News Article

4 October 2007

Indrit Puteci - An Albanian Entrepreneur!

Want to learn what the future could look like for you? – Find out how a young Albanian entrepreneur visited Ireland recently to secure his future!

The story of Indrit Puteci – an Albanian entrepreneur

There have been so many radical changes in Albania since the end of the Communist era in the early nineties. None in Albania at that time would have thought that 15 years later a newly elected President of Albania in 2007 would declare his whole-hearted commitment to gaining entry to the EU and NATO. But just as much has changed politically and economically in the country, there has been a host of changes in the everyday lives of the people of Albania – both socially and commercially. We in Value the Person Charity have seen most of these changes in Albania as we have worked there for most of this time in collaboration with politicians, business owners and especially young entrepreneurs, some of whom we have been involved in developing and mentoring.

One such young entrepreneur is Indrit Puteci. We met Indrit for the first time in May, 2007 when Jim Cowan (Chair of Value the Person International, Value the Person Assessments and Value the Person Charity) and Professor Ken O’Neill (Chair of Value the Person Training & Development Company) visited the newly-elected Mayor of Durres to discuss future developments in the municipality – the main port in Albania.

Albania's newly elected president Bamir Topi puts his hand over the Constitution during his swearing-in ceremony held in the parliament hall in Tirana July 24, 2007. Topi called for political unity in the country in order to meet the "historic challenge" of European Union membership.
At this time Indrit was the Mayor’s Chef of the Cabinet and Director of International Relations and Tourism. Although he had been “successful” in these roles, neither role satisfied him, and he was becoming restless. With a wife and young family to support in a country where jobs are hard to come by, Indrit could not make rash decisions about his future, so he asked us to assess his natural talents and his potential to undertake more stretching but more satisfying roles. This was done and, through the use of a series of psychometric tools, we identified Indrit’s natural talents and produced and agreed a personal development plan that would build on them.

What brought a young Albanian entrepreneur to Ireland?

Having received confirmation of his leadership and entrepreneurial potential, Indrit left his government role in the Durres Municipality to take up a role managing a commercial centre, with about 70 shops, businesses and leisure outlets that was being built in Durres by a successful property developer. His challenge was to create the leading shopping centre in the city.

This new role demanded that Indrit prepare a business plan for the centre but, in particular, that he developed and implemented a letting strategy, marketing strategy and recruitment plan (- including recruitment of key managers and all personnel), ensuring that the most productive organisational culture was delivered (- including a team-working ethos throughout the company).

So, a personal development plan was produced for Indrit extending beyond January, 2008 – the centre is planned to come on line in December, 2007. The first stage was a visit to Belfast and Dublin to see other similar centres in operation and to meet with CEOs of these centres. He was accompanied by a mentor to ensure that the maximum amount of learning took place.

Indrit needed specialist help to develop a marketing strategy to attract both the right mix of tenants to the centre and, of course, the shopper.

Finding the formula for a successful centre is not easy – not least in a country with little previous experience of this type of business model.

What were the results of his development sessions in Ireland?

Indrit has just completed the first stage of his development plan and he returned to Durres in early August very encouraged and confident about what he can achieve personally and knowing what he has to do to deliver commercially successful results.

Most importantly, he knows now that he has the natural talents to fulfil this role and begin to enjoy his work to the full, and maximise his contribution to the management of the commercial centre.

Below are some of the things that Indrit had to say after his development sessions in Ireland in a letter to Professor Ken O’Neill who took the lead on his visit….

“… I am very thankful, especially to you for all your wonderful organizing of my visit, for being very generous with your time, for your personal involvement and for ensuring that I gained the maximum from the useful meetings with the key people you organised for me. It felt good having you next to me at all the meetings, as there was much to learn from you. I really had a very productive time during my visit specially benefiting from your wisdom, knowledge, sense of humour and friendship. It was absolutely a privilege to have you as a friend and, most of all, you have given me confidence in my own business capabilities.”

What can you learn from Indrit?

Conventional wisdom says that Indrit’s success, like everyone else’s, is a simple matter of “being who you want to be”. However, Value the Person believes that this well-intended advice couldn’t be further from the truth. By the time we reach adulthood, “who we are” is already determined by fixed traits that change less than one per cent in a lifetime.

With the vast majority of what we do and say controlled by personality, self-awareness stands alone as the key indicator to our success in life. Now, the secret of building self-awareness lies in deciphering your personality, that is, the fixed set of traits that explain your choices and behaviour.

Therefore, it is important that Indrit became aware of his own personality so as to fully understand and engage with his innate talents, in order to maximise his strengths, avoid any pitfalls of his particular personality type, work smarter with others, and profit from better relationships in every aspect of his life and career.

Once he became aware of these things, we were able to help define the role that suited him best and to develop a plan to maximise his contribution and, critically, his personal satisfaction.

Watch this space for more news of the young entrepreneur from Albania!

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