NTU student shadowed Claus Zieler of Bayer Pharmaceuticals for a day
Min Tay, 4th-year student from Nanyang Technology University spent a productive and insightful day with Claus Zieler, Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial Operations at Bayer Pharmaceuticals Division Asia / Pacific
“My idea of a good leader would be someone who is charismatic, someone who can inspire employees with a vision. Caring for his/her team is also a must – a leader who can bring everyone together regardless of their differences. In terms of ability, good leaders have to be a strategic thinker, who can see the bigger picture and help craft it into individual objectives for their team members.
I didn’t realise that being down-to-earth could be charismatic, but Claus has shown that it can be so. He is humble about his strengths. With Claus, it is always about the team, joint achievements and the efforts of others, with hardly any mention of himself. During lunch, he was the one who dished out the food for us rather than the other way round as one may expect. He cracks jokes with the team and is friendly with everyone, even with new Bayer employees. He also brings caring to the next level. Claus shows genuine empathy for the people around him and believes that a good leader must be able to understand the concerns and needs of others, as well as how each employee sees the world. It shows in the way he is able to understand the point that someone is making and the resources they may require even before the person has fully worked it out with members of the team. While strategic thinking is important, the ability to communicate this clearly is just as vital. With Claus, it was easy to follow his train of thought. He crafts his words and chooses his tone very carefully so that everyone can easily understand his points. No doubt there are other traits which make for a good leader, but I believe that having these three would be a great starting point.”