Good leadership means continuous work and dedication – from both managers and employees. This is working well at konplan because the team is constantly growing, acquiring new skills, and implementing them in various business units. In an interview, CEO Andy Tonazzi reveals the management strategies that he uses and the reason that konplan’s success is based on teamwork.
Mr. Tonazzi, to what extent are corporate values reflected in your management?
Andy Tonazzi: Values are a very important part of corporate culture! I can use my Co-CEO, Alban Frei, and myself as an example: We are very different characters, but we both cultivate the values of honesty and integrity while stoking the fire of enthusiasm. We systematically nourish this culture by allowing everyone to contribute to the cause with their own talents and strengths. Where I have weaknesses, I rely on the strengths of my team – and vice versa. This brings us further as a whole and is more enjoyable than just using your own “capabilities”.
Leadership is not always pleasant. Mainly because when there is a difference of opinion, top management must make decisions that can be uncomfortable. What was your biggest challenge in recent years?
A.T.: True leadership is never comfortable or “pleasant”. It is a constant investment of energy into other people. Therefore, disappointments are inevitable, but the investment is worth it!
I have a great support team that continuously challenges me! 👍🏻
Forging a “team performance” from very independent experts is a demanding task and much more complex. But: “passion never fails!” ❤
As a leader, you carry a great deal of responsibility. Where do you set the limit and require that your employees also accept personal responsibility?
A.T.: To answer this, I find the definition of the word responsibility helpful: Responsibility and Accountability. For example: taking responsibility for a sub-task (responsibility) and accepting responsibility for the results (accountability).
Everyone at konplan should be qualified in their specific area of expertise and accept responsibility for the results.
This requires mutual trust and self-discipline. As CEO, I can request a project status report and provide feedback, but I must be careful not to diminish the decision-making authority of the project manager or his team. Otherwise, the trust relationship between project manager, employee, and myself will be damaged.
How do you ensure that your employees identify with the company and see themselves as being “well managed”?
A.T.: I try to exemplify the term “empowerment” and make it a cornerstone of the company. This is a long-term process that can be uncomfortable for the employees involved. However, this eventually leads to faster, better, and more sustainable decisions – in other words, to being more competitive!
We provide employees with the necessary skills and try to clearly define the ultimate goals in relation to the corporate strategy so that everyone can orientate themselves towards them. CEO = Chief Empowerment Officer!
Sometimes I do this well and at other times less well. And when someone no longer identifies with our (developing) company, open discussions about the need for change are welcome.
Do you use specific leadership strategies? In other words: where do you go for inspiration about this topic?
A.T.: We receive continuous input on this subject in the form of strategy, culture, or leadership workshops with external experts. We also consult so-called “Jaagou Talent Manuals” to identify and implement personal strengths in the various project teams. Lovemarks! is an important model for us. This is where our value “We put our hearts and minds into the mission” comes from. F!sh is a simple and very understandable model for developing a healthy service culture.
For my own personal development, I am fortunate to have the possibility of bouncing my thoughts and ideas off the intelligent and generous people in my network. The most recent books that I read and highly recommend are “Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders” By L. David Marquet and “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni.
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