Future Leaders Spotlight: Oana Robson-Flatt
Scott Long - September 23, 2021 - Featured Content Area
Oana Robson-Flatt, CWB National Leasing
The CFLA Future Leaders Initiative’s September spotlight features Oana Robson-Flatt, Senior Manager, Credit & Asset Management, CWB National Leasing.
What do you like about working in this industry?
It is never boring; it is forward-thinking and fast-moving. I love that there is always something new to learn. It’s a progressive field that is always changing and growing, keeping pace with new technologies and ideas.
We have an opportunity to review some of the newest and most technologically advanced assets. Regardless of if it is a solar panel reefer trailer, a zero-emission truck, or a new healthcare digital assistant, we research and explore the unknown.
What motivates you?
I am driven by curiosity and the desire to learn, and I like a job well done.
My team motivates me - Empowering my team, seeing them engaged and pulling together in one direction provides me with enormous satisfaction.
Happy customers motivate me - I enjoy helping others and I am a great believer that differentiated customer service is the best thing for a brand.
What is your greatest achievement?
One of the greatest achievements in my career is creating and launching Micro Credit. Micro Credit was created with one main goal in mind, to decrease turnaround time while maintaining credit risk exposure within acceptable parameters. This initiative was also meant to allow other Credit Analysts to focus on larger transactions helping decrease their turnaround time.
Backed by an amazing mentor, with the support of a very talented innovation technology team, and fortunate to have a group of experienced and agile Credit Analysts, we delivered on the ambitious goal we took on.
Micro Credit was launched in January 2017. Streamlined guidelines, policy revisions, and new templates allowed for improved efficiency and removed duplication of work. The initiative was a success and in 4 months we decreased the turnaround time by 60%. In 2020, the Micro Credit team reviewed just under 20,000 applications. Year to date, Micro Credit has reviewed approx. 66% of the total amount of applications submitted.
It is a high volume, fast-paced environment so in order to be successful we need analysts with a very unique skillset. We have to balance speed with due diligence. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish.
What does it mean to you to be a leader and how do you lead others in your organization?
Being a leader means:
- Always being behind your team, helping them grow and removing obstacles for them to be able to achieve their goals
- Leaving your ego at the door, being humble and willing to continue to learn from those you trust and respect
- Lifting others up, being supportive, trusting, and treating them with respect
- Appreciating differences and respecting divergent opinions
- Saying thank you and giving acknowledgment when it is deserved
As a leader, I maintain open communication channels and empower my teams to come to me with their ideas, questions and concerns. I encourage collaboration and try to create cohesive teams. I communicate frequently and ensure everyone on the team understands the scope. I appreciate diverse opinions and maintain an inclusive environment where everyone feels safe to speak up. I pride myself on being an advocate for employees, as well as bringing a sense of care and family to the workplace.
What is your number one travel destination and why?
Europe – I moved to Canada when I was 16 so I enjoy going to visit my birth town, Bucharest. It is a vibrant and dynamic place to visit with impressive historic buildings, quaint shops, and charming cafes. Loads of childhood memories, dear friends and family, and special places is why I am inextricably tied to this land.
My second favourite place is Falcon Lake in Manitoba, I love spending time at the cottage.
How do you overcome the challenges you face at work?
Being honest with myself and others, recognizing my mistakes and learning from them, being non-judgmental of others and keeping in mind that each individual is dealing with something different in their life.
I overcome challenges by listening and observing to understand before suggesting changes, think creatively and make decisions that benefit the team.
Sometimes overcoming a challenge at work means guiding and motivating your team while removing the obstacles. There’s nothing more rewarding than being able to coach your team to great success.
What do you like to do when you are not behind your desk?
I love to spend time with my family and friends (and my adventure-loving beagle). I like to travel, read, do yoga and meditation, and more recently I have started cycling. I love to cook and when I do I try to support local markets. I really enjoy volunteering in the community and hope to do more of it in the future.
The CFLA’s Future Leaders Spotlight is a monthly feature of emerging talent in the Canadian asset-based financing and leasing industry.
The CFLA’s Future Leaders Initiative's (FLI) was created in 2019 to connect younger employees with leadership potential in the asset-based finance and leasing space. The FLI’s mission is to give the next generation of leaders a voice in shaping our industry.