Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rafael Gonzalez Montes de Oca > Train!

Rafael González Montes de Oca, CEO, Train!

Being Hispanic? Does it have any Influence on your business? 
Being Hispanic has meant a lot, especially when working as a public events lecturer in the United States. I have found that Hispanic professionals react favorably with the cultural queues we express during our workshops and identify with the cultural nuances when we Hispanics interact. The Latino audience is very emotional and it shows; emotion begets creativity, which links us together. This has allowed me to reassess my identity as a Hispanic businesses person.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
If I may paraphrase the question: The best way to deal with adversity has always been deciding how to proceed. When times are difficult, questions have been on the premises of success: what not to do, what to do differently and what new action to try, but not moving ahead has always been out of the question. The basis of this strength to continue has been the conviction that there is a causal relationship between effort, appropriate action, and results. Although these are sometimes slow in coming.

What is the Biggest Challenge you have faced ?
To keep my project going when it seemed improbable. I respond to productive ideas, which involves a pattern of life, vocation and meaning. Therefore, at times when the future does not look clear, I make an even greater effort: first, to keep faith in that dream and secondly, to gather the necessary energy to make it a successful project.

If You Could change one thing about your life, What Would It Be?
It took me a while to learn to temper my optimism. We all need to continue to invest in optimism, but in perspective. I realized that I have gone through difficult times that I could have avoided had I learned to combine optimism with a good dose of caution.

What Was your childhood ambition?
To be an inventor. I dreamt of having a workshop full of projects, machines, prototypes and tools. Later, I expanded my dream, but oriented it to the ideal of creating new things. I did not abandon this ambition. Today, I have a closet full of papers, paintings and all kinds of tools and accessories to enjoy with my children. My eyes light up every time my children have a show-and-tell school project.

Tell us about three people that you admire
Of public to private:

Leonardo Da Vinci, for his ingenuity, creativity, intellectual curiosity and for his higher understanding of things.

Salvador Abascal Carranza, a Mexican political philosopher and rare humanist who is honest, ethical, intelligent, consistent and complete bohemian.

Jesus Montes de Oca, my grandfather, an incredible man, deeply passionate about life, adventure and good humor. Without a doubt, my hero.

For meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Business meals allow warmth and informality--to return to the office to follow up and close deals.

What Sacrifices on your personal life did you Have to make in order to Become a business success?
The traditional, I suppose, to leave home before dawn to catch a flight, spend a weekend alone in a distant city; many Saturdays and some Sundays separated from family activities. Nevertheless, this does not compare with the satisfaction that I finally succeeded in my efforts, thanks in part, to my sacrifices.

What is your favorite quote?
Many of my favorite quotes are from Einstein. Choose one: "There are two ways to live: as though nothing is a miracle, or as if everything is."

Is it Difficult to Be unconventional?
For me, it is much harder to keep within the mainstream. However, it is hard to be unconventional, which we all are, at least occasionally and accidentally. The art consists in keeping heads held high with honor. And in this as in any other art, practice makes perfect.

Biggest mistake made?
Combining over-optimism with a lack of foresight, which is a dangerous mix.

Do you Consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes. I love to observe outcomes, whether it be topics for lectures, journalistic collaborations, teaching illustrations, marketing strategies, posters advertising, songs, pictures, parties, children's stories and poems.

About the Company
Train! specializes in organizational learning that improves the performance of individuals and businesses by delivering high-impact seminars, workshops and conferences in the U.S. and Mexico. We are experts in negotiation and performance skills development training, combination of memorable content and a flexible teaching style. For media and training inquiries, contact Lucia Matthews at

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