Remember your core. Whenever I face a challenge or hesitation, I take inventory of my inner values and beliefs and use that as my guiding principles.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Rony Patishi-Chillim.
Rony is the CEO of Lycored — a company at the forefront of unearthing and combining nature’s nutrition potential with cutting edge science to develop natural ingredients and ingestible beauty / wellness. Established in 1995, Lycored is a leader in natural carotenoids for food, beverage and dietary supplement products.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Having grown up in a family that owned a manufacturing business and having finance and banking experience, I am passionate about how we can combine product and culture to promote wellness. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to tackle both elements as the CEO of Lycored. I always look to learn new things through listening, interacting, reading and seek to constantly evolve as a leader and a person.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
My career has been non-linear, in many ways I was able to grow into a variety of positions making it a rewarding and diverse journey. One interesting story I can share is my first few months on the job working as an investment banker on Wall Street. A month after I joined, September 11th occurred, and our entire firm had to relocate and work out of a hotel as the search for a new office space was on-going. I spent many hours and days with limited workload and became very concerned about my future career path but felt I was too junior to voice this concern. At some point, out of sheer frustration, I bluntly approached a very senior manager in the hallway and shared all my concerns and feelings. It was emotional and not extremely well planned but this short conversation gave me the right to a proper meeting and supported my reputation as a person that is passionate about her career. My main lessons from this incident were that (a) if you are frustrated about something you must act upon it, sometimes we over strategize before we make a move and (b) getting emotional could be a very powerful tool if used wisely.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I made numerous mistakes along the way on a business and a personal level. I think that the biggest mistakes had to do with not trusting my instincts, be it on hiring decisions or on business moves, and sometimes a combination of the two. One of the most “expensive” business mistakes had to do with losing a business venture we took too long to close. For a long time I knew that we were not differentiated enough for the business to succeed, but our commitment to the team that ran the business made me prolong the decision to exit the venture. At the end of the day, my hesitation and desire to keep everybody happy still resulted in a disappointed team and money lost.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My true source of inspiration and success is my family and especially my husband. I believe that a solid and honest partner can make a tremendous impact in one’s success. I am fortunate to have such a partner — he acts as a sounding board and provides external perspective. More importantly, he challenges my thinking and assumptions. Also, being a woman in business, it is great to have a sincere “male perspective” at times.
Now let’s jump to our focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Lycored is about “cultivating wellness” so what we do is develop, manufacture and sell natural ingredients that promote a healthy lifestyle including dietary supplements and food colors. Our main ingredient is natural lycopene that is sourced from our own breed of tomatoes and extracted using a unique process. We also have a set of formulation capabilities that allow us to keep the benefits and nutrients of different ingredients. So, we are fortunate to have products that can truly support wellbeing. To complement this product line, we actively look to promote wellness by focusing on our teams; their safety and wellbeing.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Remember your core. Whenever I face a challenge or hesitation, I take inventory of my inner values and beliefs and use that as my guiding principles
- Use media in moderation
- Get enough sleep
- Practice “switching off”
- Make time for loved ones. I leave work earlier to be at home twice a week. This is a great habit I adopted 16 years ago after my first child was born. The real challenge I had initially was not blocking my calendar but switching off from work tasks and mindset to “family mode.” Now I am much more proficient in doing that but need a reminder from time to time.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would certainly focus on listening. I believe that while you can do numerous active things to improve your wellbeing, becoming an active and effective listener helps expand your mind and promotes greater wellbeing for those around you.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- It takes longer than you can ever imagine — inflicting change is a very subtle process and takes a lot of time.
- Every little thing you do projects on your team — as a leader every action, gesture and sound you make is observed and appreciated, this is a great source of power but also a tremendous responsibility.
- You will find yourself doing things that you enjoy but also several things you do not like doing.
- You are not as important as you may think — when you agonize too much about making the right decision remember that we as individuals impact only a very small fraction of the universe. Even if you make a good decision, it may end up the wrong one if the circumstances change.
- Learning and development never end — constantly look for sources of wisdom. When you look for them, they may come from unpredictable places.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics now. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
I think sustainability is probably the topic that I find most intriguing. To me sustainability is a true challenge if you consider the economic, industrial and personal elements that influence it. It stretches much further than a personal choice we can make as individuals.
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