According to Norberto Odebrecht, being a leader is, above all, being an educator and team builder. “A leader has to be able to interpret, understand, practice and guide the duties of life, expressed in the thesis that all human beings, around the world, have the duty to take in the effort of recovering and keeping healthy living conditions on Earth,” he used to say.
Norberto Odebrecht was recognized as a man ahead of his time. He inspired many people, both personally and professionally, throughout his life, among which, the members of the Group he founded. “Mr. Norberto was passionate about work and training people. In the late ’90s, I had the privilege of interacting with him when I was a Trainee. One day he asked me for my Action Program (AP) because he wanted to analyze and comment it. Days later, he came back with my AP all scribbled, he sat with me and the first thing he said was: ‘this is not a AP worthy of a business man of this organization’. From that moment on, I was amazed by his dedication to explain to me all the conceptual errors in that AP. Not only his teaching, but the enthusiasm on his explanations marked my career and my life forever,” says Americo Bartilotti, director of Packaging and Consumer Goods at Braskem.
For Soraia Santiago, risk manager in charge for the Personnel Insurance at Horiens, leading by example is one of the greatest legacies left by the visionary. “His experiences are so well translated in his books, in his countless testimonies throughout his career, and day-to-day life. His little gestures of discipline, humility, education through work, service to others, so well exercised as a translation to our Odebrecht Entrepreneurial Technology (TEO). When he arrived religiously early at the office, his warm greetings to everyone, regardless of their position, were indispensable to the Members of his Organization. His kindness when holding the elevator door. He always had a smile on his face, something to chat about for the few moments of informality I could enjoy in his presence”, says Soraia.
The admiration for the Organization’s creator by the members of the Group is one of the highlights of Norberto Odebrecht’s centennial tributes – he would turn 100 in October 2020. To celebrate the date, the Odebrecht Foundation, with support from Odebrecht S.A., continues to promote a campaign that remembers the main milestones of Norberto’s life. The pride that the members have of the entrepreneur is manifested through striking testimonies. “I admired his simplicity on his everyday life, his little gestures. When someone got into the same elevator that Mr. Norberto was in, for example, he would ask for the person’s floor and push the button, and gently hold the door, when the person had to leave. I also remember that apple was his favorite fruit, and at snack time, everyone in the room would get a plate with the fruit and a small knife. These are small examples, but they bring up the spirit of service and generosity of a great leader and human being”, says Denise Placido, member of the sustainability area at the Odebrecht Foundation.
Visit Mr. Norberto Odebrecht’s special centennial website for more messages from the Group members and professionals whose lives were influenced by the teachings of the leader educator.