“The professionals who aim at the clean energy sector have many opportunities to establish themselves as future leaders.” – Diego Percopo, CEO of EF Solare Italia


Last week our CEO, Diego Percopo, took part in the “AperiLeader” format, organized by the SAFE “Re-Thinking Leadership” training course for energy professionals.

Before defining the profile of the leader, Percopo has analyzed the great changes that the renewables sector is experiencing at this historical moment. Starting with the cultural impact that sustainability now has on consumers for whom it has become a driver of choice that is increasingly leading companies to recognize the value of renewable energy, not only as a social value, but also as a market value.

The change, explains Percopo, can also be observed in the reversal of the trend that sees the renewables as central energy sources compared to thermoelectric production. The Covid-19 has also demonstrated the resilience of renewable energy sources which, despite a momentary fall in prices and already recovering, did not suffer like thermoelectric producers, who struggled with volume and pricing issues instead.

Even in a difficult situation like the one we are experiencing, says Percopo, renewables have proven to be winning and competitive technologies in economic terms, as demonstrated by the ambitious european plans and the great amount of private and public financial resources, unprecedented when you think of the energy world in recent decades.

Another great positive sign, derived from the pandemic and which has necessarily forced the institutions to reflect deeply, is bringing to the centre of the debate the need to invest in infrastructure, innovation, in the development of the territory and in the resolution of the gap between south and north Italy. According to Percopo, these objectives, which concern the country system, are in line with the investments in renewables: by their nature an infrastructure, they present elements of innovation, they presuppose a close relationship with the territory and they are undoubtedly more present in the south than in the centre-north.

To facilitate this process EF Solare has for years been at the forefront in simplifying the authorization process, especially in terms of revamping and repowering, in order to promote the right information on the use of agricultural land for the construction of photovoltaic plants.

From these elements we can gather a sign of optimism in the medium-long term: as if the historical moment we are living could somehow represent a further boost to relaunch renewable energy. In this scenario, the professionals who aim at the clean energy sector have many opportunities to establish themselves as future leaders.

Asked about the meaning of leadership and his managerial experience, our CEO explained to the professionals participating in the format that leadership is a theoretically simple concept: it means “knowing how to lead”. A leader is someone who leads an organization, a system, a party, a country. It is not necessarily the one who obtains consensus. He then stated that there is no recipe for leadership and that it is a personal theme, also concerning character traits. However, in the course of his professional experience, he has seen some common features among the great leaders.

The leaders:

-They have a vision, which means knowing where you can get to even if you are not sure to achieve the goal. The vision is to be able to project oneself outside the contingent context, in the medium-long term period.

– At the same time, they are able to sailing by sight: the vision must not affect the ability to manage the short term. The task of the leader is to find the right balance between long-range plans and the ability to adapt in the short term.

– They are alone, but leadership is never solitary: it must be exercised with their own resources, with their colleagues. A good leader should not be afraid to surround himself or herself with people of value; on the contrary, he or she should aim for the success of his or her staff.

They have to decide: this implies that leaders also make mistakes, they are not superheroes.

They have rigour and method: they certainly need soft skills such as intuition, creativity, emotional sensitivity and lateral thinking, but these abilities must be exercised with method and rigor, by correctly dosing the different ingredients of their decision-making process.

Diego Percopo concluded his testimony to the future leaders of the energy sector with an encouragement: to work on their weaknesses to improve them, but above all to know how to enhance their strengths and to have faith in this sector which is the most challenging today.

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