FIVE MINUTE IN­TER­VIEW

DR REIN­HARD ZINKANN, EX­EC­U­TIVE DI­REC­TOR AND CO-PRO­PRI­ETOR OF THE MIELE GROUP

CEO Middle East - - CEO COACH BUSINESS -

HOW DO YOU PUR­SUE DI­VER­SITY IN YOUR OR­GAN­I­SA­TION?

It starts with prod­ucts that must be de­signed to the tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the re­gional mar­kets and coun­tries con­cerned. Di­ver­sity in the team is, for Miele, not only a mat­ter of de­cency and pro­pri­ety, but also an ap­proach which makes sound eco­nomic sense.

WHAT MAKES MIELE’S PROD­UCTS STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?

Our ‘Im­mer Besser’ brand prom­ise, ex­press­ing our pur­suit of be­ing ‘for­ever bet­ter’ than the com­pe­ti­tion and striv­ing to be­come bet­ter than we al­ready are. We are as­sisted by our fo­cus on first-class do­mes­tic and com­mer­cial ma­chines and by our con­tin­u­ous po­si­tion­ing in the premium and lux­ury seg­ments. So, we strive not only to sat­isfy cus­tomers but to de­light them by of­fer­ing that lit­tle bit more.

IS THERE A LEADER WHO HAS HAD A PAR­TIC­U­LAR IM­PACT ON YOUR OWN WORK ETHIC?

My own most im­por­tant ad­viser and men­tor was and in­deed, still is, my fa­ther, through his calm lead­er­ship style. He lis­tened care­fully, packed crit­i­cism into sug­ges­tions and vis­ited em­ploy­ees in their of­fices in­stead of sum­mon­ing them.

Apart from that, for­mer BMW CEO Eber­hard von Kuen­heim im­pressed me greatly as a leader. I learned a lot from him when I first worked as a trainee at BMW and later as a young sales ex­ec­u­tive. He de­manded a lot, but also gave me a lot of trust and free­dom.

WHAT IS THE BIG­GEST DE­TER­MI­NANT OF A PER­SON’S PROGRESS IN A WORK­PLACE SUCH AS YOURS?

We be­lieve in trust­ing them to as­sume re­spon­si­bil­ity and also to be able to make mis­takes – from which they must learn. Em­ploy­ees should not just driven by ca­reer think­ing, but, more im­por­tantly, from a sense of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with their du­ties and the com­pany at large.

WHICH CHAR­AC­TER­IS­TICS SHOULD LEAD­ERS POS­SESS? Au­then­tic­ity in the way they come across, con­sis­tency in both their ac­tions and speech – and the abil­ity to mo­ti­vate those around them.

WHAT IN­SPIRES YOU?

Good con­ver­sa­tions, good books and im­pres­sions from my many jour­neys all over the world. Re­lax­ing works best with clas­si­cal mu­sic, es­pe­cially opera, and sail­ing. I am also very in­ter­ested in his­tory and art.

A MOTTO TO LIVE YOUR LIFE BY?

I con­sider the in­her­i­tance of my fa­ther to be a gift on loan from my son.

FIN­ISH THIS SEN­TENCE, “THE WORLD WOULD BE A BET­TER PLACE IF ONLY….” Peo­ple were more tol­er­ant, more gen­er­ous and less dog­matic.

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