If we could characterize our colleague Markus Sixt by one trait only, it would surely be: continuity. That’s how the 39 year old went from Team Leader to the new Managing Director of the SELLBYTEL Group’s IT Support Specialist HELPBYCOM. Reason enough to talk with him about his new role and the challenges awaiting him.
Markus, you are about to start a whole new role. What are your expectations and goals in this new position? Or in other words, what do you want to work on?
I want to make sure HELPBYCOM grows continuously in the coming years. That includes gaining a broader positioning for us as an IT support specialist.
I personally identify very strongly with HELPBYCOM as an independent unit. So my intention is to strengthen HELPBYCOM’s individuality even more.
I aim to achieve this growth and independence by becoming a more separate entity from the SELLBYTEL Group. In order to win more clients in Europe, New Business and Account Management will be implemented additionally to the current structure.
You are about to have a lot of responsibility. How will you deal with that?
Well, I originally started as a Team Leader, later became Operation Manager and finally Area Manager. So my responsibilities have gradually grown over the years. I think this has provided me with a pretty good groundwork for my new role.
When it comes to dealing with high responsibility, I have always tried to be very structured, work sustainably and show great continuity, especially in managing employees and dealing with (potential) clients. Let me give you an example: if I don’t succeed with a potential new client at first, I just try again later. Conditions and criteria might change and just because someone said no the first time, it doesn’t mean they can’t change their mind.
And what do you expect from your team as their new Managing Director?
I put a lot of emphasis on transparency. Strong commitment is very important to me too. Moreover, I want my employees to be realistic in their goal-setting and celebrate even the smallest achievements.
That goes along with listening and communicating closely with your colleagues at all times.
To me the main thing is, though: dedicated employees. I want my team members to be hungry for growth. Respectively, I always tell them to give a bit more than they take at first. Thus, make sure you develop as much as possible and you will eventually get rewarded!
Finally, what career advice would you like to pass on to your team – how do you go from Team Leader to Managing Director?
I always want to use my own experience and learnings and pass them on to my team. A lot of people are reluctant to sharing their know-how, because they are afraid of losing their own standing. I personally enjoy observing others soak up my knowledge. That’s how both they and I grow. So I take my responsibility as a leader and role model very seriously.
Whenever I give my employees tips, I tell them that being authentic is extremely important. I also started my career in a service desk environment, so I believe my tips are quite credible and tend to be taken seriously – most of the time, anyway! (Laughs)
Besides, always show respect for your staff and treat them accordingly. To me that’s one of the keys to keeping our employees and their knowledge for the long-term.
Last but not least, for me it’s all about continuity! What I mean by that is, be consistent in everything you do and never give up. I personally have always been convinced that I can make a real change, if I want to.
Thanks a lot for the interesting insight into your new role as the Managing Director HELPBYCOM and all the best!