The Confessions series is designed to introduce a successful woman. Regardless of her age, race, religion, class, ethnicity, or wealth; just a successful woman with her own definition of success. From a young entrepreneur to a mature woman with a blissful career, all of them are role models.
In 2011 Adriana became GE Brazil’s first woman President and CEO. Afterwards she acted as GE Latin America Government Affairs & Policy VP.
Prior to GE, she held different private and publics sectors positions. She also served as a Business Mobilization for Innovation (MEI) leader.
Acknowledged businesswoman and leader by several rankings and awards, Adriana is currently enjoying a sabbatical period. She is a Linkedin Influencer and board member of different organization.
Adriana is married and has two children. She holds a Political Science BA from University of Brasilia.
What early life events have influenced your view of wealth?
I grew up in Brasilia, Brazil, with both my parents working very hard to offer me and my brothers access to the best they could. We often heard them say that we should not expect to inherit property or money from them, but that we should make good use of the education alongside love, security and other “gifts” that they were able to provide us.
We were very fortunate to be able to attend good schools, study music, dance, foreign languages, and acquire knowledge and experience from different sources. There were always people around us who either had much more or much less possessions than we did, and my parents always made sure to teach us to look both ways. With that kind of upbringing, I learned to be extremely thankful for what I had, mainly for what my parents were able to give me, and for what life had to offer.
What role does work play in your life?
Work is movement, flow, it’s also learning, growing and sharing. Through work we live life.
If you could solve any problem, what would it be?
Violence. There are much better ways to live life.
What have been non-financial influences on your efforts to build wealth?
I believe innovation can greatly help build wealth, and an essencial element of innovation is creativity. When you can connect to the universe in a way that creativity can express itself, you can make many good things happen. In my case, I love to paint as a hobby. It’s a practice that has influenced me to become a better listener, to see the bigger picture, and to get focused when needed, which are all good business skills to have.
Building wealth requires a holistic approach to life as a continuous learner who can seize opportunities as they come. Practicing mindfulness is also a powerful influence in living a better life and, consequently, building wealth.
Another influence that I would highlight is relationship. At the end of the day, “it’s all about people”. Learning to relate to different people in different circumstances and to build long-lasting relationships is critical to build a broad network, and making good use of your personal network can be powerful to build wealth.
What do you most enjoy in terms of spending?
I love music, art in general, visiting beautiful places, enjoying the company of my family and friends. It gives me much pleasure to spend my life with the people I love and to do the things I love to do. If I can provide that kind of pleasure to others, all the better.
What can money not buy?
Time. It’s important to enjoy every moment of your life fully, and you need to make time for your priorities.
What defines someone else as wealthy?
We need to welcome abundance and prosperity in our lives, but more importantly is to share our multiple gifts with the world. What defines someone as wealthy is how much he/she is able to give.
My wealth makes me feel …..
What part has your gender played in the development of your wealth?
Women still face many challenges and much inequality in our society. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, only in 2133 will women get paid equal to men for doing equivalent work. I was very fortunate for not having faced severe gender barriers in my life or in my career, like many other women have. Being the first woman to become president of GE in Brazil was an honor, as it was to represent the Brazilian industry in several occasions. Diversity drives better performance, and we all should embrace it and make the best of it.
What does wealth give you the freedom to do?
I had the freedom to choose to take a sabbatical when it made sense for me and my family, and to dedicate myself to a transition to a new country, a new culture, a new environment. We all benefited greatly from this experience and have lived precious moments together.