Meet Mentor – Stephanie Moroz
Meet Stephanie Moroz
Commercial strategy & innovation for energy and materials technologies. Principal at Davanz
At the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast we are so privileged to have a diverse group of mentors to help our members. Whilst you can already read their professional bios via our mentors page we will be sitting down more often with our mentors in 2019 to gather their insights and sharing across socials and here, our blog. So, if you are an entrepreneur, small business owner or work within a startup and looking to be more strategic grab yourself a coffee and enjoy this read to learn more about Stephanie.
"I never planned more than a year or two ahead"
How did you get to where you are today?
It has been a meandering path, although people often look at my career and ask how I knew to take all those steps to get to where I wanted to be. The reality is, I never planned more than a year or two ahead, and still don't. I've always focused on doing what I want to be doing right now, and doing it well. When things weren't working, I would find a way to fix them, and if I couldn't find a solution I would start looking around for something that would engage me again. When you find yourself in a rut, you absolutely must find the courage to climb out of it.
How long have you been mentoring businesses? What areas do you specialise in? And, what do you learn from the process of mentoring?
I've been mentoring businesses on a regular basis for about 5 years. I specialise in engineered products and energy technologies but often branch out into helping any business that I have a connection with. I enjoy learning about the products and services that the businesses provide because it increases my awareness of where innovation is going.
How do you approach risk?
I approach it with a mix of logic and emotion. I usually have an initial emotional response that I note carefully. Then I analyse the situation quite thoroughly to estimate what is the best and the worst that could happen and how likely each is. Finally I imagine how I would feel in each case and compare to my initial reaction to decide whether to follow it, or to adjust based on the analysis.
Was there a time you messed up and felt like you’d failed? How did you bounce back?
I mess up all the time, the only way not to mess up is to remain in your rut doing the same thing you've always done. If the failure is particularly bad, I often write down an analysis of what led to it, what the different options were that I could have taken, which one I would try if the situation came up again. I find writing it down helps it stop rattling around in my mind, so I can move on.
Who mentored you, early in your career? And, what impact has it had since?
I spent most of my career in environments that were extremely hostile towards women, any potential mentors were busy discouraging me and discrediting my work. It was demoralising until I found a technique of identifying men (there were no women role models) with gentler dispositions and watching from afar how they navigated hostile situations, and trying to emulate them.
What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learnt and how is it valuable?
Leadership is all about people, and so developing the habit of trying to really understand their point of view is essential to achieving the best outcome for all. This applies to people you manage, businesses you collaborate with, people you report to, anyone you interact with.
What benefit/s can mentoring have on a business looking to scale?
Often a founder or CEO has a narrow field of vision when looking for solutions to problems. Having a good set of mentors can provide multiple alternative views on how to achieve something. Sometimes it's just good to become aware of those alternatives and see that your original plan was best, sometimes you might radically change course based on a new idea that a mentor proposes.
Looking for more business insights or inspiration?
How do you manage risk? Who is mentoring you and supporting your businesses journey? We are always on the lookout to support our members, share mentor insights to support our growing community.
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If you find yourself looking for a passionate community of startup founders and employees and want to know more about the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast, join us for one of our upcoming events, or apply for a membership here.
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