Boyan, what are your duties?
I am currently heading the Business Development Groups of two very interesting and growing regions – Eastern Europe and the very versatile Middle East & Africa Region. Our group is a very vivid one – ten different nationalities spread in nine different locations.
You travel a lot and are always close to the customer - why do you think this is so important for your job?
It is not all about the external customers. With today’s ways of e-communication, many topics can be pursued in the digital world. Many requests can be solved by e-mails or discussed over TEAMS. Nevertheless, the business is done by people and especially in both regions I’m dealing with – it is a gesture of respect to visit the local companies. Many of these companies started with gathering basic knowledge and equipment, developing their “own muscles” and logically the management is proud to show it. At the same time, these visits are also a sign of commitment for the local Evonik organizations. Last but not least, I found this is the most pragmatic way to support my colleagues and transfer some technical and commercial knowledge while visiting accounts together. At the same time I’m blessed with having the opportunity to learn more about the local way of doing business and further spreading this knowledge within the organization.
You are rarely in the office with your colleagues in Hanau - how do you define team spirit?
To achieve a team spirit is pure art. This is something which is not given, it should be seeded and catered to daily. At least for me it is a bit different from trying always to reach consensus. Openness & Trust – to look together for solutions, despite hierarchies, and to respect (different) opinions, communication, and empowerment.
Every day looks different for you - do you have any fixed routines or rituals like someone who goes to the same office every day?
Every position I have had, influenced my daily routine in a way. The “ritual”, which has always remained, is waking up a few minutes earlier, and over a cup of coffee, look at the traffic and the weather conditions. This has saved me several times by choosing the right transportation to the customer site, to the local office or to the airport.
Which characteristics and basic conditions do you need to have as a person in order to be able to work like you?
There are several basic conditions for a flexible way of working. One of these is the self-discipline – knowing when to start but also it is important to know where to stop. Second is very clear communication within the team about what the expectations are. And lastly, goal orientation. Although being remotely located, you still have to feel part of a bigger team and the greater organization.