Anneliese discusses the leadership aspects of executing a vision and ownership with Wim Dejonghe, senior partner of Allen & Overy.Read more
The Q's of Qlick: Identity
‘The Q’s of Qlick’, is a series of interviews in which we invite inspiring business leaders for a conversation on leadership. We consciously chose these leaders because we believe they each have a particular skill in the different competencies of 3D-leadership.
Today I am interviewing Patrick Muezers, CEO of Polyscope, on the topic of identity: the cornerstone and starting block of 3D-leadership. We talk about how Patrick’s identity is linked to his leadership of the company.
In Qlick we normally start by asking ‘who are you?’ before asking ‘what do you do?’. However, since the whole interview is on the topic of identity, I start by asking Patrick what he does. He explains a bit more about his role. Afterwards, I ask him the fundamental question:
Who is Patrick?
Patrick describes himself as a social leader, liking people to interact. He mentions that he is analytical but not wanting to go into too much detail. Sometimes way ahead of the crowd, sometimes pushing people. Regarding to his negotiation style, he believes in building long-term relationships. Conflict, if it does not become too emotional, may be healthy since you can learn and grow from it. Over the course of the interview, I obtain more insights into his personality and sense a high level of trust, and above all, genuineness.
How much should a leader show of his/her identity?
Upon asking this question, Patrick gives an immediate and very straightforward answer: “As much as is needed for the organisation to understand that they are acting genuinely”.
Patrick talks about the importance of “no surprise leadership”. People should know what to expect. This is important because if you start shifting your leadership style too far away from yourself, you lose energy. This is something which I recognise myself and which I certainly have observed with many coaching clients.
Patrick makes another important point: “Hire people who are different from you because it reminds you of who you are and helps you focus on your strengths. There is not much of a learning curve if you surround yourself by people who are the same.”
How does your identity and your leadership style impact how you do business?
It has a big impact, Patrick says. Your leadership style determines the way people respond to opportunities. For example, at Polyscope, a conscious decision was made to look at risk and see it as an opportunity. Patrick’s desire to stay in control of the situation also shines through. He talks about how, during lockdown, the decision was made for people to work from home before there was a requirement by law. It shows how he as a leader was in control of the situation and was willing to take ownership. Being close to this organisation, I observed myself how Polyscope made a thorough assessment of the impact of the pandemic very early on, and so far, has been pretty accurate…
What are the parallels between Patrick as a leader now and Patrick playing soccer as a young boy?
Already then he became captain of the team by aligning the strengths of everyone. He was in control of strategy, as he still is. It may be revealing to go back to your young age and reflect upon who you were at that time… Very often, the core of your being was present long before you realised!
Advice and tips
Some advice from Patrick to other leaders and some additional input on the topic of identity
- Find out your own identity and have it mapped. Increase your awareness. There are many different ways in which you can do this. Look at our website or our book ‘Be your own leader’.
- Wear your own identity with pride.
- Surround yourself with people with different identities. This makes it easier to focus on your strengths and allows you to learn the most from others who will keep you on your toes.
- Make sure that you can be ‘enough’ of who you are in your working environment.
- Stay close to your own leadership style to maintain a high energy level.
- Be aware of the impact of your own identity on the organisation. What is the contribution you can make?
- Ask others more often: ‘Who are you?’ instead of ‘What do you do?’
Be inspired and challenged by the interview with Patrick and don’t forget… your identity is the cornerstone of your 3D-leadership. The more you are aware of this, the more you know what you stand for, and the greater your impact will be within your organisation.
Listen to the full interview on our youtube channel.