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Q&A with Tiago Mateus

Updated: Apr 4

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Tiago Mateus , Senior Project Manager @ VW group


How could you describe your career path in few words? 

I started as a R&D engineer in the renewable energy industry back in 2006 inside the Bosch group. In 2009 I had the opportunity to become a Project Manager. I certified myself as a Professional Project Manager in the company, but as well by Project Management Institute in the United States. These certifications and the interest on the role of Project Manager made me wanting more challenging projects. Therefore, I moved to Germany (inside the same group) during 4 years and came back to Portugal in the automotive division of the same Group. After 15 years, working in different countries and divisions from Bosch, I decided to accept a new opportunity inside the financial division of the Volkswagen group to manage IT Projects. 


What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset? 

My most challenging experience came outside the professional environment but changed my professional attitude. It was when I stayed 2 weeks in the hospital due to a disease (now chronic but stable) that affect my lungs with pneumonia. During those 2 weeks my health situation was coming worst and I could see the fear in the eyes of my family. After 2 weeks in the hospital, I stayed at home several months to completely recover before going back to work. During that time, I read a special book that changed my life – or, I should say, upgraded my life. It was about personal development. That book, and all the others that followed, completely changed my mindset. They got me focused on doing my best every day to become better in my relationship with myself, my family and friends and my business. During that process, as I thought about how to incorporate what I was learning into my own life, an idea dawned on me. I realized that the project management tools I had been using for years as a professional project manager could also be used in my private life. In fact, they could be the key that would help me to unlock the door between me and what I desired, starting with the improvement of my health but also extending to other areas, such as the deepening of my personal relationships and the further advancement of my career. After that moment, I realised that I should write a book to bring the method and skills to others and then “Project Your Life” was born. Book available at: 


When you get surprised by unusual or uncertain context, what do you think? 

In Project Management it is normal to get surprised by unusual or uncertain moments. The most important thing is to keep calm and positive. Could it be worst? How worst? Ok, so the current situation is not so worst as it could be, there’s something positive. The calm and positive attitude is very important to enhance the creativity and thoughtful mind to lead yourself and others to find a new solution. Instead of rising self questions like “why me?”, “why bad things happens only to me?” that only bring frustrations and reduce your energy level, I rather use-up that energy to try to understand the root-cause of the problem, define the new solution, replan based on the new solution and finally register the lesson learnt. 


What’s the most important key success factor for you based on your experience? 

The key success factors are defined by the method GROW POSITIVE from the book “Project Your Life”. Grow and Positive are clear success factors but the same are an acronym for the 7+1 skills in life to achieve life balance and success.  

  

G from Goals: Gain clarity by setting My Fa-Bu-Lux life goals. That means a goal for myself, another for Family and the last one for Business; 

R from Routine: Create your “happy hour” routine. 

O from Others: Invite others to support you; you are not alone!  

W from Wow: Feel your purpose, feel excited, feel wow!  

PO from Plan Out: Plan out work packages by breaking down your deliverables.  

SI from Skills Into superpowers: Turn skills into superpowers for strong execution. 

TI from Track and Improve: Track your progress and improve to achieve mastery. 

VE is a Bonus level: Find out the VE secret and drive your projects to 100% success. 

  

What would be the major pitfall that may undermine the success of a leader? 

Lack of Trust. Not trusting in the method, not trusting in the company or in the other colleagues, not trusting himself. And being seen by others by someone to not trust. Undermine the trust that others deposit in the leader is the major pitfall. The founder of Bosch, Robert Bosch, had the following principle: “I would rather lose money, than trust!” 

 

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