A Mindset Shift interview back by popular demand is Tim McCarthy’s interview with Maria Mileder, Global Head of Innovation at PayPal. In this interview Maria shares the many shifts throughout her life and the lessons she learnt along the way. Let’s take a look at some of them:
While Maria was in secondary school, she volunteered to work with the Red Cross in an ambulance. This experience was eye opening for her as it made her realise that her world wasn’t the only world. She was exposed to so many people’s hardships and struggles. This opened Maria’s mind up to the bigger world outside of her home life in Austria.
After college, Maria moved to Ireland. She tells Tim about the major culture shock she experienced. Looking back, Maria wishes she spoke up more about her queries or questions about the culture. Since this time, Maria is never shy about asking questions. If you don’t ask, you’ll never learn or grow.
For a work culture to be embraced, the leadership need to be living the values and mission of a company. Working in PayPal for over 12 years, Maria has seen their culture evolve and thrive. She says that the reason why their culture has evolved is because the leadership team believe in the companies values and mission and walk the talk. This is then passed down through the company.
The pandemic has forced people to be innovative, but Maria hopes people realise you don’t need a global pandemic in order to think outside the box and suggest different ways of doing things. Being innovative shouldn’t be an extra task, it should become part of any process.
Maria has learnt that no matter what the task is, you should always try your best. Maria explains that there’s no ceiling on being the best you can be. She is constantly working on herself and focuses on being 1% better every day. Maria says that in order to improve herself she constantly asks questions and vocalises what she is struggling with. None of us will improve if we don’t share our struggles or get answers to what we don’t know.