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"Leadership is, above all, a responsibility to serve".

director Bimbo President and CEO Daniel Servitje and IESE Prof. Franz Heukamp, director , discussed in a webinar how a leader should be and the challenges he or she faces in these times of change.

21 | 05 | 2021

Leadership understood as service to others, exercised with humility, which fosters the ability to listen to all employees, collaborators of a business and society. These are some of the conclusions that were presented during the dialogue between Bimbo's president and director general, Daniel Servitje, and IESE's director general, Franz Heukamp. The webinar was organized by Career Services of the University of Navarra and was part of the celebration of the I Latin American Challenge Forum promoted by this academic center, with the participation of 11 Latin American universities.

In addition to these issues, for both of them there is another quality that a good leader must have: closeness. "We must reconceive the way of working in the office with a hybrid activity but we cannot lose the contact with the teams: leaders must be close to their people," Daniel Servitje stressed. "Leadership is above all a responsibility to serve." "We understand leadership to improve the lives of the people who work with us. You have to know that there is something beyond a person's professional degree program or their pay. What is at stake are all the people who depend on each other and the development of society as a whole," added Franz Heukamp. 

But do we think of that exemplary leader, the one who awakens consciences? Both Servitge and Heukamp pointed out that it is essential to count on the commitment of the workers for a leader to fulfill his mission statement. In this regard, Daniel Servitje affirmed: "The business will be what its people are, and its people will be what its leaders are. It is important that business has a space to understand what the leader's role should be. 

In a time of change like the present, both executives commented on the importance of leaders combining short-term decisions deadline, those taken on a day-to-day basis, with a strategic vision that allows them to anticipate and make decisions for the future. "This is one of the great challenges that a person with responsibility in a business must take on: to know how to combine these two temporal dimensions. We are in changing times and anticipating is critical for any organization. Both at the competitive level but also at the level of how society, perceptions or consumption patterns change," said Heukamp.  

Heukamp and Servitje advocated the need for continuous training at the top. Leadership is not improvised, they concluded. "The top manager has to know how to get up to speed. The generation of university students graduating today has this very much in mind. It is very important to maintain the ability to keep learning, also applied to top managers, who benefit from this change of scene and to reflect from another angle on what they do on a regular basis. It's a question of planning," said IESE's director general.  

Finally, Franz Heukamp referred to the commitment of companies to society. "Entrepreneurs are showing a great commitment to lead and manage sustainable entities for all. Companies are showing interest in knowing what is happening, in understanding where society is going and wanting to contribute to it development. We must now look for instruments, know how to do it and be clear that not everything can be done in one day and that our resources are limited".