Issue - July/August 2022


Leading by Example

Fabio Manuel, Founder & CEO, Invictus Relocation

Hello, my name is Fabio Manuel, and I’m the Founder & CEO of Invictus Relocation Services, based in Lisbon, Portugal. I’m 33 Years old and “Leadership” has always been a very useful tool during all my years as a business owner. I’ve been working in the moving industry since 2008, all the while participating in numerous conferences, travelling the world and having the privilege of meeting some of the industry’s finest, most brilliants minds—from whom I’ve learned many of the traits I practice to this day.

It doesn’t matter where you start—it’s quite common that we as professionals have worked for some business owner who was frigid, cold and didn’t know how to motivate their employees, or how to recognize someones’ value. I witnessed that up close during my early days, when I saw the downside of not respecting workers, and how negatively that affected one’s commitment and professionalism. Therefore, upon starting my own journey as a business owner, I took those lessons (good and bad) and applied them. Of course everything is not perfect, but I strongly believe leadership works best when we attempt perfection in dealing with human relationships. Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of owning a business is managing people; it’s a very thin line that we must follow in order to keep on the right track without derailing.

Nowadays it’s difficult to find hard-working professionals. When we are lucky enough to find them, we must try our best to keep them interested, involved, and motivated, but at the same time have the assertiveness to correct them, mold them and humble them when needed. It’s a balance game between boss and employee, and one must really know how to “dance” to master it.

Being a young leader with a heavy background has made me capable of taking on difficult situations, managing well under pressure, and dealing with difficulties as they come. Most people want it easy, but you know the saying: easy come easy what? Easy go; but when you go at what you’re going to deal with, face the difficulties and make the hard decisions, you’re one step closer to finding the desired solution. 

At Invictus Relocation, we practice a very modern open-minded concept. We perform many team building activities and brainstorm events like charity events where the main goal is to have the entire team working as a real team, helping each other and having each others backs. These activities show everyone that working united as one will make a tremendous difference year after year.

The most important values I demonstrate as a leader start with leading by example and not by fear. I’m the first one to come through the door every day and most of the time, the last one to leave. This way, I give the perception of the subliminal habit of going the extra mile, having this professional routine in place, and whether we are being successful or not, my attitude as a worker doesn’t change. It includes being humble, staying close to my staff, knowing their families and loved ones, and trying to help them better their own lives by giving counseling on certain subjects I see can be improved. In all ways, I show the respect for them that my previous bosses didn’t have for me. 

I had many indirect mentors, most of whom probably don’t know they actually taught me many traits and helped me so much, and I’m happy and honored to list them here. Francesco Argiro from Bliss Corporation has been helping for many years by sharing his experiences, knowledge and endeavors. Patrick Ohara with his positive attitude and tremendously friendly professionalism; Diego Aguirre, the former Mercovan owner who gave many encouraging words when I launched my company back in 2013; and I could add many more who have helped on my journey from the very beginning. I owe them all a very big thank you! Thank you isn’t enough but it’s a start. Life is constant pursuit for knowledge and we can always improve our way of doing things. 

The challenges we face are so numerous, I like to compare life to a trench war where we have to fight every day for territory; sometimes we move forward, sometimes we move back. What’s important is to be focused and keep moving and pushing forward, while having respect for your competitors, making the most out of the least, and leading by showing the way, not by pointing the way.