The life of a Commercial Director: Interview with Michel F. Bolle
Michel F. Bolle is a 49 years old commercial director from Switzerland. Michel F. Bolle is a former Swiss Volleyball player and a volleyball coach and executive. We have interviewed Mr. Bolle and asked him some questions about his entrepreneurial and business journey.
How did you become a commercial director? Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Basically, I am an action-taking phenomenon; my strategies turn into results fast and furious and relationships are deep and rich in the space I orbit. I always loved to develop international Key-Accounts and guide my teams by developing their talents on the road to success.
Can you tell us a bit about your business?
When you work in the industrial valves business, basically you are participating in a better world for tomorrow. Without high-quality valves, there would be no clean water at your home, and power stations could not provide any or enough energy. When you do good and honest work, it is a quite rewarding business.
Why are you doing this business?
I rushed into this field at the age of 23 and since then the passion did not let me go anymore. Technical sales are very challenging and there are literally thousands of different applications. Every day you have new challenged and this makes all the magic in this business.
You mentioned business cards, why business cards are still your best lead generator?
We live in a world where most of the storage is made digitally. Your holiday pictures, your music and by the end your business contacts and leads are all on your mobile phone, computer, and cloud. One day your phone gets stolen, your computer crashes or the day you leave this world your family has no access to your cloud. Everything will be lost. The business cards remain forever just like books…
As a Commercial Director, what are the keys to compete with the big boys?
“Get up early and get the work done”. For years a get up at 5 AM in the morning. While the rest of the world is still sleeping I have time to build up a massive competitive advantage. My personal life philosophy is “The true meaning of success in life is creating value that benefits others”. I’m permanently looking for ways to create more and better value than the competition.
As a Commercial Director, what is it that motivates and drives you?
Leadership and Teambuilding are certainly two of the expertise fields that drive me to get better every day in my work. Leading and supporting my teams on the tough road to success is very challenging but also rewarding at the same time. When I see my team members succeed, this is what really motivates me.
What do you put your success down to?
Smart work, a good life balance, team spirit, honesty, and commitment. Experience also showed me that one of the key factors of success is to surround yourself with positive people and get rid of the “No-Sayers”.
How do you keep a good life balance?
Besides working 12-14 hours a day, I try to spend as much time as possible with my family. Family moments are always magic and give me a lot of energy. I believe it is important that besides your business, we all should take time for other passions in our life. I’m very much into Card Magic, writing business books and Volleyball.
Who inspires you?
Without any doubt the UK Singer and Songwriter “Shakin’Stevens”. He just popped out of nowhere in the early 80’ making 50’ Rock n’Roll in the time where many other styles of music were much more popular. His success starting from 81’ was massive. He became the most successful UK solo artist of the 80’ by doing (somehow out of time) 50’ Rock n’ Roll Music. And he was doing it extremely well. He dad this rare habit to focus on his specific field and passion. Singles and tours came out fast and furious, and the worldwide success was impressive. During all those years of success Shaky always stayed a very humble and kind person. And as you know “The kindest person in the room always wins the race”.
What has been the most rewarding part of your role with the LK Hydraulics/IPI Group?
Definitely, the challenge to make business and conclude contracts on a worldwide level. It is so different to conclude a successful contract in the USA or in Poland. I spend a lot of time learning more about the culture, history and the people of a country I visit. In my previous career as a professional Volleyball Coach, I also had the opportunity to learn a lot about the typologies of different players, what drives and motives them. A very valuable knowledge you can apply also in business.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Get a vision, a strategy, and a plan. Then monomaniacally focus on your primary goals. Success will not come overnight, but sooner or later it will come.
What are your future plans?
At the moment I fully focus on growing important sales for our group. This is my main target.
Best of luck with your venture.Thanks for your cooperation.