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Charlene Consolacion: “Don’t hold back for fear of not being liked by everybody” With Dr. William Seeds

When I was young, I was constantly labeled as “bossy” by my peers. Looking back, I was simply leading my playmates to decide on what to play and what to do for that day. When everyone is indecisive, I propose ideas and decide on them right away. In a young age, I was not afraid […]

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When I was young, I was constantly labeled as “bossy” by my peers. Looking back, I was simply leading my playmates to decide on what to play and what to do for that day. When everyone is indecisive, I propose ideas and decide on them right away. In a young age, I was not afraid to step up and lead. Even if my peers dismiss the ideas, I am OK with it. I don’t hold back for fear of not being liked by everybody.


As a part of our series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Charlene Consolacion, a technology entrepreneur who founded the world’s first connected license plate vault, the BiigVault. (https://www.biig.co)

She is currently the CEO of Biig, a Silicon-Valley based technology company, renowned for its smart license plate vault, the BiigVault, providing remote access to cars for purposes such as in-car delivery, roadside assistance and enabling seamless automotive services within the vehicle.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to co-found this company where I started as a COO. 2 years later, I was appointed as its CEO. I was demanded to lie and conceal unethical business practices from partners and investors by the Chairman of the Board. Due to differences in values and principles with the Chairman of the Board, I resigned as its CEO.

I founded Biig to continue my vision of transforming the automotive industry.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

The first year I was pitching the idea about the BiigVault, everyone was laughing about how crazy the idea was. I was also rejected at least a hundred times by investors. Now, the same people who rejected and laughed at the idea are our current customers and partners.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. What is it about the position of CEO or executive that most attracted you to it?

I have the opportunity to work with like-minded and brilliant people in the industry whom I learn and grow from. I get to surround myself with these brilliant minds.

Most of our readers — in fact, most people — think they have a pretty good idea of what a CEO or executive does. But in just a few words can you explain what an executive does that is different from the responsibilities of the other leaders?

Most people think we have the easiest job and that we just sit in the corner office watching everyone does the job for us. This is inaccurate. As the CEO, you are responsible for the overall performance of the company. If something is not working correctly, most of the time, it’s the lack of leadership. Even if there are other leaders working in conjunction with you, it is the CEO’s responsibility to instill the vision, purpose, and strategy for the team to execute. Without the CEO’s proper leadership, team members and other leaders will be in chaos and inefficient.

What is the one thing that you enjoy most about being an executive?

Most people work 100 hours a week or more in their job. My job as a CEO was not to work the most hours, it was to make the right decisions at the right time. My performance isn’t measured by the amount of time I am busy, but the actions that I accomplish along with my team that return positive outcome to the company.

What are the downsides of being an executive?

As the face of the company, you have to take ownership of mostly everything even if you don’t have control over them.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a CEO or executive. Can you explain what you mean?

“CEOs have no bosses.” This is not true. CEOs report to the board of directors, investors and stakeholders. We have to be accountable for the overall company’s performance. “CEOs have to be aggressive jerks.” I cringe when I think that there might be some inexperienced CEOs who think they have to be arrogant to get people to follow them. Instead of being arrogant, CEOs should have confidence in their ideas, humility to realize that you can be wrong, and curiosity around other people’s ideas in bettering your current situation.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women executives that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

The stereotypes. You don’t fit the mold, and they think you aren’t cut out for this. Just because you don’t come out as arrogant, there will be stereotypes about your strength and ability.

What is the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?

Most people think CEOs have to “manage” the team and tell them exactly what to do. I have learned that my role as CEO is to create the environment for my team to thrive. I have to foster a workplace where my teams are working to their strengths, where they have the freedom within clear guidelines to decide for themselves, and where they are clear on what the goals and expectations are.

And then get the hell out of their way and let them do their job.

Certainly, not everyone is cut out to be an executive. In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful executive and what type of person should avoid aspiring to be an executive?

When I was young, I was constantly labeled as “bossy” by my peers. Looking back, I was simply leading my playmates to decide on what to play and what to do for that day. When everyone is indecisive, I propose ideas and decide on them right away. In a young age, I was not afraid to step up and lead. Even if my peers dismiss the ideas, I am OK with it. I don’t hold back for fear of not being liked by everybody.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

Authenticity. Your team can read beyond your soul. Leaders or not, we are all human beings. If your team members see your true intentions and that you are sincere about everything, it creates an organic human connection. Most of the time, your team will go above and beyond for you. You don’t have to “manage” them.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My investors, my stakeholders, and my colleagues. These are the people who inspire me to move forward because of the trust and belief that they have given me when I was starting out Biig. I wouldn’t be here where I am today without them. They are the ones who took the risk and bet on me. I will forever be grateful for that.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

Success is subjective. I don’t consider myself as successful yet. However, I can say that I have used my influence to impact several people’s lives.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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