Mihai Boldijar, Bosch Romania: “We focus more on business development through digitalization”
“It is said that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places or situations. So can opportunities, and so can leaders. This year has brought many unexpected and unpredictable situations, teaching us so many lessons. It is exactly these lessons that helped us identify the enormous leadership potential of all the people within our organization,” Mihai Boldijar, General Manager Robert Bosch and the Bosch Group representative in Romania, told The Diplomat-Bucharest.
“We have consulted and discussed with our employees every strategic decision we took starting March 2020, and we let go of projects and procedures that were not bringing added-value to the company, thus becoming more agile. We concentrated our efforts on simplifying heavy procedures and focused more on business development through digitalization.”
What leadership skills do you find most useful in the current changing work environment?
Leaders come in different forms, and while some appear to be intimidating or demanding, others seem to lead by example. Despite the differences in their tactics and approach, one overarching goal remains consistent among them – all leaders’ works assiduously to bring out the best in their teams and to achieve the best results for the organization they represent. I find that great leadership and good communication skills go hand in hand, and it goes without saying that leaders are expected to be great communicators. They run projects and make decisions that have a direct impact on the business’s bottom line, and most importantly, they constantly interact with their people, building trust and confidence, motivating their teams and empowering both businesses and people. For this to become possible, skills such as transparent communication, self-awareness, servant leadership, adaptability and flexibility have served companies and individuals alike over these past difficult months, and I am convinced they will continue to do so also in the years to come.
Which are the empowering mindsets and building the sense of meaning & purpose, both for employers and employees, to keep each other engaged in reaching the business objectives in 2020 and in the next year?
It is said that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places or situations. So can opportunities, and so can leaders. This year has brought many unexpected and unpredictable situations, teaching us so many lessons. It is exactly these lessons that helped us identify the enormous leadership potential of all the people within our organization. There are people who do only what is expected of them to do and nothing more. Then, there are people who just naturally step forward and take more responsibility, more initiative, and more action. Those people have an inborn leadership potential, and, luckily for us, over 8,000 of them work for the Bosch Group in Romania. When the pandemic and the lockdown period commenced, we placed our trust in our employees’ best judgement and offered our colleagues full autonomy in making work-related decisions. For us, this empowering mindset paid off; it has strengthened the relationship between our people, highlighted their value inside the organization and kept us engaged, as a whole, in reaching our business objectives.
What should be a CEO’s and leader’s power message on business resilience conveyed to peers, partners, and employees for 2021, to enhance the trust and engagement?
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered many facets of our daily life. The masks, the disrupted and rearranged working environments, the ongoing collective need to constantly monitor and safeguard against virus transmission all testify to this. Nevertheless, there is one very important thing that the pandemic has not — and dare I say cannot — touch: people’s willingness to pull together and do what is best and right to ensure the health of our communities, as well as the recovery of our economy. As we cope with the day-to-day realities of COVID-19, we must remember that opportunities arise even in moments of crisis. Regardless of having to face either a global pandemic, economic volatility or any other unimaginable pressures, standing together as one makes us stronger and more resilient than ever.
How can a CEO and leader of an organization capitalize on the current challenges to enhance and promote the company’s competition advantages currently?
As a first, I think we might have to rethink “business as usual” and reimagine new contours for our daily expectations and routines. The rest is all about adaptability and flexibility. Moreover, it is very important to never lose sight of our role in developing or providing future technologies, as well as in the role we play in the country’s economic landscape.
Which are the current concerns of a CEO / leader in 2020? Which are the hopes for 2021?
The health and safety of the employees – and I sincerely hope that I speak for all leaders when affirming this. Lack of predictability over volumes can be also added to the list. As far as hopes for 2021, these are, of course, for the best: I hope society and economy alike will move forward, that businesses – regardless of the industry sector – will recover, and that the “new normal” will soon become better that the “normal” that we were accustomed to.
What kind of innovative measures and inclusive leadership initiatives have been applied within your organization this year, to better cope with the current context and bring the business forward in 2021?
Our biggest asset continues to be the human resource – but there is no news here. What we had done differently this year, was to develop and apply an agile, inclusive, and balanced type of leadership. It is a measure that, together with a constant and transparent communication, helped us turn uncertainties into opportunities. We have consulted and discussed with our employees every strategic decision we took starting March 2020, and we let go of projects and procedures that were not bringing added value to the company, thus becoming more agile. We concentrated our efforts on simplifying heavy procedures and focused more on business development through digitalization.