Leadership

Maria Cilia, who is Lufthansa Technik Sofia’s Senior Director for Planning and Engineering, reflects on what it means to be a good leader, acknowledging that soft skills and the ability to take hard decisions are equally as important.

Maria Cilia
Maria Cilia / LinkedIn

Ms Cilia shares these thoughts as she speaks of a recent conversation with a colleague who claimed that “when we are appointed as leaders people ‘must’ follow us. However”, this colleague asked, “if they had a choice would they want to be led by us?”

This question led to the perception that “leading people is a big responsibility as we impact people’s lives and in most cases their future.” The Director expressed her idea that “showing empathy, being respectful, being honest and transparent does not mean you can’t take hard decisions, it does not mean you can’t say no and it does not mean you are weak.”

On the contrary, she says, “it means you build relationships, you build trust and you empower and inspire people to grow and achieve a common goal.”

“We are all people … we are all the same … we only have different responsibilities and each one of us is important to achieve the common goal,” Ms Cilia concludes.

She has been at Lufthansa Technik for over 15 years, having served at the company in Malta as Head of Process Improvement until January 2020, after which she moved to Sofia and has now been working for the same company in the Bulgarian capital for over two years as Senior Director of Planning and Engineering.

Prior to her experience with Lufthansa Technik, Ms Cilia also worked as a Mechanical Engineer at Enemalta and, before that, at the Malta Resources Authority.

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