Build good relations with staff and clients, and money will come

While keeping a distance from their employees is how some executives get the respect of their subordinates, this Italian boss does the opposite.

Armando de Rossi, President of C.M.C., an Italian construction firm, believes that knowing how to relate to people from all walks of life is a must in any business.

He says this is the key to the growth of C.M.C. which depends on government contracts for infrastructure projects like dams, tunnels, roads and bridges.

He explain that being a friend to different government administrations has kept the contracts for the company increasing. That is why despite some low points in the country's economy , he adds, the company's net worth increases by the year. Another less tangible, but no less valuable factor behind CMC's success, is de Rossi's relationship with Filipinos.

He has been here since 1967 and has visited more places than most Filipinos. He has been to over 50 provinces and has learned to love and be loved by Filipinos, especially by the people in the countryside. He has even applied for Filipino citizenship

Man from Venice

De Rossi was raised in a simple family in Venice, Italy and he recalls that he has always related well with people ever since childhood.

He is now applying this rapport with people when he deals with the engineers in his firms and even his clients.

Being at the helm of the company's regional office, he has to make sure that the works at a project site are running smoothly. He also has to acquire projects for the company, find the best engineers and attend to the needs of the clients.

Carrying a heavy load on his shoulders doesn't hindered de Rossi from keeping in touch with the employees.

"I keep my door open to anyone who wants to see me first come first served and without the need of appointments," says De Rossi when asked about his style of dealing with his staff.

He believes that personally seeing to the concerns of the employees goes a long way in keeping the morale at the company high.

With this people-friendly executive at the helm, C.M.C. has become one of the leading construction companies in the region, with operations that include infrastructure works, hydraulic engineering, rural development projects and marine works.

C.M.C. has offices in four continents and 11 countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan, Africa and the Philippines.

Hands-on boss

De Rossi also describes himself as a hand-on boss. His daily itinerary includes project site visits.

"As soon as i wake up around 6 in the morning. I read the day's papers and then I would go to the project sites, after which I attend to regular meetings with company supervisors or clients , " says De Rossi.

But his hands-on style doesn't keep de Rossi from delegating important tasks to his staff. One value that the Italian Boss adheres to is "making the employees feel that they are trusted."

He says that keeping the people's sense of self worth will make them stick to the company and entrusting them with essential responsibilities is the best way to make it happen.

"Making them feel trusted does not only inject confidence, but also inculcates a sense of responsibilities in them," he says.

"When I assign to them a task, I ask them when I can expect it done. So when I see some of them playing idly lazy in the middle of a work, I don't reprimand them, but I tell them, 'You told me it will be done on Friday so I expect it done by then," adds De Rossi.

Having that warm character, it is no surprise  that De Rossi has expanded his circle of friends to include a lot of Filipinos. He has also taken an interest in helping alleviate the plight of the less privileged, especially in the depressed areas.

Adopted Son

This could be how De Rossi was adopted as a "native son of Laguna" in 1990, when he spearheaded significant projects in the town when he was the president of Rotary Club of Pagsanjan from 1980-1981.

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He worked to contribute to the livelihood of the people there. And Laguna is just one of the many towns where he has left significant contributions.

De Rossi extends this missionary attitude to the company that he heads.

He says that C.M.C. is a cooperative company, meaning its employees enjoy benefits and company rules that some corporations do not have, making them enjoy life as much as their bosses do.

"Again, the bottom line is an amicable and just human relations with employees and clients," he says.