Q. The biggest challenge you faced in your career
A. Going to another country to build a business or restructure it or turn it around is tough. I had to move to the US from the Netherlands and then went back to Europe and then moved to Turkey and everything was new. If I look back on all these 28 years I have been working, the biggest challenge has been that first move.
Q. Your best teacher in business
A. The biggest teacher is your experience, what you gain when you get out of your comfort zone and teach yourself how to survive. In such situations, you either swim or sink. You are always comfortable in your home zone, but the moment you are thrown into a different environment, you start learning things.
Q. One management lesson for young people
A. Get out of your comfort zone. Don't think about the job, just think about the experience. I would call it heat experience. Go for a difficult role early in your career and gain that experience. Every senior leader should go through heat experience.
Q. Two essential qualities a leader must have
A. A leader should develop a team around him whose members have diverse views. Don't surround yourself with people who think alike. This quality will eventually make you stronger. Also, you need courage, conviction and integrity to do such things.