Leadership Lessons with Change Makers at Nium: Graziella Ellul, V.P. Product, Virtual Corp Cards

5 Minute read
1 year ago

We’re back with a new change maker, our series of conversations where we take you inside Nium and celebrate our leaders inspiring us to be fearless catalysts for innovation and all things extraordinary. This has been a busy month as the official fintech infrastructure partner of the International Cricket Council (ICC), and the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, making today the perfect opportunity to switch gears and showcase our champions, paving the way for continued excellence.

Today we’re honored to chat with Graziella Ellul, Nium’s V.P. of Product, Virtual Corporate Cards, and learn from her incredible perspectives that drive team, product, and company success. From her commitment to being a product ambassador, navigating a fast-paced fintech market, and building skills necessary for growth, there’s a lot to learn from our superstar colleague.

What does being a change maker mean to you as VP of Product?

A change maker is about being a catalyst for positive change, willing to test out unorthodox approaches, and accepting failure when wins require additional attempts. It means believing that the status quo can be improved, and you have an obligation to yourself to make it better. But what does this really mean though?

Drilling deeper, my journey to become a product ambassador has taught me that the only constant within the product’s lifecycle is its continuous requirement to evolve and be more, to ultimately win more. This is also heavily prevalent within the fintech industry; as we approach the end of 2022, various platforms will attempt to forecast 2023 payment trends, and inspired market-adept product functions will strategize how their product will serve first the next big payment solution to the market. In essence, undergoing change is inevitable: your choice is to either be the trendsetter or a follower.

Aside from executing business strategy, a change maker is a positive force multiplier. By adopting an open-door policy, I can support team members in developing their professional abilities and thinking out of the box, as well as expanding their thought processes to explore beyond the horizon. Change can also be initiated by inspiring others through your own actions, shaking outdated foundations to make things better for everyone involved.

How do you think you play a key role in accelerating a positive change in fintech?

As up-and-coming trends continue to reshape and evolve the definition of fintech, accelerating change has become a requirement. Having helmed the product function for B2C and B2B fintech products in a fast-growth environment–launching a new consumer-facing product in five months from idea inception–I am no stranger to the industry’s fast-paced requirements. The demand shift in travel payments following COVID-19 reinforced the fact that to succeed, businesses must listen to their customers and react rapidly to market trends. This means promoting internal leaders who think outside the box and come up with fresh, commercially attractive ideas to address customer demand. It also requires having mature and knowledgeable teams who, in turn, support and implement these ideas smoothly without disrupting existing internal and/or client-facing processes.

At Nium, my ongoing collaboration between internal and external functions serves as my opportunity to influence colleagues to hone this positive outlook. I continue to be an avid promoter of connecting people and ideas and enabling a continuous learning environment.

A positive can-do problem-solving approach is contagious. Use this as your foundation to foster pride in your team’s contribution. Empower each member to be part of the equation shaping the fintech landscape.

change maker leadership quote card

How do change-making and innovation tie in together?

Change-making and innovation are two sides of the same coin: innovation allows you to experiment with new ideas, take an avant-garde approach and do things differently with respect to the modus operandi. Change-making allows you to put your innovation into practice: it’s taking an idea or concept and applying it to your business or organization in a way that makes things better for everyone involved, whether inside or outside of the business.

What are three skills critical to driving change at Nium?

  • Challenge the status quo: Rock the boat to strengthen your foundations. Challenge yourself to be better, do better and ultimately win more.
  • Embrace dynamicity: Be flexible and adapt easily to evolving environments. Encourage yourself to explore out-of-the-box solutions.
  • Drive change respectfully: Be mindful that change may be perceived differently by colleagues. Provide mentorship and support to assist your team throughout the journey you’re driving and maintain focus on the destination. 

What is the top leadership lesson you can share with future transformation champions?

The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave,” linking the words of President Ronald Reagan. Transformation happens in an environment that promotes effective collaboration and positively encourages each to become the best version of themselves. As the potential is unlocked, hesitance to change is eliminated, failure becomes a lesson learned, and transformation is born.

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