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  • MyCollective Team

#36 PARENTING POWER - Why putting shoes on a toddler is a leadership skill for the future, with Christina Sontheim-Leven

Updated: Feb 27

“Everyone is talking about AI and where to use AI,” says Christina Sontheim-Leven in our newest podcast - and as CHRO and board member of CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA , she’s fully aware of the importance of encouraging people within her organisation to “broaden their minds to use AI as a co-pilot.” 

But even as we’re increasingly able to automate work tasks, the skills that people bring to the table remain important. Especially if they’re parents: “If you ever have a kid and you need to get their shoes on their feet within a really short time, you really hard-core learn about the power of incentivisation,” laughs Christina, adding that “you can’t force them or put pressure on them.” Those soft skills are vital to “help leaders to develop strong relationships with their team members, motivating them and providing them the support that they need.”

In her podcast, she discussed how she is driving diversity and inclusion in her role at CEWE, but also had some useful advice for anyone in any position who wants to see more diversity and access more opportunities: “Be brave.” To be more specific - 

 👉ignore the naysayers. “When you have kids people tell you what won’t work out, and sometimes you just have to close your ears,” she says. You decide what’s possible.

 👉“dare to have career ambitions” and talk to your employer about what you need to make that happen.

 👉Look for alliances, other people in your organisation who have been down that road. 

 👉Find mentors, “male or female, within or outside your company.” 

 👉Network, even if that just means finding someone else to eat your lunch with in the canteen, or broaching subjects beyond babies in your baby-group. “You will be surprised how much you can take with you as inspiration and also as support, because there will be others facing the difficult situations that you have to cope with. They might even have a specialised life hack for that situation.” 

Our whole conversation is now on Spotify -

Let us know what you think! 

Speaker: Christina Sontheim-Leven - CHRO and Board Member CEWE Stiftung & Co. KGaA

Interviewer: Dr. Dr. Ricarda Engelmeier - Founder MyCollective

Photo: Christina Sontheim-Leven / CEWE 

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