Nikol Amado is the CEO and Founder of Linktron Consulting. She developed her career to become an international and versatile business development manager with 20+ years’ experience in the mining industry on various fronts such as management, finance, mine operations, mining technology, business, and strategic planning.
As a leader, Nikol believes in exemplary leadership and communication skills and excels in demanding, fast-paced environments. She states, “I can be a salesperson, manager, doer, learner, or a subordinate, as long as the objective is being achieved with teamwork. Depending on the project we are working on or chasing, I switch roles and adapt to requirements, and so does my team.” She contends that the title of one’s job does not define an entrepreneur; rather, he or she must be a leader, a team player, an assistant, a messenger, a seller, and more. Their efforts to ensure the success of the outcome offer value to the team, which contributes to their own success.
Small Beginnings to Big Steps
Every year, Nikol uses to take a new course, enroll in a new institution, learn about a hot topic, and be informed about how the rest of the world was evolving. She earned her degree as an information technology engineer and later expanded her knowledge to the financial field while pursuing her MBA and other postgraduate degrees. She never let herself stop applying to Ivy League universities so she could acquire the latest techniques from the finest. In her early professional years, Nikol began working for world class mining companies. There, she learned from the mining industry, which was the most well-known in her country. These experiences gave her a comprehensive understanding of the entire core business and the services that are necessary to run big operations, as well as the most frequent and common challenges, the strengths and weaknesses of the mining industry around the globe. Nikol is knowledgeable about mining best practices, and she has always placed an emphasis on technology solutions.
After 14+ years of experience in the mining industry and the corporate world, Nikol faced the opportunity to create Linktron and work as a consultant for one of the most recognized Canadian mining companies. That was the start of the dream. She says, “I will always be grateful for that opportunity, which opened my eyes to new challenges, markets, authentic connections, and an ocean of opportunities.”
As Nikol stated, Linktron Consulting is a small dream that was established in 2016 to provide consulting services to a major Canadian mining company. What started as a one woman show, suddenly began to attract attention from several businesses in the USA and Mexico. At the time, it offered management consulting services for financial and strategic planning. Despite having numerous, well-known competitors in this industry, Linktron Consulting continues to expand thanks to the clients who have confidence in its expertise.
The business offered advice on how to improve and modernize the financial and strategic planning processes and suggested technical solutions to streamline its improvement suggestions. At that time, Linktron was not yet ready to deliver the technological implementation phase. Later, in 2022, a key partnership with Fadmoor Consulting, a prosperous USA-based business, opened the opportunity to add the delivery of technology and to start supporting other industries beyond mining. The crew is putting a lot of effort into developing this new business expansion for Linktron. The opportunity offered by Fadmoor Linktron Consulting’s USA Partners shows how important trust, productivity, and networking are to the company. As of today, the company is focusing on developing new services and initiatives to support its expansion.
Creating a Talent Pool
Nikol started as a one-person company, mainly because of a client requirement. However, that experience opened her mind. When she realized the employment opportunities her initiative could create for other talented professionals, the potential and skilled professionals she could develop from her country and region to provide services abroad, and the added value of sharing her and her team’s combined experiences to support the clients, she realized the importance of taking the initiative. She shares, “I saw value not just to a business but to the professionals in my region and country to embrace a win-win opportunity to grow”
Being a Latin American woman competing in international markets, developing skilled Latin professionals, promoting diversity, achieving top results on time and on budget, and interacting with international partners and clients where Nikol collaborated to achieve common goals was definitely inspiring to continue on this journey. She states, “We do not have simply clients, we are partners to them and learn about our clients’ businesses, understand their problems and concerns and help them to achieve their best results in the faster and most efficient way.”
Facing Challenges with Constant Improvements
Nikol has encountered unexpected levels of jealousy in the corporate work environment; she has also encountered skepticism from some new clients who do not know her from prior work experiences, and who would trust working with male professionals better. Along the course of her career, unconscious bias and discrimination were also part of the experience. Looking small and young, there were people who doubted her skills based on her external appearance instead of the talent and intellectual capacity she brought to the table. However, Nikol was granted a bridge of opportunity, wonderful friends, true connections, and customers who trusted the company’s services and supported its expansion despite every obstacle.
“From all these experiences, I learned to be stronger, to raise my voice, to keep fighting, and to be careful with the people you trust without becoming distrustful,” she asserts.
“To value teamwork, authentic connections with people and recognize that every roadblock is just an opportunity to learn something useful for your future growth, and to never stop learning new topics, new industries, and new trends,” is her guiding principle.
The best mindset to ensure the redefinition of the industry is to keep the eyes and mind open and be prepared to embrace change without fear. Nikol believes that it is allowed to dream as long as one executes on his or her dreams. She further adds, “It is allowed to fail as long as we know when to stop trying and when to persevere. Learn, be informed, maintain connections, and dare to try new paths since technology’s constant evolution needs not just a connected and agile mind but also the attitude to adapt plans, strategies and reinvent existing patterns.”
To Nikol, trust and transparent communication are the basis for integrity and commitment; openness to new ideas and a bit of craziness are the keys to innovation. In Linktron Consulting, the leadership believes in team collaboration and creating cohesive teams to support each other. It is human beans with families and more than just work, so the company believes in mutual support and high performance to deliver high-quality results.
True Success Empowers and Supports Others
Nikol thinks success means adding value to society by serving others and making sure one is also reaching his or her personal goals and happiness. She considers that success is not only about money but also about satisfaction and passion in guiding one’s own journey, overcoming any adversity with resilience to keep learning and running ahead. She asserts, “As much as you can make your professional journey surrounded by talented and productive people you trust, the happier and more successful that journey will be. The reason because companies are created is to provide solutions to problems of society, industries and people.”
More approaches on making Process Efficient
Nikol’s short-term goals for Linktron Consulting are focused on developing the Latin American market and expanding its presence in the region with the support of its partners, but they are also planning to reach new continents to keep learning best practices to implement on a global scale. Its focus on the Latin American region is looking to provide the market with the same quality of solutions available in more developed countries and also create jobs for skilled professionals in the region, opening them to new technologies.
Nikol thinks there is space for all in the market, she believes in competition as motivation but believes more in innovation through collaboration. “To stand out, our focus is people, and that’s also our target, we do have a lot of talent in this part of the continent, not just hands but also minds with limited opportunities but a lot of potential, dreams, and a willingness to work hard, commit, and achieve the best results,” she states, and considers that Linktron Consulting is used to surviving in challenging circumstances and working hard to overcome those situations, has natural problem-solving skills, and is committed to achieving results on time and on budget. The team knows how to find efficient and cheaper ways to make things work. However, it needs to channel those skills to provide its clients with the most innovative ideas and solutions.
Thriving as a Latin Woman Leader
The unconscious is the most dangerous way to discriminate, because it is unnoticed and consequently difficult to point out, easy to justify, and challenging to address the solution. That unconscious discrimination not just as a woman but as Latin has been present in cases like “you are the perfect candidate, but we choose him”, “how do you as a Latin manage to go to X University”, “for this service I rather will hire 5 stars company” “…the way you dress”. However, Nikol recognizes that diversity and inclusion practices have improved as the topic is getting more attention and improving faster every year, People and companies are more conscious now. But the improvement starts first on developed countries and big companies, so, she still has some cascading and insightful work to execute.
The Routine of Personal Growth
Nikol defines herself as courageous. She wakes up early, exercises, has breakfast, and starts working. In order to clear her head and make sure there is a balanced workload among meetings, travel, and other activities, she analyzes her schedule on Sundays and the night before each day, making time for hobbies and working hard to free up the weekends as much as possible. The objective is to keep a realistic family and social schedule in place while performing all professional obligations with high quality. In this manner, if she engages in a personal activity after work, she is compelled to concentrate and be effective. She mentions, “I can work uncountable hours, but the commitment to my own health is key as well, so I try not to cancel the healthy activities to replace them with work.”
To keep relevant Nikol reads almost every night, but lately she has gone for audio books since she can walk or do some mechanical tasks while she listens.
As a Team Leader
As per Nikol, skilled employees are motivated by constant learning and challenge, but to give the best of themselves, they need to have the right levels of tension and manage the stress. Linktron Consulting’s team has worked in a remote way since COVID, and they demonstrate commitment to the company’s results, managing schedules partially open, giving openness to have time for family responsibilities, addressing results, and when required, managing travels with proper planning and communication. She believes that open and continuous communication is key, to clarifying misunderstandings (especially in a remote work environment) and adds, “We try to maintain daily communication, weekly plans of expected results to deliver and achieve that plan. If there is any deviation from the plan, we communicate it as soon as it is identified. I see self-motivation in the team, which contributes to achieving results.”
Aiming for Learning New
Nikol is applying to join a nonprofit organization so she can share her experience and learn from others. She emphasizes that the key to growing the business and providing value to the clients of the organization is forming partnerships with others (businesses and/or professional colleagues) to aid more people.
Nikol’s personal objective is to remain relevant in a world that is constantly changing. She will adopt new technologies as they are developed while maintaining the humanity of automation and will have a social conscience regarding the effects that Linktron Consulting is having on the lives of its employees. She will also ensure that the team effectively addresses these effects.
Nikol’s advice to aspiring businesswomen is to be brave and take that leap of faith. “If you believe in your business idea and are passionate about it, go for it,” she says, “and always believe in yourself; there will be ups and downs along the way, but never give up; your passion will give you the confidence and strength.” She also advises female leaders to surround themselves with true friends and people they can trust; team support is essential to complementing their own strengths.