CAHI Fellows Program
Interview with Professor Carlos Aguirre
Carlos is a professional coach with 27 years of experience with INCAE Business School. He has worked as a director of strategic planning and is a consultant in strategy, teamwork, customer service, leadership, and organizational culture. He is an advisor to and creator of the Association of Professional Soccer Players of the first division in Costa Rica (ASOJUPRO, by its Spanish acronym).
During the second module of the CAHI Fellows Program, Carlos invited the 6th generation of CAHI Fellows to build bridges, which put their abilities to work in high-performing teams to the test. After the workshop, we were able to talk with Carlos. The interview follows below; it has been translated from Spanish and has been edited lightly for clarity:
Interviewer: How did you first come to work with the CAHI Fellows Program? Carlos: At that time, I was responsible for creating team interactions at INCAE, to apply the themes of my classes like leadership and teamwork. When CAHI launched, I was invited to share these methodologies with the program participants. That’s how I started with a few sessions, something small, that has evolved and grown since then.
Interviewer: How would you describe your experience with the CAHI Fellows Program? Carlos: The important thing for me is that they come “to do,” to advance the projects that they have that generate an impact in their countries. Over the years, I have made many close friendships. I still have contact with the first group of CAHI Fellows. So, I have direct knowledge of the results they are achieving in the region, in their communities. I am proud to collaborate with them.
Interviewer: From your perspective, how has the program evolved over the last six years? Carlos: The lessons learned. I realize that each new year, we are integrating new lessons learned. I also notice that the CAHI Fellows Network is growing, that more and more CAHI Fellows are making connections. It is beautiful to see the evolution they experience from when they enter the program and how their progressively mature as they learn new concepts to apply to their projects.
Each year, I see better projects, but that is not to say that some participants are better than others, rather that everything is evolving, the world is changing, technology is advancing, and so we see improvements in the projects.
Interviewer: What is your contribution to the CAHI Fellows Program? Carlos: I like to contribute the construction of high-performing teams. I have worked at this for 19 years, which allows me to understand people, how we can achieve high-performance, and what makes champions. I bring this approach to even the smallest things, I’m a graduate of INCAE and for me it is easy to make analogies about sports and the development of high-performing athletes. A key is to have clear objectives, like those the CAHI Fellows have.
In their experience at INCAE, the Fellows take with them knowledge about project management, as well as more personal experiences, and the imprint that we leave on them in our roles as professors.
Today, it is very important to cultivate social and emotional intelligence. We must understand that we are in a world of constant change, and in this evolution, a key is anticipating the changes.