagels with Nutella and Yoghurt on top. It will make your day :)

Thanks for sticking around! Hope you found one or two things useful and remember, take baby steps and good things will happen eventually. Be yourself and let's get moving!

Yours sincerely,


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