Manuel Abilleira says there are so many opportunities to explore at Electrolux— whether it’s new products, markets or customers— and experimenting with all the possibilities is always exciting. This is the eighth in a series of stories where we spotlight employees who have been nominated by their co-workers as role models in how to shape living for the better.
Puerto Rico’s General Manager for Major Appliances has worked at four other multinational companies. But Manuel Abilleira feels that he is currently at the best place. This leader is inspired by the fact that there are continuous opportunities for exploration and growth within the company. Three years into his role, he enjoys the freedom that Electrolux fosters to think outside the box, search for creative solutions and always improve. He can make a difference on a daily basis.
What does “shape living for the better” mean to you?
As a team, we strive to create outstanding experiences in order to create a positive impact on people’s lives. Apple, for example, sells products by focusing on the positive experience that clients will have if they purchase an Apple product. Electrolux does it equally well. We don’t only sell appliances…we sell wonderful experiences.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
At Electrolux, there’s always something new to explore, create, and expand upon. In terms of new business opportunities, there are encouraging new markets to evaluate, new products to explore, and new ways to expand distribution. There are always new customers and new colleagues to develop wholesome relationships with. As I grow within my own job responsibilities, there’s continuous room for improvement. I definitely enjoy the challenge.
Why are you passionate about your role?
The company allows me to make a difference within the daily business framework. At Electrolux, the sky is the limit. We are given freedom to develop the business and do things outside of the box. If I need help, I get cooperation. If I have an idea, I am encouraged to put it out there. The support given by this company is what allows the passion to remain and flow.
This is the fifth multinational company I’ve worked for. And I can tell you that I am at the best place I can be right now. The other ones were great and they nurtured important personal development, but Electrolux is the most outstanding.
What do you think it takes to succeed at Electrolux?
I think you need Engagement: Understand and live the purpose. Agility: Act with a sense of urgency. Willingness: Love what you do and be passionate about it. Collaboration: Teamwork is a must— together we can do more. There is an often-used Spanish motto that wisely translates into: “you cannot be alone, as alone you will not get it done.”
Tell us about a particular time when you knew you were in the right role.
I know that I’m in the right role here because people know what’s going on and they celebrate it. The level of commitment and engagement my colleagues have for our organization is remarkable. When I come into work and see my warehouse and office colleagues, they are happy to share with others what their team accomplished; colleagues celebrate achievements jointly.
In Spanish, the word “reconocer” means to recognize. This word carries intense significance for me. Recognition is crucial at all levels, for tremendous professional stimulation occurs when I see someone recognizing any kind of successful accomplishment.
What do you want to accomplish in your role?
I would like to broaden what I’ve accomplished here in Puerto Rico. There’s still plenty of work ahead, but I think that the success my team has had can be used elsewhere and expanded into other areas.
As I mentioned, I like Electrolux because you can always start something new. I truly think that I can be a contributing force by sharing our learned lessons with the broader organization and becoming a hub for all other areas. Another possibility to explore could include establishing Puerto Rico as a distribution center for the region. As I look ahead, I want to grow my level of responsibility and presence in the region.