Alin Cirstea –If we don’t like the experiences we are going through, we have the power to change them

Alin Cirstea is the Business Unit Director of GSK Romania, one of the most important and diversified pharmaceutical companies in the country. His professional portfolio impressively collects different positions in different niches and business areas, and his effervescent personality turns them all into stories and advice.

Trainart: In your opinion, what are your most 3 important features helping you in your career?

A.C.: First of all, one of the most important abilities of mine is the one to unite, to motivate and to transform a disconnected group of people into a powerful team. The flexibility and the high level of intuition help me adapt to the character, the style, the needs and motivations of each member of my team, and, in this way, I succeed in helping them to use their own abilities to achieve great performances.

Second, I am a businessman, being “obsessed” with the pragmatic outcome of every action. I am proactive, ambitious, action oriented and, most of the time, I anticipate the aspects that may impact my projects. I really believe that, for every problem, there is not one, but many other solutions. It is important to have the courage to make decisions and to encourage team members to do the same because in learning process we have to allow ourselves the right to make mistakes too. Otherwise, how can we learn?

And perhaps thirdly, I think I became very good at what I do. I have a great business experience in different industries (Telecom, FMCG, Pharmaceuticals, Services) and in different positions (Financial, Sales, Marketing and General Management), both in corporate field and entrepreneurship. All these experiences gave me a good understanding on how strategies and tactics work, expanding my experiential knowledge. In the same time, the experience I gained from those 4 companies developed from scratch, has strengthened my abilities to come up, every time, with new and creative solutions.

Trainart: What is your most important accomplishment?

A.C.: The most important accomplishment is my family. We have two absolutely wonderful children, talented, creative and yet so different one from each other. Every second spent with them is both a challenge and a delight. .

Trainart: Tell us about one difficult situation you experienced and how you succeeded in overtaking it.

A.C.: One difficult moment was 4 years ago when I decided to leave, temporarily, the entrepreneurial field and return to corporate business. It was a radical change because I changed not only the way of work, but the industry too, moving from Telecom to FMCG. When I joined sales team, the business was falling, many employees were unmotivated, there were many vacancies and too many hierarchical levels in organization. My mission was clear: to restructure sales organization, to recover the business and, not at least, to raise the employees’ motivation. After I agreed with the management team the proposal of reorganization, I started the implementation: I promoted a few colleagues from the team, I updated the roles and the responsibilities of all of them in order to make sure that there are no redundant activities and I changed the working mode, I identified the development needs for each employee and I built plans to sustain the fast-paced development of required skills. The result was an optimized, motivated and efficient team, and the results were immediate.

Trainart: What is the most important lesson you learned that many people should know about?

A.C.: Probably the fact that we are the creators of our own destiny and we must take the entire responsibility for our life. I often hear people complaining about their work place or their relationship, or the “evil” done by others to them. Still it happens to me too…The truth is that no one can harm us more than we do to ourselves. If we don`t like the experiences we are going through, we have the power to change them. And if some of the experiences are not in our hand to change them, then we have the possibility to choose how these experiences change us, inside. All we need is some courage, trust in ourselves and some healthy values to guide us in life and not to give them away no matter what.

Trainart: How does it look, in your opinion, the radiography of a successful individual?

A.C.: One who’s happy with who he/she is and with what he/she accomplished.

Trainart: Tells us, shortly, a life situation when you felt Empowered. Resourceful. Spectacular.

A.C.: Maybe one of the most representative situations was 10 years ago when, along with my partners, we succeeded to enlist to the Israel Stock Exchange, after only 2 years of activity, our first company started from scratch. A lot of work from the entire team was needed to get there and many people thought we won`t succeed. I still remember the negotiations and the persuasive work we initially did with the banks – which were supporting us financially – and then with the capital market representatives from Jerusalem. But we succeeded to create a very good prospect and to give a professional answer to all the questions we received and, finally, we managed to become the only registered company to that stock that had no operations in Israel. With the money taken from shares, I developed together with my partners, two other companies: a network of telecommunications shops and a digital television by satellite.

Trainart: What is your favorite part of the day and why?

A.C.: When the sun goes down. A warm light and a deep silence suddenly cover the whole earth and me along with it. It`s a good moment when I reflect to the turmoil of the day, to the experiences lived by me and my family. It fills me with a lot of energy and hope.

Trainart: How do you think people being very close to you would describe you?

A.C.: Those close to me know that I need passion to be happy. I can`t do things mechanically just to check a box in a form. I need human contact, being an extravert by definition and that is why I prefer team work rather than individual tasks. Also, I differentiate very well between people and job. I have very good friends met over time in different jobs to whom I told that they are not doing their job well, with no effect upon what I think about them. They would also say, probably, that I am creative, with a fine sense of humor and ready to help them whenever they need.

Trainart: If you would have had to give up to your job tomorrow, what is the first think you would do?

A.C.: A job is just a project where you develop or reinforce certain skills, where you gather new experiences along with the people you work with and where you can reinvent yourself, like a brand. When these things don’t happen anymore, then you are not at the right place anymore and you have to change, to look after another project. Is important not to be afraid of novelty, of change. Otherwise how can we develop without it?

Trainart: If you would exchange the roles with another person for a single day, who would you choose and why?

A.C.: I wouldn`t exchange with anybody, not even for a minute. Not because I am arrogant or self important, but I think I have reached the maturity when I am balanced with my experiences, both positive and less positive ones. After all, we are the sum of the experiences and emotions we lived. I don`t want to be or to become somebody else. I am looking forward for the experiences destined for me and which, I hope, will make me wiser and better.

Involvement. Intelligence. Initiative. Alin built up these features during many years, and his evolution in the  Romanian business environment may be anytime included in a successful stories list.

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