5 things I've learned with Leo

5 Things I've Learned: Leo Cardoso

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Leo Cardoso

Leo Cardoso, ’12 MAHRIR

Leo Cardoso grew up in Brazil and joined Land O’Lakes while attaining his graduate degree from the Carlson School. In his current role, he leads three distinct teams: HR Data, HR Solution Center, and HR Special Operations, which collectively focus on delivering outstanding service, while providing a great employee experience to the company’s 8,000-plus employees. Cardoso also serves on the CHRLS Alumni Association Board. He shared five things that have been instrumental to his success.


1. Clear is (Truly) Kind

As Brené Brown eloquently describes in Dare to Lead, clear is kind. It may be difficult to set expectations, to deliver difficult feedback, and to have tough conversations, but it may be even more difficult to be on the other side of these conversations. However, if you truly care about someone, being clear and honest with them is the best thing you can do. One thing that I always try to keep in mind is that this doesn’t just apply to “constructive” feedback. If someone does a great job, or if you simply really care about them, the kindest thing to do is to let them know that!


2. There’s Always More Work

As we all navigate this wild ride we call 2020, it’s become clear that there’s always more work to be done. If you want to work more than 100 hours a week, this is the season. Now that so many of us are home, it’s never been more important to be able to step away from “work” and enjoy time doing other things you love. It’s good for you, and it’s good for business!


3. Sometimes Done is Better than Perfect

I used to often refer to myself as a perfectionist. While some projects demand perfection—or something close to it—at times, this attitude can lead to project delays, frustration, and lack of innovation. A better approach is to prioritize and focus your energy on the work that truly matters while maintaining an attitude that demands continuous growth and improvement.

You can change, you should learn, but no matter what happens, don’t lose track of who you are.

Leo Cardoso

4. It’s OK to Fail

This has been a tough one for me to learn. I don’t like to fail. I enjoy competing and enjoy doing well. However, more often than not, if you don’t take some chances and fail every now and then, you will miss out on a number of opportunities and successes.


5. Be Yourself And Be Grateful

To me, these two things go hand-in-hand. First, be yourself. When I was younger, I listened to an album called “Seja você mesmo / Mas não seja sempre o mesmo.” It roughly translates to “You shouldn’t always be the same person, but always be yourself.” You can change, you should learn, but no matter what happens, don’t lose track of who you are. Second, remember that who you are and your achievements are partly a product of the work and sacrifices that others have made before you. Be grateful for that and seek to do the same for others. These two things, while difficult sometimes, can make all the difference in the world

Fall 2020 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Fall 2020 alumni magazine

The year 2020 has brought forth unprecedented change. In this issue of our alumni magazine, we explore these changes and the Carlson School’s role in it.

Fall 2020 table of contents