Leadership built on trust

#005 Snackbox with Burkhard Hilse-Langen

A new episode of our Snackbox podcast has just gone online! This time, we take a closer look at the typical workday of a Vice President Development Actuation & Plastics: Rufus talks to Burkhard Hilse-Langen, who has been responsible for mechanics and plastics development at Thomas since 2020. 

They chat about Burkhard’s professional career, from his apprenticeship and the positions he held at automotive suppliers to his career at Thomas, which he began as a development manager in the plastics division and which has since taken him into management. Around 100 colleagues are employed in his area of the business.

Burkhard’s interpretation of leadership is based on contemporary principles: „It’s important that I don’t simply get up and say, ‚You have to do this or that,‘ but that I approach it in a collaborative manner,“ he says. This does not mean that he shirks responsibility. However, he believes that colleagues should draw up solutions and possible action plans of their own accord before he enters into discussion with them and makes decisions.

That makes him a good match for Thomas. Because he knows from his own experience that this company is different. Here, after all, it’s not just about formulating corporate values, but also about actively embracing them. „That’s quite a difference compared to many other companies operating in this market,“ says Burkhard – who still remembers his first week on the job at Thomas very well. That was also a special moment: the way people approached him openly as „the new guy“ made it very easy for him to settle in at Thomas.

And what does the future hold? Among other things, he plans to continue working with his team on Thomas‘ tank leakage module. Which challenges does he see, why would he like to encourage listeners to practice „non-violent communication“ in their private and professional lives, and what is his favorite snack? Find out all of this and more in the podcast! Without giving too much away: he is the first podcast guest to have chosen a beverage as his favorite snack!