With a passion for the growth of people in the BFSI sector, Michael Fraccaro, Chief People Officer, Mastercard, believes that connecting with the people who work with you is the crux of good leadership. Far away from his hometown in Sydney, Australia, Fraccaro is now based out of New York and travels across 78 countries talking to people who work for the banking giant in various geographies.
Picking up on cultural nuances and leading the people towards a common goal is crucial for Fraccaro. In a candid rapid-fire conversation with People Matters, Fraccaro shared his take on creating new leaders and developing a sustainable leadership culture in an organization.
Who is the one leader that you look up to?
Ajay Banga, our CEO at Mastercard
What is the one leadership lesson that you learned on-the-go as a people leader?
Listening, be a good listener.
How digitally ready do you think are you as a leader?
I would say 7.
Which was the last book that you read on leadership?
A Positive No, by William Urey
What is the one thing that leaders should do to make a difference?
Setting the tone at the top and leading by example.
One step that you are taking to develop a leadership culture in your organization?
Driving a winning culture with decency at its core--that’s the heart of it.
What is the one thing that you consider as your strength and one thing that you would like to improve on?
One strength is that I am a relationship builder and connector. And the development area would be making faster decisions.
What should leaders do: create more leaders or create more followers? And, why?
I would say create more leaders and the reason why I say that is because I believe that leadership exists at all levels. Leadership must be beyond hierarchy and stature or status of career level. Leadership is about everyone having a responsibility. Everyone can think like a leader. Even at the most junior level, employees should become a leader in terms of their thinking, their courage and in terms of the attributes that they connect with.
One thing that makes you passionate about your work?
The growth of the company, the progress of the industry. And, the people! I have an amazing job where I have the opportunity of traveling to the 78 countries where we have Mastercard offices and actually spend time with employees in these different markets and geographies. That is the unique and special privilege of this job!
What matters to you the most: effort or outcome?
Three key learnings that you have picked up from your team
Demonstrating empathy, second thing is analytical and data-driven, and third thing is connecting with employees on an individual level.
What’s the one most important factor that you consider when hiring someone?
The one most important thing is really around culture fit. The attributes that fit for a company like Mastercard which has decency at its core, looking at people with empathy, humility, courage--they are the things that we look for.
What sort of a leader would your team say that you are?
I would say accessible, caring, and seeking to make change. Not just for the sake of it, but for the good of others.