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Thomas Zsulits & Mirko Loos on effective leadership

Doka’s Thomas Zsulits and Mirko Loos discuss their inspiration to join the procurement industry and the essential traits of an effective leader

Thomas Zsulits
Doka

Director Global Procurement

Starting his career in the supply chain and procurement industry in 2001 Thomas Zsulits Director Global Procurement at Doka has worked for multiple international companies, holding various supply chain positions. “For me it's important to have a broad field of interests, and procurement is involved in all kinds of processes, such as merger and acquisition, in touch with customers, project or program management, logistics and finance, negotiations. So the possibility to create something new makes it very interesting for me.” Being a lover of processes, Zsulits explains that he likes to make processes more efficient and easier to handle. “So I'm a very analytical mind and I'm always questioning things like how can we make this better? Is what we're doing today, already the end of the line, or is there something more possible? This is what makes procurement very interesting for me.”

While many of these Organizations are very mature when it comes to supply chain and procurement, Zsulits explains that the construction industry is different, which is what drew him to the position he holds today at Doka. “First of all, demand planning is not really realistic in the construction industry due to potential postponements of the customer construction sites and so forth. Secondly, a global supply chain approach is currently not widely adopted in the construction industry. So I was drawn by the opportunity to shape a new team and to join an Organization that is different than those that I have seen before.” 

When it comes to the essential traits of an effective leader Zsulits comments that the one of the most important things for him is “to be self-reflective, to ask myself all the time, how did I observe the situation? What was my impact on the others? Did I listen correctly? Did I understand all the needs of the people I'm talking to? Additionally, I think it's important as an effective leader to get things done. It's easy to talk about it, to make a nice PowerPoint presentation but at the end of the day it is about what has been done. Additionally, what is important is to encourage others to believe in themselves – support people and let them grow, give them the space, tools and support to do so.”

Adding to Zsulits’s comments, Mirko Loos, Head of Material Group Management at Doka says “For me, procurement is the only true integrated function in a company. As a driver of optimizations or savings projects , we are in contact with many different departments, usually leading discussions and driving projects through the silos. We're drivers for change in a very positive way. And what I like about working in procurement is that it is definitely not a routine job. It's always new and changing which makes it really attractive.”

When it comes to the essential traits of an effective leader Loos explains what leadership means to him. “Leadership for me is typically the problem and the solution at the same time. The idea should be to work on oneself to reduce the number of mistakes that you typically do and lead the teams through clear direction and perspective, as well as acting as a role model. At least for me, being an effective leader is really about giving guidance and ensuring that you take the team along the journey.”

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”Globalization” is for us to have/run most important processes globally but be very flexible with our local ones

Thomas Zsulits | Doka

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