Joe Kaeser


Three personal leadership lessons by Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens

Are you interested in some personal advice of the leader of 350.000 employees worldwide? Then read here about Joe Kaeser’s input at the FLI Conference 2016.

There are a lot of surveys, books and opinions on how to be a good leader. One certain benefit when joining this discussion is true leadership experience: going your way through years and years of leadership, from leading small teams to leading for example one of the world’s biggest company, being responsible for more than 350.000 people worldwide. Joe Kaeser CEO of Siemens started going this way 37 years ago. At the FLI Conference 2016 he revealed his three personal leadership lessons.

Joe Kaeser at the FLI Conference 2016 on “Meaning@Work”

The purpose of leading is to care about your people.”

These are the three personal leadership lessons of the CEO of Siemens Joe Kaeser:

1. If things go tough, you got to show your face
“In times of changes, if things go tough, you need to show your face. If things go complicated, you need to protect your people. If there is anyone who wants to criticize my company, my people, he should start with me. If there are no jobs any more, you as a leader need to go to the people to tell them, look, these are the reasons why it doesn’t work anymore, these are the options we have, this is what we can do together and you are not going to walk alone through this.”

2. If things go well, you as a leader need to step back
“In times of success you as a leader need to stay back: You say, I didn’t do anything, that was a great team work, these people are the ones who did it. During these times you as a leader let your team go to the front.

3. As a company leader you need to speak up
“The society faces some major challenges, like the rise of populism all over the world, people who feel left out of society, people who see the richer become even richer and the poorer become even poorer. We also see the internet of things affecting manufacturing and engineering, we see the fourth industrial revolution coming up, so we as economic leaders have to speak up and explain to the people what this is all about. We have to be mindful about our society, we have to make sure to find ways that the weaker ones are not left alone.”

About the FLI Thought Leader Joe Kaeser

Joe Kaeser started to work for Siemens directly after finishing his economics studies – that happened 1980. From there on he remained faithful to the company 36 years long – he experienced good times and bad times when in the middle of the bribe affair he became Chief Financial Officer. Today he is leading Siemens AG which belongs to the Top 100 most valuable companies in the world. Consequently he is leading more than 348.000 people in 190 countries. What gets Joe Kaeser to get up every day, what makes him go to work and do the business? He says it’s the people working for Siemens – and the willing to thrive for the future of the company.

About the FLI Thought Leader Joe Kaeser

Sorana Scholtes author futureofleadership

Sorana Scholtes writes articles for industry, science and non-profit organisations. Her favourite challenge: Make complex topics a pleasure to read. After her social science studies she has been working in corporate communication and project management of international research organisations.

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