Understanding is the key

Personal Mastery

Marc Frederix, Marketing Director at the Nationale Loterij, explains how Vlerick’s Personal Mastery course gave him new insights into personality and teamwork.

Marc Frederix has accumulated valuable leadership experience in his career. He has been Marketing Director at the Nationale Loterij/Loterie Nationale for the past nine years, and before that he was an entrepreneur, setting up and running his own adversity agency. Both are important decision-making positions, but they involve different approaches. “There’s a huge difference between running your own business employing 50-60 people, and being part of a government agency with 380,” he says. “Before, I was accountable only to myself; now I have a board of directors. Before, I chose my own staff, but at the Nationale Loterij I inherited people in an existing, established company.”

What’s your management style?

So what is the best way to lead his team? Frederix took a course with Vlerick in Personal Mastery to learn about how understanding himself could improve his appreciation of others. The two-day programme, which took place at an Ostend hotel in November 2008, combined self-analysis with group work to give the 12 participants a clearer picture of their own potential and limitations. “I learned to be aware of my own management style, the style of my team, and the demands of my target audience,” Frederix says.

Align expectations

The programme included a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a personality test designed to measure psychological preferences like extrovert or introvert approaches. By helping participants to know themselves, it gave them a sharper sense of how to align expectations amongst their colleagues. “What I did before was try to adapt my style to what I thought my audience wanted,” Frederix explains. “But what I took away from the course is that when you understand your own management style, it’s better to be natural: to improve the assets you have and to be yourself.”

Learning about others

However, the most important lesson was to learn about other characters and personalities, an especially useful skill in the marketing area where creativity and innovation are key traits. “You need to know how to work with people of different cultures and background, and how to motivate them. I used to work with self-directive staff. But I found if you do that, you have to monitor each stage: while they can be autonomous, they still need guidelines.”

‘They have grown’

Frederix points out that by tweaking his approach over the following months, he improved his team’s performance. “They have appreciated it. They’ve come up with new ideas, and have grown. It’s been a good result all round.” 

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