#AllIsAboutPeople #Episode15 @BjoernFuchs

We reach the 15th Interview to bring on Authentic Leaders and we fly to Munich to meet with @BjoernFuchs who is having a Strategic role at #EdwardsLifesciences dealing with group purchasing organizations.

If I must choose only one quote from the interview, I will choose the following: “I define my own leadership style as focused on winning people´ support without telling them to do something”.

I´m sure all you are going to enjoy and learn from this interesting interview!

  • Full name: Bjoern Fuchs
  • Place of birth: Stuttgart in the south of Germany
  • Place of residence: Munich, Germany
  • Personal situation: Living with my wife, our son to be born soon and a fury ball of energy (little Terrier called cinnamon) in Munich in reach of the Bavarian Alps
  • Professional situation: In the past 5 years working for Edwards Lifesciences, the innovation leader in the treatment of structural heart disease and patient monitoring. In my current position as Strategic Key Account Manager I’m responsible for managing purchasing organizations in Germany and implementing the commercial targets of our four (4) Business units by way of long-term strategic contracts and partnerships with purchasing organizations & hospital groups.
  • Education: Formal education in for of a bachelor’s degree in international business and a strong supporter of the concept of life-long-learning
  • Hobbies: Sailing, all kind of indoor & outdoor sports, playing like crazy with our dog
  • Favourite book: With literature as well as with movies or music I find it difficult to have a favorite one over a longer period of time. But I can share what is currently on my nightstand: 1) “how to avoid a climate disaster” by Bill Gates due to the urgency of this serious topic and its implications for the everyday lives of all of us, and 2) “Leave the world behind” by Rumaan Alam because it is just an incredible and surprising work of fictional literature.
  • Favourite movie: As with books this is a topic of constant change. But I can say that the movie “The Hunter” is one of my long-time gems due to the stunning landscape views of Tasmania. A place I still have on my “places to visit list”.
  • Favourite song: In general, I’m a fan of good old hand-crafted Rock ´n’ Roll music like represented by The Who or the Canadian band Foxing (to name a more modern representative) 

 “Every industry tends to be reluctant to let outsiders in apparently because every industry feels that it is too special and unique to be successfully conquered by newcomers but with an open mindset, willingness to learn and a positive approach towards people, you can be successful in so many different fields”

  • What makes you get out of bed every morning? The Alarm, Coffee, and the howls of our dog lobbying for his morning walk. This plus an inborn restlessness which is probably fueled by the idea to achieve something impactful in life.
  • What has been your most professional achievement? I would say my most professional achievement so far was to get to where I am right now. Five (5) years ago, I made the jump into the MedTech world coming from a completely different background. This was involved with quite some risk for me as I left my secure position in international sales for an international textile/fashion company to follow my inner compass which told me to explore new fields and get out of my comfort zone. From selling collections in showrooms all around Europe suddenly, I found myself in the OR discussing with physicians. During my first years at Edwards, I put a lot of effort and private time into learning the necessary essentials of the healthcare world. Being bold and flexible got me to where I am right now, and I am very proud to now hold a strategic position within Edwards Germany.
  • What has been the biggest professional crisis you have suffered? I would say that the first years after university were sometimes characterized by some crisis-like feelings because I was very unsure for a while in which direction I should and could develop. I was missing still perspective of what I like in terms of industry type, type of jobs/tasks and whether I even had acquired the right skills or would need to go back to university again. This episode of uncertainty and unclarity was difficult. The step into MedTech changed that around completely.
  • What would you do differently if you could start again? To follow my inner beliefs and my inner compass more rigorously and act faster on opportunities. There will always be someone or something with arguments against your convictions. Standing strong for your way and not letting the rest of the world dilute your path is something I struggled with in the past and still doe sometimes today.
  • What are you currently learning? Trying to improve in leadership and empowerment skills but I’m also trying to improve on mindfulness & self-reflection to better concentrate and balance complexity.
  • Which learning would you transfer from your previous experience in the textile/fashion industry into the MedTech Industry? That in the end its about your mindset and the mindset of the people around you whether you can be successful or not. Every industry tends to be reluctant to let outsiders in apparently because every industry feels that it is too special and unique to be successfully conquered by newcomers. I don’t see it that way – with an open mindset, willingness to learn and a positive approach towards people I believe you can be successful in so many different fields. The technicalities you can learn. You just must be bold enough to try and overcome first challenges.

“A leader should be able to spot the very individual strengths of team members and merge these individual strengths into a versatile force”

  • How would you define yourself as a leader? Currently I don’t lead a defined team but have the challenge to be successful in a complex matrix organization, wining the support of many different functions for individual projects. So, I would say now I define my own leadership style as focused on winning people´ support without telling them to do something. This is a good learning process I think because I learned to lead through convincing and gaining people´ real trust and engagement.
  • What is the primary characteristic of a leader? A leader should be able to spot the very individual strengths of team members and merge these individual strengths into a versatile force. To have the same requirements for every individual doesn’t work from my perspective and makes the team fall short of their potential.
  • What are you doing, or have you done to inspire your team? Go the extra mile yourself if you ask others to do so. Help when you see that others are struggling even if you feel you struggle yourself as well.
  • Tell me a Leader who has positively influenced you. Why? It might sound obvious but even after more than five (5) years at Edwards Mike Mussallem still has a strong impact on me when I see him speak. For me he perfectly combines a charismatic presence with the ability to transform any complex contexts into a simple and powerful message.

“We all have an urgent responsibility to contribute to putting a stop to the dangerous climate change and all the wastefulness that fuels a decay of the global natural habitat”

  • What does working in the Health Sciences industry mean to you? Since I started my professional life in a completely different industry, I have a comparison to the MedTech world and what fascinates me most in MedTech is the tremendous impact that these technologies and services have on individual patients and the society. Also working with stakeholders with various backgrounds (Clinicians, Administrators & Businesspeople, policy makers, etc.) is unique and offers great possibilities to grow.
  • What would you like to do if you were not what you are today? As a kid and young adult, I was strongly into arts (painting) and music (drums). So, if I wouldn’t have chosen to become a reasonable citizen that went to business school I could very well picture myself touring the world as a Rock-Star or being a (semi-) professional artist.
  • What legacy do you want to leave in this world? To touch a completely different area I think we all have an urgent responsibility to contribute to putting a stop to the dangerous climate change and all the wastefulness that fuels a decay of the global natural habitat. Future generations should not suffer from current shortsightedness. It is something that no individual can achieve alone in a heroic personal act, but the individual is needed to accelerate the needed change.
  • What are you doing to get it done? I try to be much more aware of my actions and their consequences. For example, in my family we more and more watch what we eat, consume and how we travel and check the impact our lifestyle means for natural resources. I’m far from perfect but continuously work to improve myself and thus to become part of a global heroic change.
  • Finally, what would be your recommendation for young talents who are starting their career? Don’t try too much to design your career. Remaining flexible and agile can lead you to great careers and places you might not even know anything about before they appear. At the same time don’t jump on any opportunity if it doesn’t fit to you believes. Remain humble and find value in any task, even the small ones since there is a possibility to learn from almost anything or anybody.

Thank you so much Bjoern for your time and collaboration on this Project!

All Is About People!

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