Facing the challenge of running a business

in Expresso, 13th of June 2015

Teamwork is the basis of the performance of the Look Ahead team.

The Associação Salvador is taking part for the first time in the Global Management Challenge 2015. The team is made up of members, Miguel Monteiro and Rita Adonis, Raquel Santos and Leogizy Gaspar, connected by social entrepreneurship and volunteerism to this association, whose mission is to promote the integration of people with physical disabilities into society, and improve their quality of life. With different backgrounds in terms of training and with different handicaps too, the Randstad-IEFP Look Ahead team shows that dedication and teamwork get good results in the management world.

Ester Rosa is project manager at Associação Salvador, and explained how Randstad and IEFP sent out an invitation to put together a team to enter the challenge. “We wanted to create a mixed team to promote the integration of people with disabilities”, she explains. She believes that taking part in the competition develops skills for employability, such as decision making, teamwork and reacting positively to adversity. “We want to show the world that these people are capable, are employable and have talent. I encourage everyone to participate in this challenge, and to seek their dream job”, says Ester Rosa.

Miguel Monteiro received an email message from the Associação Salvador to participate in the competition. He never says no to a good challenge.
Quadriplegic and blind, Miguel convinced his mother to give him support and embarked on this adventure where, he says, he is “learning a lot and putting into practice the acquired knowledge”. With a degree in management, along with Raquel Santos he makes up the only team with training in this area. They are in third place in their group.

Although he has this competitive advantage Miguel Monteiro faces difficulties of a different sort. He imagined beforehand that he wouldn’t be able to have the information he needed read on the computer and so he already arranged for someone to read it to him. A role played by his mother. Miguel learns the information by heart so that he can work on it mentally and participate fully in the team’s results.

Overcoming difficulties

Miguel Monteiro’s limited mobility also led to changes in the training routine. “This was overcome by the momentum that was created within the team that decided to move their headquarters to Miguel’s house.” explains Raquel Santos, the leader of Randstad-IEFP Look Ahead. Time management is their biggest challenge, she added, because they need more time to process information, share it with the various members and coordinate schedules.
Technically this experience has allowed Miguel to predict and anticipate the consequences of decisions, and monitor and adjust strategies accordingly. On a personal level it confirmed that “individual skills go beyond physical limitations, even when these are multiple they can be overcome provided there is good coordination within the team and a basis of trust and mutual respect”.

For Rita Adónis, with a degree in social services, this experience has been one of constant learning. “The acquisition of knowledge is an asset for social entrepreneurship projects in which I am involved, and is an opportunity for personal enrichment to be part of a team of people with such varied life experiences”, she says. Leogizy Gaspar, another member of this team adds that as a result of the challenge he is acquiring “specific management tools and skills”.

Text: Maribela Freitas
Photo: Alexandre Bordalo

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