Global Client Partner at Google
Lino Cattaruzzi, promoted to Global Client Partner at Google in February 2022, had been the digital giant’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa since 2016. With 13 years of experience at Google, he led the business and operations in the region, helping organizations in the region grow with the help of Google’s products and programs, and accelerated the company’s growth and presence through regional office expansions. More recently, Google helped two million people and businesses in MENA digitize and grow with the help of a Covid recovery digital skills program.
Before joining Google, Cattaruzzi held several managerial positions at AOL Latin America, including President for Latin America and their subsidiary in Argentina.
How would you define leadership today?
The ability to inspire, motivate, and harmonize a group of people towards a common goal.
What’s the most important decision you have taken as a leader?
Forcing myself to leave my comfort zone regularly and embark on a journey of learning is what made me a better, more experienced leader today.
What’s the one decision you wish you hadn’t made as a leader?
None. It is not that I did not make bad decisions (I certainly did!), but I really learned from these decisions.
In your opinion, who’s the most powerful leader globally today?
I would approach this question differently, mainly because to me, power comes and goes and what matters is how you use the power you have, instead of how much power.
Who’s your role model?
I gather different aspects from different individuals to build an ideal role model and I would say that I took at least one thing from each of my previous managers over my career. Also, my parents and my wife were great contributors to this created role model that I aspire to be one day.
What’s the most important quality that every leader should possess?
Fairness. Being fair is essential to impact your team in the right way.
What’s the one mistake that leaders most commonly make?
They stop being self-aware and sometimes close or limit their growth mindset and feedback loops. This surely decreases their effectiveness as leaders over time.
What’s the most critical threat that every leader in our industry should pay attention to today?
Lack of focus and prioritization. We are bombarded with things to do all the time. This is why we should concentrate on the ones that truly matter and maximize impact.
What’s the most important risk you took?
I took a sabbatical year 15 years ago. I put my career on hold while realigning my values with work and being able to find a new balance. It was a great decision that brought me back with more energy and a clear focus on what I wanted to do.
What resources would you recommend to someone looking to become a better leader?
I would recommend you listen to your team all the time, use anonymous 360 feedback, and have an open communication line with them. I also recommend you take at least one training per year on the skills that will strengthen your leadership effectively.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow as a leader?
I keep challenging myself to do more. I’m changing roles at Google to keep learning and growing as a person. I also try to improve or develop new skills, and remind myself to take risks regularly.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?
Try to bring that global perspective and flavor to your role. I have had different roles in eight countries and have learned various strategies to adapt to new cultures, new teams, and different responsibilities more effectively.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve ever given?
You need to first envision what success looks like for you, both personally and professionally, and then make a plan to reach such a milestone!
You can see the full ranking and methodology here.