Lessons from Down Under on Moving Up

Posted 05.07.2008

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This month’s CEO Forum has a terrific interview with Cameron Mole, the managing director in Australia for Karcher — a 1.4 billion euro German company which manufactures pressure cleaners and other products.

For the past three years, Mole has effectively played a CEO role for Karcher Australia, as he leads turnaround, drives higher performance, and builds trust with stakeholders. What struck me is how closely Mole’s experience aligns with the “pick-up and let-go” advice outlined in my book, The Next Level.

Here are a few tips from my book, paired with a quote from Mole:

Pick Up Team Reliance

Mole: “I am now prepared to step back a bit from some of the detail, and give people space to do the jobs I hired them to do! I suspect this is also a natural development once I got to understand their capabilities better, and could trust them to deliver the results we needed.”

Pick Up a Big Footprint View of Your Role

Mole:  “Now I make more time and effort to communicate with all our employees directly around Australia, making sure I meet with them on at least a quarterly basis.”

Pick Up Custom Fit Communications

Mole: “As a CEO, you can’t just have a standard presentation for everyone; like any message, it needs to be tailored to the audience you are trying to reach.”

Pick Up an Outside-In Perspective

Mole:  “The first challenge I faced was understanding the culture of the German parent company, and establish a good working relationship. I felt it was particularly important to develop trust between us, as our operation in Australia is a long way from Germany!”

Looking for more “pick-up and let-go” advice?  Click here for a free download of the full Next Level model of executive presence.