Leadership & Management July 11, 2019

"I truly believe in the power of engagement."

Interview with Krauthammer CEO Frans van Kreuningen

Frans van Kreuningen has been appointed as the new CEO of Krauthammer as of 1st July. Frans will be responsible for driving Krauthammer to the next level by building on our solid foundation in high quality leadership development and our significant experience in sales excellence.

Read our first interview with Frans van Kreuningen here:   

MK Publications Portrait Frans van Kreuningen 190716 ENWhat did you want to be as a child and why?   

As a young child, I always wanted to be a trader. I liked buying things at flea markets (a Dutch tradition!) and then selling them at school, garage sales and during Koningsdag, the Dutch national holiday. I liked to help others to do this too and I loved making deals. 

What did your teachers say about you?

My teacher in the last year of primary school made a very significant comment. At the young age of 11, I was already intrigued by how the economy works, by the roles which governments and politics play and by how businesses operate. Because of this, my teacher was convinced that I would one day become a minister or a director; he was the first person to ever say this to me. At the time, his comment had a considerable impact and gave me new insight into my personal development.

Which qualities have you admired in your bosses?

What I really admire is leadership, clear direction and honest feedback. I believe that a clear set of boundaries and rules is crucial in making a team work effectively and in creating freedom for all team members to work to achieve optimal results.

Why did you join Krauthammer?

I joined Krauthammer because of the valuable people working for this organisation. We work together in international teams which combine experienced colleagues and new talents. Thanks to our considerable years of experience (almost 50 years already!), we have a strong brand and plenty of valuable and specific knowledge which ensures success in the fields of leadership, management and sales excellence.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the training & development industry?

There are two top priorities for the training & development industry. The first is to make sure that clients see the added value of what we do by being able to see and to measure business results. The second is that our world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace and faces big challenges ahead, such as major environmental issues, along with challenges in the way we work and in the way we oversee changes at work. This creates a need for continuous learning, making sure that people can adapt to this new reality. Of course, this is easy to say but harder to accomplish because the main challenge lies in helping lots of people to understand why there is a need to adapt.

What was the last training course you attended?

Last month, I attended a leadership training course in Belgium, part of one of Krauthammer’s open programmes. We had a great group of 8 people and the day’s focus was on using feedback in organisations, giving effective feedback and creating a culture of feedback within an organisation.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I live and work by a set of principles. The most important principle involves focusing on the positive and on success. It’s important to ensure that good news and success stories are publicised because they’re inspiring for all team members. There’s real value in working together, in a cooperative way: in my role as leader, I like setting the pace and setting an example. At the same time, I believe in focusing on the things which need to be improved and enhanced to ensure future success. I’m always very clear and vigilant when it comes to this: if change is required to create a more successful future, I will implement it.

What do you expect from your employees?

I truly believe in the power of engagement. When an organisation develops a shared mindset amongst all its employees, their individual roles are less significant. If employees are truly engaged, they can work together as one to achieve growth. It’s wonderful to experience this, whether it happens in a team at work or as part of a sports team.

When did you last make a mistake?

I reflect every day on what went well and what I can do better. I make mistakes every day and, in this way, I try to learn from them. My best advice? If in doubt, choose the more challenging option.

What differences are there between Frans as a human being and Frans the CEO?

My ways of working and living mean that the two versions are aligned, rather than separate entities. Of course, my behaviour is different in different roles. But I’m driven by the same set of principles at work and my character is unchanging. I live in the centre of Amsterdam. I like the city’s history, along with the all new and vibrant things to do which are part of the city. At the weekend, I like to be active; in the past I was a fanatic rower and I took part in lots of regattas. Now, I find it more convenient to run and to take part in running races.


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