On the couch with our CEO Lode Peeters
Always been curious what a day in the life of our CEO Lode Peeters looks like? In this article he will tell you some secrets and he reveals the importance of being a good wingman to our customers.
What does a day in the life of our CEO look like?A day in the life of our CEO? Well, I usually start the day very early. I get up around 6.30, 7 AM. I have breakfast, take a nice shower and get dressed. Then I take one of my two kids to school. By 8, 8.15 AM I arrive at the office, and I start by saying hello to everyone! I really love my people, my colleagues, and I enjoy seeing everyone smiling in the morning. I like to see who has arrived yet and check in with them by asking: “How was your day yesterday?” – this is something I really enjoy.
Then I start going through my e-mails. Usually I’ve read the newspapers before 8 o’clock, so I can start the first meetings at 9 AM. Around lunch time I usually have a meeting with a customer, a supplier, or a colleague. And the meetings continue throughout the afternoon. My day ends between 7 and 8 PM, when I go home and relax.
Are there any secrets, except for Cola Zero? 😉Apart from the fact that I get my caffeine from Cola Zero, I don’t have many secrets. In the morning, I like to have a piece of chocolate or a sandwich with choco. Of course, I do my best to watch my health and work out, and I try to maintain a healthy diet.
What do you do in your spare time?I love catamaran sailing on the North Sea, skiing in wintertime and golf during the summer. I specifically chose these sports, because I believe I can practice them with my sons for a very long time.
What are Tobania’s plans for 2020 and beyond?
The most important plan for this year is to confirm the growth of the past few years. Of course, it’s key to make this growth more consistent, and to build strong foundations for the future. It’s quite a challenge to focus on growth and continuity on the one hand, and at the same time make sure that the organisation’s foundations stay strong or gain even more strength towards the future.
What does it mean to be our customers’ wingman?On the one hand it means: “We are your advisor”? We can advise you, we can help you achieve your goal. The pilot is the person behind the steering wheel, that’s our customer, but the wingman is the person sitting right beside the pilot. Preparing the route, making plans, getting things done. And takes over the reins if necessary.
But there are also other options, when a customer says: “Can you provide extra support?”. Those are the additional services we offer. And last but not least: “I want to go there but I don’t know how. Do you have an idea? Give me a plan.” That’s what we call an advisory mission.
This is very important for all Tobians, because this is also a challenge for them. You can be in the cockpit: next to the customer, or behind the steering wheel itself. That’s what’s so unique about our story, in our company: the way we interact with our customers. And this is actually for your benefit, because that’s how you can build a brilliant career.
Is there any good advice you’d like to give to our Tobians?There are two things, first of all: listen. I think it’s very important that we keep focusing on the true message: “What’s between the lines?”. But ultimately, it’s “The message beyond”, and we should really go for it and try to understand, try to capture that message. This is very valuable.
Not just for yourself, for your partner or your colleague, but also for your customer. Because they will get an answer to the challenge they’ve presented you with, or the problem they want to discuss with you. Listen, listen, listen, but not randomly.
The other side of the story is: engage. Dare to engage, dare to show yourself and go for that one dream. I have always believed in my dreams, and shared my dreams with other people, and I believe that’s something you can do as well.