EPISODE 10 - From Effective Manager to Authentic Leader

Pat Foley CEO of Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico

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What is the difference between an effective manager and a true leader—someone who owns the culture and delivers on the purpose of the organization?  What are the characteristics of an inspiring C-suite executive of the future? And how do leaders go about creating the right environment for their team to be successful?

Pat Foley is the CEO of Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico, a company that provides state-of-the-art aircraft overhauls in the Americas. At Pat’s 215,000 square-foot facility, planes are inspected, repaired and tested by his staff of 400 who perform base maintenance on A319, A320 and A321 aircraft for different airlines. Pat assumed his first leadership role with Lufthansa as the Production Manager of a maintenance bay 18 years ago, and since then, he has served the company as the COO of Lufthansa Technik Budapest and Head of Production at the Puerto Rico facility—before becoming its Chief Executive Officer.

Today, Pat sits down with Sylvia to offer his take on the unique culture and beauty of the island of Puerto Rico and explain the base maintenance work they do at the Lufthansa Technik facility there. He describes the role of a CEO, sharing his personal journey from competent manager to effective leader. Pat explores the evolution of business over the past 30 years, discussing how he adapted to key trends and the personal development work he did to grow as a leader. Listen in for Pat’s practical advice for executives and learn how Hurricane Maria brought out the best in both Lufthansa Technik/Group and the people of Puerto Rico.


Topics Covered

  • Pat’s take on the unique culture and beauty of Puerto Rico

  • The aircraft base maintenance work of Lufthansa Technik

  • Pat’s insight around the role of a CEO

    • Develop strategy, deliver on purpose

    • Own culture of organization

  • How Pat divides his day between operations and business strategy

  • Pat’s personal journey as an ambitious leader with Lufthansa

  • How Pat emulated the characteristics of leaders he admired

  • Pat’s view of what sets a leader apart from a manager

    • Positive and optimistic

    • Listen (nonverbal cues)

    • Emotional at right time

  • The major trends in business and leadership in the past 30 years

1.       Rise of social responsibility

2.       Role of technology

3.       Shift to collaborative model

  • How a coaching course helped Pat accept and forgive himself

  • How Pat let go of the gremlin that says ‘you’re not good enough’

  • Pat’s practical advice for leaders

    • Support system

    • Separate work and home

    • Take work seriously, not self

    • Leverage sport as outlet

    • Sufficient time to rest

  • Pat’s experience living through the devastation of Hurricane Maria

  • How the employees of Lufthansa Technik worked to rebuild the facility

  • Pat’s admiration of the way his team responded to the hurricane

  • How Lufthansa Group was able to send 90 tons of aid in five days

Connect with Pat

Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico

Pat on LinkedIn


Connect with Sylvia

Becker-Hill Women’s Empowerment School

WES on Facebook

WES Podcast Show Notes

Sylvia on Instagram

Subscribe to WES on iTunes

Subscribe to WES on Google Play



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