Pioneer of the organic beauty movement in Britain, Inlight Beauty bring beauty to life through healthy and radiant skin. We sat down with the founders, Dr Mariano and Loredana Spiezia, to learn more about their leadership style and discover advice for aspiring sustainable leaders.
What makes a great – or successful – leader?
A great leader has a strong vision and the gift to motivate others. A leader must be an example of strong commitment, integrity to their own principles, resilience accompanied by respect, fairness, empathy and compassion. Successful leaders lead without abusing or using others to achieve their goal, as in this case I would call them tyrants rather than leaders.
What are your personal strengths as a leader?
Aiming for excellence, keeping the focus while drawing out strengths in others to empower them. Not everyone has the vision or can see what lays at the end of the road, but many can sense that your vision can become theirs; when they do, we are there to walk with them, guarding their motivation for as long as they need.
What is the toughest lesson you learned?
In 2004 a fire destroyed our premises, with everything in it including old books, many years of research, equipment and stock. We stood there powerless and speechless watching years of work vanishing in smoke. It was impossible to make sense of what had happened; it was easier to give up than to start again. An unfortunate yet ideal situation to question our vision and motivation. Here is where we learned the true meaning of team spirit. The support and encouragement from customers and people around us had to be honoured. Even people we didn’t know came to our aid. We soon learned how important it is to surrender and just be, take help when it’s offered and don’t look back at what could have been. We literally rose from the ashes, as they say, and looked at the ashes as fertiliser for the soil of a new business life. The rest is history.
And the most rewarding?
There are many. Every time a customer tells us that our products have improved more than just their complexion; when a patient says: “I feel better in my body, mind and soul”; when once on walking in our production site a visitor exclaimed: “what a beautiful scent of flowers, I feel like walking in a meadow.” When our staff make jokes about having a “disorder” as they so much love coming to work! Simple meaningful words that help us see the footprint we’ll leave behind.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring leader?
Any achievement is the result of a good teamwork, but you have to be the inspiration behind them and persevere no matter what.
Why should people be positive about the future?
Simply because this planet has existed for millions of years, gone through many changes, catastrophises, wars, many civilisations, and nevertheless humanity has been always able to resurrect. In the new paradigm, the future does not exist: the “now” is what exists and in this “now” we can change our own destiny, making the right choice. If we are positive now, the future will inevitably reflect it.