Leadership means breaking down barriers

Leadership means breaking down barriers

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October 5, 2018

Stahl's mission statement states: ‘Stahl is the world market leader in surface treatment and coating solutions for flexible materials’.Prasanna Kumar Maduri, Stahl Campus® Manager at Stahl Kanpur, India, takes that leadership to heart. He has a broad experience in the Leather Chemical industry in a variety of positions in Sales, Marketing and Business Development across all regions of India. He believes that leadership brings with it the obligation to break down barriers.

The responsibility of leadership

 “Industry leadership is not something that comes lightly, it brings with it responsibilities. One of those is breaking down barriers as a prerequisite to unleash all the talent that is lying in wait. There are a number of possible barriers that I have in mind. The first type is role-based - communication and cooperation. Secondly, barriers between organizations, departments and divisions – companies closely guard their secrets; marketing folks stick with their peers in marketing, sales with sales, and product development with product development. As a result information and potential opportunities for innovation gets overlooked. The third most common type of barriers is geographic - employees in one office or location simply do not ‘see’ their peers in another. In my opinion, it requires three key shifts to break down these persistent and pernicious barriers and to open up a world of endless possibilities.”

A change of perspective towards leadership

“The re-focus from management to leadership is indispensable because lifting barriers is not a matter of executive direction. It’s about re-thinking how management works and a shift of perspective. It’s not about telling people what to do, but about getting them excited to want to do it. We don’t need more managers. We need more leaders. A leader challenges common assumptions about management and mentors employees to become successful. A leader has followers not because he commands them, but because he has earned them. That is what we must be for ourselves and the industry.”

Cooperation as key factor for success

“Technology makes it easy to break down the barriers between organizations departments and divisions. A number of cooperative technologies are at our disposal. We can connect with each other anytime, anywhere. Information is freely available; so let’s grab that opportunity! Collaborative technologies are vital for leadership, as they offer means for transparency and cooperation, by sharing knowledge, creating content and allowing for feedback and follower-engagement. Utilizing these opportunities is where leaders excel and multiply their impact on the industry. Leading by example.”

Unleash human potential as competitive advantage

“Stahl Campus® has at its core the drive to unlock human potential and make that new competitive advantage. By providing the possibility of sharing knowledge, we embrace our role in the dynamic leather and chemical industry. Every day new products are developed to meet the requirements that come with the latest challenges. It is of the utmost importance to continue to break barriers, both for the industry and for Stahl Campus®. We do that on manifold ways with Stahl Campus®, as we push innovation, exchange ideas and look for new possibilities. That includes the different transformations that occur when processing natural, raw material into beautiful, high-performance products for daily life, such as shoes, furniture, leather goods, garments or car interiors. Stahl Campus® is a great opportunity to strengthen skills and capabilities in order to make working methods more efficient by sharing experiences and studying products and procedures.”

“If you claim leadership, you have no option but to break down barriers. Which is exactly what we do at Stahl.”