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Data Management, Public Speaking, and Living Abroad

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

MindSpeaking Podcast Episode 5 - George Firican, Founder of LightsOnData

▶️ Watch the podcast with video on YouTube:


0:00 Introduction

0:24 Introduction of the Guest

2:27 Who was George as a child?

4:02 George's personal development

8:36 Youtube Career

14:13 Combining Two Fields

16:00 Passionate about Data Management

18:36 Data as an Asset

21:40 Steps to take about Data Governance

25:55 Understanding Business Goals

29:29 Preparation before speaking in public

33:53 Where does George get his stories?

37:30 Surfing

39:59 What makes George Motivated?

45:10 Content Creation

47:27 Rapid Fire Round

54:44 Where to follow George Firican

55:39 Conclusion

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Introducing Guest

Gilbert Eijkelenboom: Today on the podcast I speak with George Firican is an award-winning data governance leader. He is the founder of lights on data, and also the podcast host of the lights on data shows this as a YouTube channel, and he has a lot of expertise in data governance, data management, and bi. We're not going to only kind of talk about the business stuff today. The professional stuff, but turned out to be a very personal conversation between George and I. We talked about introversion, how to become more outgoing, dealing with stakeholders, and also tips for public speaking.

A lot of depths a lot of experiences of George who was an introvert himself. Also, we spoke about travel will travel can do for you on a personal and professional level and a lot of practical tips on data governance and data management. So tips, how you can improve, and what type of templates he uses for improving and taking the next steps. So as I said, it turned out to be a very personal interaction, a very personal conversation flowing left and right. And I really enjoyed it. So I hope you also enjoy the conversation with George fear again. Hi, George. Great to see you again.

I'm really excited for the conversation. We had a bunch of LinkedIn chat conversations already and we spoke one time in person at least live Yes,

George Firican: yes. And of course I have a book your book as well which is you know, agree we that I recommend to everybody. So thank you again for this.

Gilbert Eijkelenboom: ​​Thank you, thank you for bringing it to the attention. And I'm so so much looking forward to diving into your expertise and data and all the things you've done as a profession. But the mind speaking fulfills is also about the personal stuff.

Who was George as a child?

Gilbert Eijkelenboom: So understanding where you came from electronic data of a type of personal development you've, you've experienced. So tell us about George How was George in the history when he was a little kid and where was George?

George Firican: George is a little kid was born in Romania. So this is in Eastern Europe. And I was born in the 80s and the 80s in Romania was maybe like the 70s in the United States or North America. So I grew up with things like you know, da team and mash and like all these old timer, sitcom episodes, which was really fun, because then I felt coming to North America. When I was a teenager. I could relate more to adults because we had so much more in common than I did with the people my age. And yeah, that was you know, quite a, you know, a shock who, you know, felt uprooted from what I knew how I grew up in Romania, but at the same time, I always wanted to go to North America. And it wasn't my choice. It was my parents didn't you know, drag me there and it was 1415 when came to Canada, and that was definitely an interesting experience. And I felt it really changed me in a way for the better to he gave me more confidence because I was you know, thrown in a whole new world, new people, new friends to make, but that made me maybe up my game and my social skills and communications and try and be a little bit more outgoing because I'm an introvert, so that doesn't come easy to me. So that helped. A change

George's personal development

Gilbert Eijkelenboom: That's an interesting how that how that move also changed you as a person right and, and talk to us about that. That development you say? You tried to be a bit more outgoing and social and work on your communication skills. How how did that go? Talk to us about that? You went well.

George Firican: I mean, I think you have to wear we're social beings. So we need to, you know, have our own group of friends to survive. That's how I always felt and a Romania was easy because you're put in a classroom, you're sitting with the same 30 kids for, you know, five years, eight years depending on the class structure and eventually, you get to know what, um, it's easy. It comes easy, but then when you're older and you're put into a new situation, you have to make that first step. You know, you can't just expect people to come in as like, oh, there's a new kid in the classroom. Let's you know, he's going to be our best friend. So I think you need to put your best foot forward and trying to be a little bit more outgoing. If you're not if you're just sitting in your corner quiet and you're just expecting people to come in and talk to you. You're not going to be you know, succeeding all the time. So, at times, you need to make the first step and go in and say hello and ask how they are, who they are in school, their hobbies and be the one that initiates some of these conversations. So with that, I think it went well, though, I feel in a way. I've discovered one thing first. The first reaction was to try and be close to people that I thought were like me, so Romanians, okay, were the Romanians in the classrooms or in the school. And then I figured out after a while, I was like, Okay, well, that's not a good you know, method of that's not a good criteria. Okay, that's going to be a good friend, because then you realize, you know, the people even though they're Romanian, if I would have been in Romania, I would have never been friends with them. So, after a while, you realize that well, no, that's not what I'm looking for in a friend. There are all these other characteristics. And you know, you find you're in a multi multicultural group. Which is amazing because you're learning so much more about other views and other cultures and other upbringings that are not related to your own. But with those conversations with the stories that you're sharing, you're feeling like you're growing yourself because you're living through them and through their stories. So I feel you as a person, you're going a little bit because of that, too. You're learning from their experiences. And then you also find out you know what, no matter where people come from, in this world, no matter what religion or beliefs they have, you find the same people everywhere. You know, same you know, you there's a there's a good guy here, there's a, you know, an amazing girl there in terms of their personality traits, right?

Gilbert Eijkelenboom: Yeah, I think so. So interesting to hear about your perspective on that because I totally agree with you that if you go abroad and you put yourself in a different perspective, you learn so much about, you know, other people and how their views or their experiences are different. And at the same time, they might be very similar as well but you need to look a bit beyond what do you see at first at first? And was was was language a barrier for you?

George Firican: I knew English it wasn't you know, that perfect level. But I thought I was fairly okay. So keep the accent even now. Maybe because it came here at a later age or maybe I'm just not that proficient at languages and he couldn't adopt the local accent. I'm not sure why. But there were definitely you know, different intricacies that that I wouldn't get and it took me a while and you know, different scenes and like fingers crossed. You know, it seems like such a little thing but for example in Romania we we tend to keep our fists close as as a sign of good luck. And keeping your fingers crossed is like okay, well this is sort of the opposite.

Gilbert Eijkelenboom: Interest, interesting. Yeah. So So sign language or gestures are so different, right? Because I know it also in many Western countries, thumbs up as a good thing, or making a circle with your index finger and your thumb but I know in the Middle East that means very different things that exist routinely offensive. Great. Yeah. So it's, it's really fascinating to to hear about that. Right. And, and you also mentioned that you need to get out of your comfort zone, right. You need to move for some work on your communication when you move to?