Welcome to The 6 a.m. CFO, where finance chiefs share how they jump-start their days and engage with the tasks that are in front of them.
Today, Lamborghini’s Paolo Poma shares the importance of a transparent leadership style, his love of sports, and what his first car was.
• Italian manufacturer of luxury sports cars
• Founded: 1963
• Size: Over 2,000 employees
• Growth: Delivered over 10,000 vehicles last year for the first time
Weekday wake-up time: I’m a weekly commuter and I reside just 7 km away from my office, so waking up at 7:30 a.m. is generally feasible.
Workday start time: I normally start between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM and my workday usually lasts 11 to 12 hours.
Morning beverage choice: Black tea with lemon and sugar has always been my go-to drink for the past 50 years.
Any non-work-related morning activities? Sometimes a 10k run in the morning gives me the energy to face my workday, although in general, I’m used to running in the evening. And since I’m out all week, I never miss a call with my daughter before she gets to school.
How I usually spend the first hour of my day: Reviewing and answering emails that I would have received overnight and reading my favorite Economy newspaper.
Time I send out my first email: I’m not a serial email writer, but my first one is generally sent out early in the morning.
Best advice for writing an effective email: I try to be short and to the point. Bullet points help to avoid long sentences.
First dashboard I review: My company’s production, sales, and order bank. The fact that Lamborghini only produces cars made to order, is the measure of the exclusivity of our products, i.e., driving margins and profitability.
How I structure my morning meetings: When I’m not traveling on business trips, I usually have recurring meetings. The rest of the agenda is managed by my PA who sees to my priorities.
Mid-morning snack of choice: I used to eat energy bars when I was younger, but I now prefer to abstain and wait until lunchtime.
INSPIRATION AND LEADERSHIP
Favorite quote or mantra: There are a couple of mantras I repeat to my team: “Do what you say and say what you do” and “Better to blush once than to turn pale a thousand times.” I’m not sure if these quotes translate directly into English, however, they resonate with me because straightforwardness, commitment, and transparency are pillars of my managerial style.
Favorite leadership lesson: Be a focused achiever. Be driven to succeed, set ambitious goals, and don't give up until you reach them. Be outcome-focused, enjoy problem-solving, and have the courage to pursue your convictions. Be the best you can be and exert your positive influence.
Most noteworthy items in my workspace: I have some sports gadgets and a lot of memorabilia marking significant milestones in my career. My most prized possession is a MotoGP front fairing #04 Sachsenring 2015, gifted to me by my board colleagues during my farewell from Ducati.
Something important to know about me that you wouldn’t know from my business bio: I enjoy various kinds of sports. Sports have always been and will always be a significant part of my life. I’m a keen long-distance runner (finisher in 20 full marathons) with a personal best of 3 hours 6 minutes. I also enjoy skiing and cycling.
The year, make, and model of your first car: It was a 1974 Fiat 126 (my mother’s car) and today I’m driving a Lamborghini Urus… from 600 cc to 4,000 cc and from 23 horsepower to 666 horsepower in 40 years. I can hardly believe it!
Most inspirational person in your life: Of course, my parents shaped me into the person I am today, however, I can’t fail to mention my uncle, who inspired me as a young man to study management engineering. In my teenage years, I also drew a lot of inspiration from David Bowie for his personal standing and amazing ability to transform.
Do you have a pet, and are they with you right now? We have a Siberian cat named Doroteo in the family. He doesn’t live with me, and I cannot call him mine, otherwise my daughter Chiara would kill me!
Favorite app on my phone that is not related to business: Aside from the home banking app and WhatsApp, Eurosport and TuttoAtalanta (my favorite Italian football team!) are my favorite apps.
Favorite numbers: 2 and 22, due to my birthday being on June 22.