Co-founder, CEO at Unubo.
Leandro is a citizen of the world, having lived and worked in over 10 countries, and travelled to even more. Born in the UK, and raised in Germany and the US, he currently calls southern Spain home. Tech and entrepreneurship always was in his blood, from breaking up old computers, and selling the parts for a profit aged 12, or establishing partnerships with car garages, and installing multi media computers into cars, aged 18. Never being one to conform, he dropped out of University, twice, and talked his way into a job with global consultancy, Accenture. After an 18 year career as an Information Technology executive, and a long list of failed side projects, he founded Unubo.
What does diversity mean to you?
Diversity means, that whatever we’re doing, whatever we’re thinking, we should draw from as many different backgrounds, ideologies, genders, socio-economic statuses, sexual orientations, ways of thinking, as possible, if we really want to enjoy the full spectrum of the human experience.
This doesn’t mean filling in diversity forms in the office, or trying to add some colour in positions of management. Representation is important, but I think diversity needs to come from a deeper place within, for true change to occur. This means exposing oneself, and connecting with every kind of person. Get at least a bit of an understanding of different perspectives and experiences. This builds empathy, which is a necessary catalyst for diversity to be taken seriously.
Why do you care about diversity?
I’d almost want to counter this by asking: how can I not care about diversity? Humans are diverse by default. We all have unique points of view, backgrounds, appearances, orientations, and so on. There is a lot we share, but there is a lot that differentiates us.
In times of old, wars were fought because of differences. Even in my own life, just because I look different, I’ve had several negative experiences. Generally speaking, when we’re divisive as humans, things don’t work out so well. We don’t truly thrive.
Diversity makes life interesting. Being exposed to different cultures, rituals, behaviour, languages, and food, is an enriching experience, and generally, when you observe the differences, you also start to notice how alike, at the core we all are.
What is the one thing you wish you knew five years ago?
Try and take ego out of the equation, as much as possible. That makes the inevitable failures easier to bear, meaning you can extract the necessary learnings from them.
What is your advice to a young person starting their career or entrepreneurial journey?
- You will fail, a lot. Learn from it and move on.
- You will doubt yourself, from time to time. That’s ok, because we all do. Learn to love the process, as much as the desire to succeed. That way, no matter how long it takes, you’re fulfilled.
- Find your tribe, whether it’s an online community, or real life. Find people who are on the same journey as you. It will feel less lonely.
- Even moderate success takes time. Probably way longer than you expect. Just for some perspective, if you’re 23 now and go hard for 10 years, you’re then 33. Still young so can enjoy the fruits of your labour.
- Find something your passionate about, or have enough of an interest in, to really go the distance. Your only job is not to quit. If you look at success stories of other entrepreneurs, they picked something and just kept going.